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Old 04-30-2018, 09:33 PM   #35
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Danville, CA
Posts: 1,388
Default Re: tell a Model A related story

I'm sure most of you read this before, but if you missed it, enjoy

My Very First Model A

David K. Mc Arthur, Danville, California
I was a young firefighter in Oakland, California. At that time we were called Firemen and we were just that, men that fought fires. Anyway, over the fence from the firehouse I could see what appeared to be some old car with four doors and no top of any sort. One day I saw movement in that yard and ran out and got the attention of some guy that was taking his trash to his burn barrel.
The gentleman came to the fence and we discussed the car to the point I knew I had to have it and he knew I would bring him $25 come payday. Like all Model Aís for sale, then as now, ďit had run when they parked it, with a new rebuild on the engine.Ē Though it had been a Fordor sedan it had now been made into a rough Phaeton by his brother who owned a good hacksaw. What I saw was what I would get.
Come payday we exchanged $25 for a piece of paper that said I could have the car and that all paperwork had been lost. He was an Oakland cop so I trusted that he hadnít personally stolen it. The deal was wrapped up. I would pull the car out of there when I could find someone fool enough to help me.
Finding that fool didnít take long. My oldest brother, Perry, had a 1955 Ford truck and a piece of strong parachute cord, some type of nylon line that was very long. He and I went to the house. We and a few friends of the cop pushed the car out to the street and tied the two vehicles together with the parachute cord, leaving plenty of room between them for emergencies; though we all knew nothing could possible go wrong.
My brother leaped in his truck and I into the Model A. Immediately he was in motion. I sat there and watched as he drove a good hundred feet and probably more with the cord getting tighter and tighter, yet I hadnít moved. Then suddenly I was under way. Boy, was I underway. Went from zero to the hundred feet in two seconds as my brother made sure to outrun me.
I thought we had discussed going easy at first until we knew I had some brakes and steering that worked. I guess Perry missed that part of the conversation. When we got to the first intersection, he slowed down and I couldnít so he made a sharp right onto
Piedmont Avenue and yanked me around that corner, as once more he outran me, By now I knew that there were very little if an brakes and that it had very stiff steering. Though I was a young bull, I had the devil of a time turning the steering wheel.
The next major intersection was a breeze, Perry drove through the yellow light a good hundred feet in front of me and made his left turn onto Mac Arthur Blvd, a four lane major thoroughfare through Oakland. Of course, I was now approaching a red light at half the speed of sound, screaming at cars to stay where they were. They did because they saw a white thread across their path and then I came through with half flat tires squealing as I attempted the turn to follow my brother. The nylon grew back to its normal size as I now began to approach his rear bumper. He drove faster and I began to see a bit of distance between us. He then had to stop for the signal at Fruitvale Avenue. I had no such trouble, running into the back of him and knocking him about half way up to Lincoln Avenue. That is a very long block.
We next had to cross 35th Avenue, High Street and eventually make the turn on 73rd Avenue to Bancroft. Each time I knocked his poor truck through the intersection and each time the Good Lord was kind to us both. He didnít die of whiplash and I wasnít skewered like a roast by the steering column of the Model A. We got to my brother-in-lawís Texaco Service Station and had our last collision of the day. As Perry stopped beside the station, I passed him and hit a concrete barrier behind the building.
Other than my brothers back bumper and fenders there appeared to be no lasting damage. We pulled and pushed, kicked and pried and shortly his truck looked good enough for who it was for and the Model A was probably in better shape than when we started because now all the wheels turned and the steering had lightened up as some of the grease finally worked its way over the steering gears.
The car sat there for a couple of months and eventually it disappeared and I didnít even ask where it went for years. Then I asked the brother in law and he said he thought I came and got it. So it really had just disappeared. Probably best for all involved, except the poor fool that stole it.
May-June 2017 ē The Restorer
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