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Car Collector Chronicles ®

Volume V, Issue 7


Car Collector Chronicles

High RPMs

• Car Collecting Today • Classic Rides • Reports From the Field •

Oldsmobile (1897-2004)

Cadillac (1902- )

Allanté (1987-1993)

• Corvair (1960-1969)


High RPMs


GDYNets On the Web


Online Resorce Gems


Reader Feedback


We have returned from our Canada trip to Steve Plunkett’s Fleetwood Country-Cruize-In car show in London, ONT. The Gray Lady did not go to, or participate in, the show for a couple of reasons. One was the inhospitable weather. The other was mechanical. I have learned the distributor vacuum advance is not working, and needs to be replaced or rebuilt. Trying to find a replacement vacuum advance for a 57 year old car is not an easy task. It is further complicated by the fact the proper vacuum advance is a 1-year only item. It was subsequently superseded by its predecessor, the 1954 version! Assuming one was found, in what condition would the expanding/contracting diaphragm material be in 57 years later? After a lot of inquiring and searching I have found an entity that will rebuild mine. I figure that is a far safer bet than going with an unknown NOS/NORS

CCC® Forum EMail:


product. That entity is Terrill Machine in Dalton, TX. The cost? $75 + shipping, which seems reasonable to me. Now, on to the show report: Unfortunately for Steve and the charities he supports with funds from the show, participant and spectator attendance was way down this year. That was due to the weather. When rain threatens, or actually falls, classic car owners leave their rides in the garage. That is precisely what happened here. While over 3,000 cars were expected, my guesstimate is the number of cars displayed fell well shy of 1,000. I do not know what I should, or for that matter did, expect, but the quality of the cars was not all that great. Perhaps I was spoiled by virtue of having participated in the IMS Celebration of Cars event only a few weeks earlier? The highlight of the show was the Frankie Valli concert. The

guy is 78 years old, and still on top of his game. I did not know/realize that he was so short in stature, or that his speaking voice sounds like Joe Pesci. He performed for over 90 mins. straight, without a break, and was backed by excellent musicians and singers. Well worth the price of admission! - Enjoy your ride(s)!

GDYNets® on the Web Find GDYNets on the web:

In the Year 19 and 62 (Ads/Events)

July 2012

CCC® -THE FORUM Car Collector Chronicles-scribd Saved 62 - 1962 Olds web site jeandaveyaros The Gray Lady - 1955 Cadillac Coupé de Ville web site

SAVED 62: A website devoted

to our 1962 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 convertible. The site also has a lot of information on Oldsmobiles and its founder, Ransom Eli Olds.

THE GRAY LADY: This website features our 1955 Cadillac Coupé de Ville and Caddy information.

DAVE’S DEN: A website devoted to a myriad of interests. Foremost is extensive information on the “Steel City” of Gary, IN. There are also offerings on steel making, U.S. Steel-Gary Works, U.S. Marine Corps, M14 assault rifle, of course Oldsmobile, and the tragic story of the murder of Gary, IN Police Lt. George Yaros.

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Car Collector Chronicles

Online Resource Gems “How would you like to find a digital copy of the Chilton Repair Manual for your ride? Well, it is in

In June I indicated I would be discussing what I consider to be some veritable gems, in terms of online resources. How would you like to find a digital copy of the Chilton Repair Manual for your ride? Well, it is in fact available for the 1940 through 2011 model years. The availability is courtesy of the Michigan eLibrary Organization. You will find the Chilton manuals here— Now, there is a trick to accessing the repair manuals, which I am going to reveal. On clicking on the “Automotive Repair” link displayed on the above page, you will be taken to a database list. There, click on the link.

fact available.

You are now at the login page. You want to login using your MI driver The availability license number. Wait one! You say you are not from MI, and do not is courtesy of have a MI driver license; no matter. Enter F123456789123 as your driver license number and click on LOGIN. You are now in. the Michigan In the left-hand column simply enter the vehicle data for your car from eLibrary the drop down menus. After entering your car data, click SELECT. Then Organization.” click on a choice listed as available and you now are reading the Chilton manual for your car! DISCLAIMER— I did not discover this on my own. The fact is, all of this info was offered up on one of the many automobile related fora I regularly frequent. Sorry, but I do not remember which one.

Another really worthwhile source is the Wild About Cars web site. It is found at Here you will find factory service manuals, parts manuals, assembly manuals and other factory information on many different makes of cars. I recommend you register on this site. It is necessary to access the materials, and also to receive updates on new uploads added to the site on a regular basis. I suspect many of you are familiar with the next site; The Old Car Manual Project, found at It is a treasure trove for info on old cars. I have found the carburetor manuals to be particularly helpful. A veritable warehouse of info on the 1955 Cadillac is found on my very own web site— There one will find a Repair Library, NAPA™ shopping list with part #’s and pricing. I am sure that many of you have web sites which could/should be included in the list of gems. We want/need to know about them. How about relaying them to me, so I may pass them on to our readership? We all would be grateful.

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Car Collector Chronicles

Reader Feedback I have received a bit of favorable comment on the ZDDP articles. For that I humbly thank you. In addition, I received this interesting info on that subject from reader, and fellow Cadillac owner, Ed Leed: Hi Dave, Regarding your ZDDP article, here is more info that you may find useful. I race a Porsche 911S, which also has a flat tappet cam. When this issue arose about 5 years ago among the racing community, I did a lot of research because destroying a $20,000 engine is not a good idea. Among my racing friends is a Chicago area guy who designs and machines some very exotic engine components and has carefully studied this issue for himself as well as his customers. I discussed motor oil at length with him, both for our race engines as well as for my Cadillac. Charles’ recommendation for my Cadillac is Valvoline 4 Stroke motorcycle motor oil because motorcycles are not subject to the problems that ZDDP and Zinc cause with catalytic converters. Motorcycles do not have cats, hence can still run the good oil with lots of ZDDP and zinc. Valvoline 4 Stroke motorcycle oil is a petroleum oil and sells for a little over $5 a quart at AutoZone. More expensive at Advance Auto Parts and Napa. I use Royal Purple synthetic, which has about 1600ppm of ZDDP and Zinc, in the Porsche because I want the additional cooling that a synthetic provides. I use Valvoline 4 Stroke motorcycle oil in my 1954 Cadillac and my 1974 AMX. I was advised me not to use synthetic oils in my old Cadillac engine because it will likely leak a lot more. I considered using Joe Gibbs oil until I learned how expensive it is and how difficult it is to buy. Brad Penn is good too, and many of my racer friends use it, but it is impossible to find in retail stores. The Valvoline 4 Stroke motorcycle oil can be found in most of the car parts stores. Hope this helps.

Thanks Ed!

“Motorcycles are not subject to the problems that ZDDP and Zinc cause with catalytic converters. Motorcycles do not have cats, hence can still run

Editor Error Last month I failed to include a subject line in my monthly mailing to readers on the availability of the June issue of CCC®. I guess I did not realize the impact this omission would have? It resulted in the number of people reading the June edition to have dropped, significantly; from 152, to 41! You 111 folk missed out on Part II of my Zinc/ZDDP article. Not to worry it, and the rest of the June issue, is still available for your reading pleasure online at the usual location. I do apologize for the omission, and the possible resultant treatment of my monthly email notice as spam. Hopefully, I will not make that mistake again.

the good oil with lots of ZDDP and zinc.”

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Service Search Saga In the hopes that my, certainly not unique, experience may be helpful to others, let me relate a recent incident. As mentioned on the High RPM’s column on page one, we were not able to take The Gray Lady on our Canada trip. This was due, in part, to it needing a repair. Well this story is about procuring repairs on a 57 year old ride. In my case, the distributor vacuum advance has apparently given up the ghost. At least that is what others more knowledgeable than me when it comes to engine electronics reported back. The distributor vacuum advance is that gray-colored thingamajig that attaches to the outside of the distributor. It consists of a canister or housing that holds a flexible diaphragm inside. The diaphragm is connected to an arm that goes inside the distributor and mates with a pivot on the distributor counterweight assembly. When engine vacuum is applied, the arm moves the counterweights, thus providing timing advance. Who knows what shape the flexible diaphragm is in after all these years? It is certainly conceivable that it has deteriorated to the point of not being able to pull a vacuum, and thus not provide the needed advance to the distributor. Ok, it doesn’t work. Nor is it repairable, at least by me. So, what does one do? The logical thing is to buy and install a replacement. I should be able to handle that task. I first turned to my master parts book and looked up the item. While I found it, and the corresponding part number, that was not of much help. Why? I also learned the 1955 Cadillac distributor vacuum advance was a one year only part. In fact, the parts manual indicated that it has been subsequently superseded by its predecessor, the distributor vacuum advance used from 1951 to 1954! Knowing now precisely what it is I am looking for, I turn to the internet. I plug the needed part number and description into my trusty search engine, to see what I can find. Believe it or not, I actually do get a few hits. They pertain to both NOS and used distributor vacuum advances for The Gray Lady. The price range for them runs from $40 to $150. $40 seems reasonable to me, while $150 seems to border on the ridiculous. The more I think about this dilemma, the more I wonder how flexible will the diaphragm material be in a NOS part that has been sitting around for nearly three score years? With regard to a used part, will it work, and if so for how long? After all when installing a used part, I would be putting in an item that is as old as the failed one I have removed. My thinking turns to the possibility of having my distributor vacuum advance rebuilt. At least in this scenario I know the diaphragm material will be new, not over a half-century old at the time of install. That being the case, its useful life should be at least as long as the years I have remaining on this earth, if not longer. So at this point, the question is who might be able to rebuild the distributor vacuum advance? For an answer to this question I turn again to the internet, not to a search engine, but to some of the fora that I regularly haunt. I went to some of my Cadillac sites

Car Collector Chronicles

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and posted my query. Two important points are to be made here. #1, Chances are someone else has been where you are. #2, There is inherent value in associating with other like-minded and similarly situated folk. The truth of the above is seen from the fact that I received a number of replies to my query, along with contact information on entities that could/would rebuild the distributor vacuum advance. One outfit was mentioned more than once. That outfit was also mentioned favorably each time. That outfit is also a long time advertiser in Hemmings Motor News®. Based on the recommendations, I made a few phone calls to further investigate. My conversation indicated the individual knew what I was talking about when I mentioned the term “distributor vacuum advance.” That was good sign! I was given a reasonable time table for the rebuild, and informed as to the total cost; including shipping and handling. Perhaps most impressive was the fact that no money was to be sent up front. Send the part. When it is ready they will call me for billing info. This procedure gave me a bit of confidence that the outfit was not interested solely in extracting money from my wallet. Who is this outfit? It is Terrill Machine, Inc., out of De Leon, TX. With the name and location you can find the information to contact them, should a need arise. Or, you may call them at (254) 893-2610. What I can tell you is that my distributor vacuum advance is packaged and sitting on the counter as I type; to be taken to the post office tomorrow morning.

– Ok, I’ve had my say for the month. Now it’s your turn! I invite/encourage submission of your comments, opinions and article contributions. I also ask that you please help spread the word about our publication. Everything sent shall indeed be reviewed by me. Submissions should be sent to CCC® at

–– Now that you have finished reading this month’s issue of the newsletter, come start/ join an ongoing dialog with other CCC® readers and like-minded car collector folk on the CCC® Forum. Stop by, check us out and share your views … . ______________________________________



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Car Collector Chronicles

In the Year 19 and 62

The World Which Greeted Saved 62 — July ‘62

July 2 – The first Walmart store, then known as Wal-Mart (which is still the corporate name), opens in Rogers, Arkansas. July 10 – AT&T's Telstar, the world's first commercial communications satellite, is launched. July 17 – Nuclear Testing: The "Small Boy" test shot (Little Feller I) becomes the last atmospheric test at the Nevada Test Site.

– Senate rejects Medicare for the aged on this day in history.

Car Collector Chronicles 07-12.pdf  

The July 2012 issue of CCC (07/2012, 6 pgs.) comments on Steve Plunkett's Fleetwood Country Cruize-In in London, ONT Canada, notes some veri...

Car Collector Chronicles 07-12.pdf  

The July 2012 issue of CCC (07/2012, 6 pgs.) comments on Steve Plunkett's Fleetwood Country Cruize-In in London, ONT Canada, notes some veri...