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


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Now, that the white paint has been thoroughly discussed.... could we bring this thread back .... to having people who have experience with the makes & models of cars PK is interested in... describe their driving and maintenance experience with them.... I am interested in learning more about the various cars as well ... thanks, Sunny  

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  It's all interesting discussion to me gentlemen. I learned that I DON'T want a white car. Green 👍 Blue 👍 Black 👍 Red and Silver 👎 White 👎

  I haven't asked about 0-60 times or 1/4 mile ETs yet either. 😜

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20 minutes ago, pkhammer said:

  It's all interesting discussion to me gentlemen. I learned that I DON'T want a white car. Green 👍 Blue 👍 Black 👍 Red and Silver 👎 White 👎

  I haven't asked about 0-60 times or 1/4 mile ETs yet either. 😜

 

Yes, this took a turn regarding the white paint thanks to me, sorry about that.  HOWEVER it could be relevant in that lots of these cars that were restored in the 1960s will have incorrect colors and this way you can be aware that a white car 1920s car is probably not authentic 😉

 

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28 minutes ago, pkhammer said:

    I haven't asked about 0-60 times or 1/4 mile ETs yet either. 😜

 

Automotive writer Tom McCahill (to whom we referred

in the white-paint dicussion) is said to have invented the

0-to-60 m.p.h. measurement.  He began his reviews in 

1946, so you won't see contemporary measurements of 

0-60.  It may be that someone later has measured their

acceleration for an antique-car magazine, though.

 

In today's terms, think of lower speed and slower acceleration.

Fine for small roads out in the country, or smaller streets

in a small town.

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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4 hours ago, poci1957 said:

 

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?         

Yes, it was true, white was considered appropriate for only ambulances and milk delivery trucks implying sanitary or pure and clean.  It was also the color of a child's hearse, symbolizing innocence,  The durability of white was poor, as it was for shades of red and maroon.   Driving a white car would be consider gauche, in poor taste especially if it was an expensive make.  

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 You guys know I was just kidding around about 0-60 and 1/4 mile ETs......right? I'm kind of bad about that. Last time I took something seriously was.....well, I can't remember being serious.......ever.

  So seriously, how many G's do you think an early touring can pull on a skid pad with 4 x 31 tires?

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Regarding car speeds:  While smaller cars are intended

for slower speeds, the big early cars can perform faster.

Those who were around in the day likely know more than we.

 

An older friend of mine bought a used 1918 Cadillac

when he was in college in 1939.  He still drives it and

takes it to an occasional show.  He drove it 20,000 miles before

World War II, and had it up to an indicated 75 m.p.h.  (He says

the actual speed was probably 65 to 70.)  Today's users

might rightfully be wary of such speeds, but "It doesn't feel like

an old car to me," he says, having owned it for 81 years.

 

That's he in the picture below, with the black umbrella.

 

1918 Cadillac at Winterthur show.jpg

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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A fellow in the Horseless Carriage Club drove a 1912 Pierce Arrow, a pretty hot car in its day.  And he didn't spare the horses; if he wanted to go 60, he went 60.  He told me he couldn't stand to have a car like my single-cylinder Cadillac, that cruises at 23 mph on a flat road and climbs 15% grades at walking speed, because it was "too damn slow".  I told him that, if I were in a hurry, I could put the Cadillac in my trailer behind my VW Touareg tow vehicle.  I could then out-accelerate, out-climb, out-run, out-corner and out-stop his Pierce, and use less gas doing so.  At the early end of the hobby, speed ain't the name of the game.

 

P.S. PK, I knew you were kidding.

 

P.P.S. The guy with the Pierce bought a single-cylinder Cadillac and a two-cylinder Buick and has learned to enjoy them.

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  I can enjoy cruising slow without a doubt. The experience of motoring along a back road on a pretty day in an open touring at 35 mph would be something I think I would immensely enjoy. 23 mph flat out and walking speed on hills would be something to be enjoyed in the company of a brass era tour perhaps but not something I think I'd enjoy just hopping in and going for a ride with the wife. For that I really want something capable of at least 40-45 mph. I think I would feel much safer. At least that's my feelings now.

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31 minutes ago, pkhammer said:

Last time I took something seriously was.....well, I can't remember being serious

 

Life is too important to take seriously. Seriousness breeds expectations, expectations that may never be met. Then you are in a fine fix!

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13 hours ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

He drove it 20,000 miles before

World War II, and had it up to an indicated 75 m.p.

 

That would have been making one hell of a racket, but with the right rear end (3 were offered from the factory) I wouldn't be surprised if you could do it 

 

I have my daily driver if I want to go fast, that does 0-60 in under 5 seconds. Though it's pretty funny when I tell people that my 2 door coupe, RWD, manual, v8 is my 'slow car' :P

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18 hours ago, pkhammer said:

  I can enjoy cruising slow without a doubt. The experience of motoring along a back road on a pretty day in an open touring at 35 mph would be something I think I would immensely enjoy. 23 mph flat out and walking speed on hills would be something to be enjoyed in the company of a brass era tour perhaps but not something I think I'd enjoy just hopping in and going for a ride with the wife. For that I really want something capable of at least 40-45 mph. I think I would feel much safer. At least that's my feelings now.

In the twenties and early thirties an important performance measure of a car was torque and smoothness in the ability to lug down to slow speeds and back up without downshifting. With non-synchronized transmissions a lot of people did not know how to properly downshift so the cars with larger displacement engines were seen as a sign of luxury and refinement. Even after synchromesh became common in the mid thirties people valued a car that could stay in third gear most of the time. Part of this same equation was the use of stump-pulling high numerical rear axle ratios that supported the torque need but really limited top speeds. My 34 Chevy has 4.11 rear gears and lugs down pretty good with a small six but is pretty busy sounding at 45 mph, 40 works better for me.

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Teaching my wife to drive the A this past weekend, her prior manual tran experience on late model Hondas, it went fine except she instinctually tried the 2 to 1 downshift, some grinding to remind me I missed that fine point in the teaching process!  PK know this but once you get to 12 or 15 or so mph in an A you should be in 3rd and rest is pretty smooth.   I would think same on a lot of 20s cars

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  Yes. When I say I'd like something capable of 40-45 mph that is not necessarily the speed I'd feel the need to cruise. 30-35 is very relaxed in a Model A for instance but it's nice to have the ability to go a bit faster if need be.

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You asked about a Hudson Super 6. I made mention of the Studebaker Big Six, but to be honest to get the same level of performance that was available with the Hudson in 1916 you would have to jump all the way up to 1919-20 in the Studebaker. A friend had a 1917 Super 6 touring car that was one of the best teens, tour cars that I've experienced. 

 

Bill

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On 6/16/2020 at 2:25 PM, John_S_in_Penna said:

He drove it 20,000 miles before

World War II, and had it up to an indicated 75 m.p.h.

 

At a National Pierce Arrow Society meet, I was behind a fellow member that had his 1918 48-B-5 Pierce Arrow 4 passenger roadster with that monster of a 6 cylinder in it.

When we got on the highway he ran off and left us and I was doing 60 - 65 in our '29 Pierce.

Ours was wound up pretty good at that speed and I didn't want to push it so he just ran away from us.

So the big cars from the teens could very well run at high speed all day long.

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7 hours ago, zepher said:

 

At a National Pierce Arrow Society meet, I was behind a fellow member that had his 1918 48-B-5 Pierce Arrow 4 passenger roadster with that monster of a 6 cylinder in it.

When we got on the highway he ran off and left us and I was doing 60 - 65 in our '29 Pierce.

Ours was wound up pretty good at that speed and I didn't want to push it so he just ran away from us.

So the big cars from the teens could very well run at high speed all day long.

 

 

Big brass can and does run like the wind....up mountains and along the highways. Just remember one thing.......the cars that can do this were .0001 percent of what was being sold new back then. And almost every one of the cars that survive are owned by very, very experienced owners who have been running them for years. Driving early cars at the margins of their envelope can be safe.....with experience. The car your are referring to was driven buy a collector with well over 50 years behind the wheel of pre war cars, and he knows what he is doing. It's not a machine for everybody. And, as far as your 29 getting left behind.............we can fix that! Just have to do a few simple and hidden factory directed modifications.........."drive it like you stole it!"

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  Thanks for sharing the link. Nothing against Chevys but they are aren't on my short "wanted" list. They are however on my long "not wanted" list. The short list is:

  -Studebaker Big Six, Hudson Super Six, Buick Six, Chrysler and Dodge, in that order. Yes, I suppose I'm being pretty narrow minded but if I'm going to buy a collector car, I'm going to be very picky. It has been proven in a short amount of time that they are out there in and available for what I want to spend, I just need to find the right one in the right location.

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Talk of the Pierce reminds me of Ernie Crutcher's early teens Pierce. Sadly Ernie passed away last year, but Ernie behind the wheel of that car are the things of which legends are made. Having ridden in it I can attest that those legends were well earned!

 

Bill

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I did not read all of the other posts but will throw my 2 cents. A good friend of mine who died two years ago at 94 did a lot of touring in this era of cars in the 1960-80s. He had a 13 Overland, 17 Dodge, 23 Buick and 26 Chrysler. All were tourings. He sold the Buick as he did not like it. His favorite was the 26 Chrysler with the six. It has four wheel hydraulic brakes, cruises all day at 45mph but will do 55. He had some 50’s Chrysler overdrives for it but never put them in. In the 1960’s he drove the Chrysler from Ohio to California and back. In the 1970’s he convinced another good friend who is still living to buy a 25 Chrysler touring. I rode in both on tours in West Virginia. Other than some tricky adjustments to the hydraulic brakes, they were great.  The 26 was given to another mutual friend who plans to retire next year and get it running again and add the Overdrive. That should allow 55 mph comfortably along with good braking with the four wheel hydraulics. For the money the Chrysler sixes are the best cars of that era in my opinion. 

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  My friend and neighbor Chris Props texted me last night and said he had their '21 Dodge ready to go and did we want to go along on a ride this morning? Well, YES!! So Chris, my wife and I took off for a jaunt along some back roads here in western Va with the top down and the wind in our hair. Motoring along at 30 mph was about where the car liked to be. Even though it was relatively cool out (70 degrees) the car got a little warm and started spitting a little antifreeze. Chris adjusted the mixture and little richer and slowed to around 25 mph and the car settled down and ran cooler. We later put the top up and that was nice to keep the sun off our heads. When we hit hills the little Dodge slowed but chugged on up in high gear. The car rode well, was pretty quiet for an open car and the wife and I both enjoyed the experience a great deal! It did reinforce my thoughts that a car with a six cylinder engine having a bit more power would probably be more to my liking. Time to find MY car!

  The first photo is of Chris and my wife ready to go.

  The second photo we stopped at a little country Church to check things over.

  The third photo of the little short fat guy, that is me having a great time!

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102_4035.JPG

102_4038.JPG

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 I shot a video this morning at the Stokesville, Va Railroad station which still stands next to the old railroad bridge over the North River. The rails were long ago taken up and the bridge still carries one way vehicle traffic. Perfect setting for the little '21 Dodge. I can't figure out how to upload the video however. 😞

102_4044.JPG

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We were ready to have you do the same with my 1925 Buick Standard yesterday.

DSCF8184.thumb.JPG.c2e921420b0a0304dde16994ecc156d5.JPG

I had hoped that the Master was back on the road for you to try but I procrastinated and just got the engine buttoned up last night.

 Next time.

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 Well, after doing a lot of searching, considering a lot of advice and following up on leads I found the perfect car(s) for me. A pair of Studebakers, a '21 Special Six and a '24 Big Six located in north central PA. These cars were beautifully restored by the current owners father and have unfortunately have been sitting idle now for a number of years. They had been advertised on this forum about 3 years ago with a fairly hefty price tag, but it seems that from my conversations with the current owner, she is more than willing to negotiate a fair price so these cars can find new homes. 

  Why am I not buying one or both? I have been re-evaluating my priorities and feel that at this time it is simply best for me to wait a while. Things like current unfinished projects, storage space, and other personal issues all factor into decisions like this. Please contact Marie Snyder, a very nice lady at msnyder7890@gmail.com if you have interest in these cars. There is also a large stockpile of parts available for the Studebaker Special and Big six cars of this era. I am posting this simply to help her find homes for these nice cars.

IMG_1398.jpg.116a77ea58d6baa60798ec6e69443503.jpg

IMG_1966.jpg.ead9ebc61659ef65154cb6077bcaeedb.jpg

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My advice is learn how to be a very good and knowledgeable mechanic and do that early in life when you are still agile enough.  The supply of mechanics in this country who are capable of and willing to work on any pre-1950 car is dwindling quickly.  There isn't, and never will be a big enough and reasonable enough shop with 50 miles of anywhere almost already.

 

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1 hour ago, Dynaflash8 said:

My advice is learn how to be a very good and knowledgeable mechanic and do that early in life when you are still agile enough.  The supply of mechanics in this country who are capable of and willing to work on any pre-1950 car is dwindling quickly.  There isn't, and never will be a big enough and reasonable enough shop with 50 miles of anywhere almost already.

 


“Reasonable enough” is an interesting concept. Yesterday for the first time in twenty five years I took a vehicle to be serviced at a modern local shop. I had a modern repair garage for years.....so I am 100 percent capable of servicing any car up to today’s new cars. My clean, local, modern, and well run shop has a hourly rate of 109 dollars per hour. It seems to be the going rate for independent shops in the area......weather or not they are competent. The Rolls dealer in town is 325 per hour. The definition of reasonable is supply and demand. Interestingly most restoration shops have much higher overhead and are more susceptible to economic downturns and are at a lower hourly rate than modern shops. When our cars were built labor was very cheap and technology was expensive, today it’s the total opposite. Modern cars are much better today than just twenty years ago, and need almost zero service compared to fifty years ago. And they are MUCH easier to fix today..........the bottleneck of technicians not understanding technology they are servicing has partially rectified......and modern diagnostic equipment has taken up the rest of the gap. Modern service is actually well done today.....fixing unusual problems with intermittent failures is what is very difficult. Today, weather fixing a V-16 Cadillac, or an AMG Mercedes the issue is this.........if your smart enough to fix it, your probably smart enough not to want to be a mechanic. 

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4 hours ago, pkhammer said:

Things like current unfinished projects, storage space, and other personal issues all factor into decisions like this.

 

Hear, hear! Other people thinking like that makes me chuckle all day. When I think like that I check my medications.

 

I can pull out my phone and have storage space for unfinished projects in minutes. Actually, I could load up the project car, find an unlocked storage unit, and call him Monday morning.

 

My impulse buys have always been the best. Thinking things through, not so good.

 

I'm still a bit agitated for not buying the slightly messed up Packard Pacific that used to belong to Shirley Jones' Dad in Pennsylvania.

 

Whatever you buy it is hard to have a 100% loss. And sometimes you make a few bucks.

 

Bernie

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27 minutes ago, 60FlatTop said:

 

Hear, hear! Other people thinking like that makes me chuckle all day. When I think like that I check my medications.

 

I can pull out my phone and have storage space for unfinished projects in minutes. Actually, I could load up the project car, find an unlocked storage unit, and call him Monday morning.

 

My impulse buys have always been the best. Thinking things through, not so good.

 

I'm still a bit agitated for not buying the slightly messed up Packard Pacific that used to belong to Shirley Jones' Dad in Pennsylvania.

 

Whatever you buy it is hard to have a 100% loss. And sometimes you make a few bucks.

 

Bernie

 My experience had been pretty much 100% opposite. Whenever I make an impulse buy I've gotten burned and always wondered "why did I buy this piece or s**t?". Having patience and being conservative has always worked best for me. 

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A few years ago, I read a book called "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell. Gladwell is one of those really smart guys who just gets paid to think all the time. Anyway, "Blink" was about gut instincts and the processing power of the subconscious. Animals have huge processing power in the "fight or flight" reaction and we used to have the same thing. We've learned to suppress it in favor of analysis simply because most of us don't really live in a world that requires split-second decisions. Taking our time and reasoning out a decision always seems like a better use of our brains, but it isn't always the right way to make a decision.

 

Anyway, his point was that you have these instincts or gut reactions to things and we should learn to trust them. Not simply skipping from one panicked reaction to another, but when your gut tells you to do something, that's very often the right thing and maybe for reasons you don't understand and can't be analyzed by the conscious brain in the moment when a decision needs to be made. 

 

Gladwell consults for lots of large corporations and executives and his statistics suggest that the guys who trust that first impression instinct tend to be more successful. Again, not ignoring logic or reason, but going with a feeling is right far more often than it is wrong. 

 

Since reading that book perhaps 15 years ago, I've tried to hone my awareness of that instinct. I've learned that many of my failures come not because of mistakes I make but because of opportunities I miss. I've worked hard to teach myself to go with the feeling when I have it, even if my logic circuits are against it. It has resulted in me owning my own successful business, having an awesome wife that I took a chance on in another country (Canada, so not totally crazy), and grabbing happiness whenever it comes along, including buying cars I don't need and can't explain reasonably. I wasted far too many of my prime years waiting for things to be "just right" and found that "just right" never happens, but time continues to pass relentlessly. I don't want to be an old guy with declining health and strength with the time to finally drive cars that I almost can't physically drive anymore. Go on any old car tour and that's EXACTLY who shows up. That isn't going to be me. I'm living NOW, not waiting for some hypothetical "someday."

 

Between the idea that my gut is often right and an unwillingness to put off to tomorrow things that will improve my happiness today, my life has drastically improved in every imaginable way. 

 

My point? Buying an old car is not rational. You can't make it rational. You wanted one until your rational side started chipping away at your base instinct and gut. It usually wins, as it seems to have in this case. "There will always be another chance later," makes it easy to rationalize it. Later may come. But there's always a chance that it may not. Your logical, analytical mind will always find a very good way to tell your gut and your base instincts to shut up, and you've allowed yourself to let it be that way. You just put yourself back on the bench instead of getting into the game. 

 

Change that.

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  I'm pretty sure that buying a car that has not run for many years and will most certainly need much attention will not do much to improve my happiness. I am apparently not rational as I already own several old cars. I also have a few old car projects that I have a hard time finding opportunity to work on now. I do trust my gut but I seldom make impulse buys. Big difference between the two. My gut said these were not the right ones for me at this time and that I need to be patient and spend time working on my current projects instead of adding more to the pile.

  Thanks though for letting me know how I should think and react in order to be successful and happy. Maybe one day I won't be the curmudgeonly loser that I am now.

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17 minutes ago, pkhammer said:

  I'm pretty sure that buying a car that has not run for many years and will most certainly need much attention will not do much to improve my happiness. I am apparently not rational as I already own several old cars. I also have a few old car projects that I have a hard time finding opportunity to work on now. I do trust my gut but I seldom make impulse buys. Big difference between the two. My gut said these were not the right ones for me at this time and that I need to be patient and spend time working on my current projects instead of adding more to the pile.

  Thanks though for letting me know how I should think and react in order to be successful and happy. Maybe one day I won't be the curmudgeonly loser that I am now.

 

Wow. Sorry you took what I wrote as an insult. If I was going to insult you, I wouldn't invest so much time in it. I was simply offering what I thought would be helpful insights that have had a significant positive impact on my own life. I wasn't trying to tell you how to live or calling you a loser. 

 

Don't worry, I won't bother offering my hand in the future.

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Matt, the statement I made was in jest although it was real easy to read your advice more like a criticism. it sounded as though you thought I had made a mistake by not jumping on the first thing that came along and that my "logical, analytical mind" had talked myself out of it and that I needed to trust my gut. I get the gist of what you were saying and am not offended. Sorry if I offended you.

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