On a recent drizzly day, we were coming home from running errands and I noticed something that struck me as unusual and I pointed it out to Wendell. “Look at that. There are two little kids out playing in their yard.” There was no adult supervision. They were just playing around in their raincoats and boots doing whatever their creative little minds led them to do. Isn’t it kind of sad that something like that catches my attention because it is so unusual? Today we would expect them to be in-side in the captivity of their video games, oblivious to the weather outside.
Whatever happened to making mud pies, pushing match box cars around, swinging on a swing or from an old tire, badminton, reading un-der a tree, etc.? Then I try to remember that trends are just that, trends, and they change, hopefully for the better.
I sure hope this one happens soon! Speaking of change, we have become a working farm again with huge gardens of vegetables growing in our hayfield, pigs in the former pigpen and cows in the pasture. All this through the efforts of one man who believes in hard work being a good thing, and getting paid for it should be even better. However, he has discovered that finding young people to work even for money is not easy these days, as they like money, but not work. Two exceptions are our grandsons who are very happy to work for money – one helped plant tomatoes (there are about 500 plants!). Our Colorado grandson has bonded with the piglets, rubbing their bellies and holding them as well as feeding them. Initially, they were surprised to be paid as they were just glad to be outside with growing plants and curious, but friendly pigs. A huge benefit of letting our land be used is that we have vegetables given to us and one of the pigs will be ours – we can make our own ham, bacon and sausage again – and I suspect we will also have some beef from one of those cows. Our vegetarian daughter is trying to remember that the reason for having pigs and cows was then sending them off to be eaten is a farming fact of life. However, she will be glad to be in Colorado when that day comes.
I am a believer in keeping things original, to a point. Sometimes I have an opportunity to take advantage of an improved technology, and I use it. One such example is the substitution of polyurethane bushings in place of rubber bushings in suspension systems.
I replaced the sway bar bushings several times in my Chrysler minivan. Sway bar bushing failure was a known problem. I was reading about this problem on line, and I read a suggestion of replacing the bushings with urethane bushings in place of the OEM rubber bushings. I reluctantly did the substitution, and was very surprised to see that not only did the urethane perform much better, but they also held up better. I have not had to replace them since. By the way, even Chrysler acknowledged this problem, and have since substituted urethane bushings as replacement parts in this application.
I am not talking about the cobalt blue or bright orange bushings people use to dress up a chassis, I am talking about black urethane bushings, that look just like OEM rubber bushings.
I have recently replaced all the suspension bushings in three English cars. Two of these cars are cars that I rebuilt the suspension on years ago. In all three cases, the rubber had deteriorated and failed. I ended up replacing the bushings in the lower A arms of the front suspension, sway bar and the bushings on all the leaf springs and spring shackles with the new, and much improved urethane bushings.
After dis-assembly and cleaning, I put a thin film of grease on the new bushings before I assembled them, to prevent squeaks. In all three cases, the cars drove better, the suspension was tighter, quieter, and suspension travel was smoother. I was astonished at the improvement in performance over the rubber bushings.
These bushings not only perform better, they will also look “new” indefinitely. Check your favorite parts supplier or look on line.
Please email all inquiries to: Dave
or snail mail
32 Turkey Hill Road
Richmond VT 05477
You are looking at the lonely life of Pierre Pepin’s beautiful Blue 1922 Durant touring car. Pierre purchased the car a few years ago at the Stowe Car Show in the car corral. He traded a model A, or was that two, plus a little too-boot. He is a little sad that he has never had it on the road even though it appears to be ready to roll down the highway any time you ask. Pierre’s Durant made it’s way from New Jersey in 1997 to East Chelmsford, Massachusetts. From there to Stowe and then it’s present very quiet life in Colchester.
The Durant was a make of automobile assembled by Durant Motors Corporation of New York City, from 1921 to 1926 and again from 1928 to 1932. Durant Motors was founded by William “Billy” Durant after he was terminated as the head of General Motors. Billy Durant’s intent was to build an automotive empire that could one day challenge General Motors. The Durant automobile is considered to be an example of an “assembled” automobile because so many of its components were obtained from outside suppliers. Pierre’s 1922 vehicle is powered by a four cylinder Continental engine. It is an overhead-valve type, fully encased. Bore: 3-7/8″, stroke: 4¼”; S.A.E. rating 24 horsepower; brake horsepower at 1800 r.p.m. 35.
Durant vehicle production was suspended for the 1926 and 1927 model years. When the Durant was reintroduced, the car was redesigned and powered by a six cylinder Continental engine; some of the early vehicles were marketed as the “Durant-Star”. Bodies for the vehicle were supplied by Budd Company. In 1930, some Durants were built with all steel bodies, also supplied by Budd. Durant Motors was found insolvent and automobile production ended early in 1932.
Wheel Tracks can not find a Durant that has been for sale in Hemmings Motor News in the past 6 months and when going on the internet none can be found for sale there either. The “Durant Motors Automobile Club” website offers a lot of information but again, Wheel Tracks found none for sale. Does that mean Durant Cars are hard to find if you would like to own one?