Gary Fiske [ April 2014 ]
"1927 Dodge - My Dodge has Feeling Too!" by Gary Fiske
A comment on a VAE tour... “I could hear you and your ’clutch’ behind me”
Can you imagine how deeply feelings can be affected from comments like this? It just goes to the bone... hah... frame, but my Dodge can take it! Those other cars, well, we will not go there, because my Dodge has manners.
The quote you read on the front page came from a respected VAE elder after spending the day in the Dodge, traveling the mountainous back roads in central Vermont. He was correct, in a way. There had been a few vaper-lock problems... well, quite a few; then the split rim problem that happened on the way down a steep hill and compromising the braking... a bit. The clutch also gave a few grunts during the day. The problems did in fact happen one at a time but don’t you think he could have made his comment a little more delicately?
The quote above came from one of those Plymouth guys all puffed up with his shiny paint job... oops, must remember, manners.
The 1927 Dodge with the Fast-four engine can be traced as far back as Pennsylvania but with very few details. A gent near Mystic Conn. bought it in Pensy and then sold it to me when he needed to down size. There were real tears in this big guys eyes as we left with his car on our trailer. That is how these old cars get to you. They can make huge and great memories. I have had it only a few years now but I can go on for hours telling adventures “we” have had.
I started finding babbit material when I changed the oil and some VAEers with more experience than me could tell there were problems with the engine. I spent my career in electronics and had never ‘rebuilt’ an engine. Grinding valve seats, new rings, new bearings... that was always very mysterious to me. With a lot of encouragement from fellow members I decided to give it a try. As you can see from the pictures, the end is insight. If I have not forgotten something and if all goes as planned, there will be quite a day not long from now when I will hear that engine come to life. I can’t imagine yet what a great day that will be... and I will have another “adventure” to tell!
Let me see if I can tell you about one of these ’adventures’ we have had.
There was the weekend we (the DB and I) joined a VAE tour to the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. And a great tour it is was! I had found my two mechanical rear brakes were not up to par so an ‘elder VAEer’ (there are a lot of them) agreed to follow me home via Canada where the terrain is flatter. Crossing back into the U.S. I had not been able to stop soon enough at the border crossing and was getting bald-out by an official for my transgression. The official was overdoing it a bit and I could hear the ’elder’ behind me making snide remarks about the scolding. No matter how much I motioned with my “left-turn-signal hand’ the elder continued... ”I knew him as a kid and he was a jerk then also” was one of many. The only thing that saved us (the DB and I) that day was when the official turned smartly for his control shack and smacked his head loudly into the stop sign I had gone through. The laughing behind me was deafening. Within minutes the DB and I, with the elder following, were on our way home.
Car adventures, great memories and wonderful friends are all by-products of owning an old car and being a part of a car club. We, the DB and I, haven’t gotten apologies yet but what the heck, what are friends for...