Bob Gardner, Historian for Gardner Automobile

Bob Gardner, Historian for Gardner Automobile:

Have you ever wondered how a person becomes a car buff, or even a car magazine editor? How about a historian or maybe a collector? Well, here is a story about a husband and wife who both have a love for, not only preservation, but the circulation of information, for all to enjoy; Bob and Kim Gardner.

Bob and Kim Gardner

Bob and Kim Gardner

I met the Gardner’s through a friend who has a beautiful 1931 Gardner model 158 that was in need of some TLC in order for this gem to once again get its “rubber on the road.” I was blessed to have had the opportunity to be the one who was asked to perform the mechanical repairs to get the car running. During the process, my friend Bernie sent an inquiry to Bob Gardner, since he was the one who took on the task a few years ago to preserve the history and mechanical information for these automobiles.

Bob Gardner was so excited to forward any and all technical data and history about the Gardner to me. He was a wealth of information, along with some guidance. It was then that Bob and I connected and a friendship was born. Bob’s love for these Gardner’s can only be measured by talking, or in my case emailing him, to understand just how much knowledge Bob has about them.

Let me give you a little insight to Bob’s passion and how it all began. Some get the bug at an early age, but Bob waited until he was four. When he was fourteen he found a reference to a Gardner car. He was excited to learn that there was once a car with the same name as his. He could not wait to share it with his dad. Bob was amazed to find out that not only did his father know about the Gardner car, he was also once the proud owner of one. It was at that moment that Bob Gardner knew he had to see one, in hopes of one day owning one. How cool would that be?

Bob's 1928 Gardner

Bob’s 1928 Gardner

Bob owned more than one Ford model A but was always on the lookout for a Gardner. One day in 1982, he traveled to Iola, Wisconsin with three friends to check out a car show. While walking around the show, as they crested the top of a hill, Bob caught a glimpse of a car in the distance and said, “That’s it!” It was the most magnificent car he’d ever seen. One of his friends asked if he meant the Duisenberg? No, it was the one next to it. Bob had no idea what type of car it was, but to him it was a sight to see. They all walked closer to the car. You guessed it. It was a Gardner; a 1928 Cabriolet Gardner, sitting there proud and beautiful for all to see.

One day while surfing the internet, Bob Gardner discovered that someone was blogging that there was almost no information on 1931 Gardner’s. Bob is a history buff and passionate about the American car being such a large part of American history. He felt the need to fill in the gaps. What followed was way beyond anything he could have imagined.

Today, Bob Gardner is the “go to guy” for any Gardner automobile history or restoration data. Collecting everything Gardner he could get his hands on became his number one priority. So much so, in fact, that Bob was locating and buying all the magazines that he could find from the 1920s in hopes of finding articles or ads pertaining to the Gardner.

While at the Hershey car show one year, Bob met George Breckenridge who just so happens to own a 1928 Gardner. It did not take long for the two to spark up a friendship. The following year, Bob Gardner returned to Hershey hoping to surprise George with all of the articles he had collected. But when George arrived, he surprised Bob with 3 large boxes of literature on Gardner’s that he had collected for over forty years. George was so gracious that he offered Bob the opportunity to copy everything that he had. Bob anxiously said yes. Bob wonders today that if it hadn’t been for George Breckenridge, whether he would have continued to gather Gardner history documents?

In 2007 George was ready to sell his 1928 Gardner and wanted to offer it to Bob Gardner first, for the mere sum of his investment. George knew that he needed to find a good home for his Gardner to give her the love she needed. What better person than Bob? The deal was made and Bob finally found the second love of his life, the girl he always wanted, a Gardner Automobile, which he still owns to this day. Bob’s first love of course, his wife Kim.

We really never know what our destiny might be, but in this case, without Bob’s love for history, and the Gardner which bares his last name, this car might be somewhat forgotten. Thanks Bob Gardner, from all of us who could not keep these types of vehicles up and running without you.

Check back for more on Kim Gardner and her involvement with the Gardner Automobile.

Permatex Fuel Tank Repair Epoxy Stick

PermatexNew Permatex Fuel Tank Repair Epoxy Stick Designed For Quick And Easy Fuel Tank Repairs

Permatex, a leader in chemical technology for automotive maintenance and repair, offers its new Permatex Fuel Tank Repair Epoxy Stick for a quick and easy fix on both metal gas tanks and containers. This industrial strength epoxy is resistant to most solvents and features a unique, ethanol resistant formula. It is ideally suited for filling holes and damaged seams, says the company.
Permatex Fuel Tank Repair Epoxy Stick comes as a two-part putty in a convenient stick form, which makes it very easy to measure and mix the proper amount of epoxy. The putty formulation also makes it easier to apply to the damaged area. The finished repair sets in just one hour and can be drilled, sanded, threaded or filed after five hours. When fully cured, Permatex Fuel Tank Repair Epoxy is able to withstand moderate temperatures and does not shrink after application.
Permatex also offers epoxy sticks designed for use in steel, plastic, hi-temp and water applications.

Post Your Car Event Today

Do you have a car show or car event that you would like posted for all to see? Then I have just the website for you. Here is a site that will allow you to post any and all upcoming car events. People can search by State, event title or by date to find it.IMG_1480[1]

By posting your events, you could attract more visitors or participants who may have never known about you show and shine or even a swap meet. Car owners are not the only ones who enjoy feasting their eyes on those beauties. So go to and post your event today. It is completely free. is a one stop shop for your car show event and information resource. You can find the lastest news from many of your favorite Auto magazines, a virtual car show or even blogs and charities. So tell your friends to post today.

The Ford Model A Changed America

(* a great article from Model T Roadsters)

Henry Ford was always convinced that people should satisfy themselves with nothing more than a good, simple and economical car and so The Model A Changed America. At the price of great efforts, his inner circle finally succeed in eroding his stubbornness and, in May 1927, after having produced more than 15,000,000 Model Ts since 1908, Ford closes his plants for many months in order to retool his assembly lines for the production of his next legend: the Model A. The latter will ultimately be produced in 5,000,000 copies between 1928 and 1931.

This new miracle is equally attributable to Henry and his son Edsel. Henry will dedicate himself to the mechanical aspects and Edsel will bring a whole new look to the «people’s car». Whereas the Model T was nicknamed “Tin Lizzie”, the Model A will be known as the «Baby Lincoln».

No new automobile has ever been so expected in History. The competition sharply felt the hurt of this waiting period (as much as tens of thousands of Ford employees which were temporarily laid off) since many were putting off their purchase of a new car in order to see what Henry was going to pull out of his hat this time.1903 model A

When the New Ford is unveiled in December of 1927, riots occur in a few cities. 25,000,000 Americans (more than one out of every five men, woman and child in the U.S.A.) literally assault Ford showrooms in the space of only one week! A fresh jaunty look, sparkling performances, easy drivability and a low price all contribute to half a million sales on the spot! Ford easily retakes first place in sales, but will lose it in 1931 at the hand of Chevrolet.

Compared to the Model T, technical improvements are numerous although certain anachronisms persist. For example, the Conestoga-wagon transverse semi-elliptical suspension is kept.

On the other hand, a water pump, an oil pump and hydraulic shock absorbers are added. The 2-speed planetary transmission is replaced by a modern 3-speed gear box. But since it is not synchronized, the driver must now master the double-clutching technique.

The engine is a 4 cylinder affair of 200.5 cubic inch, producing 40 horsepower. A comfortable cruising speed is 40-45 miles an hour and a top speed of 65 miles an hour can be reached. Compression ratio has been expressly kept low (4:22 / 1). Of course, this low ratio lowers horsepower output and speed but, on the other hand, allows the use of lower grade fuels even if de-carbonization of cylinder heads isn’t performed regularly.A-on-production-line

Longevity, dependability and simplicity were more important to Ford than performances. Wheelbase is 103.5 inches. Track is 56 inches. Weight varies from 2,050 to 2,386 pounds depending on the model.

In 1930, the appearance of the Model A is refreshed. The grill is higher as well as the hood line. The front fender curve is more graceful. Wheel diameter is reduced from 21 inches to 19 inches.

At the end of WWII, the Model A will become the unchallenged queen of the vintage car scene. This brief moment in automobile history (1928-1931) will generate the largest gathering of enthusiasm around a single model that no other has ever equaled since. Two gigantic Clubs and an entire spare part industry see the light of day. The abundance and ease with which technical information and new or refurbished parts can be found have made the Model A the easiest vintage car to buy, understand and maintain. One could even be able to assemble a completely new Model A from all the new parts that can be found on the market today! However, assembling the 6,800 distinct items to do so could well run over $50,000.

*Article reference:

Why Zero Teen Fatalities?

WhyIMG_1764 Zero Teen Fatalities?

There are 32 families that are still mourning the loss of a child after last year’s Teen-Driver related fatalities in Nevada. According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) put out by the National Highway Safety Administration, at least 62% of all teen related crashes last year involved aggressive driving; including speeding and erratic driving. Intoxication was a large factor in at least 41% of teen-drivers’ fatal accidents, along with other avoidable behaviors such as absence of restraints and distraction, acting as major contributors to loss of life.

These statistics are staggering to say the least. The biggest question is how can we reduce these numbers and educate young drivers to be responsible while behind the wheel of a car?

IMG_1765Recently I was privileged to observe a class directed at young, inexperienced drivers, sponsored by the Nevada Department of Public Safety, along with the Nevada Highway Patrol. The attendees did not sign up in excitement for these classes, instead they were sentenced by a Judge to attend, after receiving a citation for many of the same reasons Nevada lost 32 teens in 2014.

This class was held at the local Juvenile Hall after school hours so I decided to arrive early in order to observe those who might be attending as they found their way into the parking lot for the session. I sat quietly in my vehicle as cars with young drivers began to enter, some driving cautiously, others zipping through the lot looking for a spot. A few arrived early, some arrived right on time. I noticed that a few students were prepared with writing materials, others just seemed as if they wished it was already over.

I exited my vehicle once it appeared no others were arriving. I entered the building, and like any court system facility, was searched, with my items removed to be scanned prior to entering. I was relieved that the bells and whistles stayed silent as I went through the detector. You just never know what might set off that sensitive machine.IMG_1766

I was escorted to the classroom and I noticed that all the attendees were placed in a holding area so roll call could be taken. After all, this is a court ordered class as part of their sentencing.

I was greeted by Scott Swain, the Law Enforcement Liaison for the Nevada Department of Public Safety and introduced myself. Since I was a guest and observer, I sat in the back of the room so as not to be a distraction to the rest of the class.

The students began to arrive as a group and were asked to sit anywhere. In total there were 19 attending; 10 boys and 9 girls. Prior to the start of the presentation, each student was instructed to take a pre-test, consisting of 10 questions. Among the questions were: is it legal to drive 5 miles over the posted speed limit? What is Offensive Driving? When can you drive in the left lane? And what is the safe following distance, just to list a few.

The objective of this class/sentencing was the hope of changing the way teen drivers drive, since 62% of them are causing crash related accidents. The class was 3 hours long and covered all driver related situations, laws, and many of the things these teen drivers aren’t learning prior to getting their driver’s license. These students learned that as a driver, no matter the age, you will be tried as an adult in any crash related accident. The audio visual was extremely graphic and at times humor was tossed in to help lighten the seriousness of the content.

Students were asked if they felt they had bad parent drivers who taught them to drive? 4 raised their hands. They were asked if they ever took a Driver’s Education class? Unbelievably, 100% of the students acknowledged that they had never taken Driver’s Ed. Let’s think about this for a moment. If you want to be good in sports, do you start out being great? No, it takes work and practice. How about wanting to be CEO of a company? No, it takes hard work and dedication, so why do we give licenses to 16 year olds and tell them they are now good drivers? We allow them to use a car that can potentially become a weapon if used irresponsibly.

IMG_1767Finally, there was a video of young girls laughing and texting with the driver being distracted by her friends. All of a sudden the vehicle veers into oncoming traffic, hitting a car head on, it’s then hit by another vehicle, and unable to stop for the accident. The outcome? 3 of the 4 girls die, while their friend watches as she is trapped inside the car. In the other vehicle was a family of 5: mom and dad were killed, an infant dies, and the 5 year old in the back seat wants to know why daddy is not answering her.

As I watched the students taking in this tragedy as it unfolded, the room became silent. Some seemed shaken by the situation and others looked as if they felt this wasn’t real. In fact, this video was taken from vehicle cams installed by insurance companies to help lower costs to drivers in another country due to so many accidents. The cameras help to shed a better light on who actually is at fault, if and when it went to trial. In this case, a distracted teen took the lives of many innocent people and pretty much wiped out an entire family.

IMG_1768After the class came to an end, I was able to speak to one young student. He informed me that he is a second offender to this class. I wanted to know if he has learned anything after being here twice. He assured me he did, so let’s hope that he did.

If you have a young driver in your household, make sure they are driving responsibly; no parent wants to ever receive that knock on the door. Drive Safe.
For more information about this program and others, go to

Changing Nevada’s Speed Limit

How Do You Feel about Changing Nevada’s Speed Limit To 85 MPH?

Bill SB2 has been introduced into the Nevada Legislature to change the Highway Speed Limit on some highways from85 mph70 MPH to 85 MPH. Controversy surrounds this bill on both sides. Senator Don Gustovson, the sponsor of the bill, testified on Monday in support of this legislation which he says would help reduce traffic accidents on stretches of highway that are far from civilization.

Those against the bill state that upping the speed limit would only mean drivers would drive above the posted limit and actually soar down the highways at 90 plus. After all, how many drivers do you see now who seem to never drive the speed limit, but it appears they use our highways as a race track?

70 mphOther states, such as Texas and Utah, have raised their speed limits and actually have seen a decrease in overall accidents. Is it because they are driving faster and are now paying more attention to the road, or is it because people are more worried about the faster drivers, and they are slowing down themselves and are more aware of their surroundings?

I can remember the 1970’s when Nevada did not have any speed limit outside the city limits, and as long as you were not driving recklessly, any speed was the limit. As the population grew, the speed limit was decreased in hopes of saving lives, but it had the opposite effect. If you have ever driven from Las Vegas to Reno, once you are outside of the city limits, you’ll probably notice there are miles and miles of sagebrush and open road populated by sleepy drivers.

The drivers today do not see driving as the focus; distractions like cell phones and texting are on their minds more than the oncoming traffic. The increase in cars on the roads today here in Northern Nevada is due to the population boom, it will only become worse with all of the new Industry arriving daily.

I am a great supporter of smaller towns, since that is where I hope to be when I retire. Until then, I will need to cope with all the drivers on the road by being alert in hopes of not becoming a statistic. When you consider the drunk or impaired drivers in the mix*, that is definitely a recipe for disaster. And people are pushing for Recreational Marijuana, which can only add to the problem. Pretty soon our highways are going to look more like the bumper car ride at a carnival than a highway.cartoon drivers

I cannot wait to see how insurance companies tackle this one. This topic is up for debate and everyone will have their own views and opinions, but I think we really need to view the safety of our roadways and not fall prey to political pressures or certain groups. This is about all the people, not some of the people. If you have ever been in an accident, it’s never pleasant, and depending on the severity of the accident, it can be a life changing experience, costing you time and money. After all, insurance companies have limits that they will pay out, and the rest is on you.

Time will tell.

(*In 2012 32% of all driving fatalities were impaired drivers. Source for Nevada drunk driving information and statistics from US Dept. of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 12/02