Old cars: opportunity to spend money

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TC Chris
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Old cars: opportunity to spend money

Post: # 21947Post TC Chris »

My plan for Saturday was to get the Chevy out of storage, because it's way overdue per the storage agreement. First there was the long spring trip, then scheduling issues. Luckily, the landlord is very tolerant & cooperative.

So I trekked off to spring the Chevy mid-day. Unhappily, when I turned the key, nothing happened. No ilghts, no action. Jumper cables didn't help, and besides, the landlord, had to get to a wedding in Tawas, over an hour north. I extracted the battery and retreated. At home, the battery charger showed almost full charge. I left it on the battery anyway. That was a bit discouraging because it raised questions about what was wrong. I put a voltmeter on the battery and it read exactly the same as the fully-charged battery in the truck. More worries. If the battery is charged, why doesn't the Chevy respond?

The LL agreed to try again today so off I went. But on the way, I decided to detour slightly past O'Reilly Auto Parts and get a free battery check. "It's dead," the lady said with the tester. "8 volts." OK, bad battery or some other problem? The battery wasn't very old and was lightly used. Next question: try it again, or buy a new one? I bought a new one. We got to the storage building and I put the battery in and the Chevy started on the second crank. Lights and action. Not bad for a '61 that has been sitting since October. The car drove without incident to its summer home.

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William
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Re: Old cars: opportunity to spend money

Post: # 21952Post William »

Good news, Chris that it was something as simple as the battery and not something that left one scratching one's head.

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Post: # 21953Post maxidyne »

Old cars are sometimes crabby like old people can be. How many other old Chevys did you see? How many high fives did you get? I'll bet it felt good when it started and you were going down the road....
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Re: Old cars: opportunity to spend money

Post: # 21955Post TC Chris »

maxidyne wrote: Mon Jun 24, 2024 4:14 pm Old cars are sometimes crabby like old people can be. How many other old Chevys did you see? How many high fives did you get? I'll bet it felt good when it started and you were going down the road....
My sister is a frequent driver for in and out of storage since she lives were the Chevy does. She was following me to the summer garage and commented that nobody was waving. Usually I get lots of thumbs-up and waves. Half the town worked at the local GM plant or the foundry and other plant next door in Saginaw or a bit farther down the road in Flint where this car was built. There is still some brand loyalty. I remember going to my old Scoutmaster's house in the Mustang. "You bought Ford?" (Note: he was driving a Dodge Charger).

OK, but I'm still pleased to drive a Ford because the company stepped up to restore the Michigan Central depot in Detroit, a huge vote of confidence in the gritty city's future. Maybe some of you saw the TV special.

https://michigancentral.com/

In Michigan it was a big deal.

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Post: # 21957Post electra225 »

I get high fives all the time when I drive the Buick. I have even had people stop and let me out on the street when I leave the storage facility. We had almost rabid brand loyalty when I grew up. Grandpa's people all drove GM cars. Grandma's people all drove Packards. They wouldn't be seen dead in a GM product. The county I grew up in was like that as well. Farmers used Farmalls if they were "in". If you had a John Deere you were considered a rebel. Grandpa and his brother had an auto repair shop. They wouldn't let a Ford flathead V-8 even drive up the driveway. Grandpa liked the Chrysler flatheads. I was hauled home from the hospital when I was born in grandma's almost brand new 1950 Packard Custom Eight with Ultramatic. Grandpa's best friend, Mr. Porter, always drove a new top line Kaiser or Nash. The only Ford that was close to us was owned by Mr. Wells, the Zenith TV dealer. If you were not a farmer in Hamilton County, you worked for GM.
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Post: # 22022Post Hydrolastic »

Love the BOP cars. last year at Thunderhill we got to race with this infamous 59 Bonneville. We could pass it in the corners. I entered the straight with it behind me at about 40 mphs, it accelerated by me I thought something had broken on it because smoke was coming off the rear of it . I quickly realized it was just spinning the tires as we accelerated to a hundred mph! (built 389) It could only race for 15 -20 minutes as its brakes would go away. someone got this shot. This is a teammate as my helmet is black. One thing though it looked like the size of a semi truck on the track and when I was in front of it all I could see in the mirrors was the grill !
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William
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Re: Old cars: opportunity to spend money

Post: # 22023Post William »

Thanks, Hydro, that brings back memories of my youth. After my Dad passed away, I was eight, in 1959, my Mom purchased a new car as the one they shared together was now 7 years old. The car was a 1959 Pontiac Catalina so seeing this photo reminded me of that car. My other thought, if the owner of the Bonneville "built" the engine, why did he not "build" the brakes? Did he really leave the original drum brakes on the car? Thanks for sharing and reminding me of my youth.

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Post: # 22024Post Hydrolastic »

I didn't get a photo of the brakes. its considered impolight to just take photos of the cars in the pits without asking permission. The brakes were huge! Stuff off a truck I heard. I didn't get that close to see details. 4000 pound car just overwhelmed them i guess
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Re: Old cars: opportunity to spend money

Post: # 22026Post TC Chris »

Now that the Chevy is out of winter storage, it's time to drive. I went in and picked it up from the summer garage and put the top down. Getting the new top was a project so I could put the top down without worrying (the original one was quite fragile). We had a hot day on Sat., perfect for a convertible. My plan was to leave the top down all night, covered with a partial-fit cover from an old Subaru wagon. But at about 12:30 a.m., the wind came up from the NW (onshore here) and threatened to blow the cover away. I pulled the cover back to just cover the folded top and upholstery and put some rugs on it for weight. The real danger is bird droppings from the tree above. Today I drove it back to the garage. Got a bit over 25 more miles on it.

When I got it to the cottage yesterday, it was all warmed up so I popped the hood and pulled the air cleaner and adjusted the idle mixture. Wow, way rich now. Leaned up, it idled better and maybe won't blow black stuff out of the tailpipes Driving back in today, idle was much improved. At the garage I raised the top but didn't latch it, to avoid creases. If the weather cooperates I'll drop it again next weekend.

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Re: Old cars: opportunity to spend money

Post: # 22027Post electra225 »

I was always glad I had a hardtop. I've never been smart enough to live with a convertible top. Chris, a Carter AFB would be a good investment for you..... ;) :D

Boy, Hydro, you gotta give the guy in the Pontiac a LOT of credit to be able to be on the same track as a Mini Cooper, let alone be on its tail! That Pontiac wallows so bad on curves, he must have casters on the rocker panels to keep from scraping the asphalt! ;) ;)

I don't believe they make brakes that won;t get hot if you thrash on a 4000 pound car very long. The only thing that might outrun a Mini in curves is a motorcycle. Nothing on four wheels will. You have a racing Mini, I drive a domestic Mini. They advertise handling like a go cart. Some of the most honest advertising in history....... ;)
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Re: Old cars: opportunity to spend money

Post: # 22031Post TC Chris »

The old 4-Jet actually functions pretty well when it's dialed in. We're getting there. It has been a bit cranky on hot starts but usually catches when I remember to floor it to open the throttle and avoid flooding. And that was before the idle adjustment, which I'll probably repeat when it's cooler out and I don't mind standing over a hot engine. It's a wonder carburetors work at all. Whoever made the plan to put an aluminum device full of very volatile fuel right on top of an engine operating at around 200 degrees F.?

As to '59 Pontiacs.... When I was in high school a local doctor had a '59 Bonneville convertible, bucket seats, tri-power. But this was in Michigan, where cars lasted a couple years before rust set in, and he wasn't at all careful with it. The car was rusty and the top was ripped. So sad.

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