A Model of Pa­tience

It took 40 years to re­store, but this Model A Ford is a real beauty

More of Our Canada - - Wheels - by Au­drey Parker, Red Deer, Alta.

While liv­ing in Fort St. John, B.C., in 1965, my hus­band Jim pur­chased a 1931 Model A Ford truck—for $10 and a fish­ing rod. After over­haul­ing the mo­tor and hear­ing it run for the first time, Jim had to put the whole project on hold and place the truck into stor­age, as the whole fam­ily moved far­ther north for five years. In 1976, after a sub­se­quent move to Daw­son Creek, B. C., Jim brought the old truck home, but a lack of time, work space and funds pro­hib­ited Jim from re­sum­ing the restora­tion project. In 1981, the Model A was hauled to our new fam­ily acreage in South Daw­son and “tarped in” to keep it safe from the el­e­ments over the long term. Fi­nally, after re­tir­ing in 1999 and build­ing a dou­ble garage, Jim had a place to work and suf­fi­cient funds and time to spend on his long-de­layed project.

I was ad­vised early on in the project that, ac­cord­ing to the re­storer’s man­ual Jim kept handy, “It’s some­times wise not to keep track of the cost of parts and ma­te­ri­als” and that “the in­ter­est and in­volve­ment of your fam­ily is im­por­tant.” Thus, from time to time, I was called upon to hold, help or just ad­mire the work be­ing done.

Many happy and some­times frus­trat­ing hours were spent re­build­ing the en­gine, grind­ing and sanding var­i­ous parts, stretch­ing roof ma­te­rial, up­hol­ster­ing the in­te­rior, and align­ing doors and trim—not to men­tion find­ing and or­der­ing parts from Ge­orge Moir’s An­tique Auto Parts and fit­ting ev­ery­thing back to­gether again.

Early in 2005, the truck was ready for its paint job. After much dis­cus­sion about colours and trims, “Hunt Club” red with black fend­ers was de­cided upon. Bob Pratt of RSS Auto did fine body work and a mas­ter­ful paint job.

In May 2005, 40 years after pur­chase, the old Model A pickup was re­stored to its orig­i­nal shape and was ready to be li­cenced. At the 2005 Daw­son Creek Sum­mer Cruise, the Mayor’s Choice Award went to Jim and his Model A Ford. At one point, Jim had promised me that some­day we would ride in style in the Fall Fair pa­rade and on Au­gust 21, 2005, that day did in­deed ar­rive. Tak­ing the rib­bon for “Best Ve­hi­cle in Show” was so re­ward­ing for Jim.

Among the ac­co­lades that fol­lowed are be­ing named win­ner of the An­tique and Clas­sic Car cat­e­gory at 2012 Tum­bler Ridge Show and Shine, and be­ing honoured with the Mayor’s Choice Award at the same show.

We’ve re­cently moved to Red Deer, Alta., and in the fall of 2016, Jim had the Model A prop­erly reg­is­tered and li­cenced for our new home prov­ince. So, he’s ready to show his prized pos­ses­sion to all who are in­ter­ested! n

Above: Jim and his Model A in 1965. At right: Jim and his fully re­stored truck in 2006.

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