Q&A

Informative column featuring Old Cars Weekly reader questions about caring for antique automobiles answered by our well-respected answer man Kit Foster. Our most-read feature in our magazine, Q&A is now online to provide the nuts and bolts of classic car care at your fingertips.

Q&A with Kit Foster: June 25, 2015

Q. I just read about the shocking horn button in the 1947 Ford (May 21). This has nothing to do with battery voltage, as 6 or 12 volts DC will not shock anybody, but has to do with inductive magnetic field collapse of the horn’s actuation coil [in the horn relay]. When the battery...

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Q&A with Kit Foster: June 18, 2015

Q. This is my grandfather’s car, in a picture from 1914. I can’t find what it is. Can you? — Richard T. Meyer, Auburn, N.Y. A. The radiator shape and outline looks just like a Model F Buick. This was a popular two-cylinder car built from 1906 to 1910. I think the photo shows...

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Q&A with Kit Foster: June 11, 2015

  Q. I was contacted by a person who had bought a 1966 Barracuda from California. The VIN BP29D65157724 decodes as follows: Plymouth Barracuda; Premium price class; 2-door sports hardtop; 273-cid V8 2-barrel (LA motor); 1966; Los Angeles assembly plant; sequence number 157724. The back is a 1966 Barracuda, of course, but the front...

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Q&A with Kit Foster: June 4, 2015

Q. I have converted the 6-volt system in my straight-eight 1954 Pontiac Star Chief to 12 volts. Along with the conversion I installed an electric windshield wiper motor, which fit perfectly and works great. Not being a real mechanic, I placed a hex-head screw into the end of the vacuum hose which originally connected...

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Q&A with Kit Foster: May 28, 2015

  Q. This is a picture of my Uncle Ray, who was a Milwaukee police officer. Can you or your readers help identify the make, model and year of his patrol car. ­ — James Ackmann, Ashippun, Wis. A. The interesting fender contour tells us we’re looking at a 1961 Dodge Dart, probably a...

ArdunV8

Q&A with Kit Foster: May 21

Q. [This ad] was found in the November 1950 Mechanix Illustrated magazine. What was the Ardun Conversion Unit? — Cec Breyfogle, Storm Lake, Iowa A. It was an overhead-valve conversion for flathead Ford V8 engines. Ardun was a contraction of Arkus Duntov, and the company was an enterprise of Zora Arkus Duntov, later director...

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Q&A with Kit Foster: May 7, 2015

  Q. This name plate is brass and roughly 5 by 4 inches. Is there any history on it, and how many years did they make them? — Frank Scimemi, Groton, Mass. A. I’m not sure how well your photo will reproduce, but it’s a Cadillac data plate from the 1920-’21 period. The stamped...

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Q&A with Kit Foster: April 30, 2015

Q. I have a stock Model A Ford engine which lacks the external oil drain tube. Nor is there a provision for one. I hope you or your readers can tell me why that pipe is lacking. — A.D. Drake, Portland, Ore. A. I’m pretty sure it’s because you have a Model B engine,...

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Q&A with Kit Foster: April 23, 2015

Q. I was sent this photo by a well-informed car guy friend, in hopes that I could identify this grille. It is on the wall at his friend’s place, and when people ask he has to tell them he has no idea what it is from. While it is good for my ego that...

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Q&A with Kit Foster: April 16, 2015

Q. At first there were open touring cars, and after 1926 convertibles and roadsters. My first car was a 1942 Plymouth convertible with an “automatic” hydraulic reclining top. I have not been able to find out the year or make of the very first “automatic” reclining top.  Does anyone know? — Dave Reader, via...