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A's Two Ways

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Joined: 12 Feb 2004
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Location: Kansas City, MO

PostPosted: Sat, Aug 24 2013, 5:42 pm    Post subject: A's Two Ways Reply with quote

Last weekend we headed over to Eastern IA and made a stop at the Amana Colonies. Amana is right off I 80 just to the West of Iowa City. Once upon a time it was a German "utopian" communal society. Today it's old buildings, good German restaurants, and shipping...everything from tourist trap throw aways to locally smoked meats to hand crafted furniture.

As it happens the Iowa Model A society was having an event that day. I didn't take pics of many of them because they were mostly your garden variety, stock Model A's. A couple of them really made me glad to have a camera along, though.

The first is this bright yellow racer that looks like the surest way to feel like you're going 100mph at half that speed other than a go kart. The workmanship was really nice, fit and finish was good, and it had a bunch of cool little details. The area under the seats was filled with leather, the floors were based on wood framing and wood underfoot. No one was around the car so I don't know much about it.

I met a stranger whose attention was captured by these cars. You could see him toying with thoughts that it might be fun to have one to take out on nice days. I answered what questions I could, giving him some idea the performance capabilities, pointing out you can do virtually any maintenance required with basic hand tools, showed him the difference between a 28-29 cowl and a 30-31 cowl...he asked a lot of good questions.

I was with him when we walked up on this second car, an actual hot rod survivor! The owners were camped right behind the car and I talked with them for quite a while. It was her Grandfather's car, built originally in 1958 with a flathead and updated to a 327 Corvette motor in 1966. Shortly after that it became a parade car and one of the details speaks to the backyard engineering that I saw throughout the car. To help it cool at parade crawl they put an underdash A/C unit under the back of the car and piped coolant through it. With an electric fan it provided enough cooling boost to drive in parades.

About 40 years ago the car was parked in the barn and left there. Now Grandpa is gone and the car has been passed down. These folks said their first thought was to blow the car apart and rebuild it, but everyone they talked to wisely told them to fix any mechanical defects, clean it up, and drive it. That's what they did...go through the running gear, have the whole car polished and detailed, and get a new top stitched. They're very happy with the way it drives and Des Moines to Amana was its first road trip, cruising easily at highway speed.

Rodding is alive and well I dare say. In an hour I met a guy who's being bitten by the bug and a couple who just became the proud owners of a rodding relic. It was a good day.

That's the husband of the owner sitting behind the car. The first time he drove it at highway speed it suddenly occurred that he was driving 65mph on tires over 40 years old! A call to Coker followed.
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Want to feel like you're going REALLY fast? This looks like a great way to do it.
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Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength. Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)
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