Story and photos by Mark Wing and Larry Azevedo
The work party on Saturday, May 6th, focused on the restoration of Vern and Betty Houston’s 1919 Model T roadster. The Houstons, from Socorro, NM, had acquired the Model T long ago, but have been unable to finish the project. Vern contacted Tin Lizzies requesting help and was steered to our club’s foremost Model T expert and mechanical wizard Larry Azevedo. Larry is a recent Rosenthal Award recipient and currently serves as a MTFCA Board member. Larry arranged to transport the roadster to his shop in Corrales, NM, the primary location where the Tin Lizzies of Albuquerque, restores and maintains our cars. On Tuesday, May 2nd, Larry, Dave Ferro, Michael Housholder, and Phil Lance drove to Socorro (approximately 1 hour south of Albuquerque) and trailered the roadster back. The car was nearly complete, but “to do” items included fitting and installing some of the wood body structure, installing the seat riser, upholstery, top bow restoration, and doing whatever was necessary to get the engine to started.
Larry reported the progress after the May 6th work party to the club membership via e-mail:
“We had a good crowd including: Roger and Janie Burton, Michael Housholder, Vern and Betty Houston along with nephew Steve, Phil and Jessica Lance, Zack Lance (he showed up too late to help with cranking!), Dave Merewether, Paul Musgrave, Eddy Paquette, Bob Ross, Al Schwanke, Scott Stewart (brought his neighbor (John and 9 yr old son Briggs who helped with spark plugs), Vern Willan, and Mark Wing. My apologies if I missing someone!
Here’s what we accomplished: the seat metal work was repaired, cleaned and primed, the bottom seat cushion is nearly finished, the carburetor removed and cleaned, the gas tank cleaned out (discovered hole(s) in the bottom), spark plugs removed and lubricant sprayed inside to get the valves loosened and pistons lubed, water put in the radiator, drained, leaks fixed, filled, drained, leaks fixed and filled again, gas leak(s) fixed, ignition hot-wired, starter problems resolved and finally we got the engine got started! It sounds good, few oil leaks to address.
Thanks to everyone who has contributed their time and expertise!