Archive for October, 2012

Saturday was a great day to go for a drive and a gathering of old friends in White Plains was a wonderful venue for showing off the old car.  Sure, it was overcast and windy with the threat of thunderstorms, but hey, that happens and I have side curtains that I knew I could always use “just in case”.

Mike Getz (who is one of my buddies since the 80s) volunteered to be part of the phaeton “push team” and join me for the drive.  This means that if we broke down he would help push the car.   Mike met me in Rockland County at 1:15 and we gave the car the “pre-drive check up” including adding oil, a little water, and gas.  Then off we went.

Here is a video of us heading over the Tappan Zee Bridge.

We made it to White Plains with no issues or incidence and with the typical mass thumbs up and waves as we drove.  Mike reported that he felt like he was in a parade with everyone waving at him and him waving back.    The car was driven at between 45 and 53 MPH on the highways and I kept an eye on the thermo-quail… as we know my engine likes to heat up.  As we passed the gathering place for the reunion, there was no parking so we circled the block and found that the venue had parking in the back…. what a spot!!!!  The gods of parking karma gave us the spot right by the entrance.  This also let me show the car off to all the folks who attended…. which I will admit to having enjoyed.

One of the highlights was when a friend’s wife looked under the hood and started in with a “let me see… 1, 2, 3, 4 plugs… so it is a 4 cylindar, that is the starter, that is the stearing… is that an altenator?  Where is the carb?  If this was mine I would want to……”  She rattled off a bunch of good things on my “to do list”.  All I have to say is, Todd…. you are a lucky man.

At about 4PM the wind picked up and the sky got dark.  So that it wouldn’t rain Mike and I went outside and put up the side curtains.  Curtains up, no rain.  Let’s just say that I haven’t put up the curtains in quite some time so the first few attempts were clumbsy at best.   Thankfully it didn’t rain.  By 6:00 the gathering started to shut down and a few folks were going to head to a steak dinner in Port Chester at 7/7:30.

With time on our side Mike and I then took a cruise to Dobbs Ferry and then headed back to White Plains and then Port Chester.  The temperature was dropping into the 50s, so we left the back and center side curtains up.   The side curtains were holding up on the driver side, but falling down on the passenger side every time we moved the car…. I didn’t know why but figured I would check it out later.   When we got to our destination, I did not let the valet try to park the car, but did get another perfect parking spot across from this venue.   Dinner was nice and ran until 11:30PM.

At this point of the evening Mike and I needed to do about 30 minutes of night driving.  On the blog we have talked about the generator in the car and how you need to adjust to provide the correct level of power for night driving.  My headlights draw a lot of amps when set on brights.  For day driving, I have the generator putting out about 8 amps with no lights on.  If I was to drive at night with the generator set for day driving, I would drain the battery in no time and Mike would have to push the car while I held a flashlight and sat on the hood so we could se where we were going.  To avoid this, we decided to adjust the generator before heading home.  While under the hood I heard “HEY! DO YOU NEED PARTS!!!” being yelled at us from a guy in an ice cream delivery truck.  I said “thanks but we are ok” and the driver quickly shared with us that he owns a Model A.  If you happen to know who this guy is, please thank him.   No help was needed, but I LOVE that the Model A community is so helpful.  The lights/generator worked fine, however, I still used the flashlight to keep an eye on the dash (the light doesn’t work) and on the thermo-quail.

Let’s talk about the side curtains.  When it is 50 degrees out and you have a convertible without heat, you want to close the windows of your car and let the muffler heat the floorboards up.  When the side curtains don’t stay up, you can’t do this.  Why were the curtains falling off? Here is a video of my findings and a few photos.   If you happen to know where I can find appropriately sized pop-pins, please let me know.

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