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


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 Paul, thanks for chiming in! The Smokey Mountains are about a six hour drive south for us and the wife and I make the trip to the area 3-4 times each year. Love that area! I have had a lot of great pointers, suggestions and leads so far (all of which I've looked at with great interest) and the Buick Touring link a few posts up is really hitting near the target. Logistics at this time will prevent me from making a 10 or 12 hour drive just to look however. Had that car above been a Studebaker Big Six with disc wheels I might already have been on my way though!

  I have a friend and neighbor that has a '21 Dodge touring that I contacted today to see if I could maybe get a ride (or drive if I'm lucky!). The car needs a bearing tightened up but he said once he does that he'd be glad to go. I can't wait! I'll post photos.

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I think that an impossible feat to do an adequate job of comparing the hundreds of different models from your era of choice. There is simply no right choice, but there are a great deal of wrong choices. The question should be does the car's condition and drivability match your needs. You may have to pay a little more, but guard against buying less then you want or need. One comment I would like to make-it's not so much how fast a car can go (40-50 mph is reasonable for most cars of the era) but try to chose a model that is capable of maintaining that speed on a tour. Having the power and torque to maintain speed is essential, but the car should also be able to do the speed without overheating.

 

I finished the first paragraph, then looked up and saw your reference to a Big Six Studebaker. Ironic because I'm a Studebaker guy and although I try to stay away from suggestions of a particular make or model, whenever I look at a car the Big Six is what I use for comparison.

 

Bill

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 For me in my short time trying to compare apples and oranges, the Studebaker Big Six has risen right to the top of the heap. Following close behind is Buick and I still like the Dodge's too just because I think they are well built, plentiful, relatively inexpensive and has good parts availability. I would love to learn more about other models such as Nash, Willys-Overland and others that offered six cylinder models.

 If anyone is lurking out there that has first hand experience with ANY of these models, please chime in. I want to hear from you and read about your experiences good or bad. If you think a certain car is better than the "other makes" let's hear about it. I'm not trying to start a big debate and certainly not incite arguments here but a well thought out opinion should be interesting to all.

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7 hours ago, sunnybaba said:

Here is one all restored... 1922 studebaker Big six touring... just what the Man dreams of... but you have to pay for on in this condition ...$40K

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/2798521986930084/

 

To encourage the original poster:

Just because a dealer has one priced very high

does not mean that that is the car's actual value.

He probably bought it recently, and I guarantee you

that he didn't think it was worth that much when he

was paying the owner!

 

As people are demonstrating, there are some very good

cars in the stated price range.

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Nobody has mentioned a Hudson Super Six. Any comments on that make?

I sent a message about the Studebaker Roadster above. It's about 8.5 hours from me so not TOO terrible. Man, if that thing were only green or blue with black fenders!!!!! Yowza!!

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 So I show my wife the pics of the red (orange?) and silver Studebaker and she says "it looks like something a clown would drive on the way to the circus". It would look better if it were spray painted black. 

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8 hours ago, sunnybaba said:

Open car Studebaker 6...... older restoration running driving..... open car...... ugly colors   https://indianapolis.craigslist.org/cto/d/greenfield-studebaker-1928-roadster/7138998415.html

 

image 1 of 16
 
 

 

 

00z0z_fpLk5kcuqkC_0CI0t2_600x450.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be forewarned, this 1928 Studebaker Dictator Series GE started life as a coupe, has been converted to the open car it is now.  That and the hideous clown colors reduces the value well below what is being ask. 

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1 hour ago, pkhammer said:

 So I show my wife the pics of the red (orange?) and silver Studebaker and she says "it looks like something a clown would drive on the way to the circus". It would look better if it were spray painted black. 

 

A lot of history is forgotten.  People living today know 

certain well-publicized aspects of it, but likely don't know

the thinking of past eras.  Some cars were vividly painted

during the late 1920's.  Some manufacturers would paint

a car in the buyer's school colors.

 

Compared to the red-and-silver Studebaker, this

1930 Packard, shown in bright orange and silver-green,

is even bolder.  It was actually illustrated in the company

catalogue.

 

That's the fun of collecting.  We're preserving forgotten

history for people today and tomorrow!

 

1930 Packard--orange and green 1a.jpg

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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I don't believe you will find much out there in you price range for any 1915 or earlier car with the HP and speed your looking for as now you are in Brass Era territory. My 1915 Buick's purchase price years ago was $25,000. And it needed mechanical and electrical work. Dandy Dave! 

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22 minutes ago, Dandy Dave said:

I don't believe you will find much out there in you price range for any 1915 or earlier car with the HP and speed your looking for as now you are in Brass Era territory. My 1915 Buick's purchase price years ago was $25,000. And it needed mechanical and electrical work. Dandy Dave! 

 I'm not leaning toward anything that early, definitely nothing pre-1915. Looking mostly at mid-twenties at this point and there seems to be plenty of that era in my price range.

  -thanks!

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Hi

I have read this thread and quite surprised at what you can buy for mid teens , some great looking cars , however listening to the experience of the posters I would feel you have  act quickly to secure the good quality cars if they tick the boxes , myself I have hesitated to long and missed many a great deal and sadly regret some. 

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1 hour ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

 

A lot of history is forgotten.  People living today know 

certain well-publicized aspects of it, but likely don't know

the thinking of past eras.  Some cars were vividly painted

during the late 1920's.  Some manufacturers would paint

a car in the buyer's school colors.

 

Compared to the red-and-silver Studebaker, this

1930 Packard, shown in bright orange and silver-green,

is even bolder.  It was actually illustrated in the company

catalogue.

 

That's the fun of collecting.  We're preserving forgotten

history for people today and tomorrow!

 

1930 Packard--orange and green 1a.jpg

The colors presented in catalogues of the period might well have been available on special order but were rarely considered standard factory color selections.  At times, these bold colors were simply the flites of fancy by the advertising artist.  For the extreme extroverted, such colors were just the ticket, though most Packard buyers demonstrated more reserved taste when specifying the colors for their new cars.

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A car like this one is very nice:

June 2,2020

FOR SALE: 1930 FRANKLIN SERIES 147 – 7 PASSENGER SEDAN.
With owner’s manual. My family purchased it from the original owner. One of the attached pictures was taken by the first owner in the early ’50 while at a car meet. Original interior. Exterior repainted in 1995. Rebuilt engine. The car has been in storage for the last 10 years. Was started two months ago.
Asking $20,000. 
The car is located in Toms River, NJ. Please contact Mark Selikoff atmark@selikoff.net

Car
Car
Car
Car
Car

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A car like this is nice too - the owner was initially unrealistic about price at 35K, but car is a combo of nice restoration and outstanding original and should bring decent money (aka it is not a 10K car, it is probably worth more).  They had the missing parts too such as hubcaps, plus sidemount tire mirrors and ...

 

March 17, 2019

FOR SALE: 1930 Franklin Series 145 Sedan
Exterior restored in the 1970's, interior original. Original trunk. Runs well. Currently in Sarasota, FL. Asking $25,000. 

Please contact Jeanne Beyer at: jeanne.beyer@gmail.com

Car

Car

Car

Car

Car

 

 

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)
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6 hours ago, pkhammer said:

 So I show my wife the pics of the red (orange?) and silver Studebaker and she says "it looks like something a clown would drive on the way to the circus". It would look better if it were spray painted black. 

That is almost exactly what my wife said when she first saw my 1932 Cadillac. So of course that stuck and it was the "Clown Car" the whole time I owned it.

DSCF1659.JPG

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On 6/14/2020 at 9:38 AM, pkhammer said:

 I'm not leaning toward anything that early, definitely nothing pre-1915. Looking mostly at mid-twenties at this point and there seems to be plenty of that era in my price range.

  -thanks!

Yes. Later teens into the 20's the market is soft right now. Agree that is the place to look. As far as available parts. That would all depend on how rare the car, and its components are. Anything can be fixed or reproduced if you have enough time and money. Like others on here say, Buy the best car you can with the amount you have to work with. I never regretted buying my 1915 Buick. You could not put a price on the fun I have had with it, the friends I have made, and the joy it has brought to myself and others. That to me is far more valuable than anything else in the world. Things of this earth you cannot take with you. In the end, good memories and true friendship are things no one can ever take away from you. If you have to spend a little more for the car of your dreams, Go for it. And don't let it sit like a monument in the garage. Get out and go Touring with it. That is the best advice I can give you. Dandy Dave!  

Edited by Dandy Dave (see edit history)
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On 6/14/2020 at 7:48 AM, 58L-Y8 said:

Be forewarned, this 1928 Studebaker Dictator Series GE started life as a coupe, has been converted to the open car it is now.  That and the hideous clown colors reduces the value well below what is being ask. 

How come when 99% of the people make an open car out of a closed one,  it just looks wrong right out of the gate.  When i saw this picture before I even read your comment,  I said to myself,  that looks wrong,  I wonder if it was a coupe and cut up,  then I saw your post. 

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12 minutes ago, auburnseeker said:

How come when 99% of the people make an open car out of a closed one,  it just looks wrong right out of the gate.  When i saw this picture before I even read your comment,  I said to myself,  that looks wrong,  I wonder if it was a coupe and cut up,  then I saw your post. 

The windshield and door tops are the dead give-away.  Neither are configured the way they built bodies then, not even the convertible coupes.  Worst, they rarely add any structural bracing to the pillars so the poor car is a shaky mess when driven. 

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Auburnseeker:

 The first 1920s Buick I was offered on our original post "Looking for a driver Buick" back in 2010.

3kd3o43pe5Z25Q35P3b9dff9f51b28b54148f.jpg.dd473b614ebce6adc3b3fc8dd8589a21.jpg3na3md3oc5V55U65R0b9d041a9d8e0db71d6c.jpg.afbdce24927c1b5df3ba9e4e841d5178.jpg

Terrible pixeled images of a 1926 Buick 2 door touring. At the time they wanted $17,500 for the cobbled mess. Originally a 1926 Buick model 20 standard 2 door coach.

Better photo when a broker was trying to sell in 2017.

2095869810_pa0716-256855_1@2x1.thumb.jpg.f5261992ea305be050773995c9942e69.jpg

 

 

 

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I am still smiling from the extreme extrovert comment. Wives and children seem to recognize that quite quickly. Driving down Main Street with the kids lying below the window line is a sure sign you aren't seeing it the way they do.

 

My son and I have a running inside joke that we have shared for about 25 years, maybe more. I was working with a person who always wore red suspenders. He would hook his thumbs in the suspenders and loudly announce "People think I am a fireman because I wear red suspenders". My son and I were taking an evening walk and the topic came up. Even though he was fairly young I shared MY thoughts on the guy. Wanna see my son smile. Go ahead, mention red suspenders.

 

My wife can tell some stories about my taste, too.

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  OK, I need a head to head test of let's say (1924 ish model year) Studebaker Big Six, Hudson Super Six, Nash Special Six and a Buick Six. Who wants to organize this competition and run them thru their paces? 😃 After my first week of research, this is where I'm at. Would at least like to hear pros and cons of each.

  -Parts Availability

  -Clubs/Support

  -Dependability/Durability

  -Ease of maintenance

 More than one has chimed in touting the Buicks and it seems they have a strong following. What about the others?

 

 

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Your best people to advise on the pro and cons of each choice are found in the club dedicated to those makes and years.  I'd suggest making contact with the clubs, ask to speak with those most knowledgeable and familiar with the specific models.  You'll get it 'straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak' better than we can advise.

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When they were new, those were all fine cars.  Now they're pushing 100 years old.  They've been exposed to a century of maintenance (or not), they've had numerous drivers, they may have incurred one or more restorations or just repaints of varying quality.  Some may be dogs.  A well-sorted one will give you pleasure whichever brand it is.  A dog will be a pain in the @$$ whichever brand it is.

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5 minutes ago, oldcarfudd said:

When they were new, those were all fine cars.  Now they're pushing 100 years old.  They've been exposed to a century of maintenance (or not), they've had numerous drivers, they may have incurred one or more restorations or just repaints of varying quality.  Some may be dogs.  A well-sorted one will give you pleasure whichever brand it is.  A dog will be a pain in the @$$ whichever brand it is.

 

This is an excellent point. The quality of the car today is far more relevant than what it was when it was new. There are plenty of awful expensive cars and an equal number of lovely inexpensive cars. What it was and what it is are two very different things, as oldcarfudd points out, and it all comes down to the care it has had over the years and the quality of the work that has been done to keep it healthy along the way.

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I think I would have done the body in something besides white.  Good thing they put whitewalls to balance it out a little otherwise all I could see when i looked at it was a white blob. It's like i just looked at a chrome bumper on a sunny day and can't see anything else. 

Were many cars painted white back in the day? 

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7 minutes ago, auburnseeker said:

Were many cars painted white back in the day? 

 

My understanding is in the prewar years white was considered only suitable for ambulances and milk trucks and almost never used on passenger cars, it is a little pet peeve of mine to see a white prewar car, Todd C

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Be sure you get a chance to get some good experience riding in and driving those early open cars. A few years ago a friend of mine bought a Model A Ford roadster pickup. I had always liked that kind of car since I was a kid. Riding in one makes you extremely aware of how little material there is between you and everything else on the road. I had no comfort level at all when I rode in it, very much like being exposed on a motorcycle. He sold it within a year for the same reason, not enough "meat" around you in traffic.

 

100 years ago in country traffic it would have been fine. I am not overly cautious but I lost interest after the experience. Just be sure you get out there and sample what you are going to find. When the other driver's mission seems to be how fast and how close can I get you will see. I am sure there is a long list of people whom would disagree. They can. But you need to be sure you are comfortable on your own.

 

Bernie

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1 hour ago, poci1957 said:

 

My understanding is in the prewar years white was considered only suitable for ambulances and milk trucks and almost never used on passenger cars, it is a little pet peeve of mine to see a white prewar car, Todd C

 

Before my knowledgeable fellow members critique me note I am aware that there were popular brass era Buicks and others painted white circa 1908-10 and that coachbuilt cars could be ordered in any color desired (the excuse used for many questionable restoration color choices).  But my understanding is that in the 1920s and 1930s white was not usually used both due to the ambulance/milk truck association AND that white paints had poor durability and would turn chalky in a relatively short time.  Does anyone know if that was the case?         

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  As far as colors are concerned, I may have had a very high degree of curmudgeon exposure in my developing years because I can recall LOTS of comments regarding peoples choice of automotive  colors. Many of those comments would not be acceptable in todays world and some may have induced fisticuffs at the time.  😆

  The '19 Buick would look much better in another color.

  Its my understanding that most paint jobs didn't stand up well prior to the introduction of acrylic and urethane paint.  I do know nitrocellulose  lacquer didn't weather well.

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2 hours ago, poci1957 said:

...But my understanding is that in the 1920s and 1930s white was not usually used...    

 

I read a car review by famed Tom McCahill-- I think for the

1955 Imperial.  That was when white was just coming into

common usage.  He said that many would think the white paint

on that particular Imperial was gaudy, and not within their taste.

 

So even in 1955, white was considered out of the ordinary.

I agree that white was not normally seen on a 1920's-30's car.

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44 minutes ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

.....he said that many would think the white paint

on that particular Imperial was gaudy, and not within their taste.

 

So even in 1955, white was considered out of the ordinary.

I agree that white was not normally seen on a 1920's-30's car.

 

Interesting comment, as by then white was being widely used, especially in two tone combinations.  

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White was the showcase color for the 1953 GM Motorama cars (Eldorado, Skylark, and Fiesta). However, that might have been the game-changing moment, because I can't think of many white cars before then and quite a few afterwards.

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2 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

White was the showcase color for the 1953 GM Motorama cars (Eldorado, Skylark, and Fiesta). However, that might have been the game-changing moment, because I can't think of many white cars before then and quite a few afterwards.

 

I also think 1952-53 is about the beginning of the time frame.  Looks like Ford provided the 1953 Indy 500 Pace Car in ivory white and by 1955 they used bright white widely in two tones and with matching two tone interiors featuring bright white vinyl.  Before 1952 you might see off whites like light gray or cream but never a bright white like later,  Todd C  

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