Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Sunday, September 28, 2014
I’ve been thinking about livery, and though I haven’t made up my mind totally, I’m really partial to a bakery theme. So I researched some graphic options, and I found this website www.vectorstock.com which has free and low-cost vector images. Vector imaged can be scaled without degradation, and usually you have to get someone to make them for you. This site has them already made. Also, you can change the text, so instead of “Bakery” I can have “Banana”. There’s all sorts of things on the website.
Later this week I expect to pick up some metal bits, and some brass bits from a foundry (I'll write about that later).
Saturday, September 20, 2014
The shop is busy, so the van went do have its exhaust done at a shop where they have all the tools to do it properly. It’s never been on a sleepover, so I was a bit worried. The area of the city it went to is frequently (and sometimes unfairly) maligned for the social milieu of some of its residents. This week a 17 year old girl was randomly murdered nearby.
But all turned out well for the van. I believe that the exhaust pipe on vans is supposed to end abruptly after the muffler and square out around midships. However, because I plan on carrying children around at slow speeds (also, not carrying a spare tire), and I don’t want to gas them out, so I ran it out the back. Finally, Aaron was full of parenting responsibilities this weekend, but he broke away because there was a weather window that could get the van back to the shop safely. Consequently, Paigey-poo joined the effort. No word on her charge-out rate yet.
Monday, September 15, 2014
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Sunday, August 31, 2014
Remember I drilled out something like 200 pop rivets in the van? Well yesterday I added 9, to secure the rear area of the floor. It'll be covered over with a rear flange piece.
I didn't like center logo for the fan I bought last week -- so I made a new one. I found the 1950s era GE logo and printed it out. The I stained it with a t bag. I also used this JAX formula to add a patina to the brass fire extinguisher.
Finally, the floor in the step well -- it's now as smooth as a baby's ass, and flat. But its now going to be covered with a Rhino coat, a textured truck bed liner. It's not authentic, but it's desirable for what I'm going to do with the van.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Here's some props I'll put in the van.
The fan will be made to look like a period GE piece and it'll help cover some imperfections.
The brass thing is a 1950s period correct extinguisher. It'll do the same.
Funny story. I bought the extinguisher on eBay from a fellow in the US. Many US seller don't want "foreign" buyers, but there a little chunk of US territory nearby that you can only get to by driving through Canada, and there they have companies that will accept delivery for you and notify you when there's a package (see January 8, 2012 post). So went down there Sunday, picked up the goods and drove back home. On the way back I merged onto another freeway just in time to intercept Aaron in his truck pulling his trailer (what are the chances of that). So I got the brass extinguisher and started playing with it. I thought it had water in it, but it didn't. It smelled like Varsol. So I Googled it. Here's what I found out:
In 1910, The Pyrene Manufacturing Company of Delaware filed a patent for using carbon tetrachloride (CTC, or CCl4) to extinguish fires....
This consisted of a brass or chrome container with an integrated handpump, which was used to expel a jet of liquid towards the fire. As the container was unpressurized, it could be refilled after use through a filling plug with a fresh supply of CTC.
Carbon tetrachloride extinguishers were withdrawn in the 1950s because of the chemical's toxicity - exposure to high concentrations damages the nervous system and internal organs.
Additionally, when used on a fire, the heat can convert CTC to phosgene gas, formerly used as a chemical weapon.
Only after this did I run into the washroom and wash my hands! Then I thought I probably broke a dozen laws crossing the border with that thing in my trunk. Then I settled down to read more: "...responsible for depletion of the ozone layer...." Yikes! So the contents are going to remain in the extinguisher and somewhere in the van. It'll be my own personal chemical weapon, and a "great" story.
Saturday, August 23, 2014
My lackluster posting here results from nothing happening on the van. Consequently I’ve had to satisfy my quest for forward momentum in odd ways. I’m still trying to learn details about who the van went to originally in 1951. I know it was sold by Oxford Motors of Vancouver, but not much else.
Last week I found something really neat. A Supreme Court of Canada decision from 1959. It was a tax issue, but some details about the Oxford-Nuffield relationship. Here’s the section:
The judgment of Locke, Fauteux, Abbott and Martland JJ. was delivered by
Abbott J.:—Since 1936 appellant has been a distributor and retailer of Morris motor cars in British Columbia and in the adjoining States of Washington and Oregon, purchasing its cars from Nuffield Exports Limited of Oxford, England.
In the summer of 1951 appellant had a large inventory of cars on hand, for which it had not paid Nuffield (CH: one of these was my van), and by reason of the imposition of severe Consumers Credit Restrictions in March of that year was experiencing great difficulty in disposing of its inventory. Following discussions which took place between officers of the Nuffield company and its Canadian dealers during the summer of 1951, Nuffield offered to all its Canadian dealers a special arrangement in virtue of which it agreed to give a rebate of $250 on each car in stock in Canada on September 1, 1951, and subsequently sold in Canada, such rebate to be available upon payment being made to Nuffield of an amount equal to the c.i.f. value of the cars on which rebate was claimed. The amount of all rebates was to be applied on the dealer's outstanding indebtedness to Nuffield….
It should perhaps be mentioned that during the period from October 1, 1951, to September 30, 1952, appellant carried on its business in partnership with a related company under the firm name of "British Motor Centre" but the existence of that partnership is of no significance to this appeal.
Now the “partner” mentioned in the paragraph immediately above was Plimley Motors. In the 1951 Vancouver Business Directory (above) you can see that both dealer operated on the same city block, with Oxford having moved there the year earlier (and which I documented in another post). Well, Plimley’s doesn’t exist anymore, but it was a very famous dealer in its day. It was actually a third-generation family-owned business. Here’s a blurb out of the Vancouver business Hall of Fame:
Thomas Plimley Pioneer auto dealer b. 1871, Walsall, Eng.; d. 1929, Victoria. Started a bicycle business in Victoria in 1893, the year he arrived from England. Sold the first car in Victoria, a tiller-steered Oldsmobile, in 1901. His wife Rhoda was the first woman driver in Victoria. Sold the Swift, Coventry, Humber, Rover, two-cylinder Buick and air-cooled Franklin. Plimley Motors on Howe was one of B.C.'s largest dealerships. His eldest son, Horace (Thomas Horace) Plimley (b. March 5, 1895, Victoria; d. March 21, 1985, Vancouver) opened a British car dealership in Vancouver (1936). From 1957-86, grandson Basil (b. June 21, 1924, Victoria) was one of the few third generation executives of a B.C. business. The Plimley companies closed in 1991, after 98 years.
Well, guess who I talked to last week? Basil Plimley! Basil agreed to having me come over and show him my photos of the van. He sounds pretty spry for 94 on the phone, but maybe I can pry some memories from him.
On the way home from working on the van this past weekend I stopped off at a farmers field and bought some Russian Hardneck Garlic. It’s a very flavourful and usually expensive type of the garlic (not common in grocery stores). It grows all over British Columbia, and people love it. But most people don’t know that it was brought here in in the early 1900s by Doukhobor immigrants from Russia. The purchase seemed apropos – everything has a history that’s there to be discovered if you're curious.
Monday, July 7, 2014
Now the floor piece doesn’t fit. In the photo above you can see my original piece (grey), Steve’s (rust), and my new one (in black). The column when bolted in place using the brackets, meaning that to seat the column, the floor piece needed to move about half an inch inboard. Of course this would mean EVERYTHING had to move – engine cowl, the whole enchilada. The column has to be in the wrong location. The question remains: how do I connect the brackets to the bulkhead, but have the floor fit?
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Step 1: Find generous Australian J-Van owner who wants to part with pocket doors. Have said owner ship them to Canada, and agree to pay the freight and customs fees etc., around $300.
Step 2: Track the ship ANL WHYALLA as it zig-zags between Singapore and Australia (Freemantle, Melbourne, and Perth), while periodically looking for a missing Malaysia aircraft in the Indian Ocean.
Step 3: After a month of watching the ship online (go nowhere near Vancouver) and being inundated with “Date Older Women” ads say, “this is bullshit” and call the shipping company. Learn that the cargo was transferred in Singapore to the ship ZIM DJIBOUTI, arriving in Vancouver in 3 days!
Step 4: Remember the ship’s name by substituting the words “Zim Djibouti” for “my Sharona” in the Knack’s song of the same name.
Step 5: Drive downtown Monday during lunch to the customs office. Discover that the office has moved, and the address provided by the shipping company is wrong.
Step 6: Drive to the new office (next to a McDonalds, thankfully). Learn that the waybill listed the pockets doors erroneously as “personal effects”.
Step 7: Submit to a free prostate exam by a suspicious customs official. Seriously, the blog helped a lot in illustrating what I was doing. Pay $16 in duty and get a funny piece of paper.
Step 8: Call the shipping company and say, “I have this funny piece of paper.” They say, “fax us the paper, and pay us a $86 handling fee. I said, “Did I mention you sent me to the wrong customs office address.” They said “Yes, pay us $86.” I pay.
Step 9: The shipping company emails me a receipt and a note saying there’s a $30 pickup fee at the bonded warehouse. Also, they start charging me storage on Thursday. I feel like I’m on a cruise.
Step 10: Fit pallet onto roof of Honda Civic – abort. Call dad, and arrange for him and his little van to meet me near bonded warehouse Wednesday.
Step 11: Arrive at bonded warehouse. There’s a hundred trucks running in and out. I’m greeted by a young fellow named “Jeff” with a cast on his left foot. “Achilles?” I ask. “No, forklift ran over my foot.” He adds: “It’s stacked up here. You’re going to have and wait.”
Step 12: I go to the office (actually Bay 18) and pay my $30 fee. The fellow there – “Joe” -- tells me go to the end near the ramp “with your truck.” While he’s telling me this I’m in a chained linked fence kind of cage (it’s a bonded warehouse thing). I’m feeling conspicuous because I’m wearing khaki chinos, oxblood penny loafers and a blue blazer (I came from work). “So this is what it’ll be like when I commit embezzlement and I'm marched off to the pokey,” I say to myself. Meanwhile I’m surrounded by about 20 professional truck drivers, and I get this amazing idea for either a deodorant commercial or a chemical weapon.
Step 13: Wait with others at the ramp for only about 20 minutes. Try to avoid having a forklift run over dad. Package arrives.
Step 14: Recruit idle truck drivers to assist in putting package in dad’s “rig”. In the midst of loading, notice a baseball cap in the van that has “Crackman” emblazoned on the front of it. Choose not to ask.
Step 15: Drive away. Mission completed.
Monday, February 10, 2014
Progress on the van has been desperately slow. I have assembled all the gauges as well as the speedo and oil pressure cables. It's all done. I thought the speedo cable would be really hard -- British instrument and Japanese metric transmission. But I found the correct Japanese speedo and there was a guy in Medicine Hat, Alberta (named after Queen's Victoria's man) that used it to make me a correct, custom 6 foot cable for something like $60 (http://www.vintagebritishcables.com/Smiths-Custom-Speedometer-Cable.php). Great service.
I even got all the replacement lights for the binnacle. The oil and fuel gauges are new and they are obviously not perfectly accurate (they have the graphics), but they are good enough. The Speedo/ODM is original, as is the ammeter. So what here is originally from the van? Answer: The brass chummy that clamps the unit to the steering column. Nothing else. That's a lot of work.
Saturday, January 18, 2014
How did people ever restore cars before the Internet?
In the last tow months I have been busy buying little J Van bits from all over the place -- US, UK, Australia, and Israel (yeah, really). It's all for the brake lines and instruments. Amazon.co? y=Yeah, they have everything.
Saturday, December 28, 2013
Near my house, there’s a small shop tucked away in a light industrial area called “ABC” which stands for “All British Cars”. It was about two years into this project before someone tipped me off to its location. It’s been there (or another location) for 45 years.
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Okay, it’s that time of the year again.
Finally, Steve (owner on Duncan) is online, sort of. Steve bought a computer, and has a broadband connection, but he’s getting used to using it. I’m helping him. A blog is a little beyond him at the moment, but maybe I’ll get him to join the Yahoo! Group. So what’s the first thing Steve wanted to see online? His dad’s boyhood home (79 Mrytle Street, Hounslow, Middlesex), near the Blenheim Centre. Steve hasn’t been there.
During my first trip to London in 1998 I actually passed it on the tube track right at the back on Steve’s dad’s old house. The circumstance and events that cause people to be familiar with each other. Over the holidays that’s what I’ll be thinking about. Thanks to everyone for their support over the past year, especially those that were reading my first Christmastime post in 2008.