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Ian Curtis (1778)

By: Ian Curtis
New: 07-30-2014 02:54 PM
Updated: 07-30-2014 02:54 PM
Views: 3408 times


Ian Curtis (1778)

Checked something off the bucket list today when I bought a 1929 Model A Ford Pickup. =)

This is the Q&A I prepared for people at work:

Kingsford Smith is a 1929 Ford Model A closed cab pickup in Rock Moss Green. There are two reasons for this name Ė bonus points for figuring them out. Ford manufactured Model Aís from 1928-1931, producing more than 4 million. The ďAĒ is really the earliest practical car for a driver today. While you canít drive on the highway, you can keep up with traffic most other places. The Model A was the successor to the Model T. A Model T is often scary above 30 mph, only has brakes on 2 wheels, and has 2 forward speeds along with a ridiculous planetary gearbox. Driving a T requires 3 pedals and 3 levers!
Q & A
Is it original?
Reasonably. The car has been disassembled at least once in its life, but it is reasonably correct. It is the original engine (havenít checked to see if its matching #s). It does have an aftermarket heater, an aftermarket Ahooga horn, and an aftermarket windshield wiper. These are all period correct though. I didnít buy it from the original owner Ė if you bought a Model A new you are at least 100 years old, and the previous owner is a spry 76. =)

How fast does it go?
You can comfortably cruise at 45 with the stock transmission, and maybe up to 50 depending on the car. Ford advertised the top speed as 60 mph. There is an aftermarket overdrive that will get you cruising at 50-55 mph.

How efficient is it?
Nobody cared about fuel mileage in 1929, so there are no EPA approved numbers. Some people say 30mpg, but consensus seems to be in the 15-25 range.

Other features?
The aforementioned heater, awesome horn, and windshield wiper. It also has a rear view mirror and brake lights. There is no radio, tachometer, or no cup holders, but it does have ďA/CĒ. The front windshield folds out for air cooling those balmy summer days. There is also a driverís side mirror, but not a passengerís side. Plus, a sweet visor.

What kind of gas/oil/fluids does it take?
Regular 87 octane unleaded fuel. This car is so old, they hadnít started putting lead in the gas yet (actually, the octane scale wasnít even published)! Most people put a stabilizer in their gas to prevent the ethanol from clogging up the works over time. Some people also do put lead additives in their fuel (there is no catalytic converter). The stock compression ratio is a 4.22:1, but in 1932 Ford began offering ďhighĒ compression heads at a blazing 5.5:1. Oil is non detergent 30W, and if it isnít leaking a little itís probably empty! Oil change is recommended every 500 miles, and there is recommended lubrication intervals as well. Coolant is green antifreeze, or just regular water.

Can it stop?
Yes! The Model A has mechanical drum brakes on all four wheels. They require occasional adjustment, and they donít work quite as well as a modern car, but they are certainly respectable. Some people assume these brakes are really awful, when correctly adjusted they are quite good.

Why?
This is a good questionÖ

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07-30-2014 05:05 PM

audietron


Unread Re: pic: Ian Curtis (1778)

If I remember correctly the speedometer gpes up to 60 as a limit. Why did you choose the pickup versus a roadster or a sedan (which I'm not sure why people like sedan)?
Driving a Model A really makes you appreciate the newer transmissions since they were lacking syncros and forces you to double clutch every gear change.



07-31-2014 06:36 AM

IKE


Unread Re: pic: Ian Curtis (1778)

Nice truck. This is my gues for the Kingsford portion.
I personally am more partial to the look of the 30s and 40s vintage trucks, but that is a real beauty.



07-31-2014 11:09 AM

Matt C


Unread Re: pic: Ian Curtis (1778)

Welcome to the club!

Don't let anyone give you guff about the mechanical brakes. Properly adjusted they'll lock up just as well as hydraulics.



07-31-2014 03:04 PM

JamesCH95


Unread Re: pic: Ian Curtis (1778)



Very cool.

OP, you have probably seen this before, but for the curious: http://www.365daysofa.com/



07-31-2014 08:16 PM

Ian Curtis


Unread Re: pic: Ian Curtis (1778)

Quote:
If I remember correctly the speedometer gpes up to 60 as a limit. Why did you choose the pickup versus a roadster or a sedan (which I'm not sure why people like sedan)?
Driving a Model A really makes you appreciate the newer transmissions since they were lacking syncros and forces you to double clutch every gear change.
I got the closed cab pick-up because I wanted a pick-up, and the chance of drizzle is quite high for 75% of the year. I wanted a pickup because the guy that got me into airplanes had one, and it is a practical to move stuff around. Since my girlfriend owns a house and drives a 1 Series, this will be particularly useful. Sedans are definitely good for people with kids... truck (or a roadster w/o a MIL seat) can be crowded. Another benefit of the sedans is you can slide the seat back so a tall person can actually fit!

Quote:
Nice truck. This is my gues for the Kingsford portion.
This is much more common knowledge out Michigan way than it is on the coasts! Kingsford Smith was also a famous Australian pilot.

Matt, sweet speedster. I drove a Model T speedster once... that was enough adventure for a lifetime.

James, yeah the 365 days of A is crazy. I have read the whole blog, and he's got some pretty good thoughts on modern driver complacency. Especially impressive that he drove it all winter! My above mentioned friend drives his all summer and fall, but doing it in the winter in traffic takes special courage!



07-31-2014 09:52 PM

audietron


Unread Re: pic: Ian Curtis (1778)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Curtis View Post
I got the closed cab pick-up because I wanted a pick-up, and the chance of drizzle is quite high for 75% of the year. I wanted a pickup because the guy that got me into airplanes had one, and it is a practical to move stuff around. Since my girlfriend owns a house and drives a 1 Series, this will be particularly useful. Sedans are definitely good for people with kids... truck (or a roadster w/o a MIL seat) can be crowded. Another benefit of the sedans is you can slide the seat back so a tall person can actually fit!
Very Interesting, I really like the look of old trucks like these!



08-01-2014 09:19 AM

JamesCH95


Unread Re: pic: Ian Curtis (1778)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt C View Post
Don't let anyone give you guff about the mechanical brakes. Properly adjusted they'll lock up just as well as hydraulics.
Well, yeah, any brakes will lock up when you're braking bicycle tires



08-03-2014 12:06 PM

Ian Curtis


Unread Re: pic: Ian Curtis (1778)

Quote:
Originally Posted by audietron View Post
If I remember correctly the speedometer gpes up to 60 as a limit.
I checked yesterday, the speedometer goes up to 80. Just like the range of speeds on a modern car, way faster than you can actually go!



08-05-2014 11:23 PM

Justin Montois


Unread Re: pic: Ian Curtis (1778)

Soooo freaking cool dude. Awesome.



09-16-2014 11:06 AM

Ian Curtis


Unread Re: pic: Ian Curtis (1778)

This past weekend we went on our longest trip so far, from Snohomish to Anacortes (130 miles round trip!) to attend the Anacortes Antique Engine & Tractor meet. Went with the local club, so we had 6 Model As of various styles cruising up through the back roads of Skagit county. Sure was pretty... Fuel mileage was a little north of 20 mpg, which is not that much worse than my 2L 2012 Impreza...

"Hyperlapse" (Timelapse) of part of backroads.

Timelapse in town



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