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Car Collector Chronicles
Volume IV, Issue 9 Car Collector Chronicles September 2011
Car Collecting Today Classic Rides Reports From the Field
Oldsmobile (1897-2004) Cadillac (1902- ) Allanté (1987-1993)
Last month I alluded to the fact that our July vacation included a trip to the Gilmore Museum. The Gilmore is located in Hickory Corners, MI. Hickory Corners is a small town north of Kalamazoo. We approached from the east, coming in from Ann Arbor. Without any directional signs, be it on either the inter-state or surface roads, the museum was not an easy find. Only after considerable back road meandering did we manage to stumble upon it. The museum is located on 90 acres of country real estate. It is comprised of a number of show buildings. Most are substantial, and well maintained, 2storied farm barns. Some barns and buildings are dedicated to the display of a specific vehicle marque. In fact, the CadillacLaSalle Club is in the process of constructing a permanent display at the Gilmore. It is designed to look like a Caddy dealership. I will tell you up front, the museum is not a quick walk through. You should plan on spending a good portion of a day on the grounds if you desire to take in all of the offerings. What one notices immediately is that all the cars are meticulously maintained. It is also my understanding that all the cars on display are in fact operable. There are a number of very interesting rides. One that jumps to mind is a Tucker; #47 of 51 produced. It has less than 50 actual miles on the odometer. The value of this car is well in excess of $1 Million! In addition to the car, Preston Tucker’s office has been recreated on-site for your viewing. Another neat touch is that the museum does provide interbarn transit, via rides in classic vehicles. Having familiarity with one transporter, I was most impressed to see a pristine mid-
IN THIS ISSUE:
fifties Ford 841 tractor used to pull a passenger shuttle. For the detail oriented, the museum has a research library which is open to the public. Our photo page this month features some Gilmore cars. Here is the Gilmore website link.
GDYNets On the Web Auto Inspections
Humor on Wheels 4
GDYNets® on the Web
Find GDYNets on the web:
SAVED 62: A website devoted
to our 1962 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 convertible. The site also has a lot of information on Oldsmobiles and its founder, Ransom Eli Olds.
CCC® -THE FORUM http://ccc.activeboard.com Car Collector Chronicles-scribd Saved 62 - 1962 Olds web site http://www.freewebs.com/ jeandaveyaros The Gray Lady - 1955 Cadillac Coupé de Ville web site
CCC® Forum EMail:
THE GRAY LADY: This website features our 1955 Cadillac Coupé de Ville and Caddy information.
DAVE’S DEN: A website 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.
Car Collector Chronicles
What with the problems encountered by multiple New Zealand buyers of U.S. classic cars, and my repeated urgings of having a car inspected before shelling out hard, cold cash, I thought recounting my “real world” experience might shed some light on what to expect from an inspection. My odyssey began more than a few years ago now, in an effort to satisfy my lust for a mid-fifties Cadillac (See The Ride I Still Want in the December 2008 - Vol. 1, Iss. 2 - edition of CCC®). In particular, I was looking for a 1956 Caddy Coupé de Ville. Like most folk, I scoured mags, the net, you-name-it, for possible candidates. I came across one in the digital edition of Hemming’s Motor News that had potential. It was in Washington state, while I am in Wisconsin. Here is the pic that accompanied the ad. She looks pretty darn sharp, right? Her appearance merited a second, closer look. I made contact with the seller and received more info on the ride, and some of her history. When dealing with a seller, I have always found it more than helpful, as well as revealing, to ask probing questions. Once such question was/is, “What on the car does not work or needs attention?” Is the answer straight forward and frank, or an attempt to dodge the question? How the question is answered tells one a lot about both the person with whom they are dealing, and the condition of the ride they are considering. Having procured as much subjective seller information as I could, I still wanted to know more. In this instance, I sought the aid of CadillacLaSalle Club members. I had hoped to find a Caddy owner close to the location of the car who would be willing to take a look for me. I was not successful in that endeavor. That I was not is not a reason to preclude such an option should you be in a similar situation. I simply was not willing to spend big bucks without someone actually “laying eyes and hands” on the car. But who? I turned to the net to see what inspection services were available; at what cost. I did not rely solely on the web site representations. I engaged in electronic dialog with a couple of services. When doing so, it behooves you to be very
“When dealing with a seller, I have always found it more than helpful, as well as revealing, to ask probing questions. Once such question was/ is, “What on the car does not work or needs attention?”
Car Collector Chronicles
specific with inspection service providers regarding your needs. After all, you are the one paying the bill. You want/need to know in advance precisely what it is you are buying, with regard to both the inspection services and the car. Know exactly what it is you are going to receive in terms of the inspection report. The last thing you want is to find that some critical aspect has not been covered in the purchased report. One criteria on which I recommend that you insist, is that the car be viewed from underneath. Whatever is needed to do so, be it a jack & stands or a lift, must be available and utilized. If the seller is not willing to permit, or the inspection service to conduct, a thorough undercarriage inspection, Buyer Beware! Nor should any purchase be considered if the seller does not permit the inspector to drive the automobile. In my particular case the vehicle underside was inspected, the car was driven and 145 pictures accompanied the report. The pictures were critical in assessing the written inspection report. Now, lets take a look at what I learned, and what you too could find out, from an inspection report. Here is what I was able to detail for the seller about his inspected car (Note -This letter was never sent by me):
I want to let you know the auto inspection report was received by me on 3 February. It is 18 pages long. Attached to it were 145 photos of your car! The submitted information has been studied by me, long and hard. It raises areas of concern which were not present from our previous email communications. In addition to what you told me about the car, I now know: The windshield has a rock chip in it; necessitating repair or replacement. Both the front and rear windows have been resealed with silicone adhesive. The silicone adhesive has adhered to the outer edges of the roof in both the back and front. Whether it is able to be removed without damage to the paint is in question. The condition of all the rubber gaskets, seals, bushings, etc. is such as to require replacement. The dashboard/steering column has some pretty serious paint deficits, detracting significantly from the appearance of the front cabin. The door bottoms and undercarriage exhibit advanced levels of corrosion. Inexplicably, there are a number of missing fasteners on the underside of the car. The car has also recently been involved in some activity which has dented the gas tank, and removed a large portion of the sprayed on undercoating. While not major, certainly confounding is the misplacement of the Cadillac script on the grille. It belongs on the driver side. How, when and why it came to be installed on the passenger side is a mystery. Mechanically, it appears that at a minimum the driveshaft u-joints are in need of replacement. Also, the smoking engine may be due for a rebuild. The condition rating of the car was one of minus three (-3), placing it at the low end of the “driver” category. (See attached Condition Rate Code.)
“One criteria on which I recommend that you insist, is that the car be viewed from underneath.”
Car Collector Chronicles
As you can see, a veritable wealth of highly revealing information was obtained as a result of this inspection. It was information you, as a buyer, most definitely want to know. It was information which one would use in making the decision to buy or not, and if so, at what price. In my case, the information led to a decision not to buy. We are covering old ground here when I say that the cost of the inspection ($454) was money very well spent. It assuredly saved me thousands! The logical question is, “Who inspected the car?” I have referenced this business concern in the past. I continue to highly recommend it; Automobile Inspections, LLC.
HUMOR ON WHEELS
It’s not a land yacht, !@z#*& ...
It is a speed boat!
– Ok, I’ve had my say for the month. Now it’s your turn! I invite/encourage submission of your comments, opinions and contributions, and ask that you 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 … . _______________________________________
-- RESTORE 'EM, AND DRIVE 'EM!
COMING NEXT ISSUE:
The Milwaukee Masterpiece Concours-Club Day TBD
Car Collector Chronicles
Photo Gallery The 1948 Tucker (#47 of 51)
Early Packard Light Hardware