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Cross-country Model A

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by One Finger John, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. One Finger John
    Joined: Mar 18, 2009
    Posts: 459

    One Finger John
    Member

    Thinking about getting a stock Model A (don't know what type) and touring these great United Stats this summer. My very first car was a 1930 Model A two door sedan and right after I sold it back to the original owner, he took it on a tour of the Southern portion of the USA. When he got back we talked and he said that every thing worked just fine but he only did 35 mph the whole way. From Los Angeles down to New Orleans and back and back again. All lesser traveled roads and all @ 35 mph!
    Does that sound like something I can duplicate (the speed I mean) and not go crazy or run over by a semi? What should I take for spares? What could go wrong?
    I'm in the planning stage right now, first I would need a Model A, that was reliable and so, and then a possible route.

    Got any ideas?

    John
     
  2. trad27
    Joined: Apr 22, 2009
    Posts: 1,108

    trad27
    Member

    I think it is doable, what do you think they drove in 1930. How much of a restorer are you? A five speed would make the trip alot quicker. Sounds like fun ,just dont get in a hurry. If you do keep us posted...
     
  3. One Finger John
    Joined: Mar 18, 2009
    Posts: 459

    One Finger John
    Member

  4. daddio211
    Joined: Aug 26, 2008
    Posts: 5,994

    daddio211
    Member

    I have a good friend who has a stock-ish '30 coupe and he drives it EVERYWHERE! I say stock-ish because the banger is built (period correct), it has a 5 speed and A/C. With the hood closed nobody is the wiser.

    He runs with us hot rodders when we do tours and has no problem keeping up with us. He admits that the wire wheels and skinny tires get a little scary around 75 MPH and he leaves plenty of stopping room with the mechanical brakes. The Las Vegas MAFCA chapter last year won the award for the most miles traveled by a chapter, more than 1/2 of them were Denny's! He drove it from Utah to Wisconsin twice, and all over the western US.

    The 35 MPH thing would scare the shit out of me. I don't need to tell you that a 35 MPH road is a conservatively traveled 45 MPH road, or more by late model traffic. I don't want to read a thread about an auction to help pay your medical bills because some clown ran you and your A over!
     
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  5. Here's something that might encourage you...
    http://www.365daysofa.com/

    I drive my A Fordor all over the country. OK - smaller country, but very populated roads. Stock running gear, 3.54 rear, mildly tuned B engine. Just keep on top of adjusting the mechanical brakes...
     
  6. thommoina33
    Joined: Jun 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,046

    thommoina33
    Alliance Member
    from australia
    Staff Member

    i consider fitting a mitchell overdrive if finances allow.

    thommo.
     
  7. petritl
    Joined: Jul 31, 2006
    Posts: 950

    petritl
    Member
    from Marion, TX

    16" wire wheels willhelp with the ride at speeds greater than 40mph and late 1931 11" cast iron front brake drums help with stopping the car with confidence.

    I lightened the flywheel 16lbs; the combination of the 6.00x16 tires and the reduced rotating weight of the flywheel moved the heavy vibration that typically came in at around 45mph to around 53mph. My late 31 sedan with the cast iron drums stopped well at 50mph.
     
  8. One Finger John
    Joined: Mar 18, 2009
    Posts: 459

    One Finger John
    Member

    BTT for the morning crew, thankx Any comment from the other "banger " guys? Trying to keep the mods to a minimum. What rpms can the stock 4 cyl comfortably cruise at?

    John
     
  9. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 41,384

    porknbeaner
    Member

    John
    Two things to think about. One is that minum speed on any interstate is 40 MPH. I say that because it is going to be real hard to travel across country without getting on an interstate somewhere, maybe it can be done but it is going to be real difficlult.

    The second thing is based on murphy's law anything that can go wrong will. Your basics to carry along are going to be clevis pins for the brakes and ignition pieces and a fuel filter. other than that you will probably not be doing a roadside overhaul so I guess a tripple A card is also a good idea.

    All that said it sounds like fun and if it were me I would tackle it in a heart beat.

    There was a man and his wife from Florida that drove to one of the west coast goodguys a few years back in a stock Willys sedan, I think a 40 if I recall. Top speed for the trip was 45 going down the other side of the great divide. Good times.
     
  10. J'st Wandering
    Joined: Jan 28, 2004
    Posts: 1,628

    J'st Wandering
    Member

    From my expeience, you should be able to keep at 45 mph most of the time. All depends on how heavy you load up the car. I have a stock roadster and 40 to 45 feels right.

    Even at 45 vs. 35 you will still get run over. Put some good flashing lights on the back and drive defensively. I have seen battery powered magnetic flashing lights. Thought they would work well on the back.

    If I had the time, I would do just what you are asking about. The cars are simple and can fix most things on the road. Someday I will do a long trip with my roadster.

    Please post the road trip when you do it.

    Neal
     
  11. 2935ford
    Joined: Jan 6, 2006
    Posts: 3,213

    2935ford
    Member

    Sounds like a blast! Something I think most of us would like to do one time or another.
    Should be great fun.....just be prepared for the worst and if it goes bad.....just relax, take your time, fix it and keep going.
    The Model A is one rugged little auto and has taken a lot of abuse through it's lifetime.....like the old watch.....and it keeps on ticking!

    Are you planning for a follow vehicle w/tow capabilites?

    Model A's will do better than 35mph. I ran my bone stock '29 roadster every summer for 2 years and almost always back roads and 40+mph. Towards the last of the second summer I developed a lifter noise. It didn't bother me as I never really went very far but......a few miles away from home w/o means to get back....is a long way.
    It never let me down though and I had a great two summers. It's coming back to life as a AV8 highboy soon.

    We had a fellow last year do a cross Canada tour in his '29 Tudor from what I heard he only had minor fixable issues. He did convert to the T5 and really liked it.
    We also hade a fellow ship his car from California to Maine a few years back and did an Atlantic Canada tour. His car broke down. He was so discouraged he made plans to ship it back to California. One of the fellows here got hold of a very knowledgeable Model A mechanic and he talked him into letting him have a look. It turned out to be really bad....a broken crankshaft. The mechanic told him not to worry. He and a friend tore the engine down that night replaced the crank and the next morning he was on his way with the tour once more. The mechanic charged him nothing...was happy to help! You will be amazed at the help you will receive should trouble occurr!

    I guess it goes w/o saying but I will anyway...make sure you go over the whole car. Anything can go worng and can let you down real fast.

    A friend of mine and I were on our way to a meet about 45 miles away. We didn't get 5 miles from our start and from his 28 Tudor came a loud explosion.....smoke pouring out of the cabin and engine compartment.
    Scared him good.
    Turned out a bare wire shorted the ignition system and blew lots of wires. I told him to relax...I had enough stuff with me for the repair and we had 3 folks stop and ask if they could help. 25 minutes and we were on our way. I did scold him about not going over the car. He had just aquired it and had not thoroughly gone through it. The next weekend, guess what I was doing! It's a fine running Tudor now.
    These are the stories you look back on and have a good laugh.

    There is a list in one of my old Model A books that tells you everything you should take along on a tour in case of trouble.........it would fill up your entire car!

    Don't forget, people sail around the world by themselves in the smallest of craft. Makes your trip a walk in the park!

    All the best!
     
  12. 55chevr
    Joined: Jul 12, 2008
    Posts: 959

    55chevr
    Member

    just why do you want to do this?
     
  13. gassercrazy41
    Joined: Jan 9, 2011
    Posts: 1,432

    gassercrazy41
    Member

  14. One Finger John
    Joined: Mar 18, 2009
    Posts: 459

    One Finger John
    Member

    I could say "because it is there" , but really it would be to duplicate the trip my science teacher took over 40 years ago. His name was Kenneth Koskella and he taught science at Campbell Hall Episcopal School in North Hollywood California. He had a hand painted black 1930 Model A two door sedan that I bought from him when I was 15 years old. Paid $500.00 for it in 1963. Had it for six months, learned to drive in it (including how to double clutch), and then I got a girl friend. She said she would never ride in a car like that so I, like a pussy whipped dummy, sold the A back to Mr. Koskella for $570.00 (I had a clutch put into it) and went looking for a suitable car that my girl would be seen in.

    That year Mr. Koskella quit school and decided to see the country. As i said, he toured his way south to New Orleans and then went up the Eastern Seaboard and eventually made it back to Los Angeles after about a year. And he did it all at 35 mph traveling back roads the whole way. Got to remember it was 45 years ago and there plenty of back roads here in America.

    Now this isn't a bucket list type of thing but my life here in Los Angeles is a little lacking and a road trip might be the thing to get back into gear. I understand that in the dessert there will be 100 degree temperatures, in the mid west perhaps tornadoes, and in the Southern states, well who knows what. And really, if I don't have a Model A I don't think my Ford Tempo will be quite the same. But it is nice to dream and make plans and see where they go.

    But first a Model A that runs good and wont cost too much. I'll see where things take me.

    John
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011
  15. Shaggy
    Joined: Mar 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,208

    Shaggy
    Member
    from Sultan, WA

    I love it!!! Let me know how it goes if you do!!! I've wanted to get one for a daily myself, I'm 10 miles to work and i usually backroad it
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011
  16. One Finger John
    Joined: Mar 18, 2009
    Posts: 459

    One Finger John
    Member

  17. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 41,384

    porknbeaner
    Member

    For the same reason that I loaded my '49 harley with an extra pair of blue jeans some socks and a bag of tools and hit the road '77. Life is lived in minutes my friend it would be a shame if you let any one of them go to waste.
     
  18. Strange Agent
    Joined: Sep 29, 2008
    Posts: 2,879

    Strange Agent
    Member
    from Ponder, TX

    I think you should go for it if you can find a route that keeps you off the busy interstates. I think going 35mph on the interstate is asking for a lot of trouble.
     
  19. Awesome!
    We just did Route 66, from DFW to Oatman CA in a '60 Ford wagon.
    It was so awesome that I am building my '59 Edsel wagon to take my wife next April.
    We will do Shamrock, TX to Needles, CA, up to VLV, St George, Page, and back.
    No itenerary, no rush, just old Motor Courts, and Mom & Pop diners.

    On the Abone, PM Elrod.
    He has a super nice slant pillar '31 Cabrio, set up to make trips like that.
    He just did 600 mile in it a couple weekends ago.

    Good Luck, and if you find your self in the panhandle next April, run back to CA with us. ;)
     
  20. 29woodie
    Joined: Apr 7, 2009
    Posts: 93

    29woodie
    Member
    from boston, ma

    Sounds like alot of fun to me. I had dreams of driving my Woodie across the country when we were building it. A trip to PA and a few to Maine and back taught me that if you are not willing to go slow, deal with long lines of frustrated drivers who don't want to "go slow" piling up behind you, take your time, drive very defensively, go slow...your trip will quickly devolve into a nightmare of going slow and hating it. On the other hand, if you can get over the fact that you won't be able make that 600 miles in a day, it will be a blast. You'll make friends at every gas, food and sight seeing stop. People will follow you for miles just to get the chance to take a picture and say "my so-ans-so had one just like that!"

    You might want to check this site out: http://www.365daysofa.com/
    Good luck and have fun!
    -dave
     
  21. mrenfro
    Joined: Nov 29, 2010
    Posts: 49

    mrenfro
    Member
    from Kansas

    I think it sounds like a great idea. I bet, if you wanted, you could HAMB your way across the country. You could meet a lot of other car guys, have a great time, and get good route and tourist information along the way. I would be happy to host you for an evening.
     
  22. bgaro
    Joined: Sep 3, 2010
    Posts: 1,189

    bgaro
    Member

    pretty sure hot rods go faster than 35, maybe u should buy one of those things everyone is talking about.
     
  23. One Finger John
    Joined: Mar 18, 2009
    Posts: 459

    One Finger John
    Member

    Yeah, but you might miss something in the rush.
     
  24. One Finger John
    Joined: Mar 18, 2009
    Posts: 459

    One Finger John
    Member

  25. bgaro
    Joined: Sep 3, 2010
    Posts: 1,189

    bgaro
    Member

    hmmmm....i see your point.
     
  26. GARY?
    Joined: Aug 15, 2005
    Posts: 1,626

    GARY?
    Member

    I don't want to speak for others but..:rolleyes:

    you will have stories to tell for the rest of your life(if you live through it):D

    you will meet some of the best people out there in the good old U S of A.

    you will test your wits, patience, yer model A...

    you will see more of the country because of the slower pace.

    I say take the time to prepare, and go for it. Then show us the pics:D
     

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