Put it in Writing

From the day you bring your car home, write down everything you know and learn about your car – and record everything you do during the restoration or preservation. Not only will you compile a history of the car but also you will create a document of great value, for posterity, you , your children and for the future owners.

Here is a checklist for you to follow. Put it in a book so that you can record the information as you progress. Add lots of photos as you go to give the words more meaning. Part of the aims of the club is the restoration and preservation of cultural items for later generations. By recording your path you are providing this for later generations and helping preserve and record history.

DESCRIPTION OF VEHICLE: Model year, body style, model, wheel base, cylinders, horsepower, wheel type and size.

LOCATING CAR AND TRANSPORT: How was the car found? How long did it take to locate it?

How did the car get to its home?

Mention names of friends or relatives who helped in the transport. If transferred a long distance or found in difficult circumstances this could be an interesting story. Got any photos?

TITLE : List all previous owners with dates. When was the car registered and driven and where? Was it in other states or where?

PREVIOUS OWNERS COMMENTS : What did the previous owner tell you about the car and its history. Where was it purchased and did it go on any long trips. Repairs, what repairs were undertaken and when. What accessories where added to the car and where they purchased? Take some photos if you can.

UPDATED INFORMATION : List body number , vehicle weight, model, chassis and engine number. Also data on the generator starter, distributor, magneto, shock absorbers, wiper motors horn, accessories. Establish the original cost of the car .

CAR ACCESSORIES : List the accessories on the car at the time of purchase and those added later and their cost. Authentic ? Not authentic? List those you nave added.

ASSESSMENT OF THE WORK YOU DID : Full, body off restoration, partial, engine , chassis, body, upholstery etc . Repair only for preservation of the original car.

ENGINE. : Detail, including date and mileage, all engine work done either by you or previous owners. Where were the cylinders rebored? If so what size? New or reground valves? Rebuilt starter generator? Install a new front chain? New points? Magneto overhauled? When was th e oil pan removed and cleaned? Bearings babitted, crankshaft reground straightened and to what size? Were the carbie and vacuum tank rebuilt? By whom? When was a new head or other gasket installed? List the sources of all purchased items and services. Indicate whether items purchased where reproductions old stock or rebuilt. Got any photos of the work?

RADIATOR : If new or repaired give mileage and date. Was the shell replated By Whom?

FRAME : How was it cleaned? Painted? Any repair work carried out. Straightened? How much? Condition of the shackle bolts, shocks, springs etc. List parts services and sources.

BRAKES : Date and mileage at which brakes were relined/rebuilt. By whom? If hydraulic type of fluid you are using and date renewed. Were cylinders honed or resleeved?

GAS TANK : Was this removed , cleaned, painted inside sand blasted and sealed? Give data and mileage.

TRANSMISSION AND CLUTCH : Was the transmission ever removed? Gears replaced? Clutch relined. New oil seals installed. Give miles and date of any sources of parts and services.

FRONT END : Wheel bearings and seals , part numbers and sources. Ball joints spindles other parts. Steering gear rebuilt? By whom? Mileage.

REAR END : Was the rear end rebuilt? New gears or bearings installed? What ratio? Part numbers of bearings and seals used.

WHEELS : Detail any work done on the wheels, spokes rims. Sources of lug nuts, clamps other hardware. Brand of tyres tubes Flaps and source. Mileage installed.

BODY WORK : Was the body damaged and repaired when you found the car? Is there a story if it was? Detail any body work you carried out or had done. List all replacement body parts you purchased and source. Reproduction or originals, new or salvaged? What parts were replated. By whom. Show us some photos.

INTERIOR INSTRUMENTS : Were any instruments replaced or repaired? Speedometer? By Whom? Who supplied any replacements? Lights any replacements?

LIGHTS : When were new generator brushes installed . New bulbs, were the reflectors replated?

PAINT : What was the original paint scheme and when was it repainted . Who did the work and when. List the type of paint , manufacturer and paint number. How did you determine the present paint scheme and why?

UPHOLSTERY : Is it original or replaced? What about the floor boards and carpet? If replaced where purchased and why. How did you determine e the colour scheme and the authenticity of the colour and fabric?

TOP AND SIDE CURTINS : Are the top and side curtained original or redone? By whom? What kind of material was used and how did you determine this was authentic? Were the side curtains originally provided with the car when new? Give details and mileage.

FINALLY : Sign your name to th e history as your contribution to the preservation of another valuable piece of automotve history.

PHOTOS : Read the page about how to take your photos before you start. As you go take as many as you can to record your progress. It also helps you remember how to put things back together. Get all the photos in order with the appropriate part of the story and have some captions on them,.

By John J Michels Jr