Stan Eakin with his 1929 Pontiac Big Six coupe. “It chugs along. I’m pretty happy with it

Stan Eakin with his 1929 Pontiac Big Six coupe. “It chugs along. I’m pretty happy with it

HOT CAR: 1929 Pontiac Big Six

Stan Eakin kept the 1929 vehicle pretty much stock, right up to the wooden roof that he rebuilt himself.

As we idle in our econoboxes, surrounded by crash barriers, air bags, air conditioning and power steering, it’s hard to see what we take for granted when it comes to driving.

To get an idea of just how spoiled we are with standard automotive options today, we took a look at Sooke resident Stan Eakin’s 1929 Pontiac Big Six coupe, a car he’d bought in boxed pieces for $6,000 nearly 20 years ago.

“A friend of mine asked me, do you want to restore an old car? I said, heck, everybody wants to restore an old car!’” Eakin laughed.

Eakin made the Pontiac his personal project: redoing the frame and rebuilding the car from the ground up to the same specs it had when it rolled off the assembly line from General Motors’ plant in Oakland, Calif. more than 80 years ago.

He recalls the day when he got the car back home.

“I brought it home and said to my neighbour, ‘I’ll get it and work on it, but you have to come up and help me if I run into any trouble’,” Eakin said.

Unlike other restorations, where modern components are added such as interior comforts and more powerful and reliable powertrains, Eakin kept his 1929 pretty much stock, right up to the wooden roof that he rebuilt himself.

The same continues under the car’s folding hood, which contains Pontiac’s “Big Six” 6-29 Series, a 3.3-litre (200 cubic-inch) flathead straight-six cylinder engine capable of a modest 60 horsepower.

Putting the power down is also from the era, a three-speed manual transmission with reverse gear. Keep in mind this is pre-synchromesh gears, unlike in modern manual gearboxes, meaning you’d have to be telepathic to know when to shift without grinding each gear into metal filings.

Still, the Pontiac Big Six was far from crude.

It came standard with a starter motor at a time when prospective car owners had their wrists broken by manual handcranking their engines. It was also smart and simple, bearing an odometer, horn, light switch (from very dull to very bright) and a clever “air conditioning” system that funneled cold air from under the car and into the cabin.

And the signal lights?

“There are none, you just had this,” Eakin laughed, stretching out his arm as if signaling a left. Yup, you’d signal like a cyclist, as signal lights were neither mandatory or available in those days. Or seatbelts, for that matter.

Despite its flaws though, Eakin is pleased with the car.

“It chugs along, I’m pretty happy with it,” he said.

The Pontiac is not Eakin’s only toy. He plans to sell it and make way for his next project, a DeSoto sedan of the same era.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Google Maps)
Sophisticated glass-removal crime returns to downtown Victoria

Several businesses on Fort Street targeted overnight, say police

(File - Sooke News Mirror)
Man exposes himself to woman, children on Sooke trail

Suspect believed to be between 55 and 65 years of age

Johnathan Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to eight charges including sex-related offences against children and accessing, possessing and making or publishing child pornography. (Courtesy of Saanich Police)
Sentencing date moved for Saanich nanny guilty of child porn charges

Johnathon Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to eight sex offences against children

(Pixabay photo)
Emergency sewer repairs underway on Phillips Road in Sooke

Sewage may have entered DeMamiel Creek and Sooke River

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Dr. Shannon Waters, the medical health officer for the Cowichan Valley Region, is reminding people to stay the course with COVID-19 measures. (File photo)
‘Stay the course’ with COVID measures, Island Health reminds

Limit social activity, wash hands, wear a mask, and isolate if you feel sick

Cowichan Tribes members line up at a drive-up clinic on Wednesday, Jan. 13 to receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the region. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
BCAFN condems racism against Cowichan Tribes after COVID-19 outbreak

“Any one of us could do everything right and still catch the virus”: Regional Chief Terry Teegee.

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

The District reopened access to the Sooke Potholes on Friday. (Contributed - Ashley Ensor)
Sooke Potholes reopen after storm

The park was closed on Wednesday after down power lines

Most Read