Tag: 1929

This 1929 Durant speedster is nearly perfect, but I’d still make a few changes. Here’s how I’d build it. – David Conwill @Hemmings

This 1929 Durant speedster is nearly perfect, but I’d still make a few changes. Here’s how I’d build it. – David Conwill @Hemmings

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I noticed recently that baquets like this 1929 Durant Rugby were starting to show up in the Hemmings Classifieds. I’ve been aware of them for a few years now and it’s exciting they seem to finally be showing up in the U.S. market.

That enormous, brass fuel tank—plus all the rivets—evokes racing cars of an earlier era than the late ‘20s. This seems to a blend of several eras of pre-war motorsport into one romantic whole capable of going long distances through inhospitable Patagonia.

What’s a baquet, you say? Well, it literally means “bucket” or “tub” in a few different romance languages, but the connotation is pretty far from the kinds of cars those words conjure in English. Near as I can determine, the baquet style comes from Argentina (not coincidentally, home of those top-notch Pur Sang replicas of pre-war Bugatti and Alfa Romeo icons) and emulates the kind of rough-and-ready speedster build that was popular there in the 1930s, about the time that Grand Prix legend Juan Manuel Fangio was getting his start in a Model A baquet temporarily built from a borrowed Buenos Aries taxi.

The modern baquets are in exactly that spirit of making something glamorous and romantic out of something decidedly utilitarian. That’s fitting, as the Rugby line was actually the export nameplate for the car known in the United States as the Star—a mass-produced, low-priced competitor to the Ford Model T from 1922 to 1927. It never built the kind of volume it needed to go head to head with Ford but was a moderate success most notable for being part of GM-founder Billy Durant’s third (and final) venture into automaking.

Somebody else owned the Star brand in Great Britain, so suitable “Rugby” radiator badges were worked up and the product went forth under an assumed name. There was a Star Six (and corresponding Rugby Six), starting in 1926, when the Star was advertised as “the world’s lowest-price six,” and it looked a lot like the Four but with a 40-hp flathead six and accompanying longer hood. In the final two years of production, 1928 and 1929, there was no Star to use as a basis, so instead Durant’s Star replacement the Durant 4 was slipped behind the Rugby badge.

Jeep people aren’t the only ones who get to drive around with no doors in nice weather. This is more like a giant motorcycle than a car. Note the floor shifter setup—indicative of a side-shift transmission from a ‘40s-or-later car.

That brings us to this “1929” Rugby for sale in the Netherlands (but, says the ad, shipped “to our New Jersey warehouse” for $1,800 plus a 3-percent import duty). They don’t say it, but I virtually guarantee this car came from Argentina where it ran or was constructed to emulate the cars that run in that country’s Mille Miglia Rally through the rugged landscape of Patagonia. I put 1929 in quotes because it’s a speedster and perhaps does a good emulating of what a Rugby-based speedster built in 1929 might have looked like, but from the start (literally, the radiator) it looks more like a the original, 1924-‘27 Star-based Rugbies, rather than the Durant-based Rugby of 1928-‘29.

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Brake Drum Investigation

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The Model A has an early Ford juice brake setup rather than Henry’s original mechanical system. The car is exhibiting a bit of a brake pull under heavy braking and left front brake drum is a little scored.

I was given a drum a while back that is marked “cracked” so decided to investigate condition.

The drum has been stored in the shed for quite a while, so being cast it’s a bit rusty

Had a go at cleaning up and removing the majority of the rust

What seems to be the original wheel bearings seem to be still in place and in good shape.

Part numbers appear to be visible on the drum

Next step will be to run the drum up on a lathe to further clean the braking surface and check for cracks. But so far so good

Careful parts selection makes dry lakes-tribute 1929 Ford Model A roadster pickup appear convincing – Daniel Strohl @Hemmings

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Appearance is one thing, but to take inspiration from the days of gow jobs and dry lakes racing means careful parts selection, and this 1929 Ford Model A roadster pickup listed for sale on Hemmings.com benefited from obviously intentional and thoroughly thought-out design and engineering, from the built Ford flathead four-cylinder engine to the chassis featuring un-split wishbones. With very few concessions to modernity like the chromed alternator, all it really needs to complete its mission of appearing like a Thirties dry lakes racer is a good dusting of fine silt, applied at a speed somewhere north of 100 mph. From the seller’s description

Museum quality restoration and build of a Model A hot rod as it might have appeared at the California dry lakes racing scene in the 1930’s. Engine is an H&H rebuilt engine with full pressure oil system, balanced crank, engine sleeved to stock bore.  H&H recommended camshaft with dual Stromberg 97’s on new Thomas intake manifold. Thomas polished aluminum head, Mallory ignition, full length coated headers, electric fuel pump and 12v alternator.  Probably makes about 100hp. Transmission is Mitchel internals with synchros and 1st and 2nd gear ratios about 15% higher (Sort of like Lincoln Zepher gears behind a flathead V8).  The rear end is 3.54:1 for freeway cruising speeds.  Wheels are 16in powder coated 1936 wires with Coker Firestone type “cookie cutter” tires, shaved, balanced and indexed for each axle and position.  Has a cast dummy quick-change cover; looks great but non functional. Brakes are 1940 Ford hydraulics, with alloy air scoops on front wheels. Interior and tonneau cover is Mercedes style Hartz material.  Feels like cloth, lasts like steel.  No top (we don’t need no stinking top). Body is original with some Brookville reproduction pieces.  Paint is hardened, flat black with striping and paint details by “Styles.” No disappointments, unique period hot rod with 1400 mi since built.

The listing is here

1929 Model A Ford Sport Coupe Dash Rewire and Happy 4th July!

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Happy 4th July!

Decided it was high time the dash wiring was replaced as it was pretty much the same age as the car!

As you can see it was a bit crispy and the ignition switch wire was badly chafed and liable to cause a short.

The dash loom came from O’Neils and the ignition switch wire is a home made item with some loom braiding for protection.

Probably the biggest pain of the whole job was having to disconnect the speedo cable as removing the dash made the whole job a lot easier.

Pro-tip don’t leave your magnetic torch on the exhaust when you road test the car (ask me how I know :))

Whilst the dash was out it was a good opportunity to lubricate the speedo and tighten the ignition switch which can work loose and also make the dash light wire a bit safer as it’s showing its age.

1929 Model A Ford Sport Coupe Throttle Linkage Modification

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As part of the installation of the Scalded Dog manifold and Stromberg 97 Carb my friend Austen at Ozcraft made the throttle link you can see in the pictures above from Charlie Yapp’s plan. The link bolts to the manifold, but had a habit of coming loose and if tightened too much the throttle action would be very stiff. So, the link was drilled out a bush added along with a locknut behind the link. This allows the link to turn freely meaning the action was far more acceptable.

1929 Model A Ford Sport Coupe Running Issues Update

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After doing some research some of the symptoms of the poor running issues seemed to point to vapour locking problems

As you can see above steps were taken to add some extra heat shielding to try and combat the suspected cause of the issues. The shielding was added to the recently replaced fuel lines and additionally the electric fuel pump.

After a couple of reasonably long runs, the problem was still occurring so onto the next remedy!

After some research on the excellent HAMB forum I started to suspect the “helmet” air filter, by all accounts these are quite restrictive especially the element aspect which on some examples can at lawn mower level! So, the decision was take to revert back to the air scoop type filter that was installed when the carb and manifold were fitted. The “helmet” filter was a vanity purchase!

After one run with no air filter and a few longer runs with the scoop in facing forward mode all seems OK. So fingers crossed that the carb has now got a decent amount of air and the problem is solved.

Watch this space!

1929 Model A Sport Coupe Running Issues Part 1 (Don’t Use Nitrile Fuel Line!)

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When the Stromberg 97 was first installed the Model A ran flawlessly, but of late after 10 or so miles it begins to detonate, over fuel and become very difficult to drive.

Suspecting possible vapour lock, the fuel pipes were inspected to facilitate the installation of some heat insulation.

Once I looked a bit closer I noticed that the nitrile fuel line installed less than a year ago had perished quite badly.

This was both disappointing and scary due to the possible increased fire risk, what happened you may ask, not 100% sure but suspect ethanol fuel and nitrile fuel line don’t agree!

So before anything else could be done the nitrile line had to be replaced.

Gates #3225 Multifuel line was used as it’s supposed to be safe for use with ethanol and as you can see above it’s far better quality.

I’ll be keeping a very close eye on the new line to see any deterioration.

It took a no-holds-barred restoration to turn a patched-up 1929 Model A Standard Coupe into a prize winner – Mike McNessor @Hemmings

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Photography by Matt Litwin; Restoration Photography by Bruce LeFebvre

The Ford Model A’s good looks and low price of admission attracted millions of buyers before and after World War II. In later postwar years, those same qualities made the A one of the world’s most popular collector cars.

As a restoration project, you can’t beat a Model A: They’re simple, they’re supported by a vast network of specialists, and parts are widely available. That’s why hobbyists fixed ’em up decades ago and why many of those same Model A’s are being restored a second or third time by hobbyists today.

Here’s our feature car, circa-2012, as found on eBay by owner Bruce LeFebvre. The exterior looked solid, but the green paint was concealing a lot of makeshift body repair work.

Bruce LeFebvre, the owner/restorer of this month’s stunning Bonnie Gray and Chelsea Blue 1929 Model A Standard Coupe, is a history buff and had always admired the Model A’s styling. “They look cool,” he says. “And Henry Ford was a fascinating character who really put America on wheels.”

Bruce wasn’t what you would call a Model A expert when he started shopping for one of his own about a decade ago, but over the course of this project, he gained a lot of knowledge.

“I didn’t know my ass from my elbow about Model A’s, but I knew I wanted one,” he says. “I saw one online located in a town called Peculiar, Missouri—so I bought it for $6,500, then my friend Roger Parrott and I spent almost 10 days going out and back to get it.”

The coupe’s four-cylinder was treated to a rebuild and pressed back into service. A breakerless ignition stands in for the points and condenser, inside the stock distributor. Period accessory touches include a mount for the oil can and an Auto Lite heater.

Bruce’s reasonably priced, online auction fi nd was a nice-looking car, though maybe a little worn and in need of attention. It had already been converted to hydraulic brakes —a selling point and something which would’ve been on Bruce’s to-do list anyway. Outside, the car wore aged green paint and inside there was what looked like water stains on the upholstery. Some fresh interior pieces, some paint, and some general sprucing should have brought it back to like-new condition — or so Bruce thought. But once back at his shop in Connecticut, a teardown revealed a lot of hidden rust, wood rot, and some hasty body repairs, too.

“When I first saw the car, it didn’t look bad at all,” Bruce says. “But once we started taking it apart—we took the headliner out, the seats out, and the side panels —you could see it was packed with body filler and there was haphazard fiberglass work that looked like bandages holding it together

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Landon Rush’s ’29 Ford Flathead Pickup – Garage Hotrods

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Landon Rush likes to keep busy. He’s a husband, a father, an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran who is still serving in the National Guard, and he owns five, no wait… I think it’s six, hot rods. I’m really excited to have one of those hot rods in GHR, his very cool and very classic Flathead powered 1929 Ford Roadster Pickup.

“I’ve only had the pickup about a year,” Landon told me. “It was a quick build. I had a hot rod years ago, then I got into customs and trucks, and I wanted to get another hot rod. I saw this on Criag’s List. I sold my ‘58 Chevy truck to pick it up. I blew it all apart and quickly redid everything.”

And Landon wasn’t kidding about redoing everything. Body, frame, engine, transmission, rear end, suspension, interior – the whole works. It was amazing to me that he did it all in one year.

“The one thing I have going for me is that I work quick,” he said. “I try to do quality work in the least amount of time without taking any shortcuts. I get ’em done so I can enjoy them.”

Of course the Flathead engine between the frame rails caught my eye. It’s a 1950 OB8 model, displacing 239 cubic inches. It has all new ISKY internals and Edelbrock aluminum heads and intake manifold. That manifold has two Stromberg 97 two-barrel carbs, complete with vintage scoops from Lucky Burton of Lucky’s Speed Equipment Parts (@luckyburton on Instagram), mounted on it.

And just in case you haven’t been paying attention, that’s a ‘29 Ford with a Flathead engine, dual Strombergs, and ISKY and Edelbrock components. Can you get a more classic hot rod than that?

The Flathead’s exhaust is also vintage. The chromed exhaust headers mount up to a megaphone exhaust pipe that Landon constructed from cutting a 1935 Ford driveshaft in half. “That’s what they were doing back back in the 50s,” Landon told me. “They’d take the driveshaft and chop it in half and use that to make the lake pipes.” He welded a 90 degree bend with a flange on to the header and the megaphone exhaust pipe bolts to the flange.

I asked Landon if he had any mufflers in that exhaust. “No,” he said. “It’s straight pipe. And it’s got a little bit of a lope because of the ISKY cam. I like to get on it. It’s loud as sh…”

Well let’s just say Landon said it can be really loud.

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1929 Model A Ford Sport Coupe Front Brake Maintenance

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Since the juice brakes were updated not long after I got the car, one of the previous owners had changed the standard Model A mechanical brakes to hydraulic (juice) brakes. They had used the earlier brakes and I converted to the later 39-48 version which in my experience are easier to maintain. The reason for taking a look at the front brakes was that the passenger side front was grabbing a little when cold.

All the the shoes were cleaned up with abrasive paper, the shoe touch points and adjusters lubricated. The drivers side front brake drum is showing signs of wear from previous brake shoe wear issues. A new drum will be sourced as well as a set of shoes. After the inspection the drums were refitted, wheel bearings repacked and the brakes adjusted. Wheels were then refitted ensuring that the wheel protection rings were fitted between the wheels and brake drums. These rings stop the wire wheels from cracking. Wheel bearings were adjusted and split pins fitted, then brakes were adjusted.

Whilst working on the front brakes I took the opportunity to adjust the cables on the excellent Cling handbrake system. Details here