cxgvd

owning, fixing and driving a Snapper's era Buick

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I've registered to have our 1915 McLaughlin judged by the AACA at Auburn May 9th, now it's full steam ahead.

 

The car is missing it's horn and I did not even know where it would mount.  I asked which horn was correct on a great site called BrassBuicks.org and received a quick response with pictures from my friend Gregg Lange.  I planned to use a Delco Remy horn but it is too long to fit the space so I phoned another friend, Bert, who is restoring a 1913 McLaughlin, similar to my car, and he has an extra proper horn and he is willing to let me have it.

 

A person could have all the tea in China, but I wouldn't trade it for my life in this hobby.

 

Regards, Gary

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McLaughlin Buicks used a diamond shaped radiator emblem and this theme is carried over to the rear window curtain.  I am trying to scale the size from this original old photograph and think 9" tall by 18" wide which would make the individual diamonds 3 3/8ths' by 4 1/2".  I made a half pattern, in the second photo the white paper will be black top material and the black will be clear.  It will take some skillful sewing but to my eyes it is a highlight of McLaughlin cars.

 

Regards, Gary

 

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Take your time and do it right.  Pat, my upholsterer and I felt the backrest springs were making the seat upholstery pattern too puffy and we devised a method to compress the bottom set of springs in line with the upper set.  Tomorrow we try again.

 

Top photo is from today and the bottom picture is when I started the job.

 

Regards, Gary

 

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I telephoned my little sister this morning to wish her a happy birthday, when we hung up Bev said I was acting as if it were my birthday.  Last week I ordered hardware from California, spoke with a plater to apply new nickel to my last 4 pieces, ordered a new DC motor and controller for my Singer industrial sewing machine and ordered beautiful material to use for our rear floor mat.

I have 100 new upholstery buttons and now I see it is woefully short, I ordered 200 more and a 10" long tufting needle to make the assembly slicker.  Gregg Lange agreed to let me buy one of his horns, the last piece?  Probably not.

The curator of the Canadian Automotive Museum measured the rear window of one of the their McLaughlin cars, 11" X 23", larger than I thought.  I made a paper pattern and it seems to work and will look great.

 

Regards, Gary

 

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An update concerning the AACA Snapper's summer tour in Chatham, plans and routes are set until May.  That is when the registrations close and many details get hammered out and everything made ready for our guests.  Today, in the mail we received our 30th car registered and it is a Buick, we have 3 so far, also 4 REOs, 3 Oaklands, a few Cadillacs and 8 or 9 Fords.  Moline, McIntyre, White, Oldsmobile, EMF and Hupmobile are among the other cars coming.  Waiting for spring, I collect the mail everyday and am getting my McLaughlin finished.

 

The first 3 pictures are Buicks which are coming then some of the others.

 

Regards, Gary

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I finally did it.  Last summer, Joe, (Cardinal 95) advised me to change my Singer sewing machine to a DC motor rather than continue to fight with old clutch setup to slow the machine down for upholstery work.  I finished the change over yesterday and the machine will chug over at a pace I feel I can control.  Full steam ahead.  Gary

 

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Interesting times.  The following tale I repeat recently happened to me and I do not intend this story to be praise or criticism of companies, the post office or Canada Customs.  The saying goes " it is what it is."

I ordered some antique auto parts from a well known restoration supply company in California, (wink wink), the order was $90.00, the box was the smallest box I have ever seen and postage was $30.00.  Canada Customs charged me $25.00 taxes and handling and the box took two weeks to arrive.

I ordered an 3/4 HP electric motor, to give you an idea of the size and weight from Amazon.ca on Friday.  It was delivered to my house Monday with taxes and shipping included in the purchase price.

 

It is what it is.  Gary

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Yes Gary, we really get beat up on things ordered from the States, seems worse now more than ever. This and the fact our dollar exchange makes the 90.00 US purchase costs us 120.44 (as of today) just well... as you stated, It Is What It Is.

I thought Amazon shipped free?

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In the top photo are some old parts I wanted to reproduce in thick, not stretchable leather and I have just the man for the job.  He is the last shoe repair guy in our small city of Chatham, On and he is a character.  Once he sent me back outside to look at his sign to see if the sign said anything about auto parts.

 

In the last picture is a metal shop I used to make a bracket for the McLaughlin's newly acquired horn.  Every day brings me closer to completing the task, full steam ahead.

 

Today, I received a registration for a Buick big 6, seven passenger touring car, for the AACA Snapper's tour in Chatham the second week of July and I sent an application to an owner of a second Buick big 6, we may have two!

 

Regards, Gary

 

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The best part of fixing 105 year old car is also the worst part.  No one knows everything or even anything.  I mounted my electric horn today in a bracket I designed, had fabricated and altered for the job.  A fellow sent me photos of a car the same make and model as mine, however I chose to mount the bracket and horn slightly differently.  It is a guess, using experience, judgement and "I think it will work and look best here."  If I am proven wrong I can change it.  Maybe this solution will become the "correct way it was done."

 

Regards, Gary

 

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Charge on, this afternoon I finished the rear floor woodwork, fit the tool box, made a pattern and then installed a 5/8th" thick cocoa mat.  I think the under seat toolbox, that is what I call it, is a McLaughlin only feature.  I saw cocoa mat in a friends car last summer and felt it is perfect for my car, also used for model T Ford rear mats.  Leather covers the tool box and back of the front seat.  The photos are start to finish and self explanatory.

 

Regards, Gary

 

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First the elephant in the room, then a Snapper Tour update.  Presently there are no reports Covid-19 cases reported in Chatham Kent.  Registrations continue to be sent in for our Chatham 5 day tour and plans are being tweaked.  Yesterday I sent a message to the Snapper's club offering to postpone or cancel the event, Bev and I would be disappointed but understanding, I heard back, carry on.

 

For the Buick side of things, we have 3 1913 Model 31 attending.  We were together at the Old Car Festival last fall, I have toured with Larry and Joyce, and with Lisa and Jim, but Larry has not run with Jim.  This summer we three are at the same hotel and driving together.  Jim told me he rebuilt his engine over the winter.

 

We received a registration for a 1915 c55, 7 passenger touring car from Michigan and a second big 6 from Ontario hasn't registered but may be there.  I haven't gotten anything for a 2 cylinder Model F/G though they are around, however, one of our stops has an original, museum quality car to look at.  We have a c37 roadster from Michigan and a buddy from Ontario contacted me and said he sold his Ford and bought a 1913 McLaughlin 25 series touring car.  With my c25 that will be 2 McLaughlins and 7 Buicks to date.

 

The picture was taken at last years Old Car Festival at Greenfield Village.  Good times.  Gary

 

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I've been interested in floor coverings for the rear tonneau for my early Buicks lately.  Coco mat is lovely for the 1915 McLaughlin, looks antique and the car has chestnut linoleum running board mats and front floor to match.  My 1913, however, is decorated in black and white colours with a thread bare, modern material, black carpet.    Once a person loads the car with luggage and lawn chairs, rear floor is covered anyway.

 

My friend Gregg Lange, from Michigan, told me an original old Buick he knows of has a thin material floor covering and that comment got me thinking instead of carpet, something else.  Yesterday Bev and I visited a huge fabric store and I bought a piece of poly cotton blend fabric in dark gray and I plan to change the rear floor.  It is bonded so I can cut it to shape and have the edges serged.  Also in the photo is a sea grass mat I was going to use for carpet but Bev has been liking to keep it in the house.

 

The top photo is a detail of my model 31 carpet and the second photo is the material I want to use laying on a sea grass mat.

 

Go cat, go.  Gary

 

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Finished.  Gary

 

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Covid-19 and me.  I do not have it, however, it has certainly affected me though everyone is feeling some pain.  I've lost enough money from my retirement stock holdings to buy a Packard, but not as much as a VW microbus.  I remain especially inspired by the positive reactions from my fellow Canadians, auto plants building medical devices, musician hosting internet shows or even from the porch, and daily briefings from the Prime Minister for instance.

 

The cancellation of the Auburn AACA meet has hit me hard, I planned to have my newly finished 1915 McLaughlin judged there.  I am working on the car and hopefully it will be finished by May but now I have nowhere to go.  A new party dress and my date stood me up.

 

For the Snapper's tour in July, the US/Canada border is closed to tourism, many restaurants I chose are not presently available and we have 33 registrations to date from people who are counting on Bev and I for a pleasant week of driving around Kent County.  It will be May before we know what to do.

 

Here are pictures from the recent past.  Hoping for a successful outcome from the Coronavirus.  Gary

 

 

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Yes Larry, our friends Charles and Darlene invited Bev and I to a high wheeler get together at the Gilmore Museum maybe about 2015.  Earlier in this thread I said "these are the good old days!"  I seems I was correct since we are facing, self isolation, postponements and cancellations today.

 

The best part of the early car hobby to me is the willingness of owners to share their cars by letting us sit in them, give rides or teach others to how to master driving them.  Here are a few more photos from the recent past I picked out from my files to demonstrate.

 

Stay well, Gary

 

 

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Hard to post a like or sad on this Gary but thanks for the pictures.

Hopefully brighter days are ahead.

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Thanks Doug;  These are difficult times, Bev and I have no activities which we can attend for the next few months, everything on hold.  My mom and I used to be considered homebodies, now I am self isolating and supporting the health effort.  Not so bad for me, Bev, also stays home and makes me lunch.  Life is good with friends and photography.

 

Regards, Gary

 

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Gary, Great pictures. Enjoy the diversion from cleaning my office at the house. 

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I sorted out an electrical problem with a simple fix, I hope.  When I acquired our 1915 McLaughlin touring car it had been fitted with accessory, or after market, push pull switches to turn on the ignition and begin the starter/ generator spinning.  I've taken out the incorrect switches but that left me with the original switch which would work but only occasionally.  It seems the paddle? was worn and making inconsistent contact to the starter/ generator wire.  I cut a strip of brass shim stock, 001", glued and wrapped it around the paddle.  I've added 0.003" to each edge of the paddle and it seems to be enough, I've run through 6 start/ stops and it worked every time.

 

The car also had an electric fuel pump which was removed and is sitting on a shelf.  Gravity fuel flow for me.

 

In the picture is the offending switch before restoration.  The 2 push/pull switches on the left, turn on the ignition and start the generator motoring.  The other 3 push/ pull switches are for the headlamps, dim lights and tail lamp/ dash light.  I've circled the area of the switch that was built up without disassembly.  Also, I have bypassed the circuit breaker, on the left with a pair of long springs, with an inline fuse.  The round resister pictured on the right offers too much resistance so I am still in the woods with grandma's house in sight.

 

Hope you understand, I find electricity difficult.  Stay well, Gary

 

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Today I worked on getting my horn ready for paint.  After removing it from the car I washed the horn 3 times with lacquer thinner to remove all oils which would weaken the adhesion of the new paint.  The original finish was a thin layer of japan black paint which a spinning wire wheel stripped quickly.  Next I sanded the parts with 220 grit sandpaper again to aid in adhesion.  Washed the parts again with thinners and taped off the motor.  I could have sandblasted the metal parts but I wanted to keep grit out of the motor.

 

I have a collection of other parts to coat with epoxy primer, then a heavy coat of black Poly Urethane, the very definition of "over restored."

 

Stay well, Gary

 

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Beginning the job of fitting a new top by installing the sockets and bows to the 1915 McLaughlin C25 touring.

 

Regards, Gary

 

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The executive of the Snappers Brass and Gas have decided to reschedule their meets from this summer and push the events to 2021, which I am thankful for and agree with.  The spring and summer 5 day tours will now occur in 2021 and the 2021 events will be 2022 and so forth.  The Snappers have three events in the fall and are on for now but we will see.

 

Bev and are working on returning registration fees and will not make plans for 2021 until after the Old Car Festival in September.

 

On the garage front, I continue to work on the McLaughlin's top sockets and bows.  In the photo I've stretched a car cover over the bows to get an idea of the way the finished product will look.

 

The definition of irony, we have time, pleasant weather, low priced gasoline, antique cars, but no where to go.

 

Stay well, Gary

 

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