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1950 Willys Jeepster Phaeton Convertible
Duane purchased this rare 1950 Jeepster with a factory 6 cyl. in 2000. It was a basket case as it came from the eastern states and suffered badly from the rust where salt was the demon on winter streets. A frame-off was the only option for restoration. The factory power train was in very good condition. The designer of this during WW II was a man named Brooks Stevens. His inspiration came from the Willys Jeep and he wanted to make a sporty touring car. The convertible top had to be operated by hand. The term "Phaeton" relates to "no windows to role up or down." Curtains would only be plastic or other material. The front passenger seat would fold down for easy access to the rear seats. The bodies were all steel and the chrome was very good quality. The Jeepster came only in a two-wheel drive. A paint option was a two-tone on the belt line which flowed into the windshield frame. The 1950 Jeepster was so rare that only 1778 units were sold nation wide. To look at it another was, it cost only $ .60 per pound new. Factory selling price was $1,490
Duane & Joanne Demars Billings, Montana
State legislators around the country with a common goal to support the motor vehicle hobby have joined the State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus. The Caucus is a bi-partisan group of state lawmakers whose common thread is a love and appreciation for automobiles. The Caucus will help raise the motor vehicle hobby’s profile in the state legislatures and in the eyes of the public. Working in state capitals, many of these legislators have sought to preserve and protect the hobby by seeking the amendment of existing motor vehicle statutes and creating new programs to safeguard and expand the hobby. Over the past several years, their work has brought a series of significant legislative accomplishments for the vehicle enthusiast community on issues ranging from equipment standards to registration classifications, and from emissions test exemptions to hobbyist rights. By joining the Caucus, these legislators have demonstrated their commitment to upholding the rights of vehicle enthusiasts. In addition, hobbyists will be able to quickly identify which state legislators have chosen to be recognized for their support of this great American hobby.
Maria Christiaens is a Certified Public Accountant who lives in Billings, Montana. She is part of the growing trend of women who own, build and enjoy the classic cars of today. More and more, women are enjoying the fun and excitement of restoring and collecting classic cars. For Maria, it started when her aunt owned a ’66 Mustang, and the great memories of this car never faded from her mind. When she arrived at the point in her life when circumstances allowed, she followed her dream, and acquired a 1968 Mustang Convertible. Cars are like people, they need love and attention to make life worthwhile. This was one of the many Mustangs built using a 200 cid six-cylinder engine with a factory automatic transmission. There were 25,376 convertibles built in 1968 and average selling price was $2,814. If we could only turn back the time machine.
Maria J. Christiaens Billings, Montana
Bugs R’ Us
By Bill Henry
Maybe it was the wet spring and late summer or just my perception…it just seems like there are a few million more bugs out there this summer. I guess it really hit me when I was going doing down I-90 a few weeks ago and ran into a swarm of bees that covered my car with a thick layer of goo in a fraction of a second. It was so bad the car in front of me had to pull over just to clear the windshield. The poor driver made the mistake of turning on the wipers and that really did it.
Then this week I read an article in Motorcycle Consumer News about a product I had forgotten about. Bugs B’ Gone had been manufactured by a small Montana company, and the product was outstanding. A few squirts and a little water would dissolve the worst dried-on bug residue in seconds. Then, for some reason the product just disappeared off the shelves. Well, now it’s back…manufactured by Sea Foam who makes other great automotive products. We usually don’t promote products on CMYRYD, but this is one product you should give a try.
Bugs B’ Gone is a biodegradable, non-toxic soap that is sprayed directly on any surface that is covered with organic material. It works wonders on tree sap and bird droppings as well as bug residue. It you have dried-on bug splatters on any glass surface such as your windshield, headlights, mirrors or even chrome it makes quick work on even the worst mess. I can’t recommend it for painted surfaces because I’m always reluctant to put anything on an expensive paint job. I’m also reluctant to use it on certain plastic surfaces such as motorcycle windshields…not because it won’t do the job, but because I’ve never tried it. I’ve also been told it works well on surfaces coated with brake dust and exhaust grime. Sea Foam recommends it for glass, front grills, bumpers, chrome, plastic, painted surfaces and even claims it removes stains from clothing, carpets and upholstery. They recommend adding two ounces to your windshield washer fluid to clean bug splatters on the go. For other applications, it should be sprayed-on and washed-off with water after 30 to 45 seconds to prevent any corrosive effect.
You can find Bugs B’ Gone at NAPA and most hardware and auto parts stores. Sometimes a little squirt makes a big difference.
Fast and Friendly
by Monty Wallis
Our slogan at CMYRYD is “Everything Gearhead.” You’ll find photos and stories on cars and trucks and motorcycles…new and old. And for most of us who are getting a little older than we would like, riding motorcycles is still a fun but challenging pastime. Bad backs and knees along with driving ruts and inattentive drivers have made many of us question the wisdom of continuing to drive two-wheeled transportation.
So, do we just give up the fun and freedom motorcycles provide or look for other, safer options? That’s where a three-wheeled bike comes into play. Trikes have been around as long as motorcycles have existed. The military made great use of them and you’ll still see many three-wheelers on the street today. Harley-Davidson, Honda and other cycle makers make and market several models in various price ranges, but until the past few years there hasn’t been a three-wheeler that really “popped-out” as something special. That’s where the Can Am Spyder changed the rules.
J.A. Bombardier founded the company, now BRP Motorsports, in 1942. But it wasn’t until 2007 that BRP came out with a new design for motorcycles built on a Y-frame design with two wheels on the front and single drive- wheel on the rear. As that design developed… these machines included power steering, ABS braking systems as well as updated traction and stability controls. Power is supplied by dependable 990cc Rotax V-Twin motors.
Make no mistake about it…the Spyder is a big, heavy motorcycle. With a dry weight of over 950 pounds and a front width of just over five feet…this is no small bike. Its 6.6 Gallon fuel tank and average 29-32 MPG can take you take you a long way down the road. Plus, this machine moves …lots of torque and you can feel the power and acceleration. The SM5 models feature a 5 speed manual transmission with a left foot shifter…one down/five up with reverse. The SE5 has a semi-automatic sequentially shifted transmission which uses a paddle shifter located on the left hand grip of the motorcycle. For an average motorcycle rider, the two biggest adjustments are no brake on the right side handle grip (it’s a floor shifter) and the steering is not affected by how you lean on the turns. You’ll still find yourself leaning but leaning into the corners doesn’t really affect how the bike steers into turns.
For 2013, improvements included larger 15 inch front wheels and revised front end geometry for better stability as well as new LED lighting for visibility. When you first get on one of these machines you’ll notice a couple of things right off the bat. First, Spyders turn heads. Everywhere you stop people want to talk about what you’re riding. Other bikers will want to know how it rides and what it’s like in the turns. Even traditional Harley riders will want to take a look. They may not want to admit this is a real motorcycle, but you can tell they want a test ride. Click here for test ride video.
Second, these bikes are visible. I have yet to have an inattentive driver turn in front of me or pull out unexpectedly. That’s not to say it won’t happen, but it appears the average motorist sees these bikes better and their unusual design seems to bring more awareness. The larger front end and LED lighting probably helps also.
So, if you’re a classic car lover that still likes to feel the excitement of riding a motorcycle, maybe a three-wheeler is for you. The Can Am Spyder may well be tomorrow’s classic motorcycle.
Storage Wars...In Your Backyard
Prevent Confiscation of Inoperable Vehicle Projects
"A vehicle is only original once." This phrase is commonly spoken among the "gearhead" community and rings so true. As time persists, the trend to totally restore vintage cars and trucks has made way for a heightened demand in "patina." Interest in preserved survivors and unrestored specimens—often referred to lovingly as "barn finds"—has skyrocketed in the last few years. This trend is due in large part to televised auction and "relic picking" programs where less-than-perfect examples are sought-after prizes. Today, classics in nearly any condition are considered valuable in the marketplace, even if only as parts donors.
Unfortunately, many don’t share our enthusiasm when it comes to non-running projects, be it a historic gem or otherwise. The increasing number of states and localities currently enforcing or attempting to legislate strict property or zoning laws that restrict visible automobile bodies and parts in this condition is rather alarming. Often, enforcement of local nuisance laws allows these vehicles to be removed from private property with little notice, if any. Among other reasons, jurisdictions enact these laws with the assumption that cars in this shape are eyesores and will lower property values or compromise safety by leaking fluids and chemicals. Often, law enforcement is given the right to remove from private property vehicles being repaired or restored under such measures.
Under most of these laws, "inoperable vehicles" are defined as those missing major parts, such as the engine or wheels, or are altered, damaged or deteriorated so much that the vehicle can no longer be driven.
At the SEMA Action Network (SAN), we believe that clear legal separations must be drawn between an owner using private property as a dumping ground and a "backyard builder" that is maintaining, restoring or constructing a vehicle. In some cases, it is possible to kill painful laws that allow governmental authorities to remove inoperable vehicles with minimal notice by activating organized groups of enthusiasts. At other times, reasonable and fair results must be reached through negotiating compromise legislation. In these cases, supporting legislation that allows outdoor vehicle storage—so long as the automobile is properly maintained and won’t be considered a health hazard—might be worth consideration. Additionally, projects can be relocated away from public view or possibly screened using a fence, trees, shrubbery or other creative solutions.
During this year’s legislative session, the SAN opposed legislation in Kansas that would have provided counties with the authority to remove from private property motor vehicles deemed to be a "nuisance." In Kansas, maintaining a public nuisance means "intentionally causing or permitting a condition to exist which injures or endangers the public health, safety or welfare." The SAN successfully argued that this definition provides no real guidance for motor-vehicle owners maintaining inoperable project vehicles on private property. With the aid of several of our friends in the Kansas legislature, the bill died when the legislature adjourned for the year.
In response to proposals like this, the SAN developed an Inoperable Vehicle Model Bill that provides language which can be offered to state and local lawmakers as an alternative. Since every state and locality is different, the language is often rewritten to conform to existing laws. The full text can be found online at www.semaSAN.com/Inoperables. The bill has been enacted into state law, as well as in local jurisdictions, where these proposals usually start.
Just last year in fact, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed into law SAN-amended legislation based on the model language. The bill originally threatened to add abandoned, unregistered, inoperable or junk motor vehicles to the list of items that constitute a public nuisance and allowed counties and cities to remove them at the property owner’s expense. Under the SAN-drafted amendment, abandoned, inoperable or junk vehicles stored on private property would only require screening from public view in counties having populations of 700,000 or more people. Also under the amendment, unregistered vehicles could not be declared a nuisance.
So, how can you get involved at the local level to protect these rare beauties from confiscation? Consider the following when working with municipal officials in drafting fairer inoperable vehicle laws:
A statement protecting car collectors from an ordinance that would keep someone from enjoying this hobby in an area zoned by the municipality.
A definition of collector vehicles that includes parts cars.
A statement allowing an automotive enthusiast to rebuild and modify vehicles on private property.
A statement ordering that government authorities notify the vehicle’s last registered owner and allow voluntary compliance before it can be taken.
A statement ensuring due process of the law (adequate notice, right to hearing, etc.) before anything is removed from private property.
Experience has taught us that following the tips below will be helpful prior to beginning work on massaging potentially harmful inoperable vehicle language in your state or locality:
Develop a specialty vehicle definition (e.g. vehicle is 25 years old or older; limited-production vehicle; special-interest vehicle, etc.).
Band together interested clubs, organizations and individuals in the community.
Suggest rewriting the current language so it contains new elements welcomed by both hobbyist and the community alike (e.g. screened from ordinary public view by means of a suitable fence, trees, shrubbery, etc.)
Gain favor with local media.
Be persistent in your efforts.
As the good fight continues, SAN staff will monitor state legislative and regulatory activities to determine if restrictive inoperable vehicle laws or regulations are being considered. Enthusiasts in the network will be alerted immediately as proposed laws and regulations affecting our automotive community are discovered.
Courtesy Sema Action Network
HOME OWNERS INSURANCE AND YOUR CAR
By Monty Wallis
Ever wonder how well your insurance would cover damage or the loss of your classic car? I’m not talking about on the street in the event of an accident…but safely locked in your garage. Like many people, I always believed my homeowners insurance would provide that coverage, but recently I learned that is not the case.
After a recent hail storm, a friend was discussing home owner’s coverage with her insurance agent. She had upped her personal property coverage several years ago to cover her collection of classic cars. Guess what? Her agent said that her personal property coverage did not cover her car collection, and she needed to rely on her auto insurance for that protection. Needless to say, she was surprised and quite unhappy to learn that she has spent hundreds of dollars each year for coverage she didn’t receive. It could have been an expensive lesson to learn, and makes your auto insurance coverage more important than ever.
So, before something happens to you, have that discussion with your insurance agent. Make sure you have the coverage you pay for and be sure your classic cars are insured, even when they are stored for the winter. Just another reason why what you don’t know can hurt you.
Everyone Has a Passion
By Duane Demars
Yours may be golf, fishing, mountain climbing or just relaxing around your pool. My passion happens to be the cars of the past and the memories they hold. A friend of mine possessed some very good wisdom; if you grew up in the ‘50s you lean more toward cars of that era. In my case this is true as my first new car was a 1956 Buick. As we get older our taste in cars may vary from sports cars to convertibles to the muscle cars of the ‘70s. In the last 20 or so years the new cars have all started to look alike. Gone are the days when cars had a personality. Remember when you could tell a ‘57 Chevy a block away or a ‘50 Ford Coupe. The cars of the past had many features that made us fall in love with them all over. Take the ’36 Ford Coupe. It had a rear seat that was a part of the trunk. When you opened it up you could seat about two people. Ford Motor Company called it a Rumble Seat, however, everyone else called it the “Mother-in-Law” seat. The first Montana Highway Patrol car was a 1936 Ford Club Coupe. The flat head V-8 made it the classic hot rod of its day. You could exceed over 100 mph. Our government would have a fit if our cars of the past were made today. Back in those days it never crossed our mind to have seat belts, or a metal dash, suicide doors, side mirrors or one tail light. Growing up in the ‘40s through the ‘70s proved to be four decades when competition among automotive designers would be felt for years to come. We had bench seats that allowed our favorite girl to snuggle up to you with your arm around her. Those days were shattered when the romance buster seats were introduced. We know them as the bucket seats of today. Remember in the ‘50s when most all the cars had spotlights? The drive-in theater was the place to go and during intermission the theater would have a rabbit running all over the screen and every one would try to catch it with their spotlights. Kids would hide on the floor boards or in the trunk to avoid paying to see the show. It was a common practice when someone would purchase a new car they would install plastic seat covers. They were very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter and then when they traded the new owners would take them off and enjoy new seats. Another classic style was the tail fins of the ‘50s. Every car had them but they became a point of contention with the insurance industry. The cost of repair in the event of a wreck was not what they wanted and they exerted all the pressure they could on the federal government to do away with them. A part of automotive history design would be lost forever. Billings, Montana is the home of two world-class automotive designers, David North (General Motors) and Bruce Ryniker (Chrysler Corporation). Both are graduates of Billings Senior High School and the Art Center School of Pasadena in California.
With population of this great country aging at a rapid rate, more and more people are gaining an appreciation for the good things in life. And for many of us, that means classic and collectible cars. We’re always on the lookout for that first car we owned, and chances are it’s out there, or at least one just like it.
But with ownership comes responsibility and a good deal of expense on top of that. We’ve all seen cars parked on the street or in driveways that haven’t moved in years. Those are the cars that turn good neighbors into complainers who don’t want their property values diminished because they live next to a small junk yard. Talk to any code enforcement officer and they will tell you that wrecked and abandoned cars are a big part of their job.
So, before you buy that old car you’ve had your eye on, take a few minutes and ask yourself (and your spouse) some questions. Questions like…where will we store the car until we’re ready to restore it? Do I have enough room to store it indoors after it’s been restored? I can guarantee you this…restoration of any older car…regardless of age and condition…will take you longer to restore and cost you more than you realize. It’s just a fact of life.
For those lucky few that have a large storage building or acres of space on their property, being a good neighbor is less of a problem. But for the average Joe, these are things you have to consider. Nobody wants to live next door to your car lot or junkyard. So remember, buying that classic is the easy part. Everything from that point on gets harder.
All of us who have garages that connect to our homes have a lot to lose. One of the easiest ways a burglar can gain access to our homes is through the automatic garage door opener. Not only are our classic cars within easy reach, but our valuables as well; and more importantly the safety of our families. Texas Television station KEYE shows how a plastic tie can prevent a big problem:
All of us have owned a car that was more than “just a car.” In 1974 Joe Mac Donald of Knoxville, Tennessee owned a red 1965 Volkswagen Beetle convertible, but unfortunately, it was stolen nearly 40 years ago. Joe really loved the car and always wondered what happened to it, but gave up waiting for it to turn up.
As the old saying goes, good things come to those who wait and the waiting paid off in January when the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol found the car as it was about to be shipped overseas for restoration. According to the Associated Press, the current owner is a Michigan resident who had no idea the car had been stolen years ago. Luckily, Joe had saved the car’s title and registration. He will fill out the paperwork required to facilitate the cars return and wait for the happy homecoming.
Maybe the moral of this story is…it pays to save important things and put them where you can find them years later. It certainly paid off for Joe MacDonald. Photo Courtesy US Customs and Border Patrol
A good friend forwarded an email the other day about words that are long gone from everyday usage. Many of them are automotive related. As cars have changed over the years, so have many of the parts and terms that were common place just a few decades ago.
Take Fender Skirts for example. My 55 Ford Crown Victoria had fender skirts, and so did a lot of cars from that era. How many cars today use fender skirts?
Remember the Straight-8 motor and how about the old Dyna-Flow transmissions. Who can remember having a Suicide Knob on their steering wheel? I can still remember my dad telling me it was dangerous and he was probably right.
Remember the “Jockey Box,” now known as the glove compartment. Ever have a Continental Kit on your car? Throw those terms out to your grandkids and watch them scratch their heads. Same with Running Boards and Foot Feeds?
But don’t despair. I think everything is cyclical. Just like suspenders and neckties…if you hang on to them long enough they’ll come back in style.
Inoperable and Invaluable Safeguarding Your Backyard Restoration Project
Many enthusiasts enjoy building or restoring collector vehicles at their own residence. However, some jurisdictions seek to limit your ability to store and work on projects on private property. The SEMA Action Network (SAN) aims to protect your projects with its “Inoperable Vehicle” model bill. It states that property owners may continue to store and work on project vehicles on private property if these vehicles are maintained out of ordinary public view. The bill is frequently adapted for use in state laws and local ordinances. By providing legislators and council members with this language, hobbyists can protect their vehicles from confiscation.
This year, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed into law SAN-amended legislation that originally threatened to add abandoned, unregistered, inoperable or junk motor vehicles to the list of items that constitute a public nuisance. Under existing law, counties and cities may remove a public nuisance at the property owner’s expense if, after notice, the property owner does not remove the nuisance. Under the SAN-drafted amendment based on this model language, abandoned, inoperable or junk vehicles stored on private property would only require screening from public view in counties having populations of 700,000 or more people. Unregistered vehicles could not be declared a nuisance under the SAN amendment. Courtesy SEMA Action Network