Open Forum in The Villages, Florida

The Road Less Traveled: Frank O'Donnell's Adventure in Car Collecting

January 19, 2024 Mike Roth & Frank O'Donnell Season 5 Episode 4
Open Forum in The Villages, Florida
The Road Less Traveled: Frank O'Donnell's Adventure in Car Collecting
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Get ready to embark on an adventurous ride with car enthusiast and collector, Frank O'Donnell. This episode is studded with powerful stories of how Frank's love for cars shaped his life, from restoring his first car to writing about cars. He lives by his philosophy, "Tempest Fugit Momento Mori," reminding us all to treasure every moment. His infectious enthusiasm is sure to start your engines as he gives us a peek into his enviable collection of eight rare collectible cars.

We shift gears from Frank's personal journey to delve into more technical aspects of classic car restorations, focusing on the immaculate process of restoring a 1965 Corvette Stingray Coupe. But the conversation is not just about cars. We also touch upon serious topics like Alzheimer's disease diagnosis and the effectiveness of new medicines. Not to forget, for all you classic car lovers, we discuss beauties like the 1962 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL, the butterfly doored 1993 Toyota Serra, and Frank's favorite, the 1970 Oldsmobile 442.

As we tread the final lap of our exciting journey, Frank shares his decision to stop collecting cars at 70 and his experience selling part of his collection. Listen up for some valuable insights on the unique platform of Bring a Trailer for buying and selling specialty cars. We wrap up the episode with a nod to our supporters and a look ahead to the next episode, featuring Dr. Craig Curtis. So buckle up listeners, because this episode is full throttle!

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Open Forum in The Villages, Florida is Produced & Directed by Mike Roth
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Emily:

Welcome to the Open Forum in the Villages Florida podcast. In this show we talk to leaders in the community, leaders of clubs and interesting folks who live here in the villages to give perspectives of what is happening here in the villages Florida. We hope to add a new episode most Fridays at 9am. Our host, mike Roth, has been a Villages resident since 2017. He is the leader of three lifestyle clubs and created a fourth. Mike joined 20 clubs in the first year he was here in the villages. Mike is a strong leader. Before coming to the villages, mike was a successful business leader and had a successful podcast in Cincinnati called Cincinnati Business Talk. That shows 300 episodes are still available and has over 90,000 lessons. Mike is an instructor at the Villages Enrichment Academy teaching podcasting 101 for beginners. This podcast is a listener-supported podcast. You can become a supporter for as little as $3 per month or you can choose to pay more. To become a supporter, go to Open Forum in the villagesfloridacom and click on support in the black box. There will be shoutouts for supporters in episodes. As a supporter, you will get a direct email link to Mike. In our new season 5, we are making significant improvements and changes on an ongoing basis. First is our new and better logo upgrades and recording equipment to allow easy access for remote guests. Second is a continuing increase in the use of AI in the creation of each episode. These include a transcript of each show. Please understand that there may be errors inserted by the AI that may not be caught before the transcript is published. However, this is a dramatic step forward. In fact, all the show's announcers are now all AI voices, including me. Emily Open Forum in the villages, flora, that has been publishing new episodes on YouTube for the last several months. If you have a book that you would like to turn into an audiobook, let us know via email to mike at rothvoice. com. Hope you enjoy today's show.

Mike Roth:

This is Mike Roth on Open Forum in the villages. I'm here today with Frank O'Donnell. Frank, thanks for joining us, thank you. We're going to be talking a little bit about collector cars today. Frank has been exposed to cars since the 1950s, when he had a pedal car. He went to matchbook cars, then bicycles in the 60s. In the 70s he went to brand new muscle cars. Frank's lifestyle has been defined by the cars he owns. Over the years, frank chose a career in retailing and managed stores for Advanced Auto. Another car outline, k-mot had a car department, staples not so much. Barnes Noble had a lot of car books. Frank and his wife retired to the villages in 2018. Frank spends most of his time restoring and maintaining cars, playing senior softball and writing articles about cars. He's published over 100 stories about automotive and currently owns eight collectible cars. His wife owns two more. Frank, why don't you tell us what?

Fran O'Donnell:

your motto is. My motto is Tempud Fugit Momento Mori, which means make every minute count.

Mike Roth:

Good Frank. What got you interested in restoring old cars?

Fran O'Donnell:

Well, mike, my father loved automobiles and always purchased cars with style. On road trips we played the game of identifying other cars that passed, and soon I was much better at it than he was. As a child, I was fascinated by how things worked. When something like a clock or a vacuum cleaner stopped working, instead of throwing it away, I would take them apart and try to fix them. When I was growing up, things were assembled with screws and springs and belts and were mechanical, so they were easy to fix. Sometimes I fixed them, sometimes not. At some point I lost the fear of not being able to put something together if I saw how it was assembled at first. Then I became good at repairing things and got a lot of satisfaction from making them work correctly again. While things were apart, I also cleaned up, cleaned them up before I assembled them. I loved the freedom of having a bicycle. When my bicycle dropped a chain or blew a tire, I did the repair work myself. As I grew older and bought my first car, oil and fluids had to be changed, brakes wore out, batteries died and other things broke. With my love of cars and my love of fixing things and making them look new again, I sort of naturally evolved into restoring automobiles.

Mike Roth:

Okay, when do you think you restored your first automobile?

Fran O'Donnell:

There's a story behind that. The year was 1976 and I just graduated from college. I had $500 in my pocket that my aunts and uncles had given me for graduation. On the way home I stopped in a McDonald's and as I was sitting at the table eating my Big Mac, I looked across the street and there was a beautiful maroon 1965 Thunderbird sitting up on top of a pedestal stand. And I used a car lot. It had a white landow roof and was sitting up there and it looked just beautiful and the price just happened to be $499. So my next problem was how I was going to drive two cars home.

Mike Roth:

How'd you figure that one out?

Fran O'Donnell:

Call to friend. He drove up with his brother. Brother drove his car home and then about halfway home the battery on the Thunderbird, of course, died, so we had to drive another car away to. He followed me and we drove another car to an auto parts store, got a battery and replaced that on the interstate.

Mike Roth:

On the interstate. What a way to start. And how did you come to start writing articles about cars?

Fran O'Donnell:

My first journalism job came to me totally by accident. I wasn't big enough. It was in high school and it wasn't big enough to play varsity football and, as I remember, didn't like getting hit either. So I asked the coach to give me the job of team statistician. This meant I got to ride with the team bus and watch all the games from the press box, which is always the best seat in the house. Along with tallying and submitting the statistics, I started to submit short synopsis of the games and before long the local newspaper asked me to come downtown after the games and write them up. So from that newspaper job I learned how to meet press deadlines and write leads and really found my niche. And the more cars I bought to restore, the more I read about cars and the more I wanted to share what I learned. I love history, so I naturally gravitated to automotive history and how the evolution of transportation has improved our lives over time.

Mike Roth:

So about how many automotive restoration articles have you written?

Fran O'Donnell:

Wow, pure restoration. Probably eight or nine, and usually that's like an ongoing in a series type of articles that all wrap up to one big article. What was the most current one that you've written? That was probably the one about a 1965 Thunderbird. I'm sorry, yeah, 65 Thunderbird. That I explained how. I didn't know much. I learned how to read schematics because with Ford products they're all electric, and back then this is 65 Thunderbird. Everything was mechanical, so you could open a switch and you could fix the switch. You didn't just go somewhere and say, oh, I'll just buy a replacement, right?

Mike Roth:

right when I was living in California I helped a friend and we did partial restorations on old Ford, old Ford. Mustang had to be a Ford Mustang had to be a six cylinder and it had to have no air conditioning. So I get into the engine compartment and clean it up, but that was a fun little project. Glad I stopped doing that too. What's the restoration that you're most proud of?

Fran O'Donnell:

Back in 2008, I bought a beautiful, all original 1965 Corvette Stingray Coupe and it took me about three years to restore it. And I picked that particular car because I love the design of the 63 to 66 Coupes and I just think it's the most beautiful car that ever came out of Detroit. You can stare at that car from any angle, in any color. Into this day it still looks amazing. I had to own one during my lifetime and that was my choice. I found the car in Hemming's Motor News and restored it to the full national Corvette Restores Society standards and eventually won a top flight award in 2013. When I finished the restoration, I drove the car on a cross country trip, visiting six of the seven other owners in person. I showed each owner the restored Corvette and let them drive it In return. They told me their favorite car stories and how the car owning the car changed their lives. The best part of the story was that I eventually sold the car back to the family of the original owner. Wow, I published a detailed story about the car's owner's history and there was even a video made of me driving the car through a residential area.

Mike Roth:

So you actually went back and visited the prior owners of that same vehicle?

Fran O'Donnell:

Yeah, it's very interesting and they were very personable. I got some great stories. One or two of them actually said oh it's getting late, why don't you spend the night at our house? Right, my father's coming over. He helped me fix that car. Let's meet him. So, very personal people in the Midwest.

Mike Roth:

I have a course at the Richmond Academy coming up in February. First three Thursdays in February, February 7th through the 21st. The course is podcasting 101. I am your instructor and in this course you'll get a good handle on what it takes to start a podcast and make it successful. It's on page 44 of the catalog. The course number is TEC 7104. And let's take a quick break here and listen to a Alzheimer's tip from Dr Craig Curtis. What is the diagnostic process to split the difference between someone who has Alzheimer's and someone who has a different form of dementia?

Dr. Craig Curtis:

That's a great question, mike. So Alzheimer's disease in the past was a clinical diagnosis and we would talk to the patient and the family and they would tell us about this progressive memory loss and maybe other symptoms that have been occurring over the past three to five years and we would simply test their memory and maybe wait another year or two and retest their memory to look for decline. Nowadays it's completely different. As a matter of fact, now our diagnostic process involves actually looking for amyloid in the brain, which we now know causes Alzheimer's disease. How do you see amyloid in the brain? We can see amyloid in the brain using PET scans, which is the most common way, and now we're working on using blood tests, which are going to be coming out in the next few years. In fact, there's already one blood test that is FDA cleared to detect amyloid in the blood which is reflecting amyloid in the brain.

Mike Roth:

And that would be the differential between another type of dementia and Alzheimer's. Yes sir, this is Mike Roth with Dr Craig Curtis For today's Alzheimer's tip. Dr Curtis, several new medicines have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of Alzheimer's. How effective are they?

Dr. Craig Curtis:

So the effectiveness so far shows an approximate 30% slowing of Alzheimer's disease when these medicines are used in patients with the very earliest stages of the disease.

Warren:

With over 20 years of experience studying brain health, Dr. Curtis's goal is to educate the village's community on how to live a longer, healthier life. To learn more, visit his website, craigcurtismd. com, or call 352-500-5252 to attend a free seminar.

Mike Roth:

Which restoration gave you the most satisfaction? It would be that it would be that restoration the Corvette. Do you still own the Corvette?

Fran O'Donnell:

No, like I say, I sold the car back to the original owner, the original family. Yeah, okay.

Mike Roth:

Now, why don't you tell our listeners about the list of cars that you currently own? Wow, probably only 50 or 20 or something.

Fran O'Donnell:

Oh no, there's eight classic cars. Eight classics I'll go by age 1962, Mercedes Benz 190 SL, a 1970 Oldsmobile 442, which is similar to the car I had in high school, a 70 Maserati Ghibli which I just bought. We're going to see how making an Italian car reliable works out for me. Then it sort of jumps over to cars from the 80s. I have an 89 Acura Legend, which I bought it on auction, which was in great shape and only had 50,000 miles on it. I replaced the interior. It was a cloth interior. I switched it to a leather interior. I have a 91 Honda Prelude with four-wheel steering. That car is just fantastic. It's a blast to drive because especially here in the circles and the villages- yeah, the roundabouts yeah. It's a great feature to have the four-wheel steering. One of my wife's cars is a 1990 Nissan Figaro which is sort of becoming a cult car. I have a 1993 Toyota Serra which has butterfly doors the first car these are right-hand drive. This car in the Figaro is Japanese.

Mike Roth:

I don't know if I'm familiar with the term butterfly doors.

Fran O'Donnell:

Butterfly doors are similar to the doors that flip open on a lot of the exotics these days.

Mike Roth:

They flip up as opposed to like a gullwing.

Fran O'Donnell:

It's similar to a gullwing but it depends on how it's mounted. That way it's either like a gullwing, which has the doors which go straight up, or these they have a hinge in the center and the pillar. Yeah, the hinge is actually in the door jam, in front of the door jam, but it was the first car ever, production car ever, to have butterfly doors. And actually McLarrin says and inspired his design.

Mike Roth:

Really Okay. And of the cars you're currently on, which one is your?

Fran O'Donnell:

favorite. The standard reply most collectors give you is whatever car I'm driving at the time, which is just BS. My favorite car is my 1991 Accura NSX. It's a very early car and when it was introduced it was way ahead of its time. I remember that.

Mike Roth:

I remember seeing it for the first time at the Los Angeles Auto Show yeah, Beautiful car. And thinking, wow, that's a great looking car. Then I saw the price tag and I said no.

Fran O'Donnell:

I like to refer to the NSX as the point in time where analog meets digital. The Accura has the perfect blend of power, handling and styling. It's introduction proved to the world that a Japanese company could make an exotic car and be reliable and comfortable at the same time.

Mike Roth:

So I got to ask you this question what is the status of the Mercedes that you have? Is that restoration?

Fran O'Donnell:

completed. I did everything that I could do on the car. We figured it's about 70% done. It started out as just I was. You know it was restored in 87 and I was just. I bought it and I was going to do the carpet and just a few little things cosmetic, clean up the dash. And in the process of pulling up the carpets I found rust under on the floorboards and then it became at that point it went full restoration. So it's about 70% finished. I shipped the car off to Buds Benz, which is in Dawsonville, georgia, and they're going to do all the things to the car that I couldn't do, like seats, upholstery, that sort of thing. They're going to do a little touch up paint on the body, which I don't do. It I don't do that either.

Mike Roth:

So when do you expect Buds Benz to get you the car back?

Fran O'Donnell:

They're supposed to start on it this week and they're going to break for Christmas and New Year's. And then they say sometime in late February or early March and we'll drive up, pick up the car, take two cars up, pick up the car and drive it back just to see everything it might still need. Yeah, I'm going to drive, that's what I do. I drive my cars back and that's about a six hour drive from Dawsonville, Georgia, to The Villages.

Mike Roth:

But that's the fun of it. You and your wife are going to drive up in one car, yes, okay.

Fran O'Donnell:

And then you're going to drive back two cars, and I'll drive back, I'll drive the Mercedes Benz back and while we're there, there's a new process for those people that have those particular cars, or old Mercedes cars. Those are run by, usually, you know, a set of carburetors and while we're there, if we decide to, we're going to maybe even leave the car there and we can order a fuel injection set up which goes inside those two carburetors so that it'll be hidden, so it'll look like It'll look stock, it'll look stock. And you change the distributor you know the points make them electronic, you change your ignition to electronic ignition and you put some sensors in the exhaust and then you can have a car that's reliable and, as my wife says, I don't have to play with that damn choke.

Mike Roth:

Yeah that's a great idea. What are they called? What would they charge it for? Something like that?

Fran O'Donnell:

The part itself is brand new. It comes from England. They've put it on a few cars and it seems to work fine. The part is like $3,300 and we haven't talked about how much it's going to cost to put it in, because they've never done it before.

Mike Roth:

They've never done it before. Okay, so that's going to take some extra labor hours, I'm sure. So, frank, you've got a lot of classic cars. How have you acquired all of?

Fran O'Donnell:

them. Most of those cars these days I find on the internet. Bring a trailer is a good source, but, if you know, I just surf and I'll put in a particular car that I'm interested in and then I'll see what's available and I'll decide which transmission I should, you know, select and sort of go from there.

Mike Roth:

How did you come up with the car that your wife likes, the Nissan Figaro.

Fran O'Donnell:

Figaro, yes, there's a Japanese car dealership in Blacksburg, virginia, called Duncan, and I was looking through Duncan's inventory, which is always interesting because most of the cars in fact, all of the cars they have for sale are Japanese domestic model only right hand drive, which is what they do in Japan, and there's always an interesting assortment of cars and vehicles on their trucks as well. I saw this cute little car and I showed it to my wife and she says oh, I love it. And then we went to Kasemi in January here back in 2020, and the gentleman had one for sale and it was perfect. It was probably the best one anywhere. He had taken it to a special restoration shop and he wanted tons of money for it. We got to put our paddle up one time and that was that.

Emily:

You didn't get that one, and then it was over.

Fran O'Donnell:

But I went to talk to him after the auction when he was standing by the car, and he said well, you know, I have two of these cars Same color. He says one is this one which is really expensive. And he says I have another at my home in the Hamptons and I would be willing to sell that. And so he was a snowbird and was living in Florida at the time, but in June I guess that was the time he went back to the Hamptons. I flew up a week after he did, drove the car. We loved it. Drove it back home. Very interesting two day trip going 60 miles an hour on the interstate.

Mike Roth:

Right. And because it was a Japanese market car, did it come with an English instruction manual?

Fran O'Donnell:

No, Everything's in Japanese, but you have the internet. You have a lot of blogs. It's a very, very popular car in the UK because right hand drive of course. It's a cult car over there. There's about 2000,. 3000, I think, registered cars and that information is available and you can translate those service manuals. I always get a service manual. You can translate it page by page, and the Japanese are really cool in the fact that they have a lot of pictures when they're telling you how to do this or do that, so they're very precise and it makes the car service.

Mike Roth:

Are you planning on adding any more cars to your collection?

Fran O'Donnell:

I am done. You're done collecting. I'm done. I turned 70 and no more am I going to be trying to squeeze under a dash, upside down, with a flashlight in my mouth and a small screwdriver trying to attach two things that I can't really get to.

Mike Roth:

Oh, I know that feeling. I gave up that kind of work about five years ago. Are there any cars in your collection that you plan to sell?

Fran O'Donnell:

Yeah, part of the deal with my wife letting me buy this Maserati. We always decide which cars we're going to buy and together and I have to convince her about this or that. And she told me if you sell three of your cars, I'll let you buy that Maserati, and I didn't think twice. Now the big question is which one of the three am I going to sell? So that's the process I'm going through now.

Mike Roth:

Okay, you're going to sell them privately. You're going to take them through something like a Mekam auction.

Fran O'Donnell:

No, don't like auctions on the seller side. Each particular car that I have. There's a best place to sell that car, be it bring a trailer or even sometimes on Facebook. It depends on the value of the car and the audience that you might sell it to, so you have to be very particular.

Mike Roth:

Some of you might know nothing about bring a trailer. Why don't you tell them a little bit about it?

Fran O'Donnell:

It's a very interesting site. They'll have take, for instance. They'll be selling like this Maserati that I bought. It was on bring a trailer but it didn't reach reserve so I wound up buying it from making a deal with the consigner, but you'll have a car on there. It's. The auctions run seven days. There'll be a picture. In fact you'll have a description. They help you write the description. There'll be a few pictures in the front and up to 150 pictures of the car from every angle, every side, inside, outside, trunk engine, very precise. And what makes the bring a trailer site unique is people that are members of the bring a trailer community. They can make comments during the auction, they can ask questions and the seller responds back and says this or that. But it's a two way ongoing conversation and people can chime in with oh, you're saying this has 212 horsepower, but actually that one has, it's an automatic and only has 200 horsepower. And sometimes you learn a lot. And if you like a particular brand of cars like I like the Hondas and the Acuras you can learn a lot about the cars you have from other people's comments. So it makes the whole situation unique. And the other thing that's good about Bring a Trailer is when you get down to the very last two minutes. Every time there's a bid, they restart the clock at two minutes and let it count down. Oh, wow, so people have a little more time to think about it, or, you know? And it seems to be a great platform to sell specialty cars, many of which I have Right, so the last two minutes could take an hour.

Mike Roth:

It does sometimes.

Fran O'Donnell:

And it's some car that'll be on an auction value of 7,000 all week, or the last four days of the auction It'll sell for 16 or 18 when it comes down to the last few minutes.

Mike Roth:

Yeah, that same thing happens on eBay. When you've got a popular product, you actually have to drive a trailer down, or do you?

Fran O'Donnell:

No, it's an unfortunate term. They picked the wrong name for the website. They could have done anything, but for some reason they picked Bring a Trailer, so it sounds like something where you're going to go pick up a backhoe.

Mike Roth:

Well, it sounds like it's an A in-person auction and after you've paid your money, you put the car on the trailer and you leave with it.

Fran O'Donnell:

Right. So what you do, which is fly up with your toolbox and your Hager D insurance card and drive it back just for the adventure and sort of like a shakedown cruise, where you find out what needs to be done to the car as you go and people say, well, you're crazy to do that, but when you got your toolbox in the trunk, you're confident about repairs. You know a little bit about the car and there's zillions of auto parts stores in every town you go to. I've seen them have gotten home every time without too much problem. Yeah, you might get home without air conditioning. Yeah, or the radio doesn't work, but then when you get home you know where you want to start to make the car drivable.

Mike Roth:

And I assume the actual physical condition of the car is documented very well in these photographs.

Fran O'Donnell:

Right, and you can ask during the auction if you say there's no pictures of what the spare tire looks like out of the trunk you know, underneath the board. There you can say well, I'd love to have some pictures. Or people can request. Let's say, I need a cold start video and the seller you know the seller's product is going to do that cold start video and cars that don't have car faxes because they're so old. You got to know. I'll give you a good example with this Maserati and bring a trailer. During the actual auction I flew to St Louis to drive the car and look at it really closely because I knew it was going to be expensive and I knew a lot dependent on the condition of the car. I actually flew there and flew back, got to drive the car. You just have to make sure you know what you're spending your money on when something's 2,000 miles away.

Mike Roth:

So when you got to St Louis and drove the car, what did you discover?

Fran O'Donnell:

It was all original, right down to the tires. It has Barani wire wheels on it and it is just the seats. You know the car's from 1970, so it's like 55 years old. This car had been in a number of collections but never restored. It always kept it original and you could tell by the state of the engine and how the car ran that people drove it, but they just didn't put a whole lot of miles on it. So it was a collector's car that people just had or at some time maybe had the thought I'm going to restore this but change their mind.

Mike Roth:

And what are you going to do to the car?

Fran O'Donnell:

It's going to be what they call a sympathetic restoration Sympathetic restoration Sympathetic yes, Not a full restoration. Sort of what I was going to do on the Mercedes-Benz 190 SL when I was pulling up the carpets. So I'm going to make it cosmetically pretty, but I'm not going to repaint it. I might straighten out maybe a dent or two, but I'm going to keep it original because it's worth more that way and it would be extremely expensive to restore it back to new, and that's the trend now. There's so many cars that are fully restored. You hardly ever see a car in its original condition and the trend now is those cars are many times actually worth more than something that's been fully restored. So there's a market there and there's something nice about driving a car that's never been a part. There's a tightness, it's an original feel to the car, and car collectors and people in the automotive world know that and they realize it.

Mike Roth:

So you said you're going to take some dents out.

Fran O'Donnell:

I've got a couple of little dents on the door. You can call the dent master and he comes in with the rods and things and corrects that.

Mike Roth:

Oh, I thought for a second you were going to do that yourself, Frank.

Fran O'Donnell:

No, there's three things I don't do. I don't do body work, I don't do paint and I don't do upholstery all for good reason. I've tried all three. I'm not good at it. That's where I always say find somebody that can do the work and just write the check which one of your classic cars do you drive the most. It would be the NSX.

Mike Roth:

The NSX.

Fran O'Donnell:

But I drive all the cars. I have them in. I have a few at the house and I have more in another storage unit and I rotate them out every two weeks so that they've all been driven and they all stay fresh and I get to enjoy everyone. Everyone runs except for the Mercedes.

Mike Roth:

Benz that's in process of restoration.

Fran O'Donnell:

I buy cars for their styling and their handling and I love to drive being retired, I don't drive as much, so I get out there and just enjoy the cars.

Mike Roth:

Around the villages here there are a lot of people who like classic cars. Has anyone ever approached you and said hey, Frank, I want to buy that car from you.

Fran O'Donnell:

Yeah, especially the Figaro, because it's so cute. But they have no idea what was put into that car to make it as pretty as it is. They think it's a Japanese import, it doesn't cost anything, but that's not the case.

Mike Roth:

It was very expensive. Is it worth a 50,000?

Fran O'Donnell:

That one was 35 and at the time, three years ago, four years ago, when we bought it, that would have been double its worth. But those cars have become so popular they're now selling for what I bought mine for, and some of them aren't even in this good condition.

Mike Roth:

Wow, so it was a wise buy. So again, which one of the cars that you owned do you enjoy driving the most?

Fran O'Donnell:

It has to be the NSX.

Mike Roth:

The NSX yeah, that was a beautiful car when it was manufactured.

Fran O'Donnell:

It's still beautiful. It looks good from any angle.

Mike Roth:

Does that have any computers?

Fran O'Donnell:

in it A few. It's got an easy you can plug in and do an onboard diagnosis on it and some of the systems like the air conditioning and analog brakes. The features on it were again far ahead, way ahead of its time. So it's like I say, it's where analog meets digital. So what year was that 1991.?

Mike Roth:

Very early car. Yeah, that's about when Mercedes started putting computers in their cars. Good, good, better and different. It used to be that a car was going to be treated out because of rust and corrosion. Now it seems like cars reach end of life when there's no longer a spare computer for it.

Fran O'Donnell:

That's true, and those computers are not cheap.

Mike Roth:

Not cheap and sometimes you can't replace them because they're key to the serial number or the engine computers, key to the transmission computer.

Fran O'Donnell:

That's correct.

Mike Roth:

They've made it very difficult, Frank. Anything else you want to add before we sign off here today?

Fran O'Donnell:

No, I appreciate you having me and I love talking about cars, writing about cars. It's a great hobby to have?

Mike Roth:

Do you go to the classic car shows up at the Spanish Springs.

Fran O'Donnell:

I'll take my cars there once, but not a second time. One of my complaints is that people bring the same car month after month after month, along with a few people that bring in some new ones, so I like to look at new stuff.

Mike Roth:

Okay, good, frank, thanks again for being on the show, my pleasure.

Emily:

Remember our next episode will be released next Friday at 9 am. Should you want to become a major supporter of the show or have questions, please contact us at mike at rothvoice. com. This is a shout out for supporters Greg Panjian, Tweet Coleman, Dan Kapellan, ed Williams, Alvin Stenzel and major supporter Dr Craig Curtis at K2 in Vhe Villages. We will be hearing more from Dr Curtis with short Alzheimer's tips each week. If you know someone who should be on the show, contact us at mike at rothvoice. com. We thank everyone for listening to the show. The content of the show is copyrighted by Rothvoice 2024. All rights reserved. Thank you.

Restoring Old Cars
Classic Car Restorations and Ownership
Classic Car Collection and Selling
Next Episode Release and Supporter Shout-Outs