|FTLComm - Tisdale - August 19, 1999|
|Its only seventy-seven years old but to this happy owner its the "new car".
Purchased from a farm and used in the last few decades this 1928 Ford Model "A"
is considered a good buy. A little air was put into the tires and they returned to
their original shape allowing the car to be loaded on the trailer. It is going to
take a while to get it running but the engine was suppose to have been in good condition,
though that missing spark plug (lower right) looks a bit ominous. For Model "A"
lovers this one has an unusual water pump without the usual open area on the top.
The damaged right rear fender poses no problem as the new owner has a spare one. The impressive quality of the metal suggests that Henry and his folks back then knew how to make the good stuff because this metal is thick and strong.
|The Ford Model "A" was one of the best cars ever made as it was bigger and much more sturdy then the "T" which was made at the same time as the early versions of the "A". The heavy metal in the body parts made some areas that were continuously flexing susceptible to metal fatigue as can be seen in the cracks in the front fenders. Coach building of this era involved using a lot of hardwood as formers and the roof in these cars was made of fabric with a hardwood frame. The steering wheel was made of a steel framework with hard rubber. In this car that part is in need of replacement.|
|When you consider this car has been sitting outside for its seventy-seven years it is in remarkable shape and the new owner is eagerly looking forward to bring it back to life. This sedan joins two other versions of the Model "A", a truck and a coupe.|
|The restoration on these two vehicles is well along as the truck is only in need of a little finishing and the interior while the cope has its hardwood in place and is awaiting the fabric covering and its interior. The coupe has its body and chassis still to be put back together.|
|The coupe's chassis sits ready with its newly overhauled engine. The apparent simplicity
of hardwood framing for the body work is deceiving. The picture below shows the section
above the front of the windshield and this piece has to have a whole series of angles
and shapes precisely created to get the roof, windshield and sun visor to fit into
place. In a shop to restore a car like this one the wood working tools are as important
as the metal working machinery.
Before the second world war the Model "A" was simply the most common car to be seen on the streets and roads of North America. They were inexpensive, easy to maintain and totally reliable. At 1,800 pounds they were fuel efficient, Ford and the auto industry has been trying to create as good
|a car ever since. The closest they have come to a reliable and economical vehicle has been the recent Ford front wheel drive Taurus line and Chrysler's mini-vans which have proved to have the simple utility and easy of use as the Model "A".|
|These pictures of the finished chassis show it mounted on modern Ford pickup wheels
just to ease moving it around but it is interesting that they fit the wheels of over
seventy years ago.
In the shop that will turn out a working version of the new car is another interesting restoration. Here is a vintage Polaris snowmobile from the sixties, this one made at the Polaris plant in Beausejour Manitoba.