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1917 Buick ignition key…..yes or no.


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A current YouTube video features a fellow who wants to sell a nice looking 1917 Buick to a well known purchaser of used merchandise in LasVegas. The fellow is looking to get $22,000.00 out of the car, and the condition of the car doesn’t make this expectation unreal. The fellow drives the car to the business, they shut the engine off, examine the car and restart the engine with no difficulty. The prospective buyers of the car says they don’t doubt the car is worth the asking price, but suggests, and gets the OK to call in a “expert” to value the car.

The “expert” also stars on a TV program which features customized classic cars, and he make a appearance to evaluate to Buick. The car is again started and they comment that the engine is fine, but the car is lowered in value because of problems with the paint, and it is estimated the car, which was valued by the owner as being worth $22,000.00 is now diminished by subtracting $17,000.00 in paint work needed to restore the car to “museum” quality. Now comes the time for the test ride, and the “expert” is shown to clearly reach toward the dashboard, bypass a key hanging there, and head straight for the choke, beside it.

He then, without turning on the key, begins engaging, what I suppose to be a foot starter, and pump the accelerator pedal.

After several failed attempts to start the engine he announces the battery is going dead, and the engine is flooded beyond repair.

Again, he did not attempt to turn on the key, which I suppose is the ignition, pull the choke all the way out on a already hot engine, and continue pumping tue accelerator pedal until it seems the battery is about to die.

My question is based on my 1923 DB Roadster, which does have a key, but it is mounted in the CLUM switch, and locks the lever which must be turned to “on” before the engine can be started. The transmission I removed from the same care, and my 1927,Willys also use a key, but it simply locks the transmission shift lever to neutral. 
Does a 1917 Buick come with a key type ignition switch, and, if it doesn’t, would such a key be installed to support a electric fuel pump, and allow removal of the vacuum fuel tank. And, this being so, would a engine be expected to start without it being turned on?

They bought the car for $17,000.00, instead of the asking price of $22,000.00 because the car “had a flooding problem” and needed “a lot of mechanical work”.

I was have received a notification from Facebook that I will be blocked from making further posts because I called a scam on this video.

Am I too far off, or, are they correct?

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Here's the video if anyone wants to watch.

 

Hard to believe that the "expert" (who I believe knows little about early cars) went right by the key, very visible in video.

 

I believe it was more of adding "drama" to a somewhat boring discussion of the car.  In the end, I think the "old man" overpaid for the car, IF that's really what they paid for it.  It's a show, made for TV, and while called reality, sometimes it's not...

 

 

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I like how the "expert" says the cars of that era often flooded and dumped fuel into the canister there. I don't have one of these cars and know very little about them but even I know that is the vacuum cannister meant to hold the fuel for the carb.  It also looked like the exposed valve train was pretty dry.  But like @trimacarsays, its an unrealistic reality show. 

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"Reality" TV is such a joke.  This whole scene was obviously scripted.  When the "expert" couldn't start the car (which he obviously knew nothing about), the owner was sitting right there in the back seat.  The owner knew how to start it.  Why didn't they just have the owner start it again and go for the test drive?  Because they wanted to show "reality!" 😄

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