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  1. #1
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    Default ot---vintage motoring accessories

    toolkits have been offered 100+ years with motor car purchase

    Bentley kits---circa 1920's--- shoehorn remarkable number of tools into compact saddle leather grip
    quality hydraulic jacks included

    bonus pic---dry oil sump from Ferrari 500 TR--- 4 cylinder 2 liter competition car--1956
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1s.jpg   1wqw.jpg   2wew.jpg   2wer.jpg   3.jpg  


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  3. #2
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    Those were the days when cars required a driver to have some basic mechanical knowledge and skills. I had a 1969 Volvo 144 when I was in college. I bought that car used, and it came with a small toolkit, and a "full sized spare tire"- as well as a second spare tire storage well in the trunk (boot to our UK brethren). When I bought my BMW R 75/5 motorcycle as a used machine, it had a full toolkit in a roll, as does my 1978 BMW R 100/7. When I took delivery of a new 2005 Harley-Davidson (a surprise payment for an engineering job I did), I was a bit chagrined to learn that the Harley did not come with a tool kit, let alone any place to store it.

    Back "in the day" of the Bentley tool kit, cars had carburetors, and coil-and-points ignition systems. People had to know a little something to start a carbureted car on a cold morning, particularly in the days of 6 volt electrical systems. If my memory serves my properly, I believe somewhere around 10,000 miles was about all the far a lot of the older cars could run before needing a tune-up (check points gap and condition of points, check timing if points were disturbed to re-gap them or dress the contact faces), check sparkplugs and maybe have them cleaned in one of those little air-abrasive blasters mounted on a handy wall... oil changes were a lot more often as well. Older cars also had "stuffing boxes" with braided packing on the water pump shafts. Men of my father's generation referred to a pair of longer-handled slip-joint pliers as "water pump pliers", as they came in handy for taking up on the packing gland on a car's water pump. Tires did not last anywhere near the mileage we get on today's tires, and I have memories of many flat tires in the 60's. The expression "tire iron" is still in use, but the average person is clueless as to what it was. Older drivers knew how to "husk a tire" off the rim, patch the tube, remount the tire and pump it up alongside a road if they were already riding on the spare tire.

    The Bentley tool kit is a little suspect. first off, no "real fine mechanic" would use what looks like a monkey wrench on the nuts and bolts on a car like a Bentley.
    Then, we do not have such niceties as spark plug socket (and "tommy bar" for the old style sockets). Feeler gauges for gapping the points and checking spark plug gap (sparking plug in the old English parlance ?) are there, but no "point files". It is interesting that the kit includes an "egg beater" type of hand drill and a soldering copper. Gotta wonder what they were thinking when they put that kit together... build a campfire to heat the soldering copper to solder a leaky radiator ?
    Drill holes with eggbeater drill to wire flapping bits of sheetmetal together after a collision ?

    Now, we get into today's cars and there are next to no gauges, and it has reached the point where if you have the "key" on your person, you start the engine by touching a button on the dashboard. Alarms to tell a driver when they are straying out of their lane or getting too close to another car when backing... Kind of scary to an oldtimer like myself.

    My late father and some of his friends were born into poor families, the sons of immigrant parents. They were born around 1912-1918, and learned to be Americans in the public school system. Dad and his friends were boy scouts, even growing up in Brooklyn, NY. When they came of age to drive, none of their households had a car. Dad and his buddies wanted to have a car and take a camping trip. They went to a junkyard (now called "auto recyclers") and bought a 1928 Chevy four-door car for a whopping 25 bucks. 5 of them chipped in to buy this gem. They bought used and patched inner tubes for something like 10 cents apiece, and used valve springs for a nickel apiece.
    Dad and his buddies figured out how to make repairs including grinding in the valves. They got a WWI surplus canvas tent for very little money at the Army-Navy store, a huge tent with an octagonal oak ridge-pole that was longer than their old Chevy. They loaded up the Chevy with tools, the tent, blankets, pots and pans and food and set off on their adventure. Dad said they were looking to do it on less than a dollar a man per day. Getting onto the Taconic State Parkway, they were pulled over by a motorcycle officer who told them the tent pole stuck out too far, so they had to take Route 9 all the way up past Albany, heading for the Adirondacks. The tent proved to be too much of a job to setup, so they used it as a combination ground-cloth and cover over their blankets, sleeping in a row. The old Chevy was constantly breaking down, and the jack they had stripped out. Dad said they took that long tent ridge pole and piled up rocks to lever up the Chevy when they had a flat tire. Dad would get the other 4 guys to sit on the end of the tent ridge pole to hold up the Chevy while he dismounted the wheel and piled more rocks under the axle. he then took the tire irons, dismounted the tire, patched the tube (as Dad used to joke, they had "patches on patches"), remounted the tire and got his buddies to take turns pumping it up.
    On one occasion, Dad said he was driving along some backroad near the Sacandaga Lake when the tie rod parted company from its end. Next thing Dad knew, he said the car was going every which way and then the front wheels started plowing in a vee. They stopped the car and Dad said he fixed the tie rod and its end using baling wire (now known as "tie wire" or "mechanic's wire"), the tire irons, friction tape (the old style electrical tape), and yarn from one guy's socks. Dad said they splinted the tie rod to its end using friction tape, the tire irons, yarn, and tie wire. He drove slowly to the next town and found a mechanic who straightened the tie rod and welded things back together.

    When the trip was over with, the Chevy was really done for as well. Dad said they drove it back to the junkyard and got 25 bucks for it as a running heap. When I was a kid, I thought my father could do just about anything. He taught me many things at all levels, and nothing seemed to faze him. He never went anywhere in his cars without a box of tools, a hand axe, trenching shovel, rope, and a couple of pieces of heavy expanded steel mesh (his trick to get traction if stuck in an icy parking spot or mired in soft ground on a job site). Dad taught me to build a "one match fire" in a rainstorm, to make a shelter, to look after a car, and by age 12, I was changing the winter snow tires and "summer tires" myself, jacking up the old cars we had and wrestling the wheels on and off. Dad was on 50% disability due to injuries in WWII, so from the time I was old enough to know anything, I was helping my Dad with jobs and anything else he seemed to be doing when I was around. When I bought the 1969 Volvo, Dad got quite a kick out of the fact it came with a toolkit and a well for a second spare tire. Dad said it had been ages since he'd seen cars with more than one spare tire. That Volvo had a hand choke, dual carbs, and coil-and-points ignition.It had a 4 speed manual transmission. About as simple and dependable as it gets.

    When our son came of age to start driving, I taught him to drive on my old Dodge Ram pickup with a 5 speed manual transmission. I had him driving up on dirt backroads in snow, where he had to make broken U turns and there was no guide rail along a pretty good drop-off. I taught our son to "back park" a full sized vehicle as well.
    He passed his driving test, first shot. Now, I hear parents whining that it is "unfair" to ask kids to do a parallel parking maneuver as part of a driving test, claiming most of the time, they park in lots with spaces you pull right into. I shut them up quick enough. I drive around in a 2005 Tacoma pickup, a little pickup just big enough to haul my welder or a motorcycle, and it has a 4 cylinder engine and a manual transmission. No backup camera, no bells and whistles. I joke it is the last of the "simple" little trucks. Toyota, to their credit, had a recall for frame rust-thru. My Tacoma had 160,000 miles on it, but Toyota put a new frame under it and all new brake lines on their nickel. They had a recall on rear springs, but my rear springs had already had a bunch of busted leaves. I replaced them with heavier light truck rear springs, also on Toyota's nickel, at the local truck spring shop. No fancy aluminum wheels, just plain steel rims with 6 lugs, a little heavier duty than the stylish wheels. I do carry a box of tools, but it is for other jobs, since the little Tacoma is about as reliable as it gets.

    I also ride my 1978 BMW R 100/7 and the original factory tool roll is under the seat. It includes a set of motorcycle-sized tire irons, and a hand air pump is mounted along the rear fender, right from the factory. I also have the original patch kit for patching inner tubes. BMW, in those days, included enough tools to do maintenance and repairs to the entire motorcycle. They also used "laced" wire-spoked wheels, none of the fancy styled aluminum wheels. I "ping" the spokes when I maintain the motorcycle. Laced wire wheels are an elegant design in their own right, and I think do a bit better on rough back roads. BMW, in their wisdom, they designed the center stand such that you can dismount either the front or rear wheel all by yourself if you had to. Timken roller bearings in the wheel hubs, and I repack them with grease. If I install new bearings, I need to check preload or end play and adjust shims accordingly. The new motorcycles all use sealed ball bearings, with a "use once, throw away" type design. I guess the designers felt they could sell more parts, or maybe did not want the liability of people who did not know how to repack a bearing or set the end play working on motorcycles. Maybe people just do not want to get grease on their hands. I always carry a set of spare points, spark plugs, and condenser in the storage pan under the seat with the tools. I also carry a spare clutch cable as the quality of parts for these older bikes is not what it used to be. I daresay I am quite comfortable with the old BMW motorcycle, knowing it thoroughly. People look at me strangely when they find out I am riding a 40 + year old motorcycle that I bought new, maintain myself, and am 69 years of age. I will pass that motorcycle along to my son.

    The Bentley tool kit is a trip down memory lane, for sure. Nowadays, radiators on cars are made of aluminum with plastic tanks bonded with adhesive to the cores. No soldering up a leaky radiator. No figuring out what ails today's cars and light trucks without plugging them into a computer. So, almost no chance of fixing them by the roadside. As things now stand, newer cars are being delivered with NO spare tire, and maybe a can of "flat fixer". This is an aerosol can with a short hose whip which can inflate and seal a tubeless tire that has gotten a leak (puncture in the UK ?). If you slice a tire on a piece of junk in the road, you are screwed as the gook in the can won't get you going again. Then, how many of today's drivers even know how to jack up and change a tire, or check their engine's oil level ?

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  5. #3
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    When I got a car licence in the 60s,there was series of questions about how to change a wheel,basic mechanics,including brake adjustment.Not that many traffic rules in those days tho.....When I got a semi licence,I had to actually change a wheel ,and adjust the brakes ,as well as show a knowlege of ropes and knots.Although you probably still do ,as you have to have completed a "driver training module" ,before you can even apply for a test.Trouble is all the rules are dreamed up by women and lawyers,ridiculous volume of legislation relating to trucks.

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    Back when I started driving, it was common to have all your tools, and some parts in the trunk of the car. Many guys didnt have garages, or any other safe place to keep them. I was lucky my dad had his own painting business, and many tools of that trade, and a garage to keep them in. So room for my tools was available, until my stuff filled the garage.
    When it came time to move, I felt Arizona was a better place than Wisconsin, so the tools went into the back of the first of many vans. The transmission made a funny noise, but only in first and second, and most of the driving would be in third, so I thought it would be ok. A friend had an extra transmision, so I took it along, just in case. It was a 3 on the tree, as they called them then, 3 speed column shift.
    The noisy bearing failed on the third day in Phoenix. Then I only had first and second, and no third. Jacked it up in the motel parking lot, pulled out the trans, rode the city bus to the parts store for a new clutch, back together the next day.
    Glad to have them tools along.
    Glad they were in the van at my place a few months later, when the night watchman at the shop I was working at caught the place on fire making a pot of beans.
    The other guys tools all got damaged, and they waited a long tme for the insurance to pay out. I was working the next day.
    Those were the days.
    Still carry tools in my van.

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  9. #5
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    I'm sure others do as well but Chevy offers tool kit options as accessories. Expensive they are though. I always keep something in my vehicle though.

  10. #6
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    Every item one might require for performing regular maintenance, or the importunate emergency.

  11. #7
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    When I was a kid,my tool kit consisted of car tools found here and there,and the best spanners were the ones branded"Ford"...


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