Click HERE to purchase Classic Cars of MT & WYand Hot Rods & Classics.
1930 Ford Phaeton ..... This 1930 Ford Phaeton, known as the "Hulk," is a testament to the man who created it. This car has been transformed in ways very few of us could ever imagine. When you open the driver's door, you see black carpet trimmed in lime green, which is the theme throughout the interior. The dash is custom made of black walnut wood with a natural burl pattern. The Babbet instruments are all customized and set into this beautiful wood. The Hulk is all chrome from the steering wheel to the complete undercarriage. This car has a TCI Racing chassis, a 1969 Jagur XKE rear suspension and is equipped with a 1932 front dropped axel. The engine is a small block Chevy with unique spark plug wires, which will allow you to follow the spark from the distributor to the plugs. Travel at highway speeds is made easier with the 700 R-4 overdrive transmission. The most stunning aspect of this car is the $14,000 paint job, which was masterfully done by Cal-Concepts of Bakersfield, California. It incorporated the old-to-new school flames, followed by lightening bolts and blister ghost flames. The "Hulk'" painted on the rear, adds a very special artistic touch and thoroughly highlights this beauty's uniqueness. Tom & Tammy DuBoise Great Falls, Montana
CMYRYD Needs your Stories & Photos
By Monty Wallis
If you’ve got a story about your latest project car CMYRYD.COM would like to publish it on our website. One of the greatest things about restoring classic cars is the information we share about the trials and tribulations we all run into during the restoration process. Our headaches can save someone else countless hours in finding parts and doing the teardown and restoration work that needs to be done. If you have information, pictures and even video you would like to share with other car guys…CMYRYD is the place to do it.
You can email Duane Demars or Monty Wallis with your information and we will get it on the website to share with classic car enthusiasts all over the world. Our contact information is list on the website and we would like to hear from you. Also, if you have ideas for articles or information about car events just drop us an email. CMYRYD is your site for classic car information, so be a part of what happens on the website.
VIRAL VIDEO 1930 Packard and it's 100+ Year-Old Owner Click Here
Thanks to 10+ years of effort by James Burrows, this 1964 Ford Fairlane Sport Coupe is equipped with numerous upgrades to its running gear. Acquired in 1995, this Crimson Pearl beauty runs a 393 c.i. engine, an AOD (automatic overdrive) transmission, 4-wheel disc brakes and a rack-and-pinion front-end.
Muscle car and street rod aficionado James Burrows enjoys the automotive hobby on the West Coast. Located near his home in Huntington Beach, California, Burrows has enjoyed convening with the Donut Derelicts group for nearly 30 years. Of his roughly 40 car history, the 1964 Ford Fairlane Sport Coupe shown above has required the most effort, according to James. A faithful SEMA Action Network (SAN) member for years, he feels the Street Rod/Custom Vehicle SEMA-Model Bill has greatly benefitted fellow gearheads across the country by creating special titling and registration designations for street rods, customs, replicas and kit cars. “I was grateful for the SAN’s involvement in protecting parts vehicles from being eliminated in the Cash For Clunkers program,” said Burrows. He also appreciates the many lawmakers in his state legislature that are aware of the concerns of auto enthusiasts.
Massachusetts Considers Pilot Program to Tax Cars for Miles Traveled
Legislation (H.B. 3142) to establish a pilot program to impose a vehicle mileage user fee administered by the Department of Transportation was introduced in Massachusetts. This bill is intended to supplement the gas tax and implement alternative ways to raise transportation revenue for the state. Under the bill, the Department must report to the legislature on the feasibility of permanently assessing a vehicle mileage user fee. The pilot program would include at least 1,000 drivers of trucks, passenger and commercial vehicles. These drivers would have on-board vehicle-mileage-counting equipment installed on their vehicles which can report the number of miles traveled. Payments would be collected from participants.
Indiana’s Paul Abbate identifies his 1951 Ford Custom as “a Midwest cruiser.” He began plotting an extensive rebuild after obtaining the car as “an exceptionally clean stocker from Mississippi with low miles.” With creature comforts aplenty, this ride also boasts an average of 23mpg on the highway!
Paul Abbate of Valparaiso, Indiana is an enthusiastic participant with the SEMA Action Network (SAN). “I am a regular visitor to the SAN website to check new legislation regarding our hobby and industry,” Abbate says. “As I see legislation that affects what we do, I get the word out to my friends and ask them to take action by voicing their opinion.” Paul understands that a bill impacting the enthusiast community in one region can easily emerge in another jurisdiction, for better or worse. As a collector car owner, his dedication is also evident in his 1951 Ford Custom (pictured here). This red beauty is equal parts “show” and “go.” After customizing the body using traditional touches and beefing up the drivetrain, including adding a fuel-injected Ford 302 c.i. HO crate engine and 9” rear-end, Abbate added amenities such as air conditioning and power windows to add a little luxury while driving. Keep on cruising, Paul!
Courtesy SEMA Action Network
1951 Midwest Cruiser Ford Custom
E.P.A. Proposes Reducing Ethanol Requirement for Gasoline
Jeff Johnson or “The Stove Guy” as he’s known to his friends purchased this 2000 Chevy Camaro SS in 2007. This is an “all stock” car with only an after market stereo. Brett Mc Giniey of Mc Giniey Motor Sports did the paint job. The 6 speed manual transmission helps with gas mileage that averages 28 mpg on the highway. But this 4th generation Camaro can still move. It was clocked at 101 mph in 14.0 seconds at Yellowstone Drag Strip, and has hit 120 mph on the highway when troopers weren’t looking. Jeff added a “slightly improved suspension and exhaust and intake system.”
Chevy stopped production of this F Body platform car due to low sales and stiff competition from the Ford Mustang, but judging from its popularity today, this Camaro is still a winner.
Noticed any changes in your car’s performance lately? Maybe the mileage has dropped and your Check Engine light has popped on. Well, you’re not alone. In the past month or so, the government mandated that all regular gasoline will contain Ethanol. Before that, it was just mid-grade gasoline and it was clearly labeled as “contains 10% Ethanol.” Now the labels are gone and the Ethanol is in.
Over the past few months, we’ve told you about the pluses and minuses of Ethanol, especially when it concerns classic cars. It just doesn’t work well in unsealed gas tanks and fuel systems. Too much moisture and dissolution of rubber tubing and parts are just the start. Ethanol, over time, can result in costly repairs and lower mileage. But that didn’t stop the Feds from ordering the change. Apparently they don’t care about lower gas mileage and damage to your car.
So, what can you do it minimize the damage? First, you may have to use Premium gasoline to get Ethanol free product. Sure, it’s more expensive when you fill up, but it may save you money in the long run. And chances are, you’ll notice the difference in performance. Talk to your local gas station about having one pump with regular ethanol free gasoline. Rumors are that it’s still possible for some stations to get ethanol free regular, if they ask. How long that will last is anybody’s guess.
But weigh your options carefully. You’ve invested a lot of money in your classic car, and it just doesn’t make sense to use a product that will cause you problems later on.
LEGISLATIVE FRONT LINES
Target: Ethanol Fuel
Witnesses representing oil, fuel and petrochemical, livestock, automotive, food, biofuel and environmental organizations testified before a U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on whether the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) should be repealed or scaled-back. The RFS mandates that an increasing amount of biofuels be blended into gasoline each year. It is the driving force behind the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to permit sales of 15% ethanol in gasoline (E15) in order to achieve the RFS mandates.
Federal Committee leaders have stated that full repeal of the RFS is unlikely but reform is a viable option. The SEMA Action Network (SAN) supports reducing the RFS mandates and banning the sale of E15. Ethanol can cause metal corrosion and dissolve certain plastics and rubbers, especially in older cars. E15 can also burn hotter than E10 gasoline and cause damage to certain high-performance specialty parts.
Meanwhile, state legislatures continue to limit ethanol blends. Heeding the call of angry consumers increasingly wary of the corrosive effects of ethanol-blended gasoline, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law legislation to repeal the requirement that all gasoline offered for sale in the state contain a percentage of ethanol. Under previous law, the Florida RFS required that all gasoline sold or offered for sale by a terminal supplier, importer, blender or wholesaler in Florida contain 9%–10% ethanol, or other alternative fuel, by volume.
In Maine, SAN-supported legislation to prohibit the sale and distribution of corn-based ethanol was signed into law by Governor Paul LePage. Under the new law, 10 other states or a number of states with a collective population of 30,000,000 would have to enact a similar prohibition before the Maine law could go into effect. Earlier this year, Maine also enacted into law a bill to prohibit a person from selling gasoline that contains corn-based ethanol as an additive at a level greater than 10% by volume (E10). That law will not take effect until at least two other New England states have also enacted laws that effectively ban the sale of E15 gasoline.
I’ve wanted a Datsun roadster since I drove my buddy’s when I was in college,” Gary Vigil explained. “I wasn’t intending to get such a project, but my plans changed when I had a chance to get this one. [Photo courtesy Monique Dao]
Thousands of car enthusiasts took over the streets to share their four-wheeled passion in honor of CCAD. Hopefully you got your special ride out of the garage and headed to an event near you or even hosted your own.
As a result of this annual celebration, I’m asked fairly often what qualifies as a “collector vehicle?” My own sense is that a collector car should serve as a visual demonstration of the owner’s passion. While many collector cars may be sought after by a certain segment of our hobby, some likely didn’t have much of a following at one point. As time rolls on, shifts in vehicle interests, trends, fads and values also occur.
Lately, it appears that the typical collector cars of yesterday are making room for fresh examples, including classic imports. Obviously, many European sports cars and exotics fell into the category long ago. Today, there seems to be a new interest in micro cars, particularly the early automotive offerings from Japan. For example, the Toyota 2000GT from the ’60s is considered by many to be Japan’s first supercar. In fact, this rare model recently crossed the auction block for a whopping $1.2 million due to the car’s limited production, impressive performance and incredible styling.
Another such vehicle, a ’67½ Datsun 2000 roadster, was recently acquired by Gary Vigil, a colleague and friend from SEMA’s Diamond Bar, California, office. Unfortunately, it hadn’t been on the road since the late ’80s. So with mere weeks left until the big day, Vigil was so excited by the new purchase that he was determined to get it to SEMA headquarters for our own CCAD event.
However, Gary is not alone. In fact, several members of the SEMA staff are fans of vintage imports and have owned them in the past. My own boss, SEMA Vice President of Government Affairs Steve McDonald got through college in a ’73 Triumph TR6.
What is clear is that the market’s variety continues to develop and offer more choices than ever. To us, specialty vehicles embody the American dream. We’ve all heard the well-known phrase from the Declaration of Independence: “...life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” We carve out precious resources and time to enjoy freedom on four wheels. And by granting a CCAD Resolution at the SAN’s request each year, the U.S. Senate continues to invest in us and our beloved hobby as well. Thanks to everyone who helped celebrate the occasion. Our car-crazed community continues to enjoy a “holiday” unlike any other. Courtesy Sema Action Network
5th Annual Collector Car Appreciation Day to be Celebrated July 11, 2014
The SEMA Action Network (SAN) announced that the next Collector Car Appreciation Day will be celebrated on July 11, 2014. The date will mark the fifth consecutive commemoration in what is now an annual event to raise awareness of the vital role automotive restoration and collection plays in American society. A recap of the 2013 festivities is highlighted in the new issue of Driving Force featured on the right.
“With the 2013 celebration now behind us, car enthusiasts and related businesses can begin planning open houses, car cruises, club gatherings and educational events to mark the 2014 commemoration” said SEMA Vice President of Government Affairs Steve McDonald. “The passion for the collector car hobby that continues to be demonstrated by SAN members nationwide is most clearly evident in this special day.
Dennis Layden Senior’s dream was to find and restore a 64 Chevy SS. Dennis, of Kenilworth, New Jersey had a Burgundy 65 Chevy when he was a teenager and always wanted to relive his dream with another vintage Chevrolet. He remembers how that Burgundy color just “popped out” and it never failed to put a smile on his face. When he found this 64 on Classiccars.com he knew he had to have it to make that dream come true.
He’s putting the car back to its original factory color. Soon the trunk, engine compartment and undercarriage will be painted as well. He credits Perfection Plus Auto Body in Kenilworth for the great paint work. Dennis says they are hard working, honest and do the best work at a reasonable price.
So far, Dennis estimates he has about 500 hours in restoration time in the car. He also has two other classic cars, but neither required restoration.
Watch CMYRYD.COM for part two of this story. We will show you the interior restoration and soon the end result of the project.
CLASSIC CAR AUCTION HOUSE OWNER SENTENCED
The owner of ICA…International Classic Auctions will spend 39 months in prison, followed by seven years of supervised probation after being convicted of bilking dozens of customers of his classic car sales company. According to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, 67-year-old Stanley Dean Torgerson of Gilbert, Arizona will do prison time and pay $1.5 million in restitution to his victims.
According to Prosecutors, since 2009, Torgerson sold classic and collector vehicles through his auction company but never delivered the cars. He was indicted in May 2011 and pleaded guilty in June to three counts of fraud and one count of theft. His arrest came after numerous complaints to local, state and Federal authorities from four states, Canada and England. Reports show Torgerson tried to blame other ICA management and sales employees for embezzling the money, but no charges were filed against others in the company.
Arizona authorities indicate such schemes are not uncommon and say the old adage “Let the buyer beware” still holds true.
If you look at the latest government Cost-of-Living statistics, you’ll see that Uncle Sam says that there is little, if any, inflation. They say the cost of goods and services is basically flat. As John Wayne so aptly said…”Well, pardon me all to hell” but I just don’t believe that.
Recently, I took two of my grandkids shopping for school clothes. I can tell you everything from shirts to skirts to shoes and socks were 20% higher than last year. Compare prices in the supermarket and hardware store and you’ll see the same thing. What’s behind the increases? The business people I talk to say the cost of getting those goods to the store has gone up dramatically. In many cases, the cost of freight and transportation is greater than the original cost of the item shipped. If you’ve ordered any parts on line lately, you’ll agree.
Just look at your own gasoline bills. With regular grade gas in the $3.50 to $3.60 a gallon range, just going to work and back has become a major expense. For a family of four, the cost of food, clothing, utilities and transportation has increased exponentially over the past five years. Yet the government says there is no inflation and the cost of living is basically flat.
Any way you look at it, the cost of gasoline and diesel fuel has greatly contributed to these cost increases. You’ve got to ask…are we doing everything possible to keep the cost of fuel at the lowest possible price point? Sure, the cost of fuel in Europe and much of the rest of the world is higher. But do we really want to become like the rest of the world? And new government mandates for 15% ethanol are not going to help. Especially with older cars not designed to operate on gasoline containing any ethanol.
So, the next time you hear your favorite politician brag about no inflation, send off a quick email and ask which planet he (or she’s) been living on. The answer may surprise you.
Honda’s Advertising People are at the Top of Their Game
Classics they are…and car lovers of all ages turned out in force Saturday to see them. Click Here
2013 BURN THE POINT
The 10th annual Burn the Point in downtown Billings was another huge success. This year 391 cars were entered in the Friday night parade, and nearly that many were entered in the Saturday car show. For the first time, the Montana Collector Car Auction was held in conjunction with Burn the Point on Saturday. About 100 vehicles were on the auction block and about a third were sold. Craig Gould reports the auction grossed approximately $400,000…an all-time high. It looks like the Montana Collector Car Auction will be a part of Burn the Point again next year.
Al Giddings (left), KevinVanLaarhoven of Trackside Autobody (seated) and a fan discuss the restoration of Al’s 1929 Stearns Knight Phaeton Convertible at this year’s Burn the Point Car Show.
The Case Against Ethanol
Corn and Fuel Don’t Mix
The Dangers of Pumping Ethanol
Fed a steady diet of corn, a staggering number of vintage vehicles in the United States are now suffering from clogged arteries. The culprit? Ethanol.
The issue is straightforward. Countries around the world are supplementing their gasoline with biofuels, primarily ethanol. In the United States, ethanol is distilled from corn but cellulosic ethanol can also be distilled from switchgrass, sugarcane, wood chips and other agricultural byproducts. Supplementing the petroleum-based fuel supply in this manner may be a well-intentioned effort to reduce oil dependency, but it is not cost-effective and results in severe consequences to your collector vehicle’s engine.
Most new vehicles are constructed with materials that resist ethanol’s potentially harmful properties when small concentrations of the biofuel are used, such as 10% ethanol by volume (E10). However, that is not the case with older cars and current high-performance specialty parts. Condensation created by this gasoline can damage engines and result in corrosion, rust, clogging and deterioration of fuel-system components.
The U.S. Congress enacted the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in 2005 and then set ambitious mandates for the amount of ethanol to be blended into gasoline each year, going from 9 billion gallons in 2008 to 36 billion gallons by 2022. In order to meet the ever-growing RFS biofuel mandate, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently permitted the sale of 15% ethanol (E15) in gasoline. In the process, the EPA acknowledged that E15 poses a risk to older cars and therefore made it “illegal” to fuel pre-’01 vehicles. However, the agency is only requiring a gasoline-pump warning label to alert motorists that E15 could potentially cause equipment failure in older vehicles.
The EPA’s decision has spawned a huge battle across America. A coalition of unlikely partners has come together to fight E15. They include organizations such as the SEMA Action Network (SAN) representing collector cars and their owners, along with the boating industry, lawn-equipment manufacturers and the oil industry. It also includes the food industry (corn prices are increasing as a portion of the crop is being diverted to fuel) and environmentalists (the land, transportation and energy costs to produce ethanol undermine the benefits).
The battle’s outcome is still unknown. The EPA’s decision is being challenged before the U.S. Supreme Court. In Congress, lawmakers are considering legislation to ban E15 and also reduce the RFS mandates, the driving force behind E15. Both H.R. 875 in the U.S. House of Representatives and S. 344 in the U.S. Senate are supported by the SAN. A timeframe for resolving the debate is unclear, but the issue has become very contentious.
While it is now legal to sell E15 in America, there are only a handful of stations currently marketing the product. The infrastructure for most stations has not yet been certified for the fuel. More importantly, most automakers have not certified their vehicles for E15. Therefore, they may void the warranty for any E15-related damage.
This year, states such as Florida, Maine, Oregon and West Virginia have taken the lead in dealing with the ethanol issue on a local level. In fact, legislation to repeal the requirement that all gasoline offered for sale in the state contain a percentage of ethanol is on a fast track in Florida. As this article went to print, the bill had been approved by the Florida House and Senate and sent to the governor for his signature and enactment into law. Currently, Florida requires that all gasoline sold by a supplier, importer, blender or wholesaler contain 9%–10% ethanol, or other alternative fuel, by volume.
For auto enthusiasts in the United States, the message to lawmakers and regulators about ethanol has been clear: “Hit the brakes on E15.”
This month, CMYRYD visits Glendale, Arizona for their weekly Old Town Cruise & Car Show. It may not be the biggest event, but it attracts some great cars.
USPS Classic Car Stamps
By Monty Wallis
If you are like most of us car guys/gals, we like to surround ourselves with “car stuff.” Recently, the U.S. Postal Service released a new series of first class postage stamps saluting some of the great muscle cars of the 60’s and 70’s. The stamps feature five high-performance cars that we all remember.
You’ll find a 1969 Dodge Charger, a 1966 Pontiac GTO, the famous 1967 Shelby GT-500, a 1970 Chevy Chevelle SS and a 1970 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda. All are American classics and all stamps are in full color. If you are a car collector or a stamp collector, this series is available at your local Post Office or on-line at www.usps.com/stamps .
One other thing, these stamps are part of the USPS Forever series, and that means they are good for first class mail regardless of future rate changes. Now might be a good time to stock-up on these stamps and bring a little extra something on your letters. It’s a great way to honor these classic cars and the postage service could use the money.
WIN A CLASSIC
by Bill Henry
I don’t know about you, but I don’t enter contests too often. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever bought a lottery ticket. But the chance to win a classic 1965 Mustang Convertible is just too much temptation to resist.
Every year since 2001, the Montana Auto Museum in Deer Lodge has given away a classic car to some lucky winner. The first was was Ronald Spenser of Florida who won a 68 Camaro. And as the old radio saying goes…the winners just keep on coming. And there have been some great cars given away including a 1970 Mustang, a 68 Chevelle Malibu, a couple of 1955 T-Birds and more.
So how does the Montana Auto Museum get these cars? No, they don’t plunder the museum’s collection…they buy the cars. In 2012, a 1971 Corvette Stingray Convertible was purchased from a dealership in Fredricksburg, Texas. Museum Director Julie Brewer says each year they search for about nine months, looking for just the right car. They search the internet, Craig’s List, classifieds and car dealerships until the deal is made. The car has to be a true classic and in the right condition to make it to the annual Win a Classic Fundraiser.
Julie says this annual car raffle is really an important fund raiser for the museum, and is essentially their largest fundraiser every year. Since the Montana Auto Museum does not receive state or federal funding, the proceeds help keep the museum’s doors open. If you haven’t taken the time to drive to Deer Lodge and visit the museum, you’ve really missed a treat. The museum complex includes the auto museum, old prison, a toy museum, the Frontier Montana Museum and Powell County Museum. You can spend the day or a weekend and enjoy every minute.
Tickets for the Win a Classic raffle are $5.00 each/five for $20.00/thirty for $100.00. To order tickets, call 406-846-3111 and pay by credit card. Or, make checks payable to Powell County Museum and Arts Foundation at 1106 Main Street…Deer Lodge, MT 59722.
This year’s car, the 1965 Mustang Convertible is Metallic Poly Blue with a blue/white Pony interior. It’s powered by a 289 V-8 with a 4-barrel carb.
The transmission is a 4-speed manual and it sports 14” Dogbone Wheels. Wouldn’t this car look great in your garage?
FEATURED LINK 1934 Edsel Ford Speedster Rebuild Click Here
Bill Introduced in U.S. House of Representatives to Stop Sale of E15 Gas Pending Scientific Analysis
SEMA-supported legislation (HR 875) has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives directing the National Academies to conduct a scientific assessment on how gasoline blended with 15 to 20 percent ethanol (E15 and E20) may impact gasoline-powered engines, vehicles and related equipment. The analysis would consider a variety of issues including tailpipe and evaporative emissions, impact on OBD systems, materials compatibility and fuel efficiency. The National Academies would have 18 months to conduct its analysis, during which time sales of E15 blended gas would be halted. HR 875 has been assigned to the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology for consideration. The Committee passed a similar bill last year but no further action took place. The U.S. Senate is currently considering another SEMA-supported bill (S. 344) to ban sales of E15.
We Urge You to Contact Your Congressional Representative to Request Support for H.R. 875
H.R. 875 acknowledges that E15 causes corrosion with incompatible parts. Ethanol increases water formation which can then corrode metals, plastics and rubber. The EPA allows use of E15 in 2001 and newer vehicles, but agreed to make it “illegal to fuel pre-2001 vehicles” with E15. A required warning label on the gasoline pump will not protect consumers from accidentally misfueling these vehicles/engines.
H.R. 875 prevents the EPA from permitting the sale of E15 before the report from the National Academies has been submitted to the House Science Committee.
H.R. 875 potentially protects millions of vehicles and engines that can be harmed from E15. The EPA was premature in permitting the sale since it is still unclear how E15 impacts tailpipe and evaporative emissions, OBD systems, materials compatibility and fuel efficiency.
DON’T DELAY! Click here to contact your member of the U.S. House of Representatives to request support for H.R. 875. Under Federal Officials, Identify Your Congressional District Representative: http://semasan.com/lookup.asp?g=semaga
For more information, contact Dan Sadowski at firstname.lastname@example.org. Courtesy sema.org
A Fresh Start
By Monty Wallis
Just the other day, CMYRYD received an email from a reader who just purchased her first classic car. Like a lot of us, she started out with a late 60’s model Chevy that had been on blocks for at least a dozen years. Yes, this car does have potential and it’s going to take some work and a pile of dollars to get it where it needs to go. But first things first, get it running and make sure the engine and drive train are functioning. Her question was a good one…what to do to safely start a car that’s been sitting for several years?
A quick check with the guys that know brought out the best advice. Number one on the list…change the fluids, particularly the oil and oil filter. Don’t take any chances with oil that may have in the engine for years. It may have been old even before the car went up on blocks. Even at today’s outrageous prices, good oil is still a priority. Then, open the gas cap and take a whiff. Chances are you will get that distinctive smell of varnish. Most mechanics will tell you to drain the tank and don’t put fresh gasoline in with the old. It’s going to be a job to remove the old tank, drain it and have it steamed or cleaned, but it’s worth it.
Next, remove the spark plugs and squirt some type of light lube in each cylinder. Some mechanics recommend a teaspoon of automatic transmission fluid, some say a teaspoon of Marvel Mystery Oil or a squirt of WD-40. Whatever agent you choose, let it sit overnight or even a day or two. This helps, just in case any rust has formed on the piston rings and cylinder walls. You could actually break a piston ring if you don’t pre-lube these vital parts. Then, replace the spark plugs with new plugs and wires, and don’t forget to check the spark gap.
Then comes the carburetor, fuel filter and fuel lines. Again, the smell of varnish will tell you if gasoline has gone bad. It’s a good idea to take the carburetor apart and check the jets, fuel passages, float and any parts that may have been affected by the old gas. A quick check under the car can detect rusted fuel lines and filters. Fuel filters are a must to change. Over the years, your fuel pump diaphragm may have rotted, so it too may need to be replaced.
While you are at it, it’s a good idea to replace the anti-freeze, brake and power steering fluid too. Again, condensation and rust are your enemy. Check the brakes and look for tire rot. Next, take a good look at the transmission fluid. Make sure it’s full, clean and not burnt. If the budget allows, once the car is running, have the transmission cleaned and flushed with new fluid.
After sitting for a few years, a new battery is definitely in order. You should have no problem buying a battery that was designed for your car, regardless of age.
Here’s another good suggestion, if you haven’t already done so…make sure the ignition is off and grab a good size socket wrench and try to turn the crank shaft by hand. This will tell you if may have an internal engine problem, and will also let that oil you sprayed in the cylinders do its job. If it turns, you’re probably good to go. Check to see that you have gas going to the carburetor…prime the carburetor and turn the key. And don’t be alarmed by the smoke that billows out of the exhaust pipe. It’s that lube you added to each cylinder that’s burning off.
Sound like a lot of work? It really isn’t. In fact, this is one of the fun parts of getting your hands dirty and getting to know your classic car.
Montana Bill to Provide for Single Year-of-Manufacture License Plate Signed Into Law
Legislation (H.B. 270) to allow the owner of a motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer or pole trailer manufactured in the year 1948, 1949 or 1950 to display a single original Montana license plate affixed to the rear of the vehicle was signed into law by Montana Governor Steve Bullock. Under the new law, the original Montana license plate must be legible and must bear the year that matches the year in which the vehicle was manufactured. Among other things, the law would reinstate the single plate requirement that existed for motor vehicles in 1948 – 1950, protect the design contours of these collector cars and relieve vehicle owners of the burden of having to create mounting holes on original bumpers.
Thank you and congratulations to all who supported the bill.
(SEMA Action Network
By Monty Wallis
It’s getting to be that time of the year again…spring is in the air and thoughts of getting out and enjoying life are on everybody’s minds. That’s especially true for the younger generation and even for us older-types too. Unfortunately, spring time increases the risks of celebrating life, and too often some of us don’t survive that celebration.
Here in Montana, drinking is part of our culture. Our DUI laws are weak in comparison to most states. When somebody says…”let’s go get a drink,” they’re not talking about soda. Our kids are especially vulnerable to the kegger syndrome that seems to be a right of passage in the spring time.
Talk to any law enforcement officer and they’ll tell you why they are tough on drunk drivers. Every day, they see the cost that families, friends and loved-ones pay for the actions of people who don’t seem to have any concern for anyone but themselves. It’s just too easy to have that extra beer or two, hop in the car and drive home. You see it a lot at car shows and events, and if you stop to think about it, it just isn’t worth it.
So, as the days get longer and temperatures start to rise, give some consideration to how you can make a difference in making your community a safer place. If you need a reason…click on the video below.
Les is the new vice president of the Roaring 20’s Car Club, but he is not new to that office. Les served as Roaring 20s Vice President in 1999-2000, and he also served very ably as club’s President for four years, in 1997-1998 and again in 2001-2002. Last fall when we couldn’t get any volunteers to run for vice president Les very graciously stepped forward and agreed to serve again.
Les Roth was born in Anaconda in 1941, just before the start of World War II, making him a very young age 71 today. He came from a Hudson family, as both his dad and granddad drove nothing but Hudson’s until they couldn’t buy them anymore. He also developed a love of Model T Fords at an early age. Les says that virtually every house in Anaconda had a Model T in the back yard when he was young. Kids would drive them up and down the alleys for fun to avoid contact with the law. Les bought his first Hudson in 1955 for $15, even though he wasn’t old enough to get his driver’s license yet. It was a 1941 Super 6 which had formerly been owned by his dad. His next car was a 1934 Hudson 8 Coupe. That car had a unique history as it was documented to be the third car to cross the Golden Gate Bridge when it first opened in 1937. The Anaconda Company, both mines and smelter, were booming when Les was growing up. His dad worked for the Anaconda Co., and Les later worked there too.
Les graduated from Anaconda High School in 1960 and immediately joined the Navy. He served on an LST in Southeast Asia, and later spent time in the active reserves. After the Navy he worked briefly for Safeway, then the Anaconda Company for 7 years. He got an associates degree in electronics but enjoyed mechanical work much more. Anaconda transferred Les and his wife, Mary, to Tucson, Arizona in 1967, where they lived for 5 ½ years. An opportunity opened for a job in Billings as a mechanic for Holman Diesel, where Les worked for 4 ½ years. He then worked for Frontier Chevrolet for 11 years, until they changed ownership. Les finished his career working as a mechanic for the Billings City Motor Pool for 18 ½ years before retiring at the end of 2006.
Les married his wife, Mary, an Anaconda native, in December 1965. Mary and Les had a very happy and successful marriage for more than 46 years before she died in March 2012. They had one daughter, Debbie (Willie) Neil, and 3 grandchildren. Mary enjoyed the old car hobby as much as Les did, and they made many trips in their 1915 Model T touring car, traveling as far as Lewistown and Cody. Mary was also very active in the Roaring 20s Club. Both Willie and Debbie work long hours, so Les is a very busy grandpa. He takes the older two grandkids to & from school and watches the youngest during the day. Willie and Debbie Neil are also active Roaring 20s members.
In addition to the 1915 Model T, Les currently owns a very nice 1951 Hudson Pacemaker sedan and a 1946 Willys Jeep, which he and grandson Wyley plan to restore together. The Jeep will be done in Navy gray as a military clone. Les is a member of both the state and national Model T and Hudson clubs and is very active in both. When not watching grandkids, Les spends his free time doing mechanical work in his back yard garage. He is always busy helping other people out with their projects, which limits the amount of time he can spend on his own. I’ve known a lot of good people in my lifetime, and Les Roth is one of the nicest guys I have ever met.
Reprinted with permission from the March 2013 issue of the Klaxon. Les is also a contributor to the CMYRYD Home page.
The 1929 Stearns Knight Model J was one of the most expensive luxury automobiles of its time. Produced in America, it’s only real competition was Rolls Royce and Duesenberg. Today, only ten of these great cars still exist, and Montana’s own Al Giddings is the owner who will restore this great car to its original majesty.
In 2010, it was decided to refit the only surviving Stearns J parts car, and its journey began… taking this car from California to Ohio and then to Fargo, North Dakota. From Fargo the car traveled to Pennsylvania where original factory drawings and photographs were used to bring the body back to factory specs. Now, it’s here in Billings at Trackside Auto Body where the 5,000 hour restoration continues. CMYRYD will document this restoration and show you its progression back to greatness.
Al Giddings goal is to debut this exquisite 1929 Stearns Phaeton convertible at the prestigious Concours d’ Elegance of America in July.
I’ll give you a hundred bucks if you can find a human being who has never regretted selling a great car or truck that they’ve owned, loved and sold. Just seeing one of those on the street brings instant regret. It’s not just the “backseat memories” that stem from our youth, it’s just something special, a chemistry if you will, that bring that tinge of envy when you see a great car or truck that you’ve owned.
For me, it’s that 55 Ford Crown Victoria with the glass top, or my first car…a 1951 Buick. Each of us has a list of cars we never should have sold. But, we did and for a variety of reasons…”needed the money, wrecked it, no place to store it.”
So, knowing today what we should have known then…what cars of today will be the classics and collectibles of tomorrow? Even better, what older cars that are still available are becoming hot?
In that category, older model International trucks like the 1970 Scout Terra are much in demand today. You’ll always be safe with Corvettes, Pontiac GTO’s, Chevelle SS and Ford Mustangs.
In a world where all the new cars look pretty much alike, the classics of tomorrow really stand out. And isn’t it interesting that many are modeled after the great cars of yesteryear? Take the new Chevy Camero, Dodge Magnum, the Challenger and Chargers…older styles with updated drivability. The Ford Thunderbirds of the early to mid 2000’s (pictured above) fit that description.
Even Grandpa’s Buick, like the Buick Regal GNX is a prime candidate for collectability. On the small sports car side, look at the Mazda Miata. Here’s an interesting choice…the Pontiac Aztec may make the list. As ugly as some think it is…it is distinctive, unusual and stands out in a crowd.
You probably can add your favorites to this list. Jay Leno’s advice is to always buy cars you really want to own. If it looks like a keeper to you, it probably is for others also.
So, go forth and buy…seek out and discover. But before you do that, better check with your better half, and don’t forget to price that new storage building.
Car enthusiasts are everywhere. Take Hans Tore Tangerud of Kristiansand, Norway. He works as an I.T. consultant for a local newspaper in Norway and as a freelance journalist who focuses on American cars. Like many of us, Hans enjoys collecting anything that relates to the great cars of the world, and especially photos, information and advertising that was used by auto manufactures to promote those great cars.
He has the best collection of classic car brochures and photos that I’ve seen and he’s made that collection available to you to view on his website. Hans says, “nothings for sale here…the brochures are scanned from my own and contributors collections.” And he gets contributions from around the world.
I clicked on the Chevrolet icon on the American Car Brochure site and was amazed at the number of models and model years available. It was easy to find the brochures for my 1974 Chevy Nova and found the quality of the graphics was outstanding.
These brochures are published in screen/preview resolution only. These files will not work to make reprints. The intention behind this collection is for enthusiasts and restorers to find useful and original factory documentation on their classic cars.
.If you have something you would like to share and contribute, Hans prefers brochures older than 1990, but special interest autos are always considered as good stuff.
So follow the Click Here link below and take a look at what’s available on his site. Chances are, you’ll find a brochure that was used to market your car when it was new.
AND THE "PENDULUM" SWINGS BACK .... by Duane Demars I have been very fortunate to have the freedom to travel the great states of Montana, Wyoming, along with the Dakota's and Idaho attending a different car show every week. What I do, can be made possible by everyone of you, maybe not now, however that will change. Myself, I built my first street rod at the age of 64, I have loved cars all my life and have owned a total of 80 from the time I was a teenager. Yes, I want to shed a few tears when I look back at some of the cars that I once owned and wonder why I ever sold them. I know that I am not alone with this admission of my past. I have logged every car in a book with all the details from the time I was a teen, otherwise I could never remember them. Why did I sell them ?, My reason is very simple, I had a family who came first, children to educate, cars to buy them and the expense of college that was yet to come. During my life I have owned four of the top ten cars, if only we would have known. To get another car we had to trade in the one we drove. I gained a lot of respect for the automobile from my father who always said "grease & oil were cheaper than parts & labor." Growing up on a farm with a wrench and a screwdriver was second nature, we had to become our own mechanic to survive. At the age of 68 I authored the first of two books on Classic Cars, both were to become best sellers and are sold nation wide in book stores and on-line. I have wittnesed a shift in car ownership during the last three years throughout the northern states, girls, yes I said girls, they are now owning and building their own cars in unprecedented numbers. Up until this time it has been mostly a guy thing, not any more. The best comment I have heard is, quote:( I arrived at the intersection of "people connections" and "enough money") . end of quote. This by a lovely lady who acquired her first classic car. I know of another lady who is a professional drag racer and yet another who is reaching for the 200 mph club on the salt flats. These are but a few, so watch out guys, the "pendulum" has started to swing back.
INVESTING IN CLASSIC CARS
By Bill Henry
What to do? For many of us, the stock market is just too unpredictable these days. CD’s, which once paid an interest rate a few points above the inflation rate are now at 1% or less while the real rate of inflation is much higher than our government says it is. The Fed continues to print billions of dollars each month and wants to keep mortgage rates at baseline levels, regardless of what it does to our savings accounts and conservative investments. So what makes a good investment these days?
We all know that for the most part, cars depreciate. You can count on your new car’s value depreciating hundreds, even thousands of dollars, the minute you drive it off the car lot. So what makes a classic car a good investment?
First there are a couple of ways to buy a classic car. You can buy a car that’s already restored. Someone has taken the time, effort and money to rebuild that car into something truly beautiful and valuable. But chances are you’ll pay for that time and effort and the skill it took to rebuild it. If you can negotiate a purchase price that still gives you room for profit when you sell, then it may have been a good investment. The second way is to buy a classic with “potential.” Look for a popular model, in decent shape which has a restored value greater than its purchase price and cost of restoration.
Here’s the rub. Once you get started with a restoration, it’s tough to stop. First of all, you never know what problems you’ll encounter. Even the best pre-buy inspection can overlook costly problems that really raise the cost of restoration. And then there is the predicting the future part. In recent years, the value of many muscle cars has dropped considerably. The car you buy today may not be worth what you think it will be worth tomorrow.
Then there is the question of just how deep to go in a restoration. If it’s a frame-off project and full rebuild to perfection, can you even get your investment back at the time of sale? It may take a while.
If you watch the car restoration shows on TV, you’ll see it done both ways. In some cases, the rebuild is done for a quick turn-around. Buy it cheap, fix it so it runs good and looks good and sell it for a quick profit. In other cases, it’s do it right, to perfection, and pray for a good profit.
For many of us, the fun is in the fix… turning rust into something to behold. Making that engine run like it did in 60’s, and even better. What a great feeling to drive down the street in a car that you’ve put your heart (and wallet) into. It’s about those thumbs-up from the guy at the next pump at the gas station.
But old cars can make you money. If plan ahead, budget efficiently and build smart, you can turn rust into gold. There are lots of examples around your town.
Featured Link: Feds Want “Black Boxes” In All New Cars Click here
Ever wonder what it's like to be in the Burn the Point parade? Here's a cars-eye view of the 2012 parade in Downtown Billings...Enjoy! Sorry there is no music, but all of the great music of the 50s, 60s, and 70s, is protected by copyright...so turn on your oldies station and join us for Burn the Point!
Last fall, I talked with another classic car guy about how most gas stations in the area now sell mid-grade gasoline that contains up to 15% ethanol, and how that could affect our cars. His take on the mid-grade ethanol was its value in keeping fuel systems cleaner, especially when our cars are stored over the winter. He said he has been using it regularly every few fill-ups and had experienced no problems. About that time another car guy showed up for coffee and said he would never put mid-grade gas with ethanol in his classic cars, even with its extra couple of octane. He said it deteriorates older types of fuel lines and clogs gas filters and tank seals Then, in the December 2010 Hemmings Classic Car magazine, a reader complained that gasoline containing ethanol had expanded and overflowed, taking the paint off the side of his Ford Skyliner. So what’s the answer?
Recently, Haggarty Insurance (who insures more than half a million classic cars) funded a study to explore the effects of bio-fuels such as ethanol in older cars. That study, while not fully complete was based on the premise that ethanol is an organic solvent that is known to be corrosive in high concentrations in older gas tanks, especially those that may have sludge build-up. The ethanol breaks-up that sludge, varnish and dirt and sends it through the engine causing blockages in fuel lines and carburetor jets. Additionally, ethanol may soften rubber seals and gaskets causing them to become brittle.
The other issue is the fear that ethanol will absorb water from the ambient air in older gas tanks that lack a sealed fuel system. That water may increase the corrosion and rust in fuel tanks and systems, a problem not found in newer vehicles with sealed fuel systems.
Well, the preliminary results of that study are in and it shows that ethanol can be used safety in older cars, especially if the fuel contains no more than 10% ethanol. But here’s the catch…it still may cost you more in the long run. Why? Because of that potential corrosion you may face the cost of re-sealing your fuel tank and rebuilding your fuel systems more often. So while the initial results show no immediate problem in older un-sealed fuel systems, over the long haul the corrosive effects of ethanol may take their toll. Mileage is another factor. Gasoline containing ethanol will lower your gas mileage…something that we all face anyway in classics with carburetors. And remember, It may be especially important to use ethanol-free gasoline when you store your car for the winter.
So, the safe answer is to continue to use regular and premium grade gasoline which contain no ethanol. But running a tank full of mid-grade with ethanol every few months probably won’t kill your fuel system…maybe.
In the October issue of the Roaring 20’s Klaxon, writer Neil Schaeppi published an updated list of local gas stations that sell ethanol-free gas. The following list is taken from the Klaxon:
Exxon 91 Octane @ Deedle’s Market at 3189 King Ave West; Sinclair 91 Octane at 942 Broadwater Ave; CONOCO selling 85, 88 & 91 Octane gas at the Wave Car Care Center at 858 S. 29th St. West and Heights Car Care located at 1320 Main St.
We have also learned that Wilson Dunham Service Station at 2511 First Avenue North has non-ethanol gas in their premium grades.
If you know of other local stations selling ethanol-free gasoline, notify Neil at the Klaxon, or email us at CMYRYD.COM.
Meet Al Giddings Car Collector Extraordinaire
By Monty Wallis
If you’ve been to a classic car show lately, you’ve probably seen one of the rarest and most desirable vintage autos around. It’s a 1929 Stearns-Knight H-cabriolet, restored and owned by Al Giddings of Prey, Montana. Al was looking for a new project after he had finished his Willys-Knight Plaidside restorations and through friends, found the 1929 hidden away in barn in Washington State. And what a find it was. In February 2012, the Cabriolet Roadster received the AACA President’s Cup Award for Best Restoration of a 1921 through 1943 automobile for the year 2011. See the full story in the July/August edition of Antique Automobile Magazine.
For those who know Al Giddings, he does everything to perfection. From inventing new waterproof camera enclosures to deep water dives, Giddings has been a busy man. This four-time Emmy winning film director is also an underwater director and cinematographer, working on such blockbuster hits as The Deep, For your Eyes Only, The Abyss and Titanic. Giddings was the first to film humpback whales underwater and was one of the first divers to explore the famed shipwreck, The Andrea Doria. Filmmakers and documentary producers from around the world regularly use portions of his library of underwater High Definition footage, arguably the largest repository of such footage in the world. A visit to his Prey, Montana home gives a glimpse into his achievements in the world of filmmaking and into his latest endeavors.
But now, he has turned his time and energy into restoring some of the most collectible cars in the world. You have probably seen his earlier work in his 1930 Willys Knight Plaidside Roadster, 1930 Willys-Knight Plaidside Phaeton 66-B as well as his 1930 Willys Knight Sedan (See Classic Cars of Montana by Duane Demars). Over the next fifteen months, the frame-off restoration was complete and this valuable car was restored to its original elegance and beyond.
The Willys Knight automobiles of the late 1920’s and early 30’s are some of the most sought after classic cars in the world today. Only a handful are known to remain. But one thing is for sure, this filmmaker turned car restorer is ready for the challenge of finding and restoring these great American cars. He’s proud to call Montana his home and always happy to meet fellow car enthusiasts where ever he goes.
A recent story in The Wall Street Journal spotlighted a new and innovative use of prison labor that not only gives new skills to convicts in the Southern Nevada Desert Correctional Center, but also helps victims of violent crimes. What is this great new idea? Medium security inmates at the prison are given the opportunity to work at the prison body shop restoring classic cars.
Inmates at the facility think it’s a win-win situation for everybody involved. The state of Nevada likes the shop because it provides training that inmates can use to gain employment after they are released. Even better, the shop made $130,000 for the Department of Corrections last year.
According to the article, the shop even has a motto…”We have the time to do it right.” With sentences ranging from a year to life, chances are there will never be a shortage of labor for the shop. But not everyone likes the idea. Body shop owners in Nevada believe the prison shop is taking business they should get. But using prison labor to do repairs and build products is not a new idea. Nearly fifty states use prison labor to manufacture license places, make furniture and even sew clothing. In fact, prisons across the country will have gross sales of over two-billion dollars this year.
The Journal reports the Nevada facility currently has over thirty classic vehicles in various stages of restoration with everything from Mustangs to Corvettes to T-Birds and Pontiac GTO’s. And full restoration projects may take months, even years to complete. Cost-wise, the prison says its prices are competitive with shops in the private sector.
While the prison shop’s income helps pay only a small portion of the cost of incarceration, for many inmates who work in the restoration shop, 5% of their wages are garnisheed for the Nevada victim’s compensation fund. It’s payback time for hundreds of victims of violent crimes that might never receive restitution without such a program.
So, what’s wrong with a program that teaches new marketable skills to a portion of society needs that training? Maybe Montana and other states should look at similar programs.
Ride Sally Ride…
By Bill Henry
What are the chances of finding a restorable, rust free 1967 Mustang that has never been wrecked? Well, my guess is probably not good. Over the years, the value of this classic has increased exponentially. Barn finds, old garages and scrap yards have been well picked. That’s not to say the 67’s are not out there, but the bulk of the really good ones have already been found. That’s why Ford Motor Company has added a brand-new ’67 Mustang convertible shell to its restoration parts line. Ford says their shell is stronger and better than the original.
So, If you’ve ever wanted to build your own ‘67 Mustang this may be your chance. But bring your checkbook and get permission from the wife. The cost of ownership of this great car won’t be cheap. The new shell retails for just under $16,000, and that doesn’t include the chassis and remainder of the car.
Stolen Classic Car Returned to Owner after 16 Years
By Monty Wallis
A recent story from the Associated Press caught my eye. It seems a Missouri man has a happy ending to a story that started over 16 years ago. Edward Neeley of Jefferson City, Missouri and his beloved 1969 red Camero are back together again some16 years after the vehicle was stolen. And the story about how Neeley found his car is even more interesting than the car itself.
First of all, nobody ever forgets a great car, no matter how many years ago we owned it. Neeley is no exception. Recently, Neeley was reading online car sale ads and spotted a Camero that looked just like his stolen pride and joy. He contacted authorities and asked them to check to see if the car could be his stolen Camero. Detectives obtained a search warrant and found a legal VIN inside the door panel. Sure enough, Neeley’s suspicions were correct. The seller, Brent Dockery of Syracuse, New York had purchased the car four years ago on eBay and obtained clear title on the car. As it turns out, he too is a victim, and he was unaware the car was stolen and its vehicle identification number had been switched.
After a lengthy investigation, the Utah Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division confirmed the VIN and found the stolen vehicle report Neeley had filed. They then returned the car to the happy original owner. It seems Neeley was 18 years old back in 1995 when the car was stolen.
Meanwhile, Dockery, the most recent owner of the 69 Camero is not a happy camper. He claims to have purchased the car for nearly $16,000 and spent another $10,000 in parts and upgrades. He wants Neeley to remove those new parts and upgrades and return them to him. My guess is that just won’t happen. Buying a stolen car, even if you don’t know it’s stolen never ends well. If Dockery sues, chances are he will find out he is not only out his original purchase price, but the cost of the upgrades too. Let the buyer beware.
Neeley has since had the Camero shipped back home and their homecoming festivities have begun. It’s a happy ending to a 16 year old story of a kid and his car.
DAVID NORTH An Icon of Our Own
David North of Billings, Montana possesses a talent that millions of car lovers wish we had. He can transform thought to actual design. He discovered this at the age of 16 while attending Senior High School in the 50s. His talent caught the eye of a General Motors executive who was on vacation and spotted his drawings at a local Cadillac dealership. From that moment his life would change forever. After High School, David graduated from the Art Center School of Pasadena, California in 1959, which is considered the nation’s top design school. This launched his stunning career with General Motors that lasted for 33 years earning him the title of “Chief Designer.” It doesn’t get any better than that. This man is credited with a class of cars that will live on with all of us who are car lovers. They are the Pontiac GTO and Grand Prix, Oldsmobile Toronado, Cadillac Eldorado, along with the Buick Riviera and the incomparable Buick Reatta. A young man in a vast new world had his career launched to the very top with his design of the GTO, which gained in popularity through the years. It is one of the most sought after classics of all time. It began when John Delorean, who was one of the best-known Engineers in the world, asked David to sketch a backroom prototype of what became the muscle car we call the GTO.
The Cord 810, built in 1936, was the first American production car to have front wheel drive. North once said he always had pictures of the Cord around to inspire him. The Toronado has proven to be one of his greatest success stories. Volumes have been written about this car in books all over the world. This car set the trend for the rest of the industry in power, performance and style. It delivers 385 horsepower to the front wheels directly off the assembly line. The Europeans were saying that you could not have possibly put more than 200 horsepower to the front wheels without breaking the half shafts. But here was a car that weighed 4311 pounds dry. Yet it handled beautifully, even winning Pikes Peak Hill Climb. The year was 1966 when it became Motor Trend Car of the Year. North credits his styling from a drawing he made in his early 20’s known to the automotive world as “The Red Flame”. This drawing was made with a stunning scarlet air brush against a jet-black background. This car may have been made over 40 years ago; however, Jay Leno said he would like to make a modern version of the Toro. He purchased an old beater for $800 and, with his crew and the help of the top General Motors Production Engineers, transformed this stock Toronado into a rear wheel drive with horsepower of 1070 at 6350 rpm using a prototype small block by GM Performance. His feeling is that these cars were designed by guys who went to college. They were professionals who did this for a living. And honestly, as much as I love hot rods, I rarely see a chopped car that looks as nice as stock. You can only imagine that thrill that David North felt in the spring of 2006 when he had the honor to drive this truly great car with Jay Leno sitting in the passenger seat.
In every young man’s life will come the time when he has achieved his own rite of passage. This came when the GM executives offered North the chance to design the 1967 Cadillac Eldorado. His father drove a Cadillac and a son’s childhood dream of working in the GM Division of Cadillac had now come true. North referred to the Cadillac as “The Crown Jewel”. He remains a design consultant for General Motors. He also drives a black Cadillac CTS, courtesy of General Motors.
David met the woman he is destined to spend his life with in 1954. Pat and David were both Burning the Point in downtown where you went to see and be seen. Pat was in a car customized with breather pipes to allow the family dog to ride in the trunk.
A personal note from the author: David and Pat are truly the nicest people one can ever meet. Success has not changed them from who they really are.
To watch Jay Leno interview David go to www.jaylenosgarage.comthen click VIDEOS then click OLDSMOBILES then click on 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado.
This story was originally published in Classic Cars of Montana and Wyoming by Duane Demars.
A Most Important Decision
By Monty Wallis
Paint and body work are one of the biggest investments you’ll make on your classic car rebuild. Finding the right professional to do the job is perhaps the most important decision you will make and doing research is a big part of making the right decision. Here is an important tip. Look for a paint and body shop that specializes in, or has a lot of experience with classic cars. Classics have their own special set of problems and complexities and many shops just don’t have the experience…or don’t want to take time to effectively deal with them.
Recently, I had a chance to witness just how important this selection process is. I received a recommendation on a paint and body shop and in turn passed that on to a friend. They took their classic in for a minor paint project and got a good result for a fair price. So, they decided to give that shop a chance to do a bigger project on another classic car. And that is where the problems began. The project involved a good deal of body work as well as a complete paint job. The first sign of problems came when the shop’s owner didn’t start the job on the agreed date. Days, then weeks passed and the car sat in the shop’s lot. There were lots of excuses but no action…that should have been a major warning sign. Finally the call came and the car was ready. When the owner went to pick it up, what a disappointment! The car actually had been damaged at the shop and that damage was not repaired and then painted over. Needless to say, the owner was not happy and the bill was not paid. The good news is that body and paint shop is no longer in business. The car was then taken to another local body and paint shop and the results this time were spectacular. When the shop ran into hidden problems they called immediately and involved the owner in making the right decision. In fact, when it became apparent that the job was going to be much bigger than originally thought, the shop met with the car owner and agreed to fix it right and take time payments on the amount over the original bid. The shop owner just wanted to do the job right and the car owner appreciated their honesty and integrity. What a different approach from the first shop!
So how can you prevent these types of problems from happening to you? First, take a look around and see who has a classic car with great body and perfectly applied paint work. The devil is in the details. Talk to as many people as you can. Find out who they used and just how satisfied they are with the finished product. Was the job completed in a timely manner? Did the shop take good care of the car while it was in their possession? How would they rate the finished product and the service they received? Would they go back to that shop with their next project?
If at all possible, look for the best local shops and pick the one that has the best reputation. Ask for references and then call them. Don’t just shop price…shop quality. By picking a local shop, you can spend time with the owner and his crew and you can make regular visits to his shop during the job and check his progress. A good shop wants you involved from start to finish and will communicate with you and keep you up to date. They want you to see what they are doing and are proud of their work.
They will let you know if they run into problems and how it will affect the final bill. Remember, a good shop will never ask you to pay in full upfront. You can pay as you go or at the completion of the work.
A great classic car is an investment. Investing in the highest quality body and paint work will pay dividends for years to come.
These are coffee table books to bring back memories of our past. Every car has a story to tell, that is what we have done. Books are top quality in every respect. We hope you will enjoy them. Click on the "Shop" link and use Pay Pal.
Time to Clean-up your Act
By Monty Wallis
This is a great time of the year to do a complete wash job on your classic car. Here are a few tips on getting the most out of this project. First, pick a comfortable day. This time of the year, If you can find a day in the 50’s with no wind…it’s time to make your move. Next make sure you have the right tools. Get a good quality washing mitt for starters. You can find several types at most auto parts stores that will effectively do the job. The cotton mitts always seem to work best for me, but be sure to clean them often during the wash process. Make sure you use plenty of water to spray down the car before washing. Rinse off any dirt or other materials that could scratch the paint. Then, when you start the washing process, use a good cleaner that is made for the purpose. Do the top first and work your way down. Let the dirt and debris flow off the car. There are dozens of cleaners on the market and most will insure a better wash job. Non-detergent cleaners are best…they don’t strip the wax from the car’s finish and help keep the shine. One of the most important parts of the wash process is drying the car. Water and mineral spots can etch into your paint if left on the car. A good cotton cloth or chamois work best and stay away from scratchy materials like microfiber cloths which can leave swirl marks on the paint. Be sure to spend extra time on the tires and wheels. Get the brake dust off and clean those nooks and narrow areas where debris hides.
If you find spots of tar, bugs or even tree sap, there are many spray products that will help remove the material. These solvents are normally well tested and safe to use on most finishes, but It is always best to test the product first to make sure it won’t harm your paint or chrome. You can also use an automotive clay bar kit to remove stubborn debris. Be careful of using rubbing compounds on your vehicle. You can easily remove clear coat and paint and cost yourself a ton of money. See a professional before you reach for the rubbing compound.
After a thorough cleaning, check for oxidation. You can easily tell if the car’s finish doesn’t have that original shine. That’s where a mild polish or cleaner comes in. Your goal is to restore the original shine while removing the oxidation and still keep that expensive paint on the car.
The next to last step is equally important. Use a good wax to seal-in that shine and protect the paint. Once again, there are dozens on the market and Consumer Reports regularly evaluates many of the most popular brands. The final step in the process is the application of a good automotive paint sealer to minimize UV damage and provide long lasting protection. Don’t forget the chrome.
Once the outside is clean and polished, it’s time to work on the interior. First get the dust off the everything. Use one of the many spray on protectorates on the dash, plastic and wood. A good leather cleaner will keep your seats and other leather parts soft and moisturized. Vacuum the carpet, ash trays and kick panels. Clean the rubber pads on the brakes, clutch and foot feed. Check for those greasy French fires that occasionally fall between the seats and the front console. Don’t forget to vacuum the trunk and rear seat area. Using a good glass cleaner like Spray-Away will make easy work out of the windows and mirrors.
Coming up…we will cover the best ways to clean that engine and engine compartment.
Things I Don’t Understand-Part Two
By Monty Wallis
Not surprisingly, I received lots of comments from the first Things I Don’t Understand story on the website. Lots of people agreed and disagreed and most people had their own list of things they don’t understand. Oil prices, the stock market and the federal government seem to be on everybody’s list. So now, I’m adding to my list of things to ponder this Christmas season. If you have time in between shopping, eating and Christmas events give these some thought and add your own.
First, is the debate over Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas. In my mind, both are fine, but please don’t tell me I can’t wish someone a Merry Christmas. Why anyone would take offense to that greeting is baffling to me. Christmas has always been my favorite holiday, and I can understand why people of other faiths and religions don’t celebrate the season. But wishing someone a Merry Christmas just seems like the right thing to do.
Here is one that I consider to be important. Why do our federal government representatives have a different retirement program than average Americans? If Social Security is good enough for us, it should be good enough for them. Recently, former Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson called today’s seniors “greedy” for expecting Social Security benefits to continue as promised, while the government is going broke. Last time I checked, we paid many thousands of dollars into the Social Security fund while our elected officials voted to raid the fund and use the money for other purposes. I wonder…is the former Senator is receiving funds from his federal retirement program? That would be interesting to know. Let’s make it our goal this next year to get our elected federal representatives off their government-paid private retirement program and back on to Social Security. I’ll bet we would quickly see some major improvements to the Social Security program.
Here’s one that has always puzzled me…why do they put manhole covers in the driving lanes on streets and highways? It would make more sense to put them between the wheel paths to make a smoother ride. Every newly constructed street has smooth pavement, but bumps when those manhole covers are placed in the path of your tires. And those bumps become more pronounced as pavement settles and tire ruts are worn into the pavement. I’ve often wondered about an injured person riding in the back of an ambulance. Hitting those man-made bumps has got to be uncomfortable.
That’s my list for now, and I’m sure I’ll have more lists of things I don’t understand. It seems the older I get, the less things really make sense. And thanks for giving me your lists and ideas. I’ll be sure to use them in future stories.
One of the worst things for a classic car enthusiast to find is an empty space were your pride and joy was parked. Even though such thefts are rare, they do happen right here in hometown USA. But there are steps you can take to prevent and thwart car theft and provide an extra level of security while you store your car for the winter.
First of all, if the unthinkable really happens, it’s important to quickly report the theft to local authorities. That means you should regularly check on the vehicle if it is stored at separate location. Time is of the essence to increase your odds of recovery if your car is stolen. If you live in the city, the local Police Department is your first call. If you live outside the city limits, call your local Sheriff’s office. Make sure you have a solid description of the vehicle including license plate number, VIN, color and other outstanding features that will help identify it if spotted. Also you can hand-deliver a good color photo of the car to authorities including the Highway Patrol. They can put that photo on their shift briefing and the extra attention it will receive can only help. Here is another good idea… take your photo and information to your local newspaper and TV stations. With a little luck, an enterprising reporter will see a good story in your situation and you may get some press coverage because of the vintage status of your car. And don’t forget getting the message out to your local car clubs. Remember, the more eyes, the better the chance of recovery.
But a big part of preventing car thefts depends on what you do before an incident occurs. Storing your car in a secure garage is a big step in the right direction. If possible, having an alarm system on the garage makes it even better. Many classic car insurance companies require indoor storage as part of their coverage contracts. If your classic happens to be parked outside, make sure you have some extra protection available to thwart thieves in the act. Make sure to park in a well lit area. One of cheapest devices available is “The Club” and The Club Auto Brake Lock.” You can find these simple tools at your local Wal-Mart or auto parts store. But remember, they won’t work if you don’t use them.
If cost is a concern, a simple alarm system from your local auto parts store, Radio Shack or J. C. Whitney can also do the trick for under a hundred dollars. If cost is not a consideration, consider a GPS tracking system such as LoJack. Several other manufacturers now have similar GPS units available. You can now install an OnStar system in your classic and your local Best Buy store can provide the installation and equipment.
Just one more thing, do not keep the keys in your vehicle and don’t store a spare key where it can be easily located. Make it as hard as possible for any would-be thieves to rip-off your classic. Thieves are usually lazy opportunists who want to quickly and easily do their work and get out of the area. Your job is to make their job as tough as possible.
Our Old 1959 Volkswagen Bug
By Joanne Demars
"Bug" was a little black Volkswagen, so small he wasn't allowed to stay
out after dark. When it was cold out, he didn't even have a heater to
keep himself warm and no radio to keep him company. Lots of times he
would choke because his exhaust wasn't too good. He couldn't go on long
vacations because his trunk wasn't big enough to carry all his luggage.
was awfully lonely. His owner would get mad sometimes because he would
leak oil on the driveway so they never let him sleep in the garage. They
left him sit outside and didn't feed him any gasoline for days.
day they decided to sell him and put him in a dark, cold car lot. He
did have lots of company and tho the other cars were bigger than him,
they didn't tease him. Finally, a nice young boy saw him and bought him.
He took him home and fixed his exhaust and oil leak and gave him a nice
warm garage to sleep in. He knew he was loved and wanted and ran
happily ever after.
The Jeep was made in the United States of America and was created to serve our military during World war II. Of all the cars and trucks ever manufactured, only the Jeep has obtained the status of a true "Legend". In the early days the Army experimented with motor cycles as they were cheap to make and run, however, they were limited to good roads. The trucks that were used proved to be able to have only limited mobility on the battle field. Our military had to be able to travel light and yet carry combat gear as well as become a strike force by using a 50 caliber machine gun mounted on board. The military tire was unique with it's non-directional tread, it was designed that way to confuse the enemy. The Jeep has been shown in thousands of cartons over the years. It had became the most important vehicle the branches have ever used.
When the end of WW II came, the Jeep market was at it's end as most people knew it. To survive it had to make many major changes which it did. During WW II the United States was running on empty when it came to steel. They did the only thing they could; take control of steel used to manufacture products. Without tractors to farm with, Willys Motors came out with an Agra Jeep. A tail gate was added, 4 leafs to the springs were removed for a smoother ride and large head lights added for night travel. It was equipped for three power take-offs and a 3-point hitch which you could use up to 14 different farm attachments. The Agra-Jeep became the small truck farmers a way to grow their crops again. The only competitor it had was the Farmall M tractor, It would take some time for tractors to get back into production. The Agra-Jeep had a big radiator needed for farming, as a result the after market heaters did not work very well.
Some installed an after market gas heater that was mounted on top of the gas tank between the seats. It produced a lot of heat, however, the gas mileage dropped to 4 mpg. If that were today OSHA would have a fit. If you wanted a back seat it would cost you $10.50 and a passenger seat was only $8.50. The passenger had a hand wiper while the driver had a vacuum wiper that would stop if you speeded up. During 1947 & 1948 Parish Motors in Lewistown, Montana sold more Jeeps than anyone else in the nation. Many men and women who learned to drive have fond memories to tell their own children and grand children about their first ride.