Long Promised Ride in the Model A

When I first imported the Model A over three years ago I promised my Aunt Noreen a ride in the car and finally today I delivered on the promise 🙂

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Joe Jagersberger (Rajo Joe) Hot Rod Pioneer

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Joe Jagersberger came to the USA from Austria and began working for Case Corporation in Racine Wisconsin to assist in developing a race car programme.

Whilst working for Case Jagersberger was a regular race competitor including racing at the Indianapolis 500. He continued to race until 1911 eventually becoming victim to a career ending crash after which he spent several months in hospital and resulted in an amputation of his right leg.

Despite his injuries he continued to work at Case as a consultant. He continued to design cylinder heads and other peripherals eventually starting his own company under the famous Rajo brand. The name of the brand was formed from the RA of Racine and the JO from his first name.

Rajo started off by producing spark plugs and various other items. They then moved into producing  performance cylinder heads for Ford Model T and Model A cars.

The first design was the Model 30 which had 4 exhaust ports and one intake port all on the right side of the head. The Model 31 had two intakes on the right and four exhaust on the left. The Model 35C, first known as the “Improved Rajo Valve-in-Head” and later as the Model C had two intakes and three exhausts on the right. The Model A used the stock intake ports on the block. It had two exhaust ports on the right. His Model B two intakes on the right and four exhausts on the left. It came in three versions. The BB featured a higher compression ratio and the BB-R also included two spark plugs per cylinder.

He also offered a modification to the 1941-52 Chevrolet “stovebolt” L6 OHV 15 bolt head, which added another set of 3 intake ports above the 3 originals, to permit adding (an) extra carburetor(s) on a separate manifold.

Jagersberger died in 1952. The company closed in 1980.

Rajo equipment is still very much sought after and command very high prices amongst the traditional hot rod community

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Here on Hemmings are some great examples of  period Rajo powered racers

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1925 Ford Faultless RaJo Racer

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1922 Ford Model T Indy Board Track Racer

There are also some interesting Rajo ephemera items to be found on sites such as eBay

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Sources Wikipedia, Hemmings, trackforum.com

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rajo_Motor_and_Manufacturing

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Jagersberger

 

 

 

 

Crossing the Channel – Replacing 1929 Model A Ford Window Channels

I’ve been meaning to sort out the perished windows channels on the Model A, so I headed over to John Cochran’s for some expert assistance.

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Once we had removed the door trims it was very interesting to find the details from the trim manufacturer from 20 years ago! I may research the detail to see if I can get a bead on who owned the car back then. I’ve tried writing to the owner listed on the title but sadly got no reply.

It was great to drive home with slightly less rattles thanks to John!

Shiny, Shiney

Gave the A a bit of a wash and brush up after the indignity of the recovery truck a few weeks back.

Zymol, Meguiars, Autoglym

Shiny, Shiny Model A

Wash and dry, Zymol Wax Prep, Meguiars Wax and Autoglym Fast Glass

Back to the Future (well kinda :)) Part 1

After the breakdown on the way to Wheels Day 2017 and some diagnosis the Pertronix module was the culprit (well the symptom anyway :))

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This is the second module failure, so it’s back to points which as least can be fixed on the road. I’ve gone for the “modern points” setup by Nu-Rex, “modern” is pretty amusing as the new plate contains the 1957 onward Ford V8 points as opposed to the original 1929 setup.

Before I began I set the timing to TDC via the timing pin as per usual on the Model A I then started to remove the Pertronix system

During removal I found that the lower distributor plate had been deleted, a bit annoying as I’d ordered the upper plate from O’Neills. Luckily John Cochran had a used item I could use (thanks John :))

I’d also ordered the recommended longer pigtail for the lower plate, this is recommended to alleviate the stress on the original which is a little short and often fails due to fatigue. So after desoldering and drilling the old pigtail was removed. Then it was a matter of a little cleaning and soldering to get the new item fitted. As my car has no pop out ignition switch I further modified the plate to securely fix the hot cable to the plate by drilling the dimple which was designed to contact the original pop out switch.

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Once all the modifications were completed I installed the plate into the distributor.

Lower plate installed

Lower plate installed

The pigtail was connected to the points contact ensuring that the connector was not able to accidentally ground to the distributor housing.

Also checked that the timing advance lever was in the fully retarded setting at this point

Next the upper plate was installed taking care to wrap the pigtail around the cam spring whilst making sure not to pinch the cable.

The upper plate will only install one way into the tabs and groove and should turn freely.

Nu-Rex Modern Points Upper Plate Installed

Nu-Rex Modern Points Upper Plate Installed

See the next episode for rewiring, points adjustment, timing and hopefully an engine start.

What’s the point(s)!

After a few days preparation, a good road test and Simon’s assistance with clutch adjustment we were ready for our annual trip to Wheels Day in Aldershot, well we thought we were…

Things started to feel a little strange on the M4, but we put that down to a GAV adjustment as after a tweak things improved. However the car cut out and restarted after we came off the motorway, we managed to get around another couple of miles and then broke down with a bang and no restart this time. We had fuel but no spark, the Pertronix electronic ignition module had failed, this is the second such failure in the three years that I’ve had the car.

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A very wise man named John Cochran did suggest that I stick to points a couple of years ago, I took the “if it ain’t broke” approach, well now it’s broke and I’ll be reverting to points!

Luckily my friend John Barron was travelling with me to the show, and his personal AA cover ensured we got home safely and very efficiently (thanks again John!)

Hats off to the the two AA staff that helped us today, customer service at its finest. Suffice to say I joined when I got home!

Ammeter Change & Dash Polish

Wheels Day 2017 is coming up on Friday so I’ve been doing a bit of prep. I’ve been meaning to change & rewire the ammeter for a while. The unit the car came with was a 20 amp example which hadn’t been rewired during the change to 12 volt/alternator and negative earth by a previous owner.

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The new 30 amp unit is of course a repop as is the dash. The existing 20 amp was a better fit in the dash than the new 30 amp. So the answer was to swap the bezel from the 20 amp to the 30 meaning a better fit in the dash. I also needed to reverse the wiring so it reads correctly.

Whilst I was about it I gave the dash a clean with metal polish and WD40. I think it looks great and has a nice patina.

Sears Allstate Tyres

Looking at John’s Leatherback the other night I noticed that it had a really old set of Sears Allstate tyres fitted.

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Did a bit of research on the Allstate brand and found an article on the Sears archive here and below

Today, when people think of Allstate, they think of automobile insurance. Over the years, however, Sears used the Allstate brand name on a wide variety of products for the automobile, from spark plugs to rebuilt automobile engines.

The Allstate brand began in 1925 as part of a national contest to name Sears’ new brand of automobile tires. Public response in the contest was overwhelming. Before it was over, 937,886 people submitted a total of 2,253,746 names. Entries came from every state and in 25 different languages. Hans Simonson of Bismarck, N.D., received a $5,000 cash prize for his winning entry Allstate.

In 1926, Sears adopted the trademark Allstate for initial use on automobile tires and tubes. The tires-guaranteed for 12,000 miles-quickly became big sellers in the catalog and at the new Sears, Roebuck and Co. retail stores (which first opened in 1925). Sears Chairman General Robert E. Wood credited the Allstate tire with making an important contribution to the success of Sears’ retail store program.

Sears formed the Allstate Insurance Company on April 17, 1931. Allstate offered low rates, available to customers through direct-mail sales (Sears catalogs) and through sales booths in Sears stores. Allstate eventually expanded into fire insurance.

The highpoint for the Allstate brand came in the 1950s and 1960s, when the brand appeared on a wide range of products, including garage door openers, fire extinguishers, motor scooters and camper shells. During these years, before seatbelts, heaters, radios, and air conditioners became standard equipment on automobiles, Sears offered a complete line of these accessories under the Allstate brand.

In 1952, Sears introduced the Allstate automobile. Built by the Kaiser-Frazer Corporation, the Allstate automobile came in two models: The Standard ($1,395) and the Delux ($1,796) models came with a choice of optional four- or six-cylinder engines and a transmission overdrive. All automobiles came with a 90-day guarantee. As popular as the insurance and accessories were, however, few people wanted to buy an entire car with the Allstate name. Disappointing sales caused the Allstate automobile to disappear from Sears stores after 1953.

By the end of the 1960s, Sears limited the Allstate brand name to insurance, tires, and automobile batteries. By the mid-1970s, Sears no longer used the Allstate brand on merchandise. In 1995, Allstate became completely independent after Sears divested its remaining shares to Sears’ stockholders, ending the company’s 70-year relationship with the brand it created.

Source

Sears Archive

 

An Update Visit to John’s!

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Popped over to see my good friend Mr Cochran this evening.

John has a really nice 1929 Model A Fordor Leatherback that he imported from the States which hadn’t run since the 70’s.

This car is possibly the most original Model A I’ve ever seen, the car had been sat in a barn for many years. As you can see and hear, John now has the car running beautifully!