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


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I've been involved in various hobbies my entire life... literally, my brother got me started at 5 days old. I have so much in my collections that I had to rent two storage units to hold them. I don't regret anything I've got, but I do regret what I didn't buy. 

 

Although there is some regret in spending so much on these various hobbies that I never have enough for a car. I don't regret having them, just the priority levels I've given things could have been planned better.

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16 minutes ago, Linus Tremaine said:

im trying to make a deal on the 24. It has some corrosion on the water tube that concerns me. 

 

The seller lives several hours away from the car, so Im waiting for her to have time to go back up and get a closer pic of this spot. 

 

 

Screenshot (24).png

Good Luck Linus, I hope it works out for you!

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8 hours ago, edinmass said:


“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. 

Heck most shops have no idea how to install or set simple points & condensers.  A dwell meter is unheard of.  Been down that road before.

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51 minutes ago, Dynaflash8 said:

Heck most shops have no idea how to install or set simple points & condensers.  A dwell meter is unheard of.  Been down that road before.


Sad but true..........but then again, anyone under forty wouldn’t have a cause to have done points or carburetors unless they work in a specialty shop.

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 I remember setting points gap with the cover of a match pad and setting the timing by ear. Just loosen the distributor and tun it left and right while blipping the throttle. I remember making a carburetor base gasket once out of a shoebox lid. I remember an aggravating miss I couldn't figure out until I opened the hood at night while the car was running, sparks arcing off plug wires! I can barely change the oil in my late model cars but the 50s, 60s and 70s cars are what I learned to work on as a kid with no money and few tools.

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21 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

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.

 

The regrets are rarely things that I did. But rather things that I didn't do.

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Matt.....there is only one rational action when it comes to old cars...........and it is simple.......SELL IT! Obviously having owned hundreds of big pre war junk cars........I am as far from rational as is humanly possible...........I must admit.......I enjoy the insanity of the small strange  world I live in.........And my friends who are along for the ride.............😎

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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I used to catch hell from my father in law for not winding up an electric cord the way he handled ropes and harness. He thought me an everyone my age was ignorant and stupid. He would grab whatever I had, throw it out, and rewind it. Then twist it and pull the end through while he grunted and mumbled to himself. Makes me smile whenever I loop one over my fingers, still, today.

 

Years ago I had an older brother in law who visited one weekend. At the time I had a '37 Buick I was planning to sell that didn't run. He had a case of the blind stutters over that car not running. We ended up farting around for a day while I humored him. It didn't start. And I didn't care. About a month later his wife  called mine. He got on the phone and asked if I got it running after he left. I told him No, I only worked on it to make him happy. I sold it. Was he in a different paradigm or is it something about in laws?

 

They make me laugh and that feels good.

Bernie

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