This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Car Collector Chronicles
Volume V, Issue 1 Car Collector Chronicles January 2012
Car Collecting Today Classic Rides Reports From the Field
Oldsmobile (1897-2004) Cadillac (1902- ) Allanté (1987-1993)
High RPMs: Fifty Years Past
2012 is now upon us. That means SAVED 62 is now 50 years young. Ah, if I could only be 50 again! If someone had told me a half-century ago (when I was a mere lad of 16 — that would have been way back in 19 and 62) that in the year 2012 I would be the proud owner of a ‘62 Oldsmobile, I would have summarily dismissed them with a query of, “What is it you are smoking?” Well, it is another century, I am no longer 16 and I do take extreme pride in my 50 year old car. In that prior century, for most, the thought of driving a 50 year old car never even entered the conscious as being within the realm of possibility. Back then, by the time a car had reached 3 to 5 years of service it was deemed old. Anything older than 5 was viewed as a beater. It was not at all unheard of in the 20th century for well-to-do folk to buy a new car every year, The cost to do so was the value of your trade and about $700. (Look back to ‘62—p. 4.) Nor was it uncommon then to own both a good car and a work car. In the steel town in which I was raised, folks did not drive their shiny, new cars off to work in the mills. To say the least, the mill parking lot was not kind to the finish. Perhaps it was all part of a corporate plot? The mill parking lot ate away at your car metal, necessitating the production of more steel to go into replacement vehicles. It is a testament to the quality of cars from the 50’s and 60’s that, given the abuse they received from testosterone charged teens, they are still on the road and able to be driven and displayed today. While we did push these machines to their limits, and sometimes beyond, we also gave them good care. Unlike today, a set of wheels was far more than a means of transport. It was our lifeblood. It made a statement about the individual; who s/he was, from whence they came and where they were going. For those of us fortunate enough to be the caretaker of one today, it continues to make a statement about the owner!
IN THIS ISSUE:
High RPMs: Fifty Years Past GDYNets On the Web Storage Side Effects Tire Dilemma
GDYNets® on the Web
Find GDYNets on the web: 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
January ‘62 Events 4 Tire Size Conversion Chart 5 Photos 6
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® 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
Storage Side Effects
If your ride is like mine, it has been sleeping for a month or more now. What transpires while the car sits idle? Most of what does occur is not good. I thought it might be worthwhile to take a look at what takes place, in terms of our machines while they patiently sit, and how to minimize those consequences. TIRES develop, for lack of a better term, a memory of their condition. That is a fancy way of saying they are prone to acquiring flat spots. There are 2 ways to overcome this: Overinflate the tires before putting the car in storage and move the wheels now and then, if possible. Alternatively, get the tires off the ground while the car is being stored. “Of all the cooling system components, the heater core is the most delicate, and therefore the most vulnerable. Take care of it!” BATTERIES fail to, or lose a state of, charge during non-use of your car. This one is easy. Connect a Battery Tender™ or similar device to the battery to keep it charged. Some people swear by them. Others avoid them. I am in the former camp. I have 2, and they see constant use. Why do some folk avoid them? It has to do with it being an electrical device, and the relationship of electrical faults and fires. My thought is such fear is not well grounded (pun intended), and representative of an over abundance of caution. GENERATORS may exhibit signs of malfunction on initial startup in the spring. This would be indicated by the dash idiot light burning bright. What may in fact have transpired is that the generator lost its polarity during the down time. Polarity is controlled by the presence of a magnetic field. As a general rule, the residual magnetism present in the generator field coils when the charging system is not being used is more than enough to maintain the required polarity. How long polarity is able to be maintained during storage is not known precisely, and dependent on a lot of factors. What is important to understand is that once lost it is easy to restore. With a properly charged battery, all that is required is to jumper the BAT and FLD terminals on the voltage regulator. Doing so restores the required polarization to the generator field coils, permits the generator to properly charge the battery and turns off the idiot light. One of the first things that should be done when your ride is revived is to turn on the HEATER. It needs to circulate the anti-freeze solution in the heater core. Draining the radiator and/or engine block does nothing to address the corrosive forces at work in the heater core. The best thing you can do is keep the coolant flowing, and fresh. Of all the cooling system components, the heater core is the most delicate, and therefore the most vulnerable. Take care of it! In the process of caring for it you may also save your carpet.
Car Collector Chronicles
I have found that come spring my rides take a long time to initially fire. I have learned that this is due, in part, to the high evaporation rate of ethanol laced fuels. In simple terms, the carburetor fuel bowl(s) is (are) dry. The quickest way, and the least stressful on your starter, to get your ride to fire is to PRIME THE CARBURETOR. If possible, fill the fuel bowls via the external bowl vents before even trying to start the car. Whatever residual oil was lubricating the block and heads when you last ran the engine in the fall is probably now at the bottom of the oil pan. For this reason, a good practice would be to try and get some OIL CIRCULATING in the engine prior to start up. This may be accomplished by turning the engine crankshaft a good number of times before ever turning the ignition key. If you can get a socket and ratchet on the harmonic balancer nut you should be good to go in this regard. The job may be easier if you first loosen the drive belts on the crankshaft pulley. Hopefully, this discussion will aid in avoiding some of the inevitable wear and tear to your ride from being stored for extended periods?
“[I]t is possible to have a somewhat original look as well as improved handling by switching to radials. However, be aware that going this route may cost you judging points.”
You need new tires for your classic. No problem, right? Just log on to Tire Rack™ dot com, or run down to the tire store and buy a set. Ah, if that were only true! The first thing one needs to know is what size tire was on the car when it rolled off the assembly line. I am almost 104% certain that what is on it now is not the same size as what came from the factory. For cars born in the late 50’s or after, you may have a tire sticker inside the glove box. Later years may have the sticker on the door or jamb. As a last resort, the owner manual should specify the proper tire size. Next, you must answer, “What is the end goaI with the purchase of new tires: an original/ concours look or improved drivability?”. The answer to this question will guide you in your search for both a vendor and a set of tires. I should add that it is possible to have a somewhat original look as well as improved handling by switching to radials. However, be aware that going this route may cost you judging points. With the correct original tire size in hand, it must be converted to the
Car Collector Chronicles
available modern day equivalent. To assist in that effort, I am providing a tire conversion chart in this issue; See p. 5. The tire market is driven by demand. In terms of demand, ask yourself when was the last time you saw a car in a dealer showroom sporting a set of whitewalls? What does that say about demand? Then there are wide whites, and narrow striped white walls. My ’62 Olds has narrow whitewalls. However, narrow is an imprecise term. It may refer to a whitewall that is anywhere from 3’’ wide to 3/8” wide. On my Olds the whitewall is 5/8” in width. The scarcity of whitewall tires is a strange phenomenon when one considers that the natural color of rubber is white. That it is means it takes extra steps in the manufacturing process to transform naturally white rubber to black. The ’63 Corvair we previously owned sported 6.50 x 13 tires. 13” tires are in more than scarce supply these days. I understand a similar situation is beginning to manifest itself with respect to 14” tires, like those on Saved 62. In researching this article I went to the Diamond Back™ web site. In terms of whitewall widths, what I found was a range of from 3 3/4” to 1”. I did not see any 5/8” width, such as is currently on my Olds. I am not able to say the tires you want/need cannot be had. What I am able to say is, if you find them, and can afford them, snap ’em up! Before you do however, know who is making them (are any tires “American made” anymore?) and the warranty terms. A final caveat. You have found the tires you want, you have shelled out a good sum to acquire them. You have had them mounted and balanced. There is nothing more to do, right? Wrong! What about steering alignment? Whatever alignment specs you may have, they probably have no application to your new configuration. Steering geometry is way too complicated for me to even begin to understand, let alone explain. It would take someone with a far deeper background in automotive engineering than I possess to even try. If you question this assertion, try and digest this message I stumbled upon on the AACA Forum:
The nominal size of the 6.50 X 16 tire is 6.5 inch width, 80% height aspect ratio of 5.2 inches and a diameter of 26.4 inches. The radial metric equivalent is 165/80R16. The metrics convert to 6.49 inch width, 5.19 inch height and a diameter of 26.39 inches. It is kind of hard to find 80 aspect ratio radials. If you have to go to 75 aspect ratio you need to go to 175/75R16 to keep the diameter, which is 26.33 inches, on the 175, but then the width increases to 6.88 inches.
Enough to give one a headache, right? The point is, alignment settings are based on tire dimensions, and the dimensions of any tire you are putting on your car in the 21st century are not the same as those that were found on the car when it left the factory back in the 20th century. Hopefully, your tire person knows about this and how to compensate for the differences. Otherwise, all your tire search efforts may be for naught.
The World Which Greeted Saved 62 — January 1962 Events
January 8 - Golfer Jack Nicklaus, 21, makes his first pro appearance. He comes in 50th January 15 - The Shirelles sing "Baby It's You" on American Bandstand January 24 - Jackie Robinson is first Black elected to Baseball Hall of Fame January 26 - The "Twist" is deemed impure & banned from all Catholic schools TV comedian Ernie Kovacs and gangster Lucky Luciano die
Car Collector Chronicles TIRE SIZE CONVERSION CHART
Car Collector Chronicles
– 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 … . ______________________________________
-- RESTORE 'EM, AND DRIVE 'EM!
COMING NEXT ISSUE:
Zimmer Quicksilver Readers Write