Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Spring tour 2016

                     2016 Spring Tour to Gilmore Car Museum

   Our Spring Tour started out with sun and cool weather.  A total of 34 anxious T-Birders gathered at the Lincoln Oasis on Friday morning.  Our tour leaders  Joel and Annie handed out route guides  to our caravan of 17 cars.  There were 11 baby birds, 4 retro birds and 2 modern cars bringing up the rear.

   Our first stop was at the La Porte County Historical Society Museum in Indiana.  A great place to see lots of antiques, 14 "period rooms", plus 30 antique vehicles.  One interesting exhibit was about the famous Indiana Murderess-Belle Gunness.  She corresponded with foreigners, encouraged them to come over to the US.  She then took their money, murdered them and buried them in her backyard. All of these exhibits were spread out on 3 floors in the museum.

   Lunch was in New Carlisle, Indiana at Kate O'Connor's Irish pub.  One of our little birds driven by Ed Levin and Rose experienced some car trouble.  They were assisted at a repair shop by 2 knowledgeable mechanics, who worked on their wheel and had  them back on the road again.
   Following lunch we were treated to some wine tasting at the St. Julian Winery in Paw Paw, Michigan.  We were also given a tour of the family owned winery.  Some purchases were made and we continued on to our final destination, the "hotel" in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Everyone settled in and met in the hospitality room for pizza, salad, drinks and socializing.

   Saturday morning brought more "cool" weather, giving the baby birds no chance of ever overheating. Rain was even added to the mix of weather.  After a complimentary breakfast the group headed out to the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners,  Michigan.  This is truly a great museum spread out over a 90 acre campus.  It contained  1 large building and smaller barns, all with fabulous displays.  There are over 400 extraordinary vehicles that date from the birth of the automobile to present day.  Included also, was a re-creation of a 1930's Shell gas station and a 1940's restored historic roadside diner.  We could not buy gas for 18 cents a gallon at the station, but we could eat at the diner.  It was open for business.  This museum housed cars that were restored to excellence.  It was a car lover's dream and of course, there was a baby bird on display. 

   Saturday evening  brought the group together for a short drive to dinner.  The Mission Point Restaurant was our destination.  Everyone enjoyed a great dinner, plus very good service.  The hospitality room was once again open for spirits and socializing. 

   On Sunday morning it was time to pack up and check out of the hotel.  Next on our tour was the W.K.Kellogg  Manor House.  This elegant 1920's home is situated on 32 acres on Gull Lake in Hickory Corners, Michigan.  Our tour guide was very informative about the life of the cereal magnate and his lucky seven times seven theory.
   We were now working our way home.  Lunch was enjoyed by everyone at the Featherbone Restaurant located in Three Oaks, Michigan.  With the sun shining, smaller groups  gathered together for the final ride home.

   We want to say thank you again to Joel  Greenberg  and Annie Luginbill for a great tour.  They spent a lot of time coordinating this fun and interesting  tour of Indiana and Michigan for us.

   The T-Birders who joined us on this Spring Tour were:   Mike & Laura Cielenski,  Gordon Gluff & Mary, Joel Greenberg & Annie Luginbill,  Larry & Karen Kelly,  Len & Mary Keil,  Ed Levin & Rose,  Jerry & Doreen Michna,  Ron Pavlak & Ray,  Jerry & Pat Peterson,  Dan & Melinda Pritchett,  Lloyd & Joan Schellin,  Ken & Kathy Smizinski,  Len & Irene Vinyard,  Bob & Sue Wenderski,  Bill & Liz Werth,  Jim & Jane Wilson and  Madeine Zambon & Carol.                          
  Submitted by  Madeline Zambon                           


Friday, May 6, 2016

Tech Session 2016

Tech Session 2016

We were thinking Spring upon arrival at the Birchwood Grill in Kenosha, Wis. but mother nature had other plans for Saturday, April 30.  The wind blew cold as I hurried inside for a cup of coffee.  I was soon joined by 24 CTCC members. The only TBirds to be seen were two  retros.  Pete Kramer drove a Cashmere 2005 and your scribe a Blue 2002, just out from a long winters nap. Members in attendance were Dan Anderson, Bob DeLucas, Jim Elijah, Joe Esdale, Joel Greenberg, Art Hahl, Peter Hauser,  Len Keil, Joe Kraatz, Kami Woody,  Pete Kramer,  Jerry Michna, Dan Mrozek, Ron Pavlak, Jerry Peterson,  Dave Pagorski, Andy Rominiecki, Gary Smithe, Ken Smizinski, Bob Sroka,  Len Vinyard, Bill Werth, Bob Wenderski,  and your scribe.

After filling up on the buffet breakfast, we caravanned over 30 miles of Wisconsin backroads to Ron Schneiders shop and car collection in Franklin.  His family operates Leons Custard in the Milwaukee area.  Ron can be seen wearing a green jacket in the pictures.  Dick Murray and three of his friends from AACA joined us.  Dick contacted Ron to set up the tech session site and car collection viewing.

We pulled up our chairs for Ken Smizinskis Tech Session.  A 1961 Ford Country Squire with pristine woodgrain was behind him and a 1960 Country Sedan wagon to his left.  Ron has a soft spot for Ford station wagons as he recalls family vacations in them traveling to California.  Kens first topic was a discussion of the electric fuel pump. Ken uses an Airtech E80125, available at OReilly Auto Parts.  This pump has proven to be durable and eliminates priming and vapor lock problems in 1955 and 1956 teapot carburetors.  This pump is a must on 1957 E Birds with 2- 4 barrel carburetors.  Heat from under the intake manifold leads to hard starting.  The Airtech pump has a double safety.  If the ignition is off, so is the pump.  If the pump is not turned off, fuel  leaks into the manifold.  The crankcase may fill with gasoline.  Oil keeps the rings sealed, gas does not.

Kens next topic of discussion was the necessity of using SF rated oil, with zinc in cars made before 1984. Using oil without zinc will lead to cam failure in the first 300-1,000 miles 90% of the time. The camshaft and lifters flatten out.  He passed around a damaged camshaft for all to see.  This is a problem with Y blocks as no oil leaks down on the cam.  Lead additives and octane boosters are not not advised.  Marvel Mystery Oil is good for dissolving rust.  Seafoam is good in carburetors, especially those not run for awhile.

The tech session concluded, we put away our chairs and viewed Rons car collection in three buildings.  The assemblage concentrated on prewar Fords and race cars of the 50s and 60s.  There was a Bobtail Cooper that raced in the Bahamas in 1984.  In addition to the station wagons described above, there was a 1959 Ford,  1970 Torino Squire, and 1936 Ford woody.  A  DeSoto Airflow and a 1936 Lincoln Zephyr shared the building with a Plankington Zephyr Road Tractor, designed by Brooks Stevens. Ron had 1932 Ford V-8s. both 2 door and 4 door phaeton.  Six 1936 Fords were in the collection.

In the next building we saw  a1973 Jaguar XJ 12 5.3 lite and a 1953 Jaguar Mark VII, a brass 1914 model T and a T speedster.  A 1977 GMC motorhome and a 1949 Lincoln limousine, a custom model with no rear quarter windows was joined by a folding house trailer, designed by William B. Stout in 1937-38.

In still another building was a 1944 stainless steel  Aerocoach bus.  A streamlined Bill Stout design, it was powered by an International Harvester  490 that would run on gasoline or LP gas.  The ten ton Aerocoach was built as a unibody motor home, having a shower and kitchen.
We thanked our host and a steady rain followed us home

                                                                                             By Jim Wilson