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VFF Birthday Contest

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  • VFF Birthday Contest

    Join in the fun and post an Early Ford short story (no jokes) right here on this thread . Your writing can be fictional or real based, and the contest will end on 4/28 @ 11:59 PM PST. After the deadline we'll post a timed poll to see who wins. The lucky winner will receive a VFF T-Shirt, Hat, Calendar and a Member Pin shipped to your mailbox.

    This was an idea that Wade ( 1930 Closed Cab PU ) came up with on the other thread. See the link below

    This should be fun so lets get at it!!!
    3 ~ Tudor's
    Henry Ford said
    "It's all nuts and bolts"

    Mitch's Auto Service ctr

  • #2
    Either nobody is interested, or everyone is busy drafting their stories.
    3 ~ Tudor's
    Henry Ford said
    "It's all nuts and bolts"

    Mitch's Auto Service ctr


    • #3
      Ok, I'll start.
      My first Model A came my way as a Birthday present from my wife Sharon in 2005. I had an interest in the Model A's through my Father-in-law and my other close friend and mentor John Zettel, my nickname for John was Dad. He sadly passed away in December.
      I had been per suing my avatar car in September 2004 from an estate, when tragedy struck, our business partner died suddenly of a massive heart attack at the age of 62. He had no prepared will, and our business ties were on gentleman agreements. Needless to say our personal lives were in an upheaval at the time.
      The thought of the Model A ownership was put on hold till we knew where we stood in our business lives.
      My birthday which is March 29, came around, when Sharon totally caught me off guard with my first Model A. John Zettel aka Dad, was a big part of the secret. He and Sharon, plotted out the purchase of my tudor without any of my knowledge.
      Sharon was really excited to surprise me, but I think Dad was even more.
      John and I, already had a great friendship, but working on my A, really bonded our father/son like relationship.
      My real father died in March of 1977, just before my 15th bithday. My Dad was "not" a car guy. He was too practical for that. At the time of his passing, he still had 7 kids living at home, and my Mom became a young widow at the age of 38. Dad was only 42, when he died.
      Dad's passing taught me valuable lessons in life. One; pay your bills. Two; life is short.
      So, with these important life lessons, I've adapted (quite well ) to take vacations. And to not live beyond my means. I am very blessed in life.
      My Model A experiences came to me through my hands on experiences, and the guidance of John Z (Dad). When Dad and I went to pick up the Model A, it had not been run in a number of years. The car was only 4 miles from my home, so when we got it running, it was decided for me to drive it home.
      I had no experience with the choke, GAV, timing lever, and most importantly double clutching.
      As I was driving this car for the very first time, I thought, OMG what a piece of shit! Coolant was splashing on windshield. And when I would make a lefthand turn, the car would go into a death wobble. I found the only way to stop the wobble was to come to a complete stop. A big learning curve, was the double clutching and learning to down shift.
      Since, my early days of Model driving, the car has taught me more about myself, mainly patience. To never be in a rush to get anywhere. To drive the roads less travelled. And to listen to your car, and have a feel for all the mechanical goings on.
      So, since my first Model A, I currently own 5 A's. I've logged over 20,000 miles on the cars, mostly on my first A.
      Thank You for allowing me to share.
      Trust me, in real life, I'm much more long winded. . Jeff

      Twiss Collector Car Parts


      • #4
        I remember as a pre teen seeing a model A fordor in the small town I grew up in. I was mesmerized. My father did,among other things, refrigeration and milk tank work for many of the local dairy farmers. I would go with him quite often, and noticed practically every farm had a scrap pile out behind the barn. Many of them with model A parts. I would ask the farmer if I could have some of the parts. They invariably said help yourself. I was 14 or 15 now and it was the early to mid 60’s. My dad would haul it home for me, and I ended up with several rear ends and transmissions, a rusted out fordor body and misc sheet metal. At the edge of town was a shake mill. Dad was an electrician as well, so he got called to work on motors and controls. While he was working, I was investigating, and found a sawed off A frame with a motor and radiator. It had been used for a power supply, probably a saw. I got it for $10. 100 miles north by Seattle was a new “old vehicle “ wrecking yard called vintage auto, and I was able to by some ignition parts. Anyway my interest waned and at some point I sold everything for a hundred bucks. It took 30 years before I was in the position to get another.


        • #5
          My first awareness of an old car was when I was about 5 or 6 years old. Next door lived an older Italian fellow Named Mr Marozzo who grew flowers & vegetables for the Los Angeles flower market, also, at Christmas time he would make wreaths from fresh cut pine boughs to sell and gave all the neighborhood kids Italian Nougat candy for presents. Every morning before sunup I would be awakened by the sound of an old 4 cylinder engine being started and warming up. It was some time before I realized what made that sound, it was a 1928 model A delivery truck that he used to deliver his products to market. I think, as a consequence, I never had a chance to love another old car as much as the Model A Ford. Finally in 1954 he bought a new car to replace the A, it was also a Ford, a Two door station wagon, which he drove for another 7-8 years, still delivering his flowers & produce. About the same time my Dad bought a '28 Chevy roadster pickup to haul stuff to the dump. The Chevy made a lessor mark on me but it did make it's mark. In 1968 I pieced together a '28 A roadster pickup to drive as a temporary tour car until I restored my '30 cabriolet for tours. I'm about 2/3 done with the cabriolet but didn't think it would take 50+ years but it's been an awesome ride.


          • #6
            My Model A Trip
            Not a driving tale, but a journey nonetheless

            I confess that I’m not what you would call a “motor head”. These days, I don’t do much work on our cars (but I do for my motorcycle). Growing up, I did do a lot work on my cars, but that was out of necessity. I couldn’t afford to pay someone else to do the work and, compounding the issue, I could only afford cars that needed a lot of work. I’ve done mechanical stuff like brakes, and replaced a clutch, diagnosed ignition problems, even installed headers (cheap, ill-fitting headers that bore out the lesson that you get what you pay for), and done other repairs that I’ve forgotten about or put out of my mind altogether. I even tried my hand at body work, but soon discovered that I have no skills in that area. So these days, we’re driving late model cars that don’t break down, and I pay to have the routine maintenance done on them. I’ve owned (and currently drive) manual transmission cars almost exclusively, as I do enjoy driving. But, I never had much interest in owning a “classic” car.

            That began to change one day two summers ago when we took a trip to Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum. One of the buildings in the village included a Model T drive train display. A volunteer was there who took the time to explain driving the Model T, and I was really intrigued by this. A planetary gear transmission with bands to engage the gears, a parking brake/neutral lever, a single brake in the transmission that operated on the output shaft; I was fascinated. I’m sure that I didn’t “get” it all that day, but I went home and started reading about the Model T on the internet. I soon discovered that you could still buy a Model T and drive it; there were even Model Ts available locally for what seemed like a decent price. And remanufactured parts are available. But reading further, I learned that the Model T is kind of limited in terms of opportunities to drive it. Anything much beyond a parade might be pushing it. But, with all of the reading I did about the Model T, I of course found lots of good information about the Model A. And I began to fall in love with the looks of the car (unlike the Model T). I’d discovered that Henry had indeed “Made a Lady out of Lizzy” with the Model A.

            Soon my evenings were spent searching for Model A ads on the internet. I subscribed to Hemmings and joined our club NOMAC at that time to suck up as much information as I could. I knew I had to settle on a body style, but that was difficult for me. The open cars are SO COOL looking, but I was concerned about the effectiveness of the side curtains in bad weather. Also, from my reading I expected the open cars to be a bit tighter in terms of room in the cab. Fortunately, I was able to sit in a Roadster at the 2018 Piston and Power Show (thank you Josh!), and that reinforced my concerns about the tight fit. I like the Fordor looks, as it invokes a very different feeling from other Model As. And the Cabriolet offers a lot of the best features with a top you can lower and with side windows, but they command a higher price. The Sport Coupe had the look, just not the coolness of being able to put the top down. I couldn’t decide, so just kept looking at any ads that caught my eye.

            I came across one ad that was “less than professional” (it only had two fuzzy pictures) in Hemmings for a 1930 Sport Coupe in Syracuse NY (about 300 miles from home), asking $15,000. I emailed the seller, got some more pictures, and after about half-a-dozen emails, set up a time on a Saturday to drive out and look at the car. I brought my old grease-stained Carhartt jacket expecting to be laying in the driveway to look at the undercarriage, and at the last minute my wife decided to join me. I told her at the time that I was just looking, and planned to view other cars before making any purchase.

            We got to the seller’s house, and there was snow six inches deep in his yard, but the roads were clear. He opened one of two garages, and showed me his T-Bucket parked there on the nature-stone floor. Then we went to the second garage that included a ‘62 Ford Fairlane also parked on a nature-stone floor (this guy is a motor head). The Model A was up on his four post lift; I wouldn’t be needing that Carhartt after all. We went through the underside of the car with him pointing out work he had done. Then he lowered the car and we went through everything from the top side. The car was built to be a driver, including turn signals, seat belts, etc., but with an eye toward keeping it looking as original as possible (e.g., it has the 6V alternator that looks like the original generator). The paint is nowhere near perfect, but I think it is a fine looking car. He drove the car with me as passenger, then let me drive it. We did side streets, and main streets at up to 45 MPH. In all I spent over three hours looking at, talking about, and driving the car (and my poor wife having to make small talk in the house with his wife all that time – thanks Honey). After that, I told him that I needed to talk it over with my wife. I explained that this was exactly what I was looking for, and I wanted to buy it. Her reply was that she doesn’t know anything about cars, but if I wanted it, I should buy it, and that she thinks it looks “cute”. So the seller and I talked about price, and settled on his asking price with him trailering the car to Painesville.


            New York doesn’t title vehicles built before 1972, so after he delivered it, I went through the process of getting a title and registration for the car. For once, I can’t really complain about the BMV or Title Bureau. The car is now in its new home in my garage. I knew a while ago that I would enjoy owning a Model A, but I didn’t expect to smile so much every time I drive, look at, or even think about this car. Even though it’s snowing the third week of April, I’m having a lot of fun!


            • #7
              Meeting ‘Thom’ 40 years ago

              My Dad introduced his 5 boys to all manner of cars, so we grew up with affection for anything having an engine and tires. My passion is for the Model A.

              After college I ended up in Dallas without a Model A. That was corrected when my Dad called and told me he had a ’29 Pickup for me. A 700 mile trip to retrieve my ‘new to me’ Pickup was quickly accomplished.

              The Pickup had been used as a hunting wagon so it had no fenders, hood or doors, but was mechanically complete. Of course, it “ran when parked”.

              Kenny, a high school friend of my Dad, happened to be around that morning we were loading it up. He knew his way around Model A’s and said: “If that motor turns, we can get it running.”

              At that point, I was determined to make it run:
              • “Let’s find a crank.” The engine turned over with a crank, so let’s get it running.
              • “Do we have spark?” Had to find a battery and coil, yes we have spark.
              • “Can we get gas to the carb?” Put a gallon of gas in the tank and… yes we can.
              • “Let’s see if it starts.” A couple of turns with the starter and sure enough it fired up.
              • “Hop in, we’re gonna take a ride”, my brother loaded up and off we go.
              We made it about 200 feet and it died. After a bit of troubleshooting, finding a clogged fuel line which was fixed by blowing the crud back into the tank where it came from, we were going again.

              Second trip was longer, this time we made a few laps in and around the used implements at my Dad’s John Deere Dealership. Feeling pretty good, I pushed the round pedal to the wood, to see if we could kick up some dirt. Yes we can….

              I made a left hand turn, with the round pedal still on the wood. My brother was able to hang on and stay in the Pickup, the coil could not. It went shooting out the passenger side. Once again the Pickup was dead. After a few minutes of searching in the weeds we found the coil put it back in and returned to the starting point.

              Dad and Kenny were doubled over laughing at Don and Jon having fun in a Model A named ‘Thom’.

              1979 ready to go to Dallas.
              High Country Tour, Mary at the wheel
              2018 Converted to a Roadster Pickup
              Last edited by Jwmckenzie; 04-18-2019, 05:08 PM. Reason: Added pics

              "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should."


              • #8

                My hands were full when I came out of Home Depot, but I was happy to see a mom with her little boy and little girl closely examining my Model A truck. The three of them walked around the vehicle pointing at this and that. The boys name was Noah. He and his mom were having a humorous and heated disagreement over my truck. The loving mom was explaining to him that it was an old truck. Noah was stubborn with his argument that it was not a truck but rather a tractor. His young mind felt like the way the headlights were attached definitely made it a tractor and no amount of motherly love seemed to sway him. When I showed Noah and his little sister the engine he became more steadfast in his opinion that it was a tractor not a truck. The mom and her two well mannered kids sat in the truck for a few minutes after I took their pictures while the young mom finally convinced little Noah that this was in-fact a truck, not a tractor. After they climbed out she thanked me and they started walking away, but not before Noah turned around and said, “thanks for letting us sit in your tractor!”

                Last edited by Curly; 04-19-2019, 07:28 PM.


                • #9
                  Your description of being "fictional", does that mean the story can be pure ?
                  "Bullshit and Brilliance Comes with Age and Experience"


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Apple Green Wheels Rule View Post
                    our description of being "fictional", does that mean the story can be pure
                    My GrandDad said: "The best thing about getting old is there are fewer people to call you a liar."

                    "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should."


                    • #11
                      I really don't know why I decided to build a AA truck. I suppose there were several of them here in Western Kansas and they could be bought even if the old cars could not. Of course the option that makes the most sense to me was they were cheap. I was junking out Model A's and 47-54 Chevy pickups and making 2 trips a year to the Dallas area where my brother Jon was living to sell parts. Somewhere down the line, the guys we saw at the swap meets, got to calling us the "Rust Brothers", but they loved to dig through the parts we brought to sell and would even meet us outside the entry gate and start digging through the parts before we could even unload. As I would buy cars and trucks, I would save the best parts and started to collect parts for the AA build. I don't really remember how long it took, but probably at least 10 years from start to finish. Our family decided to meet in the mountains for the High Country Meet in Breckenridge in 2001. OK, I'll get the AA done, so now I had a dead line. Started putting things together as fast as I could, found a high speed rear end, bought a rebuilt motor, got the mechanical parts done and then to the body work. Pounded dents and got it close enough for bondo. Ok I never really figured out how much bondo to put on so I probably put on 10 gallons and swept up about 9-1/2 of them. Well, I got the AA mostly done except the bed, but it had a cab and a seat. So, OH MY GOSH I forgot to register for the meet and they would only take 350 cars, so sent in my money and crossed my fingers,
                      got my registration in the mail and waited. My registration was #350. WHEW made it. We put it on the trailer and headed to the mountains and I was so proud of my very new looking AA. Now ready for the tours, a different pass every day. This is going to be fun! The first day was back to Dillon and around the reservoir. Now there is nothing fast about a AA but I figured with my high speed rear end I could keep up, so here we go. I got there early and was in front of our group at least to start. It didn't take long before everyone was passing me and of course everyone honking their OOHGA horn. THANKS I NEED THAT!. On the back side of the lake the AA started to heat so I stopped to check things out and yes I took the radiator cap off, well I instantly had Old Faithful spewing antifreeze all over my beautiful red paint. We waited a while and let it cool down, added more water and were on our way again, this time taking it easy and of course SLOWER. Made it back to Breckenridge just to find my brothers having a cold adult breverge without me. All was good they had a cold one waiting for me. I didn't make any of the rest of the tours that week in the AA, but between my brothers and friends we had 4 cars there so there were plenty of places to ride. I had used an antique plate we had for the AA that was "IB COOL" but after the first tour someone taped a piece of paper on the tag so it now read "IB SLOW" ! THANKS BROTHERS!
                      Last edited by N97323; 04-20-2019, 10:48 PM.


                      • #12
                        In my youth I was only one of a family of mechanics all except one of four kids. She was too girly to get greasy. Anyway, my other older sister gave me to drive a 1930 Sport Coupe complete with green sparkly vinyl roof! I drove that car like I stole it for as long as she paid for the insurance and me the gas.

                        The first car I bought with money I earned was a 1949 Ford Fordor Sedan that had a ripped and torn interior and since we had several junk (salvage) yards around and I was on first name basis with all the owners, I had my pick of interior parts for what little I could get from cashing in soda bottles, and I settled for four 1966 Thunderbird Buckets, two for the front, two for the rear.

                        Since I couldn’t afford to be a speed freak, I went the other way and pulled the front shocks and ran 5/8” all thread and clamped the front down to the rubber bumpers. Flipped the rear shackles and removed the rear shocks and set the ass on the ground. The ride height could not be lower than the wheel rim so the cops carried around Marlboro Red Box packs to measure under the car to insure nothing dragged if you had a flat. Couldn’t be tearing up the streets of West Covina, now could we?

                        My father was a wholesale tobacco and candy salesman so during the week he would service his customers and look for Model As and on the weekends we would go see what he found during the week that were for sale, and with the help of the U-Haul tandem axle trailer we would have a new A almost every weekend. Some were turned, some were kept for the family, some were broke down to the best components and taken to the swapmeet or used to better the families cars. My first driving with a trailer was to the Long Beach Model A Swapmeet where driving our ’63 Ford Station wagon with the 14’ High Side U-Haul trailer on the freeway and after driving over a slight raise and starting down the backside, the trailer began to push me and the car started to fishtail and I stepped on the gas to outrun it and on the next raise I pulled over and started tossing A parts to the front to add some anti-fishtail weight.

                        There are so many wonderful life threatening stories to my Model A youth, it would take a book to gather them all up. But this is to be a short story, so I will end it here, and let you all know, I have been under a Model A since I was 10yrs old, squirting penetrating oil on the nuts and bolts.

                        Just a few of the Model s that were in the family...
                        1928 AA phone booth Stakebed
                        1928 A phone booth pickup
                        1929 A Tudor
                        1930 A Sport Coupe
                        1931 Late indented firewall/slant windshield Town Sedan (daddy's pride and joy)
                        1931 Late indented firewall Roadster Pickup
                        1942 Super Deluxe Fordor Sedan w/26tooth Lincoln trans and Columbia 2 speed rearend (my pride and joy)

                        Wish I still had the cars I grew up with...

                        You wana look waaay far up da road and plan yer route because the brakes are far more of a suggestion than a command!


                        • #13
                          This is the true story of my 1930 Standard Roadster.

                          My grandfather was the caretaker for a large mansion in Bar Harbor, ME. The owner, Mrs. Hawkes, called him to her one day and asked him to go to the Ford dealer, Morang Robinson in Bar Harbor to buy a small "fliver" for her visiting niece to use when visiting that summer. He bought the 1930 Roadster, and left it at the dealer to paint it in her Maroon color that all her cars were painted. He brought the car home in July of 1930 just in time for the visit. After the visit he put the car in the back of her very large garage (in fact the upstairs was his living quarters where the family of 5 lived).

                          In April of 1944 he went to Mrs. Hawkes and asked if he could buy the car for his oldest son (my father) who had just turned 15. She asked him "what car" and when told it was the Ford Model A, she was shocked and told him "Arthur if there is a Ford in my garage please remove it immediately and you can have it". Turns out she had 7 cars and they were all either Packards or Duesenbergs, and was mortified that she owned a Ford.

                          The car had some very hard driving years by my dad in HS and College and then his brother in College. When my parents moved to Vermont in 1951 he brought the car, but towed it up into a pasture above the house and there is sat until I asked if I could pull it down to the shop and try to fix it up. That was when I was 14 in 1966.

                          My favorite part of this story was that my dad took me up to Page's Model A in Haverhill, NH to get some idea about what I had to do to restore this car. On my first visit I met Fred Page who ran this business. Most people think of Fred as a sour old guy, but he took a liking to me and what I was about to take on, and became my best coach for two years. I would listen to him about what I should do next, then about every 2 to 3 weeks make another trip to get critique and the next challenge. I finally got it done in time for me to use in high school, thanks to my dad paying for a LeBarron Bonney upholstery and top, and Page's Garage for the paint job. I used it as my only car in college. Then it was kept under cover in a barn at my parents house for 8 years. Finally I took it over in 1982 and have had it with me ever since. The engine has never been opened since my work on it at 14 years old and it runs so beautifully. I have so much to be thankful for!


                          • #14
                            Mitch, you know these days, everyone gets a trophy . This is going to cost you a fortune
                            Buy cheap, even if you don't need it, someday you or some friend might . True test of Wiz's directions !!


                            • #15
                              What a fantastic collections of stories. I must write something, but my story is not just about Model A's.... does that still count?


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Tony Hillyard View Post
                                but my story is not just about Model A's.... does that still count?
                                Tony let it rip. I can't believe how this took off, its amazing and every story is wonderful. Sounds like your story already has some Model A or early ford references, that is good enough. you can make it a little bit fiction to spruce it up if needed
                                3 ~ Tudor's
                                Henry Ford said
                                "It's all nuts and bolts"

                                Mitch's Auto Service ctr


                                • #17
                                  This sounds like a lot of fun Mitch, well you asked for it so here we go..... and this is all true.

                                  My motoring days started at the age of eleven. I bought my first car, a 1936 Ford Y type for the princely sum of £5. As I was too young to drive I arranged for a garage owner to drive it home to my parents home on trade plates. I fiddled around with it but came to the conclusion it was worth more as parts. I dismantled it and sold the parts for £25.

                                  Then I discovered a near neighbour had a 1930 Austin seven two seater in his garage. I persuaded him to sell it to me. After wrecking the back axle with sprint starts on my parent's front drive, this was sold to a school friend for a small profit. But the Austin seven bug had bitten.

                                  I later bought an Austin seven ruby saloon. Not what you might call a racer, but a 1938 steel saloon. Now this taught me everything that one might need to know about roadside repairs. You name it it broke, usually on a Saturday night in the pouring rain.

                                  As usually happens, once you have a particular type or make of car you get to meet like minded fellow owners. Most of these were fellow ex-students from the same school or local lost souls. I was an apprentice photographer, another friend was an art student, and another fellow was a trainee surveyor. A real mixed bag.

                                  For example, we would meet up at the local pub on a Friday evening to discuss what we should do over the week-end. After a few pints of the cheapest beer we might decide, for example, we would drive over night to Cornwall in the south west of England. That was some one hundred and fifty miles away. We would go there, try the local food and drive back home ready for work on the Monday morning. There was always an adventure, no computer games in those days.

                                  For our annual holidays four of us would for example take two of our 1931 Austin seven saloons and make a tour of the north of Scotland, driving some five hundred miles. On one occasion near the far north one of the cars started to make a terrible rumbling noise. We stopped and discovered that the flywheel was coming off the crankshaft. Our accommodation for these trips was a huge ex army bell tent. So we put the bell tent up, drove the car into the tent, and popped the engine out to discover the flywheel had worn the taper on the crankshaft down. So next day we went in search for a solution. We found a little country garage in the middle of nowhere and got talking to the owner. We asked if he had any brass shimming. He said he did and we duly bought six inches of this vital material, rushed off back to the bell tent, installed the shimming onto the crankshaft and off we went for the rest of our holiday. That shimming is probably still in place to day.

                                  On another occasion, with the results of my buying and selling activities whilst still an apprentice, I bought a 1936 Morgan 4/4. A two seater open car in black with green interior. For a young man in his teens I thought I had arrived.

                                  A friend and I decided we would drive round England, Scotland and Wales in the Morgan with the windscreen and top down, real motoring!

                                  We managed to get to West Wales and pulling away gently from some traffic lights both half shafts in the rear axle snapped. We rolled the car down the hill and parked in the local train station overnight while we worked out what to do. As we had nowhere to stay and very little money we decided to sleep in the car.

                                  Around 2am we were awoken by a tapping sound that was getting louder. This tapping approached our car then started banging on the bonnet, moving along and up and over the soft top. Needles to say it scared the s**t out of us.

                                  It transpired it was a blind man trying to find his way home. He could not work out what was in the way of his usual route home.

                                  We decided to hitchhike home, bought some second hand half shafts and the following weekend drove back to west Wales in my friend's Austin A 30, fitted the shafts and drove the Morgan home.

                                  My first Model A Ford I bought at auction. For the price I could have had a Peugeot Bebe (designed by Bugatti) or a 1930 Model A standard roadster. I bought the Ford. Much more useable fun.

                                  The roadster was later sold to a Belgian once we had moved to France.

                                  Seventeen years ago I bought our early 1928 Model A Tudor Sedan, then two years ago our early 1928 Standard Roadster. Both get used regularly.

                                  I could go on and on. But I think it only fair to leave space for other people's adventures.

                                  The moral is..... why should the kids have all the fun!


                                  • #18
                                    This story is true, and is about how the generosity of others can make a difference.

                                    I was recently troubleshooting an issue with my 30 Closed Cab Pickup. Put in a hopeful fix and went for a test drive.

                                    I have a county road close that I use for test drives. This county road has a good mixture of hills and flat stretches, nice smooth black top, about a 10 mile drive. Temperature in the high 50s. A beautiful spring day.

                                    I drove out about 5 miles where there was a good turn around and headed back. Only got about a quarter mile and my truck completely dies. No sputtering, no backfiring, it just shutoff. So I coasted to the shoulder of the road, tried messing with the GAV and the ignition switch, checked the horn to see if the fuse was blown and it was good. Checked to see if I had gas - the fuel gauge is not working needs fixing, so checked the gas tank and did have gas. Still would not fire. Took the seat out where I have a few tools and raised the hood. All the while thinking, just great, will have to pay to have it towed.

                                    I was looking around under the hood for anything unusual/obvious, and a guy about half my age stopped and offered to help. Actually insisted that he help, told me he had a couple of 40s-50s cars and always had wanted to see/work on an A. So he knew older car mechanics and was helpful. As I was going through the mental checklist of troubleshooting and performing it we would discuss how the A is setup and troubleshooting techniques. Was handy having him there, kept me calmed down, this was my 1st ever roadside breakdown. It was nice to have a second pair of eyes. So we checked the usual. And 10 minutes later found the issue which I had checked but did not see. Without his help may not have found the problem, and wasted money on towing and then beating myself up for the not finding the problem on the side of the road.

                                    I am not going into what was found, self inflicted, and kind of embarrassing.

                                    So we spent another 5-10 minutes talking, letting the truck idle to insure all was OK. The guy lived about 4 miles down the road in the country. We exchanged names and phone #s. He invited me to his place to see his cars and shoot the shit. So sometime soon will take a six pack or 12 pack down and have a visit. I only need one beer, the rest will be his as a thank you. See if he wants to drive the truck.

                                    A major thing I learned is not to get excited/worried, don't think negative, and work the problem as best you can. Getting excited/worried can cloud your judgment and troubleshooting. Then OK to get upset if things do not go well.

                                    The other thing I learned was about the generosity of others. This situation/experience was so greatly enhanced by him stopping to help. I will never again to fail to stop for someone having problems, not ever again say I have to be somewhere/have something to do as an excuse to keep driving. With Cell Phones today I think some including myself, figure there is no need to stop.


                                    • #19
                                      My parents were married the summer of 1936. It was one of the hottest Michigan summers ever. They were young, living in Detroit and money was really scarce. My Mother was from Cheboygan, Michigan, about 300 miles north, her father suffered a stroke the following winter, was gravely ill, and they couldn’t afford the trip to go see him. They had about given up hope of going when a couple they knew needed to make a business trip to nearby Rogers City and didn’t have a car. They asked my parents if they would drive them to Rogers City if they paid the trip expenses, and my folks gratefully accepted the offer.

                                      My Dad and Mom’s car was a 1930 Model A cabriolet, so the friends had to bundle up for the ride north in the rumble seat. It was bitterly cold and they had barely reached the city of Pontiac, Michigan, about 30 miles from home, when the rumble seat passengers were so cold that they had to ride up front with my folks for the remainder of the trip. Even though my mother was somewhat of a shrimp, it is hard to imagine four adults riding nearly 300 miles in the front seat of a Model A Ford.

                                      It wouldn’t have been the quick trip we could expect today, either. According to one map from the 1930’s I have, the roads to northern Michigan were just two lanes all the way, and the pavement ended just north of Bay City, less than half the way there, with the remainder being “All Season” gravel roads. My Mother often talked about the deep snow and high snowbanks along the sides of the roads in northern Michigan winters.

                                      The folks still had the cabriolet until the end of World War II, and I remember standing between them on the seat when I was 3 years old. Dad taught me to read from signs on stores and buildings as we passed by them in the city. After the war, and when gas and tire rationing ended, Dad bought a 1939 Ford club coupe and drove us all to California to meet his father. I will never forget riding across the country on the Mother Road.

                                      My mother learned to drive in 1928 or 1929 in Cheboygan. Her father talked to the Ford and Chevrolet dealers about buying a new car for her to deliver produce from the family farm to local hotels and restaurants. He chose a Chevy, because the salesman said that he would teach her how to drive. When she married my Dad, she quit driving at his insistence, something that he regretted much later, but that is another story altogether.
                                      Last edited by Soapy; 04-23-2019, 11:01 PM. Reason: I replaced the photo with a larger copy of the same one.


                                      • #20
                                        Prior to TV entertainment in our area, old folks entertained themselves by sitting on front porches in rocking chairs to discuss old time humorous stories involving local rural community neighbors.

                                        One such story often told by one of our WWII veteran friends was about his coming home one day in about 1949 and seeing a pickup truck towing a Model A into his neighbors yard.

                                        The next (2) following evenings after work, he noticed this guy and his Mom just sitting in this Model A parked under a large shade tree. On the following Saturday morning he thought he would try to see what was going on, so he approached them both sitting in this Model A and just mentioned that he had noticed that they just bought their very first automobile.

                                        The Mom got out of the car and told him it only cost $32.00, but the guy they bought it from, about (20) miles away, told them it just needed a little tune up. She said her son was reading the owner's manual trying to figure out how to do a tune up. The WWII veteran neighbor asked if possibly the guy they bought if from happened to mention what was wrong with it.

                                        The Mom responded that he said it was something very minor in that every time one simply added water into the radiator, the water always came out of the rear exhaust pipe.
                                        Last edited by H. L. Chauvin; 04-23-2019, 05:22 PM.


                                        • #21
                                          Joe Garrison’s 1928 Model A Roadster

                                          By Don Turley

                                          When I first met Joe Garrison in 1992, he told me a remarkable story about his first Model A Ford, a 1928 Roadster. When Joe joined the Shade Tree A’s, he told this story at one of the Club meetings. Joe has since passed away.

                                          Joe bought his 1928 Roadster in 1941 when he was only fifteen years old. He and his family lived in Gainesville, Georgia, which is Northeast of Atlanta. When the car ceased to run due to a broken rear axle, his parents insisted that it be turned in for the scrap metal drive during World War II. Joe said that he cried as his Model A was loaded on a truck to be hauled to Atlanta and melted down to make weapons for the War. Well, when the car arrived in Atlanta, someone thought that it was worth keeping and it did not get crushed and melted.

                                          Meanwhile, Joe continued his education and became a doctor. He was still interested in antique cars, and in the 1950’s, when old cars could be purchased for very reasonable prices, Joe accumulated several.

                                          One day in the late 1960’s, Joe received a telephone call. The caller said “Dr. Garrison, I understand that you collect antique cars.” Joe told her that he had a few. The caller then told him that she was a widow and that her husband had died and left her with two old cars that she would like to sell. “Would you be interested?” she asked. Joe told her that he might and made an appointment to go look at the cars. When Joe swung open the two hinged doors on the old garage, he saw a Model A Ford roadster. He said “That looks like the A Model I had when I was a boy.” He raised the hood to check the serial number on the motor. He had memorized the number on his previous roadster. He disappointingly commented that the number was not the same. The widow then said “My husband had trouble with the motor and had to replace it. The old motor is over there in the corner of the garage.” Joe walked over to look at the old motor and discovered the serial number that he had memorized at the age of fifteen! There, more than twenty-five years later, he was able to re-acquire his first Model A.

                                          Joe purchased the cars and made an attempt to restore the Model A in the early 1970’s. His busy schedule as well as his interest in collecting other antiques kept him from making a total restoration of the car, so the car just patiently waited. By 1992, Joe had retired and his son Chris was graduating from high school. Chris re-sparked Joe’s interest in the Roadster and suggested that they get it restored. That is where I came in. After talking to Chris and Joe, we decided that a total restoration was in order.

                                          When Joe came over to take his first drive in the newly restored car, he was like a kid with a new toy. As he raced down my short street, he yelled, “I’m a teenager again!” It was all I could do to get him to slow down until I could properly adjust the brakes.

                                          I think that we all have fond memories of the cars of our youth, but it is indeed remarkable to be able to re-acquire your “first car” after having given it up for more than twenty-five years.



                                          • #22
                                            3 ~ Tudor's
                                            Henry Ford said
                                            "It's all nuts and bolts"

                                            Mitch's Auto Service ctr


                                            • #23
                                              Sorry fellas, I just don't have the time to tell some true, 100% authentic BS stories...maybe next year about this time if I'm still breathing and making wild passionate love!!!....then again, I might still be worn out !!!!
                                              "Bullshit and Brilliance Comes with Age and Experience"


                                              • #24
                                                Here's a quick story that really made me appreciate the old car hobby.

                                                First I need to set the scene, I live in rural northwest CT in a town of about 2500 people.

                                                About 4 years ago I went to take my Fordor for a spin and found that I had left the key on overnight. Surprisingly it started right up as if nothing had happened and away I went.

                                                Well, I made it 5 miles down the road when the car just dies, doesn't sputter, cough, nothing. So I coast off the side of the road onto the start of a side road and go about diagnosing. Not more than 30 seconds after I stick my head under the hood a truck pulls up, turns out to be our first selectman (we know each other, it's a small town) who owns a few A's and he sticks his head under the hood with me. I tell him the symptoms and we agree maybe it's the coil. He lives half a mile up the road and drives off to see if he has a spare.

                                                As he's driving away my mother shows up. Keep in mind I haven't called anybody this is just serendipitous. I tell her whats going on and she reminds me that there's a car restorer that lives just up the side road I pulled off onto and she has his number. So, she gives him a call and low and behold he's home so within two minutes he's there with our neighbors brother who was just in the area (he's a T guy). While we're chatting the first selectman comes back with a coil and now four heads are under the hood looking things over. On a whim one of the guys scrapes the points (which turned out to be melted) and I get spark back. We all pat ourselves on the back and they invite me up to the shop where I can change the points (I did have a spare set with me). Of course changing the points turns into a tour of the shop where he shows me a 1932 Rolls Royce he's working on, what a car. He's also got a couple Stanleys which never cease to amaze me, I believe they are a 1911 and 16.

                                                In the end, I couldn't be happier that I broke down that day


                                                • #25
                                                  Labor day weekend 1970. Bought a 1929 Roadster PU, looked OLD, fairly good. Several days later I asked oldest son, (8) (of three), Tom if he would like to crawl under the body and loosen bolts. He grabbed a handful of wrenches (junk stuff people discarded) and crawled under. After about five minutes he said, "There's only this one back here," and handed me a bed bolt. A few minutes later we discovered that the cab was connected by the front bolts only. Of course, it really wasn't "fairly good", but still hoping it will roll again this summer.


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