John Carter was born in 1932 — the same year that Henry Ford introduced the flathead V-8 engine. Twelve years later, young Carter was working for $1 per day at a car dealership in Morgan City, La.
Carter was captivated when the owner of a 1932 Model B Ford coupe with a four-cylinder engine came into the dealership to trade the car for a V-8. Carter’s employer agreed to garage the Model B, allowing Carter to slowly pay off the car.
Carter spent his free hours improving his Model B Ford during the dark days of World War II. With peacetime came full possession of the Ford, which Carter enjoyed until the U.S. Army requested his services in Korea from 1952 until 1954.
In Carter’s absence, one of his brothers drained the oil from the engine. The oil was never replaced. The next time it was driven disaster struck. Although Carter was certain that he could have rebuilt the engine he was away in Korea. Regrettably, his father sold the 1932 Model B Ford for $25. After all, he says, it was more than 10 years old.
Thereafter, Carter began a search for a suitable Ford to replace his first love. For more than half century, the search continued unsuccessfully. Some of the restored cars he found were too expensive and the rest were riddled with rust.
In 2006, Carter and his son, Chris, went hunting and on the way out of town Carter spotted on the side of the road a 1930 Model A Ford coupe with a rumble seat. Even better, the car had a “for sale” sign in the window.
“That’s the car I’ve been looking for,” Carter told his son. Chris, however, was more interested in going hunting. Carter told his son that if that car was still there on the way home he was going to buy it. The hunting trip was a failure, but the Ford was still there on the return trip.
Carter stopped to inspect the Ford. The coupe had the six windows he wanted and the windshield opened at the bottom to admit fresh air into the cabin. He convinced the owner that since the old Ford was already on a trailer he might as well deliver it the 75 miles to his home. “I thought I’d bring a little beauty back to Morgan City, La.,” he says.
Although his first Ford 50 years ago, had been black top to bottom, this one had black fenders but was trimmed with a shade of John Deere tractor green with the 30-spoke, 30-inch wire wheels painted yellow.
The Model A Ford was more or less complete when Carter took delivery. The spare tire was mounted at the rear of the car behind the rumble seat. Step plates up the right rear corner of the car to the top of the rear fender provide access to the rumble seat, which Carter found to be in shambles. Since he took possession the rumble seat has been recovered in black vinyl.
Carter is pleased that before he took possession of the car the interior upholstery was replaced. Both rear fenders are adorned with a taillight. The six-volt battery is under the floorboards.
Carter says the best thing about his Model A is that anyone with common sense can fix it. “That’s why they call it the `good old days,'” he says. — Vern Parker, Motor Matters
Would you like your classic car to be considered for an upcoming article?
E-mail us your jpeg image, plus brief details and phone number. Type “Classic Classics” in subject box to email@example.com.
Copyright, Motor Matters, 2009