Classic Car Restoration: 1931 Model A Ford
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.
Start the car! We’re counting down 10 great Canadian road trips.