Wheel Tracks Articles Archives

1980 MGB Mark IV

This MGB beauty is owned by VAEer Jim Adams of Jericho, Vermont.

Jim Adams writes:

Jim Adams and his 1980 MBG

In the spring of 1983 on my daily drive to my office, I drove by Al Martin Motors which then was on the Williston Road. In the showroom was a reddish orange sports car just begging me to stop and look at her. One day I could no longer resist and thus started a 40-year odyssey with a 1980 MGB MK IV.

My experience with cars began in 1960, when I was 15. My neighbor was a car salesman and one day he brought home a 1936 Chevy 2-door sedan and parked it in front of my house. A good sales pitch! After persuading my parents to lend me $25, I was the excited new owner for a total sum of $50.

Needless to say, I learned much about mechanics and body work. That 1936 Chevy was followed by a 51 Ford, a 55 Chevy and then back to a 51 Chevy which was my daily driver in 1970!

By 1983 I was married with 2 children and was ready for another car adventure. Growing up in the 50s and 60s I became interested in British sports cars such as MGs, Austin Healeys, and Triumphs, and their successes on the European race tracks. In 1962 I had the thrill of driving my oldest brother’s newly acquired Austin Healey Sprite. The car was quick and responsive and a blast to drive with a 4-speed transmission. I knew then that at some point I needed to have a sports car! MGs have a history going back to the 1920s when Morris Motors was in its infancy building primarily sedans. A group of the workers began experimenting with building more sporty models and soon spun off another company with the famous MG moniker. In the 1940s MG sports car models took off with the MG TCs, MG TDs, MG TFs, MGA and finally the MGB.

From the model year update in 1975 until its demise in 1980, the MGB was looked down upon by MG purists. In mid -1974, US regulations required the original MGB to have better crash protection which resulted in raising the car 1 inch and adding rubber bumpers. In addition, new pollution regulations caused MG to add a quirky emission system of air pumps, a catalytic converter, and a single Zenith carburetor. This emission system caused a real decline in performance and purists actually expressed hatred of the rubber bumpers.

My 1980 MGB has 95H, a 4 -speed transmission and an electronic overdrive. I believe the overdrive has been instrumental in reducing the wear and tear of high RPMs on the engine allowing it to effortlessly reach 100,000 miles. During the 40 years I have had my MGB, it has been well maintained with the expert help of Arlo Cota and his team at Imported Cars in Williston. The IC team performs mechanical magic! The car has been annoying at times and has needed some emergency intervention. I have had two gas line leaks which have been the demise of many MGs. I was fortunate to catch them early before flames erupted! Once the catalytic converter literally fell apart at the top of Smugglers Notch after becoming fiery red. Recently the engine quit coming down the east side of the Notch. Cause was Lucas electrical!

1980 MBG interior

Quoting from the April 2013 Wheel Tracks page 15, I consider my car “Perfect but not Correct”. In order to improve the performance from its original configuration, a Weber downdraft carburetor along with new headers and a Triumph Trophy exhaust from Moss Motors was installed. Just recently my B was upgraded with a Pertronix electronic distributor resulting in a marked increase in power.

Other “not-correct” changes include aftermarket wheels with 185×14 tires mounted (original were 165×14). Ongoing maintenance during its life have included a clutch replacement, engine seals, suspension and brake repairs. The MGB’s body and frame is solid with no rust . The only body repair was the need for a new hood resulting from a sled dropping down on it from my garage rafters.

I have enjoyed this MGB even though I think an Austin Healey 3000 is the ultimate in English sports cars! With all the performance changes made throughout its life, this car is fun to drive through Vermont’s beautiful countryside with the top down and its 4-speed gear box and overdrive.

I recently spent some time on the VAE’s web page “Member Vehicles.” Interestingly, the brand with the greatest representation is Ford with 437 entries. I found 11 English brands totaling 114 and 44 of them are MGs. I also agree with Jim as my daily driver, for 12 years, was one of these 11 marques. To this day, SU carbs and even Lucas electric holds, almost, good memories for me.

From the editor

Happy 90th Birthday, Mom!

My mother celebrated her 90th birthday last month. It really got me thinking about how we throw around the terms “old folks,” “elderly,” “getting up there,” etc. That is definitely not my mother. She is in great health, lives by herself a couple of miles from my husband and I, still drives, and takes care of others in her condominium neighborhood who are 10-15 years younger than herself. She’ll get a call from her across-the street neighbor asking if she would take her to Shaw’s. Yep, in the car and off to Shaw’s. Another neighbor calls on my mom to accompany her to doc appointments. Does my mom ever say no? Nope. Never.

Can anyone say they’ve had a best friend for 90 years? That’s ninety years. Yep, Mom and Barb still chat every couple months, and the stories they reminisce about that I overhear are just too funny.

At the beginning of the pandemic, before we were all buttoned up in our homes, Mom, at 87 years old, had knee replacement surgery, and after 2 weeks of the VNA physical therapist visiting her post-surgery, that was to be no more, so I took over as her personal physical therapist. I went over every day, and we’d lie on her bed and we’d start off with whatever the first exercise was on her list. I’d say, “Up, 2, 3, 4, 5; down, 2, 3, 4, 5. Up, 2, 3, 4, 5; down, 2, 3, 4, 5.” Over and over and over again. It wasn’t just “up.” It was more like “uuuuuup.” And then we’d start laughing and laughing all the while getting the exercises done. It turned plain old PT into a fun time! At her post-op appointment, her doc commented that she was the oldest (there’s that word again), healthiest patient he had ever done surgery on! What a compliment to my mom! He then asked her when she wanted her other knee done, to which she promptly replied, “Now.” And it happened soon after that.

My mother was born during the Great Depression. She remembers little things from childhood but, thankfully, wasn’t as affected by the depression as others were across the country due to her age. But she does remember walking up to the creamery for her family’s ration of butter and eggs, and collecting metal for the war effort. And one of her most memorable stories happened when she was in grade school, which was just around the corner from her house. The school caught fire in the dead of winter, and everyone was evacuated safely though without coats, hats, boots. She remembers looking over her shoulder on the way out the door to see the curtains in the gym going up in flames! Her father happened to be driving down Main Street at that exact time and glanced over to School Street and wondered to himself why all the kids were outside without their winter coats!

It’s hard to reconcile the terms “old,” “elderly,” “aged” when my mom is going strong. Yet we at times flippantly use those terms to describe friends and family members in their 70s and 80s who are sick or suffering from dementia or dying. I often wonder what my mom thinks when we use those terms, and I’m noticing myself more and more trying to downplay the age as opposed to the condition because, to me, my mom is not old, elderly or aged.

Is life fair? No, we all know life is not fair. We take the good with the bad and keep on plugging away hoping to reach whatever magic age number we choose happy and healthy. And I hope to follow in my mom’s footsteps.

Happy 90th Birthday, Mom!! You’re the best. And Happy New Year!

Happy Birthday Vermont Automobile Enthusiasts!

Lloyd Davis’s Antique Car in 1953 was a 1925 Davis, one of 692 made that year in Richmond, Indiana.

Lloyd is pictured above, not because of his car, but because he is one of the 29 Charter Members of the VAE.

The VAE began 70 years ago, in 1953, with these 29 Members.

Bradford Benson, Hyde Park
C.M Broadwell, Morrisville
Alan Burr
William Cole
John Cummings, Essex Jct.
Lloyd Davis, Middlebury
Ruie DuBois, Rutland
William Egger, Essex Jct.
F.W, Fredette, Barre
Rodney Galbraith, Essex Jct.

Kenneth Gypson, Essex Jct.
Clifton Havens, Burlington
Robert Jones, Morrisville
Walter Jones, Morrisville
Dale Lake, Ripton
Charles McNally, Katonah, NY.
David Otis, Burlington
Peverill Peake, Bristol
Roderick Rice, Burlington
Al Romano, Rutland

Edward Rotax, Ferrisburg
Robert Russel, Underhill Ctr.
P.A. Ryder, Wolcott
Steve Scott, Burlington
Kenneth Squier, Waterbury
Bert Sweetland, East Hardwick
Robert Sweetland, East Hardwick
Paul Taplin
Ronald Terrill, Morrisville

Llyod Davis, Vermont Automobile Enthusiasts

I mentioned Lloyd Davis’s antique auto that he had in 1953, on the front page. He still has it! Like all of us, once we get our hands on an old car, we do not let go. I sat down with Lloyd recently and was able to get a little of his history, I hope I took good notes, Lloyd.

He used his GI Bill for college when he got out of the Army in 1954 and graduated from UVM with a degree in Ag Economics. The “old car” fever might have begun at UVM when he became friends with people by the name of Pevy and Hockeye, to name just two.

He was drafted in the Fall of 1950 when Korea started heating up, but luckily he never left the states. He was assigned to the 980th 1st Engineer Army Battalion, Company B, at an ammo depot in Virginia called Camp Pickett. He was trained as a plumber, an electrician, low pressure boilerman, plus a number of other skills and became an Army Utility Repairman. The jobs he had could fill all the pages of this publication.

The one job that is the most memorable for him was being a part of building a movie set on the Army base for the 1953 movie “Battle Circus”. The movie was about a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) unit that later was used to base the weekly TV series. The movie stars were Humphrey Bogart, June Allyson, Keenan Wynn and Robert Keith, all of whom Lloyd met while the movie was being made.

Lloyd and a couple of GI friends were actually in the movie… well “in” meaning involved. There was a scene where a jeep had crashed and while on its side, you can see a front tire still spinning. Lloyd and his pals were assigned to pull a long piece of clothesline, off camera, to make that tire go around. I have found the movie online and when I finish this column, I plan on finding that spinning jeep tire.

As mentioned, Lloyd went to UVM after being discharged, and after college, spent much of his career working for Eastern States Co-op and The Agway Corporation. He was born and brought up in the Rutland area where he still resides. Like many of us VAEers, his love for old cars has lead him to many adventures over the years and he has met and become friends with an amazing group of people.

One brand of automobile in Lloyd’s garage is the air-cooled Franklin. Lloyd is the ‘go to’ person for those first-time Franklin owners, and for those of us who have had Franklins for a while. He was the librarian for the H.H. Franklin Club for many years. Beside his knack for details and extensive personal library, I am sure those years as librarian also helped in his knowledge of the car.

Lloyd went through the VAE’s 4-year process of being 2nd Vice, then 1st Vice, President and Chair. It appears from our history books that this happened twice as he was president in 1958 and again in 1971. We all try to do our part for our club and Lloyd has certainly done his.

I need to get one more thing into print so it will never get lost. I stopped at Lloyd’s home one afternoon unannounced and found him repairing shingles on the roof of his two story home. This was not too long ago. I reminded him how far the fall could be, but he didn’t seem concerned. I often ask, when we talk, if he has been on the roof lately and a couple of years ago he told me his southern roof was a definite no no, but the other sides were OK to be on. Asked why, he told me his doctor lived next door to the south, and he didn’t want to have deal with him if he got caught. Sorry, my friend, but this had to be written.

What Difference 70 Years Makes!

In 1953, I was 5 years old and anxiously waiting to start first grade the next year. There was no kindergarten, no Head Start, no play schools, so you just waited until you were 6 and could start first grade.

Here I might add that in Athens, Vermont, there was no bus, so transportation was walking and in good weather biking.

My granddaughter was here the other day, which got me to thinking of what she has been privileged with at 5 years of age. In ’53, there was no TV, no internet, no cell phones (for my family anyway), no computers, tablets. You get the idea. We had what is now called a “landline,” which the line part was shared with about five other houses. Every group had at least one person who had the time (or took the time) to monitor the calls. Everyone had a different ring, so you would become accustomed to who was getting a call and I guess you would decide if you should listen!

We were a one-car, one-bathroom family, a washer with no dryer, no dishwasher. (My sister and I became the dishwashers and the clothes dryer by helping hang them on the line or, in bad weather, the wooden bars near the stove.) There was still snow in 1953 but no snowblower, just shovels for us, and Grandpa would plow with the tractor. The insulation at our house was lacking so hay bales and piles of leaves went around the foundation. The storm windows were put on every fall and removed in the spring.
My mother had a huge garden and would can, pickle, and store up everything we needed in that line for the winter. I don’t recall having a store-bought vegetable, pickle, relish until I was 13 when we left the farm to move five miles to Cambridgeport, where there wasn’t room for such a big garden. I remember about that time we were “gifted” with a loaf of Wonder bread! Mother always made her own bread and rolls. As kids we were thrilled with that loaf of store-bought! How mixed up that was?? My uncle tapped five trees and Mother would boil the sap and get about three gallons of syrup. In her “free time,” she made a good share of my sisters’ and my clothes. My two brothers wore jeans and shirts, and they were bought or handed down (can’t recall).

I should mention here that Mother was a bookkeeper in a retail store in Bellows Falls while doing everything she did for us at home. I get tired just thinking about it!

I won’t be around to see what another 70 years will bring and I guess, being truthful, I don’t want to!

DO I REMEMBER 1953?

Not really. I was twelve years old (now you know how old I am), taking piano lessons and ballet lessons, riding my bike all over town sometimes with someone sitting on the seat or handlebars, roller skating, playing stick ball and jump rope in the street in front of our house, and getting ice cream from the Good Humor man when he came by.

My father drove a 1947 Dodge, and when he had two weeks of vacation, we headed to Vermont. By then, we discovered The Pines in St. Albans Bay where my father’s employer had a camp. He had some connection to St. Albans. My father rented a camp for the summer, and I spent the days on the lake, biking up to the Bay to the store for ice cream and watching ball games on Sunday mornings in the field next to the camps.

We had a beagle named Buttons. Buttons was still around when I met Gael. Gael didn’t like Beagles or Bassetts. I think Clark Wright’s parents might have owned one and it bit Gael once, so he said. He didn’t like horses either. One bit him once, so he said.

It was a good time to be young.

What a Way to Fight a Fire!

american la france 900 series pumper

I’ve been thinking about my early memories of the VAE. Gael and I weren’t married — just dating — when on occasion we would go to the VAE meetings at the Lincoln Inn in Essex Junction. I remember Pev Peake being there, because by then he was a good friend of Gael’s. Probably most of the others are gone now with the exception of Lloyd Davis. There was always a collection of old cars in the car park, a number of them being someone’s daily transportation.

Fast forward a few years to the summer of 1960. We hadn’t been married but a few weeks and living in St. Albans when a good friend, Mahlon Teachout, stopped by. The next thing I know, Gael and Mahlon had left to look at a fire truck in St. Albans somewhere. Little did I know then that that would be happening with regularity in the coming years. I guess I could have called myself an old car widow. Well, the two of them bought this fire truck, an American LaFrance fire truck, and proceeded to take it to Mahlon’s father’s shop in Colchester. They spent many hours there doing something or other, but within a matter of weeks, the fire truck became a speedster with just a seat, gas tank, and right-hand drive steering wheel, four wheels, etc.

It eventually came back to St. Albans, and we had a great time driving it around. Was it registered? Probably not, but I don’t remember. That was so many years ago when license plates got moved from one vehicle to another. I’m sitting here looking at a picture of it. Quite a thing. We took it to the Stowe Show in 1960 and that was my first memory of the Stowe Show. No trailering this beast. We drove it. What fun! Then, at one car meet at the fairgrounds in Essex that the VAE held there for a while, the track was open to folks to try out their old cars. Gael and Mahlon did just that and ended up tearing the track up, so they were asked to leave.

The next year we moved to Underhill, along with a 1934 Chevrolet Sedan (Edward), Gael’s Willys Knight, a 1927 Federal Truck, and the speedster. Eventually the speedster ended up in Barre, and then I don’t know what happened to it, but I have photos of it along with the registered number plaque and some great memories — memo- ries of the speedster and the early days of the VAE.

1941 Dodge 1/2 ton Pickup WC

Jim Shover Always Wanted a Show Pickup. He Found This One in a Field in 1973.

jim shover 1941 dodge pickup wc

Jim Shover has family all around him and they are very special to him. However, it does not take long to find another type of family in Jim’s life, and we believe if he could add the Shover surname to his Dodge, he would.

Jim’s “other” family member is a 1941, half ton, Dodge pickup WC. He found the truck, in a field, at the end of the drag strip in Milton 50 years ago. Jim paid $25 for the truck and paid someone $40 to haul it to his home in Burlington. He said the tires still held air, but mother earth was slowly reclaiming it with a tree growing through the frame. The frame was shot along with many other items on the truck, and years were spent collecting what he needed to bring the Dodge back, including the replacement frame.

Jim has “brought” this truck back in very fine fashion. A quick count of trophies over the years was in the neighborhood of 46 and counting. The person who sold the truck to Jim all those years ago was Claude Racine. We wonder how he would react to seeing the Dodge today.

1941 half ton dodge pickup wc

Jim started his mechanical training in the automotive program at Burlington High School for part of his school day, with the other part at his home school at Rice for his academics. After graduation he decided to continue his automotive track at Franklin Institute in Boston. He was amazed at the level of detail that was taught there. He speaks of having to learn the amount of oil flow for each gear of an automatic transmission, as an example. This training lead to a career with the phone companies, New England Tel & Verzon, as a mechanic. You wonder what Jim could teach us shade-tree mechanics.

So what is this Dodge WC all about?

1941 half ton dodge pickup wc interior
Simple & Efficient

WC might mean something totally different to a non-old-car person who might have traveled Europe a bit. Dodge had another idea. They made over 380,000 truck and called them WCs, VCs and VFs for the military. Another category of the same truck was “job rated” for the civilian market.

These trucks ranged from Jim’s Dodge, a 2-wheel drive, 92 HP pickup to the one & a half ton 6X6 vehicles the military needed. All the trucks shared many common parts that could be easily interchanged.

1941 half ton dodge pickup wc front
Remember that Garfield in-your-face cartoon? Nothing compare to this Dodge.

Some say the WC stands for “weapons carrier”. Others say the W simply is Dodge code for 1941 and the C for the 1/2 ton rating. Books on the subject are still disagreeing on these designations It might have to do with the confusion of WWII.

The military use for Jim’s 2-wheel drive version of the WC Dodge varied. Some had bench seats for carrying troops, and others were simply called a “Carry All”. Some were set up as a panel van, while other were used for telephone installation and repair trucks.

The sweep of those fenders, however, lets us know the truck did it with class.

A Perfect Day

I don’t follow baseball anymore but have been curious about what people think of the new rules like timing for the pitcher, etc., been curious about what people think of the making the game shorter and, I guess, less boring. I heard one father say that he saves up to take his son to a game and doesn’t feel he’s getting his money’s worth with the shorter version.

I saw the other day that the Yankees had a PERFECT GAME! Which I guess with all the celebrating is a game that is few and far between. If you baseball fans know it was not the Yankees, please forgive me because I didn’t take the time fact check and you don’t have to write me a Tweet, Twitter, email or Facebook. You get the idea! I wondered if after the game the rest of their day was perfect.

It seems that when I go out, something always happens to ruin my perfect day. The other day I was having a great day when, backing out of a parking space, I came close to running over a motorcycle (that was bigger than my car) and, thankfully for me and him, my car has a backup bell which screeched at me. I try to be very careful, but the other guy has to be careful too. His space would still have been there even with a bit of patience.

Some things that have happened lately is a woman almost knocked me over getting to the register at Kinney Drug. It was so apparent that a man grabbed my arm to steady me. Of course, she could have had a bleeding husband in the car, because she did have Band-Aids!

I have a habit of talking to people when I am shopping (thus laying myself open to different reactions). A few seem to enjoy the interaction but certainly not all. I especially like to comment on the children, and that gets you some “dagger” looks, grabbing of the children to protect them from “that” woman. As if at 75 and after raising children of my own I am out looking for kids to snatch. I want you to know that I never put my hand out to touch a child (or a strange dog for probably the same reasons).

Several years ago, Gary and I were traveling to and from Montana, and we had stopped to look at some campers when Gary noticed an old, rusty car with a camper hitched to the back. Well, it started to roll toward some brand new autos and – behold! – no driver. Gary, being quite a bit younger at the time, ran over and jumped in the car to stop it. He was met with two elderly ladies batting and yelling at him to “get out, get out!” He managed to stop the car and get out without any damage to him or the vehicles. After meeting the driver of the car, I felt this could have been the best day in these ladies’ lives to have Gary steal them away, and after they calmed down, I think they felt this way too. Gary always said if he were going down for grand larceny, auto theft and kidnapping, it wouldn’t be in an old, rusty car and camper and not one but two elderly ladies that could pass as his grandmothers!

I thought I had the perfect day last week. I was waiting for my order at the Mexican Restaurant in Derby when two ladies walked in and ordered. With what one was wearing, I was pretty sure she worked at Dunkin’ Donuts, so I asked her (and she did). Then I asked if they sell frozen lemonades anymore, and the answer was no, which I voiced my disappointment. That ended the conversation, and I got my order and started to leave when she stopped me and said if I would come in later, that she would be working and she would make me a frozen lemonade! Wow, I thought this was my lucky day!

When I went into Dunkin’, there were two big signs asking for help and saying they had to close early for that reason. Well, I got my lemonade and was feeling great about the day when the man behind me started yelling, “Can’t you all hurry up?”

Just remember, there are those out here trying for a “perfect day,” so, please, do your part to help, or at least get out of the way.

1930 Plymouth Roadster

Rita Codling and Alden Chapman owned this beauty, a 1930 Plymouth Roadster

Our 1930 Plymouth Roadster
By Alden Chapman (Written in 1980
)

Having had three roadsters previously and selling them for various reasons, we decided it was time to find another one, this time to restore and enjoy. At the 1974 Gypson Tour, mention was made of a Plymouth Roadster up for bid in an estate sale. Asking a few questions, it turned out that another member of VAE, Steve Stepheson, had been trying to purchase the car for a number of years from the original owner, but had been put off each time.

Steve would visit the owner several times a year, and the owner would have a different reason each time for not selling. I called Steve and related what I had learned. Steve said that he had enough cars and to go ahead and bid on it. A few minutes later, I called and made a bid of what I thought I could afford. I was told there were other bids from folks who had high hopes, but empty pockets. I was then told the car was mine, but that I had to get it off the property by 8 the next Saturday morning.

Having purchased the car, sight unseen, and wondering what I had bought Steve suggested that we go down Wednesday night and see the car. It turned out the car was basically complete and in not too bad shape. Some rust, but all wood was very good. The administrator had repeated that he wanted the car gone by Saturday morning with nothing fishy, make the check out to the estate and be gone by 8 AM. Saturday morning, Stephenson, Del Saben and I left Barre with Steve’s truck and a borrowed trailer long before sane people were awake and headed for West Rutland, arriving at the farm around 7. We loaded the Plymouth with no trouble and headed home, well before the deadline.

Back home again, we had a close look at the car in daylight. It would need a new engine, water had been left in and froze. Parts of the head were at least 1/4 inch above the rest with cracks around each plug hole and bolt. The rear wheel seals were gone with no brake linings, just metal against metal. We wondered how old Sam stopped?

The next evening Del Sabens stopped by. He had found an engine for me. Did I want it before the junkman got it….I sure did!

Now that I had a car and an engine, I needed to finish my garage to make a place to work on it. My nephew, Charles Codling, installed the ceiling and insulation and added a heater. I was now ready to start the restoration.

Bill Werneke straightened the fenders while they were still on the car and made a new rear fender from a collection of new and old pieces. With the fender basically straight the car was then dismantled.

Although most Chrysler-built cars had black fenders and undercarriage, this Plymouth has a green undercarriage and fenders in body color. As my sister and I are the second owners and the car had never been in an accident, this would have to be a factory job.

As finances permitted, work went on. The upholstery material was selected to come close to the green leather and compliment the original colors. Romania Grenier of Washington thought it would be an interesting experience to upholster an antique car compared to antique furniture. Sure is, isn’t it?

The engine was pulled out of the car and stripped of all usable parts and the rest junked. The engine that was to be used was sent off to the rebuilders for a complete rebuild. More about this engine overhaul later.

After having been disassembled for two years, the parts were stored in the attic, the cellar, my bedroom and everywhere else that you would find old car parts. The frame was cleaned, sanded and painted.

Then assembly started and things went slowly but smoothly. The engine came back from the rebuilders, was installed and given a short run. A new clutch was installed, but proved defective. Another new clutch was obtained and worked fine although I think I can take out the transmission and clutch and replace them blindfolded by now.

By April ‘79 things had progressed far enough to register the car and get it inspected. Early one Saturday morning we started the Plymouth up and headed for the inspection station 3 miles away. We never made it. In less than a miles a knock developed. Not knowing what was wrong, and not wishing to do any more damage, we rode home on the back of a flatbed wrecker.

We put the car in the garage up on ramps and I started to tear into the engine. All of a sudden, the car rolled off the ramps, out of the garage, and into the back of my everyday transportation. Minor damage to the Plymouth (no dents or scratches– just one bent bolt and a broken bar), but the Chrysler almost collapsed into a pile of rust. Getting the Plymouth back into the garage and properly secured, the engine was pulled. Number one rod was burned out for no apparent reason. The engine was further disassembled and it was found that the oil channels in the main bearings had not been opened up. No other damage was done. The rebuilder supplied a new rod and the engine was reassembled, installed and started. Still a knock. Good oil pressure, but still a knock. We pulled the engine apart again and still found nothing wrong. The third time, it was discovered that the wrist pin bolts were only finger tight.

Replacing the old bolts and torquing them properly, the engine ran just like a four cylinder Plymouth should.

Editor notes…

In 1980, when Alden wrote this story about he and his sister buying and restoring their Plymouth, Alden and Chris Barbieri were the editors of Wheel Tracks. Alden had also served as VAE president in 1977. I met Alden for the first time in 2013, when I took this picture for Wheel Tracks. It seems a hundred years ago. He told me in a very positive way that he missed his old cars and driving them, and had found collecting diecast cars was the next best thing. One of his two cats insisted on attention from me, the second just stood and stared at me the whole time. Alden assured me, with that great grin of his, that I was safe that the cat would not attack. We had a great talk that day.

Alden Charles Chapman
June 8, 1927 – May 23, 2016

Cars and Coffee Vermont – July 2023

Another great turnout the Cars and Coffee Vermont meet at Burlington’s University Mall!

Mark Your Calendar!

(Pictured above is our former Wheel Tracks editor, Gene Fodor, and his beloved unrestored 1953 MG TD, both ready for the 2011 costume event.)

The 66th VAE “Vermont Antique and Classic Car Meet” is on August 11, 12 & 13.

The Souvenir Tent

The Souvenir Tent has a new organizer this year……… Lester Felch has graciously volunteered to take over from Nancy Olney as she slowly steps away from her past duties.
THANK YOU, NANCY, FOR YOUR MANY YEARS OF VOLUNTEERISM!!

Lester is looking for volunteers to help him man/ woman the tent while the show meet is in progress. Would YOU step up and volunteer just a few hours of your time to sell the souvenirs? It’s a lot of fun. You get to meet many new people and watch the crowds go by. You can contact Lester at 802-793-7455 with any questions or just to sign up.

AND PLEASE DON’T FORGET…………FIELD SETUP AND BREAKDOWN:

Duane and others will be on the field from August 5th on, and they need you!! Lots to do, from pounding stakes to installing fencing and putting up tents. You don’t need to be there every day all day. Can you give a few hours of your time at some point that week? Duane and his crew will find something for you to do! It doesn’t hurt to give Duane @ 802-849-6174 a call to let him know you’re coming, or please just show up. Many hands make light work!

THE JOY OF JUDGING AT
THE VERMONT ANTIQUE AND CLASSIC CAR MEET
THE JUDGES’ CORNER

Keep in mind that some participants take the judging results very seriously, so you have the opportunity as a judge to make some owners very happy. Conversely, you can really tick off some people and the Judging Committee is likely to hear about it. In such a case, we give them your name and address (just kidding)! Overall, it’s a great way to spend a few hours on a Sunday morning. And the food at breakfast is damn good.
We need more club members to step up and become judges at the Meet. You don’t need to be an expert on a 1910 Maxwell Sedan or a 1955 Studebaker President Speedster, but if you don’t know the difference between a 1910 Maxwell and a 1955 Studebaker, this may not be the volunteer opportunity for you. A discerning eye is essential (two discerning eyes are even better). We judge vehicles on both condition and authenticity, the standard being “as delivered to the selling dealer by the manufacturer.” New judges are always paired with an experienced one, so assistance on authenticity is available. Additionally, members of the Judging Committee and the Chief Judge are available for questions.
If you might be interested in becoming a judge, please contact Steven Carpenter, the Judging Coordinator, at stevenc1974@outlook.com or 802-343-3673.
Don’t forget about the free admission, free breakfast, free hat, and free model car for every judge (we might outdo Uncle Sam on free stuff)!
Mark Bennett, Chief Judge