Met a neighbor today….

28Apr06

While out taking Leo for a lunchtime walk, I once again saw my around-the-corner neighbor outside working on his antique Ford. This time, I decided to go over and introduce myself.

Jim is a retired tool and die man who says he has had a passion for Ford Model As since he was a kid. He quit working about 4 years ago and looks to be somewhere in his late 60s or early 70s.

He already has a restored example in his attached garage; that one is a sedan, while the one he’s currently working on is a coupe with a rumble seat.

The car was purchased a few years ago in a state of partial restoration. All of the filling in the body had been done with lead, and the coachwork is phenomenal. There’s not a ripple to be seen anywhere in the body at all, which has a beautiful coat of dark maroon paint.

Jim is currently rebuilding the engine and considering altering the transmission with a syncromech, although he says the cost is probably going to be prohibitive. The interior is bare metal right now, and the dashboard is missing; you can see into the engine compartment from inside the body shell. It’s obvious the car will be a museum piece when he’s finished; the attention to detail is striking. He has a new reproduction rear bumper on the car now, which he says appears to be a couple of inches short. The cylinder head was resting on the frame at the front of the car today; it’s been machined and appears to be ready to bolt up.

There are enough car enthusiasts (or the evidence of them, judging by all the covered vehicles I see in garages while out on walks) in the neighborhood to start a car club – maybe ‘Hatherly Area Auto Enthusiasts’ or something like that. Maybe someday that idea will take root.

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