Car Collector Chronicles
Volume VI, Issue 7 Ca s July 2013

• Car Collecting Today • Classic Rides • Reports From the Field • Oldsmobile (1897-2004) • Cadillac (1902- ) • Allanté (1987-1993)

High RPMs
It has been a busy month with a lot of collector car and Yaros Car Barn activity. That means there is a lot to report. I also have a lot of pics. I have alluded in the past to the possible relinquishment of ownership of the Allanté. That is no longer a possibility. It is now fact. Auntie Pearl pulled out of the Yaros Car Barn for the very last time on May 25th. She now resides in IL. With the sale of the Allanté I have had to become an ebaYTM seller. I have a number of items; chrome rims, windscreen, plug wires, factory docs, etc. to put into the hands of persons who have a use for them. A couple of small items have sold, but the “liquidation sale” continues. It did not take long for another ride to claim Auntie Pearl’s space in the car barn. A mere 3 days later a tan topped, red, 2002 Toyota Solara convertible moved in. It had 69K on the odometer and was acquired for a sum less than the sale price of the Allanté. It needs a few things, and I am in the process of tracking them down; viz., floor mats, rear cup holder and refinished rims. What is important is that the Mrs. likes the car. It is now her summer ride and she has already put more miles on it than she ever did on the Allanté. The space in the car barn occupied by The Gray Lady is also empty. More on that below. Last month I said we would be attending the Chrysler Employee Motorsports Association (CEMA) car show in Auburn Hills, Mi. We did. We also toured the Walter P. Chrysler Museum, the doors of which are now permanently closed to the public. This month I have pics of both the show and the museum for you. I also shall discuss a 2nd mu-

• Corvair (1960-1969)

◄ = Clickable Link


GDYNets On the Web The Gray Lady


seum I was able to tour. July Automotive Milestones— 7/8/1909: First Hudson built 7/12/1982: Last Checker built ‘7/26/1945: Kaiser-Frazer organized 7/29/1909: Buick acquires Cadillac 7/29/1916: Nash Motors Co. formed - Stay cool & enjoy your ride(s)!


CEMA Show and Museum Tour (Another) Museum Tour


GDYNets® on the Web
Find GDYNets on the web:
SAVED 62: A website devoted
CCC® -THE FORUM ◄-A web site to discuss the newsletter, the hobby and our cars. Car Collector Chronicles ◄ Saved 62 ◄-Our 1962 Olds convertible, Ransom Eli Olds and things Oldsmobile related web site. The Gray Lady ◄-1955 Cadillac Coupé de Ville web site. to our 1962 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 convertible. The site also has a lot of information on Oldsmobile cars and the company founder, Ransom Eli Olds. DAVE’S DEN: ◄-A site devoted to a myriad of interests. Foremost is extensive information on the “Steel City” of Gary, IN. There are also offerings on steel making, U.S. Steel-Gary Works, U.S. Marine Corps, M14 assault rifle, of course Oldsmobile, and the tragic story of the murder of Gary, IN Police Lt. George Yaros.


CCC® Forum EMail:

THE GRAY LADY: This website features our 1955 Cadillac Coupé de Ville, lots of Caddy information and an extensive repair library.

OldsD88@gmail.com ◄

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The Gray Lady
In the “High RPMs” column I made mention of the fact that the car barn space allocated to The Gray Lady is empty. Contrary to what it may seem, I am not selling off my collection; if one may refer to 3 old rides as a collection. Here is the scoop. When I last drove The Gray Lady in 2012, I had the unfortunate experience of running out of gas. The Mrs. was summoned and requested to bring the Avalon to serve in the capacity of a tow truck. The Avalon did manage to get the 2+ tons of dead weight back to the car barn. Once home, the car sat idle for the winter. I fired her up this spring with no problems. I immediately drove her to the gas station and filled her up. The cost to do so, a mere $67.87! With a full tank, it was time for a test drive. As usual, the brakes did not perform as I think they should. This being so, notwithstanding the fact that I had had them worked on by a local mechanic a while back. Yes, they stop the car. However, I would not want to be on the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago and have to quickly slow down! During the drive the engine seemed to run just fine from 0—40 m.p.h. When trying to accelerate beyond 40 the engine began to miss or cut out. To top things off, the car died in the middle of an intersection. I was able to re-fire the engine and get back to the car barn safely. Needless to say, the test drive was, shall we say, disappointing. I have not put over 200 miles on The Gray Lady since she was purchased in 2009. The simple fact of the matter is that I do not trust the car. As you may recall, we drove our Olds, Saved 62, to Indianapolis for a car show. I would drive her anywhere. I cannot say the same for The Gray Lady. I hesitate to drive her on the streets of Milwaukee, let alone on the expressways of Chicago. There is no doubt that The Gray Lady is a beauty (she even looks great sitting on a flat bed tow truck!), or that I thoroughly enjoy looking at her sitting in her stall in the car barn. That being said, I did not buy the car to look at it. I bought it to drive! Old cars, to be enjoyed both by their owners and the public, need to be driven on the open road! Given that philosophy, I had to make a decision. I could either try and make her a trustworthy ride or I could sell her. It was not a difficult decision to make, as every time I lay eyes on her I know I could never sell her. So I did some investigating, asked for recommendations and interviewed repair shop proprietors. As a result of that process, The Gray Lady is now in a car hospital undergoing treatment. The cost of this treatment is $62/Hr. In order for her to be seen by the M.D. (Mechanical Doctor) an advance payment of $500 had to be made. Her hospital admission sheet lists 5 specific ailments in need of treatment. They are: 1 - Engine cutting out at over 40 m.p.h. 2 - Brakes not functioning properly. 3 - Heater does not shut off. 4 - Vacuum wipers do not shut off and 5 - Gas tank sending unit gasket leaking. I do not expect to get the car back until mid-to-late July. If she comes back as a car that proves to be reliable and trustworthy it will have been well worth the wait. I have not mentioned the name of the treating facility. I shall refrain from doing so until the point in time when The Gray Lady has been discharged and I am able to assess the quality of the work done. My appraisal shall be frank, be it good or bad. Hopefully, and this is the goal of this exercise, I shall be able to put some miles on the car this driving season. Time will tell?

“Old cars, to be enjoyed both by their owners and the public, need to be driven on the open road!”

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CEMA Show and Museum Tour
I had pre-registered Saved 62 for the CEMA show in Auburn Hills. After convincing friends to join us for the show we ended up driving our newly acquired Toyota Solara instead of the Olds. Our trip to Auburn Hills, MI took us through Windsor, ONT Canada. That is where we met up we met up with our friends, the Langfords. They drove and entered their ’62 Starfire in the CEMA show. Three things stood out when it came to the car show itself. A young guy parked his beat up ‘89 Jeep pickup next to my friend’s glistening Starfire. He was as proud of it as anyone could be. The owner was quite personable and we had a lengthy and enjoyable conversation. One guy was claiming his car was an original 1936 Mercedes Benz. On reflection I must conclude he was pulling the leg of all MB-challenged spectators at the show. The simple fact is the car could not have been a MB. It had a Chevy 327 under the hood. It had Guide fog lights on the front bumper. As I recollect, it also sported a Delco-Remy alternator. Another participant was showing a 1-of-1 Pontiac Grand Am (El Camino clone). The car was in fact made by Pontiac. It did sport a Pontiac dog house. Under the hood was a Pontiac mill. The interior was OEM Pontiac. I asked about documentation of it being 1-of-1. His response was that the Pontiac Historical Society is aware of the car. My question is, “What does ’being aware’ mean?” The show, naturally, was dominated by MOPAR iron. What I wanted to see, and did, were the Chrysler letter cars. That is where, in my mind, Chrysler did get it right. They were sleek, stylish and fast. Such a combination is difficult to beat. Before discussing the Chrysler Museum, let me present some pics of the over 400 cars displayed at the CEMA show.

“What I wanted to see, and did, where the Chrysler letter cars. That is where, in my mind, Chrysler did get it right. They were sleek, stylish and fast.”


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CEMA Show and Museum Tour - Cont’d.

― From the CEMA showfield.

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CEMA Show and Museum Tour - Cont’d.
Being able to see the holdings of the Walter P. Chrysler Museum was well worth the cost of entering the car show, and making the trip. The museum displays are thoughtfully planned. The cars are in pristine condition. The holdings represent Chrysler Corp. very well. The museum also attempts, not very well, in my humble opinion, to show the connection between Chrysler and Hudson Motor Car, Willys and other automakers. Having toured the museum, I still do not understand or appreciate the claimed connection between Chrysler and Hudson. I would also postulate that whatever Willys did before becoming Jeep and being purchased by Chrysler Corp. is not a part of the DNA of Chrysler Corp.? The museum owns a beautiful bonafide woody. She is on the main floor, near the entrance. Of course, the Chrysler Airflow is on display. It is quite a remarkable car that was s i m p l y ahead of the times. I do not know how many people today are familiar with Chrysler’s turbo experimentation? We are not talking about one or two cars, but a fleet that was produced and driven. Moreover, they were driven by the car buying public. Chrysler gave the cars to “ordinary folk” to use as they wanted for a period of a month or so. When the cars were returned, the users were debriefed by Chrysler engineers. The turbo car, did exhibit heat generation problems. It also got very poor gas mileage. The car never made it into full-scale production.

I have to say that the Walter P. Chrysler Museum is both well thought out and well laid out. For example, displaying the MOPAR machines that made a mark in racing on a race track is a neat touch. On the day of the CEMA car show 2,462 individuals passed through the now closed museum doors. That they did attests to the interest of the public in the automotive history on exhibit. It is critical that this history not be lost. Chrysler was/is a player in the American automotive market. Its early role in the industry must not be allowed to simply vanish from the present day scene.

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(Another) Museum Tour
During the course of our Auburn Hills, MI trip my friend David Langford finagled a tour of another museum. There are no pics from this tour. That is because it is a private museum that houses a private collection. The place is named the Canadiana & Auto Museum of Essex County. It is located in Windsor, ONT (I was specifically asked not to give out the address). It is owned and operated by the Gault family. I can best describe the place as: Even though in Canada, one would think they were on scene with the guys from American Pickers. Our guide was one of the owners, Mrs. Gault. Her automobile knowledge is quite extensive and impressive. After having spent an extended period of time conversing with her I can truthfully report that Mrs. Gault is more than able to hold her own with anyone in any car discussion. Sitting on the floor of the museum was a Chevrolet V8 engine. Big deal you say, “Chevy V8’s are a dime a dozen. While that may be true, this one stands out. Why is that? Because it is the first V8 Chevrolet manufactured. And no, we are not talking about the 1955 265 c.i. Here, we are referencing a 1917 Series D V8. Quite advanced in design, it had a central cam operating vertical overhead valves in each bank, a counterweighted crankshaft and detachable cross flow cylinder heads. Displacement was 288 c.i. Fed by a Zenith two-barrel carburetor, it developed 55 h.p. at 2,700 rpm; long before other engines could produce such power. Unfortunately for this engine, Chevrolet was absorbed by General Motors in 1917. The Series D V8 was dropped then, the General deciding to make Chevrolet its low-priced marque. There was a massive collection of wheel covers displayed on the walls, many complete sets. The signature holding of the collection was housed in a separate room, draped in a car cover. Can one say Cadillac? Can one say 1928. Can one say original. Can one say 1-owner?. All these terms apply to this car. This particular automobile was purchased for Mrs. Gault’s husband by his father as a 21st birthday present. A more than neat birthday present made all the more remarkable when one learns that the buyer (father) did not know how to drive a car! In ’28 the car cost $4,195, the equivalent of $57,146.45 today. The two-tone blue paint is original, the upholstery is original. The top is original.. The car runs. I could not even begin to hazard a guess of its value in the marketplace today. One has to wonder what shall become of this collection? While the current owners are alive and well, they are not youngsters. As the collection was started by Mr. Gault’s father, it is hoped a member of the third generation of Gaults shall eventually assume care, custody and control over the rides and memorabilia.

– Ok, I’ve had my say for the month. Now it’s your turn! I invite/encourage submission of your comments, opinions and article contributions. I also ask that you please help spread the word about our publication. Everything sent shall indeed be reviewed by me. Submissions should be sent to CCC® at OldsD88@gmail.com. –– Now that you have finished reading this month’s issue of the newsletter, come start/join an ongoing dialog with other CCC® readers and like-minded car collector folk on the CCC® Forum. Stop by, check us out and share your views … . ______________________________________

COMING NEXT ISSUE: • Collector Car Insurance • Operational status of The Gray Lady