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News & Tips

December 2013

1941 Buick Limited, Model Ninety (90)

We just finished this recent project for one of our happy customers. This car is a 1941 Buick Limited, Model Ninety (90). This car has won first in its class at the 2013 Hershey AACA National car meet and also nomination for a national award presented by the AACA. (AACA is the American Antique Car Club of America).

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April 2013

Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d'Elegance, 2012

(A personal video tour and review published April 2013)

Check out our new video and review highlighting the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d'Elegance, 2012.

Our 1923 Buick, Model 23-6-54, sport roadster was invited to participate in the original class of the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d'Elegance, 2012. This class was reserved for all original automobiles that had never been restored, only maintained and repaired as needed throughout the years. It is an honor to have such a vehicle and was an honor to be recognized by such an event as the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d'Elegance, 2012.

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November 24, 2012

4th Annual Over The River & Through The Woods Run


Paul Rose and his staff hosted the 4th Annual Over The River & Through The Woods Run on November 24, 2012. Read this great article on how Paul and his team at Vintage Motorcar Company gave a tour of their shop and provided details on the process of their restorations. "After spending a few minutes with Paul it was obvious that Paul & Co. knew what they were doing. The depth of work and high bar of achievement they attain is nothing short of astounding." Read more


June 5, 2012

Where They Go From Here:
Monroe Graduates 250, Honors Accomplished Alumni

by Danielle Nadler
Leesburg Today

“...Paul Rose also found a lifelong passion at Monroe. Rose, a 1983 graduate from Monroe’s auto program, owns Vintage Motor Cars in Inwood, WV, and is known as one of the top classic and antique car restoration dealers on the east coast. ‘If it weren’t for Monroe, I absolutely would’ve never known that those doors were there for me,’ Rose said. ‘At Monroe, you learn a lot more than you learn in a typical classroom.’
He credits one instructor in particular for his success: Collision Repair Technology teacher Doug Upwright. Uprwright worked for 14 years in a collision repair shop, and left to give teaching a try. He liked it more than he imagined he would, and will finally retire from Monroe this month after 32 years at the school.
‘None of us would be wherever we are without Mr. Upright,’ Rose said, ‘and I think everybody you talk to will say the same thing.’” Read more


May/June 2012

1966 Sunbeam Tiger Alpine 260 1966 Sunbeam Tiger Alpine 260
by Jim Olmstead, with Norm Miller
Antique Automobile Magazine

This article about the British sports car depicts how the original owner fell in love with the Sunbeam on the autobahn while stationed with the Army in Germany and fueled his passion to meticulously restore his first love back to its original condition.

“…Vintage Motorcar Company, Inwood, West Virginia, recently completed a six-year total restoration of our Tiger. Since then, it has reached AACA Grand National status and has received its preservation awards. In addition, it took a first place Concours d’Elegance award from the Tigers East/Alpines East club, a principal organization for the Sunbeam marque. Restoration was as authentic as possible, incorporating the use of Rootes key blanks obtained from England and a tool roll from New Zealand. The friendships we developed with the owners and craftsmen at Vintage Motorcar has continued. This is in part from their shared experience in the car’s history, and with questions like, “Diane, just how would a unibody cross-member get bent like this? And with answers like, “Well, ummm, maybe by hitting a frost heave just north of Sheridan, Wyoming doing more than 100mph.”  Read more


January 2012

Displayed at Hershey: An Unrestored 1923 Roadster Displayed at Hershey: An Unrestored 1923 Roadster
by Pete Phillips, Bugle Editor, and Paul Rose.
Photos by Brian DePouli, Chuck Nixon and Paul Rose

The Buick Bugle

Paul Rose, co-owner of Vintage Motorcar Company, displayed his almost completely unrestored 1923 Buick model 54 sport roadster in the AACA Eastern Region Fall Meet at Hershey, Pennsylvania in October. Photographer Brian DePouli said that “seeing this gen was the absolute highlight of the entire meet” for him. There are only five of these known in the BCA (Buick Club of America).  Read more




Chassis and Drive Train Repairs
How to Spiff Up Your Paint
Interior Cleaning & Detailing
Winter Storage
Wiring Nightmares!


Chassis and Drive Train Repairs      Paul J. Rose

Now that you have put your pride and joy into hibernation for the winter, it may be time to take a good look at some things that need attention. The winter is a great time to do anything from a major repair to general cleaning and spruce up.

It concerns me that many folks are more concerned over the cosmetics of their antique car rather than the “nuts and bolts” of it. I have seen many owners obsess over the paint, chrome, upholstery and other “eye candy” items and completely ignore the very things that may cause serious problems during use.

The state law in Virginia clearly states that all vehicles that are permitted to use the streets and high ways are to be in safe operating condition. This means that any state patrolman can spot inspect your car or truck and remove it from the road at your expense. I have also seen cars I have worked on, and after simple inspection, found serious mechanical and chassis repairs were needed long before I had seen the car. Many times it is because one has taken the “hard eye approach”.

I suggest you inspect your car very closely. One way is to obtain another point of view. Getting a buddy to inspect your car as if he were going to purchase the car from you is an easy, free way to inspect it; you could trade the same service. Simply drive and inspect each other’s cars, shake, rattle and deliberately aggravate any part and component possible.

When items are found, list them. It is helpful to list each item in the order of safety and importance. Tackle the hard to handle problems first, and then work to the easer items. You will also save some time and money if another repair shop is to do any work regarding your lists. Go over all symptoms and results as clearly as possible to reduce the chance of any misunderstanding.

Safety items are vary serous and should not be put off. When others are sighting some items they note concerning chassis and drive train components, remember, they are looking out for your and others will being, this process is not judging your car, but part of service and repairs.

See you down the road!


How to Spiff Up Your Paint      Paul J. Rose

Begin with a clean body; thoroughly wash the exterior of the car with soap and water. A mild dish washing liquid is fine if you’re planning to re-wax the paint. This will help remove some of the old wax. Be sure to clean all door jams, trunk jambs and so on.

After washing and drying is done the next step is to use a clay bar. The clay bar is used with a spray on lubricant to allow it to glide across the finish. Many auto body supply shops sell theses bars, one trade name is called “clay-Magic, fine grade”. The lubricant that I use is “Meguiar’s Final inspection #34”. Both are available at Auto Body Suppliers in Winchester, VA.

Use the clay bar as instructed, kneading and folding it every so often. The clay bar will lift and remove grit and grime caught in the paint, remove bugs, tree sap and all traces of wax. Body shops use this product to remove over spray from paint. Rub the bar over all painted surfaces, chrome and even the windows. You be amazed at the crud that comes off.

After using the clay bar use a 3M product called “Utra-Fina #06068”. This is a very mild machine glaze that can be applied using and foam pad on a buffer or by hand. Apply the glaze using a soft cotton cloth (old dippers are great for this, washed of course). When applying the glaze always move in the length-wise direction of each body panel, this will reduce any visible swirl marks and align all fine scratches.

The next step is to buff and remove the swirl remover. I prefer a “Micro-Cloth” for this. They are available Wal-Mart in the auto section. Use the cloth on paint, glass and chrome. If you plan to drive your car a lot a good wax is advised, if it goes out rarely, just keeping up with the swirl remover will do fine.

It requires some elbow grease, but the results are dramatic. I suggest you try a small area first to get the hang of it, and then go for it!

See you down the road!


Interior Cleaning & Detailing      Paul J. Rose

Now that we have completed our dashboard cleaning and detailing, lets move on to other parts of the interior. As described in the previous tech tips, work as if you are painting yourself out of a room, top to bottom. Depending on the amount of cleaning your inclined to take on: remove the seats and related hardware that holds them. Many times they will pop right out (other times they won’t). By removing the seats you will gain valuable working space and protect the seats as well. Clean the headliner, but be careful, as they are sometimes fragile. The fabric gets a lot of roof heat witch tends to weaken the treads and stitching. Use mild soap and water on vinyl headliners and VERY LOW air pressure on cloth headliners, cloth type is the most fragile. If you’re not sure, it’s best not to pet a mean dog!

Shampooing the carpet is sometimes easy and sometimes not. Often stains are tough to remove once set. If grease and oil based stains are present, brake clean or RM-900 cleaner can be used to cut and remove the stain. Brake clean is very similar to dry cleaning fluid. Use a clean white cloth and when the cloth remains clean after wiping and turning the cloth, the stain is as removed as much possible. Follow with car washing soap diluted in warm water. Ring out a wash mitt and go to town. Allow the carpet to dry over night with doors and windows down, a fan pointing in the car interior will speed this up. Clean the seats in the same manner unless they are leather coved. Repeat again for door panels, etc.

Leather seats and door panels are best cleaned like horse saddles. Local tack shops will have what you will need and can recommend products based on the type and condition of your seats, etc. Lexol is a great cleaner and finishing product for leather (more on leather an other time).

Reassemble your interior, cleaning all parts as they are reinstalled. Clean cars start with clean parts; parts make up cars. It’s all about baby steps!

See you down the road!


Winter Storage      Paul J. Rose

Well, now that Hershey is done and you are almost done using your pride and joy for the summer, we can talk about storage and winter care.

During the winter months, it is imperative that you have adequate coolant protection. A 50/50 (-34 degrees Fahrenheit) mix of water and antifreeze is fine for this area of the country. If you intend to take your car north or south, you may very this some. In the old days they would use alcohol-based antifreeze; during the summer months the alcohol would evaporate because of engine heat. This would leave many engines under protected during the next winter resulting in frozen blocks. This same they may hold true for older vented coolant systems. As you add water during the warm months, you dilute the 50/50 mix. Be sure it tested to at least -30 degrees Fahrenheit.

I like clean the car before storing it as well, covering a dirty body makes for big scratches that we took out last summer. Be sure the cover id clean too, soft covers are best for inside storage. Covers are available in may shapes and sizes. One that drags the ground will allow varmints to craw inside you car. Cover too small will allow dirt and debris to collect on the finish. Some are heartier than other for outside use, some for a combination of inside and outside use. We use cotton-lined covers for show cars kept inside.

If you have a car with mohair interior and don’t mind the smell of grandma’s attic, mothballs are the way to go. They will keep moths out and some other uninvited guests. The moths don’t really eat the mohair or wool, the larva does. The larva is hatching mouth eggs that feed on the wool. They are like termites, hiding from the light, eating fabric in between seats, door panels, etc. By the time you see the damaged material, it’s too late. You can also use cedar chips, cedar blocks, etc. Cedar pet bedding in a cheesecloth bag works well. Kneading the bag every so often will intensify the smell.

Inflate all tires to max pressure; this will make the tire as round as possible, Tires also loose pressure when it’s cold and under less use. You could also raise the car onto stands, but this is not necessary unless you have tires prone to flat spots from sitting.

Fill the gas tank with fresh gas, leave as little air in the tank as possible. Mix in some gas stabilizer and drive the car long enough to circulate the stabilizer through the carburetor.

The last thing is a trickle charger; these little jewels will keep your battery alive longer during those long cold nights.

See you down the road!


Wiring Nightmares!      Paul J. Rose

While on the way home several weeks ago, we happed across a broken down car along interstate 79 just north of Clarksburg, WV. We had been on a trip delivering a customers car in Ohio and traveling home on a Sunday morning. The trailer was empty (not usually the case).

The morning was cool and crisp, not a cloud in the sky—a great day for a car show. The car we happened to see was a 1934 Ford rumble seat roaster. The owner was half in and half out of the car and his wife along side the interstate. We stopped to lend a hand (if we could) and to aid in moving them and the car to a safer location.

I introduced myself and asked if they needed assistance, the answer was YES. We proceeded to look over the problem. The owner indicated that the car was running fine, about 50 MPH and the car just stopped, as if someone had turned off the key. The symptom sounded like lack of spark.

I had some tools in the truck and used a test lamp to check the coil circuit, but it had none. The owner said that there was another coil inside the car. I went to the right door and leaned in to take a look. I was horrified at the sight of a massive nest of wires, ends and disarray. I could not even see the stock wiring harness in the mess of wires.

I was respectful of what was said to the owner, it is his pride and joy after all. After several tests it was obvious that the repairs would require a number of hours and parts. We offered to load the car onto the trailer and transport them back home (about a 20mile round trip).

My point is: that car or any car like that should not be driven. The car was a firetrap and if that is the most that happened to the owner, he is very lucky. Always be critical of your wiring. Bad wiring can burn your car, home, garage and cause injury you or others. Having a car full of bad wiring is asking for it. It’s not a matter if what, but when!

I you are not able to check the wing in your own car, find someone qualified that can. Not advise a sermon!

See you down the road!