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A story leading to a question --- which might be important to our hobby

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  • A story leading to a question --- which might be important to our hobby

    We live in Moncton, New Brunswick, a nice city having (with its suburbs of Dieppe and Riverview) a population around 125,000. There are no horrendous traffic jams. There are good highways with moderate traffic when we travel, and scenic secondary roads --- all very Studebaker friendly. In fact, just about the whole charter area of the Atlantic Canada Chapter is like that.

    From July 22 to September 14, 2019, Karen and I drove to the west coast of Canada, turning around at the wharf in Tofino, British Columbia, on the Pacific Ocean. The thoroughly enjoyable 17,200 km., 55 day trip only had about 1,300 km of road on which we drove in both directions. West-bound we went through the U.S.A. from Port Huron MI to Pembina ND so we could visit the Studebaker National Museum. (We drove our 2014 Volkswagen Jetta Diesel, not the 1947 Studebaker --- several friends did ask!)

    From August 22 to September 5, 2018, we drove to Newfoundland, including Cape Spear, the eastern-most point in North America. That wonderful trip covered 5,600 km.

    So, in a year we have visited every province in Canada, every provincial capital, and all of Canada's 20 largest population centres. We have also visited many rural areas and small communities. We enjoyed the hospitality of family and friends, including several Studebaker friends coast-to-coast. We are sorry that time did not permit seeing some other Stude-friends that we wanted to visit.

    Hate to be negative, but I have to mention: Montreal gets the prize for the worst construction zone (the whole city seems to be one); Highways 401 and 403 in the Toronto-Hamilton area, and the bridge between Sarnia ON and Port Huron MI, get the award for the most frustrating traffic jams; parts of I-69 in Michigan get the award for the worst highway surface; and I-90 around Chicago gets the prize for the most insane tail-gaters.

    This brings up the questions: How do residents of major cities get to enjoy their Studebakers (or any other hobby car)? Even with a modern car, big city driving is often highly stressful, so why would anyone even want a hobby car? It may be a long way to peaceful roads where driving is fun. Where do apartment dwellers keep their old cars, and where do they work on them? As the percentage of the population in big cities continues to increase, how does that affect the future of our hobby? I am looking forward to some response.

    As much as we enjoyed our trips, we are glad we live where we are. Happy Studebakering!
    Last edited by Greenstude; 11-21-2019, 04:33 PM.
    Bill Jarvis

  • #2
    Not what you are looking for, but here is the wharf at Tofino, Vancouver Island, BC



    Tofino is one of my favorite place on the planet. As happy as you are to live on the east side of the continent, we are the same here on the west side.
    Dick Steinkamp
    Bellingham, WA

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    • #3
      Dick, we stayed in Ucluelet for 2 nights and very much enjoyed Ucluelet and Tofino. One of our daughters lives in North Vancouver and previously lived in Duncan and Tofino. She travelled with us for 11 days. As we were walking along Campbell St., Tofino, I said to her, "Why does anyone live in Toronto?" She agreed with my sentiment. She took a picture of Karen and me relaxing on the bench at the entrance to the wharf. Yes, I could happily live in Tofino.
      Last edited by Greenstude; 11-22-2019, 07:07 AM.
      Bill Jarvis

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Greenstude View Post

        This brings up the questions: How do residents of major cities get to enjoy their Studebakers (or any other hobby car)? Even with a modern car, big city driving is often highly stressful, so why would anyone even want a hobby car? It may be a long way to peaceful roads where driving is fun. Where do apartment dwellers keep their old cars, and where do they work on them? As the percentage of the population in big cities continues to increase, how does that affect the future of our hobby? I am looking forward to some response.

        As much as we enjoyed our trips, we are glad we live where we are. Happy Studebakering!
        A VERY profound and sad answer to your question: https://www.google.ca/amp/s/calgaryh...-collision/amp

        As one who knew Ron Carey personally, it was one of shock and unfortunate reality at the same time.

        All I can say is, one can't be too careful!

        Craig

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        • #5
          Bill, Glad to hear you had a great trip and very sorry that we did not get a chance to meet up. As you discovered, we have lots of rural roads on Vancouver Island which are quite pleasureable for driving a collector vehicle... that along with our climate are probably why there are so many older vehicles found on our raods especially during the summer months!
          Mark Hayden
          '66 Commander
          Zone Coordinator
          Pacific Can-Am Zone

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          • #6
            Craig ...Safety is another issue when enjoying our old cars. When we visited the amazing National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, England in 2008, there was a 1925 Morris Cowley on display which had been rear-ended during an antique auto tour in The Netherlands. It flipped diagonally, then rolled 4 times, with very serious injuries to the occupants. The car is sitting on a period dolly, attached to a 1926 Austin wrecker.

            I wish we had known about Heritage Park and Gasoline Alley while we were in the Calgary area. I would like to see that.

            Mark .... I must have been brain-dead that day! I misplaced the instructions to find the car show the Vancouver Island Chapter attended. We stopped at a convenience store in Duncan to ask about the show, and none of the people there knew anything.

            Yes, your climate gives you a longer season for enjoying our Studebakers than the climate here! I guess we will have to return!

            Bill Jarvis

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            • #7
              So .... could this go back to my original topic? How do those of you who live in major cities, perhaps have long commutes in heavy traffic, manage your participation in the old-car hobby? Thanks!
              Bill Jarvis

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              • #8
                To your original question.

                The area in which I live is in the middle of a maze of freeways and you almost cannot go anywhere without a long freeway journey first. The only direction you can go with out freeways is into the hills, and I sold my last running stick shift Studebaker. The automatic transmission equipped cars do not do as well in the hills as the stick shift cars do.

                I have hardly driven my Studebakers at all in the last ten years or so. With many/most folks driving huge SUV's, and with many of them driving 80 MPH and texting instead of looking at the road, and weaving while they text, I do not feel safe on the freeways any more. In addition, since I live by the train station and close to downtown, the condo/apartment construction has been crazy for the last few years. Silicon Valley is in one of its largest booms and the population increased rapidly, with lots of young folks from places where crazy/fast driving is the norm.

                On top of that, I had an axle break while traveling down a winding road several years ago. It was definitely a brown pants moment.

                So, I have been gradually selling off my collection.
                RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

                17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
                10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
                4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
                56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
                60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

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                • #9
                  I live in Los Angeles (near Culver City). My 59 Lark is just fine in traffic here. I drive it to work on occasion when the weather is good, maybe once a month (8 miles each way). Its actually safer when there is traffic and we are moving along at 0-20 MPH, which is pretty much all the time. I ride my bicycle to work most of the time, as traffic is so bad, really.
                  I dont drive it to work during the rainy season; I dont want to leave it in the rain all day, and its not safe driving when its wet anyways.

                  My biggest concern is overheating when sitting in traffic (I have to fix some holes in my exhaust that will hopefully help with this issue; its on the list).

                  I take it on the freeway when I need to, but Im sure not racing along in the fast lane.

                  My wife and I will take it out on the weekends for trips or to a fun event where appropriate, such as meeting friends at a park or something. If we have to drive a lot on the freeway or its going to be a late night, we may not take it out for safety reasons; or if we think that parking will be a challenge.

                  I definitely drive defensively, and am always checking all directions. So yes, I would say that its a bit stressful as it doesnt have shoulder belts or any of the safety features. I added lap belts as there were none when I got it.

                  But overall, I still enjoy driving it as there are so few old cars on the road, and people always appreciate it.

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                  • #10
                    I live in Kirkland, WA and must navigate either I-405 or I-5 for car events. If I'm going N. I'll be out on I-405 by 06:30 which is fine as far as going all the way to Bellingham. The problem is going S. on I-5 later in the day. There are alternatives and I'll choose Hwy. 9 which is fine for my '63 Avanti. The problem is getting stuck on I-5 because of Hwy. construction on alternate roads. I didn't drive the Avanti to the International meet in Tacoma because it would have been strictly I-5 S. all the way to Tacoma. I often have to make that trip for work & I'll stick with my 2007 Toyota P-up for that trek and not take a chance with a classic car. It's too nerve wracking, not fun at all, & just not worth the effort.
                    "Every man I meet on the street is superior to me in some respect, and from that I can learn."
                    R.W. Emerson

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RadioRoy View Post
                      ... With many/most folks driving huge SUV's, and with many of them driving 80 MPH and texting instead of looking at the road, and weaving while they text, I do not feel safe on the freeways any more. ...
                      I couldn't agree more. I'm about 50 miles out of L.A.. About once a month I had to take my wife to the airport (Burbank). She is not the type to over reach but on one trip she screamed out three times. Idiots driving 80 MPH in heavy traffic, drifting in the lane and abruptly cutting over three plus lanes without signaling. Every single trip was as you describe above. They drive like it is a video game and any incident just requires a re-start.

                      Recently I was going to one of my favorite swap meets early in the morning. I wasn't five miles from home not even in the "city" and someone in a jacked up pickup truck came blowing by me at 80+ MPH their mud tires slapping the lane marker dots. I nearly turned around and went home.

                      Going anywhere in my collector cars these days is a 5 mile surface street drive to Cars & Coffee. Going anywhere in a daily driver isn't much more.

                      '64 Lark Type, powered by '85 Corvette L-98 (carburetor), 700R4, - CASO to the Max.

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                      • #12
                        I've lived in the Seattle area almost all of my seventy five years. We knew fifty years ago we needed a viable subway system. We were poised to get it done in 1969, In fact we voted it in that year. The "Forward Thrust" measure passed overwhelmingly, but because of a quirky law that required a total vote of sixty percent of the previous year's election, it failed to get enough votes (1968 was a presidential election). The stagflation of the 70's finished off any hope of the bill being resubmitted. For the last fifty years we have dealt with hodgepodge of fragmented systems. Because of Seattle's unique topography there are only a few viable routs in and out of the city. If there was ever a city that needed a subway it was Seattle. Traffic is a real problem.

                        I'm retired, the secret of enjoying my old cars is in location and timing. By that I mean, where I live, in the foothills, there are still roads less traveled. Most roads are fine, that is unless I try to challenge rush hour traffic. The fact is that most of us old car folks live in the suburban or rural areas around Seattle. It's also important to know your way around. The out of town tourist is bound to become overwhelmed by what I can overcome, by knowing the territory, and by the timing of my trips. Our mild summers make our summer old car use much more pleasurable, then it would be in the heat and humidity, I've found, in most of the continent. I hope that I've answered whether I can and do enjoy my old cars-the short answer is yes.

                        Bill

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