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George & Donna Beyers'

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We celebrated our 42th anniversary on March 27, 2007.
 

                                            


Donna & I have a 1928 Model A Ford Open Cab Roadster (convertible) Pickup Truck.
It is a Type 76A with a Type 78A bed.  The serial number is A120955A and was produced
in May of 1928.  It is 1 of 24,000 produced in 1928.  I believe that only about 100 of
these "Open Cab's" are still in existence.  That includes all 4 years, 1928 thru 1931.
It has a top speed of 65 mph.
I've only had it up to 55 mph - that's enough - no sense in taking any chances.
I don't want it to put it under any undo stress.
Tare weight is 2073#.  Wheelbase is 103.5".  Compression ratio is 4.22:1.
3.875" bore X 4.25" stroke = 200.5 cubic inches and develops
40 brake horsepower @ 2200 rpm.
Original list price was $445.00.

I purchased this truck in June of 1998 from a man in Conway, Arkansas.  He had worked for the Finkbiner Meat Company in Little Rock and was the company mechanic.  He had cared for this truck since 1970.  The pickup was painted Razorback Red & driven in parades and to Arkansas football games.  Upon the death of the owner of the company, the mechanic purchased the truck from the estate.  Being in his mid 80's, maintenance presented a problem for the Mechanic and he decided to sell the truck, painted it Black & advertised it in the newspaper.  I was the first one there with cash!!!  I knew when I saw it, that my 40 year search  for the Perfect Vehicle had ended.

An interesting note: as Secretary of the local Meat Cutters Union, my Grandfather was a friend of Mr. Finkbiner (management).  My Grandfather, however, passed away prior to the pickup being in Mr. Finkbiners possession and, therefore, he would not have had any contact with the truck.

Although not 100% authentic, my pickup is close enough to fool all but the purist.  I consider it "customized" and nothing has been changed that can't be returned to authentic.  For instance, the original truck did NOT  have a top that folded down - mine does.  The original top could be removed - but not folded.  The original truck was painted "Rock Moss Green" lacquer body with black enamel fenders.  My truck is 2002 Ford black basecoat/clear coat.  The original truck did NOT  have a chrome radiator shell or horn.  They were both black.  Wheels on the original truck were 21" and painted black.  I have the 30 - 31 Model A 19" wheels and they are powder coated and clear coated to match the interior and top color.  The original top was, also, black.  The original truck had no outside door handles.  The '29 door handles have been added to mine.  My truck has rear bumpers - not so on the original.  So, you see - my truck, though not 100% original - is just "customized".

I've entered several shows resulting in three 1st, a 2nd, a 3rd and the oldest car trophies.  My proudest trophy is the 2nd Place at the M.O.T.A.A. Regional Show held at Petit Jean State Park.  I attend many of the local shows; however, don't like the "sitting" for hours after wiping, polishing, cleaning, etc. and forgoing the pleasure of "driving".  A "driver" doesn't make a good "show" car.  I can't compete with those guys that "Trailer" their ride.  Cleaning is just too difficult!

Because of a minor traffic accident on June 28, 1999, the Model A Pickup recently underwent what was supposed to be its first restoration.  The front axle, fender, drag link and other minor parts were damaged.  Completion was scheduled for January 29 2000, but was not finished until April 8, 2000. It was supposed to be as good as it was when produced in May of 1928, however, my mechanic was far from being a Henry Ford!!!  Much closer to "Geech".  I picked it up at his shop in Pine Bluff and drove it to Sheridan, about 25 miles, for a Club meeting & car show.  After filling up with gas, I noticed that the Amp meter was not showing positive (+).  The meter was right - the generator burned out due to the inferior assembly of the cutout (voltage regulator).  After the Sheridan show & lunch with the Model A Club, I drove the pickup another 25 miles to Benton.   This vehicle has NO heater.  Do you know what the wind chill is at 40 degrees & 40 mph.  About 400 below zero!!!

Attending Car Shows with a driver tends to be a real chore.  It is necessary to continually load up spare parts (in case of break down), tools and detailing supplies.  When you get to the show location, everything must be unloaded and after the show load it all up again and, again, unload it all when you get home.  Well, seeing some of the street rodders and motorcycle guys having a small utility trailer to carry all of that stuff, I got to thinking how convenient it would be to have one.

 

That was the simple part - thinking of what to do.  Where to find a small trailer light enough for the Model A to pull - yet big enough to handle the necessities - that was the real problem.

 

I looked and looked.  The closest thing I found was a car top carrier with wheels offered by J.C. Whitney for $600.  It just did not look sturdy nor large enough.  I checked out some of the street rodders.  The really nice ones were a cut down version of their car.  I looked at a few trailers made from modern pickup beds.  They were too heavy.  But, that got me thinking.  Why not a trailer made from a Model A Pickup bed?  Well, again, that was the easy part.  Have you looked for a Model A pickup bed lately?  Hen’s teeth would be an easier find.

 

Since the local Model A Club (50th Anniversary Chapter) offered free want ads in the newsletter I decided I'd give it a try.  Several months passed after my ad was published.  Finally a Club member from Eastern Arkansas called and said he had a pickup bed he wanted to sell.  If fact, he said, at one time it was mounted on a custom frame as a trailer.  He indicated that it was in excellent condition - no rust, no dents and complete with the wood floor, fenders, tail light and a locking water proof top cover.  I told him (not asking the price) it was mine.  It was NOT cheap - but well worth the price.

 

Time passed for another month or so.  Then one evening I got a call from another fellow about 50 miles from me.  He said that he had a frame that at one time had a Model A pickup bed mounted on it.  He said it was complete with rusty wheels & bad tires.  To keep it light, the builder had used 1" square tubing and a Model A front axle and welded the spindles to run straight.  That was a real novel idea - and it works.  Again, I told the seller that the frame was mine and would retrieve it soon.

 

I started recruiting friends with pickups that were willing to assist my voyage to retrieve the purchases.  Within a couple of weeks I had everything back at home with the assistance of my friend Earl Cloud.

 

Wouldn't you know it - they belonged together.  The original builder, Doug Zhan, told me that it was fabricated in 1985 and pulled 25 miles one time behind a Bronco just to get it home.  The original owner made the weather proof top, covered it with Model A Sedan Vinyl material and used a Model A door handle as a latch.  The color was a dark brown that matched the Coupe of Club member, George Millar, the original owner.  I needed it to be black to match my pickup.  I found a local painter that picked up all the pieces, put them together and painted it 2002 Ford Explorer Black basecoat/clear coat.  We powder coated the wheels to match the pickup and installed new, matching Firestone tires.  I had a local welder custom fabricate a draw bar on the pickup so I could use a standard 2" bar & ball and interchange with my Explorer.

 

Now, you ain't never seen anything better.  This thing is great and does exactly what I wanted.  The center of gravity is forward and has 0 tongue weight so I use a 6" drop down hitch.  It does get a little loose above 50 m.p.h. - but I don't drive the Model A any faster than that anyway.  I would really hate to see more of these since I like to have things no one else has, but if you have similar needs - this is it!!

 

As if my pickup alone didn't draw a crowd, now with the trailer it's awesome!!

 


 

BACKGROUND INFO

 


 

My 1928 Model A Open Cab, Roadster, Pickup, Type 76A is a daily driver.  The motor gradually developed a knocking sound with volume increasing with mileage.  After several attempts at adjusting the shims, the mains were checked and found to have the babbitts literally "falling out" in chunks.  The motor had been rebuilt by the previous owner about 15 years ago but had very low miles since.  The lead was obviously of poor quality.  It was determined that new babbitts MUST be poured.  Since the motor had to be pulled, it was decided to do a complete restoration.

 

In October, 2002, the Pickup was completely disassembled.

 

The motor was found to be in excellent shape, except for the babbitts.  The cylinders had been sleeved to .000 and the crank was at -.010.  The valves needed only a slight grind to seat perfectly.  New rings were installed and new babbitts poured.  Each mechanical part, including nuts, bolts & washers, was either repaired or replaced and all the body parts were repaired of all defects and individually primed with black epoxy primer and painted 2002 Ford Explorer Black basecoat/clear coat.  The fenders had rubberized undercoating sprayed onto the underside to absorb rock impacts.  The bright metal was either polished or replaced.  Imported from Central America, Teak floor boards were fabricated, coated with 2 coats of marine spar varnish, and installed in the bed with stainless bolts and rails.  The wheels were powder coated/clear coated to match the interior & top colors.  A new interior was installed.  Recessed sealed beams were installed.

 

New rear motor mounts and a front "Float-a-motor" were installed.  The 6 volt starter, generator, distributor, plugs and coil used were the same ones removed before rebuilding the motor, which was running excellent except for loose babbitts.  New plug wires, distributor upper plate, lower plate, body, shaft, condenser & points were installed.  The oil pump was rebuilt.  The water pump was rebuilt with leak less nut & stainless steel shaft.  The radiator was boiled out.  Rebuilt Houdalle shocks & links were installed.  New seals were installed on the rear axles and 1 brake lining was replaced due to grease leakage.  New brake rods, cross shaft, clevis pins and stop light switch were installed.  Modern, threaded grease zerks were installed.  The intake and exhaust manifolds are the same ones removed from the motor before it was rebuilt and were NOT surfaced but were checked with a straight edge.  A new "one piece" gasket was installed.  The throw out bearing & clutch assembly were not worn and only the linkage was tightened up.  A new wiring harness, battery cut-off switch, ammeter and ignition switch was installed.  The steering was all new and no adjustment or replacement was necessary.

 


 

THE PROBLEM..................

 


 

Well, after its total restoration,  the pickup was ready for a test drive on April 23, 2003.  It had periodically been started 3 or 4 times and ran for short periods with no obvious problems.

 

Ready for the final test drive, when attempting to start it - a gun shot backfire occurred.  Then, pressing the starter button again, it started just fine.  Everything was great on the test drive for about 30 minutes until stopping to get 5 gallons of gas.  When restarted, it sounded like it was running on 2 cylinders and had a clanking noise (like a loose valve or lifter).  It had barely enough power to pull away from the pump to get out of the way.  The distributor cap was pulled; the points, rotor, body, etc. were checked.  Seeing nothing strange, it was re-assembled.  Starting again, it was better than before - but still not right.  A one mile trip back to the shop was made with a top speed of about 25 mph (and several unhappy motorists).  The original timing and point settings were perfect, however, after getting back to the shop - it appeared that the timing had changed and was very far off.  Again, after resetting the timing and points, it ran good again.

 


 

This was the first diagnosis: (by Bill Barlow)

 


 

What has happened is a valve, probably an intake, has stuck open. This will cause the gas to explode back through the carburetor causing the backfire you heard when starting. The valve then freed up until the engine was warm and caused the valve to stick again. This would account for running at least one cylinder short. It would probably still start but with an open valve that particular cylinder would not produce any power.

 

Take out the spark plugs so you can look in onto the top of the valves and see if you have more than two open at the same time. If so tap with a wooden dowel until you find the one that is stuck in the open position. You may have to disassemble the engine to get it working freely.

One other thing, it could be is a blown head gasket if you didn't re-torque the head nuts after the first warm up.

 


 

FIRST MAINTENANCE PROCEDURE

 


 

The plugs were removed and visual analysis could not see a valve staying up.  "Marvel Mystery Oil" was squirted on each stem.  Another 5 gallons of gas and 1/2 qt of Marvel Mystery Oil were poured into the gas tank for additional lubrication.  The car drove about 15 miles with no problem.  In fact, it really ran excellent up to about 45 mph for short increments.

The next day it idled about an hour - no problem.

The next day, the original problem reoccurred - running on (sounds like) 2 cylinders.  It ran only about 2 minutes.

The next day, again the same thing - 2 cylinders.  Again, running only about 2 minutes.

The next day - same thing.  All the plugs were removed and, again, each valve could be seen moving up and down.  The plugs had some carbon - not lots - but some.  The distributor housing and rotor (new parts) were cleaned.  The plug wires (new) look good.  The timing has been checked and reset many times and it has always looked good.  Some blow by could be seen around the muffler clamp but none anywhere else.

3 different rebuilt carburetors were installed with no improvement. 


 

SECOND DIAGNOSIS: (by Bill Barlow)

 


 

I know the distributor body is new but it may have a defect causing two cylinders to short out. If you have another body I would give it a try. I think we already tried the grounding of the plugs while the engine is running to find which plug or plugs are not firing. If all four plugs are firing when they are supposed to and it is still running on two, it has to be in the valve train.

 


 

SECOND PROCEDURE

 


 

Compression checked 60# on each cylinder.  Therefore, no leaks and no sticking valve.

 

Each plug was getting at least 1/8" spark jump.

 

The plugs were shorted one at a time and found that #1, #3 & #4 made no difference in performance while shorting #2 killed the motor.  It was running on 1 cylinder!  No wonder there was no power.

 

Again, 3 different carburetors were installed with no difference.

 

So, just to be certain that everything was eliminated one part at a time, "TDC" was found using the timing gear indention;  another new set of points & condenser were installed as was the spring under the upper plate; the coil voltage was checked as was the coil wire.   The new brass plug wires were cleaned.  Timing was set using the procedure shown in the "Technical Questions" section of the M.A.F.C.A. web site http://www.mafca.com.

 

Still no difference.

 


 

THIRD DIAGNOSIS: (by Doug Zahn)

 


 

The local "Technical Expert" and my Model A engine rebuilder was contacted for advice.  He said it sounded like it was trying to run on air.  He thought it may be a leaking manifold gasket or cracked intake manifold and suggested replacement of the manifold gasket.

 


 

THIRD PROCEDURE

 


 

So, the manifold gasket was replaced.  Trying to make it easy and save time, the manifolds were not completely REMOVED , just loosened up enough to get the old gasket out and install a new one (without sealant).  Well, that was a lot of wasted time and ruined the new gasket.  The motor was still running on 1 cylinder.  However, that did tell what was wrong - the manifold gaskets were leaking.  So this time,  it was done correctly by completely removing the manifolds.   The new gasket was starting to be burned after only 2 minutes of run time.  This time the manifold was checked completely for cracks, flatness & straightness at a machine shop.  Both manifolds were both ok.  The manifolds were cleaned of all old burned gasket material & sealant and polished with some 400 emery.  The block surface was cleaned really good.  "Red", high temp, gasket sealant was applied to the manifolds assuring that it would provide a complete, nice and smooth seal.  The new gasket was installed onto the manifolds.  After letting it set up for a few minutes, sealant was applied to the engine side of the gasket and allowed to set up for a few minutes.

 

Fearing that the manifold nuts were bottoming out before actually tightening up the manifolds against the gasket and giving a false torque reading, flat washers were added between the nut and the cast iron washer.  Since the cast washers are NOT FLAT, care must be taken to make certain that they are installed properly - the high side goes toward the nut.  The nuts must be torqued from the inside out at 55 lbs. and rechecked after getting hot and cooled off.

 

The final solution??????

 

Well, guess what - still no change.  The motor was still running on 1 cylinder.

 


 

FINAL DIAGNOSIS: (by Doug Zahn)

 


 

Being told that if that doing everything above did not fix it, replace the plugs.  And if that did not get it running ...................

 


 

FINAL PROCEDURE

 


 

All the plugs were pulled and only #2 showed any sign of firing.  The other 3 were only wet.  Wet????  That means they are now getting gas and just not firing.  Well, it just so happened that a set of new plugs were in the tool box and in they went.

 

It fired up so fast I almost wet my pants!!!  What a sound.  Nothing else sounds like a Model A.  Success at last.  A 75 mile cruise was taken the next day, May 10, 2003, with confidence that it would be a "Round Trip".

 

Evidently the manifold nuts did not pull the manifolds tight causing the gaskets to leak and fouled the plugs.  These photos show the gasket that was blown after running less than an hour.

 

 

                       image005               image001

 

You just have to take your time and eliminate one part at a time.  The Model A motor is so simple that everything MUST be right.

 


 

I want to thank each and every person that offered advice, personal experiences and sympathy during this exercise and especially Robert Wade that did almost all the mechanical work, Martin Brown in assisting Robert, Jon Haydon for his technical advice, Doug Zahn that did an excellent rebuild of the motor and offered his superb technical advice, and Bill Barlow, MAFCA Technical Director.  The paint was done by Tim Goyne, Goyne’s Body Shop in Malvern, AR and the pin stripping was done by Joey Hutson of West Monroe, LA.

 

I won 1st Place, Class M-1, Commercial Trucks to 1942 at the M.O.T.A.A.  show held June 14, 2003 on Petit Jean Mountain.  That was the true test.  This show has entries from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas & Illinois.  See lots of photos at http://www.motaa.com.  Granted, there were only 4 entries in my class, but we still won!!!!  Pulling the trailer up and down Petit Jean Mountain was exciting to say the least.  The extra 1,000 lbs. really makes a difference – both ways!!

 

I hope you enjoy my story and photos.

 

           

 

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I bought a 1928 Tudor Sedan, Type 55A in November of 1999.  It was purchased new by a mechanic in Elk City, Oklahoma.  You have heard the bailing wire stories - well that's what he did.  But, he kept it running.  There is a 1986 inspection sticker on the windshield.  Upon the death of the original owner, his family decided to sell it.  A young man, in Elk City, bought it from the estate and was planning to make a Hot Rod of it ( which would have been a criminal offense).  His wife, however, stated that she wanted her space in their garage and she was not going to park in the ice & snow. She told him that he must sell either his work pickup or the Model A.  Guess what???  Again, I was the first one there with $$$$$$$$.   He even delivered it to my brother-in-law, Ronnie Baskett in Cooperton, OK.  He drove it off the trailer!!!

This car is all original.  NO Dents, only one small rust spot AND IT RUNS!!!!  I drove it onto the trailer to bring it to Benton over the 1999 Thanksgiving Holidays.  It needs a paint job, interior & top.  I've decided to spend the next several years and do a complete, authentic restoration.  You can't depend on someone else to do anything right.  I have decided to take whatever time it takes and do it myself.  I am going to make this a museum quality, MAFCA 400+ point show car.  Time & care is the only thing different in making this a "Driver" & a "Show Winner".  All of the parts costs would be the same.  This car is complete except for very few items.  All of the plating is bad and will need to be replaced.  I stole it for $3000 (plus a $925 transmission in the ‘93 Explorer & $450 in modifications to the trailer).

This photo will give you an idea of what it looks like now.

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That's the "Original" 1928 Oklahoma tag on the front!!!!

I am active in the 50th Anniversary Model A Club, the Little Rock, Arkansas Chapter of  The Model A Ford Club of America, Member Number: 32453, and the Dixie Car Club  in Benton, Arkansas.



Donna loves bowling. She has 26 700 series & 2 300 games. Only 2 other females in Arkansas have more 300 games & only one other person (one of her team mates) has more 700 series.

She is always busy attending tournaments in Arkansas and for the Traveling Classic Bowling Association national tournament.  Her team finished 10th in the 2002 National Championship Tournament in San Antonio, TX.   The 2003 finals were in Baytown, TX May 16th, 17th & 18th.  Donna’s team finished 16th and the only team from Arkansas to make the finals.

With a team score of 3,208, Donna’s team, “G. G. Girls”, won 3rd place in the 2003 55th Annual Arkansas Women’s State Tournament held in Jonesboro.  Her team mates were Cindy Covert, Debbie Ueckman, Felicia Burlison & Peggy Cromwell.  Donna finished 5th in “All Events Scratch” with 1,761.  Team mate Felicia finished 1st in “All Events Scratch” with an 1,865 score.

Most of Donna's family is in Southwestern Oklahoma (Cooperton Valley) and Oklahoma City.  We make 2 or 3 trips a year for reunions and/or holiday get togethers.  The scheduling of the Jones’ Family reunion in Branson, Missouri will held the weekend prior of the 1500 vehicle car show in August.  Now, we will have to make 2 trips to Branson.  That's not all bad - it's a fun place.  Hopefully the scheduling will be better next year.  I plan on trailering the Model A behind our 2002 Ford Explorer because of the distance.  That will be a real blast driving the Model A around Branson.  People remember my Pickup long after the Hot Rods are gone.  I will have one of the few "original" vehicles in the show.  1497 of the rest of them are street rods, hot rods, etc.  Lots of really great cars, but not many originals.

Donna enjoys riding in the Model A's, however, will not drive one.  Maybe when the Tudor is finished I can get her to drive the Tudor while I drive the Pickup.  What a caravan!!!!


           
Our oldest son, Gary lives in Hutto, Texas and is a Paramedic & Fireman with the Georgetown, Texas Fire Department.  His fience’, Londa Freeman is a payroll manager for the State of Texas.

                  

Gary & Londa and their bikes.  Gary's bike is a Customized 1999 Harley Soft Tail Springer that he re-built after a terrible wreck.  Londa's bike is a custom with a Rubbertail frame and an 1850 S & S motor - Gary built it from pieces.  Londa bought the parts.  Gary learned to paint & pin stripe because nobody else would or could do it right.  They have entered several shows - winning 1st Place of course.  They have a "Bike" room in their new house in Hutto, Texas.  These bikes are too good for the garage!!!  Gary also works on bikes on his days off.


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Grant, our youngest son, a cook, is an E6, Staff Sergeant in the HHC Company of the 82nd Airborne in Fort Bragg, NC.  Returning May 7, 2003 from a 3 month tour in Kuwait & Iraq.  We are certainly glad for his safe return.  He has several jumps from  perfectly good airplanes.

Previously he was in the 1st Battalion, 30th Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Mechanized stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia and moved to Fort Bragg, NC in November, 2002.  Grant returned from a 6 month tour to Kosovo in May, 2002.  From there, he spent a year at Fort Lee, Virginia teaching cooking.  While there, he hosted Al Roker an was featured on the Cooking with Roker TV show.  Moving to Fort Richardson (Anchorage), Alaska in 2005 he is in the 4th Brigade, 25th Infantry (Airborne).  Currently on his 2nd tour to Iraq, he is scheduled to return in January, 2008.

 

Grant has 2 daughters, Jacquline is 13 & Katelynn is 11.

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 The newest addition to Grant’s family is Garrett Lantz.  He was born January 15, 2001.   

                         We really miss seeing them.




We smoke brisket, ribs, turkey & pork butt.  You can't get better "Q" anywhere in the world.
We always have some good eats!

                   
I have an Oklahoma Joe "Chuck wagon" smoker.  I use only "Hickory" logs for B-B-Q pork.  I have some Oak, also, but like Hickory the best.  Our nephew, Larry Don Baskett, in Southwestern Oklahoma, cuts us Mesquite that is great for grilling steaks.  In the left photo, Grant is grilling burgers & dogs at a recent car show.  That's 12 slabs of ribs in the right photo.  In addition, there is a 10# brisket & 14# turkey in the vertical section.  There was room for 2 more turkeys, but I could not afford to buy any more.

Here's Katelynn knawing on a rib bone.


We live in Benton, Arkansas and have a small business that repairs circuit board assemblies, monitors, power supplies, disk drives and other items that go into Xerox Memorywriter Typewriters & Fax Machines and IBM & Lexmark Wheelwriter Typewriters.

We sell through Dealers, worldwide, and on

using the nickname "typewriter-man".

Click here to go to the GEORGE BEYERS COMPANY  web page.



George & Donna Beyers                                    Telephone  501.776.1399
1500 Sharon Road                                                Fax            501.776.3986
Benton, AR (Arkansas) 72019-6122                      Cellular      501.776.5155 or 501.840.2000


email me at  gbeyers@ipa.net or gb@georgebeyers.com

or Donna at dgbeyers@sbcglobal.net or db@georgebeyers.com

Come back and visit, often.  I'll have more photos posted later.
 

Revised 1723 June 20, 2003