pkhammer

Advice that you'd give a guy that WANTED an early car

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

First you should decide whether your primary interest is in driving and maintaining an early car or is it more in the area of rescuing an early car needing work and making it  "all that it can be".  We have found that many folks enjoy the hunt for an old car,  the hunt for parts,  and the restoration of an old car to be more interesting and enjoyable than actually owning,  driving and maintaining the car.  We showed a car at Hershey last year that was the 5th full frame up show quality restoration we have done for the same fellow.  His enjoyment came from buying cars that seldom are treated to a full show restoration,  having them restored then selling them on at usually about 1/2 what they cost to restore.  Obviously not something many can do but it is good to know what your motivation is before you start.  If your desire is to drive an old car then by all means buy the best example you can find of the car you desire.  I own a few cars,  none of which are actually drivable simply because I enjoy working on various cars and solving problems far more than I enjoy driving and maintaining a car,  As they say, different strokes for different folks.

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 I've done a couple of full and partial restorations and what I DO NOT want is another long term project, I have a few of those lingering in the shop now that I barely seem to have time for. I had my Falcon painted two years ago and all I needed to do was a few weekends worth of work; install bumpers, grille, emblems, trim, carpet, door panels and door seals and here it is two years later and I have about half of that done and only that because of the "stay at home" situation. 

 I want something I can drive and maintain without  a lot of down time. I purchased a nice '31 Model A Ford slant windshield town sedan (my avatar) from a local estate about six years ago. It was an older restoration that had sat for many years and needed some tlc. I replaced the dry-rotted tires, changed the fluids, flushed the fuel system, rebuilt the carburetor, put in new points, plugs and wires and had a nice dependable driver. I don't mind doing maintenance items like that to make a car road-worthy but I definitely am not looking for something to restore.

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5 hours ago, pkhammer said:

  3 - Needs to be able to cruise at 40-45 mph comfortably and go maybe 55 if called upon.

 

 

That's going to be the biggest stretch with the nickle cars, 55mph is going to be pushing them hard (and the brakes...). My 22 cad will do 40-45mph comfortably on a cruise with its v8 but I don't think I'd want to push it much harder as it starts to get unpleasant 

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PK Hammer.........  I looked at your list.... and I have a vehicle... that is probably the most comfortable, reliable, safe, (good braking & steering)... and fast, (50-60 mph all day long ).... within your price range,( $15-16 K)..... Not a trailer Queen & not all shiny & fully restored, ( but fully renewed & maintained) ....... it also fulfills your Secret attraction ..... to Franklins...... 

From 1930 to 1934 Franklins really improved the cooling,  with the side draft system.. and increase the horse power to 100 hp... My car is not an open touring, (until you roll down all the windows, open the cowl vent, and tilt the windshield  open a little)....

I have owned and driven extensively; a dodge fast four, (40 mph feels safe),  several model A's, (35-40 mph feels like flying).... a 1929 dodge 6 cyl, & 1930 Chrysler 6 cyl, ( both feel comfortable at 45-50 mph, with hydraulic brakes).... This 1930 Franklin is the most road worthy car of the ones just mentioned, that I have driven as my daily driver, 50-60 mph all day long  at 3,300 rpm... accelerating up to 70 mph when needed.... and  with 14' brake drums, rebuilt hydraulic brakes..... it stops quickly without locking up the wheels... a real pleasure to drive... comfortable, smooth ride...... this car is for sale right now... for $16,000 ..... but I will be happy to take the price of your plane fare off of the price, if you want to fly out and drive it... I am sure you would buy it once you have driven a Franklin........ other cars of it's era that are comparable are Cadillac & Packard ...... If you bought it...... you might want to leisurely drive it back home, to get to know 'Her'.... sort of a honeymoon........... or I will take 1/2 off the cost of having it transported back to Virginia ....... all in all ... it is a real fine quality, good driving  full classic automobile... well engineered for it's time...

You would be getting it for a very good price.....     https://albuquerque.craigslist.org/cto/d/tyrone-1930-air-cooled-franklin-sedan/7132656802.html   

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Thanks for your post sunnybaba! I have looked at your car with great interest and the only reason I have not shown up at your doorstep to look this over in person is the distance between us. My gut tells me that I'd really like the car and your offer(s) seem very fair. There is one big problem of course and that is the fact that it is not an open car. I have never owned an open car and want one in a bad way. I have no doubt that much enjoyment could be had with this Franklin as it appears ready to be driven but I'm afraid I wouldn't be totally satisfied with anything other than an open car. If I had money and space for two it might be a different story but for now I need to stick to my guns and hold out for what I really want.

  -Greg

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12 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

I don't have any advice as to what kind of car you should buy. My only advice is to buy quality. Don't set a hard limit, be prepared to spend a little extra on a high-quality car when it presents itself. You'll come out ahead in the end and you can enjoy it right away.

 

Buying based on price and trying to keep it as cheap as possible is the ideal recipe for buying a car that is both dissatisfying and unexpectedly expensive.

 

 

Wisdom worth beyond money...............

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Always expect to find a car above your budget that is just right.  When you do ,  do whatever you can to make it happen.  You will regret it if you don't.  

I have several times. 

Now I have these in my garage. Never would have if i kept in my budget. 

Everyone of them was more money than I was going to spend but I figured out a way to make it happen.  There have been others as well.

Good luck and let us enjoy the hunt with you. 

 

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 Beautiful cars auburnseeker! Your budget is obviously higher than mine! 😁 I can and will go higher, for the right car of coarse! Thanks for all of the advise, it's great reading all of the comments. This will not be a quick thing I don't think, it will likely take time especially with no car shows or swap meets to go to. I will keep you all posted on progress though. If I could talk Dave Coco out of his Cord for the right price, he is only 90 or so miles from me.

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Talk David Coco out of his Cord?

 

 

To quote an old timer I one knew............

 

 

It would be easier to talk the ears off a cigar store Indian.................

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Now my Cord is actively for sale,  but isn't that too new?  Not quite nickel Era. ;) 

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I had someone recently make a very fair offer on my Cord, I thought to myself that if I sold it, every time a magazine article talked about them it would hurt, so told him no.  Let’s say the offer was a tad over your current budget!  One day it will be for sale, not now though.

 

I have a ‘27 DB fast four cabriolet, Greg, if you ever want see it or drive it. Not currently for sale either.  Mine is mechanically excellent, and I can tell you 50 mph would be optimistic.   Don’t let the “fast” fool you, it’s just a little faster than a Dodge “slow” four....but it’s a delightful car to drive around town and has done a Glidden tour or two in the past....

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2 hours ago, sunnybaba said:

PK Hammer.........  I looked at your list.... and I have a vehicle... that is probably the most comfortable, reliable, safe, (good braking & steering)... and fast, (50-60 mph all day long ).... within your price range,( $15-16 K)..... Not a trailer Queen & not all shiny & fully restored, ( but fully renewed & maintained) ....... it also fulfills your Secret attraction ..... to Franklins...... 

From 1930 to 1934 Franklins really improved the cooling,  with the side draft system.. and increase the horse power to 100 hp... My car is not an open touring, (until you roll down all the windows, open the cowl vent, and tilt the windshield  open a little)....

I have owned and driven extensively; a dodge fast four, (40 mph feels safe),  several model A's, (35-40 mph feels like flying).... a 1929 dodge 6 cyl, & 1930 Chrysler 6 cyl, ( both feel comfortable at 45-50 mph, with hydraulic brakes).... This 1930 Franklin is the most road worthy car of the ones just mentioned, that I have driven as my daily driver, 50-60 mph all day long  at 3,300 rpm... accelerating up to 70 mph when needed.... and  with 14' brake drums, rebuilt hydraulic brakes..... it stops quickly without locking up the wheels... a real pleasure to drive... comfortable, smooth ride...... this car is for sale right now... for $16,000 ..... but I will be happy to take the price of your plane fare off of the price, if you want to fly out and drive it... I am sure you would buy it once you have driven a Franklin........ other cars of it's era that are comparable are Cadillac & Packard ...... If you bought it...... you might want to leisurely drive it back home, to get to know 'Her'.... sort of a honeymoon........... or I will take 1/2 off the cost of having it transported back to Virginia ....... all in all ... it is a real fine quality, good driving  full classic automobile... well engineered for it's time...

You would be getting it for a very good price.....     https://albuquerque.craigslist.org/cto/d/tyrone-1930-air-cooled-franklin-sedan/7132656802.html   

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I thought I had read that you sold this.

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16 minutes ago, auburnseeker said:

Now my Cord is actively for sale,  but isn't that too new?  Not quite nickel Era. ;) 

If Dave sold me his Cord within my budget, I'd forget about the nickel era car pretty quickly! 👍

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11 minutes ago, trimacar said:

I had someone recently make a very fair offer on my Cord, I thought to myself that if I sold it, every time a magazine article talked about them it would hurt, so told him no.  Let’s say the offer was a tad over your current budget!  One day it will be for sale, not now though.

 

I have a ‘27 DB fast four cabriolet, Greg, if you ever want see it or drive it. Not currently for sale either.  Mine is mechanically excellent, and I can tell you 50 mph would be optimistic.   Don’t let the “fast” fool you, it’s just a little faster than a Dodge “slow” four....but it’s a delightful car to drive around town and has done a Glidden tour or two in the past....

Thanks for the offer on the '27 Dodge Cabriolet, I will take you up on that and might spring for lunch too if eating out ever becomes a thing again! 

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14 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

I don't have any advice as to what kind of car you should buy. My only advice is to buy quality. Don't set a hard limit, be prepared to spend a little extra on a high-quality car when it presents itself. You'll come out ahead in the end and you can enjoy it right away.

 

Buying based on price and trying to keep it as cheap as possible is the ideal recipe for buying a car that is both dissatisfying and unexpectedly expensive.

Give Matt a call and get on his list. He has had a number of reasonably priced cars recently meeting most of your criteria, there are a lot of non-full classic prewar bargains out there. The trick is to get one that is honest and mostly sorted. I have bought two cars from Matt and both have been as-advertised or better.

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14 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

I don't have any advice as to what kind of car you should buy. My only advice is to buy quality. Don't set a hard limit, be prepared to spend a little extra on a high-quality car when it presents itself. You'll come out ahead in the end and you can enjoy it right away.

 

Buying based on price and trying to keep it as cheap as possible is the ideal recipe for buying a car that is both dissatisfying and unexpectedly expensive.

Give Matt a call and get on his list. He has had a number of reasonably priced cars recently meeting most of your criteria, there are a lot of non-full classic prewar bargains out there. The trick is to get one that is honest and mostly sorted. I have bought two cars from Matt and both have been as-advertised or better.

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14 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

I don't have any advice as to what kind of car you should buy. My only advice is to buy quality. Don't set a hard limit, be prepared to spend a little extra on a high-quality car when it presents itself. You'll come out ahead in the end and you can enjoy it right away.

 

Buying based on price and trying to keep it as cheap as possible is the ideal recipe for buying a car that is both dissatisfying and unexpectedly expensive.

Give Matt a call and get on his list. He has had a number of reasonably priced cars recently meeting most of your criteria, there are a lot of non-full classic prewar bargains out there. The trick is to get one that is honest and mostly sorted. I have bought two cars from Matt and both have been as-advertised or better.

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 I'm sure there are many fine, up-standing dealers out there with good reputations that would be happy to help me find the right car. They provide a valuable service to many collectors. However I think FOR ME that would take some of the fun out of it. I enjoy looking, surfing the internet, meeting people. I want to be engaged in the hunt! I have this vision of perusing the offerings at a car corral and finding just the right car. There it is with the owner dusting it off. The owner, who restored it 30 years ago, has enjoyed the car for many years but is now elderly and had decided it's time to move it on to the next caretaker. We take a drive and he goes over all the points of the car and shows me his receipts. I like the owner and decide I love the car and he decides that I am the right guy to be the caretaker for the next 20 years. Sounds silly when I type it out but hey, that's the dream. maybe it'll happen as I walk the car corral at Charlotte this fall. Maybe I'll spot it on craigslist or see it in Hemmings. Who knows?

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Posted (edited)

Hello pkhammer, I am about your age (52) and are similarly interested in 1920s cars although I do not own one.  

 

I think the "nickel" era is a fascinating time in automotive history but the cars themselves have been overlooked for years due to often bland appearance compared with the earlier brass cars and the later classics.  BUT many 1920s cars were restored and driven by hobbyists in the 1960s and 1970s and an older restoration from an estate would be perfect for you and bargains can be found IMO.

 

Regarding what kind, I notice others keep mentioning 1920s Dodges and I would suggest also consider 1920s Chryslers and early Plymouths.  The 1920s Chryslers were said to have had superior performance for the day and 4 wheel hydraulic brakes from day one so they should be more drivable than many contemporaries.  There will be some out there in garages and sheds that were restored in the 1970s and could be mechanically and cosmetically freshened up to be good drivers for a reasonable price.  An open car would cost more than a sedan and I would also suggest if you find an open model make sure you can comfortably fit to drive since those 1920s roadsters and tourings can be tight in the front seat.  Good luck, Todd C     

Edited by poci1957 (see edit history)

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A make and model that should be high on your list of potential candidates would be a 1926 or 1927 Studebaker Big Six.   The engine is a 354 cu in L-Head six and four wheel brakes became optional in 1926, standard for 1927.   It would have the capability to maintain the cruising speed and four wheel brakes to better handle situations that might arise. The Antique Studebaker Club is focused on the pre-WWII models, would be a good source to discover available cars that might fit the bill.

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19 minutes ago, Restorer32 said:

pk is your last name Hammer? 

It is. PK is for "Preacher's Kid". My Father was a Brethren Minister and I was always referred to as the "Preacher's Kid". LOL

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