Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





Were Old Cars more Fun Than Modern Ones?

12357

Comments

  • Can anyone help me with an ID for these cars?
    Thanx,
    Jim

    image

    image">
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,878
    I think it's a done deal. Who knows? He may get lucky!
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,189
    It appears you have framed prints, I don't know the first car but if you look at the radiator emblem I bet you can make out a name. Whatever it is, it is from within a couple years of 1920.

    Second car is a Packard, I am pretty sure 1929.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,189
    That's how I found my fintail. I had seen it around town, but didn't know who owned it or where it lived. One day I went to the store, and there it was in the parking lot, for sale sign in the window. The rest is history.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,669
    Well I hope he IS lucky. You have to keep after 'em. Quality control was pretty bad. At least he didn't buy one of the early ones, which would have been a disaster. Like anything else if you buy a well-cared-for car, you are miles ahead right there. You're playing "keep up" rather than "catch up". You'll never win playing catch-up with an XJ6.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,311
    It makes me wonder why there are even any old XJ6s in existence.

    I learned my lesson many years ago when I bought a '73 Saab 99 (?) on impulse, which didn't run, for something like $150. It cost me another $100 to have it towed to a Saab specialist, who charged me $50 to tell me it wasn't worth fixing. I never got to drive it. Had it towed to a junk yard. I think that tow cost something more than the scrap price I got, but I was glad, no thrilled, to cut my losses.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,878
    The trouble with old Jaguars is the fact they are unforgiving. If you skimp on something or defer maintenance it will take revenge like no other car can!

    Even years ago, a lot of shops simply refused to work on them and for good reason!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,669
    edited January 2012
    they caught fire for one thing. (flexible injection lines running under the manifold cracked from the heat). Shops were afraid of them. Combined with a propensity to leak fuel through the saddle tanks, well then....

    Touh car to work on. You have to drop the rear axle assembly to replace the rear brake rotors for instance.

    On the positive side, they are attractive cars, nice highway cruisers, and you can buy them dirt cheap.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,878
    Oh, I had forgotten about the fact they caught fire. I once watched one burn to the ground while stopped in the traffic this created on the Nimitz Freeway.

    I'll bet shops were afraid of them!

    " You just worked on my Jaguar last week and it just burned up. It MUST have been caused by something you guys did"!

    And I agree. They had great looks and when in top condition were nice cars to drive.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,669
    some years ago, around year 2004 or so, someone offered me a really really clean XJ6---I mean spotless---for $2500 bucks. So I took it into my friends shop in San Rafael, who are a) friends and b) Jaguar specialists and asked them to look it over. I had noticed a gas smell and some vibration in the steering and no AC but the car looked great and ran well.

    Anyway, I got the report and he said "well, we can patch it up for you best we can and get you safe and roadworthy for about $7500".

    So yeah, needed 2 gas tanks, all new fuel lines, fuel pump, front end work, brake rotors, radiator, water pump, AC compressor, dryer and expansion valve, speedo cable, two tires, battery, windshield wiper motor.

    This didn't list the things it needed but could be left alone for the time being--which was power steering leak, shocks and power window motor. (I may have forgotten a few things).

    well somebody bought it---some lady who worked at the supermarket---yeah, that's going to turn out great for her I'm sure.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,878
    So, what you are saying is that Jaguar was in effect totalled.

    The minimum repairs needed exceeded the value of the car.

    That was an inspection well worth paying for!
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,670
    Yep, post a close up picture of the radiator on the top one.
  • At the first car show I took my 48 to, an old couple drove up to the registration tent in a late 80's Jag to enter it. Only problem was - there was a bunch of acrid smoke coming out of the Jag's rear brakes. Apparently they were dragging bad. I felt sorry for them - beautiful car sitting there in a cloud of smoke.

    Regards:
    Oldebearcat
  • I went through that after one of my Grandfathers passed away. I wanted to buy his cherry 63 Olds F85 with the 4BBl version of the 215 aluminum V8 in it. My Grandmother, instead of selling it to me, gave it to my cousin. Her husband drove it a couple of months until the water pump failed, and, then he used the car as a chicken coop on his farm.

    Regards:
    Oldbearcat
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,669
    Well I guess my point is that all XJ6s you see are probably effectively totaled de facto, because the repairs they need, given modern labor rates, usually exceed the values of these cars (which haven't changed much in 20 years).

    Now, that doesn't mean you can't drive them as they are--an old car can run along the road just fine even though it needs $7500 in repairs. I mean, you might not be going cross country, and you may have your scary moments every day, but you could drive them and your passengers might be none the wiser. They aren't going to inspect the car underneath for leaks, the day is too cool for AC and they can't feel your steering wheel shaking.

    It starts, it stops and it gets to your mother in law's house 9 miles away. So there you go.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,878
    That's true. Not everything HAS to be fixed like a lot of shops seem to want to do.

    Still, a gas leak or a worn out front end isn't anything to ignore.

    A lot of cars on the road today are one major event away from being totalled.

    Everything is so expensive to fix these days. With labor rates over 100.00/hr, it doesn't take much to push a car over the line.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,669
    When you drive an old car for fun, you just gotta look the other way on some things. I've even driven $100,000 restoration and the car still drives like crap. You can't apply modern standards to old vehicles--it's too frustrating and too expensive.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,189
    Sometimes, you don't even want to know. It would be amusing if I had a complete inspection of my fintail done, and learned what it technically "needs". It would be well into 5 figures no doubt. But it starts, goes, stops, doesn't break down...that's all I can ask of it.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,878
    This is exactly why I am not a big fan of restro modded cars. If I'm driving a 1955 Chevy, I am well aware that it has drum brakes and sloppy steering compared to modern cars. I'm not going to drive it in the fast lane at 75 MPH in heavy traffic. I don't "need" to convert it to disc brakes or install a modern front suspension.

    I will install modern seatbelts and I will make damm sure that the ball joints aren't ready to come apart. I will drive it as it was intended.

    If it uses a quart of oil every 700 miles, I will live with that too. Now, if it starts leaking all over my garage floor, that's a different story!

    Trying to make an old car "near perfect" will be a very frustrating and expensive proposition and when you are done it'll still fall short of most people's expectations!

    Just enjoy!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,878
    Oh yeah...take it to Barrier and tell them that you want an estimate to bring your Fintail back to "like new" condition!

    I think the estimate wold be staggering to say the least!

    Aren't they at 165.00/hr labor rate now?
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,189
    I couldn't do it simply for fiscal reasons. There aren't many cars where you won't burn money on a restoration. Even on "Wheeler Dealers", they only come out ahead because the labor is billed at zero. A 40K labor of love is pretty tough for me to embrace, when the car looks and runs OK as it is. And with an imperfect car, you can actually drive it without worrying about un-restoring it.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,189
    edited January 2012
    I wonder if they'd even touch it. Every now and then I see a W123 or W126 sitting on the back service lot, and I shake my head. There are very competent independent mechanics in the area, especially for non-current models.

    I'm sure they'd want to rebuild the engine - there's probably 10-15K. Suspension work would be 5K no doubt. Then I could blow 5K each on interior and paint. Maybe a couple more grand on bodywork. Tires and brakes maybe 2K. It would keep going on and on.

    Then again, I'd still be in for the same as a base C-class.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,878
    When I was 16 years old I bought a 1952 Chevy for 35.00. The guy who sold it to me told me that it needed an engine rebuild and a new fuel pump.

    Well, for 7.00, I bought a rebuilt fuel pump that my dad helped me install.

    The car ran just fine. Yes, it would go through a quart of oil every 500 miles or so but it didn't smoke, didn't foul the plugs and it generally ran quite well.

    Did it "need" an engine overhaul? Well, probably so and I told the guy I sold it to a year later that. I ran into him a couple of years later and he was actually commuting 40 miles a day...no overhaul and according to him, it's thirst for oil hadn't increased much.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,189
    edited January 2012
    When I bought the car, it burned oil - about 2 years later a piston ring broke, which would foul the plugs in no time, and I had to get that fixed. Opened it up and had a bunch of other things done too, to the cost of maybe 4 grand. Not a fun expense as I was a college student then. But I weighed the repair vs buying another car for the same money - better use of funds.

    Now it burns a quart every 800 miles or so, heavy for a modern car but within specs according to the manual. It smokes the most when sitting in traffic and even then it's just a puff. My mechanic says don't worry - it will eventually need a valve job (I never had proper adjustments done when I was in school or just after, too busy and cheap) but it's not worth fixing yet. The car doesn't owe me anything after so many years.

    And why would I spend a fortune to restore this? It's not exactly junkyard looking yet:

    image
  • berriberri Posts: 4,254
    I'm guessing the early post war Chevy's are through 57? So Isell, which one of those years would be your very favorite? I think I like the 55 or 56 best, but really the 49-52's were pretty cleanly styled cars for their time too. Personally, I never could get into the looks of the 53 or 54, I just thought that Ford was better looking inside and out those two model years.

    When I was a kid I had an uncle who was an engineer with Bell Labs and had a bunch of patents. He drove a 50 Chevy stove bolt 6 he bought new back then until he finally decided to upgrade in 63 to a new LeSabre (which he custom ordered based on engine, tranny, etc.). That Chevy never got on the used car lot because when he went to pick up the Buick, a mechanic bought it outright from him in lieu of a trade. My uncle kept that Buick until he passed away in the 1990's. He willed it to a nephew who lived out in NJ and was an old car fanatic. My uncle was very up on maintenance, but both of those cars were very long lived vehicles with little in the way of mechanical issues.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,670
    I'd put the dividing line at 54/55 - '55 and later were much more similar to each other.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,254
    I see your point. The GM's were really modernized in 55, but weren't the changes at Ford and Chrysler more styling rather than modernized engineering in 55 and 56? I guess a lot of us look to 57 as when things really started to change, but that is probably as much styling as engineering I suppose. Of course, given lead times back then a lot of the 57's were probably actually being developed in 53 or 54!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,878
    That is a very nice looking car! I know I've seen it on the streets.

    Just don't ever lose one of those special hubcaps!
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,311
    "... weren't the changes at Ford and Chrysler more styling rather than modernized engineering in 55 and 56?"

    I believe the restyled '55 Ford was based on the '52 platform, although it had an all-new look. However, the '55 Plymouth had a new platform, and, for the first time offered a modern, new OHV V8. I think the difference between the '54 and '55 Plymouths was as dramatic as the difference between the '54 and '55 Chevys. The same was true for the other Chrysler Corp. brands.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,878
    Very favorite? Actually I like them all. I do have a soft spot for the 52's since that was my first car. I have owned several 49's 50's and 54's.

    I like the 54's too especially since they have the upgraded engines with full pressure lubrication.
Sign In or Register to comment.