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Old 06-05-2010, 07:07 AM   #81
Barry in St.Paul
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Default Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?

My dad had several old cars up on the farm, including a '26 T and '29 A Roadster he restored in the '70s. He and Mom were charter members of the Vintage Car Club in Alexandria, MN, and not too many summer weekends went by without a club activity or a local town's parade. (I grew to HATE driving politicians around, though the various "Queens" and "Princesses" weren't a bad duty! :-) As part of the '29 roadster restoration he accumulated a running "doodle-bug" chassis, literally just a chassis with a cowl, a bus seat welded on the frame and a Briggs&Stratton gas tank mounted on a stick (because cowl gas tank rusted through) and tractor hitch welded on the back. One day in 9th grade, I was looking at that jalopy sitting next to his shiny 'new' '29 roadster, and thought "I can do that!". I got the bright idea in my head that I would restore it that summer, in time to pull the float for my 10th grade Homecoming parade. :-) I recall my Dad's response was "go ahead, that will last you about two weeks, but anything you do to clean it up will make it worth a little more when I sell it".... which made me mad. We had nothing besides 'farm tools', so I wirebrushed by hand, etc.. I'd get frustrated over the summer and say "I'm done!", to which Dad would reply "I figured you'd quit!", which made me mad and sent me right back out to the old garage to dig in again. When he realized I was serious about it, he became very supportive. The turning point was when another friend of his drove on the farm one morning, and just happened to have two '30 coupe bodies in the back of his pickup/trailer, which was exactly what I wanted to build (the chassis/engine was a mid-30). Dad agreed to buy them, and we never looked back again. That was 1980, and I finished the mechanical part of the restoration in summer of 1982, then did the autobody work at a car-club member's bodyshop that summer, and before and after school by senior year. I drove it home with fresh paint the day I graduated from high school in 1983. I'll never forget my first car show, when I came up behind my dad while he was talking to one of his buddies, and overheard him say, 'yeah, that's my BOY'S car, isn't it beautiful?!" Proudest moment of my life. Fast-forward 20 years, to 2000. My niece wanted one of the old cars to drive away from her wedding in Mpls/St.Paul, so I agreed to drive my coupe down for it (3 hour drive). That was July, and in August, my shop blew down on top of it (96mph winds), and the car was the only thing holding the roof up. Crushed in the back, skewed the rumble seat about an inch, dents every 16" (every joist left its mark!). Took three years before I could bear to do anything with it, but in 2003 my then-7 yr old son seemed interested in helping, so I decided to a frame-off re-restoration and "do it right". This January, I took it home from the paint booth once again, and just re-installed the engine last weekend (after pulling it for some vibration issues with 200 miles on it). So, after 10 years, it is finally "done" once again! :-) If I ever figure out how to post pictures, I'll post a before-and-after on here sometime. In hindsight, it is the one thing my Dad and I truly shared, different from any of my four siblings, and I still go up to the farm and take care of his other cars, some of which I am gradually "purchasing", including the '28 Studebaker President and '53 Buick Super V8 convertible. And my now-14yr old son recently rebuilt Dad's '26 Model-T engine (w/ some help), as he thought it was just terrible how we all "neglected" the poor Model-T. (it is one car I never had much interest in, and to me, just isn't much fun to drive!). While he is now less-interested in cars and more interested in other things, I hope that our experiences the last few years will at least make my '30 coupe a treasured heirloom that is passed down to one of my grandchildren and keep the connection going that started back in 1980 with MY dad! What a great hobby!
By the way, this is a good opportunity to say THANKS to all you FordBarners, for countless questions answered, both directly and from archive searches! I can't count the number of improvements and corrections I've been able to make on things I never even considered or knew about the first time around, doing it 100% "solo". It is like having a hundred co-restorers at your beck & call, whenever you need a hand. Much appreciated!!

Last edited by Barry in St.Paul; 06-05-2010 at 07:19 AM. Reason: addition
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Old 06-05-2010, 08:27 AM   #82
Glen in Hillman MI
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Default Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?

Rich kid down the street had a 2 door that we'd run the old buggy trails with in the early 50's. Allways wanted to have my own and three years ago I got a 31 coupe. Spent one year rebuilding and two years driving 10,000 plus miles.
Will be in French Lick next week.
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Old 06-05-2010, 03:28 PM   #83
bobpo
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Red face Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?

In 1959, I bought a '32 Tudor, less the engine and tranny. Got it back to my Mom & Dad's and started hackin' away at it with a chisel. (didn't have any torches) starting with the top, then the rear seat area. Eventually gave up the idea of building my '32 Hot Rod Roadster and took the Remains to the City Dump.

It's bothered me ever since, I destroyed a piece of Americana. Forever..

So, last year my youngest son sold me his (almost done) '30 coupe. Ground-Up Restoration. I'll be driving it in a couple of months or so..... I love this little car..
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Old 06-05-2010, 04:28 PM   #84
Michael in Sedona
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Default Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?

In 1957, I was a 10th grader in High School in southern Ohio, and bought a 1930 Coupe for $200. It ran, but had seen much better days. I planned to keep it stock except for removing the fenders, adding juice brakes, and putting on 16" wheels. I never really finished it, and sold it for $200 when it was time to leave for college. I never thought much more about Model A's as college, military service, and raising a family got in the way.

Fast forward to around 1990 in southern California. My wife and I were at the Cabazon Outlet Mall near Palm Springs, and a Model A Club was on an outing. There were about 20 Model A's all parked together, and they caught my eye in an instant. It was like a giant magnet, and all I could think of for the next dozen years was that I'd some day like to own another one.

We moved to Sedona, AZ in 2001, and a year later I bought a nicely restored '29 Tudor, then a couple of years after that an equally nice '29 Roadster. I drive one or the other almost daily, and the 2 cars have become fairly well known locally.

I certainly appreciate all I have learned from other Model A owners, many of whom are frequent contributors on this site.
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Old 06-05-2010, 04:38 PM   #85
T.W.Dustin
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Default Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?

My Dad had afew Model As when he was younger. I found my first just 2 yrs ago (my avitar) but I have been messing around w/ classic cars for about 35 years. This is my first Model A. Probably not my last, I want a pickup too!
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Old 06-06-2010, 01:47 AM   #86
fordcragar
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Default Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?

My dad helped me get my first Model A, a 30 coupe in the last 1950's. Over the years I had quite a few Model A's, but never had one that I could drive until 1990. Even today, I only have two that are on the road, but have a number of projects.
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Old 08-26-2010, 05:28 PM   #87
jim galli
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Default Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?


that's me in the front seat on my grandma's lap in 1955. I never recovered.

More here over at the H.A.M.B.

Need some help finding original seats for the '29.
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Old 08-26-2010, 06:09 PM   #88
ScottNW/Ohio
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Default Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?

My dad ran his own truck garage, and had a Model A coupe in his younger days. I was 15 when he thought it would be a great way for me to learn on. He wanted to find a coupe, and ended up with a very rough 28 Tudor, towed it to the shop, and I spent my spare time 'learning' the Model A
A trucker from Iowa saw the Tudor, was telling dad about his '31 Pick-Up
He was going through a divorce and wanted to keep the wife from getting her hands on it, a deal was struck, and the Tudor became a spare parts donor. That was 38 years ago, and I am finally getting to play with it after getting 3 kids through college and weddings
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Old 08-26-2010, 06:09 PM   #89
Mark Schwing
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Default Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?

Back in the mid-Fifties, my cousin who was a year or two older than me and his dad had a Model A Tudor. They attended all the Model A events in western Pennsylvania and would invite me along. Fine point judging in those days was a lot different than today. I also went with my cousin to explore attics of Ford dealers looking for NOS parts. We also went through some of the farming areas looking for parts. Farmers in those days often had a lot of parts stored away in their barn just in case. I remember one farm where we found three Model A roadsters. The old farmer wanted $450 for each one which seemed like a lot of money for a couple of teenagers back then.

I found a 1931 Deluxe coupe for sale close to home and bought it for $150. The former owner callled me on the first night to tell me that he never puit any anti-freeze in the radiator. Even though we had a closed garage it wasn't heated. The next morning I had a cracked head. I drove that car to high school nearly every day and to my summer life guard job and loved it.
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Old 08-26-2010, 07:12 PM   #90
jaguar6165
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Default Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?

It was simple for me. My dad has owned our A since around 1980 and restored it between 80 and 82 not too exact on the years. I remember going for ice cream in it when my sister and I were very young and then it sat in the garage as he started a business and spent all of his time working or working around the house. The last time it was out of the garage was 6-8 years ago and that was just to be backed out to flush the fuel tank. I decided this past February that i wanted to work on a car. I would love to beef up my truck and turn it into a street rod but my budget is limited and I knew that my dad would help out with a lot of the expenses with the A. We were also selling the harley so i didnt have anything different and cool to ride around. I figured the wow factor and looks of the A would be cooler than any motorcycle so it became my project. Ive been working on it about 7 months now and drive it everyday to work and where ever else. Hopefully ill be able to get some speed parts to make it go and stop a little better. Now i want another chopped up one to make a unique hotrod. Not your typical v8 hotrod but a souped up for banger with all the bells and whistles with some hotrod looks.
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Old 08-26-2010, 07:44 PM   #91
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Default Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?

Well when the time came for my first car, I had been helping a friend out with his Model A. I was 15 at the time and wanted an A badly. When the time came that I had scraped $50 together to buy my first car, My folks would not let me buy an A. I settled for an early V8. 15 years later I started looking for my Model A. About 30 at the time I purchased a solid 29RPU basket case that came out of the desert. I worked on it for a short while, mostly buying parts and restoring a few small parts. Well life got in the way and another 30 years passed before I got back to it. Here I am 50 years after my initial want, retired and I'm actively working on the '29. In retrospect, I'm far better prepared for such a project, and I think it'll be on the road chugging along in another 6 months or so.
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Old 08-26-2010, 07:55 PM   #92
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Default Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?

In 1961 I was 3yrs old and my dad was in the military and was stationed in Pakistan. During his tour there we lived in a small Texas town close to my grandparents. We lived next door to an elderly couple Mr and Mrs Boyd that owned a 1930 coupe that they had bought new. They had no children and when we moved in they adopted me as their own. I can still remember him taking me to the store in that old car and I have been an old car nut ever since! I started out buying projects that I could barely afford let alone finish. Now that I am older, the kids are grown and I own a shop I got the fever again and bought a 53 Bel-Air hardtop and started on it. Then fate opened the door. I was cruising Craigslist late one note 6 months ago and there it was ............. a 1928 Sport Coupe that had been restored 35 yrs ago by Col Harry Smith (Smitty) here in town. Oddly enough I knew Smitty and knew of his A's but also knew he had passed away 12 yrs ago and assumed the cars had all been sold. I answered the add and went to see the car and to my amazement not only was my Sport Coupe in the backyard under the shed but there sat his 31 pickup and his beloved Huckster. My Avatar photo was taken the day we pushed it out and took it home. I am happy to say its running and a blast to drive around! A friend now has the Huckster and I am dying to get my hands on that Pickup! I have made some great friends since getting the car and cant imagine not having one in the future.
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Old 08-26-2010, 08:04 PM   #93
Thom IV
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Default Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?

Have always enjoyed old cars. When I was young, I drove them because of necessity.(Little Money). Have owned several old Chevys & Fords. Restored a couple of each brand. Now have two, A '64 VW Beetle and my 31 Rdstr. Old cars have something that new cars lack. Character. You used to be able to tell the manufacturer of a car just by seeing its' silhoutte. Now they all look alike.
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:07 PM   #94
JD Miller
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Red face Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?

I've had my 1931 Briggs Fordor Town Sedan since 1954.

My grandfather, a mechanic, purchased the car from its original owner in 1933. The sedan was used for family transportation, but mostly as a service car for his garage. For two years my uncle drove the sedan back and forth each weeked from NW Ohio to his job in Detroit. He managed to throw a rod just about the time he was drafted into the Navy for WWII.

The car was stored in my grandfather's auto repair garage from 1944 till 1949. At that time grandfather installed a rebuilt engine and the car was used around the business for about three years and then stored.

I had always wanted the sedan. When it was in storage I'd take an air tank over to where it was stored to keep the tires inflated. Then I'd sit in the car and dream of driving it.

In 1954, at age 14, my Grandfather gave me the sedan. We towed it down home and put it in the back of the garage. I worked on the car and got it running. Then at age 15 I started to drive the car. In a small town no one seemed to care if you had a drivers license or not. From that point on I drove the car until 1957 when the car was given a cosmetic restoration. Along about 1955 I joined MARC.

I also joined the Pioneer Auto Club in NW Ohio. The club had monthly meetings so the Model A covered just about every road in NW, Ohio. I also belonged to the Penn-Ohio Region of MARC.

The sedan was first shown at the MARC National in 1957 just after it had been painted and a new interior installed. Interesting, at least to me, that the sedan was at the 2007 MARC National at Williamsburg, VA. fifty years later. Our club, the Colonial Virginia Model A Ford Club hosted the 2007 meet.

The sedan is a "keeper." Everytime I drive the car it brings back memories of my Grandfather and what a great person he was.

Over the years the family has had seven Model A Fords. But the sedan has always been my favorite.

There's nothing finer among old cars than a Model A Ford.
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:53 PM   #95
Dusty
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Default Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?

For the life of me I cannot figure out why the Model A so appeals to me. I grew up during the muscle car period and you would think that is where my heart would be. In fact my first real car after a 3 cylinder Fiat (letís not go there) was a 1966 Comet Cyclone.
I will admit to being a certified car nut and I love the head turners and have owned many different types including Corvettes, Porsches, 350zís, Toyota Supras, Mercedes and a couple of Model A replicas.
For whatever reason could not get past owning a ďReal Model AĒ even though there is nothing sporty about driving it, ride is rough, somewhat noisy at highway speeds (if there is such a thing) you got to double clutch it or shift real slow, strong arms are nice for steering, hot in the summer cold in the winter, wonít stop real fast, wonít go up hills real fast, hell it donít go real fast anywhere but I love the hell out of it; I have had more fun with it than all the other performance/ luxury cars I have owned. I canít stop anywhere without drawing a crowd followed by at least an hour of questions and answers.
I think the thing that most amazes me though is the fact that this 80 year old vehicle will get you from point A to point B and with a little loving (and some money) it will continue to put a smile on your face year after year, I know thereís one on mine.

Tinkering for the weekend in WV
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:05 PM   #96
gilitos
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Default Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?

When I was 15 (in 1972) my Dad said "Giles, you're about to get your license. You better start with a Model A". We had recently moved to Cincinnati from Central Michigan and he knew that there were lots of A's up there. He put an ad in the local paper in Mt. Pleasant, and we went up for Thanksgiving to check out the responses. Finances being what they were, instead of a whole car I ended up with a pile of '30 Tudor body panels, a frame and axles, and a worn out motor and a bunch of worn out parts for $250. Did have a title, though! Kept me off the streets for a long time fixing it up. I love this car, I drive it all the time. The emotions it evokes in me I can't express in a public forum.

This thread is beautiful and should be extracted from this website and printed as a book.

Giles in Cincinnati
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:18 PM   #97
DeBordEngineMan
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Default Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?

Brent Terry from 10-uh-C got me started and didn't even know it! Last year he hosted a Model T meet in the surrounding areas of East Tennessee one of his tour stops was at my local Engine club for Hit and Miss gas engines a hobby that I have done for 20+ years, well we brought some old engines and we had a lot of Model T's and a few Model A's it was a blast! Each group had great fun looking at each others "TOYS" before the day was up I told the Wife that I had to have one so I settled on a Model A and had one sitting in the garage within a couple of months so thanks Brent for a great start in a fun hobby that you really didn't know you started! Oh by the way thanks for a few more gray hairs and a few brused knuckles to go along with the hobby but that is alright what fun me and the wife are having and we have not even really gotten to drive it much so look out when we do start driving it!!!! Thanks Robert DeBord
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Old 08-27-2010, 12:09 AM   #98
kevinmac/toledo
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Default Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?

hi; my model a,ing started when i was about 12... got to ride/drive one of the a"s in a ride at cedar point in sandusky ohio... i was blown away by the fact that they would let me, a kid , drive a car... let alone that it was one of the beatup old antiques. they had a track system worked out where you could not drive off the track..had rails up about mid tire level..heard they still have the old cars in the park. im in mid 50's now. thats 33 years ago and you can still ride in them. darn spell checker... thanks kevinmac/toledo
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Old 08-27-2010, 12:11 AM   #99
Geo. H
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Default Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?

My first car was a 1934 Studebaker Coupe. Nineteen years later, my first 'old car' was a 1931 Chrysler sedan. I wanted a roadster. After another 35 years I was out of the old car hobby, and getting out of old motorcycles. Then I had a chance to trade a 1949 Harley for a '31 roadster. That was fifteen years ago, and now I also have a 30 coupe. And yeah, I'm getting a bit long in the tooth.
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Old 08-27-2010, 01:57 AM   #100
Brentwood Bob
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Default Re: What drove you towards the Model A hobby?

6, or so, when we used to go to uncle joe's in Rialto. He had a coupe as his car. He always took us kids to the local little store and bought us a crackerjack. I still remember the gas gage in front of me in his coupe.
I got a cutdown 28 AR sport coupe for $40 when I was 15, learned to drive it, and sold it for $65.
Had to wait until 1989 to get my next, a 1930 chassis, followed by more parts, a 30 coupe, and 2 years ago my son found a 1931 ccpu that followed us home.
I'm currently working on a 1930 huckster. Thru a convoluted business deal it is now at my house. I'm putting a motor in it, and its very close to being on the road again. My son has helped me with the huckster and most of the other projects, and kept me motivated. I've been in a club since 1989, and have backup when I need help. Great hobby.
One day I wanted to have my son sitting next to me looking at the gas gage like I did. Looks like he will be alot older than I was. Bob
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