Yattendon is a village here in West Berkshire and they have an annual classic car day opening up this very picturesque village to the car community and the general public. The Show is free to attend and free to exhibit. The organisers just ask that you make a contribution which goes to the Thames Valley Air Ambulanceand other local charities.
The show had a huge turnout of very diverse vehicles and other transport related exhibits.
This included a really good selection of American vehicles from Mustang’s to military
Click on images for full size view
Very tidy Model T
A varied selection!
A couple of very clean Mustangs
GT 40s of varying types
Not a lot of American trucks in attendance, but those there were of very good quality
The broad consensus was that it’s okay… under certain circumstances. The main advice is to adjust your expectations (and potential offer) to accommodate for the reality that most things look better in a carefully composed photo than in person. Take the words and images of an ad at face value and, more often than not, you’ll end up overpaying.
Responses essentially boiled down to No, Yes, and Yes But, with only one or two commenters offering unqualified yesses, often illustrated with stories that demonstrated extenuating circumstances. The no answers often stemmed from hard-won experience in having purchased one vehicle sight-unseen followed by the gut-wrenching disappointment of having a vehicle delivered that was far worse than expected.
The yes-but answers are probably the most indicative of the realities of the car-buying landscape as a whole. Temporal exigency is one, extreme rarity (Robert Wingerter talked about buying a 1-of-15 Cal-Ace and Joe Essid mentioned that his Project Apollo Buick was an exception for him because they’re so hard to find) is another, as is the hiring of a qualified inspector. There were also a few comments indicating that if the price is right, it’s worth rolling the dice and, in fact, the gamble is part of the fun.
“Sight unseen” is almost no longer a thing, and that is, perhaps, the biggest reality of all. With quality digital photography available virtually everywhere, long-distance transactions happen successfully every day—but it was universally noted that it’s the buyer’s task to demand the correct photos, know what to look for, and know what questions to ask. On top of that, one has to also somehow evaluate the character of the seller to determine if they are being evasive or untruthful in their responses.
Hans1965, from overseas, noted that for foreign buyers there is really no alternative. He’s been burned in the past, he says, but advises, “Be prepared for disappointment, but if you love the car, you get over this and enjoy it…. This is part of the hobby. I have accepted that. The joy to bring an old car back on the road outweighs the pain many times.”
“Even seeing one in person is not a guarantee if you are a bone-head like me,” Joe Essid remarks. Joe purchased a Miata that ticked all the boxes and passed his visual inspection, but found out later via Carfax that he’d purchased a rebuilt wreck—tanking its resale value. Nielen Stander chimes in that Carfax Reports for late models are becoming a standard offering from large-volume dealers and auction houses—though Mark Axen notes that he purchased a late-model pickup with a clean report that still displayed evidence of repairs. “Guess it was minor damage and not reported,” was his surmise.
In that vein, commenter Frog points out that such services are “not a reveal-all.” He prefers to trust his “six senses,” the sixth being common sense, in light of his own experiences. That’s important advice whether looking at a car directly or contemplating one from a distance. It’s probably closest to how I evaluated my own sight-unseen purchase last spring, which turned out to be a great car. Since experience can’t be taught, if you’re looking at your first oldie, it’s good to have the assistance of a knowledgeable friend or club member when evaluating a seller’s representations and photos.
As norm1200 says, “Generally, I don’t advise buying without personally inspecting (or hiring a professional third party), [but] that’s assuming the buyer knows how to reasonably inspect a vehicle.”
Rollin Willingham (pronounced “Raw-lin”) has a whole fleet of old cars that are ready to hop in and cruise, and each of them has its own soul and character. He calls this ’48 Ford Super Deluxe his “classy grocery getter.” But it wasn’t always that way.
When Rollin got the sedan, it was anything but classy. He had just lost another of his classics to an accident that totaled it when a friend offered up this grungy sedan at a good price. Rollin snatched it up to fill the newly empty hole in his lineup. But the car he brought home was barely running, and really ugly. The body was covered in old red primer, and the fenders were a different color. “I like patina,” says Rollin, “but this thing was ugly.”
Rollin is a professional car builder by day, and he got to work immediately on his new sedan as his busy schedule allowed. With friends and club members by his side, he began to sort the car out mechanically. The 239-inch 59A flathead stayed under the hood, but Rollin used a Speedway Motors kit to add an alternator which, along with a replacement wiring harness, converted the car to run 12 volts. The stock driveline lives on behind the flatmotor, but everything was tweaked, tuned, and repaired by Rollin to make the car a reliable driver. The stock stance was brought down in the rear with longer spring shackles, and the radial tires on steelies help it to run straight down the Phoenix freeways.
Rollin straightened out the body and shot it with a fresh coat of hot rod flat black. A few dings and imperfections remain to remind him that this car is meant to be a driver and not a showboat. The effect is that of a classy car that can be driven anywhere without losing sleep over rock chips, door dings, and rogue shopping carts.
This 1978 Pontiac Firebird was acquired by the late actor Burt Reynolds in 2016 and then modified in the style of a Smokey and the Bandit Trans Am movie car. It is finished in black over black and gold leather and powered by a Butler Performance 8.2-liter V8 paired with a five-speed manual transmission. Additional equipment includes 18″ RAMC wheels, QA1 coilovers, Wilwood brakes, a custom exhaust system, a Shaker hood, air conditioning, a Cobra CB radio, a Hurst shifter, and a Pioneer stereo with JL Audio speakers. This modified Firebird was recently acquired by the current owner and is now offered on their behalf with a clean California title assigned to the owner’s LLC.
Originally finished in Platinum, the body was repainted in black with gold graphics by Restore a Muscle Car of Nebraska. Equipment includes a Shaker hood, fog lights, vented fenders, a rear CB antenna, a rear spoiler, and dual exhaust outlets. Vinyl stickers are applied to the front and rear glass
RAMC 18″ snowflake-style wheels with gold accents are wrapped in Nitto NT555R tires. The rear wheel wells are fitted with Detroit Speed mini-tubs, and QA1 coilovers have been added. Braking is provided by Wilwood calipers and drilled slotted rotors all around.
The cabin is trimmed in black leather with a matching dash, door panels, and carpets. Equipment includes front bucket seats with gold inserts and piping, along with a Hurst shifter, air conditioning, a Cobra CB radio, a Pioneer CD player, and JL Audio speakers
In the 1920s, Henry Ford created a utopia in the middle of the Amazon jungle. The plan was to produce enough rubber to feed his auto empire, but the dream soon turned into a nightmare. Disease, riots, mud – and caterpillars – were too much for Ford’s millions.
As part of the installation of the Scalded Dog manifold and Stromberg 97 Carb my friend Austen at Ozcraft made the throttle link you can see in the pictures above from Charlie Yapp’s plan. The link bolts to the manifold, but had a habit of coming loose and if tightened too much the throttle action would be very stiff. So, the link was drilled out a bush added along with a locknut behind the link. This allows the link to turn freely meaning the action was far more acceptable.
After doing some research some of the symptoms of the poor running issues seemed to point to vapour locking problems
As you can see above steps were taken to add some extra heat shielding to try and combat the suspected cause of the issues. The shielding was added to the recently replaced fuel lines and additionally the electric fuel pump.
After a couple of reasonably long runs, the problem was still occurring so onto the next remedy!
After some research on the excellent HAMB forum I started to suspect the “helmet” air filter, by all accounts these are quite restrictive especially the element aspect which on some examples can at lawn mower level! So, the decision was take to revert back to the air scoop type filter that was installed when the carb and manifold were fitted. The “helmet” filter was a vanity purchase!
After one run with no air filter and a few longer runs with the scoop in facing forward mode all seems OK. So fingers crossed that the carb has now got a decent amount of air and the problem is solved.
At an early age, Randy Breternitz of Midland became interested in farm tractors and the engines that powered them.
“I grew up on a farm and I was around the stuff early on,” Breternitz said. “I was always working with my hands on stuff.”
Now, after spending 46 years as a truck driver, the now-retired Breternitz is getting all the mechanical challenge he can handle as the property manager at the 13 acres of the Midland Antique Engine Association at 3326 S. Meridian Road. The non-profit club has a mission to spread the history and mechanics of engines, tractors and other large equipment.
The group has about 90 families that are members. Breternitz noted that you don’t even have to own a tractor or engine to belong.
If you like antique engines, “this is the place for you,” he said. “All you have to do is have an interest.
Breternitz has a history of getting old things to work again. He has refurbished both a 1949 Allis-Chalmers Model C and a 1962 Oliver 550. He and his 17-year-old grandson are now tackling a 1953 Ford Jubilee.
He said there are two ways to tackle an old tractor. Some like to make it look almost as nice as it looked the day it was sold. Others like to make it operate, but keep the rust and age just the way they were before it was fixed.
And other club members are more into tractor pulls and competitions.
Breternitz said the club has a refurbished sawmill, a couple of old threshers, a 1913 engine from the Porter Oil Field, a blacksmith shop, a museum and a general store among the many things on its grounds.
For years, AMC Pacers have suffered the brickbats and ignominy that only come with being a little too different, the marketplace having long ago decided which side of the intersection of daring and dopey the Pacer parked on. The airy greenhouse, the long doors, the last-minute change from GM’s aborted rotary engine to an inline-six out of the Rambler parts bin… it wasn’t an easy birth for the Pacer, and it wasn’t an easy life, either.
Time heals all wounds, it seems. Yesterday’s wackadoo freakshow is today’s individualistic outlier. The ’70s weirdo is the ’20s’ brave choice. For the second time in just two years, Hemmings Auctions has set a world-record sale price for a non-Wayne’s-World Pacer: a stunning $37,275 inclusive of buyer’s fees (a modest 5 percent, it’s worth noting). Showing less than 27,000 miles on its odometer, this first-year Pacer X spent its first dozen years as a showroom attraction in Pennsylvania and has a complete history from new. The result was only $125 shy of the movie car’s 2016 sale price, but well shy of the Mirthmobile’s most recent result of $71,500 at the 2022 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction.