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Hot Rods ***Hot Rod Idiosyncrasies (What are your favorite things about old cars?)***

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by JeffreyJames, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. low-n-slo54
    Joined: Jul 25, 2009
    Posts: 1,920


    You can get reversible saftey wire pliers through Snap-on. The trick is to remember wire them that if one is to loosen, it tightens the other. 6-8 twists per inch is the proper tightness, 1/2" pigtail on the end, and bend the pigtail over and fold it along the contour of the nut. Get the "Aviation Mechanics Handbook". It gives the procedures for wiring. It's really that easy. Oh yeah, watch out for bloody hands.

    I love the smells too. But what really gets me is that distintive sound of an inline 6 and Powerglide at low speeds through a neighborhood.

  2. Good one!

    Bellcranks and linkage. "Detroit" joints...Mopar guys know what I'm talking about.

  3. gofaster
    Joined: Oct 6, 2005
    Posts: 172

    from georgia

    Remebering that carburated cars used to have a faint gas smell after they were turned off and the heat from the engine worked on what fuel was still in the fuel bowl.

    On cold mornings and giving the gas pedal one good shove to the floor to set the choke and give the girl a shot of fuel.

    The sound of gas sloshing around in the gas tank that was mounted behind the seat of a mid to late 60's chevy truck.

    Manipulating various vent windows, floor vents and side windows to get the best air flow on a hot day.

    Holding the gas pedal to the floor to clear a flooded engine.

    The feel of early ignition swithces.

    Cranking out the vent windows on the 56 chevy.

    The view out of the front windshield of a car that had a wrap around type windshield.

    Cable drive tach drives and the hypnotic dance they did when trying to read the vibes of a big cammed motor.

    The slow, uneven sound a starter makes when trying to crank over a hot, high compression engine.

    The feel of a mechanicaly (not hydraulic) operated clutch.

    These are just a few of my favorite things.
  4. diggerrick
    Joined: Dec 30, 2008
    Posts: 24

    from Ohio

    Not really a "hot rod" thing, but I thought it was cool sitting in Grandpa's truck push-starting Dad up the fire-up road. He'd put his hand up & wave, Grandpa let off the gas, and we'd hear "crack-crack-crack-crack-crack" as the rail pulled away. That always gave me goosebumps when I was a kid.
  5. We are forgetting a whole aspect..... the "thumbs up", or the wave from the local P.D., Highway Patrol, and Sheriff's Dept., as we cruise by. My favorite though has to be, soccer mom in the mini van at the stop light, and the sound of the electric door locks activating. " OMG, children dont look at him!!!!!!!!!, and looking at the husband saying " dont even think about it....}.:eek: "
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2010
  6. Francisco Plumbero
    Joined: May 6, 2010
    Posts: 2,536

    Francisco Plumbero
    from il.

    It's funny, the old people look at you and smile when you are in an old car making noise, they get it, the young ones just stare at you, they're lost. I think the disconnect there is great.
  7. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    from BC

    The smell, hot oil, gas, hot metal, oh yea, and solid-lifter clatter. New cars feel like you are sitting in your living room playing a video game. No sense of anything mechanical happening. Sterile.
  8. They don't drive you, you have to drive them.

    I had a buyer one time for a 56 chevy wagon and he told me that he never owned an old car what advise can I give. I said "Well if you're married then you can deal with an old car. By that I mean someday's that baby runs great and you love it, then another day it won't start and you want to kick it." He got the message.

    This one is fo sale.

    Attached Files:

  9. moefuzz
    Joined: Jul 16, 2005
    Posts: 4,950


    I Forgive You For Being A ChevyGirl





    Last edited: Nov 20, 2010
  10. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 4,147

    Ned Ludd

    Idiosyncracies specifically? as in appealing little bits of automotive weirdness?

    Switchgear that looks like it's meant for something non-automotive.
    Floor-mounted dip switches, especially when used to switch something else.
    Handles, latches, catches, etc. that work in clever and unexpected ways, crafted from scratch or adapted from something else.
    Minor components in unusual places, like ignition key-switches on the transmission tunnel, or radios installed vertically for lack of room, or gauges in the engine compartment.
    Gauges that work in unusual ways for no apparent reason, like drum or ribbon speedometers.
    Complex arrangements of gearing, like overdrives, underdrives, auxiliary boxes, etc.
    Badges and mascots that light up, driving lights incorporated into other components in unusual ways.
    Radiator mascots that are completely obscure unless you know the story.
  11. striper
    Joined: Mar 22, 2005
    Posts: 4,498


    Window down with an elbow resting on the door top. Thumb and first 2 fingers on the wheel. Other arm stretched across the back of the bench seat back. Looking through the split screen over the bulbous '52 Chev hood.

    When I drive my 52 a lot I don't notice that stuff. When I get in it after driving newer cars for a while it always makes me smile. I feel like the king sitting in that driving position.
  12. model.A.keith
    Joined: Mar 19, 2007
    Posts: 6,279


    The smell...

    floor mounted foot starter

    wooden floors

    hand controls.....advance/retard/throttle

    that slightly leaky fuel shut off valve

    The car that has a 'mind of it's own' as it wanders down the road

    the look you get from people when you tell them it's 82 years old and it has a top speed of 45/50 mph ...... !

    oh .........and did i mention the smell

  13. Jalopy Jim
    Joined: Aug 3, 2005
    Posts: 1,867

    Jalopy Jim

    My being involved in the driving process. ( very lacking in modern cars, if you have to ask on this one you'l never get it. )
    Chrome and style ( is that Mrs Jalopy's Camry or is that a Ford over there??? )
    Being responsible for the recreation of my projects.
  14. BrerHair
    Joined: Jan 30, 2007
    Posts: 4,548


    Great stuff, Jeffrey.

    Did someone say analog gauges ? Analog gives you the entire picture all the time. You instantly see the entire range from low to high and where your flibbidity-gibbit is reading within that range. Including clocks, radios, everything.

    Speaking of radios, analog tuning allows you to get at that exact sweet spot of frequency that digital does not allow. It's like the dfference between cooking with gas or electric. Gas (analog) has an infinite number of settings within the entire range. Electric (digital) does not.

    And how about mechanical vs. digital controls ? You simply cannot beat the pull knob (or slide knob)-connected-to-the-cable-connected-to-the-gizmo. Maybe even get a little vacuum help (say, wipers) with another mechanical hose connection. Mechanical is intuitive, it is all in plain sight, there to be appreciated and understood. Digital is all behind-the-curtain, not at all intuitive, rather complex and unaccessible to the average Joe.

  15. 4 pedals
    Joined: Oct 8, 2009
    Posts: 750

    4 pedals
    from Nor Cal

    I love the feel of mechanical linkages. Choke, throttle, manual steering, clutch linkage, heater with a switch lableled BLOWER.

    The feel of any old vehicle going down the road with a manual transmission, decelerating when you let off the gas, and the sweet burble that goes with.

    The smell of a hot engine, the gas vapors from vented carbs, hint of oil from the leaking valve covers onto the exhaust...

  16. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,758

    Member Emeritus

  17. Malpass
    Joined: Sep 18, 2005
    Posts: 492


    My old galaxie had crank out vent windows, I miss those.
  18. mickeyc
    Joined: Jul 8, 2008
    Posts: 1,117


    I really like the ignition switch and steering wheel lock on my 40 Ford.
  19. johnybsic
    Joined: Oct 8, 2009
    Posts: 612

    from las vegas

    Buying one. and going through its interior.
    I found a quarter from 1964, 3 hershey kisses, a bunch off "Pull off" beer can tops. The letters "T&J" etched into my glove box door... a just a bunch of cool little things, I like to peice its history together in my mind. Imagine that guy driving around in 71' looking for the Goddamed quarter he dropped. Or two kids scratching their name into the chrome.
  20. getting asked "wheres the car show today?" from people at the gas station. They asume that a person couldnt just be using one of those old cars for daily transportation. I like all the above things also but most of all that i use a car built in 1954 as my daily, i like passing minivans on the freeway, whith my 2 kids in there car seats strapped in my back seat.Pooring lead substitute into the tank everytime i fill up, also adding zddp to the oil.
    The fact that it doesnt look like every other car out on the road in this modern day.
  21. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 7,004


    "3 on the tree"
  22. TerrytheK
    Joined: Sep 12, 2004
    Posts: 843


    Yup, you can. (I just did!!) :)
  23. 42 chevy
    Joined: Nov 1, 2006
    Posts: 623

    42 chevy

    I like the cowl vents and wing windows. O like everything about them but those two are my favorites. The style on the old cars is awesome and I love that they were so distinctive and classy.
  24. 117harv
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 6,590


    The feeling of anxiety and fear as you make the first cuts on a top chop, and the feeling of accomplishment when it's back together.

    The enjoyment and struggle to find those elusive vintage part or parts for your ride, and the excitement when you do.

    When you get that new project home and you are checking it out and deciding where to start and what to do.

    Starting your ride and taking that first drive after a long build.....YEAH BABY!!!
  25. 51farmtruck
    Joined: Jul 23, 2007
    Posts: 872


    Floor mounted dimmer switches, what else does your left foot has to do when your in high gear ?The guy that invented that turn signal switch should be castrated in public! real handy when you got something to eat or drink in your hand. Chris
  26. GARY?
    Joined: Aug 15, 2005
    Posts: 1,626


    Cracking the windshield just so you can hear the air getting sucked into the carbs.
  27. guitar man
    Joined: Sep 13, 2010
    Posts: 210

    guitar man
    from Tulsa OK

    Metal interiors on old trucks. I like the fact that other than the seats I can re-upholster the whole damn thing with a spray gun. :D
  28. 36fred
    Joined: Nov 15, 2010
    Posts: 102


    I like driving my flatty powered roadster p/u with 39 box and side shift gears because it makes my left foot happy again. Through the years they have taken all the jobs of my left foot away,automatic, ther goes the clutch, but I could still use that dimmer switch, then they put that on the blinker. You'll have to excuse me I got to go set in my roadster.
  29. Randy D
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 339

    Randy D

    I dig the glow of taillights at night. And the usually dim glow of any vintage dash clusters while driving down the road late at night, especially your the only car on the road.
  30. lostforawhile
    Joined: Mar 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,160


    the newest car I own is 20 years old, and the other is 25, the POS civic doesn't count since it's dead in the front yard. The 20 year old Lincoln I just got has plenty of it's own Idiosyncrasies, as any Ford made in that era will have, it's big, ugly and square, and has a 302 though. who's complaining? It has enough electrical gremlins to make Lucas jealous and the usual ford oil leaks, and problems. It also has that first generation Pacman dash that you can't see in the daytime. It sure rides nice though, and I could put a smart car in the trunk. speaking of those, one cut me off the other day, and I had to slam on the brakes, when I laid on the horn, I thought it's driver was going to need a pants change. Thats another nice thing about old cars, LOUD horns. It's too bad so many of these were destroyed during that cash for clunkers crap, they are great cars. the interior still reminds me of much older cars, even smells like a car 30 years older then it is. I miss big American cruisers with these super plush interiors, they will never be made like this again. I like my small cars, but everyone needs one of these too
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2010

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