Spinning My Tires is one man's view of the world of cars. Random thoughts, ideas and comments pop up here, all of them related to owning, driving and restoring cars. I've been doing this car thing as long as I can remember, and have enjoyed a great many car-related experiences, some of which I hope to share with you here. And I always have an opinion one way or another. Enjoy.
E-mails are welcomed--if you have thoughts of your own to share, please send them.
Additional Spinning My Tires editorials can be found on the Archives page.
Readers Chime In!
First of all, Happy New Year! I hope your holidays were healthy and happy, and that the new year finds you prosperous and industrious. Now get out there into that garage and get busy!
It's always reassuring to discover that we are not alone. Never for a second did I think that I was the only one restoring a vintage automobile, but there are times when it is unimaginable that the frustration or jubilance you feel is shared by anyone else. Many of you out there have been writing to me about your own projects, hardships, heartaches and success stories. A lot of you have history to share, stories to tell and advice to offer. Without exception, everyone who contacts me is enthusiastic, knowledgeable, friendly and quick to offer solutions to my problems. I think that's what makes this hobby so great.
I developed this site as a diversion--something to do when I can't work on the Buick. I enjoy putting this site together almost as much as I love working on the Buick. I sincerely hope that I can teach you something you didn't know, or that I will kindle in you an enthusiasm you didn't know you had. I hope that my mistakes can be learning experiences for you, and that my successes can apply to your own projects. As much as I enjoy this (and I would do it even if nobody read it), I enjoy meeting you guys out there even more. So keep sending in your photos, stories and other stuff, and I'll put them up here every once in a while when they seem to fill my IN box.
So without further ado, here are some of the cool projects you guys out there are working on:
DENNIS PASSAN'S 1949 ROADMASTER CONVERTIBLE
Dennis from Connecticut responded to me after I wrote the Rodding vs. Restoring editorial in November. He agreed that it's sometimes difficult to make everyone happy all the time, and that when you work on a car project, it should be for you, and you alone. I think Dennis's mildly customized '49 Roadmaster (or is it Rodmaster?) convertible illustrates very clearly that a car is no less beautiful if it's been modified, and no less effort, talent and money is required to build it. It counts as a passion, too. It's like artwork.
Dennis's car is powered by a fuel-injected '87 Trans-Am L98 with a 700R-4 automatic transmission. It features A/C, power steering and all the other creature comforts that you would expect in a modern luxury car. He designed his own coupling box to connect the new transmission to the original torque tube, and converted it to a 12 volt electrical system. He maintained the original suspension, as well. He says it'll be a driver when it's done. I don't doubt it!
By the way, Dennis, who did your chrome? It's amazing!
STEVE ROBIN'S 1949 ROADMASTER SEDANETTE
I love the looks of these cars, and Steve's is a particularly nice example. When I was searching for mine, I had a '49 Roadmaster sedanette on my "search" list, along with about a half-dozen other cars. It was probably my third choice after the '41 Century and the '41 Cadillac 61 coupe. Steve has a super-clean original specimen that he's gradually restoring. From the looks of it, it doesn't need any work to be really nice, and I like the patina that a well-preserved original has. There's something about the look and smell of an original old car that you just can't duplicate with a restoration. It looks complete (that hard to find '49 trim is all there), and the interior looks far better than mine does! And I love that '49 fastback shape. I have a pencil-and-ink drawing of the rear of a '49 hanging in my shop as a piece of art.
I think it is especially interesting how the rear bumper is so well integrated into the body lines. Somehow, between 1949 and the early '80s, they forgot how to do this, and bumpers became tacked-on looking things that destroyed styling.
Good luck with your project, Steve!
Dan Hermann from Brooklyn, New York doesn't have a project car yet, but he's thinking about a '41 Special 4-door sedan, and is keeping his eyes open for just the right one. He sent me some really neat pictures of his grandparents' 1934 Oldsmobile sedan being loaded into a Channel steamer in Calais, France for a trip across the Channel to England. His grandparents took his mother on a six-month tour of Europe in 1937, and took the Olds with them. Very cool photos, Dan, and I hope you find your dream car soon.
Matt Guilfoyle has an all-original '41 Super coupe identical my father's, and it's in spectacular condition, with only 24,000 miles on it. I've collected a lot of photos of this car to serve as reference materials for my own restoration. Sometimes you just can't get the details right without seeing them exactly as they were done 60 years ago, and cars like Matt's are invaluable to restorers. Matt was the first to solve the riddle of whether my parking lights were supposed to stay on with the headlights. Officially, the parking lights are off when the headlights are on, so that mystery is solved. Thanks, Matt, and that's a beautiful car!
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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