1966 Chevrolet Corvette Stringray

This is Len & Jeanne Pallotta’s 1966 Stingray Corvette.

This is part of the Corvette story written by Len Pallotto in 2005 for Wheel Tracks….

“Our Corvette”

1966 stingray corvetteMy interest in Corvettes probably started back in 1954 when some friends and I attended the General Motors Motorama Show in Boston where the highlight of the show, for me, was the fairly new Chevrolet Corvette display. However, it would be 21 years later that I would become the owner, of one of these cars.

One day a family friend, told us that a relative of his, was going to sell his 1966 Corvette convertible and asked if we might be interested. The next thing I know, the car is in our drive, with instructions to drive it a few days. This we did and after looking the car over and considering the condition of the paint and body and how badly it seemed to handle, we sent the car back and with a definite no answer.

During the time I had the car, I had rolled the driver door window down several times, the last time, the thing failed, I ended up replacing the entire assembly inside the door. (I guess you could say this was the start of the restoration of this car, though I didn’t even own it yet.) About a week later, we were on our way to the airport in Burlington, to catch a plane to Disney World with the kids. As we turned off Williston Road, parked in the lot of the gas station on the corner, was this same Corvette with a For Sale sign on it. I don’t know what sort of chemistry took place, (I think I actually felt sorry for the car, it looked like it never had any TLC) but when we arrived at the airport, I found myself in the phone booth calling the owner and telling him we would take the Corvette.

len palotta 1966 corvette stingray
Len & Jeanne Pallotta’s son Greg is shown behind the wheel of the ‘Vette.

When we returned, the long road to this year started. My first project was to get the handling, to a point, where I could at the very least, keep the car in my lane of the road. Someone had put wide Craggar alloy wheels and tires on the car, which was a misfit. I replaced them with OEM wheels and tires with original wheel covers and spinners. Wow, what a difference! Little did I know this was to be the beginning of my continuing Corvette education.

I very soon learned that mid-year Corvettes have a parking brake system that was unique to them at the time. Although this design is used on many GM models currently, back then they were not compatible with Vermont weather and when they fail, the procedure in the service manual didn’t really help. When I finally was to the inside where the working parts resided, I couldn’t believe what I found; it was one solid mass of corrosion. Thankfully, I learned of a supplier who produced these parts in stainless steel. Great, the parking brake now works but the jubilation was short lived, as I found more problems, and all went down hill from there. As I drove the car, it seemed that every couple of weeks I would have to bleed the brakes. This led to research and learning, because of the design, using solid mounted calipers with constant contact pads to rotor, plus corrosion caused by moisture absorbed alcohol based brake fluid, pumps air into the system. This required a complete disassembly of all four calipers and master cylinder, which I did, and sent them to a vender to be sleeved with stainless steel. One more problem solved, but the list continued. Over the next few years I replaced ball joints, springs, shocks, stabilizer links, all front and rear rubber bushings, rotor and pads.

1966 chevrolet corvette stingraySince the very beginning the engine ran smoothly, but smoked moderately, however, eventually I detected a slight noise in the lower end. Before things got worse, I pulled the engine and transmission. It took a year to complete engine and transmission overhaul. A new radiator and rebuilding the wiper/washer, the carburetor, the distributor and the fuel pump was also done at this time.

During this one-year period, the inspection sticker had expired, so the day we completed the project, I made an appointment for an inspection. On the way a trooper stopped me for the expired sticker and gave me a ticket. It took a while but an assistant D.A. later dropped the charge.

1966 corvette stingray interiorOne thing that always bothered me about this car was that the electric clock never worked. So one day I took it apart and found the manufacturer’s name. To my surprise, I was able to purchase parts (at a car show). I had the face silk-screened and reinstalled it. This was great, but it made the rest of the dash look terrible. You guessed it, out came the main dash, matter of fact, out came the whole interior, seats, carpet, belts… every-thing. This was the point where we decided that we could not reinstall a new interior unless we had the body repaired and painted. Since I didn’t really have a place to do the work or the paint and my own body was now needing some restoration of it’s own, we had no choice but to have this done by an outside source. While this was being done I totally restored the seats and recovered them. In 1966 some of the options available were seat headrests and shoulder belts. These were available through Corvette restoration parts suppliers so I added these two features.

While my car was being worked on, we found the frame was very weak in some key areas, so the decision was made to remove the body and restore the frame. Again, the parts were available through suppliers.

We completed this phase of the restoration in mid May of this year (2004), as you can see, this was an on going project from day one. However, we did ,on occasion, have periods when we could drive and enjoy the car. Even when the car was off the road being worked on, we still attended Corvette shows to search for parts and network with other Corvette people to learn and exchange information. In spite of all the pitfalls, it’s been a great ride. Many thanks to my wonderful wife Jeanne, the kids Wendy and Greg, and a lot of other people, who all have either bought parts or pawed through many boxes of used parts at car shows. Thanks for just being there when I needed you for support on this project. Right now, there are left over parts still in each of our bedrooms.

Editor’s notes….

Ray Tomlinson was president in 2004 and presented the Pallotta’s with the “President’s Restoration Award” that year.

That engine that was rebuilt had the factory engine pressure gauge on the dash that was fed by a tiny plastic tube from the engine. In 1984, when Greg and his date were in high school, in formal dress on their way to an event, that tiny tube burst. The engine ceased after losing its oil. A replacement 350 Chevy engine was found and installed. The car’s proper engine is a 327 and about 12 years ago, Leonard and Greg found the engine that belonged in the Corvette. It will be going into the shop soon to make the swap.

Thank you Leonard for your story. This teaches all of us who have an old car that needs “tweaking”, to have patience….. and fun, for that short time that we are in that old car’s life. Your story is why the Vermont Automobile Enthusiasts have been around sine 1953 with a very bright future. Old vehicles keeps us all young.

 

1966 corvette stingray (back)  1966 corvette stingray (back)

1913 Board-track racing Indian and 1910 Harley Davidson Model-F motorcycles

On the left we have a 1913 Board-track racing Indian motorcycle  – On the right, a 1910 Harley Davidson motorcycle

1913 indian board track racing motorcycleThis beautiful 1913 Indian board-track racing motorcycle is owned by Skip Weeks of Collinsville, Connecticut. He found a few parts of the engine for sale and decided to pass. Then a call came and he was told 95% of the rest of the engine parts had been found and it was more than Skip could say no too. A friend helped him put most of the engine together and Fred Gonet was given the task of the final tweaking. Fred has a restoration shop in Proctorsville, Vermont. Then, Skip found a business in Canada that built reproduction chassis and asked Fred to put it all together… and this is the results.

1913 indian board track racing bikeThe neat thing about the machine’s destination is not a board-track but Skip’s living room where Wheel Tracks understands it will join a few other motored antiques. Track racing served as the principle venues for motorcycle racing in America. By 1910, rival companies had started to overtake Indian on the wooden speedways. Oscar Hedstrom who designed the Indian motorcycle in 1900, returned to his drawing board. His goal was to design a new motor capable of regaining the lead for Indian. The result of the engineer’s effort was an overhead-valve design; however this could not withstand the extreme temperatures of a high-speed race. Hedstrom’s solution was to decrease the size of the valves and add more of them. Instead of the usual two valves in each cylinder, Hedstrom calculated that four smaller valves would be better able to dissipate the heat. His theory turned out to be correct, and the overhead-valve configuration also proved to be more efficient.

1913 indian board track racing motorcycle engineThe Indian 8-valve debuted in 1911 and was immediately successful on the pine-board tracks. In 1920 an Indian 8-valve set an official world record for the mile, achieving a speed of 114.17 mph, and in 1926 an updated version of Hedstrom’s landmark design was clocked at 132 mph, setting another world record, which would remain for the next 11 years. It is not known how many Indian 8-valves were produced, but approximately six are known to have survived.

1910 harley davidson model-fWheel Tracks had the great opportunity of having these two motorcycles in one place, on a sunny afternoon and wanted to pass a little about them, on to our VAE members. On the left is a 1910 Harley Davidson motorcycle. This is not a racer, but a beautiful road bike. It is a perfect replica of the original owned by Fred Gonet.

Harley-Davidson, Inc. is an American motorcycle manufacturer, founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1903. In 1910 there were 110 motorcycle brands in the United States and 107 years later, Harleys are still alive and well.

1910 harley davidson rear brakeThis Harley is a 1910 Harley-Davidson 30ci Model F. It has 28 X2.5 tires with an Eclipse Knockout front hub that allows the tire removal by taking only one nut off. You start the 4hp engine by pedaling with your feet until the engine fires then engage the rear wheel by pushing a hand control forward to tighten the leather belt. The brakes are the normal “coaster type” on the rear wheel.

vintage harley davidson motorcycleThe new price was $210.00 and you could order one with one-quarter down payment and the balance due on delivery.

 

1937 Ford Flatback Sedan

Is this the same #67 in both pictures?  Ken Gypson’s ‘37 Ford has been around creating history for 81 years and still going strong.  Hal Boardman’s diorama proves the car still inspires…

Hal Boardman and diorama of Ken Gypsom's '37 Ford Flatback racecar
Editor’s note…. Ken Gypson will learn about this diorama for the first time, when he gets this issue of Wheel Tracks, in his mail box.

From VAEer, Hal Boardman …

Two years ago the VAE ventured south to Bennington for a Hemmings cruise-in and a visit to our hosts, Ken and Nancy Gypson, in New York. After morning coffee, juice and muffins-to-die-for, we went out to wander through Ken’s barn. The barn holds a collection of autos, large and small. A must see. Among the full sized cars was a ‘37 Ford 2-door sedan. Ken was in the process of restoring the former round track race car. I took a few pictures and then we hit the road.

A while later the VAE had it’s annual holiday party and I chose an exchange gift of a hot-rod model A Ford 2-door sedan. Walking by Ken’s table he said “glad you got that, you are the only hot-rodder here”. By chance, I happen to see a picture of Ken’s restoration project on line, and I put the two together, the beginning of the diorama idea.

1937 ford racer

The following year I campaigned for another Hemmings tour, it was a great time and… I needed more pictures of Ken’s garage and his race car restoration project. Once again, we had a great cruise-in, and visit at the Gypson’s. I wonder if Ken noticed my mission of taking pictures of every square inch of his garage. I got more pictures when #67 made it to our August show in Stowe last year and then, my winter project began.

While my ‘39 Ford project sat in the corner of my garage, I spent time working on the smaller project of a 1937 race car. I gathered models and parts saved from my youth and began the diorama. I found an old 49 Ford kit in my collection that provided wheels, tires, trophies and even that small dog you see lying on the floor, in front of the car. As my project started coming together, an artist friend offered to paint the number on the car and the walls to match Ken’s garage. Pam even made a small leather belt, that was used to wrap around the passenger door post, to keep it closed during a race. Thank you Pam.

I hope Ken can find a small space in his vast collection for the diorama. I hope, also, that he enjoys it as much as I have building it.

pine bowl raceway troy NY
Pictured here, the Pine Bowl Raceway in Troy, NY where the front page image of a race-wreck was taken.

Some history now of the racing #67, from a story Ken Gypson had written earlier…

1937 ford flatback 2-doorIn about 1985 my family and I moved to Poestenkill, NY. Just down the road (to my delight anyways) was Wait’s Junkyard. The Waits had a bunch of old stock cars scattered about and a particular ’37 Ford sedan caught my eye. For 2 years I tried to buy the car…no go. In April of ’87 we had an ice storm that knocked down trees and power lines. While I was in the road clearing debris with my chain saw John Wait Sr. asked if he could borrow the saw. I told him he could have the saw if I could buy the stock car. He grunted and left with the saw. Two weeks later I came home from work and there, the ’37 sat in my driveway!

1937 ford flatback sedan racecar

I have been fortunate to be able to get the complete history of #67 from the day it was built. In 1961, Paul Leinbohm paid $50 for the body and chassis from Slovak’s Junkyard in Stuyvesant, NY, and a 1953 Merc engine from Lou Hacker of Rt 20 in Nassau, NY. Before he could drive the car, he was drafted into the army, and sold the car to Paul Visconte of Schodack, NY. Visconte had George Henderson of Niverville, NY, drive it with number 300D at Rt 66 Speedway in Poestenkill, NY.

ken gypsum 1937 ford flatback racerIn 1963, Visconte renumbered the car to 67 (as it is now) and raced it at Victoria Speedway outside of Albany, NY. Ironically, Visconte also ended up in the Army and left the car behind his mother’s house. Gordy Film of Wynantskill, NY, bought the car in 1964 for $300 and raced it at Pinebowl Speedway in Poestenkill, NY, during the ’64 and ’65 seasons. #67 ended up in Wait’s Junkyard across the road from the speedway’s entrance.

 

1937 ford racing

 

1957 Dodge D200 Pickup

Paul & Barb Wagner’s 1957 Dodge D200

“For 43 years it was our Every-day farm truck. Today it is our car-show truck”

1957 dodge d200Back in 1967, we decided to purchase a truck to support our small family dairy farm in Methuen, MA. The search led us to a gentleman who had a sewing machine business, and a 1957 Dodge 3/4 ton pick-up with 59,000 miles on the odometer. The truck sold for $1,750 brand new, he was asking $200.00 for it. I countered with $175.00 and drove away with the truck.

It was put into use on the farm immediately. We used it to haul milk, cattle, sawdust, manure, it was a great, all purpose vehicle.

1957 dodge d200 interiorIn 1969, my father and I bought a larger dairy farm in Bridport, Vermont. That was 200 miles away from Methuen. The Dodge was a godsend for hauling furniture and farm equipment to Vermont, and then take hay back to Massachusetts to feed our animals there. I would load sixty, forty-pound bales on the truck (2400 lbs.) and drive the 200 miles on ten gallons of gas. Not bad mileage with that kind of a load. Once the move to Vermont was complete, we put 700-800 ‘farm’ miles on the truck each year. The transmission was not right for slow field work so we rode the clutch a lot. After 11 years of this, we had to replace the clutch and when we did that, we put a four speed transmission in. The move from 3-on-the-tree to 4-on-the-floor made it a real farm truck! It was parked in the shop in 2003 when a gale wind came through and knocked the shop down. The shop roof landed in a tree across the road, while the old Dodge just sat there, with only the scratches it had when we parked it there. The truck did its work until 2005 when it would not pass inspection any longer. For the next five years it sat in the machine shed getting dusty. I started it up a couple of times a year to make sure the engine did not seize.

I sold the farm to my son in 2010 and entered semi-retirement. I had talked so much about fixing up the truck, over the years, that my wife, Barb told me there would never be a better time, than now to do it. I guess she had heard it enough….so I did. Little did I know what I was getting myself into.

Three miles south of here, my friend Kevin has a body shop. I pulled everything off the frame. All that was left was the engine, transmission and wheels, which I pulled to Kevin’s with my old John Deere. This had taken me about fifty hours at this point, all my labor and no money. I soon found out this would get reversed! Just finishing the prep work, Kevin had used eighty-five, 100 pound bags of blasting sand.

When I removed the cab from the frame, I found it was set up for both left and right hand drive. There are pop-outs on the floor for the clutch and brake pedals. The dash is the same on both sides. There is an aluminum plate on the right side where I thought was meant for a radio. When I removed it, I found framework for the speedometer and gauges. I considered changing to the right side but then I thought, “Who is going to drive it?”….Not me!, so I left it the way it was.

1957 dodge d-200 pickup

The next challenge was finding body parts. In 1957, 340,000 Ford pickups were made and GM made 360,00. Dodge made 50,000 pickups that year. So, finding the parts I needed, ended in very short phone calls…no we don’t have any. Then I heard about Desert Valley Auto Parts in Arizona. They had three corpses! My luck had changed, I found the two rear fenders, the right front fender and the grill that I needed. It took three months to get the parts but the wait was worth it. Being a life-long New Englander, I was utterly amazed at the condition… no rust at all! I found two box sides in Rhode Island and used Hickory boards for the floor. I chose not to use oak, as I wanted something with knots, but pine was too soft.

There were two safety problems with vehicles from this period that I wanted to correct with my restoration. The single reservoir master brake cylinder and no seat belts. I went to the ‘68 Dodge split system and had to add a regulator to balance the pressure. Lap seat belts took care of the second problem. The paint color is forest green with two coats of epoxy primer, two coats of filler primer and two coats of enamel. The paint alone was $2000.00…welcome to restoration.

The whole process took ten months to complete. Kevin had 300 hours, I had that many and more, but no charge for me, it’s a LABOR OF LOVE! I kept a notebook of the expenses, even after being told not to because ‘I did not want to know’. The project ended up costing $23,380.00. the high-level break-down was $13,000 in labor, and $10,380 for parts ( I did not rebuild the engine or drive train).

In May of 2014, the steering shaft broke in a restaurant parking lot. The steering wheel was in my hands not attached. I decided it was time for power steering, my age demanded it! Driving is much more enjoyable now. My friend, Ed James, did some research and found the steering system from a ‘79 to ‘86 Toyota pickup would work. I added a pump from an ‘84 Camaro and I was in busi-ness.

The old Dodge gets a lot of attention in parades and car shows. We were at the local soft serve ice cream place when a fella came up and said, “ I bet you think more of this truck, than you do your wife!” I replied, “The only thing I can say, the truck does exactly what I ask it to do.” I always say, there is high tech and there is low tech. My truck is NO TECH!

1957 dodge d200 pickup truck

1957 Dodge D200 Specs:

  • Engine, Chrysler 230 cu. In. L-head (flat head) 6 cylinder.
  • Horse power, 110
  • Wheels, 16 inch split rims-8 lug (750X16)
  • Rear-end, 3/4-1 ton set-up for duals
  • Present mileage, 111,028

Editor’s notes… Paul told about his daughter slinking down in the seat, out of view of her friends, in the old days when he would leave her off at school. She recently asked if she could possibly get the truck when he made out his will. Thank you Paul for letting us feature your truck and your history with it.

1902 Curved Dash Oldsmobile

Dennis Dodd, of East Fairfield, Vermont

“Kids, College & Work kept this 1902 Curved Dash Oldsmobile waiting for 28 years… Finally, with a new paint job on its way, it will be finished”.

1902 curved dash oldsmobileDennis Dodd purchased the ‘02 Curved Dash Olds in ‘89 from a Massachu-setts gent while at the VAE Stowe Show. It was completely original but needed a lot of work. Over the past 4 years, he rebuilt the engine and along with restoring every other item of the vehicle. A paint booth has been reserved for later in this Spring for the last piece of the restoration. A long time friend of Dennis’s who had earlier built a replica of the same car, has helped in the restoration, he is Skip Minor of Milton. Asked the number of hours spent on the project and Dennis guessed a minimum of 500 hours, not counting his friend’s time.

Gary Hoonsbeen died in 2016 but during his lifetime, he was the country’s lead expert in these unique vehicles. Soon after Dennis brought the car home, he was in contact with Gary, asking all the normal question of a newly minted antique car owner. The big mystery was finding the correct year that this car was manufactured. So as Dennis and Gary went down the list while on the phone, Gary was confirming the vehicle was built in 1901with some parts from 1002. Then came Dennis’s description of the water pump. Gary informed him that he had made a mistake in his notes, because “that” Curved Dash water pump did not exist. It turned out, it did exist, it was the only known original Curved Dash water pump known and it was on this vehicle! The car club later borrowed the water pump to use as patterns to build 15 new ones.

Recently, some officials from the Curved Dash Club made their way to England, where they inspected an original, in a barn that had never been modified. They discovered the serial numbers that have been used for years by the club, to determine the “built year”, most likely has to be changed. The Oldsmobile company had two places where they stamped the built number, on the engine head and on the compression release pedal. Dennis’s number is 6631 and even though Gary Hoonsbeen said the car was mostly a 1901, the serial number was 1902. The England trip will most likely confirm this vehicle is a 1901 car.

This from “Wikipedia” and “The Standard Catalog of American Cars”…….

The gasoline-powered Curved Dash Oldsmobile is credited as being the first mass-produced automobile, meaning that it was built on an assembly line using interchangeable parts. It was introduced by the Oldsmobile company in 1901 and produced through 1907; 425 were produced the first year, 2,500 in 1902, and over 19,000 were built in all. When General Motors assumed operations from Ransom E. Olds on November 12, 1908, GM introduced the Oldsmobile Model 20, which was the 1908 Buick Model 10 with a stretched wheelbase and minor exterior changes.

The Curved Dash car was a runabout model, could seat two passengers, and sold for US$650. While competitive, due to high volume, and priced below the US$850 two-seat Ford Model C “Doctor’s Car”, it was more expensive than the Western 1905 Gale Model A Roadster at US$500. The Black sold for $375, and the Success for US$250.

The flat-mounted, water-cooled, single-cylinder engine, situated at the center of the car, produced 5 HP, relying on a brass gravity feed carburetor. The transmission was a semi-automatic design with two forward speeds and one reverse. The low-speed forward and reverse gear system is a planetary type. The car weighed 850 lbs. and used Concord springs. It had a top speed of 20 mph.

The car’s success was partially by accident in 1901, a fire destroyed a number of other model prototypes before they were approved for production, leaving the Curved Dash the only one intact.


1902 oldsmobile

When it inspires a song (below), you know it’s popular. This Olds was the bestselling car in America from 1902 to 1905. Automobiles had an emotional appeal. A driver in 1901 said that controlling a car satisfied “an almost universal sense, the love of power.” Despite the attraction, cars were not a significant player in the transportation world. In 1903, 4000 people bought Oldsmobile’s, but more than 900,000 bought buggies and carriages.

With its one-cylinder engine and horseless carriage looks, the Oldsmobile Curved Dash didn’t seem particularly rugged. Olds Motor Works proved its runabout’s mettle with a number of elaborate stunts. Here the car is driven up a steep hill, over uneven ground. Far more extravagant was Roy D. Chapin’s 820-mile drive, from Detroit to New York, in an Oldsmobile in 1901.

Young Jonnie Steele has an Oldsmobile,
He loves a dear little Girl.
She is the queen of his gas machine,
She has his heart in a whirl.
Now when they go for a spin, you know,
She tries to learn the auto, so,
He lets her steer, while he gets her ear,
And whispers soft and low:

Come away with me Lucile
In my merry Oldsmobile
Down the road of life we’ll fly,
Automobubbling you and I.
To the church we’ll swiftly steal,
Then our wedding bells will peel,
You can go as far as you like with me,
In my Merry Oldsmobile

1992 Jaguar XJS Elegante

A beautiful 1992 Jaguar XJS Elegante owned by Serge Benoit

serge benoit 1992 jaguar xjsWe have all heard about Serge Benoit… or should we say, we have all “heard” Serge Benoit. Serge has been our “French Voice” at our August Antique & Classic Car Meet for many years. He and Gael Boardman keep the show rolling on the public address system at the 60 year old car event.
Serge lives along the Richelieu River in Sabrevois, Quebec surrounded by, what appears to be, over 1700 square miles of farm land, extending from our border to the St Lawrence River. The vision we Vermonters have is that just a few miles north is Montreal, when all the time there is this beautiful farm land laid out like you would see in our Midwest.

Serge spent over 30 years working for Canadair and Bombardier, both companies very familiar to all of us. He presently works part time for a bus company called “Trans Dev” who operates busses throughout Serge’s area including Montreal, both school busses and transit busses. Serge drives them all. The balance of the time Serge operates the company, he started seventeen years ago called “Eval SB”. If you have your eye on an old car, or even a not-so-old vehicle, you can hire Serge’s company to find if the purchase would be a good idea…or a bad one. His company evaluates 100 to 150 vehicles each year.

Now to the XJS Jaguar that Serge owns. Serge found the car at an estate sale last November and is the third owner. Other than some brake work, the car was ready to head down the highway….or autoroute, so they say up his way. Jaguar made about 115,000 XJS models between 1975 and 1996 with V12 engines in most of them. The “purists”, so Serge calls them, were protesting the car should also have the 3.6-litre Jaguar AJ6 straight-six engine under the hood. The protest worked and 500 XJSs were built with the six cylinder engine.

Serge’s Jag is called the Jaguar XJS Classic and between 1992 and 1996 they made about 8800 2-door coupes and 19,000 2-door convertibles. Transmission choices were the 5-speed automatics (Serge’s car) or the 4-speed manuals.

Jaguar was founded in 1922 and was transformed a number of times with different companies in England, until 1990, when the Ford Motor Company bought Jaguar. Eighteen years later, in 2008, an Indian company by the name of Tata purchased Jaguar and retains ownership today. All Jaguar cars are, however, still built in England.

Sir William Lyons (1901 – 1985), known as “Mr. Jaguar”, was with fellow motorcycle enthusiast William Walmsley, the co-founder in 1922 of the Swallow Sidecar Company, which became Jaguar Cars Limited after the Second World War. Serge said the XJS Jaguar was Mr. Lion’s last “build approval”

1992 jaguar xjs enginePerformance wise, the XJS top speed is 150 MPH with a 0 to 60 of 6 seconds. The six cylinder, 24 valve engine produces 240 HP and the V12 engine puts out close to 300 HP. A little, like what Shelby did to Fords, a performance company by the name of “Lister” was asked to make the XJS perform, straight-up, with a Ferrari…..and they did it. They transformed 90 XJSs into 200mph-plus supercars. At over 600 horse power….we all should have one!
In the meantime, Serge’s car is a Grand Touring Jaguar that replaced the beautiful, legionary XKE……and does a great job carrying on the tradition.

 

1972 Steyr-Puch Pinzgauer

Hank Baer’s 1972 Pinzgauer Swiss Army Radio Communication Truck.

Hank is a VAE Member and also a member of the Green Mountain Military Vehicle Club.

steyr puch haflingerIn the beginning… it was an Austrian Haflinger. The Haflinger was a series of 4×4 light utility vehicles, produced by Steyr-Puch. It was designed to replace the WWII era American jeeps. The Haflinger vehicle is named after a breed of Austrian horses, that are small, but well-muscled and energetic. The vehicle was produced at Graz in Austria. Production commenced in 1959 and ceased in 1975. Over 16,000 of these light utility vehicles were made. It was widely used by the Austrian Army.

steyr puch pinzgauer badgeThe Pinzgauer was developed by Steyr-Daimler-Puch of Austria as the successor to the Haflinger of 4×4 vehicles. The first 4×4 Pinzgauer’s prototype, powered by a 2.5-liter gas engine, was produced in 1965. Series production commenced in 1971 and ever since then, the Pinzgauer series has been a major Steyr-Daimler-Puch product. The baseline Pinzgauer 710 had 4×4 configuration. It was soon joined by a Pinzgauer 712 with 6×6 configuration. The 6×6 model was first revealed in 1968 and entered production in 1971-1972. The Pinzgauers first entered military service with Austria in 1973. Another major operator was Switzerland. By 1985 over 20,000 had been produced, nearly for all military users.

1972- steyr puch pinzgauer interiorFrom 1983 onwards the gas-engined Pinzgauers 710 series and 712 series were joined by turbocharged diesel-engined versions, the so called Turbo D range, which in most respects were overall improvements on the earlier models. They are known as 716 series (4×4) and 718 series (6×6) and have longer wheelbases, disc brakes and increased fuel capacities. Other features such as automatic level control systems, that enable the superstructure to rise or fall, to suit the load involved also became available. Since 1986 the original Pinzgauers were replaced in production by the improved 716 and 718 series vehicles.

Wheel Tracks first spotted the truck during our Appreciation Picnic on Farr Field in the Spring. Before the camera and note-book was readied, the truck and it’s mysterious owner was gone…… All inquiries came up negative, mainly because the right people were not asked. Then the odd looking truck turned up at the train station at our Shelburne Show. The GMMVC new all the time!

72 steyr puch pinzgauerHank Baer is the owner and Pinzgauer is his ride. Hank purchased the truck just a few years ago and the vehicle has become his main “go to the show vehicle” since then. It is set up as a communications vehicle and even short-legged folks, like the editor, can have a ride….note the hike-ups sticking out the front axel. The gas engine has four cylinders, is air-cooled and produces 90 HP. It weighs just over 2 ton and can carry an additional ton with a highway speed of around 70 MPH.

All Pinzgauers are four-wheel-drive or six-wheel-drive with on-the-fly hydraulic differential locks, fully independent suspension backboned chassis tube. They have integrated differentials, 24 volt electrical system, vacuum assisted drum brakes and portal axles to give extra clearance.


A Salute to Our Fellow Vermont Club….GMMVC

Membership in the GMMVC plugs you into Vermont’s statewide military vehicle restoration community. You don’t need to go at it alone! The annual dues of $20 gets you on the meeting minutes mailing list, discounts on club activities, and a fancy membership card autographed by Bob Chase! GMMVC welcomes new members from all walks of life, without regard to age, sex, religion, ethnicity or taste in paint color. The only prerequisite is an interest in historic military vehicles. It is not a requirement to own a vehicle (although we bet you will sooner or later!) Over 10,000 Military vehicle enthusiasts are involved in this same hobby nation wide. This group of people has informally developed an international camaraderie. GMMVC is a registered non-profit corporation and does all its work and events with volunteers.

1908 Model 10 Buick

A beauty of a 1908 Model 10 Buick Owned by Sandy & Tom Pierce

buick by whitingFor six months I kept noticing an ad for a 1908 Buick in Old Cars Weekly. The ad was only a phone number with no photo, so I looked up the Buick and thought it might be a great project, for someone who did not know much about Brass era cars. The car was still available when I called, so Sandy and I went to see it. It was located in Brockport, New York at the original dealership, that had sold it in 1908 (in those days, the dealer’s name is written in brass and attached to the car, as shown in the photo above… by Whiting). It was red and cute and shoved into a back corner of their garage. We wanted to see if it would start but water went right through the radiator and there was only an old rusty can for the gas tank.

1908 buick model 10We bought it and they transported it to our garage. I figured I could get the parts I needed from JC Whitney or NAPA. Boy was I in for a surprise! Over the next few years I took the car apart, glass blasted and numbered parts and primed them. John Layport built the radiator to exact Buick specs. The engine was rebuilt in Glens Falls. I took out the seats and found pieces of the original red leather upholstery and had the seats recovered in Water-bury by Patti and Phil Tomeny in the correct color. I had it painted the original Buick white by a friend and pinstriped by another. Sandy and I found running board covers and other parts at Chickasha and tires in Tennessee.

tom sandy pierce 1908 buick
Tom & Sandy Pierce

After about five years the car was back together and running. I was so proud of it and still am. Its fun to show because its so cute and stands out among all the big cars and the black cars and the newer cars. People love to talk about it and the Buicks in their family, and are always interested to know more about its history and car history in general. My jaws are happily tired from talking about my horseless carriage after a show.

Editor’s notes… A few days before the car show in Stowe a few of us heard how the Buick had not run for a while and that Tom wanted to take the Model 10 to the show. So, five of us piled into a pickup and headed south to Rochester to give Tom a hand… four enthusiastic theoretical mechanics and one real 100% mechanic (he is sitting on the running board in the picture to the left).

vae 1908 buick model 10
From the left… Gary Fiske, back…Gael Boardman, running board…Dennis Dodd, Tom Pierce, Gary Olney , Wendell Noble

While “theories” were flying through Tom’s garage the real mechanic cleaned the buzz coil connections and made sure the plugs had a healthy spark. The carburetor was found to be loaded with a quarter inch of gunk, so that got cleaned out. Next, some gas was poured into the empty gas tank under the driver’s seat and a fresh battery was hooked up to make the buzz coils do their “buzz” sound.

All that was left was to turn the crank while the “theorists” advised the “cranker” where to place his thumb….. and the little Buick came to life. We did find the cone clutch was stuck but with some jockeying, we were able to get it loose.

We hope you saw the Model 10 Buick at the show in Stowe, it is a beauty!

The Buick Model 10 Specs…
Valve-in-head 4 cylinder engine, cast iron block, 165 cu. in., brake HP=22.5, S.A.E. HP= 34.2. Mechanical valve lifters, Schebler carbu-retor, W.B. 88 inches, tires are 30X3 inches. It has a planetary transmission, 2 for-ward, 1 reverse, cone clutch & shaft drive. The top was an option that cost $10.00. The new price was $900.00 and Buick produced 4002 Model 10s. The Model 10 was the most popular Buick in 1908. Information from “Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805-1942”

1955 Buick Special

“Cadet” is its name and Buick is its brand!

Brian Warren loves Buicks…

Brian Warren Buick CadetCadet, our 1955 Buick Special.
The name comes from the cadet blue metallic paint applied, by GM 60+ years ago
and the fact that the Special was the entry level Buick, at that time. Not sure why I settled on Buicks other than the fact the old advertising campaigns indicated they were “Just Better”. I think I had my sights on a 30’s or 40’s Buick, but found most needed much more work than I was willing to do or closer to the truth, capable of doing. I’m happy I decided on the 55’ because I think the styling is very iconic of a relatively happy time in America history and although lacking power steering, power brakes, and seat belts, I consider the car a reliable modern car.

 

Cadet joined our family in April of 2012 after surfing a copy of the publication “Uncle Hennery’s” out of Maine. The on-line pictures of the car looked great and deserved a closer look. After seeing the car and a short test drive, I was hooked and made a deal on the spot. I returned 2 weeks later with Vermont plates in hand, checked the fluids, kicked the tires, and began the 200 mile drive home. For the first 10 miles, I was all smiles. But after stopping for gas and a snack, the car would not restart. It was ready to start and wanted to, but the new operator (me) didn’t know how to engage the starter switch. Turns out those clever engineers at Buick had incorporated the starter switch into the accelerator pedal. It’s been fun watching others fall into the same trap since.

1955 Buick Special interiorCadet originally came from Glenn Buick in New Kensington, Pennsylvania. After going through paperwork that came with the car, I estimate I’m the 5th owner. The first owner was a banker from Sharon, Pennsylvania and the car still hasa draw string bank deposit bag from Sharon Savings and Loan in the trunk that contains assorted old wrenches. I think the 2nd owner had kept the car the longest (29 years) and put very few miles on it. The 3rd owner was an auto broker and took no interest in the car other than it being inventory. The 4th owner is an over the road truck driver and after purchase, brought the car to Maine. After owning it for 5 years, he could never find time to drive it, so he let me buy it and bring it to Vermont. At this time the odometer reads 29,850 miles. An oil change sticker on the door jamb indicates 21,033 miles had been logged by 1968.

Since I’ve owned the car, I’ve rebuilt the carburetor, combination fuel pump / vacuum pump, replaced the water pump, heater hoses (all 23feet), all flexible break lines, both front break cylinders, and front shocks. With the exception of an attempt at restoring the engine bay by one of the previous owners and touch up on the rest of the cars exterior, it’s all original paint. Even though primmer is showing in many places, there is no plan to repaint the car. The cars interior is original as well. The car drives very well and with the 264 cu. in. nail-head V8, Cadet has no problem cruising at interstate speeds (and beyond).

1955 Buick Special grilleLast July (2016), our family took Cadet back to Pennsylvania (Allentown especially), for the Buick Club of America’s nation car meet. The annual week-long event was the BCA’s 50th anniversary and was held at an amazing venue. Italian jewelry and luxury goods designer Nicola Bulgari hosted the event at his complex in Allentown. A converted 21 acre drive-in theater complete with a test track and still functional movie screen. Mr. Bulgari has enjoyed a fascination with American automobiles since he was a small child growing up in Italy. He recognized the design and engineering of American cars to be far superior to anything else on the road at the time. Between his Italian and Allentown addresses, he houses over 210 antique automobiles. Although all beautiful to my eye, he considers them to be daily drives and all are registered and driven often. One hanger sized building on his compound, housed nearly 40 Buicks ranging from the early 1920’s to the 1990’s, but lacked a 1955? Through Mr. Bulgari’s generosity, he has been able to secure funds to help sustain the “America on Wheels” transportation museum in Allentown. While on the PA. trip, the 90° days were challenging for me behind the wheel (Dana and Jason had A/C in the Reatta), but the Cadet took the city traffic in stride.

The car is certainly a keeper and although it won’t chirp the ties and the paint has lost most of its shine, we’ll let the stately Cadet gracefully fade into old age as it puts smiles on the young and brings tears to the old as it passes by.

1955 Buick Special hood vents

1923 Ford Model T Mail Truck

1923 ford model t dan noyesDan Noyes and his dad, Bob,  with their 1923 Model T Mail Truck that has been in the family for five generations.

In 1901 or 1902, Fred Noyes and his horse Ned delivered their “Rural Route 1” mail in South Sudbury, Massachusetts (note picture to the right).

ned the horseIn 1923 the route was 28.6 miles, Wheel Tracks was unable to find if Ned and Fred had that distance on Rural Route #1 to deliver mail. Using information from Vermont area routes, during that time the 28.6 miles was somewhat normal when horses were used. In the winter time the postman would stay over night along the route somewhere …mostly wherever the best meals were served.

1912 harley davidsonIn 1912 Fred traded Ned (the horse) for a 1912 Harley motorcycle (vin #2139B).

The cost of the Harley was $185.00 from New England Motorcycle Company in Boston. Wheel Tracks believes the Harley model was a 30 ci F-head single cylinder engine. It was belt driven with battery ignition and was 4.34 HP. For you who know Harley motorcycles, using the vin number, is this correct and another question….can this Harley be located using it’s vin number if it still exists?

You can see from the picture of Fred on the Harley that he had a basket on the back plus a shoulder bag to carry his load of mail.

1923 ford mail truck fred noyesThen… in 1923, Fred Noyes started using his 1923 Ford Model T mail truck. It is believed Fred bought only the Model T chassis because in May of 1922, he purchased a “Light Runner Rural Mail Wag-on” body from Harrington manu-facturing in Peoria, Illinois, to make his mail truck complete. The body cost him $160 plus he added a new front spring for $1.40 and a set of rear fenders for $6.00.

1923 ford mail truck in shopThe truck also has a Ruckstell rear end added on May 3, 2017…! What would Fred have to say about this? A page was found in Fred’s papers where it appears in 1922, his annual wage was $1950.

Fred Noyes’ last day of delivering mail with the “T” was in 1931, a very long time, thirty years, of knowing his friends along Route 1 in Sudbury, Mass.

1923 ford model t mail truck-unrestoredToday the Mail Truck is owned by our VAE Chairman, Dan Noyes, Fred’s great-great grandson. Dan’s dad, Bob gave the truck to him a number of years ago after having the engine rebuilt and restoring the rest of the truck. The 5th generation, if you are counting, would be Dan’s son Ian Noyes.

The picture here shows the truck as it was sleeping in its barn after many years of being ignored and before Bob Noyes decided to restore it.