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Turn Back Time

with Greg Stokes

Back in April, my work horse Chev pickup blew the transmission so my daily driver for just on three weeks was my 1929 Ford Model A tudor. In an era where we are now been forced into electric cars, watch emissions and climate change, it truly was a case of turning back time as I used the old Model A each day. Car enthusiasts in particular always have a hankering for the past and the nostalgia around it and the desire to own an all original non hot rodded was a strong one for me.

Sure, I am a member of the Pukekohe Hot Rod Club and have grown up around rodding, but I am also a member of the North Island Model A Ford Club and also the Model T Ford Club of New Zealand - I enjoy it all.

For nearly three weeks driving the Model A every day, it was an absolute treat to slide behind the wheel and immediately be taken to earlier and simpler times. These things were designed to go anywhere and mostly on gravel roads. The start procedure is always a gamble on 6 volt charging. Fuel tap on, ignition on, spark lever retarded, hit the foot starter and pull the choke. If all goes well then that beautiful chuffing sound only a four cylinder Model A engine can make is music to the ears. Adjusting the spark advance accordingly and off we go. The three speed non syncro gearbox makes for doubling the clutch to prevent grinding into gear.

A comfortable cruising speed is 50-55mph and all things considered, the Model A is very easy to drive and manage in todays traffic. The mechanically operated brakes slow things down well if adjusted correctly. For kicks I opted to drive out to the recent Hot Rods & Horsepower Show at Pukekohe from my home in Kumeu. Fair to say the old girl went there and back without a hitch sitting at 55mph most of the way which is pretty cool for nearly a 90 plus year old car.

This particular car was found in Nevada, USA and we believe it was mechanically restored recently but when it came time to the paint there was obviously a reaction or something with the paint. BUT, that’s totally okay as I didn’t want an immaculate car which I would worry about where I parked it or how I used it. It had to be a car which the dog could ride in the back too and she seems to love it as well. Needless to say, it is all a lot of fun and takes us back to simpler and more carefree times.

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