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What is the earlist restoration car books?


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Here is the earlist hard copy book I have come across ,found about 1972.

Copywright 1954

How to Restore-ANTIQUE and CLASSIC CARS, by Popular Mechanics..

Not a super serious step by step tutorial but more of helpfull tips ,techniques 'good suggestions and lots of anecdotes with plenty of before and after pictures in story form.

Brass cars up to early heavy classics prior to 1936 is what it covers.

190 pages .overall 7"x9.5"

 

Also in the early '50s in Popular Mechanics (when it was that small paper back news stand book.)

There was a serial article " How to Restore a Model T" which I have most of in removed clippings.

 Is there any known prior to 1950 published information on vintage car restoration ,excluding auto repair manuals covering cars that could still be in service?

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Are you including only the US, or England as well?

 

I believe there were plenty of books published in the 1930's in England about collecting and restoring 'Edwardian' and Veteran cars.

 

Craig

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4 minutes ago, TAKerry said:

So the newly published restoration books arent any better than the originals.

Those early books will definitely explain more about working with lead filler as opposed to modern plastic fillers.

 

Craig

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Interesting question.  Looked over my shoulder and the earliest book I have here in the den/office is Clymer's Wonderful Old Automobiles, first ed., 1953.  Hardcover, touches on but is not dedicated to restoration  techniques.  I believe that same year both the Model A Restorer's club and CCCA were formed.  Youngster organizations compared to our AACA. I likely have some older stuff downstairs, need to check later!

Edited by Steve_Mack_CT (see edit history)
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The Restoration of Vintage and Thoroughbred Cars first published in 1957 and revised 8 times up to 1975 is a very good book.  Amazon has a new one listed for $850 but they are available for a few bucks if you search. It covers all facets of Vintage car restoration.   ie Mechanical, instruments, Body, Trimming, chassis etc. 

 

 https://www.stellabooks.com/books/richard-c-wheatley/the-restoration-of-vintage-and-thoroughbred-cars/1817425

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GREAT TOPIC! The early 1950's Popular Mechanics were the first link to the antique hobby for me along with the Highway Pioneer models Dad built, still have them. Somewhere around here I have that How To Restore Your Model T issue of Popular Mechanics. I have to find it to confirm my memory that they used a mid 1920's Coupe that more than likely still in the Herb Singe collection. Bob 

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The Model A Ford, Construction, Operation and Repair by Victor Page was published in 1931.  While not a restoration handbook in the sense of the hobby, the book is essentially a complete guide to every aspect of the Model A Ford.  If one only had this book, basic skills, and tools it could guide you through complete dissasembly, repair and reassembly.  It was republished in 1961, and the phrase, "for the restorer" was added alond with some minor content additions.   

 

While the more recent books by Andrews (the red book is the bible!)and Schild are excellent, no Model A guide I am aware of since is this inclusive and detailed.

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Not sure when the concept of "restoration" began but I have a set of the "Encyclopedia of Automotive Engineering" dated 1915 that goes into a lot of detail about how cars were built.

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37 minutes ago, 1937hd45 said:

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ If you used those books ONLY, would MARC give you a Third Place award today? 

 

Bob

MARC high point is pretty tough for sure.  "Henry turned those screws 10 degrees past 12 o'clock on 90% of the 1931 slant windows.

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21 minutes ago, Steve_Mack_CT said:

MARC high point is pretty tough for sure.  "Henry turned those screws 10 degrees past 12 o'clock on 90% of the 1931 slant windows.

 

If I can get my body dead level with a borrowed laser, and measure the windshield slant would that angle match the screw slots? What sort of certification of the results would MARC accept? Bob 

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I, too, enjoy the How to Restore ANTIQUE and CLASSIC CARS book.   Discovered it in my grandparents house in the mid-70s when I was about 13 and been hooked on it ever since.  I have two copies - just because.

 

One thing that interests me about the book's contents (other than the cars) is comparing the accepted practices at the time with what we know today.  Example:  the use of benzene or carbon tetrachloride as a cleaning agent.

 

Great book for sure!
Jeff

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7 hours ago, DavidAU said:

The Restoration of Vintage and Thoroughbred Cars first published in 1957 and revised 8 times up to 1975 is a very good book.  Amazon has a new one listed for $850 but they are available for a few bucks if you search. It covers all facets of Vintage car restoration.   ie Mechanical, instruments, Body, Trimming, chassis etc. 

 

 https://www.stellabooks.com/books/richard-c-wheatley/the-restoration-of-vintage-and-thoroughbred-cars/1817425

 

Hmmm. I wonder if there were slightly different titles for that book depending if it was being sold to the UK market or the US market. My The Restoration of Antique & Classic Cars by the same authors appears to be a very similar book.

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8 hours ago, Flivverking said:

England is included .

England leads the world  historicaly in vintage car preservation movement I think.

 

They certainly enjoy them more.

Just look the old and new films of the hill climbs of the vintage sports car clubs.

 

And consider the London to Brighton Run. Reenacted first in 1927, and run most years ever since! The reenacted run was limited to cars built before 1904, and continued that way ever since.

 

For some time a couple years ago, the HCCA Gazette ran a series of articles about the early days of our hobby. They covered in depth some of the earliest collectors in this country, a lot about a fellow in Southern California (I will need to go look up his name?), who started collecting in the mid 1920s.

The 1929 Los Angeles automobile show had a historic vehicle display section! Sadly, an accident caused a major fire that destroyed nearly every car new and old on display. Several important historic automobiles were lost in that fire, including if I recall correctly one of the first Packard automobiles and Barney Oldfield's Golden Submarine.

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If you are talented enough and know how to use all the tools of early automotive repair/restoration, look at the 1903 Dyke's book "Diseases of a Gasoline Automobile and How to Cure Them", the 1904 Dyke's book "The Anatomy of the Automobile, "the 1908 Dyke's book "Troubles, Remedies and Repairs of the Automobile and Gasoline Engine", the 1911 Dyke's book "Dyke's Automobile Encyclopedia" and then followed by the various annual publications of the Dyke's Automobile and Gasoline Engine Encyclopedia from 1911 on to the 1950s. In addition to these, A.L. Dyke produced working models of the major components of the automobile. No Computers needed. 

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4 hours ago, wayne sheldon said:

 

And consider the London to Brighton Run. Reenacted first in 1927, and run most years ever since! The reenacted run was limited to cars built before 1904, and continued that way ever since.

 

For some time a couple years ago, the HCCA Gazette ran a series of articles about the early days of our hobby. They covered in depth some of the earliest collectors in this country, a lot about a fellow in Southern California (I will need to go look up his name?), who started collecting in the mid 1920s.

The 1929 Los Angeles automobile show had a historic vehicle display section! Sadly, an accident caused a major fire that destroyed nearly every car new and old on display. Several important historic automobiles were lost in that fire, including if I recall correctly one of the first Packard automobiles and Barney Oldfield's Golden Submarine.

 

Perhaps you are thinking of Art Twohy.

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Henry Ford was indeed an early collector of automobiles! He was becoming quite old by the end of model T production, and beginning to exhibit early signs of dementia. (Discussion of the "evil" Henry belongs in a different time and place!) He was also beginning to consider the legacy he would leave behind. To that end, he began building Greenfield. He actually began a bit earlier, in the mid '20s when he realized that he didn't have a model K Ford (belying historical records saying he hated the car!), and set some of his marketing staff to acquire one in good solid condition. It is believed that he had a model K (company car) from new and used it occasionally up until just a few years before 1920. Legends and debates about the background of the newly acquired model K continue, some saying it is the same one he had and used for years, others saying it cannot be the same one because some details including original color are wrong. Regardless. that car is thought by some to be the beginning of Henry's "collecting" of early automobiles and other artifacts from the early days of the automobile.

Henry bought or was gifted a number of historically significant cars from around the world. HIs private collection by 1932 rivaled that of the Smithsonian's. By about 1930, Henry had bought the land, and began buying historic buildings from around the country and moving them to Greenfield. (Consider the cost of doing this! And a lot of it was handled in secrecy.) He acquired actual buildings used by Thomas Edison and the Wright brothers, among others. It is said that when Thomas Edison first saw one of his early workshops rebuilt onto greenfield, and the detail to which it was displayed, he was quite moved.

Edited by wayne sheldon
Clarify a thought. (see edit history)
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