You really have no idea of what you are talking about. Let's see, where to begin? First of all, it's not a Nailhead V8. It's a straight 8. The V8 did not come out until 1953 to celebrate Buick's 50th anniversary.
If you are behind me, the best wipers known to mankind won't help me see you. Oh, I know, let's install one of those rear window wipers. Yeah, that's the trick.
I rarely use my headlights because I prefer not to drive at night. The headlights are just fine. I just prefer not to drive at night unless I must.
I don't tailgate and so the type of brakes I have is a moot point. I don't tailgate not so much that I am afraid of the brakes fading (they are in excellent condition), I just prefer for my windshield not to pick up a rock.
One last thing, the stink you smell is not from my carburetor, it's your upper lip.
I'm not going to get nasty. Not my way -. The 4 barrel carb feeding the 320 cubic inch straight 8 doesn't smell much different than when feeding the 322 inch nailhead. Like any old engine, they ALL stink.
Your reading comprehension is worse than my Buick knowledge if you thought I was worried about your wipers while I'm breathing the stink. There was a CHOICE in there. Means EITHER I worry bout the stink behind you or getting hit in front of you.
When I drove 6 volt cars I didn't like driving at night either - but sometimes it is hard to avoid. (and buying a replacement 6 volt bulb "in a pinch" is NOT easy either!!!!~ I ended up spending the night in Choma on my way from Macha to Livingstone when I found I only had one headlight on the '49 bug - it was bad enough seeing inthe dark with one headlight - no way was I going to chance it with only one - not knowing how long IT would last. I wouldn't have been on the road at night if I hadn't stripped the spline out of the rear drum and had to modify one from a mid-60's bug on a Sunday afternoon - which is what I mean by driving at night being hard to avoid some times. I got up just before sun-up Monday morning and hit the road - arriving back at the college about 10 minutes before classes started (I was the teacher). It took over a week to locate another 6 volt headlight bulb - and that was back in '73
Got no recirculate function on the old ranger - although it DOES have A/c. Had no AC on the Hemi Coronet and no recirc on the '57 Gofer (even though I DID put air on it) I would have pout EFI on both of them if it had been a viable option back when I owned them and I DID keep them as well tuned as possible trying to keep the stink to a minimum.
I used to avoid driving through Rothsay Ontario or anywhere within about 20 miles downwind - even with the windows up and the cowl vent closed.
If following on a scooter (any 2 wheeled "non-pod") it's not an option either - or on most "vintage" cars.
You must ALWAYS keep a respectful distance from ANY classic car, in any direction, for the obvious reasons. And the older the vehicle, the more distance.
In 1988, I purchased a well-patina-ed 1949 Dodge B-1-B 1/2-ton panel truck. It was completely stock, from the 218 flathead and 3-on-the-floor transmission to the low gearing in the rear axle and the 6-volt, positive ground Auto-Lite electrics. I was 27 at the time, and paid $850. I drove it like I was living in 1949; prudently. It was never a ball of fire off the line, and required extra stopping distance, but it would do the Interstates, and was often my daily driver for weeks and months at a time. At times, some hot head (usually a young male) would run up my ass, pull in front of me then hit his brakes, trying to make some point. I got to where I could see it all coming, and was already on my brakes as he was passing me. I'm sure these guys had no idea of the jeopardy they were putting themselves in, pulling in front of a two ton block of steel and iron with maybe a third of the braking power their plastic-laden dispose-a-cars had.
I sold that truck 6-years ago, in much the same condition as I received it, for $5600. Probably could get double that today....
Sounds like my '57 Fargo and '53 Coronet. The Fargo at a 246 or 250 (long head) Flattie with 3 on the tree and the Coronet had the 241 Red Ram with 3 on the tree and overdrive. THAT baby would move, but the old center plane brakes were pretty useless. Ended up putting Bendix binders on the back from a '63 which helped slow it down considerably. Ran it out to PEI and back from Elmira Ontario - and the Fargo out to Tulsa OK and back. (the coronet was converted to 12 volts with cibie? H4 headlights and the Fargo was 12 volts from the factory being '57 - with Bosch Z Beams for lights. Both also had electric wipers. (This was between 1971 and 1976) The '49 bug was between '73 and '75 when I was out of Canada - it took the place of my wrecked '67 Peugeot 204 which I drove from end to end of Zambia before it ended up parked due to parts unavailability. I daylied the bug for over a year - including a run to Chobe Botswana and back - 4 wheel mechanical brakes - tap lightly - correct the steering pull, then stand on the pedal with both feet and PRAY!!!!!
The first stop with good drum brakes is almost always as good as, or better than, the first stop with disks at moderate speeds with no load. It's the SECOND stop, or the heavily loaded one at speed where the disks shine.
The reason people modify their vintage cars is because they want to DRIVE them on today's roads without being a menace. For me it's sure not because I don't know how to maintain them - but to some extent it's so I don't have to spend time at the side of the road - pulling a "roadkill episode". Had enough of the "Zamfixes" back in the mid '70s when I was still young. The TD and the Fiat 600 the last few summers didn't get too far from "home" but I did put a Pertronix ignition on the 800 engine that was stuffed into the 600. (These are "classics" that I babysat for 4 summers) The TD was updated to "B" running gear but still had the TD front drums. The 600 called me "TONY".
Completely agree with bradleydad and Roadmaster. Each of these "mods" seriously detracts from the experience of driving a vintage car. So your car doesn't have dual circuit, power disc brakes? Then don't drive it like it was not meant to be driven. Owning a vintage car also means maintaining it like a vintage car, so adjusting points and keeping the carburetor in tune is a part of the experience. Generators work just fine for the vehicles for which they were designed for. If your car is not doing the job you need for it to do, then you need a different, and probably more modern car.
Don't get me wrong; I'm not against doing a bunch of modifications and creating a custom vehicle. But don't pass it off as "making the car more drivable". I mean, really; disc brakes on a Model A running those original, skinny tires?
Remember, the "T" had NO front brakes and the rear brake is part of the transmission. Pretty "dicey" at best. The hand brake was almost totally incapable of stopping the car, particularly on a hill - and if you managed to lock the brakes on gravel downhill you WERE in for an interesting ride!!!
Even the 4 wheel mechanicals on a '28 Chevy were just a bit better than dragging your feet. The rear brake was a band on the outside of the drum - the handbrake shoes inside the drum - a "panic stop" involved both hands on the e-brake and both feet on the pedal to avoid turning the drum into either a bell or a cone - -
A GOOF efi setup will beat a GOOD carb every time and even a mediocre EFI can be better than a bad carb. The problem with "performers" and other "performance" systems - carbs in particular, is most guys go WAY too big and the rest of the engine can't handle it. A friend had a 327 with all the BEST speed parts on it and it could hardly get out of it's own way in a '68 impala convertible. Pulled a 350 out of an old GMC pickup - dead stock it outperformed the high-buck 327 by a long shot. The expensive parts just didn't match.
At 200K miles, the Quadra-Jet on my '84 K10 Scottsdale was just completely worn out, so 10-years ago I converted it to the Rochester Throttle Body fInjection (TBI, "Slobberj ection") system, as found on '87 to '95 GM trucks. I salvage yard sourced everything, and cost was just under $200. Under the hood, it all looks factory original.
A good example of a dead simple low tech "non-performance" system that worked - and worked well - sometimes with a bit of modification on a LOT of engines. An adjustable pressure regulator made it pretty "tuneable" and a few modifications increased the power on a stock 350 it came on from the factory considerably. More power and better mileage - The SFI from a Celebrity eurosport wakes up slant six nicely too - - -
#1 thing that is the usual problem when a car is towed in to shop (and it has fuel and good battery) is the electronics: sensors, modules, relays, etc.
When my old flathead V8 has failed it could be points, coil or condenser. Have all that new in a toolbox along with a fresh matchpack cover to set the points.
And ride on.......
Even simpler and more reliable are the pre-'87 Mercedes diesels. Mechanical injection, no points or carburetor, no electronics, outside of the radio. Nearly EMP-proof....