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Old 07-30-2018, 02:39 PM   #191
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Location: Tocumwal, NSW, Australia
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Default Re: tell a Model A related story

Originally Posted by DKnapp View Post
Hey WOOFA.EXPRESS, I enjoyed your Model A story. Here is a rather long story about my first Model A. This was published in one of the Model A Magazines a few years ago and I updated it again a couple years ago. Now I have to get it running again so my Grandson and I can drive it 1800 miles to it's new home when he turns 16 in 2019. Really looking forward to that. Enjoy the read and maybe I'll send you another about my original 1931 Station Wagon with wood wheels. Dick Knapp

On the road again after 45 year rest... by Dick Knapp
This is my 1929 Business Coupe that I drove to High School in 1955. It was my Grandpa's only transportation for
many years and I remember riding home in this car to spend the weekend with he and Grandma. My Grandpa bought this car from Ward Winchester in Clintonville, Wisconsin sometime in the late 40's. I got the car in 1954. When sanding the doors to prepare for a new paint job I found a logo on the doors for The Commonwealth Telephone Company. Perhaps that was the telephone company in Clintonville in the late 30's. I kinda restored it ( I think you know what I mean) in 1964. I changed it to a Sport Coupe with a rumble seat. Then it was parked while we raised a family and moved around the country with the US Air Force. About 2008 I got serious about giving this car a good restoration and I decided that it had to go back to a Business Coupe.
Many old cars nuts have an interesting story and I hope that you enjoy this story about me and my 1929 Model A Business Coupe. It starts in the early 1950's. I grew up in a little town called Clintonville, not too far from Iola, Wisconsin. My car experiences started early when my Mom decided I needed something to do to keep me out of trouble over summer school vacations. She took me to the local JCís sign-up for the Soap Box Derby program as soon as I was eligible at age 10. After winning third place that first year I was hooked and went on to compete every year until I was fifteen. I won some races and always finished near the top, but never won the Green Bay regional event for the trip to Akron.
Actually, my experience as a developing gear head and old car nut started even earlier. My Dad had left our family when I was about eight or nine and both of my Grandpasís spent extra time with me, their oldest Grandson. My Grandpa in Clintonville had a full time wrecking business. He lived just across the street and had a small wrecking yard right behind our house. What a great place for a kid to play! My other Grandpa had a part time wrecking business in Bear Creek, so it is no wonder that I was developing a love for old cars.
When Grandpa got a call to pick up an old car, he would call me to go along in the wrecker. Iola,, Big Falls, Symco and Marion were places I remember going to often to haul a Model T, Model A or old Studebaker out of the weeds. If the car didnít have tires, the front end was winched up on to the back of the wrecker. Then the cable was run over the top to the back bumper. The car could be winched up off the ground, but of course the top was crushed with a big crease from the cable. When we would get back from these trips my Grandpa usually gave me a quarter with the advice that I should put it in the bank because I could get three percent interest on it.
Grandpa was anxious for me to learn how to drive that wrecker so I could be more help to him. My legs were not long enough to reach the pedals, so I would sit on his lap and steer while he worked the pedals and his big hand covered mine as he guided me through the gears on that four-speed. I eventually could reach the pedals by sitting on the front edge of the seat. That led to driving the wrecker around the bone yard helping move motors and cars here and there. The wrecker had a winch that was PTO driven. A lever in the floor engaged the winch. The transmission had to be in neutral and you had to let the clutch out to work the winch. I remember one incident very well with this winch. Grandpa unhooked the motor I just hauled and he hooked the loose cable to one of the boom supports. I drove off to pick up another motor not realizing that I had not taken the winch out of gear. The cable was tightening up and pulling the entire boom up and over, coming down soon to crush the cab. Grandpa saw what was happening and stopped me before a real disaster happened. He was not happy and Iím not sure, but I probably did not get my quarter that day.
At fifteen years old I was through racing Soap Box Derby cars, so I went to the local Ford garage to apply for a job. They hired me be to sweep floors, pump gas, wash and grease cars and stock shelves. What I wouldnít give now to go through some of those shelves of new old stock parts. One day someone traded in a 40 Ford convertible with a Columbia overdrive. I really wanted that car. I talked the salesman into letting me take it home to get Mom's approval (and financial support) to buy it. I took my Grandpa from Bear Creek and my Mom for a ride, but they were not too impressed. They didnít think that a 16 year old needed a hot V-8 convertible. So, they came up with a plan. Mom would buy Grandpa a mid 40ís Studebaker and Grandpa would give me his Model A Business coupe. Well, that is what happened and this Model A became my wheels through High School in 1955. It was stored through our early years of marriage and in the mid-60's I restored it as best as I knew how. I put about 1500 miles on it and we decided that a Model A sedan would be better with our three small children. So, this Model A was stored and would not see the road again for 45 years. In 2010, after a two- year restoration, the finished restoration picture was taken on my first test drive. I sent this article and a picture to Old Cars magazine and it made the cover and featured article for that month. This soon became my favorite ride. We took it to my 55th class reunion in Clintonville in September, 2010.
I think my Grandpa would be pleased to know that I plan to continue the tradition and give this car to Preston, my oldest Grandson. He is 14 now and this car will be his if he wants it when he turns sixteen (I am hoping that he does not plan to put a hot V-8 in it). I am also hoping that together we can drive it to California in 2019 and hoping that his Dad will sell some Mustangs to make room for another great car.

It's been nearly 4 months since this article was written. I've gone back and re read it. What a wonderful upbringing Mr Knapp had. What a great article Mr Knapp.
I know many things,
But I don't know everything,
Sometimes I forget things.

And there are times when I have a long memory. is offline   Reply With Quote