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Old 08-02-2015, 02:50 PM   #1
Nathan_1929
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Default My 1929 Closed Cab Pickup Project

Howdy folks. I'm Nathan; 29 years old (at time of writing), and admirer of old machines.

This thread will be about my 1929 Closed Cab Pickup project I recently bought.

First, for those who like stories, my history with Model As:

My first experience with a Model A was being aware that the dusty, disassembled car shape in the back of the shed for my whole life was a "Model A." I knew it was my grandpas, but he died when I was quite young. I never saw anyone pay it any attention.. and neither did I, really.

That is, until I was a teenager and still bitter about a breakup with my girlfriend. Haha. I decided spending time in the shed would help heal the wounds, and investigating just what the heck this Model A thing is would be a good avenue to pursue.

So, the story was: My grandpa had a Model A before WWII. Upon returning from the Pacific theater, he wanted to, and did, get another. A 1929 Tudor. He used to give folks rides into town. Sometime ~30+ years ago, it was stored in my his mothers shed. Work was being done on her house (floors?, roof?) and it is believed that one of the workers took an interest in it. Whoever it was hooked a rope to the Model A and the other end to their truck, and after stealing an old farm scale and a few other things, took off with the loot. The thief/thieves made it a couple miles down the road before the rope snapped. The A crashed into a ditch where it rolled onto its side. As luck would have it, 1) the car suffered fairly minor damage (rear fender cracked and frame horns were bent), and 2) the ditch was in front of my grandmothers brothers house, and he yelled out to asked the guys where they got the car. They took off, leaving it. The car ended up back at my grandfathers house.

My uncle then began disassembly for restoration. He got it about 1/3 disassembled before work stopped. I have a bunch of pictures of the before condition, my work, and my uncles work, but I'll only include a few since this thread isn't specifically about the Tudor.

[Find picture]

My grandfather died in 1994, and the Model A was given to that uncle. In 2006, I began my work on the car, which sparked my uncles interest. My funds were limited, but my heart was in the right place.

[Find picture]

Thanksgiving of 2010, my uncle took it to his shop, and it's currently being nut-and-bolt restored.

[Find picture]

Last time I saw it:

[Find picture]

Yet, this was bittersweet. Now that the family A is in good hands, I needed my own. I would look on craigslist and ebay, but having a lot of projects, I wasn't 100% sure I needed a large one. I can fit quite a few vintage motorcycles in the same space of a vintage car.. I still kept an eye out just in case.

February 25th of this year, Craigslist had what I was looking for. I braved the snow, ice, and cold in the middle-of-nowhere in Illinois, and found my A. The price was right, too. Took this less-than-stellar cell phone shot once we got to the nearest gas station.



It's not in the best shape, but I honestly don't care. I think I'll get more looks/conversations from a rusty old truck than a shiny one. Plus, it's cheaper that way. Haha.

It's missing the cloth top, interior, and glass. I have all sheet metal and am simultaneously rebuilding a spare engine and transmission we had in the shed. The other missing items in this picture actually all fit in the bed of my Silverado. I later found out the both the radiator and gas tank are "beyond repair." That's not preferred, but not devastating. I plan on keeping this pickup forever, so the cost will wash out in the end.

More stories and pictures are to come. I think this post is long enough for now.

Edit: Why are some of my words turning into hyperlinks?
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Old 08-02-2015, 05:29 PM   #2
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Default Re: My 1929 Closed Cab Pickup Project

I hope you didn't do the doors an injury with those tie down straps through the windows like that but congratulations just the same. You're right, a repaired but not restored vehicle will always attract more attention at a show. Hopefully not the Police though!!
You will get years of fun out of that P/U, much more than the work you put into it.
Plenty of great advice here on the barn too.
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Old 08-02-2015, 07:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: My 1929 Closed Cab Pickup Project

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I hope you didn't do the doors an injury with those tie down straps through the windows like that
I see your concern. Fortunately, the straps were just tight enough to stay in place and keep everything roughly together. The body was loosely placed on the frame with a few bolts that were just placed in convenient holes, no nuts. The vehicle itself was held in place via straps to the frame.
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Old 08-02-2015, 07:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: My 1929 Closed Cab Pickup Project

Great looking truck..what a neat find!

Looking forward to future posts.

Randy
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Old 08-02-2015, 08:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: My 1929 Closed Cab Pickup Project

I "think" the hyper links appear to facilitate the SEARCH FEATURE??
Bill W.
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Old 08-02-2015, 09:22 PM   #6
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Great looking truck. Attached are some pictures of my 1929 CCPU that I sort of customized in high school days (1950's) and what it now has become.

Will have to get the pictures on next post. Messed up this one.
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Old 08-02-2015, 09:29 PM   #7
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Default Re: My 1929 Closed Cab Pickup Project

As you can see, it did not end up as a 1929 CCPU but it did work out OK. But is was a fun project.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg The Orginal in The Dalles1.jpg (65.9 KB, 102 views)
File Type: jpg The way it was when I started.jpg (64.6 KB, 90 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_7612.jpg (74.2 KB, 90 views)
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Old 08-03-2015, 06:30 AM   #8
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Default Re: My 1929 Closed Cab Pickup Project

Way to go Nathan!
Enjoy your project and welcome to the hobby.
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: My 1929 Closed Cab Pickup Project

Thanks, everybody! I'm sure we'll get to know each other over the course of this project and any other threads I pop into. Hope to make some friends.

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As you can see, it did not end up as a 1929 CCPU but it did work out OK. But is was a fun project.
Nice looking project! Call me crazy, but... what's the story on the "dualies"? I think that looks kinda cool.
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:23 PM   #10
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Default Re: My 1929 Closed Cab Pickup Project

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Originally Posted by Nathan_1929 View Post
Thanks, everybody! I'm sure we'll get to know each other over the course of this project and any other threads I pop into. Hope to make some friends.



Nice looking project! Call me crazy, but... what's the story on the "dualies"? I think that looks kinda cool.
I thought they looked great in old high school days also. I used them to climb hills on my Dads place-gave a little more traction. Also note the exhaust pipe going out the hood. That was a problem to get that hole plugged up when I restored it being I knew nothing about welding.
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:33 PM   #11
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I thought they looked great in old high school days also. I used them to climb hills on my Dads place-gave a little more traction.
Are they just two sets of stock wheels with spacers between?
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:34 PM   #12
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Default Re: My 1929 Closed Cab Pickup Project

To continue the story:

I left the truck on the trailer in the shed until winter started to thaw. Removing everything to get it to this point was actually really easy. No bolts were seized. Surprising.





Existing engine may one day prove to be of some use, but I've been slowly preparing another one for the time where I had my own project.

Based on the degree of dust and rust, I think it sat out for a long time, then was hauled down a gravel road in the rain.

Out of curiosity, I popped the top after having to remove a couple studs.





The gas tank has some holes, so I removed it and took it to a local shop, along with the radiator from this truck, and a spare radiator I had. Local shop couldn't fix any of it. I took the radiators to a different local shop for a second opinion and mailed the tank to someone who specializes in this kind of work. Second local shop wouldn't work on them and I heard back from the specialist that the tank is too far gone.

Dang. Well, I'm not throwing anything away, but.. I guess I have to buy replacements. It'd be nice to just fix what I have and bolt it back up. Oh well, maybe one day when these become a little more rare than they already are.



Concurrently, I had the my primary block (I have probably 4 of these now) fixed up, cracks welded, threads repaired, cylinders bored to next size, hardened seats installed, milled.



Had my primary head fixed up similarly.



Started accumulating/installing parts.

[Find picture]

I took the block to get the babbit poured by a guy in central Illinois. Any folks in the area looking for this work, let me know and I'll send you his info. We need to support these guys, there aren't too many left.

I don't have any decent pictures yet, but everything came out well. I had the crank ground, cam ground, babbit mains and rods poured, installed the pistons, installed new fiber gear and nut. I have modern valves and adjustable lifters, and.. every other dang thing I can think of.. ready to be installed. I have a transmission (minus shift tower) ready to go, too.

But then I got a new job 2000 miles away. So, I had to roll it back in the barn and collect parts/knowledge until I get back to town to work on it. I'll be back in a month and will take some more detailed pics for y'all.



In the background is an antique Jaeger cement mixer project I was working on at the same time (and got running that day).
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Old 08-04-2015, 10:00 PM   #13
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Default Re: My 1929 Closed Cab Pickup Project

GREAT project...keep us posted we love pictures!!!! plenty of opinions and advice here! don't be ashamed to ask......
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Old 08-05-2015, 11:21 AM   #14
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Default Re: My 1929 Closed Cab Pickup Project

Quote:
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Are they just two sets of stock wheels with spacers between?
The duel wheels is a typical farmer, high school kid's (me in the 50"s) method of getting duel wheels on his A. I took a piece of cast iron pipe that fit in the wheel hub, cut it to length, and then wired the wheels together spoke to spoke with heavy wire. Man did I have a time straightening those spokes when I restored the rig.
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Old 08-05-2015, 11:40 AM   #15
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Default Re: My 1929 Closed Cab Pickup Project

Nathan...welcome to this fascinating hobby and for sharing your new adventure and great photos! You will find and make many new friends on the Ford road ahead
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Old 12-04-2016, 08:53 PM   #16
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Default Re: My 1929 Closed Cab Pickup Project

Looks like I'm going to have to go back and re-link all my old pictures.

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I don't have any decent pictures yet, but everything came out well. I had the crank ground, cam ground, babbit mains and rods poured, installed the pistons, installed new fiber gear and nut. I have modern valves and adjustable lifters, and.. every other dang thing I can think of.. ready to be installed.
Sorry for letting this thread fall off the face of the earth. I've returned with updates.



Test-fiting the valves after installing camshaft, adjustable lifters, and one-piece valve guides.





Lapping the valves.



Springs/keepers/retainers installed.



Setting valve gap as a function of lift. Easier to do now than when it's in the truck, although I'm sure adjustments will be necessary.



This carb was solid rust covered in grease/dirt, abandoned, to never see the light of day again. I'll give it another shot at life.

Everything actually came right apart and the inside was surprisingly good. In fact, I'm going to keep the original venturi in it because 1) it looks fine, and 2) it's stuck and would require a special puller that I don't feel like making/buying.



I decided to use a phosphoric acid treatment from Rustoleum. The bottle said it works in 30 minutes, but that seemed too optimistic to me, so I let it sit for an hour. Worked great!



A wire brush and some elbow grease finished it off. Then, paint and reassembly.



I picked up a tank locally (Los Angeles) and had it boiled out and sealed. It's tough to find a shop in California that does this kind of work still.. but Gardena Radiator hooked me up.



I went back to Missouri (where the truck is) and pulled the original engine.. without a hoist. That required throwing a strap over the barn roof beam, attaching a come-along and a chain, and inching it up. More like half-inching, actually.



There was a typo on the title paperwork for it, and I had to bring it to an inspection station to get the VIN re-inspected. I asked if it had to be assembled. No. Ok.



I was messing around with the old engine. Removed the crankshaft bolts, stood it vertically, and tried to lift the 65lb flywheel off. The rust on the crank locating/dowel pins refused to budge and lifted the whole ~400lb assembly. Impressive.



I also prepared a transmission I had sitting around. Clean-up, paint, and new bearings.



I was back in town for Thanksgiving and working on the truck. If I follow my self-imposted schedule, I could have this running/driving by the end of the year. Odds of following the schedule? 50/50.. especially since the weather might not hold out for my big sand-blasting/painting ideas.



Rebuilt the water pump:



Rebuilt the oil pump with new bushings, gears, gaskets, and fasteners:



Rebuilt the distributor:



Lots more work to do over Christmas break.

I'm going to sandblast/paint the frame and install the engine. I'm currently working on steering components, and... rebuilding a 1930 A engine I had sitting around.
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Old 12-04-2016, 09:31 PM   #17
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Default Re: My 1929 Closed Cab Pickup Project

Way to go Nathan, keep up the great work.
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Old 12-04-2016, 09:47 PM   #18
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Great Job! Way to Go! All will be very proud of the end results!
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Old 12-04-2016, 10:20 PM   #19
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Very nice work and progress.
You will need to rotate the tranny rear bearing retainer though so the grease fitting is assessable from the bottom side.
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Old 12-04-2016, 10:31 PM   #20
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Thanks guys.

Quote:
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You will need to rotate the tranny rear bearing retainer though so the grease fitting is assessable from the bottom side.
Good call. It actually isnt even bolted on for that picture.. just propped up against the trans.
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Old 12-05-2016, 12:48 AM   #21
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Nice work, love the before and after pics. I'm following along and looking forward to more updates.
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Old 12-05-2016, 01:41 AM   #22
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Yes, one of the best resto posts yet, well done.
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Old 12-09-2016, 06:09 AM   #23
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Nice pictures. Looks like a fun project.
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Old 12-09-2016, 09:59 AM   #24
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Your old gas tank that is too far gone would be great for a hot rod project, so they don't cut up a good tank to add gauges.
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Old 12-09-2016, 04:06 PM   #25
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Your old gas tank that is too far gone would be great for a hot rod project, so they don't cut up a good tank to add gauges.
Don't you hate to see a good tank ruined that way?!?!
On the other hand, I know a guy whose tank was no good and he put a modern tank underneath the chassis and installed a fuel pump. Not a show car but a VERY good goer.
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Old 12-23-2016, 03:56 PM   #26
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For both Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks, I spend the vast majority of my time working on the truck. I see some family by the fact that I'm staying with them, but I've not seen any friends. Maybe I don't have friends? Who needs friends when you have a Model A, anyway!?

A month ago, I was here:



I have my days laid out such that I could feasibly have the truck running/driving by the end of the year. Yes, I know that's a week away. But, I'm not going to sacrifice quality for a self-imposed schedule. This isn't a reality tv show. I'm just glad that I've come this far while living 2000 miles away from it. If it doesn't run in 2016, I'll be ok.

I've told myself that while I'm not interested in the cosmetics of the body, I want to at least clean up the drivetrain while I'm rebuilding it. Better to do it now while it's all taken apart. If the weather would hold out, I will finish sandblasting the frame since it's too big to fit in my cabinet. Wednesday would have been the absolute PERFECT day to do it, but I spent hours rebuilding every component of my Harbor Freight tank a dozen times. No wonder someone gave it to me. I think it's set up to work for one minute per every hour of fiddling with it.



I'm painting driveline components in Por15 chassis paint. It says you can paint directly over rust, but that would be cheesy as hell. I'm painting engine components in Ford green or high-temp black where necessary.

Now that I've finally (hopefully) got the blaster tank dialed in, I'm going to also clean up the wheels. With clean wheels coming up, I bought some more motivation:



Speaking of sandblasting, I've been hunched over my cabinet for several hours each day. Load parts, blast them, clean them, paint them, repeat. It would be a little more bearable if I could see through more than 1 square inch of the corner of my cabinets window. I have to crane my neck over and turn off the shop lights to be able to see through the scratched window.



Freeing up the original fuel shut off with heat and ultrasonic waves:



I don't sandblast things that will see the inside of the engine or that act as bearing surfaces. I do a lot of wire wheeling and scraping on a lot of parts, including the oil pan. I've never changed the oil in biscuit form before:



Also, I stated earlier that I would be using a head I've already cleaned up. Well, with the plan evolving (as explained below), and with the original head having cleaned up like this.. I'm keeping the trucks original head with the truck.



Concurrently, I've decided that now is the time to rebuild another block I have kicking around the shop. I have no body/frame for it, and frankly I don't want one right now, but might as well build two engines at the same time. The top picture is from 2009 when I first started thinking about that blocks future and started scraping some dirt off. The bottom is from earlier this week. It's been bored .060 over, decked, seats ground (not hardened inserts, I'm just going to see how it goes), and new 1-piece guides installed. I'm planning on taking it to the babbitt guy next week. Yes, I can machine it for main bearing inserts, but I want to keep as much of it as original for as long as I can. It needs another bath.



With two blocks in work, I had two flywheels faced. Before and after:



..and another thing: I am going to personalize my pickup a little. It's not going to be a ratrod because I'm not going to unnecessarily chop it or throw on a tractor grill or anything obnoxious like that. But, I did pick up a vintage Ludwig bass drum pedal to serve as my gas pedal. Maybe I'll change my mind, but I think the "Speed King" would be kinda cool. And no, I didn't take a good pedal out of commission to do this.



Speaking of personalizing, I have at least 3 horns in store for maximum toots; the original ah-ooga horn, a secret horn, and this bulb horn.

I can't find a "before" picture, but I got this as an extra freebie during a Craigslist deal probably 10 years ago. It is likely close to a hundred years old and was brown, crusty, dented to hell, kinked, bent, pinched, and split.. with a busted bulb. No wonder it was free.

I decided it was time this lives again so I recently took it to a local music store to have it straightened, rounded, and soldered back. Next day, he shows me this (sans bulb). Price? $20. Freaking nice. With a $10 ebay bulb, I'm back in action! It's much louder and deeper than I was expecting. Antique tooting to my hearts content for $30.



That's a lot to digest for now, but the work continues..
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Old 12-23-2016, 05:29 PM   #27
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Nathan,
From the pictures I think you have a 30/31 frame for your 29 pickup. The emergency brake shaft is through the frame, not inside the frame like 28 and 29 shafts are. Since your vehicle is a 29, you might have a problem when you mount the radiator. The front crossmember has different pad area for mounting the radiator between 28/29 and 30/31. I suppose maybe the front frame crossmember could have been changed, but I doubt it.

The progress you are making is great!
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Old 12-23-2016, 05:55 PM   #28
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FANTASTIC progress!!!! you have the eye for small finishing touches and when you're done I hope you have thousands of hours of driving and playing with the finished truck!! BRAVO!!!
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Old 12-23-2016, 06:13 PM   #29
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Default Re: My 1929 Closed Cab Pickup Project

The parking brake change is listed in the April 1930 SERVICE BULLETIN.

I see the added hole for the radiator overflow pipe in your frame.
Does anyone know when this change was added?
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Old 12-23-2016, 06:26 PM   #30
Bob C
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Default Re: My 1929 Closed Cab Pickup Project

Steve Plucker does.

"December 5, 1929, saw the addition of a
7/8 inch hole on the Front Cross Member
for the radiator overflow tube. "

Bob
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Old 12-23-2016, 07:07 PM   #31
Nathan_1929
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Default Re: My 1929 Closed Cab Pickup Project

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrndln View Post
From the pictures I think you have a 30/31 frame for your 29 pickup.
Mr. Nelson,

I suspected that but it's nice to see some confirmation.
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Old 12-23-2016, 07:17 PM   #32
SoCal_Alden
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Default Re: My 1929 Closed Cab Pickup Project

Great looking progress Nathan,
Every guy needs a truck !!!
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Old 12-24-2016, 01:39 AM   #33
Nathan_1929
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Default Re: My 1929 Closed Cab Pickup Project

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCal_Alden View Post
Great looking progress Nathan,
Every guy needs a truck !!!
Indeed. My uncle has the Tudor which was my introduction to Model As. I'm glad it's in good hands, for sentimental value, but I think a truck will be a little more useful for my style. This will be a daily driver, not a trailer queen.

I see you're in Carlsbad. I was there a couple months back for the finish of the Motorcycle Cannonball (100 year old bikes ridden coast-to-coast). It's a great little town!

Quote:
Originally Posted by forever4 View Post
The 1929 style cab was built until June 1930, when the 1930 cab was introduced. It could be the newer frame with the spacers.
Good to know. If anyone wants more pics of the frame for further discussion, I can take some.
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Old 04-17-2017, 10:40 PM   #34
TexasLS1
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Default Re: My 1929 Closed Cab Pickup Project

I've been thinking about this build for a while, any new updates??
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