Boston

The perfect tour car

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Although the cost of an electric EV conversion is high, I think in a park tour perspective the extra cost might be able to be passed on to the customer somewhat.  I think park guests would be very supportive of efforts made to reduce pollution within the parks.  The electric vehicles are pretty reliable as long as you have adequate sized battery banks.

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Boston said:

So what I'm looking for is advice on vehicles that can be or preferably already are bastardized with more modern drive trains that might be more reliable. 

The basic chevy 350 + tranny added. Better brakes, things like that 

 

Cars like that are almost never more reliable, particularly ones that are for sale. All old cars that are for sale need sorting. Sorting out a modified car that is a pile of parts that was never engineered as a package is rewarding, but is also more work. The overwhelming majority of people who build modified cars do not realize that and do not follow through. They get mad when it doesn't drive right after all the money they spent and sell it. Nobody told them that the first day the car ventures out of the garage is the beginning of the process, not the end.

 

Its funny. I was away from the hobby for 10 years. Today , with the rapid spread of information on the Internet, and the easy availability of custom parts, I would expect the modified cars to be MUCH better and more reliable than the ones of my youth. They aren't, and if anything they are worse. That is true no matter how pretty they are. At the first cruise in I went to after jumping back into the hobby, one of the prettiest cars there needed help. I ran back to my shop space, which was only about 5 blocks away at the time, and got some tools to help out. I myself have not needed help with my stock vehicles, except a jump start once in a 12 volt car with a questionable battery, after standing on the brake pedal for a half an hour while yacking. That might be dumb luck, but more likely is because I obsess over sorting out my cars at the expense of everything else. I ALWAYS carry a tool kit to cruise ins now. It has got plenty of use, and the overwhelming majority of the cars are modified ones. In my area the best sorted hot rods, the ones that take the longest jaunts, and have the least trouble seem to be the rat rods. Go figure...

 

Maintaining the old stuff requires you to learn more esoteric skills, but less engineering skills (math). It all depends on what you want to do.

 

As much as I am not a fan of that thing Matt posted, It may be the best tool for the job.

 

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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18 minutes ago, Modeleh said:

Although the cost of an electric EV conversion is high, I think in a park tour perspective the extra cost might be able to be passed on to the customer somewhat.  I think park guests would be very supportive of efforts made to reduce pollution within the parks.  The electric vehicles are pretty reliable as long as you have adequate sized battery banks.

 

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Or this version for the open air!

 

Image result for power wagon ww2

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27 minutes ago, FLYER15015 said:

 

Matt is the 'hero" of the day.

So I wonder when there will be a Glassic class at Pebble, or Amelia ?

 

Mike in Colorado

 

 

When they ice skate in hell. Bob 

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Posted (edited)

I have to say Model T fords are cheap and very reliable. Not expensive to fix with parts everywhere. Depot hacks for larger groups, touring cars for the smaller group or couple. Add Rocky Mountain brakes if needed. I see decent Ts going for $6-8000. Not hard to drive once the driver learns and the main draw is the people road in an original of the first mass produced automobile. They are good in mud and snow also. People probably think I’m crazy but we couldn’t kill ours, couldn’t even come close. It was all original except for the aftermarket water pump. 

Edited by chistech (see edit history)
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3 minutes ago, chistech said:

I have to say Model T fords are cheap and very reliable. Not expensive to fix with parts everywhere. Depot hacks for larger groups, touring cars for the smaller group or couple. Add Rocky Mountain brakes if needed. I see decent Ts going for $6-8000. Not hard to drive once the driver learns and the main draw is the people road in an original of the first mass produced automobile. They are good in mud and snow also. People probably think I’m crazy but we couldn’t kill ours, couldn’t even come close. It was all original except for the aftermarket water pump. 

 

Not a bad suggestion. A fleet of Model Ts buzz around Greenfield Village 7 days a week, 8-10 hours a day without missing a beat.

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If your really serious, contact the companies that build the "antique" cars and busses, used at places like Disney World. Modern chassis, with an old looking body.

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OK so something Christech said


What is the most bomb proof antique tour car ? 

The one pictured is a 1924 fordor Ford LOL It's not expensive, customers would love it. speeds are 45 and below in the park. So how reliable are these old fords. 

image.jpeg

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Boston, I'm sorry that I didn't think of this sooner. Google, Richard A. Currier Horseless Carriage Co., we visited his shop when the National Woodie Club was up in Ogonquit ME. He manufacturers an assortment of beautiful Depot Hack, Model T bodies. Then, there are several street rod companies such as T.C.I, that make Model T street rod chassis' complete with modern suspension if you want. Next, source some sort of modern, 4 cylinder engines and automatic transmissions and you have the makings of a nice car. Probably is a hot rod shop in your area that would put them together for you.

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I would not pay to ride in a Glassic or a Shay..  

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The bulk of the people do not know what they are in. Think the best way would be to start with a modern chassis (ex police cars ?) and add a retro body. No antiques harned.

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My oldest son is the facilities manager at one of the larger National Parks east of the Mississippi, and he had told me that to become a vendor is a very involved proce$$.  

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Boston said:

OK so something Christech said


What is the most bomb proof antique tour car ? 

The one pictured is a 1924 fordor Ford LOL It's not expensive, customers would love it. speeds are 45 and below in the park. So how reliable are these old fords. 

image.jpeg

They are very reliable, that’s why I mentioned them. These days they are a bargain and going with a 17’ to 27’ will get you electric start and the best versions of the de mountable rims. If towing out of the parks is so expensive, simply keep a open trailer and pickup there to rescue a stranded tour car. The T will also give very decent fuel mileage. I would update any car purchased with a water pump and Kevlar transmission bands. If you purchase cars that are currently being used you will have little to do to get them ready. Another good thing is while a water pump helps, it’s not necessary as the cooling system was designed to work on thermal principal of heat rises so while a pump would help, if really hot and barely moving,  and you lost a fan belt, it would’ve the end of the world. The worst thing about using the T’s is there would be no AC other than good old mother nature’s fresh air! I know a guy who could probably set you up with quite a few Ts, priced right, to get you started. Super guy to deal with and I know that personally as I bought my 32’ Olds from him.

Edited by chistech (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Ben P. said:

Good.

I just googled a MI company that used to offer rides/tours in 1930’s-40’s trucks that were converted to open buses for ideas.

https://macwoodsdunerides.com/

This used to be extremely common and popular, and I always assumed the ‘vintage’ aspect was their main draw. I see now they’ve converted to modern rigs — don’t know what changed. Maybe a company like that would be good to ask questions of?

Interesting idea - would definitely attract my business. Good Luck.

 

‘These folks have run what we always called “dune buggies” for years on the dunes on Silver Lake in Michigan.  They ran 34 Fords back in the early fifties when I was a kid.  They only held five people and as business increased and the state restricted driving on the dunes, they switched to trucks with three or four rows of seats to take many more customers on each ride.  We had two buggies ourselves, a 37 Ford phaeton and a 46 Mercury wagon.  All the doors and roofs were removed and grab rails installed.  The wheel rims were cut in half and a 12 band was welded in.  The tires were stretched over these widened rims and run at about 8psi.  Man, were those things fun!  I learned to tear down a Ford flathead V8 working on our buggies - which broke down with amazing regularity.  Our cottage was right on the lake with the dunes right behind us.  Great memories.

Edited by Taylormade (see edit history)
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Mac Woods have quite a photo gallery. There’s a year tag on the license plate in the middle picture — my eyes can’t make it out — but I’m pretty sure that’s what I remember as a kid in the ‘70s. Remember open top 3 row seat trucks too, but thought they were considerably older than anything pictured.

There was also a raft/canoe outfitter on the AuSable river that used very similar old rigs to haul customers back from the trip end points. Those all disappeared at some point in the 1980s being replaced with vans. Always seemed to me it was the ‘vintage’ aspect of the vehicles that drew the business — but then again I’m biased. Certainly caught my attention.

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This is the type of buggy I rode in back in 1952 when we first visited Silver Lake.  I took these shots a few years ago when they had the car out on display.

 

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These are screenshots from 8mm movies we took in the late fifties of our Ford dune buggy at our cottage.  I thought it was a 37, but it was a 38 based on these pictures. Sorry for the poor quality, but you get the idea.  Bus seats, no seatbelts, we drove around the dunes like maniacs - I guess I'm lucky to be alive.  That's me waving from the front passenger seat  in the third photo and my brother Bob behind me.  Just what everyone wants to see - my old home movies.

 

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Bloo said:

the ones that take the longest jaunts, and have the least trouble seem to be the rat rods. Go figure...

 

 

Right on Bloo.

I have driven this one all over the NW with minimum problems.

I did have some weird stuff happen when I got into a torrential rain storm once.

Its main problem is that I need to go for a 15 minute walk every 150 miles or so. (no seat springs)

 

28 Dodge project 028.jpg

 

For the OP, The big thing these days are old busses with Cummins engines.

I think those old trolleys are a hoot as well.

Around here its wine tours, The county is riddled with stretch limos and short busses every weekend.

I could build something that would keep me busy full time If I was inclined to go to work.

Edited by JACK M (see edit history)

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2 hours ago, John_Mereness said:

Some sort of a Ford product in a a Station Wagon.

They went from Model As to 34 Fords to Studebaker trucks.

 

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21 hours ago, TerryB said:

Sounds like it would have to be one expensive ride for the passengers for you to make any money in the venture.  To build a reliable car with a hint of old fashioned fun seems like you would need at least a mid 1930s car.  A woody wagon might be a place to start to get nostalgia and room for people.

 

The other night I saw an old movie on youtube that had a great big '39 Cadillac woody in it and I thought, what a great tour vehicle. It looked like the wagon had three full rows of seating with some storage in the back. If you were to throw a couple of comfy jump seats in the storage area, you could have enough room for maybe 9 passengers, plus the driver. I think the '39 Woody had a V-8 in it originally, so maybe a SBC drivetrain wouldn't be too out of character. (I also prefer original, though.)

 

 

 

 

Image result for 1939 Cadillac woody wagon

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Posted (edited)

I really think Boston has a great idea. It sounds like he’s got a lot of the particulars in order. With any business venture, there’s always the need for the upfront capital to cover those start up costs. If custom cars are made or cars altered to look old, I’d bet the cost would be at least $25k each. Because of this, it seems a logical suggestion to go with the the Model Ts. Boston could purchase three reliable cars for the price of one and they fit the part exactly. They’re not close to being old, they’re not like an antique car, they are simply old, true antique cars. So for less than $75k, a fleet of 6-8 cars could be put into service with a modern support vehicle and trailer. Doing it any other way and a person would be hard pressed to get 2 cars and a support vehicle for the same $75K.
      We have a historic area here on the coast featuring the original buildings and cobble stone streets dating back to the whaling industry here on the coast of MA. Lots of good harbor side restaurants along with an excellent whaling museum.  Boston has put an idea in my head about an antique tour, taxi type service. Now I have some things to look in to! 

Edited by chistech (see edit history)
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While I don’t disagree with the financial analysis on using model T’s, I think model A’s just as reliable and a lot easier to maintain. The upfront cost would be double for open cars but likely cheaper in the long run.  Also, finding drivers will be much easier. Car guys will know you are running a slightly newer car but to the general public anything with an exposed vertical radiator is ancient.  As for reliability.... many people in the old car hobby could summarize their experience as: working on other cars and driving model A’s. 

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