I now have both the 1926 Oldsmobile and the 1926 Ford Coupe running, and able to drive around town. There is some interior work and the final top material to be installed on the Ford, but getting the coupe close to complete.
I recently was emailing a fellow 1926 Oldsmobile owner from Australia, when it occurred to me that I have seen a number of early Oldsmobile sites, cars, and parts from down-under. There is even a company that is making reproduction parts for early Oldsmobiles in Australia – vintageandclassicreproductions.com I have purchased a few things from them, and they are the only “new” parts on my 1926 Oldsmobile, other than spark plugs, points and condenser.
While restoring my 1926 Ford, I have been ordering a number of new parts from 3 or 4 different Model T supply companies.
When I was looking at images of 1926 Oldsmobiles on Google, I stumbled on this site:
This information was copied off their site.
In December 1923 an agreement was made between the General Motors Corp and Adelaide’s Holden Motor Body Builders for the manufacture of bodies for fully imported pre-assembled chassis’ for GM vehicles. This partnership allowed GM to avoid significant import duties. As a result, Oldsmobiles could sell in Australia at a relatively low cost. The Oldsmobile 30 series built between 1923 & 1927 proved to be very popular in Australia.
Holden built the vast majority of the bodies for Olds in the 20’s, but the low volume models such as roadsters & some sedans were still imported up to the end of 1929. With Australia feeling the depression as harshly as the rest of the world, GM ceased exports of Oldsmobiles to Australia at the end of 1929, and did not resume until 1934.
Now it makes a little sense.
ps If you are restoring a ’20s Olds – make sure to find a friend in Australia –
How I want to paint my ’26 Olds –
I have not made as much progress as I wanted to by now, but I have completed the interior woodwork. I have installed the headliner, using white canvas – might paint a picture on it later :<). The motor is ready to run, just want to get all of the front fenders and radiator parts installed before I start it back up. The front fenders will need some body work as one has a crack and deep dent that will not be easy to repair. Both front fenders may also need media blasting, as they are rusted and paint is chipped, along with some old bondo work. I did put the doors back on, and will be working on the door handles this week (still waiting for drivers side latch from Lang’s Model T parts.
My last post only had a picture of the Model T as is was when I brought it home. I have made a little progress, and today took a few pictures. The engine is about complete with new valves and valve springs. Pistons were good, new rings. Painting the engine a green color that is close to original Ford engine color. Frame is primed, and some of the front end is now painted black. No work on the body or body parts, most are still in the barn loft just waiting.
I am now restoring a 1926 Ford Model T Coupe. The car will need more parts than the Oldsmobile did, but the Ford parts are much easier to find. I have had the Ford about a year, and now have it in pieces in a backyard barn. I’ll try and add a picture or two, but it has been some time since I have posted anything to my blog. Looks much better inside barn with doors closed. Hope to post update soon.
I was able to complete the interior, and now only working on a few oil/water leaks. For the most part it is now a daily driver, just wish it was not so hot. Come fall I am sure we will take it out for a few longer drives.
While on vacation in Ruidoso, NM, came across an unusual truck – A 1928 White Dump Truck. I did not talk with the owner, but do still have the phone number that was on the for sale sign. The truck appeared to be a driver, with everything in place. It did need a little attention to the brakes and possibly a tire or two, but engine looked good. I could see a gasoline line leak, but that should be an easy fix. Would be an easy, and fun restoration, just wish it was a little closer to home.
Right now the old ’26 Olds has been waiting for me to complete the interior. Started the upholstery work about three months ago, but have only finished about 2
The front bucket seats are finished, and those really do look good, even if I say so myself. I have the rear seat in my shop, and my only excuse is time. It should be easy as both parts are wood frames, and the material is just stretched over the padding, and tacked, no sewing needed.
I did buy new carpet, and was able to make a pattern to use to cut it out. I am now carrying the cut out rug with me, hoping to get an upholstery guy to sew the edge bindings on next week.
In January, 2009, I was the high bidder on a 1926 Oldsmobile 2 Door Coach. The car was in fair condition for being 83 years old, but had not run since the early 80’s. The reason the car was nor running was that a few critical parts (distributor and distributor drive gears) were missing. I was told these parts were removed, and given to someone to see if replacements could be found. The parts, and the person must have never returned, and the car sat in a storage garage for almost 30 years.
The 1926 Oldsmobile as purchased.
My hope was to find the missing parts, or see if any modified parts could be used to keep the original motor. The car and engine were original with the same numbers on the engine block and under the front seat. What I did not know at the time was that Oldsmobile (and a few other almost unknown automakers) only made this type of distributor and drive assembly in 1926 and 27. It took a few months joining two national Oldsmobile Clubs, and searching every web lead, until I was able to find the parts. For the last half of 2009, I was able to drive the car around the block, and even got Texas Antique License Plates to make my drives legal.
By Summer, 2009 – still rough, but driveable.
I am still far from finished, but this past Winter, I was able to acquire all of the engine parts I needed to do an overhaul. The engine was in good condition, but was burning oil (a big concern for my tree hugging family members). I sent one of the pistons to a shop in California, just to have the rings made. Other parts I have been able to pick up from both Oldsmobile clubs, and Ebay. I now have many spare engine parts, and now need to start working on the interior.
My 1926 Oldsmobile at a local car show May 29, 2010.
Note the chrome – I did not know when I purchased the car, but the 1926 Oldsmobile was the first US car to use Chrome plating on exterior parts. Soon after I had some of the exterior parts re-chromed, I was contacted by a producer of Modern Marvels. The TV show wanted to do a show on “Chrome” and had contacted the Oldsmobile Club for owners names of any 1926 Oldsmobile. I am not sure why, but mine was the only one they were able to find, and pictures of my car were featured on their hour long “Chrome” show. At the time they wanted the pictures I did not have the front bumper re-chromed, but it did not matter to them. If you watch a re-run of the Chrome show, my car pictures are only seen for a short time approximately 16 minutes into the show.
As I get better at this blog site, and just how everything works, I will post more pictures, and even a short clip from Modern Marvels (if that is allowed?).