Yackety Yack - Blackbourn 455

By: Rob Blackbourn

Presented by

1939 ford 1939 ford

While the ‘mortal oscillatory rate’ may not be a top-10 concern in mainstream circles, it’s a hot issue for at least one classic Ford fan

This comment about a Porsche auction caught my eye recently on a US site: "I can see the obituary title now: Local man dies penniless and insane after taking on Porsche project".

The 1960s 911 that went for US$35,000-plus appeared to have been resting in a paddock for 30 years or more. While it came with an owner’s handbook, most of its paint was long gone and a small child could easily be lost through the rust holes in the floor where the seats should be.

While I nodded in agreement with that comment, I’m not a huge fan of the comments phenomenon in general. It seems we can’t just log on and access information thoughtfully and quietly – adding our comments has apparently become compulsory across the interweb. Comments about everything. Supporting comments. Objecting comments. Banal comments. Weird comments. The message is clear: Everyone’s gotta say something! About everything! And, dammit, you’ve gotta get that opinion out there!


Even if it’s fake news: This, after a Triumph TR8 was sold – "The TR6 is the car you like to be seen in, to make your entrance in. But the TR8 is the car you just really want to drive. I know. I have owned eight TR6s and at least a dozen TR8s." Sure, at least a dozen.

Now to self-aggrandisement: Regarding the sale of a Mk 2 Jaguar – "I put one of these together with a 365hp Corvette SBC in 1970 and it proved to be a terrific combination – great gas mileage, luxurious family touring, faster than the so-called muscle door-slammers of the period and lo and behold, unlike the Jaguar DOHC 6 it started on rainy days. My only caveat: the MK 2 is quite aerodynamic and the front wheels will lift at 165mph – you cannot steer it." So that’s what aerodynamic means.

Thankfully not everyone shoves opinion at us: Here a politely put question – "Has anyone actually felt the difference between the ‘short’ and ‘long’ Corolla oil filter? I changed mine to the ‘long’ (Ryco Z432). I definitely feel the ride being smoother but it doesn’t rev as quick as the stock (short) oil filter.

Can anyone shed some light on this please?" Oh, can we take that one on notice?

Now just as the Pythons said: "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition", I’m pretty sure that no one looking at a 1939 Ford coupe on BAT expected this comment: "In 1939 Royal Rife had found the cure for cancer when he discovered what he called the mortal oscillatory rate. Now here we are 80 years later and everyone’s walking around with their head up their arse. This car reminds me of simpler days when the world was a nice place to spend time." Yes, of course.

Finally I’ll take a poke at ranters who deliver harsh online commentary like old-school, hellfire preachers, passing judgement on all they see, allowing not one jot or tittle of ‘sinful’ incorrect automotive or social detail to go through to the keeper. If we’re turning to religion for commentary guidance I’d rather take a leaf out of the Quaker’s good book. I’m told that when folk from the Society of Friends get together for a service no one is actually required to say anything – the focus appears to be on lots of thinking and not much saying. How does that sound to you? 


I was impressed enough to check out the sort of people Quakerdom has produced:

Joan Baez – Oh, the power and the purity of that voice. Still love you Joan…
John Cadbury – Old Gold Rum n Raisin for me thanks, Brother John.
Abraham Darby – Kick-starting the Industrial Revolution, anyone?
Richard Nixon – Damn! I didn’t expect him (or the Spanish Inquisition).


From Unique Cars #456, August 2021

Unique Cars magazine Value Guides

Sell your car for free right here




Subscribe to Unique Cars Magazine and save up to 42%
Australia’s classic and muscle car bible. With stunning features, advice, market intelligence and hundreds of cars for sale.