Q&A with Kit Foster: May 1, 2014

Publish date:

Q. Last year I found one beauty ring (with no hole for a valve stem) at a local swap meet. I would like to find or buy four more. It was a new item in that it did not look old in any manner. It appeared re-manufactured for a particular car, which one I don’t know. The outside diameter is 13-7/8 inches, the inside diameter 8-7/8 inches. The height is one inch. Any help would be appreciated.

— Tom Maxon, Palm Springs, Calif.

A. With no hole for a valve stem it cannot cover a whole wheel, so it must be for a 15- or 16-inch wheel, and is perhaps held on by the hub cap. Does anyone recognize it?


Q. In “Q&A” for April 3, Ed Sapp asks for information about an olive drab door handle. The door handle was Army issue. The application I am most familiar with was for the door handle on the Army Signal Corps pre-fab, truck mounted, communications shelter model number S-44/G. The “H700” key was also known as a “700 series” key. This lock core had many applications. It was used in the padlock issued with the mechanic’s tool kit, the doors on the 3/4-ton telephone utility body, the fuel-dispensing doors on the M-49 fuel tank truck, and the long shackle padlocks for the doors on the M292 expandable van. The cab doors and the ignition switches of “my era” (1955-’79) military design trucks did not have locks. If it was necessary to secure the vehicle, a padlocked chain looped through the steering wheel was used.

— Bill Evans, U.S. Army (Ret), via e-mail

A. Well, well, well. Our readers never disappoint us. I was looking in the right category, but the wrong sort of application. I wonder if the same company that made the door handles for Ed Sapp’s 1929 Plymouth also supplied the later military version, but without a maker’s name for either one we may never know. Thanks for solving the mystery for us.


Q. I have a ’55 T-Bird with a six-volt electrical system. After about 35 minutes with the headlights on, motor running or not, the headlights blink off and on whether it is on high beam or low beam. The taillights do not blink. Could this be the headlight switch or the dimmer switch?

— Ken Felty, via e-mail

A. It’s possible that it could be either one of those, but since it happens with both high and low beams, it seems more likely that it’s the light switch, and specifically the headlight contact within that switch (since the taillights are not affected). There’s also a junction block between the dimmer switch and the lights, but this, too, has separate connections for high and low beams and it’s unlikely that both those junctions are intermittently bad. The parking lights are also fed through this junction block. The on-off nature of the problem suggests a circuit breaker that cools off, then resets itself, but I do not see one in the wiring diagram, nor do I see a relay in the lighting circuit. It could be, however, that somebody has added one.



Q. Regarding the question of the “8” insignia with a bottom mounting that was covered a few issues back (Jan. 2 and Feb. 6), it was used only on the first series Studebaker President Model FA cars produced between December 1927 and June 1928. Here is a photo of one such car. That is Harvey Firestone Sr. behind the wheel and his Florida mansion in the background.

— Richard Quinn, editor emeritus, Antique Studebaker Review, Mokena, Ill.

A. Well, that explains why the Studebaker photo I found had the “8” mounted differently. Thanks for clearing up the mystery.

To submit questions to this column: E-mail angelo.vanbogart@fwmedia.com or mail to: Q&A, c/o Angelo Van Bogart, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990-0001.

Got Old Cars?

If you don't subscribe to Old Cars Weekly magazine, you're missing out on the only weekly magazine in the car hobby. And we'll deliver 50 issues a year right to your mailbox every week for less than the price of a oil change! Click here to see what you're missing with Old Cars Weekly!

More Resources for Car Collectors:

Where to Bid

Car Auciton

Check out the Old Cars Auction Calendar

The Old Cars Auction Calendar has the when and where you are looking for when it comes to classic car auctions.