By Llewellyn Hedgbeth
Cadillac, a U.S. marque since 1902, built some of its best cars during the post-WWII boom, and from 1949-1962, advertised them as prestigious luxuries. General Motors, with Chief stylist Harley J. Earl leading the charge, brought out innovations now called classic: tailfins, lots of chrome and polished stainless steel, and wraparound windshields. Bankers who'd already proven themselves, businessmen trying to make it, Jewish and black workers hoping to achieve the American dream but blocked from attaining it — all were anxious to have an impressive car that was also dependable and a sound investment in their futures. GM's Cadillac was happy to oblige.
It was aided in that by its long-time advertising firm MacManus, John and Adams. Founder Theodore F. MacManus had been a newspaper reporter who migrated to working with advertising firm Erwin, Wasey & Co. before opening his own agency in September 1916. His firm specialized largely in automotive advertising, with Cadillac, Dodge and Hupmobile among its clients. MacManus wrote a famous Cadillac all-text ad that ran just once — in the January 2, 1915 edition of The Saturday Evening Post — entitled "The Penalty of Leadership." Here’s the content:
"In every field of human endeavour, he that is first must perpetually live in the white light of publicity. Whether the leadership be vested in a man or in a manufactured product, emulation and envy are ever at work. In art, in literature, in music, in industry, the reward and the punishment are always the same. The reward is widespread recognition; the punishment, fierce denial and detraction. When a man's work becomes a standard for the whole world, it also becomes a target for the shafts of the envious few. If his work be mediocre, he will be left severely alone — if he achieves a masterpiece, it will set a million tongues a-wagging. Jealousy does not protrude its forked tongue at the artist who produces a commonplace painting. Whatsoever you write, or paint, or play, or sing, or build, no one will strive to surpass or to slander you unless your work be stamped with the seal of genius. Long, long after a great work or a good work has been done, those who are disappointed or envious, continue to cry out that it cannot be done. Spiteful little voices in the domain of art were raised against our own Whistler as a mountebank, long after the big would had acclaimed him its greatest artistic genius. Multitudes flocked to Bayreuth to worship at the musical shrine of Wagner, while the little group of those whom he had dethroned and displaced argued angrily that he was no musician at all. The little world continued to protest that Fulton could never build a steamboat, while the big world flocked to the river banks to see his boat steam by. The leader is assailed because he is a leader, and the effort to equal him is merely added proof of that leadership. Failing to equal or to excel, the follower seeks to depreciate and to destroy — but only confirms once more the superiority of that which he strives to supplant. There is nothing new in this. It is as old as the world and as old as human passions — envy, fear, greed, ambition, and the desire to surpass. And it all avails nothing. If the leader truly leads, he remains — the leader. Master-poet, master-painter, master-workman, each in his turn is assailed, and each holds his laurels through the ages. That which is good or great makes itself known, no matter how loud the clamor of denial. That which deserves to live — lives."
Cadillac had brought out a V8 Touring car but did so before all the bugs were worked out. Packard mounted an attack with rumors that the car was unreliable. MacManus's ad, entitled "The Penalty of Leadership," mentioned Cadillac only in the border surrounding the text and explained that envy in others was occasioned only by companies honoring "standards of excellence". Almost immediately Cadillac was besieged with customer requests for copies of the ad, and sales boomed. Continue to read more by clicking the button below...
1. Buy a vehicle that you are knowledgeable and passionate about, and always buy the absolute best example of that vehicle within your budget.
2. You can easily overpay for a good car, but you will never overpay for a truly great collector car.
3. When buying an all original Collector Car the key variables are:
4. If a good example is not within your budget, either hold off until you have the necessary funds, or focus on the acquisition of a more attainable vehicle.
5. Budget accordingly for the necessary cost of maintenance. Be sure you have the resources, the people and the ability to properly maintain the vehicle both mechanically and cosmetically.
6. Restore a good car when it makes sense. Thoroughly evaluate exactly what is needed and if anything, overestimate the costs of the restoration.
7. You can never go wrong seeking the unbiased advice of a trusted professional before buying a collector car.
8. Don’t get caught up in market trends. The collector car market is susceptible to “bubbles” just like the real estate Market and the stock market.
9. Buying a collector car privately has many advantages over buying a vehicle at a collector car auction or online auction. Auction buying is a lot like gambling and with live auctions, the house always wins.
10. Be patient, but know when to act fast. Be glacial and calculating when seeking out an excellent example. Don’t settle thinking that this car is the best I am going to find. You will unequivocally know when you found “right car” and you must able to move fast to secure it.
— Dean Laumbach
Something to consider for the CLC GRAND NATIONALS in Louisville
— and future DRIVING TOURS?
Using the CB Radio for Classic Car Touring
Some say CBs are a requirement for touring. But there’s an App for that too!
Using a Citizens’ Band (CB) radio to someone who has never used one is sort of like trying to explain how to operate a TV to someone who has never watched one before. But it's really not as complicated as you might think. Remember, it's a RADIO. Think of the channels as different radio stations. There is no limit as to the number of "listeners" that can be tuned in to a particular channel. You agree in advance on a particular channel for your group. CBs have 40 channels. Just pick for your group to use. Avoid Ch 9 and 19 (trucker channels).
How does it help with touring? The Buick tours typically have 2-4 groups of 10-15 cars each. Each group will have its own channel designation. This is done because we are usually running 5-10 minutes apart, but if that distance closes up, you need different channels for each group to avoid "bleeding over." The range of most regular CBs is usually 1-2 miles but will depend on the area. Mountains and/or hills will normally cut the distance.
The CB is used primarily to give directions. For example, the leader might call out, "Turn right at 10th St.by the Texaco station." Then your group’s "tail gunner" will announce "tail gunner made the turn on 10th St." In the event of an emergency (e.g., a break down) someone can say, "So & so is pulling over," or the person who is pulling over might say "Everything is okay, we just need to make an unscheduled pit stop."
Buying a CB radio: What type of CB do you need? Just a "basic/simple" CB can be bought for well under $100, and many fine ones cost about $59. The antenna will be another $40-$60. Truck stops are the best place to buy CB's, now that there are no Radio Shacks. You don't need a $150 unit.
Mounting the CB radio equipment can be as simple as plugging it into the cigarette lighter and laying the CB on the seat. Or you can buy a plastic mount that just sits on the transmission hump. You can buy a mounting bracket that will screw into the bottom of the dash under the ash tray. Or try a console drink tray that sits on the transmission hump and mount the CB bracket to it. The CB will have a cigarette power plug-in.
Most antennas have magnetic mounts, but some attach to the side window. Magnet mounts are the most popular. Just put a thin piece of cloth under the magnet to prevent scratching and run the cord (called "coax,” short for coaxial cable) through a corner of the window. There is no problem rolling the window up on it. Most drivers mount their antenna on the trunk lid and run the coax in through the trunk behind the rear seat. Some people pull up the edge of the carpet by the door jam, but many just run it on top of the carpet and under the floor mats.
What about that app for my smart phone? If everyone in your touring group has a smart phone, you can eliminate CBs altogether. There are apps that allows you to program all group member's cell numbers in. It works just like the old Nextel "Push to Talk." One app to try out is “CB Radio Chat,” free at your app store.
Perhaps something to consider for the drive up to the CLC GRAND NATIONALS in Louisville — and FUTURE DRIVING TOURS?
— Doug Bailey, Peach State Cadillac and LaSalle Club
It’s As Easy As ABC
— By Lynn Newport
Like most car buffs, when growing up I read any magazine I could get
my hands on to learn about those new and exciting future cars Detroit
had in the pipeline. Popular Mechanics had a particularly good name
for their monthly ‘Spy’ report called the Detroit Listening Post,
Popular Science named it The Detroit Report. These articles where
nothing more than a crystal ball prediction of what new cars were
coming down the line.
In these magazines’ pieces, it was often stated a GM car was going to
use an A-B-C or D body design. Back then, such nomenclature was at
best confusing. I never was really able to understand its meaning. It
wasn’t until many years later I was able to clear up this alphabet soup
to understand what the General really meant.
The birth of the ABC styling system, according to some accounts,
starts in 1931 with an engineer by the name of Kap Kuptur. While
serving as the liaison between Harley Earl’s famous GM Art and
Colour (A & C) design studio and the Fisher Body fabrication unit,
Kuptur made an interesting observation. He noticed that the door
dimensions for Chevy, Pontiac and the small Olds were all within less
than a half an inch of one another. Likewise, those for the big Olds,
Buick and small Cadillac were also very close.
To prove his observation, he made paper tracings of each type of door.
He showed them to Mr. Earl, who immediately became very excited.
There was a simple reason. Like those of the other auto manufacturers,
GM’s sales had fallen through the floor - the real effects of the Great
Depression had taken hold. Tremendous pressure was being put on Earl
to reduce vehicle costs. He was searching for ways to come up with
more economical designs. Remember, up to then each of the General’s
five major car lines was quite distinct, totally independent from the
design standards and methods practiced by the others.
Harley Earl realized immediately that at least in theory the introduction
of an A-B-C-D shared body system could save the corporation
hundreds of millions of dollars every year. On the other hand, in order
to pull this off, the Art & Colour group would have to figure out a way
to disguise each car line to give the illusion of totally unique styling. In
the end, they did such a good job of it that Ford did not fully grasp the
concept until around 1950! It must be noted that early on Chrysler did
use some shared bodies for economic reasons, but Chrysler was never
able to disguise them as skillfully as had General Motors.
Some people referred to this as product rationalization. It began to take
roots in the mid-1930s, but it was a full-grown phenomenon by 1949 or
’50. For the sake of simplicity, this sophisticated program could be
described as follows: All Chevrolets, Pontiacs and small Oldsmobiles
would use the ‘A’ body, hood, doors, fenders and the like. The large
Olds, the Buick and the small Cadillacs shared the same basic, but
larger ‘C’ body. The ‘D’ bodies were reserved for the limos from
Buick and Cadillac.
By wisely investing some of the savings back into the exterior designs,
GM A & C was able to afford many visual tricks to maximize the
unique appearance among marques. They started with the paint and
chrome schemes, and fleshed those out with the grille and bumper
treatments. For some models, such as the 1950 Cadillac, the Series 62
rode on a C body, while the Series 75 modified the C body by
lengthening the rear doors and stretching a C body roof. Sometimes
stampings were slightly modified during production to add things such
as the Cadillac P-38 fin effect. Underneath, we often discover many of
the body parts are interchangeable with other GM sister makes. What’s
truly amazing to see what a wonderful job Art & Colour pulled off to
maintain this distinct brand identity. The differences are dramatic.
Did you see the photos at the top of this article showing the
1951 Cadillac 60 Special and an Oldsmobile 98?
Can you find the resemblances?
As time went on the A & C designers became extremely skilled in the
art of illusion. In order to better cost-justify the vast re-tooling
expenses needed for the all-new 1959 models, the A-B-C-D body plan
was scrapped and one basic ‘C’ platform was adopted. This universal
platform could be lengthened or shortened, but the windshield,
cowling, width, front doors, as well as longer or shorter fenders
remained the same. Fins and wings could be added, trunks modified,
but underneath was the C body.
By understanding the basics of the A-B-C and D design concept, when
looking at many of the GM 50’s era cars, one can easily see the family
PRESERVATION OF ROUTE 66
Originally posted on Hemmings’ website on November 16, 2017 by Daniel Strohl
A proposal to continue preservation efforts for Route 66 by designating it a National Historic Trail received endorsement from the National Park System in a legislative hearing this week.
“Route 66 has become a powerful symbol of America’s social, political, and economic mobility and freedom,” Sue Masica, the acting deputy director of the National Park Service, said in prepared remarks before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands Wednesday. “Every year, thousands of visitors, many from other countries, come to experience the mid-20th century American automobile-centered culture represented by Route 66. These visitors are vital to the economies of the numerous rural communities through which the route passes.”
The National Park Service studied Route 66 for a potential National Historic Trail designation once before, in 1990, and found that it met the criteria for National Historic Trail status. At the time, however, Congress decided not to designate Route 66 as a National Historic Trail and instead created the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program, administered by the National Park Service, which is set to expire in 2019.
According to the National Trails System Act of 1968, only an act of Congress can create new Historic Trail designations, and a trail must meet three criteria to qualify for the designation: It must be of historical significance; it must be of national significance; and it must have potential for historic interpretation or public recreational use.
Along with the permanent designation and ongoing federal funding, National Historic Trail status would provide uniform signage along the 2,400-mile road, interpretive panels, and the opportunity to develop cooperative agreements with local organizations, according to Bill Thomas, the chairman of the Route 66 Road Ahead Initiative, who also testified at Wednesday’s hearing.
“Over the past 30 years, Route 66 has once again returned to its original purpose, which was both in economic development and in connecting small towns and rural areas to the rest of the country,” Thomas said. “The potential of leveraging Route 66 for even more economic development exists and will be greatly assisted by its designation as a National Historic Trail.”
Representative Tom McClintock of California, the chairman of the subcommittee, raised the possibility that H.R. 801, the bill that would give Route 66 National Historic Trail status, could allow the federal government to appropriate land along the route to develop the trail, as it has done along other National Historic Trails. “It’s important we don’t turn this into a federal land grab,” he said. However, Thomas pointed out that the language of the bill specifically prohibits the acquisition of land for the trail without consent of the existing landowner.
Masica did introduce one technical amendment to the bill, recommending a thorough description and map of Route 66.
Commissioned in 1926, Route 66 connected Chicago to Santa Monica, California, as part of the country’s first federal highway system. Following the completion of the Interstate Highway System and the bypassing of most Route 66 sections, it was decommissioned as a federal highway in 1985.
A separate bill intended to preserve Route 66 introduced earlier this year, H.R. 66, the Route 66 Centennial Commission Act, also remains in subcommittee.
INSURING YOUR COLLECTOR CADILLAC:
Here’s a question I am asked a lot, especially by members new to Peach State Cadillac: “How should I insure my ‘new’ collector Cadillac?” There are three ways to learn this lesson:
So, take a lesson from me… You want coverage that has these four features:
Agreed Value. If your classic Cadillac is totaled by your insurance company, will you receive a fair value for it? Be clear: it’s the policy language that matters, not the sexy ad copy or TV commercials. The policy will spell out what and how you get paid. In Agreed Value coverage you and the insurance company agree on the vehicle’s value when you sign up - before the policy is issued. Before money changes hands. If a disaster happens, the insurance company guarantees to pay the value that the two of you agreed upon. The physical damage section of your policy should read something like this: “In the event of theft or a total loss we will pay the Agreed Value.” Now, the lowest premiums will most likely match what an appraiser would certify as fair market value, but if you insist on a higher valuation you may be able to negotiate a higher agreed value. Once agreed, that’s the value you’re paying for.
“Stated Value” coverage is NOT Agreed Value. It is what’s usually written on daily drivers, and it can be trouble for collector car owners. Typically, Stated Value policies say this about a total loss: "In the event of theft or a total loss we will pay the Stated Value or the Actual Cash Value, whichever is less." That escape clause lets the insurance company declare the car’s value (based on its own sources of valuation, such as Kelley Blue Book). Stated Value exists so you can decide how much premium you’ll pay, not how much you will be paid. It allows you to insure a car as it depreciates, in exchange for a lower premium. That’s a good deal if your car is at risk daily. But collector car premiums are already low: You drive your car less often, you maintain it well, and you do not expose it to the dangers of other drivers as often. As a result it’s not depreciating like your daily driver.
If your policy is not specifically written for Agreed Value, go get another quote from a reliable collector car company. Do it now. Don’t wait until you have a problem, or get into a disagreement with your insurer. Don’t leave it for the lawyers to sort out!
A reputable company that knows collector cars. You know the big NAMED players in this game, right? Hagerty, J. C. Taylor, and Grundy advertise the most. But I am covered by ANPAC — the largest insurer of collector cars in the business. American National Property and Casualty Company is the property and casualty division of the American National Family of Companies of Galveston, Texas. ANFC is 109 years old and a multi-line insurer with $160 billion under management. ANPAC’s collector car insurance package is called CHROME. You may have seen CHROME classic car insurance featured in ads in Hemmings and other magazines (with an app for your smartphone). They sponsor both the National and Georgia Street Rod Associations. CHROME stands for the vehicles it was designed to cover – Classic, Hot Rod, Original, Modified and Exotic. These policies feature agreed value coverage for annual mileage up to 10,000 miles (with an unlimited mileage option in many states). CHROME covers roadside assistance and towing. You will have your choice of repair facilities, and spare parts are covered. There are discounts for car collectors who insure multiple specialty vehicles, with endorsements for vehicles under construction. Good coverage… But with all insurers, be careful of the mileage you accumulate, and stay within the limits.
Someone you can get to know and trust. What you want is personalized service through a local agent you can count on being around when you’re at the cruise-ins. Someone you can trust. I gotta tell you, I cannot remember the last time I actually SAW my State Farm agent, and I can only speak to his employees on the phone. But my ANPAC agent has been to my house several times.
Cost is favorable compared with other insurers’ products. All I can say on this matter is to shop around. Give the insurers a call and let him offer you a quote. I know my CHROME premiums are a LOT lower than they were with the other auto insurance company, and we are talking about converting my daily drivers!
From the Dixie Olds Club...
Thank you to all of you who supported our recent BOPC Event.
However, in the midst of our celebration, we had a very unfortunate incident and we'd like to ask for your (continued) help with the situation. As some of you may already be aware, Larry and Elaine Palmer had their beautiful Oldsmobile stolen the night before the event took place. Their truck and trailer carrying the Olds was also stolen however both the truck and trailer have recently been found. The Oldsmobile is still missing and we'd like your help in spreading the word. Please share this with everyone you know and be on the lookout for this vehicle:
1952 Oldsmobile Super 88, Burgundy, Convertible
Vin # 528M12355
Tag # AA 96827 TN (antique). REWARD $10,000
If found, contact the Cobb County Police Department
Officer- X.D. WIlson
Badge # 2628
Or email to: email@example.com
Please share this email with your friends and fellow car enthusiasts. Please also let everyone know to be aware of purchasing any specific parts to this make/model that are offered as new/like new.
Dixie Olds Club
Looking for the missing piece in the photos below. This is the lower left rear window garnish molding on a 1976 Coupe DeVille. The right side is pictured for comparison purposes. My friend Kate would like to find this piece or an entire set. I don't know if this piece interchanges with other models but the photos should help determine that.
Please contact Forrest Ward
Roger Williams shares this MSN.com video about a high school dropout who became a millionaire and king of classic cars. It's a neat story! We know this company because they conducted the auction some of us attended a few years ago where Milton Robson sold off his multi-million dollar collection. Milt is Dick Peden’s good buddy, and we are talking with him about coming out to Gainesville to visit his NEW collection. CLICK ON THIS OR THE SCREEN BELOW TO WATCH THE VIDEO.
Recently I was sent a copy of Southern Wheels magazine by the guy in Texas who rebuilt my mechanical fuel pump (Terrell Machine). He had circled an article to help me visualize fuel delivery problems in older, carbureted cars. The piece was about heat soak, or percolation, and that’s a topic for another day. Let’s just say that this is a great magazine for those of us who like to tinker with our cars. You can find it downloadable at http://www.southernwheels.com/ Well worth your time, and FULL of great articles, such as shimmy in the steering, high hard brakes, low soft brakes, leather interiors, and so forth. Go check it out! See you on the road
PS. While I was messing around I found a neat piece on Shop Safety Thoughts, and I figured this might be a good one for our Cadillac Clinic regulars. Here it is, from Wayne Smith at Dependo Rent-All:
“The more we work around tools the more careless we get." Would you agree? Human nature.
Every once in a while I need to be reminded about how bad things happen. The way my brain is wired I learn by pain. If it hurts, I will try not to do it again. I should learn by others’ mistakes, but sometimes I think ‘this will only take a minute.’ You know the rest. God gave most of us ten fingers and two eyes and he expects us to use them to his glory. I don’t want any of you to feel pain from a shop accident, so I’m going to list just a few things to remember while working on our projects:
1. Don’t wear gloves around rotating equipment. Gloves can get entangled in rotating parts, resulting in serious injuries.
2. Never remove safety guards. I know, they get in the way but…
3. Never work without proper eye protection. Don’t use the cheap stuff. What are your eyes worth?
4. Never work with rings, loose jewelry, and long hair. They can get caught and pull you into the machine.
5. Always dress your punches and chisels before using. A mushroomed head can chip off and lodge in your arm or something worse.
6. Don’t use your air hose to blow off your body. Trash can get into the air hose and get lodged in your skin.
7. Never use equipment when impaired. Be sober and smart. When you are on medication, are sick, too tired, stressed or hurried you can hurt yourself before you know it. I know from personal experience if you are tired before you start, nothing goes well.
There are more of course, but I just wanted to get you thinking. Remember:
Keep it safe, keep it fun!
Peach State Cadillac and LaSalle Club enjoys the benefit of multiple talented writers/members for this blog. A BIG thanks to all our contributors for sharing your deep knowledge base about classic Cadillacs!