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February 2019

SHOPTALK

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In This Edition:

Winter / Spring

January 30, 2019

by: Kim Spiece

In sticking with my history theme and the way the weather has been, I thought this was very appropriate for our discussions.  We just received 4 inches of snow and an arctic blast of cold air to last for several days before it warms up a wee bit. There really hasn't been much snow thus far for winter as I write this. In a few days, February 2nd, it will be a famous day here in Pennsylvania, Punxsutawney to be exact, that we all will be watching to see whether Phil, the famous groundhog will see his shadow or not and predict us an early Spring or 6 more weeks of Winter.  Yes, by the calendar we have 6 more weeks regardless until the Spring Equinox occurs on March 20th. It has been a popular tradition that has been celebrated for 179 years. The earliest mention on record was February 2nd, 1840 in the diary of James Morris of Morgantown, Pennsylvania. It is a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition deriving from a superstition that if a groundhog emerging from his burrow on this particular day sees a shadow due to clear weather, it will retreat back to its den and winter will persist for 6 more weeks. If he does not see his shadow due to a cloudy day, then Spring will arrive early. Phil is only accurate 40% of the time. Each year there is a big celebration in Punxsutawney where crowds of over 40,000 gather to celebrate. So, let's all hope and pray that Punxsutawney Phil will emerge and not see his shadow so we can get Spring to arrive a little early and start car show season with a bang!

Through the Windshield

Philadelphia Auto Show 2019

February 2-10, 2019

by: Kim Spiece

The Philly Auto Show is almost upon us again. This coming winter the dates are February 2nd to the 10th. Did you know that this event began back in 1902?  It is open to the public with well over 250,000 people attending each year. There will be more than 700 concept, classic, luxury and exotic vehicles on display with every major manufacturer represented. It is an automotive lover's dream come true. Pollock Auto Restoration will be there supporting the Antique Automobile Club of America http://www.aaca.org/ and the Elegance at Hershey http://theeleganceathershey.com/.  For more  information please see: https://www.phillyautoshow.com/ 

 AACA Annual Meeting

February 7-9, 2019

by: Kim Spiece

AACA Annual Meeting and Trade Show will once again be held at the Sheraton, now Hotel 201, in Center City, Philadelphia Pennsylvania February 7th -9th. The trade show supplements two days of technical and hobby related seminars and allows the members to become more knowledgeable of select products, vendors and services available.  Stop at the Pollock Auto Restoration booth at the Trade Show and say hello and see what we bring with us!! Better yet, become a member and join for the entire weekend event!  http://www.aaca.org/

 The Atlantic City Collector Car Auction by GPK Auctions

February 8-10, 2019

by: Kim Spiece

The 46th Annual Atlantic City Collector Car Auction will once again be held at the Convention Center, in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  Along with the auction, car enthusiasts can walk through the many aisles of automotive vendors, flea market and car corral. Sunday will be Family Day so children will get in FREE. For more information or to purchase tickets, http://www.acclassiccars.com/

Vintage, Classic, Collector and Antique Car Club Information

 

Even though outdoor car show season has ended, there are still a few indoor shows in the surrounding areas. You may need to find that certain particular part for your project, have questions on how to repair or replace something and the perfect way is to talk with other auto enthusiasts. To check out information on local car clubs, becoming a member, making new friends, reconnecting with old acquaintances and sharing past histories and passions, see below.

Listed are several local car clubs and museums within our region. Please check them out and support our local clubs and communities. 
   
     
     
You can also check out Car Club Directory or Car Club Hunter to find clubs near you.

Classic Car Calendar of Events

1st Mon   North Penn Model A Ford Club Mthly Mtg., Lansdale, PA
1st Wed   AACA Pottstown Region Mthly Mtg., Pennsburg, PA
3rd Tue   Cadillac LaSalle Club Mthly Mtg., Malvern, PA
3rd Wed   Berks County Mustang Car Club Mthly Mtg., Fleetwood, PA
3rd Thu   AACA Delaware Valley Region Mthly Mtg., Lederach, PA
     
Feb 2-10   Philadelphia Auto Show, PA Convention Center
 Feb 7-9    AACA Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA
 Feb 7-10   Atlantic City Car Show, AC Convention Center
 Feb 21-23   AACA Winter National, Ocala, Fla
Feb 22-24   Boca Raton Concours d'Elegance, Boca Raton, Fl
March 3   Hamburg Swap Meet,Ontelaunee Region AACA Hamburg Field House,  Hamburg, PA call 610-823-4656

In the Shop Now

 1962 Lotus Elite

by: Ross Belovich, Shop Foreman

It's a cold day at the end of January as I write this. We are expected to have -20 degree below zero wind chills tonight. If you live in a cold climate, make sure your cars are safe and warm!
This month we are in the final stages of completing a cosmetic restoration of a 1962 Lotus Elite Type 14. For those familiar with these cars, they are completely fiberglass except for a small A-shaped section about 3' long composed of flat steel bars where the front suspension and engine mounts. The rear suspension is mounted directly to the fiberglass.
Lotus produced a little over one thousand of these cars between 1957 and 1963 and they are desirable due to their uniqueness, power to weight ratio, and exceptional aerodynamics. Out of the relatively small number produced, we here at Pollock Auto Restoration have completed extensive work on 3 of these cars in the past two years and we may have at least two more coming in soon.
However, the construction methods and age can contribute to failure of the materials, in this particular case, in the area of the top skin. The cars have an insert that creates a "headliner" of sorts that is bonded to the outer roof skin. Sometimes with age and temperature variations, this can cause delamination of the two panels and swelling of the top. Unfortunately, this car had that problem, but as new bodies are being reproduced today, we were able to purchase a new roof skin and very carefully separate the existing panels and attach the new one. Along with other repairs, we have now completed the paintwork and most of the reassembly and it will soon be back in the wind when the weather gets warmer in this neck of the woods.
 

In the Rearview

Before Pollock Auto Restoration

January 30, 2019
By: Kim Spiece  

 

We left off last month with our building at South Franklin St being used as a silk mill. Most of this information comes from the local newspapers which don't provide specific dates on when the purchase was made only that in the 1930's the warehouse building at 70 South Franklin Street was bought from the silk company by Mayer Pollock Steel Company, specifically William Pollock. The Mayer Pollock Steel Company was started in 1888 by their grandfather. Sidney Pollock became President in 1947 and William was Vice President with the main operations on Keim St and Industrial Roads.  


    Ralph Levitz worked in his father's furniture business when he was young. He and his brother Leon opened a small furniture store together in 1936 in Pottstown, PA. They leased the warehouse building on South Franklin Street from Pollock, as well as several other buildings in town, to conduct their warehouse sales.  
They began the Levitz Furniture Company in Allentown, Pa in 1963 introducing the "warehouse as showroom" concept. Their motto was "Greater Value, Better Service".  During the 1960's  Levitz successfully pioneered selling moderately priced brand-name furniture from a warehouse-style store.  It soon became a nationwide chain of  54 furniture stores, emerging as the largest furniture dealer in the world, with its headquarters in Pottstown, Pa. Ralph and Leon Levitz incorporated their business in 1965. Harry Pollock who had been associated with the Pottstown store had been named vice-president of the firm. Eventually Harry was named president of Levitz Furniture Company.  
     The company moved its headquarters to Boca Raton, Fl when it went public in 1968 and the warehouse building on Franklin Street went back to William Pollock of Mayer Pollock Steel Company.
The pictures above and below are photos of Ralph Levitz and Levitz Furniture of Pottstown, Pa.
    William (Bill) Pollock spent all his life in the scrap metal business which led him to the availability and ability to collect what he loved: antique automobiles, motorcycles, bicycles, old telephones and radios, and typewriters. One of Bill's most famous automotive endeavors was the Chadwick.
     The Chadwick Engineering Works, founded and run by the brilliant engineer Lee Chadwick, was located in Pottstown, PA when in 1907 they had introduced the "Great Six", and a need for more production space necessitated a move to Pottstown (on the Schuylkill River), where a new factory at South Keim Street was built in 1907. The company would go out of business by 1917.
      Bill Pollock found two or three surviving Chadwick cars - I believe the runabout was found right here in Pottstown. Pollock restored the cars in the early 1950s with input from Lee Chadwick himself - long out of the automobile business but still living at the time.
        In September 1959, Bill and Sidney revived the Chadwick Engineering Works which assumed ownership of the building. They offered a special utility vehicle for use as a golf cart. William designed the modern fiberglass body which was placed on a BMW Isetta chassis and motor imported from Germany.
The photos above are one of the Chadwick Great Six that Pollock owned and the Chadwick 300 Golf Cart that he and Sidney created. Seen is William sitting in the car.
             In June of 1963, Mayer Pollock Steel Company purchased Pottstown Metal Products in Stowe, Pa and moved the Reading Hoist and Crane division from South Franklin St to the new plant in Stowe. This provided room in the building for the Pollock Auto Showcase.
      Bill has been collecting antique autos since 1951 when he bought a 1914 Buick Roadster. He was housing his growing collection of an estimated 65 historically significant old cars in the Franklin St building. The building doubled as a museum and restoration facility.  The oldest car is a 1891 Peugeot and also includes the first Ford ever manufactured and the most expensive car ever built in France, the 1903 Mors Touring Car.
      Pollock said he wasn't interested in collecting antique cars, per se. The cars he acquires are typically milestones in the evolution of the auto, early examples of innovation and excellence in mechanical design and construction. By May 1973, he had acquired over 100 different antique cars, motorcycles and bicycles that he had on display in the Franklin Street Showcase. He had several full-time experts working on the cars to restore them to original which typically takes about a year for each vehicle.
    William Pollock was also very much involved in the car community; he and his family attended many of the riding tours and races including the famous Glidden Tour of Antique Automobiles, and he also served as President of the Hershey Region Chapter and the national Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA). He assisted in establishing their national headquarters in the Hershey Region in April 1959. He also traveled the world intensely searching for automobiles that might pique his interest in such places as Italy, Germany, Spain, and Russia.
The photos above are the 1891 Peugeot and the 1906 Cadillac both owned by Pollock. The Cadillac photo was a gag shot due to the cab looking like a phone booth, pictured inside is Bill and his wife.
These photos above are photos taken inside the Franklin Street Museum 1979.
When Mr. Pollock passed away Pollock Auto Showcase was purchased by Ralph DeStefano and renamed Pollock Auto Restoration. In 2007 Michael Engard purchased the business and building from Ralph's widow.
    
       I enjoyed researching this history, since it is one of my passions, including the "old" cars, of course. With being "raised" around old stuff all my life, including attending the Hershey Fall Meet each year as a kid, it was a no-brainer that somehow I would get involved in the hobby. I hope you enjoyed what I was able to retrieve from old newspapers and google. I will continue to throw out there little Did You Know? history facts and if anyone has something of interest or would like to see something in particular, please feel free to email me with the subject Newsletter to kaspiece13@aol.com .

Did You Know

by: Kim Spiece

Following up with the Timeline in history here are some more interesting facts to read.
From 1924-1929 Bugatti Type 35 was one of the most successful racing cars of all time, with well over 1,000 victories in a 5 year period.
The 1930 Cadillac V-16 was developed at the height of the vintage era, and would join Bugatti's Royale as the most legendary ultra-luxury cars of the era.
the Duesenberg J built from 1929-1937 were some of the most elegant vehicles ever made in the United States with only 481 ever sold making them some of the most exclusive as well.
Also, in 1935, a company in Delaware was the first to create left and right flashing turn signals which helped reduce the chance for accidents and made drivers more aware.
1964 to present, the Ford Mustang was introduced marking the emergence of a new "breed" of smaller American vehicles known as the pony car that also became one of the best selling and most collected cars of the era.
1966-present Toyota Corolla is a simple small Japanese sedan that has come to be the best selling car of all time.
1970- present The Range Rover is the first take on the combination of luxury and four-wheel drive utility, known as the original "SUV". The original classic was so popular that a new model wasn't brought out until 1994.

Lincoln becomes the first American car to offer an antilock braking system (ABS) in 1985 which was made by Teves of Germany that uses computerized sensing of wheel movement and hydraulic pressure to each wheel to adjust pressure so that the wheels continue to move somewhat rather than "locking up" during emergency braking.
Future trends and technologies are including varied energy sources and material in order to produce automobiles more energy efficient and eco friendly. And, with consumers looking for more technology at their fingertips for a less hands-on approach, more advanced navigation, voice commands, auto pilot systems will emerge.

I really hope you enjoyed reading the past few issues of our newsletter regarding our shop history. I know I have learned a lot and look forward to experiencing more. Until next month !!
Pollock Auto Restoration is here to help keep your car performing and looking it's best. Call now to schedule your pre-season work to ensure your pride 'n' joy's service, repair, maintenance, and cosmetic needs are met before this year's driving season begins.  Click here to send an e-mail to inquiry@pollockauto.com or call us at 610-323-7108 to schedule an appointment.

Click to see our Works In Progress page on our website for more from behind the scenes. Also, we have several active listings of our client's collector cars looking for new homes. See the current listings on our For Sale page.
 
Happy Motoring!

Kim and the Staff at Pollock Auto Restoration
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