Sunday, December 26, 2010

Did Santa's Sleigh Break Down???

by Willy Vinton

Have you ever wondered what would happen if Santa's old reliable sled broke down on Christmas eve?

Well,  rumor has it that Santa may have borrowed one of our faster cars to finish his route. We cannot document this, because some of our cars have no odometers, and nothing seems to be disturbed. We did, however, find a lot of dust on the Offy midget, and this image recorded on our security system.

When we dusted and cleaned the car off, we also found this pair of goggles that someone left behind. There is even a little bit of red lint left on the seat, but we cannot say for sure what happened. We have not located our Albany cutter sleigh yet either, so keep your eyes open for it.  For now, I think we will just keep these goggles on the helmet to see if anyone comes in claiming them.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


by Willy Vinton

During my recent trip I visited the NATMUS (National Automobile and Truck Museum of the United States) in Auburn IN, and had a fun time there. It is located next the the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum and is part of the original buildings used to manufacture E. L. Cord's automobile lines. The old buildings are fantanstic to see. At left is a picture of an Auburn Roadster that was dug out of a dirt bank. Anyone want a project?????

This is the Detroit 12V92 diesel engine powered vehicle that set the land speed record in 1990 at 179.506 mph, and then broke that at 226.471 mph in 1993. As you can see from the photo, it shows the inside of the original building.

Ok, someone has to know the history of this vehicle. There was no sign or information on it, but it is obviously a prototype military unit. Maybe someone can tell us about it?

This picture shows the inside of the main building where they were building the cars. I'm not sure what part of the assembly was done here, but the buildings are really great to see.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Shop News: 1911 Oakland Repairs

by Willy Vinton

We are in the process of putting the 1911 Oakland back together.  The radiator had to be repaired, the sides had broken loose, and there was a small leak in the bottom tank. We repaired it in-house and now it is ready to polish and install, as are the lights.

The front cylinder block had internal cracks that put coolant into the cylinders, so we sent it out to Cast Iron Specialties to be welded. They did a great job. We also removed the pan and cleaned out the gunk, repaired one rod cap, tightened up the mains and will be firing it up on Tuesday. We had to raise the front end up to gain clearance on the front fender to tire area, and added 2 inches to get it up where we needed it. Many thanks to Holiday Parks in Fairbanks for making the blocks for us.

We are looking forward to getting this car running again. Perhaps we'll even take it out for a test drive if it warms up a little (okay, a lot, as it was -35 F today!).

Friday, December 10, 2010

Another Adventure

 by Willy Vinton

I just returned from a trip to the east. After checking out a car, I decided to take time to visit a few museums while there. I visited the Auburn Cord Duesenburg Museum in Indiana and had a great time there. Matt Short, excutive VP of the museum, was very generous with his time and gave me a tour of the facility and collection.  The V-16 engine at right was built in 1918 by the Duesenberg brothers for aircraft use, but they had no planes to handle it so it never went into production. It's 3393 cubic inches, making 800 HP at 1800 RPM. Boy would I like to hear this thing run!

This is the building where the Imp cyclecars were made. I did walk around and, look as I may, could not find a single Imp cyclecar left unknown. I did get to study the Imp on display at the ACD. With in-depth photos in hand I was able to gain a better understanding of what and how Imps were built.                                                       

Does this look familiar? It's a Cord L-29--same as our black Cord, but with a paint scheme by Frank Lloyd Wright similar to our '33 Auburn. This was Wright's personal car and its great looks really grabbed my attention.

The ACD Museum is a great place to visit and I would recommend it to anyone that is in the area. I went to the Henry Ford Museum next but will leave that for a later post.