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Advice for First Time Purchase Early Fords and 30s Cars


NostalgicTXGuy
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 If you happen to buy a 1946 Ford, look for the lower bolt in the radiator support on the rt. side.

 You will find a 1/2 X 916" wrench wedged in there by some forgotten mechanic.

 At least that was my experience with the 2 46's that I bought!

 

😁🛠️

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Just a side note but there is a reason my garages are at my home. First is much more convenient to do small things, second is they are paid for, and third if shop is not at home will spend most time at one or the other.

 

When I had my house built in '84 the 13% interest rates precluded doing all that I planned but offset the house on the lot so it would be possible and not disturb the ARB.

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You mention the difference in interior room between a Ford and a DeSoto. Henry Ford was 5'8" weighed 135 lbs  and hated fat people. K.T. Keller was top executive at Plymouth and later head of Chrysler. He was over 6' tall and weighed nearly 300 pounds and insisted that he be able to drive any Chrysler built car in comfort, even the cheapest Plymouth. This accounts for the difference in interior room between a Model A and a Plymouth or Dodge, and is one reason Chrysler cars had rather dowdy looking bodies with high roof lines. When his cars were criticized for not being very stylish he replied that they might not knock your eye out but they wouldn't knock your hat off either.

 

It is interesting to compare the size of the CEO of various car companies to the roominess of their cars. George Mason of Nash was a big man and I suspect the cars Nash built between 1935 and the late fifties had lots of room. On the other hand, I was told that the top men at Porsche and Lotus in the fifties were rather small and the cars reflected that.

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@Rusty_OTooleyou bring up a very interesting point. I do appreciate the room in my Mopar cars. I’m over 6 ft. I actually forget how small other cars can be until I get in one. Then I’m quickly made aware that I won’t be owning one. 

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12 hours ago, Rusty_OToole said:

You mention the difference in interior room between a Ford and a DeSoto. Henry Ford was 5'8" weighed 135 lbs  and hated fat people. K.T. Keller was top executive at Plymouth and later head of Chrysler. He was over 6' tall and weighed nearly 300 pounds and insisted that he be able to drive any Chrysler built car in comfort, even the cheapest Plymouth. This accounts for the difference in interior room between a Model A and a Plymouth or Dodge, and is one reason Chrysler cars had rather dowdy looking bodies with high roof lines. When his cars were criticized for not being very stylish he replied that they might not knock your eye out but they wouldn't knock your hat off either.

 

It is interesting to compare the size of the CEO of various car companies to the roominess of their cars. George Mason of Nash was a big man and I suspect the cars Nash built between 1935 and the late fifties had lots of room. On the other hand, I was told that the top men at Porsche and Lotus in the fifties were rather small and the cars reflected that.

Yep....see the difference between my Dodge coupe and a Model A Ford coupe....Dodge on the right.

1575657407_FordDodge.jpg.053a10515fc6dda80657dad3b8aa0afa.jpg

Edited by keiser31 (see edit history)
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2 minutes ago, keiser31 said:

Yep....see the difference between my Dodge coupe and a Model A Ford coupe....

Excellent representation!    I can see why you've kept your Dodge for so many years. 

 

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"top men at Porsche and Lotus in the fifties were rather small and the cars reflected that. " Was also because they designed sports and racing cars intended for speed more than comfort. The "lying down arms out" racing position was to minimize drag.

 

OTOH my GM cars have much more room than the SLKs (5'8" is about the limit).

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Not sure when mainstream car companies started using such statistics but by the fifties American cars were made to fit the 99th percentile of the American population in other words, have enough room for nearly anyone. Sporty cars were built to fit 95% of the population. I must be right at the 95% mark because I can barely squeeze into an old Camaro or Mustang but have ample room in normal cars, even cheap Valiant and Nova size cars.

 

There is a story that a noted German designer was hired by a Japanese company as a consultant on the Datsun 240Z. He took one look and told them it was too small to sell in America. The Japanese designers replied that they had designed it to fit the average American. The consultant pointed out that they had eliminated 50% of the potential purchasers - all those who were above average in size. They redesigned the car.

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3 hours ago, Rusty_OToole said:

 

 

There is a story that a noted German designer was hired by a Japanese company as a consultant on the Datsun 240Z. He took one look and told them it was too small to sell in America. The Japanese designers replied that they had designed it to fit the average American. The consulf=daytant pointed out that they had eliminated 50% of the potential purchasers - all those who were above average in size. They redesigned the car.

     The redesign worked for my size. 6' and anywhere from 185 to 220 lbs

      in the 20 years I owned and drove them every day *1975 -1995.  A 72 Datsun

      240 Z, a 77 Datsun 280Z, a 79 Nissan 280ZX and a 84 Nissan 300 ZX.

 

      The 1979 Nissan 280ZX was my favorite,(Still a sports car)  All were used cars

      and were very reliable and fun to drive.   All were Z-Barted and the 300ZX was

      the only one that rusted.

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On 12/31/2020 at 1:06 PM, tomcarnut said:

I have a 1911 Ford Touring that my Dad taught me to drive at age 13 and was the first car I ever drove. 

 

After I do the Old Car Fest in Dearborn Michigan someday as my Dad took it in 1955, I may put on the disc Brakes(Old Car Fest does not allow) and maybe a two speed rear end.

 

Tom in Cincinnati 

 

 

Tom, If you are a HCCA or AACA member, you can come and do the Lansing-Dearborn two day tour with us.  It is the Thursday & Friday before the Old Car Festival.  The tour was originally for 1&2 cylinder cars but as of late has been opened up to 1915 & older vehicles.

 

My wife and I are the registrars for that tour.

 

PM me and I will let you or anyone else know the information that I need to put you on the mailing list if you are interested.

 

A reminder is that Old Car Festival is the first weekend after Labor Day at Greenfield Village/Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI.  Those dates are permanently on my calendar for attendance.

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All kinds of great advice, my favorite year is 1933.  I suggest to join the local car club and ask to ride along in all the cars you like, one will follow you home.  I have way too many cars and never regretted any of them.  The newer they are the easier they are to drive, nothing is more apparent than 1925 to 1935.  My 1933 drives as nice and my 1965 Falcon, overdrive in the Graham would be nice ($2500 from gear vendors).

 

Have fun, the best part is looking/hunting.  Car guys always want to share their story, most will let you ride, some will let you drive.

 

image.png.36c1762a632ab424b928ddaf55e84cb0.png

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My brother who has quite a collection of antique m/c's decided he wanted a Model A. He joined the model a restorers club, started collecting literature, saving money, doing more research, saving more money, talked to people etc. The day came for purchase. We went to the Reningers show in Lanc. County where they had a Model A specialty show going on. He figured that would be a good place to start looking for a car. Once word started getting around he was wanting to purchase the people there were more than friendly and helpful. After sitting in one of just about every model present he quickly and unfortunately realized he was too big to fit into a Model A. He is about 6'4, average build. Ended up buying another motorcycle!

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