Antique Auto Enthusiast Keeps Wife Busy — Cleaning Up
He’s Even Got Me Talking Like Auto Mechanic,’’ Says Mrs. Hurter of Norwood
NOTHING LIKE PUTTING your own automobile together that’s what this Norwood couple is doing at the Veteran Motor Car Club’s Antique Auto Show at the First Corps Armory. Don and Kay Hurter are shown juggling a pressed channel steel frame from a 4-cylinder 1912 model Hudson Speedster.
By PAUL F. KNEELAND
Wives’. Does it bother you when hubby gets cigar ashes all over the floor and forgets to put away his slippers? Then listen to Mrs. Donald A Hurter of Norwood:
“Cigar ashes!” she exclaims. ‘‘If that’s all I had to contend with! What would some of those women think of a husband who’s apt to leave a drop-forged axle on the kitchen floor? Or maybe a couple of semi-elliptic springs spread across the living room rug?”
Seems Mrs. Hurter is the young wife of a mechanical engineer (B S. in Mech. Eng., M. I T. 46; M. S in Mech. Eng., Yale ’47) and an old-auto-enthusiast whose favorite old auto is a 1912 Hudson Speedster. When he bought what was left of a 1912 Hudson Speedster last year, he started taking it apart nut-and-bolt by nut-and-bolt.
I expect to have it completely restored in another 14 months/’ says serious-sober, bespectacled Hurter —he’s currently doing a little part-time reassembling for the benefit of spectators at the Antique Auto Show being held at the First Corps Cadet Armory on Columbus av.
All these cars in the show arc pretty ancient, but they’re in perfect running condition. Some of them took three and four years to shape. At the rate I’m going, I figure I’m doing a fast job.” No amateur. Hurter has been a vintage vehicle expert now for nearly 15 years. When in high school, a friend gave him a junk heap, which he restored to its original state—a Saxon—and. . .
Like a dope I sold it for $6.”’ Hurter remarked dryly. “It would have been worth at least $500 today
Incidentally, that part about Hurter’s Vernon st home in Norwood being littered with old Hudson parts the Winter long is “only too true” the attractive, elfin Mrs. Hurter confirms rather resignedly.
“Good natured me—I had to help,” she adds. “So we cleaned and polished and oiled brass lamps, valve tappets, bronze bearings. See? He’s even got me talking like an auto mechanic. Do you know how much time we spent on that project? Almost 600 hours.
“I was a chemistry major at Emmanuel—it’s a good thing they didn’t have a course in auto mechanics. If I’d taken it then he’d have me doing the WHOLE job now,” she said, pointing to “he.”
Will Go One Coat Better
So far, none of the parts of this old speedster are missing, Hurter reports. How about upholstery?
“I’ll get a library book with a title something like ‘Upholstering Can Be Fun’ and do the job myself.” quips Hurter.
Painting and striping? “I don’t need a book for that one; they say you get best results, though, by using 28 coats of paint. I’ll get even better results and put on 29 coats,” he promises without a smile.
What color scheme? ‘‘Red body with black fenders.” says Hurter.
“But green and black would bo so much prettier,” Mrs. Hurter suggests.
So if you happen to see a 1912 Hudson speedster chugging along the Worcester Turnpike any nice day after June 1, 1951. it’ll probably be the Hurter’s. You can be SURE it’s the Hurter’s, of course, if it’s a 1912 Hudson speedster with green body and black fenders.