Tres Burros Garage
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An online gateway to the Model "A" Ford hobby and antique car trunks.
1929 Model "A" Ford Special Coupe

In April 2008 I spent a pleasant weekend in Oklahoma. I was smoking with a new found friend, a retired farmer from Iowa. Smokers are usually very friendly because they get more fresh air than normal people since they can't smoke inside. He had gone through Branson, MO, on his way south and had seen a car show there. He was a fan of muscle cars and I said I liked Ford Model A's. That's how it started.

Years before I had owned a 29 Ford and hoped to one day get another. He replied that his brother in-law in Colorado had one, and was going to sell it... cheap. I was hooked; I got his brother-in-law's number and decided to call him when I got back home to Texas.

The phone call surprised the seller, he had not yet advertised it and wanted to know how I knew about the car. I told him of my chance encounter with his brother-in-law. Thanks to the power of the internet I soon got pictures of the car sitting in a dark barn. From what I could see, the body had had been sanded and primed, then placed with the fenders and running boards where they looked again like a car. The car was originally from Nebraska and 10 years before had been taken apart by a father and son for restoration. It sat for 5 years before being purchased by the brother-in-law and his 3 sons as a project. There it stayed in the barn protected from the weather for 5 years. He had the title and some restoration literature as well. The previous owner had driven it home under its own power prior to disassembly.

It took me several months to trade a very heavy flat bed trailer for a lighter dual axel car hauler more suited for the trip to Colorado. I wanted to see the car before I took the 1600 plus mile round trip with the trailer. Maybe on a stopover on my planned flight to California or via some one who knew something about Model A's. However, it did not work out that way.   

Later that year, a swarm of bees gathered on a tree branch along my drive way. The bee keeper I called turned out to be an avid Model A guy! I took this as no coincidence and a good omen. My first Model A had a thriving bee hive in it when I found it thirty years before. I took it as a sign to get back into the hobby with this car. A good excuse anyway, I was going to Colorado.

I hitched up my new trailer and got on the road. A fortuitous tail wind pushed me all the way. I spent two days with friends in Denver, it rained the entire time. The car was on a farm 80 miles north of the city. The first time I saw it was inside that poorly lit barn as the storm continued to rage outside. Parts were piled on top of parts, extra fenders, wheels, sheet metal and who knows what else. The price was cheaper than quoted on the phone months earlier, however it was not anywhere near the condition I expected. I called one of my sons that had my first Model A and sent him the dark pictures taken on my phone. The price was great, I had driven 880 miles in 4 days and I wanted to get back into Model A's. I sent him the dark pictures, we talked, then another sign. Inside a bundle of parts was an old bee hive! That was enough. We loaded it onto my trailer. When we finished tying it all down it looked like more like a spider web than a car. I drove back to Denver in the rain, cold, wet and happy. I had a basket case to restore on a tap water budget, but I was back into Model As.

From 2009 to 2012, these fine gentlemen from the Dallas MAFCA Chapter helped restore Cassie's frame and running gear at Merle's Model "A" Garage. In late 2012 we acquired a "new" rebuilt motor.  Body work is next!
The brakes are all original; in this configuration it should be fairly easy to adjust any of the machinery without interference from the body or fenders.  We also don't have to worry about scratching the paint.
Our 1929 Ford Special Coupe project "Cassie" has reached critical mass.  Four years after starting the restoration the running gear rebuild is nearly complete.   
The radiator was recently rebuild at the local shop.  A new water pump and rebuilt transmission  have been mated to the engine and installed.  The frame was modified to accept modern shock absorbers.  It should provide for a nice ride.  It's great to finally get the parts off the shelf and onto the car.  
In preparation for the running gear test drive, we have built a temporary seat and dashboard/gas rig.  It looks more like a depot hack than a coupe at this point.   It's going to be a lot of fun to drive this thing around the groves.