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1935 Hudson Terraplane Business Coupe
Yes, this was an all steel body, built so strong. It was this body that was also used on their Terraplane trucks.Roads back in the 30s were not much to brag about, dirt and gravel and a few miles of pavement if you could find them. Small towns were the hub of life across America. Cars like these had to be built tough, Most cars today will go 200,000 miles, back then 50,000 and a car was worn out. Look at our speeds today, back then 40 mph was the norm. Air conditioning was rolling out the front windshield. A car like this is becoming very hard to find. They came with a Power Dome 6 cylinder engine and a floor shift 3 speed transmission. Mohair cloth was the interior of the day. Options were white side wall tires, hub caps, rear fender skirts, suicide doors, original owners manual.
1933 & 1934 the cars produced were named "Essex-Terraplane" when the 1935 rolled around the name "Essex" was dropped and the car became just "Terraplane." Due to the weight of these cars they never joined competitive events. One of the reasons was the 6 cylinder engine just did not have enough horse power. The Hudson and Essex were not built in America, England and Australia made most of them.
RESTORATION Part # 1
By Duane Demars Author & Photographer
“The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” about restoring a car, pickup etc. Most car lovers at one point in time will take on the task of restoration. The question is do we really know what we are getting ourselves into. I must admit that I learned the hard way only to do it over and over again. Life will be easier restoring an American rather than a foreign car. I have done both and as for me I will stay with the cars made in the U.S.A. Let’s start here. You have the car, now how deep are your pockets.? This will be the deciding factor to your degree of restoration. If your plans are to hire a shop to do the work for you there are two very important points that are a must. Number one: Do your research to get the most reliable shop and Number two: Establish a completion date by imposing a penalty for every day the work has not been completed. There have been numerous cases where cars have been in shops for years waiting for completion,
you don’t want to be one of them. Shops from time to time will work on your car for one day and then let it set for a week or two before coming back to it. This way they can have several cars to restore at the same time. Remember time is always on your side. The average time involved will be two or three years for most of us when we do the work. Before you even turn a wrench make sure that you have a clear title. If by chance you need a title, contact the highway patrol in your state, they will help you to get a sheriff’s title. After filling it out the paper work, again call the sheriff or highway patrol. They will want to inspect the S/N before giving you a certificate for title. If it is over 25 years old you can get a vintage plate. Most of the time they will cost you about $10.00 to $ 25.00. Vintage plates never have to be renewed, the main restriction, it cannot be used as a daily driver. If you want to use an old plate from the 1930’s your state will most always allow for you to use it. The next step is “vintage insurance”. Several companies offer this coverage. The cost will average around $10.00 or $15.oo per thousand per year for full coverage. This will vary depending on your car and where you may live. Now that you have that taken care of the insurance, the real work begins.
Most may plan to do a complete restoration, frame off using a rotisserie for the body. The use of a steam cleaner to remove all the grime and decades of grease are a must. The long task of dismantling now starts, but make sure you label every part and know where it must go when the job starts to go back together. A good way to do this is to take lots of photo’s. Save every nut, bolt and washer you take off, place everything in plastic bags and label each of them. Do the same for large items like the suspension using boxes. Now that you have come this far lets take time to make a list what you will have to order from chrome, gages, brakes and suspension etc. One lady told me she got to know her UPS driver like a family member because he was at her house every few days delivering parts. Once the body has been removed you can start on the frame. We like the old cars and yet we want safety and the modern suspension for a good ride. There are two ways you can go. Rebuild what you have
with all new parts, you can add power steering and disk brakes for better stopping power. On some cars like a ’50 Chevy power steering cannot be added, the solution is the new power steering unit built into the steering column. If you go this route now is the time to have a tilt wheel. The other option is to cut the frame at the firewall and weld in a Mustang II, Firebird, Volare or Fat Boy front suspension. Many companies offer these with the price varying by manufacturer. This way you have the modern front end for less money and also less work. With the frame now complete have it sand blasted before giving it a good enamel paint job. Now you can start adding shocks, brake lines etc. If you got a used frame clip from a car be sure to go thru the brakes checking all moving parts and replacing all brake lines with new ones. Now that your frame looks like a show piece, this is the time to dress up the engine that you will use with your transmission. If your engine has good compression you will still want to replace every item that could go bad. Once you have it on the road you want to rely on it like it was a new car. That means spark plugs, water pump, alternator, carburetor etc. If you plan to add air conditioning you will need a radiator with a good water flow. When you weld in your motor mounts make sure you get the right degree angle. This is critical for a smooth performance at all speeds. If you decide to eliminate your springs and install to air suspension keep in mind it is much easier when the body is off the frame.
At this time you may want to start hiding all the recipes for parts if you don’t want your wife to know just how much this little project is costing you. When my wife found out she said (and I have had this kitchen for how many years) yes honey, how soon do we start …………….. Note: she got her new kitchen.
By the time you have accomplished all this you are well on your way. Part #2 of this article will follow in about a week.
King's Hat Drive-In
Duane Demars, author and photographer
A bit of history in Montana & Billings serving the foods of yesterday as well as today. The “Kings Hat Drive-In” Billings, MT, “Dash Inn” Lewistown, MT, A&W Gillette, WY, “Top Hat” Livingston, MT, and “Ford’s Drive in” Great Falls, MT to name just a few should have a Hall of Fame of their own. For all of those who grew up in the late 40’s and beyond it was places like these that hold fond memories to this day. The type of service may vary from car hops, to drive up windows, and yes we got to know these young workers who always had a smile along with a friendly voice to greet you. For so many this would be their very first job on the road of life.
Where it all began ----- back in 1949 when the Slovak family started they named it “Big Boy”. However in the years to come had to change their name due to franchise copyrights. The name was changed to the “South Side Drive In.” They spread their wings to open a restaurant on Broadwater Avenue and another on 27th Street which were sold years later. In ’77 it was named “Kings Hat Drive In” with new owners Tom & Ailene Carr. The speakers were designed so the passenger had to order. Bad idea when only one person was in the car. Tom changed that. When they decided to retire after six years at the helm. Their daughter and son-in-law Cathy & Tim Gerard took over and the business grew by leaps & bounds. In 2010 they retired and sold it to Jim & Vicki Hodgson who are doing just great.
“Kings Hat Drive In” is a crown jewel for those who want great food at a price they can afford. Located on 1st Avenue South, Billings. It was started over 60 years ago. The number of hamburgers served would undoubtedly be far greater than many times the population of Billings. When you are family owned and family operated you take care of your customers and never cut corners on what you serve to them. A good reputation takes years of dedication, service, and good quality control. Most importantly, respect for the people who work with you. Long before the days of “Romance Busters” known as bucket seats, every young guy would pull up to the speaker to order with his arm around his sweetie. It was a great place to show off both your girl and your ride. Times have not really changed that much. Yes she may have to sit on the console but love will always find a way.
At the “Kings Hat Drive In” the food is prepared the way that people want it such as their home made French fries. What they do is to start with about 200 pounds of potatoes for the day. Every one pulls K-P as we did in the armed forces, peeled them all by hand Next comes the use of an old fashioned potato slicer that gets them ready for the deep fryer. Jim & Vicki Hodgson do their very best to support our local agricultural farmers and ranchers. This way they know the quality will always be the best they can serve. If they support the community, the community will support them, as simple as that. As I prepared to do this story I had to spend time in their kitchen, as a retired food broker I was impressed with how clean things were and the excellent condition of their deep frying oil. When you are cooking all day you must also be cleaning all day. You may have to be on the job at 6 AM if that is when your food delivery comes. They rely on their food service salesmen to make sure their items are always in stock. You don’t want to know what would happen if a popular item was not available. Around lunch time there will be about six or seven cars getting their orders, many people will call in ahead to place their orders (259-4746) to save time. We may be in changing times but the service and the quality of food served today has not changed in the past 60 plus years. The owners are also the operators, very important. There is a canopy to keep the hot summer sun off and tables to enjoy a picnic setting for the kids. Can life get better than this??? I think not.
Classic Pickups Are the Fastest Growing Collector Vehicle
Solving the “Classic” Car Question: Who and What’s Next?
By Colby Martin
Can you believe that FM radio stations playing “oldies” now commonly include songs from the likes of Aerosmith, Journey and Madonna among their rotation? That chord was struck (pun intended) when I began realizing that I rarely heard the originators of rock ‘n’ roll on the usual play lists. You know, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry and ’50s-era Elvis tunes. This realization helped shape my gradual move away from terrestrial radio and into other methods of enjoying music. Like most others, I tend to bounce between a variety of musical genres based on the mood of the moment. I admittedly still get a bit hung up on labels that define a particular style. But, I feel very differently when it comes to my beloved automotive pastime. Maybe that’s what a decade of working for a group like SEMA will do to a person. These days, I’m much more open minded to treatments outside my natural “wheelhouse.”
Over the years, I’ve noticed a lingering anxiety among members of the car community regarding the makeup of the next generation of enthusiasts and what they will drive/collect? This growing concern is spurred by the notion that today’s youngsters won’t carry the torch forward. At my office, Next Gen (i.e. next generation) is the industry’s buzz word for the topic and it appears constantly. The “what” part of the question is fairly easy to answer. As the cover story of this issue details, states continue to target vintage vehicles as revenue streams and contributors to smog. Vintage tin and donor parts have steadily become scarcer with time. While some of today’s models could hold value as future collectors, there are also an assortment of well-made reproductions, recreations and innovations now available to suit anyone’s taste. Want an early Ford roadster, a Tri-Five Chevy or even a Chrysler Hemi? These iconic offerings are available brand new again.
Now the “who” part of the question is obviously younger drivers, often referred to as Generation Y or Millennials. They are the successors to Generation X and are currently between the ages of 18 and 34 years old. By definition, I fall into this group, although those who know me will agree that I’m not very representative of the bunch. Call me old fashioned.
Many high-profile automotive media outlets have referenced a recent report from MTV about this emerging economic powerhouse. Contrary to popular belief, they too continue to see car ownership as a way to establish independence and shape their unique adult identity. In fact, 75% would rather give up social media for a day than their cars, and 72% said that they would rather give up texting for a week than their cars. This set uses social networks as virtual “online car clubs.” With the Internet serving as host, these avenues are always open for impromptu vehicle-focused “meetings.”
My peers and I came of age in a time of a rebounding domestic auto market, summer blockbuster films and video games. Each has had a distinct and long-lasting effect. In the ’90s, supercar posters adorned pre-teen bedroom walls. The likes of the Dodge Viper, Corvette ZR-1, Acura NSX, Jaguar XJ220, Ferrari F40, Lamborghini Diablo and others deeply inspired this new car culture. In fact, the Viper is only two years away from turning 25. I’ve followed its development since the first concept images were made public. Others lusted for the late actor Paul Walker’s ’93 Toyota Supra from the film The Fast and the Furious. Released in 2001, an argument can be made that the film will be as generation-defining as previous iconic features like American Graffiti, Bullitt, Vanishing Point or Smokey & The Bandit. The myriad of popular driving simulator-style video games will be equally important in defining tomorrow’s collectibles.
From my perspective, the future of this great hobby appears intact. Everyone can still create a dream car to suit their own specific taste. There is a renewed interest in the driving aspect of specialty cars these days, much to the delight of folks in my age bracket. So much fun can be experienced by touring, autocross, reliability runs, racing on a track and more. A lot of focus is now placed on a machine’s handling too. Just look at the booming restomod trend, where modern technology—primarily powerplants and suspension components—is adapted to old iron. The recent musclecar resurgence has created new fanatics. Should we not protect these collector cars of the future, such as exciting recent offerings like the Chevy COPO Camaro, Dodge Challenger Hellcat and Nissan Skyline GT-R? I’m betting they’ll have a following for many years to come.
While many car enthusiasts may not fully comprehend the current trends of Millennials, don’t lose faith. These new enthusiasts will define the future of the auto hobby with new ideas and packing an even wider appreciation of what defines automotive perfection. And, if they’re looking for inspiration from the past, the entire history of the automobile can be accessed using only their thumbs and a mobile device.
—IGNITED WE STAND! Courtesy SEMA Action Network
Car Hobby Divided on Vintage Vehicle Bills
When it comes to older vehicles, the adage “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure” certainly applies. The variety of tastes within the automotive hobby ensures that just about any car or truck is desired by someone. In addition, the value attached to each four-wheeled specimen changes over time. However, because a car may be rare doesn’t always mean that it is valuable. Many other factors, including current condition, prior refurbishment, pedigree, special options, limited packages and more must be considered as well.
After more than 100 years of automotive innovation, identifying factors that have earned certain vehicles “classic” status is increasingly relevant. A leading authority in the collector car community, the Antique Automobile Club of America, allows all vehicles 25 years old or older to be officially judged at national meets. In many states, vehicles that are 25 years old and older are eligible to receive a variety of benefits and accommodations. At the federal level, the Cash for Clunkers Program spared cars 25 years old and older from the scrappage heap and expanded parts recycling opportunities. Long-time readers will remember the SEMA Action Network’s (SAN’s) role in securing that amendment to the law.
Earlier this year, the Maryland and Nevada legislatures introduced legislation attempting to redefine which rides qualify for specialty registrations. Under the Maryland bill, the age requirement for vehicles eligible for registration as “historic motor vehicles” would have been raised from 20 to at least 30 years old. The law currently provides these vehicles certain benefits, including an historic license plate, reduced registration fees, and exemptions from equipment and emissions inspections. In Nevada, under pending legislation, only vehicles manufactured prior to ’96 would be eligible for “classic vehicle” registration, denying future classics the opportunity to ever achieve this registration status. Currently, vehicles 25 years old and older are eligible. A separate bill to repeal the emissions test exemption for all classic vehicles, classic rods, street rods and old timers is also on the table. Under that bill, all vehicles manufactured before ’96 would instead be exempted, meaning that all ’96 and newer vehicles would be emissions tested for life.
One look at the BMW M3 above makes it tough to believe that this very ride is now 25 years old. For years, this model has garnered an enthusiastic following of car fans. The uniquely painstaking task of adapting modern technology into this particular vehicle, including a 6.2L GM V8 powerplant, was undertaken by owner/builder Kevin Byrd.
These measures, and others like them, are the result of specialty registrations being granted to vehicle owners that “abuse” the privilege. You know what they are—daily drivers, commercial trucks and otherwise poorly maintained autos wearing a specialty tag. Supporters argue that these efforts attempt to restore the designation’s inherent value. Most laws limit use of these cars and trucks to participation in car club activities, exhibitions, tours, parades and occasional pleasure driving. Many abusers commonly seek refuge in these designations after failing the required emissions test, diluting these categories with cars that the law was not intended to protect.
On the flip side, opponents believe that these proposals are not favorable to enthusiasts and make it more difficult to register legitimate historic vehicles. Over the past several legislative sessions, Marylanders have fought to retain the historic vehicle definition against restrictions that are based on unsubstantiated claims of abuse. The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration is already authorized by regulation to suspend the registration of any historic vehicle for use that violates the law. The state also seems focused on collecting additional registration revenues at the expense of collector-car owners. Further, the population of these vehicles is still not enough to cause any significant smog issue in either state. It has been shown that classic vehicles currently constitute less than 1.6 % of the total vehicle population in Nevada!
Now approaching age 25, cars such as this ’93 Chevrolet Camaro Indianapolis 500 Pace Car are destined to become collectibles.
The SAN has chosen to oppose these bills in order to safeguard the greater good. SAN member Ramzi Vincent boiled down the issue in a letter to Maryland lawmakers: “Why penalize the many for the crimes of the few?” As an organization, we have always recognized the fact that the automotive community as a whole forms a diverse constituency. We believe that nobody’s taste in cars and trucks should be compromised by legislation to the extent possible. The hobby will be best served by demonstrating that we share common goals and that we can work together to ensure that these designations will be available to younger enthusiasts entering the hobby in the years to come.
Only time will tell the outcome of these battles. Fortunately, Maryland’s bill died when the legislature adjourned for the year. However, the fate of Nevada’s proposals is still undecided at the time the Driving Force went to print. Courtesy SEMA ACTION NETWORK
U.S. Congress Introduces Bill to Reform Ethanol Mandate
Legislation (HR 704) has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to prohibit the sale of E15 (gasoline that is 15% ethanol) and eliminate the federal Renewable Fuel Standard’s (RFS) mandate that 15 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol be blended into the U.S. fuel supply each year. The EPA has turned to sales of E15 to achieve the law’s artificial mandate. Ethanol, especially in higher concentrations such as E15, can cause damage to older vehicles.
Please Contact Your Member of Congress (contact information below) to Request Support for HR 704
Ethanol can cause metal corrosion and dissolve certain plastics and rubbers, especially in older vehicles that were not constructed with ethanol-compatible materials.
HR 704 would eliminate the unrealistic mandates imposed under the RFS such as requiring refiners to blend 36 billion gallons of biofuels by 2022.
HR 704 would prohibit the sale of E15 gas in order to help meet the artificial RFS deadlines.
HR 704 would protect older vehicles from the risks posed by E15.
DON’T DELAY! Please contact your Member of Congress in Washington, DC immediately to request their support for RFS reform. Please email a copy of your letter to Eric Snyder at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please forward this Alert to your fellow automotive enthusiasts. Urge them to join the SAN and help defend the hobby! Thank you for your assistance.