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Q&A: May 2, 2019 Edition

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Q. Paul Weaver (Feb. 28) asked about putting his 1951 Plymouth business coupe on a different chassis. His car is on a 111-inch wheelbase. A 2001 standard cab Dodge Dakota is on a 112-inch wheelbase. Would this be a close match?
— Mike Stevens, via email

A. At first glance it would seem so, and have the additional virtues of being all-MoPar and perhaps four-wheel drive. There will still be body mounting issues and the matter of the steering column, but those are minor compared to wheelbase mismatch. I have passed this suggestion on to Mr. Weaver. I hope he keeps us advised about how the project proceeds.

Q. A few years ago I was fortunate to accompany a group to a private collection of cars located off Route 46 in Mims, Fla. While driving that road last week I noticed a “for sale” sign at end of the driveway.Searching the web I found pictures of the entire property, with all display areas empty.It was supposed to have been owned by a person who sold a large trucking company (Yellow Freight). I am curious if anyone knows what happened to the fantastic collection?
— Paul Rennie, via email

A. You bring up an interesting point. There are lots of little-known private car collections throughout our country. Some comprise simply cars in a large garage or industrial building. Others are small museums, not open to the general public, but opened to tour groups of car clubs and the like. Over the years, as circumstances change, the collections and museums, even public ones, close, move or are dispersed. Very often the dispersal comes at an auction. Some feel it’s almost sacrilegious to break up a collection, but in most cases the cars simply find new homes with a new generation of collectors who, hopefully, will maintain and use them. Just in the last few months we’ve learned that the Tupelo Auto Museum collection in Mississippi is being auctioned in April. Private collections that have recently come to market include those of Don Boulton in Oklahoma City, which had a most unusual selection of brass-era cars, and Fred Guyton in St. Louis, who owned many uncommon Full Classics.

As for the Florida collection you mention, I’m not familiar with it. By searching online I’ve found that Yellow Freight, founded in Oklahoma City in 1924, purchased and then merged with Roadway Express, formed in 1930 in Akron, Ohio. The new company became YRC in 2009, and since 2012 is known as YRC Freight.

Q. Last year (May 24, 2018, to be exact), Bob Baker of Klamath Falls, Ore., wrote about a Kari-Keen trunk that he has. It’s an accessory for Model A Fords that mounts on the rear, and unfolds to make a handy, though small, pickup box. I was vaguely aware of such things, but it took some searching to find a picture of one, taken from a period advertisement.

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A. This past September I happened upon one “in the wild.” I was at the “By Land and By Sea” car show at Mystic Seaport Museum, near me in Mystic, Conn. The annual show is restricted to cars of 1931 and older, and always has a wide range of makes in a wide variety of conditions. One exhibitor had come with a “barn find” 1928 Model A Tudor sedan, which he displayed amidst a trove of interesting artifacts from its era. One of those artifacts was a Kari-Keen trunk, affixed to the rear of the car. As you can see, it greatly expands the carrying capacity of the Model A. The owner confirmed my suspicion that carrying heavy objects, like full milk cans, in the Kari-Keen tends to unbalance the Model A. Still, it was nice to see a period accessory in use, if only for display.

To submit questions to this column: E-mail or mail to: Q&A, Old Cars Weekly,5225 Joerns Drive, Suite 2, Stevens Point, WI 54481.

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