Saturday, July 21, 2018

The Classic Car Show podcast with Steve Rinaldo and Jim Weber is back. And now I want to buy a Model A Ford and get DNA tests for my cars.

Henry Ford drives the 20 millionth Model A Ford. Photo:
Ford Media Center.
Earlier this week, I was thrilled to find that The Classic Car Show podcast has returned to cyberspace, with new episodes posted on America’s Web Radio.

Back in February, when we published a story on some of our favorite automotive podcasts, I mentioned that I was a little worried about the future of The Classic Car Show, distributed on America’s Web Radio and hosted mostly by Steve Rinaldo, Jim Weber, and occasional guest hosts.

Although there is somewhat of an editorial slant toward older classics, the show covers antiques and classics of all vintages, touching on everything from pre-WWII concours queens to 80s and 90s Japanese classics and beyond. In other words, the show is harmonious with the more open-minded perspective of Antique Automobile Club of America—an organization with which Steve Rinaldo and others associated with the show have been involved—rather than the Classic Car Club of America, which restricts its definition of a classic car to “fine or unusual motor cars which were built between and including the years 1915 to 1948.”

At the time of our February article, The Classic Car Show podcast appeared to have been on a lengthy and unexplained hiatus since November 2017.

In the months since, I had refreshed my podcast subscription feed from time to time to see if new shows had been posted. But, well into this year, nothing new had shown up. Finally, earlier this week, I checked in for the first time in a while and saw that two new shows, both from June, had been posted.

A spokesman from America’s Web Radio confirmed on Thursday that the show is indeed back, and that we can expect more shows moving forward.

On the June 18 show, Steve Rinaldo interviewed Jim Cannon of the Model A Ford Club of America. It was a great refresher on the Model A as a vehicle that presents plentiful—and affordable—opportunities to enter the true old-car hobby and enrich your education and enjoyment through the ownership experience.

Rinaldo and Cannon emphasized especially that too many people, when someone mentions the Model A Ford, think of things they have heard about the Model T Ford—which has a reputation of being slow, difficult to drive, and challenging to restore.

But the Model A is very different. Comparatively speaking, the Model A is a modern car with the kinds of mechanicals that will be familiar and not be overly intimidating to a contemporary tinkerer. Model A Fords were designed from the ground up to be maintainable and repairable by everyday owners. Replacement parts are plentiful today and support is available from a large network of hobbyists and clubs.

Model As may be old, but they’re not rare. In fact, my 1995 Buick Riviera is a rarer automobile than a Model A Ford. Millions of Model A Fords were manufactured, and hundreds of thousands remain today. And they’re affordable.

Yes, you might pay close to $20,000 for a pristinely restored Model A listed in Hemming’s, or one that’s on the block at a major auction. But according to Rinaldo and Cannon, a good, running and driving Model A can be had for around $8,000, and restorable project cars for much less.

Model A Fords are easily capable of cruising 55 mph. Touring in a Model A along the U.S. Highway system, which includes famed roads like Route 1 and Route 66 , is a great way for a family to experience the country, Rinaldo and Cannon pointed out during the show.

By the U.S. Highway system, on which a Model A at 55 mph can comfortably hold its own, we’re talking about that older network of highways marked by the black and white signs and stretches with plenty of stoplights, often becoming the main street of towns they pass through. The U.S. Highway system is not to be confused with the higher-speed, limited-access Interstate Highway System marked by signs in the red, white, and blue color scheme of the American flag.

The June 2 episode of The Classic Car Podcast featured Jeff Stroop. He heads up a company called Vehicle DNA, which uncovers potential hidden mechanical problems in vehicles by testing samples of their motor oil and other fluids.

By finding telltale signs of trouble like excess concentrations of iron or zinc, for example, a fluid test can provide diagnostic insights into what nasty things could be going on deep inside an engine, transmission, or cooling system. Applications are many, from assessing the maintenance needs of a vehicle you currently own to evaluating the potential purchase of an expensive vintage car.

I strongly encourage everyone to check out The Classic Car Show podcast, especially younger enthusiasts. No, you won’t find the revved-up histrionics of someone like Matt Farah talking about motorsports misadventures—although Rinaldo and the shows other hosts do interview figures with a racing background. The Classic Car Show is hosted by older guys with a more cerebral take, but that’s exactly why they offer a perspective that can be most enlightening to anyone who wants to acquire a deeper perspective on—and find new ways to enjoy—the automotive hobby.

No comments:

Post a Comment