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The phone rang... and then the next car adventure starts


edinmass

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7 minutes ago, edinmass said:

Al......I’m going to make you an offer on the Stutz speedster.........an offer you can’t refuse. 😎

 

How are you going to keep your Don Fannuci Hat on driving this?  Plus I know how you operate.  I have to pay you to take the car.

July 18 Thumb Drive 2 453.jpg

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Posted (edited)

The “Great White”top came down today for the first time in 80 years. Interestingly it’s not a one man top. It came down all by itself...........at about 40 mph. Film later on today. No damage done to the car. The top is done for.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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3 hours ago, edinmass said:

The top came down today for the first time in 80 years. Interestingly it’s not a one man top. It came down all by itself...........at about 40 mph. Film later on today. No damage done to the car. The top is done for.

 

Sounds like the adventure I had with the Caddy.   Did it fold or fly off?

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Posted (edited)

Fabric gave way......the frame stayed in place. Basically had the top peel back like in a three stooges movie.......

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, George Cole said:

I thought I'd never live to say this, but the girl looks better wearing a top.  It make her look more....complete and dignified.


It’s interesting that I was very much looking forward to putting the top down, but didn’t as not to cause damage. Now that it’s down, I prefer the car with a top up. We will probably do a quick top install that won’t be correct or detailed......but in Florida you need sun protection. The wife already said she won’t ride in it without it........so we shall see what develops. It needs seat covers at a minimum also. 
 

As always in old cars.......just add more time and money and all will be well.
 

My inclination is to have Dave C do it........but there are multiple problems with that.......it’s too big for his shop number one, he has his own projects number two, and he semi retired number three. Like all things.......give it time, and it will be figured out.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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It's funny how tops work.  Some cars look great with the top up and so-so with it down, some cars just beg for it to go down.

 

I agree that the top helps the White.  Sorry to hear that it's damaged.  The sad part is that now, if you put a new top on it, the restoration has started....

 

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24 minutes ago, trimacar said:

It's funny how tops work.  Some cars look great with the top up and so-so with it down, some cars just beg for it to go down.

 

I agree that the top helps the White.  Sorry to hear that it's damaged.  The sad part is that now, if you put a new top on it, the restoration has started....

 


 

Dave.....top isn’t damaged.....it no longer exists except for patterns.....it was so fragil that just putting it down was a one way street.......it would have gone to tatters just lowering it.......the choice was not to drive the car and look at it, or drive the car and accept the consequences. I’m never inclined to look at cars. They have wheels for a reason. Had a insane week here......none of it planned. I drove more cars this week than I have in the last three years. Interestingly they were mostly new GTO cars........and a few super luxury models. The newer GT40 was fun, the McLaren was a disappointment. The others were all strangely interesting, but nothing I want to own. 

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Ed knows this story.  A few years ago I was test driving a car for a restoration shop.  The owner had just paid north of 7 figures for a beautiful roadster at auction.  The shop was doing minor sorting before it got shipped to the new owner.   I was out driving it at 45 mph and the top blew off.   The hold downs on the windshield had never been tightened.     Fortunately for me it landed in a nice stack on the rear deck and did zero damage other than to my underwear.

 

From now on I check the front bow hold downs on any convertible that is not mine that I'm going to drive.

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AJ- That’s the good old BF Skinner behavior modification theory at work!

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Never had a top go flying, but once I bought a ‘67 MercuryCougar that had slight front end damage, ran great and it was cheap, so never opened the hood.  What the seller neglected to rell me was that they’d taken the hood off to inspect damage, and just laid it back down in place.

 

Driving home at about 40 mph, I watched as the hood levitated about a foot, then did a double or triple flip over the car.  Luckily no one behind me, it landed in the middle of the street, right side up, not a scratch.

 

As to the White top, let’s don’t call it a pattern, but rather a reference for a new top.  If you remove it from bows to put on something temporary, take pictures and save and label every trim piece.

 

I agree they are made to drive, and I’m sure Mr. Whiteis happy to feel the wind....

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The top assembly did not move.......we had went through it to be certain it was in 100 percent safe and correct working order. The material failed......at a relatively low speed. It was time that caused it........

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Ed,

 

I noticed in the topless pictures that the Great White is sill wearing it's

ancient tires.   You've been saying since the beginning of this thread that

you were about to replace them.   Don't wait for them to fly away like the 

top did, I doubt that they would fail without collateral damage to the car

or it's wheels.  Non Skid does not mean Non Fail.

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Paul.....Tire’s are on the way. Just stepping stones to sorting the car. We haven’t been doing any high speed driving.......yesterday’s drive was to check out and test the front end work. Like all old cars, this White keeps handing us more work. None of it impossible, but it sure is trying! 

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Suspect the top is considered a "replaceable item" and while nice to have the original is just the type of thing I would just put in a big baggie and save for display purposes only.

My original 14x6 Rally wheels without trim rings are like that, have in baggies with no intention of actually using them but then have never had a show car.

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  • 3 weeks later...

UPDATE:

 

Well, it’s been two weeks since we had a meaningful posting. We continue to work on the car. It keeps offering up unexpected challenges, and we keep hitting them out of the park. I put about forty miles on it today. Never misses a beat. Incredibly this car has never stalled, stopped, or failed to proceed since we first fired it up. Testament to Phil’s hard work, and the great construction of the White Motor Car Company. I consider it more reliable than my Ford Focus. Tires will be here Tuesday. Went with the correct factory size of 37 X 5 Goodrich black walls. They were the most expensive tires I have ever purchased....and that’s saying something when you consider all the junk I have owned and worked on over forty years. Made me wish we were buying tires for the top fuel dragster.........

 

We are registered for the Southeastern Tour in Howly in the Hills Florida. I rented a house about half a mile from the resort.........it’s on a few acres and if things work out, we will have a “Great White Party........AACA style!” AJ and Phil with the “Hands like George the Animal Steel” will also be on hand. Every mile the car runs better, and it’s a pure pleasure to drive. We still need to finish the halogen headlights set up that pops on and off............and still need to do a rear brake check and install the new rear wheel bearings. The bearings on the car look like they are off a five ton dump truck........they are the largest automotive wheel bearing I have ever seen. They are a royal pain in the axx to change out. We have the custom puller to remove the hubs, and tried the driver side Friday......it didn’t budge. So we decided to leave it for the weekend and will go at it full tilt on Tuesday. The factory White carburetor works well........except that you would swear there is a hole in the bowl about an 1/8 of an inch dumping on the ground. A Pierce 66 gets better mileage than this thing. With the top down and the windshield folded, it feels like it picked up twenty horse power. In overdrive it lumbers along at 60 barely working the engine. The new hoops are two inches larger diameter than what we are running now.....so it will be turning just a bit slower next time out. 

We spent a morning adjusting the clutch........it’s got the craziest twin disk I have ever seen. There is no clutch brake adjustment.......that’s why they set it up incorrectly 70 years ago. The adjustment cover bolts were loose.........so it was a good thing we decided to go at it when we did. It’s shifting better now, but I’m sure I can get it perfect.  We will pull the transmission after the tour and remanufacture it then. I’m considering removing the clutch brake, but I won’t know until I get it apart. 
 

The new bronze castings are done thanks to Gary A......and his skills as a draftsman and engineer. Joe is about done with the first steel gear for the water pump. Looks like a few weeks and we will be on the finish line of the water pump remanufacture. Talk about a long road.........it’s got to be the most challenging automotive pump on the planet. Figures I’m the one who gets to deal with it. It honestly wouldn’t be done for another 12 months if it wasn’t for all the help Gary and Joe have given me, and I owe them more than I can give back.....but I will try! 
 

I have decided to install a new top and seat covers after the tour......it is what it is........the 104 year old cow hide just isn’t cutting it and is failing no matter what we do......so

be it. I rather drive the car than look at it. 
 

 

Im so very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to own this car and a special shout out to David Coco and Bob Most.  It’s been a ton of fun so far, and we haven’t even toured with it. I expect the April tour will be a hoot. There have been a hundred other stories I haven’t shared here.......just haven’t had the time. People’s reaction to the car has been fabulous, and this thing gets more comments and questions than a Pebble Beach Best of Show Winner. Half the Palm Beach crowd doesn’t get the joke when I’m driving it and tell them my name is Jethro and a I live on the island. Got to get a boom box so we can blast the Ballad of Jed Clampett while driving around.

 

I have come across more history on the car, as well as some fascinating engineering details.........both mechanically and style wise. I will share them in a few days. Best to all,  stay safe, Ed

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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On 1/1/2021 at 2:50 PM, edinmass said:

The “Great White”top came down today for the first time in 80 years. Interestingly it’s not a one man top. It came down all by itself...........at about 40 mph. Film later on today. No damage done to the car. The top is done for.

    Ed,

    From the looks of the back of the top and the body in the tail light pictures, it would appear that the car sat for a

    long period with the top down.

    Also the low tail lights cold be a problem.  If they are wired for STOP lights too, they are to low to be seen.   Nobody

    will be looking down there.

    Time to add seat belts too, unless you wired the license plate light as the third STOP light.

Edited by Paul Dobbin (see edit history)
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Paul, I installed the lights where they won’t be offensive to my eye, or the lines of the car.  We will get around to modifying the running light into a stop light also. That won’t happen till the summer heat season. I refuse seat belts in any car pre 1966. Too dangerous in an old coach built junk like the White. I did install a 12 volt air powered train horn......😎 since the car was 12 volts new, I couldn’t resist the temptation. It’s tucked up under the splash apron impossible to see unless I run you over, wired with cloth wiring and correct period conduit. We will be working on hooking up the relay to the factory horn button. It’s exceptionally loud and obnoxious.......just like me! 😏

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Many years ago I saw a great unrestored brass car – I don't remember the make – with a set of seat covers made from top material. The front edge of the seats was reinforced with leather and the covers themselves were fitted with those fasteners that go through a slot in a ferrule and twist. I don't know how old they were, they may even have dated from when the car was new but I thought they were really slick...a perfect way to protect leather upholstery on a car that didn't have a top.

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"Howly in the Hills Florida" Howey in the Hills, up 19 towards Leesburg, very nice golf resort, been there a couple of times. SR 455 a bit south,  is about as interesting a road as you can find. Area is known as the "Florida Highlands".

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My grandmother and her best friend often spoke about being in a rain/wind storm that ripped the top off of her best friends father's 1938 Buick Convertible Sedan - her father did not mind the top, but minded that they drove car home and then left the car outside in the rain - and had been downtown and could have parked it in a parking garage. 

 

10 years ago when we had the "hurricane" in Ohio we drove the Auburn back from Dayton Concours with the top down 55 miles in 60-80 mph winds (things you do once)

 

Anyway, get a new top and new lower seat cushion upholstery (original cars are great, but some things just do not survive time) - tops are meant to be used (so get a new top and use it). 

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I just got the silicon bronze castings for the new water pump impeller.  Ed wanted one and a spare, plus two for other Whites in museums.  The "lost wax" investment casting using the 3D printed patterns in PLA plastic worked well.  All the details got preserved, even sharp edges.  One casting has a flaw in the base that might be mostly removed during machining, but the others are great.  There is a little plaster coating here and there from the investment, but it washes off with hot water and stiff brush.  Of course, in bronze, the finished impellers will weight three times what the original aluminum part weighs, though this should not matter.  I wanted to see how they turned out, but will pack them up and send them along to JV Puleo for finish machining.  I guessed well enough at the casting shrinkage, about 2%, that a piece of 1/2" DOM steel tubing slides smoothly into the center hole to help help center the parts in Joe's lathe.  The hole eventually gets bored to 3/4" diameter.

 

Because many people will be interested, the cost for the investment castings was $78 each for the batch of four, plus shipping.  The foundry got them done in about three weeks, but that included the Christmas and New Year holidays.  I think that was a fair price and pretty good turn-around.  Let's see how they look after final machining.

 

709800212_impellerscast1.thumb.jpg.8d00204dff8605d6aa4dd721c2c9f761.jpg

The four investment cast bronze impellers and a 3D-printed PLA plastic casting pattern.

 

1811514771_impellersrear1.thumb.jpg.feadedfcc354e2faf646ffe980eabaa0.jpg

Rear side of impellers with remains of gates.  They will be machined away when 1/8" is taken off the rear surface and o.d. 

 

889488952_impellercloseup1.thumb.jpg.eccccb0b8f51f33130a399f6cf097d21.jpg

Close-up of cast impeller.  The center hole, top hub, o.d. and bottom surfaces will be finish machined to size.

 

1893286823_impelleroriginal.thumb.jpg.66fa518cfb693fc6cb144e7af70356c3.jpg

 Original aluminum impeller.

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Gary, this is just so great to see the effort and thoughtfulness of a community of enthusiasts go into a project to make it a reality.  New parts for century + year old vehicles. It doesn't get any better then this. SO happy that the AACA forums are here so all of us worldwide can see what is happening in the preservation of fine machinery ( all of which faced possibly being scrapped during the course of existence for the demand of materials during world wars) . Congratulations gentleman on your efforts , generations from now what you have saved will be appreciated.

Walt

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21 hours ago, JV Puleo said:

Many years ago I saw a great unrestored brass car – I don't remember the make – with a set of seat covers made from top material. The front edge of the seats was reinforced with leather and the covers themselves were fitted with those fasteners that go through a slot in a ferrule and twist. I don't know how old they were, they may even have dated from when the car was new but I thought they were really slick...a perfect way to protect leather upholstery on a car that didn't have a top.

Factory-offered accessory on Pierce-Arrow open cars at least 1914-1920.  Some originals survive but I can't find photos today.  These were usually canvas with leather-trimmed edges.

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2 hours ago, padgett said:

At least not like a "modern" SLK Mercedes: if the console gets wet it won't shift. A convertible you can't get wet.


 

Sold my SLK last month............😎

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Let’s see.......mine was an AMG ragtop with 44 k on the clock. 100 mph on 95 felt like you were idling. It was expensive to drive, as I went through tires quite a bit. I only sold it because of the assxxle protesters down here making it a target while driving through downtown. Four problems in less than 90 days. Two looked down the wrong end of my SIG to get them to back up. Which they did. Yesterday I had an issue with them coming up to my White while parked at a long stop light. They were bitching at me, and as they started to head over they got the same treatment. You can work hard all your life, save and plan ahead, and try and enjoy the benefits of your labor when the “new breed if imbeciles” come looking for trouble. They almost messed themselves when you fight back..........I refuse to become a victim to these “human mental wasteland retards.”

Notice there is NO POLITICAL comments.....just me being assaulted and not taking the BS.  The shame is it’s been going on too long without repercussions.......until a federal installation is attacked.  I feel bad for all the small business people who lost everything in the riots. Anyway......back to cars! 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Back to the 1917 White. 
 

I could have taken the easy road and used JB weld or some such modern, half assed super glue to try and hold my car together....(impeller and shaft).......but I don’t do hack work. I’m very fortunate that we have such a great bunch of guys here helping out on a difficult project. I made the extras to give to two museums who have cars that will probably never run again in the next fifty years. Why? A debt of honor.........its selfish to make difficult and expensive parts and not think of the future and for a chance for the cars to get back on the road. I plan on visiting both museums, to look over the cars and take photos. I don’t want to knock on the door empty handed. Giving them a casting for a future opportunity to have their car on the road is better than a cash donation that is quickly spent on non car related things........So one will go to the town car in the Cleveland Car Museum, and the other to the Peterson Museum. I hope to hell they don’t lose or toss the impellers away. I will probably place them in the car or wire them under hood.........I’ll figure it out when I get there. 
 

A project worth doing, is worth doing right. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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LOL, I'd like to see someone steal that White. Instead of fighting them off, let them try to take it, make it run, and record the fun!

 

It's like every Derpstein at a car show who says, "Hey, you left your keys in the car, ain't you askeered someone's gonna steal it?"

 

I tell them, "If you can figure out how to start it, it's yours."

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26 minutes ago, edinmass said:

I don’t want to knock on the door empty handed.

 

Ed, that is a great attitude! A number of years ago I needed some info from a museum. Since I was making a set for myself, I etched a patent plate and engine tag for them.  They were thrilled and so appreciative. Fostering new friends and contacts is always good!

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I've made donations to museums before. Bettwer than just sitting on them. Agree its partly the learning process how to make things. One you make one particularly via casting, it is easy to make more. I guess that 1/8" you mentioned would remove the sprues ?

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36 minutes ago, padgett said:

 I guess that 1/8" you mentioned would remove the sprues ?

Its whats known as machining allowance. When designing the pattern you take into account that some surfaces of the casting will be machined so you adjust the size of the pattern in those areas to provide extra material to be machined away. For instance if I have a casting that will be faced on one side, on the pattern I will add 1/8" to the side that will be milled away. That way I can ensure I have enough material to remove to provide a nice machined face without casting defects or irregularities. 

 

 

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