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It is a running joke in our family that when asked "How many cars do you actually have?" Jim will undercount because Julia doesn't know about all his cars.  That was certainly true back in the day, but now that I'm retired the collection is shrinking.  Here are some of our car's stories.   


So many cars,so little time:  

When I first met Julia in 1976, she'd been saving up to buy an R-Type Bentley for 10 years.  In 1980 when we bought our house in East Hampton, we had a garage so she started looking seriously and found a 1953 R-type for sale in West Virginia.  We went out once to see it, and made a second trip to purchase him and drive him home.  He was immediately named Frederick.  As you can see, his paint was in dire shape.  There were some mechanical issues too, but none so bad that we couldn't drive the 500 miles back to East Hampton.  I think the worst problem he had was brakes.  If you came to a stop on a hill, he tended to roll backwards for a foot or so until the mechanical servo wound up the rear brake shoes.  The guy we bought him from said "Oh, they all do that!"   We first gave the car to a shop in East Hampton which specialized in classic cars, but they made things worse rather than better.  Other than keeping our old daily driver wrecks on the road, I was not a car repair guy at this point in my life, but that changed.  With the help of a friend Harry Cullum, I sorted out the brake system, set up the points, synchronized the carburetors, got both electric fuel pumps working, and sorted the lighting and other electrical problems.  After this we had a 'drive the car and get to know him period before we sent Frederick to a fellow to have the paint stripped, bodywork touched up and a respray done.  Unfortunately that took over 18 months and we had to finish up re-assembly after we got him back.  The poor guy figured out he had underbid the job rather massively and was working for like $2 an hour so he lost interest in finishing.  But finally Frederick was home in his East Hampton garage, reassembled, beautiful and running well.  We went on trips, we went out in bad weather, lots of things I'd think more seriously about today.  Frederick became very popular at family events and weddings!  

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