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Brian 07-11-2020 01:04 AM

dumb questions

Many times on here, I've seen the comment that there are no dumb questions...
Today, I've been using my 35 as a complementary taxi, along with another guys '30 phaeton, ferrying people down to a museum in a neighbouring town. Met some very interesting people in doing so. What we, as owner/drivers of these old relics take for granted, is a totally new experience for so many people. Untold questions...
I'm always most accommodating in answering anyone's questions, but was absolutely gobsmacked today when a guy sitting next to me in the front seat asked "is this a 4 cylinder?'
Just proves there are dumb questions!!

Will D 07-11-2020 02:04 AM

Re: dumb questions

I'd have to respectfully disagree. I would have been just as bewildered as you to hear such a question but I don't think we can class it as dumb. If the guy knows nothing of cars and history his only option is to look it up or ask someone. Asking was the more readily available option at the time so he did so. Not knowing anything about cars his logical thinking may have been things start small and progress. Being an older car in his mind he may have been thinking 4 cyl were before 6's, 8's, and 12's. If the cylinder numbers progressed as time, logically it could be a 4 cyl based on year and the year the combustion engine came about. Don't get me wrong, to a car guy who has an ear and experience there's no way you would mistake a 4 cyl for a v8, but some others don't have that, as crazy as it sounds.

I used to always say common sense ain't so common anymore. But it's not entirely true. What is common sense to one is not to the other. Ones common sense is based off what is common to you or what you are accustomed to. If you've never been around something, how can you have the sense to understand or discern? This is where we fall back to logic and rational. These are not so common.... yet this is why we have one another, to broaden our understanding.

tomkc1 07-11-2020 04:27 AM

Re: dumb questions

I'm with Will on this one. Some people just don't know and have enough interest to ask a question. Over the years I've had many people ask very basic questions about my car. Tom

51woodie 07-11-2020 06:04 AM

Re: dumb questions

Brian. I'm 70 years old, and I ask dumb questions quite often. I asked the Docent so many questions, when he took me for a drive in a Model T at Ford's Greenfield Village, that he was probably happy to end my tour. My grandsons think I'm a genius with tools of any sort, but a bit of an idiot with phones and computers!:)

I do have to compliment you on giving people the experience of riding in your old cars. I get lots of questions when I am at car shows with my '46 Coupe, and I answer them all with great patience. I also let people sit in my car (no ice cream!), and will often start the engine, just so they can hear a flathead run. People are curious, and they learn by asking questions or being shown.

I particularly enjoy talking to people from the generation before mine. They tell stories about the first car they bought after the war, how they used to cut them up to race with, and how comfortable and spacious the back seat was on a date!:) Gotta love old cars and old peoples memories.

corvette8n 07-11-2020 07:39 AM

Re: dumb questions

I enjoy answering questions, I like explaining to the younger generation what a flathead is, their eyes studying the engine compartment trying to identify the parts under the hood. Today's cars are a sea of plastic and you can't even see the motor.

TJ 07-11-2020 10:32 AM

Re: dumb questions

Those question may sound dumb to us, but I see it a great chance to educate people regarding our old cars and the hobby. Some may become interested enough to maybe join the hobby. Besides they may think you are one smart person.

fourfords 07-11-2020 11:01 AM

Re: dumb questions

A couple of years ago I came out from the store with small group of people with children at my Model A. One of the kids asked if this was a 'Disneyland Car' I told him this was the kind of car your Great Grandparents drove around in when they were your age. Instantly the child had a perspective he could relate to. Sharing this hobby in a kind, patient manner is one of the responsibilities of stewardship.

fordwife 07-11-2020 11:09 AM

Re: dumb questions

Here's my idea of a dumb question: how can a car be this old and still run?

fourfords 07-11-2020 11:20 AM

Re: dumb questions

While some of us are dumbfounded at the ignorance of some of the general public regarding our precious hobby, some of the same general public is shaking their heads in disgust that we have no idea how to use our computers! -Just sayin'

tubman 07-11-2020 11:29 AM

Re: dumb questions

I don't mind "Dumb Questions"; after all these cars are completely out of the experience of most people that see them. Healthy curiosity is a good thing. What I don't like are "Dumb Statements" by self-declared experts. The one that comes to mind is the time we we displaying our vintage race cars on the front straight after a race meet, allowing the public to mingle and ask questions. A forty-something father pointed out the engine in my car to his teenage son and told his kid "See how the spark plugs are in the middle of the head? That means it's a flathead!" My plugs are in the middle of the head, but the engine is a hemi. I tried to correct him, but he was adamant. I pity the kid.

flatford8 07-11-2020 11:45 AM

Re: dumb questions

I love talking about my cars, but not many people I see ever ask any. I just get “nice car”. I always smile and say “Thank You, it’s a lot of fun”. The one I did get is “ Is that a Studebaker”?..... I think they know Studebaker is the name of an old car, just like the question of the car being a 4 cylinder. They know old cars were 4 cyl. ....... Mark

tubman 07-11-2020 12:07 PM

Re: dumb questions

A lot of people get '49-'50 Fords confused with "Bullet-nosed" Studebakers.

34pickup 07-11-2020 02:05 PM

Re: dumb questions

Just wait until you are driving a 1920s or 1930s car and someone asks you "Did you buy it new?".

50fordcoupeman 07-11-2020 02:27 PM

Re: dumb questions


Originally Posted by tubman (Post 1908137)
A lot of people get '49-'50 Fords confused with "Bullet-nosed" Studebakers.

Yes I often get that too. One time a guy here at our local show stated my front custom made license placard (placard says '50 Ford in the Ford script of the day) was wrong because what I had was really a '49. After showing some of the differences to him, he just walked away unconvinced.

ursus 07-11-2020 03:11 PM

Re: dumb questions

A fellow that had a stock '34 Ford coupe with a Model B engine told me that he has people ask him if it still has the original flathead V8. When he shows them the stock 4-cylinder engine they often argue that all Fords of that year came with the V8 and question why anybody would replace a flathead V8 with a 4-cylinder. They usually walk away unconvinced.

A bones 07-11-2020 06:17 PM

Re: dumb questions

Reported once in the '60s ( R/T ) a fellow whose Ferrari was parked in Hollywood, noticed a stylish lady. She was looking over his car. Her comment to him while eyeballing the medallion was, My nephew just bought a Mustang

One time while doing a water stop for my Model T, a pre teen approached me and said, "One question where do you find a car like that?".
I responded by spelling out the Name H E M M I N G S motor news.

petehoovie 07-11-2020 06:26 PM

Re: dumb questions

Hard to beat > "What kind of oil do you use?"

Karl 07-11-2020 06:35 PM

Re: dumb questions

Good on you Brian -Its great to share our cars.
Some of the questions you get asked are a hoot . I took one of my younger work colleagues to introduce her to the rest home our medical centre looks after , I always take a vintage car there as the residents love it . Driving there she said the manual transmission "looked very complicated" When we arrived there she expressed surprise that I had to individually lock the doors in the 34. She suggested I fit central locking and an automatic transmission . I tried to explain that the would affect the originality and charm for me -when she obviously failed to appreciate what I was saying I finished with the statement that I was more likely to sign up for gender reassignment surgery than make her suggested changes -The look I got was priceless !

petehoovie 07-11-2020 06:46 PM

Re: dumb questions

Karl: Did your mechanic figure out the problem you were having with your '34?

Brian 07-11-2020 06:59 PM

Re: dumb questions

Karl: Did your mechanic figure out the problem you were having with your '34?


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