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Old 06-03-2010, 10:52 AM   #41
Earle
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Default Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?

My Dad bought a very used '31 Dlx Rdstr for $50 in about 1936 while in high school in Wilkes Barre, PA. He courted my future Mom with it (Model A Roadsters are chick magnets - lucky for me!) and they got married in 1940. He drove the car until he was drafted into the Army in 1942 and then "put it up on blocks" in his garage as he shipped out for Europe.

He returned home from WW II in 1945 (also lucky for me!) and when he took his old friend (the roadster of course!) out for a spin, she threw a rod straight through the side of the block (metallic age embrittlement or dry bearings from non-use?? There's a lesson there!). - Off to the junk yard. It broke his heart - no money to get it repaired with a family (me!) on the way.

Fast-forward to 1983 when Dad got the bug to look for a '31 roadster "just like the one he had as a kid". We found a very-poorly "restored" roadster at Renninger's in the PA Dutch Country (Bird-in-Hand) in 1984 and bought it (for significantly more than $50.00!! We think we got taken for a ride (though not with dishonest intent) even before we had a restored, operating Model A to ride in!!. We were eager and naive. But after that, Gene and Dave Renninger were good friends and a great source of parts, books and restoration advice even to this day! (Dave now - as Gene has sadly passed on).

Dad and I then spent some of the best times we ever spent together over the following five years "restoring" the car to the best of our ability but we sure learned how very much we didn't know. No Ford Barn back then and few "how-to" books that we knew of. But lots of "friends" and "helpers" who offered lots of incorrect advice and help. But we got her into basic "drivable" shape - with extremely poor brakes and a criminally-poor engine rebuild job we got ripped off for in NJ.

From the poor out-sourced workmanship, rip-off prices and resulting poor road performance and on-going engine problems, Dad lost his excitement in the car and it sat unused in his NJ garage until he passed away in 2001. This all left a very sour taste in my mouth and a strong level of anger and impatience for any supplier or "restoration shop" in the Model A hobby that is either incompetent of dishonest toward their customers. That's what destroyed my Dad's dream.

I brought the car to my home in Delaware in 2001 and have worked to correct our earlier efforts and correctly complete the restoration - for real, this time. And I have tons of gratitude and credit to pass on Ora Landis at Schwalm's Babbitted Bearings in Strasburg, PA. His absolutely honest and thoroughly-expert approach to his work has helped me get the car completely straightened out in the engine, fuel system, drive train and electrical departments. What a professional to have the privilige to work with.

So, I caught my Dad's original love for the Model A in general - and the whole era of the 30's and 40's where it "grew up". And, all the fun I've had restoring her and driving her with my supportive wife (tours, parades, shows, grandchildren's ice cream safaris, etc.) has me hooked. I'm hoping I can get one of the grandchildren seriously hooked (not just the "cutesy/novelty" factor) and pass on this historic heirloom and love of the hobby to him (or her!).

Earle
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Old 06-03-2010, 11:49 AM   #42
Jason in TX
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Default Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?

A hot rod show made me aware of Model As, but it was the helpfulness of my local Model A club that got me interested in keeping them stock.

I've always wanted an old car since I was 8 years old but never knew which model. My first car came at around age 22 and was a 1948 Plymouth. It was a great car. I drove it around to a few local cruise nights but no one seemed interested. During that time I also acquired a low mileage original 37 Plymouth. Dallas also has next to no one interested in 30s - 40s MoPars. I was a lost soul at the time.

I went to a large hot rod show in Las Vegas and fell in love with the Model A coupe hot rods. I had to have one. I started looking on eBay and found someone selling a very nice original coupe from Modesto, CA. We struck up a deal to trade even my 1948 Plymouth for the 1931 Coupe. I met him half way in Arizona, we both took the cars for a spin around the parking lot and the deal was made.

When I got home with my new toy, I could barely get it to run. I started doing my research and got in touch with some people in the Dallas Model A club to help me get it running. I think the saving grace was that a few people pushed me to jump right in and start driving the car with them on tours. So I did, rather than take the car apart and possibly head off in the wrong direction with it.

Lots of miles under the old coupe, I was hooked on the Model A hobby. Learning about the differences in body styles, parts used, year differences, everything. I couldn't read and learn enough about them.

Then along came the opportunity to buy my 1930 Cabriolet. I sold the 37 Plymouth and became a true and true Ford man. I've now began hopping up my original Ford coupe the way a teenager would have done in the late 40s and I'm still enjoying the Model A hobby with my Cabriolet. So in the long run, I came out with a great appreciation for all things Model A and also for the ways they have brought familys together both spatially and emotionally.
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Old 06-03-2010, 12:23 PM   #43
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Default Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?

Dad got into Model A's in HS as that was what he could afford. He had gone through two coupes and had a AA truck along with the sedan when I came along. I was born into the local Model A club and must have liked it-as I stayed in the hobby. Dad sold the AA in the early 70's but kept the sedan. The sedan was daily driver in the early 80's taking mom to and from work when the other cars died.

When I graduated from College in '95 he gave me the car-so long as I did not sell it or hot rod it-no problem there. I went to the Dallas meet and got rehooked on A's and vowed to get the car up to the Vancouver meet this year. 3 grand later we will be on our way in July to Canada!!!

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Old 06-03-2010, 01:02 PM   #44
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Default Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?

Model A Fords were still plentiful & popular in the 1940's. There was a 29 roadster for $90.00 that i wanted very badly. Dad said "NO!" Bought a 30 tudor for $50.00 when a senior in high school. Later in life purchased a pick up in great condition. Just recently I finally got my roadster. Had to let the pick up go to make room. Figured I better do it before it was too late.
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Old 06-03-2010, 01:24 PM   #45
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Default Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?

When I was a teen in the '50s they were still fairly common on the roads. I fancied myself a hot rodder and wanted one for years, but had to wait until after college to buy one. We found a daily-driver '31 CC pickup in CC -- Corpus Christi, Texas. We bought it, found out its name was George, and used George two weeks later to help us move back to San Antonio. I had planned to put a V8 in it but learned that would be more work than I felt comfortable attempting, plus my Dad said if I keep it stock he would help with the expenses. Three months later my wife found Martha, our '30 Standard Coupe, behind a service station in San Marcos, and she's still in the family today, 46 years later. We also have a '29 roadster, a driver and parade car, and a '31 Tudor that's currently awaiting bodywork. Oh. George? He went down the road a few years later with a 'friend' who promptly sold him at a profit.
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Old 06-03-2010, 01:39 PM   #46
Ray in La Mesa
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Default Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?

When I 4-5 years old the old Italion neighbor had a'29 A panel delivery. He grew fruit & flowers for the Los Angeles produce market. He used the A to deliver his products and would start it up every morning at 3:30-4:00 about 40' from my bedroom window.Sometimes I heard it, sometimes my subconcious did so the loveable chug of the Model A was ingrained in my mind before I even new it. I couldn't fight it so have loved them all my life. He traded the A in on a new 1954 Ford two door station wagon so I never had a chance to own it.
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Old 06-03-2010, 01:42 PM   #47
Dennis L Oberer
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Default Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?

My Grandfather had several A's and I remember him when I drive mine.

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Old 06-03-2010, 01:47 PM   #48
Barry B./ Ma.
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Default Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?

Back in 1979 I saw a picture in Automobile Quarterly of a 28 Model A Special coupe that really appealed to me. The next year I found a 29 Special coupe and did an amateur restoration. Although I've had several A's since I still have the coupe and it's been a Model A hobby ever since.
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Old 06-03-2010, 02:25 PM   #49
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Default Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?

Georgia Tech Grad, always wanted a convertible. Bought a Cabriolet.
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Old 06-03-2010, 02:34 PM   #50
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Default Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?

I'm new to the hobby and bought this truck - my first A just a few years ago. I owned a coffee company and wanted an old truck that would turn heads to draw attention to my business. This lil truck did the trick! But as the economy started to slow down, the demand for fresh roasted beans disappeared, I started spending more time with the truck and less time with the coffee roaster.

I'd love to own a larger Model A that could haul my whole family...but I guess that will have to wait until I retire!
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Old 06-03-2010, 03:14 PM   #51
John Butts in CT
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Default Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?

Great thread!

Where to start?

I was born in '52. I recall several older cousins and friends of my parents who had "A's," either as daily drivers or "in the shed to be restored some day." A 1929 Fordor (nicknamed "Methuselah,") lived across the street fom me.

In '67 I acquired my first (and current) ride... a late '31 Tudor. At that time you could purchase 4.75/5.00 X 19 tires off the rack at the local Firestone store, and a visit to the local garage on a Saturday morning (if you could stand the cigar smoke) allowed a "kid" to learn about "A's" and, err, "stuff" from the "old-timers." (Much like Fordbarn today.... except for the cigar smoke.)

Anyway... I introduced my college girlfriend to my Ford in '71. Since '31, my Ford has morphed from Thorne Browne to rustbucket to Ford Maroon to Brewster Green, and from "my Ford" to "our Ford." That '71 girlfriend is still my wife, and remains remarkably unchanged. Today's our 36th anniversary. Our sons and future daughter-in-law tolerate my fixation with the "A." All's well.

In closing, if you're ever called upon to explain the allure of the "A," think of this: "If cars were dogs, Model 'A' Fords would be Golden Retriever puppies." 'Nuf said?
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Old 06-03-2010, 04:27 PM   #52
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Default Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?

I was in high school- 1966- and saved enough money to get a used car. I wanted a 56 Chev. My dad would not let me spend $250 on a 10 year old car but we found a 1929 Town Sedan that he let me spend it on!! Been hooked ever since.
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Old 06-03-2010, 04:48 PM   #53
Jim Baskin III Pa.
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Here goes.The year is 2002,youngest son Matthew joins Marine Corp.Me and the misses are empty nesters.My wife owns her own business and isn't home much,I'm totally bored.My brilliant mind come up with the idea to restore another willys jeep(did one in 1977)maybe a 2A-3A or 3B not sure.Start looking around but nothing in my want to pay price range.My father-in-law calls me one evening,here you are looking for a project,yep Carl I am.Well I got this old car sitting in the corner of the garage at home.Its a 1930 Model A.Ok I say what is a model A.He says come over tomorrow and you can see for yourself.Next morning with little enthusiasm I go the whole 3 miles to see this Model A thing.Little did I know Carl has been moving stuff,boxes and whatever for 2hrs before I got there just so I could get a good look at this old,old,old car.I pull in the driveway to the garage,Carl comes out from the side door around the front.I get out of my truck and as I start walking,Carl opens the far left overhead door.The morning sun is now directly shinning on this old,old,old car.No hood,no engine,no front fenders or rear.No radiator or radiator shell.but the body(30 tudor) is on the frame,oh yea four flat tires.The stuff that is not attached to the car is inside the body.So its all there.Now there is one thing that I never anticipated and that was that old,old,old car shot one of Cupids arrows right thru my heart and the rest is history.I now own 3 model A's and a Model T.THANK YOU CARL you changed my life forever and I an eternally great-full.The only sad thing about this story is Carl never got to see the finished car as he died in 2004,one year before I finished and got her on the road.
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Old 06-03-2010, 05:00 PM   #54
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For me I've always loved old cars but always believed if I had one that I should use it . The Model A was a clear winner in terms of availability of parts. Can you name another car from the 1930 s (excluding other Fords) that has the range of repo and original parts that we can get . Much as I might drool over some of the more exotic cars from the 1920/30s none of them are as usable or repairable as the Model A -Karl
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Old 06-03-2010, 05:01 PM   #55
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Default Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?

Cool story! But how did you never know your father in law had that in his garage??? If my wife's parents had an old car in the garage, I'd be all over it!
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Old 06-03-2010, 05:14 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elrod View Post
Cool story! But how did you never know your father in law had that in his garage??? If my wife's parents had an old car in the garage, I'd be all over it!
Elrod,Carl had a 5 bay garage(with partitions between each bay) and I never heard him talk about the Model A.Beside I was into jeeps.I have owned 11 of them.
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Old 06-03-2010, 05:24 PM   #57
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Default Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?

Makes sense! Sounds like it was buried deep under a lot of stuff!
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Old 06-03-2010, 07:09 PM   #58
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Default Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?

My parents thought I needed something to tear-apart and work on(I was 13) , that was a 1917 Model T , 2 yrs later it was sold after making it run (the mag didn't work so I hooked it up to my model train transformer-couldn't travel very far). Next came the 1928 roadster in 1965, still have the car. I like the T's, most of the parts are not as heave to pick-up! Dudley
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Old 06-03-2010, 07:35 PM   #59
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Default Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?

My first A was a pile of parts given to my brother and I. It was a 29 CCPU but had no bed, motor was out of it, no top, and was a mess. We let it set around for a few years and the weather did not do it any good.

Then in my high school years (the 1950's), I stated to get the old pickup put together. I took an engine from a 29 two door I purchased from my cousin for $50 that was running and some other parts and got the old pickup running. I did not like all the "junk" on it like fenders, running boards and a few other things so they had to go. Then I wanted a "topless" rig so cut the top off just above the bottom of the windows. Did not need the windshield and had to have a straight pipe come out through the top of the hood. This was a "rod" I only ran around on my dad's farm.





The above picture shows (I hope it worked) the rod in the 1950's.

Then about a year and one half ago I thought it was about time to do something with the old rig. So without a body to work with, I decided to make it into a huckster and get a wooden body for it. So the picture below (I hope again it works) shows the end result.




So that is where I am at with Model A's
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Old 06-03-2010, 07:41 PM   #60
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Default Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?

I was hooked at birth. Parents had a 1930 Model A Ford Deluxe Town Sedan. I've heard stories of my diaper being changed on the running boards during stops. I've been hooked ever since, and now I have the '29 Coupe, and my 2 year old is hooked already as well. It's a great hobby!

Neal
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