Work Party at Larry’s Garage (Feb. 4, 2017)

Story and photos by Mark Wing.

This was a very exciting workday as a new Model T was added to the club roster.  The Lance family (Phil, Jessica, Zack, Danielle, and Jessalyn) had joined the club a couple of years ago and have been very active in club activities since then.  Like most Model T owners – you can never have just one.  The family are now the owners of two complete project cars and one speedster being built from parts.  This latest acquisition is a late 1926 (1927 Model year), roadster.  This car was donated by a family that had owned it since new.  They had been paying to store it, and just wanted to see it go to a good home with the assurance that it not be turned into a hot rod.  They contacted our previous club president, Mark Dominguez, who circulated the generous offer to the club membership.  The first person to respond to the ad was Jessalyn.  Soon after, her father Phil and brother Zack made the short trip to neighboring Rio Rancho to pick the car up.

This roadster had spent it’s entire existence in the southwest – in New Mexico, Colorado, and in Texas.  It had been purchased new by the grandmother of the gentleman who donated the car.  The roadster has a “barn find” patina, and still has the remnants of its original upholstery, top, and paint job.  The paint has substantial fading and surface rust, but the original green color is clearly visible on the firewall.  Wards Riverside tires had been mounted long ago and look surprisingly good.  They have minor sidewall cracking and still have the rubber nubs on the tread.  The rear driver’s side fender had been replaced decades ago with an earlier style and the others have some dents and tearing.  All in all, it’s a very charming, complete, and original car.  The Lance family goal is to get it running reliably, replace the top and upholstery, and decide what level of restoration would be best for this “barn find”.

The roadster hadn’t been driven in around 40 years, but the engine turned freely.  After cleaning out the gas tank, mounting a rebuilt Holley NH carburetor (it still had its original vaporizer carburetor), charging the battery, and replacing the points on the coils, Larry and the work party crew started the roadster up!  It was very loud, as the exhaust pipe had been cut, but it did run.  The coils have low capacitance so coil rebuilding is in order.  Other projects include replacing worn out spring perches and rebuilding the front end.  The goal is to have the necessary repairs done so Jessalyn and her sister Danielle can drive it soon – perhaps at the 4th of July Parade in Corrales?

Other projects at this work party included more progress on Mark Wing’s Ruckstell axle, Marilyn Duncan repairing the latching mechanism on 21″ split rims, and Scott Stewart detailing the babbitt on his Model A engine.

Thank you again Larry for a thrilling, enjoyable, and productive work party!