Mack owns an old Ford Model T and is in a club for these restored old cars. He has had his car in shows and has won several "Best of Show" awards with it. Today, Mack and I went to a fellow restorer's house out in the country outside of Indianapolis to see a young man that has done extensive work on some of his own old cars. There I met Allan, whose son Jacob has done the work on these cars and will be demonstrating replacing the main bearings in an old engine.
This car is a boat tail racer that is built and driven by Jacob in hill climbs and other races for these old cars.
The interior of the race car!
The shape of the rear end of the car gives it it's name of boat tail. This is probably some of the oldest type of aerodynamics in an automobile.
I believe that this is Jacob's first rebuild, a 1929 T-Model. It was started when Jacob was 15 years old. He not only restored the car, he painted it too, right there in the garage. Great job Jacob!
I looked the car over and didn't see any defects on it. All of the lines of the body matched up and Jacob later moved the car and it started up better than some new cars.
This is a work in progress. An old T-model truck. Notice on this and the photo below the amount of wood in these old cars. If you're a long-time reader of this blog, you might remember when we toured the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and saw one of Henry Ford's lumber mills. He wanted to control every bit of material of his cars and owned a huge amount of forest land and some sawmills. In case you don't remember, check out THIS LINK.
This is the old bed that will go on the truck. It appears that the metal in the bed is new, and of course, the wood planks are new also.
Another old racer that Jacob is working on. He told us that the metal body pieces were bent and shaped by him and of course, he painted it too.
Jacob said that he hand made several pieces for the engine, which is original to this car. It's hard to believe that these cars and engines are 90+ years old.
The group, gathered around to watch Jacob work on another engine.
The engine needs new main bearings, and Jacob will have them ready soon.
The bearing material, called babbitt metal, is in a burner to Jacob's right, melting so it can be poured into bottom of the engine.
Jacob is warming up the forms that the babbitt material will be poured into.
One of the club members acted as Jacob's helper, warming the forms as he readied the now-liquid material is ladled out.
Jacob handled the molten material like the pro he is, never spilling a drop.
Knocking the forms out.
The forms removed and ready for machining.
Jacob works in a machine shop and will use a line boring machine to align and smooth the bearings. These bearings should last 80-90,000 miles. As little as these cars are driven or even run, they should last a loooong time. I am very glad to see the younger generation with a love of preserving the old ways of doing things and of course, preserving these old cars.
After the demonstration, Mack and I returned to his house for lunch. It rained very hard on us on the way back which changed the plans to cook hamburgers outside. It continued to rain off and on for the rest of the afternoon. The grass and crops need the rain but the best thing is, it cooled things off. The temperature dropped about 20 degrees after the rain but it will warm up again.
We timed our meal just right. We had just finished up eating when Mack and Mattie's daughter and her family came down to drop off their son who will be staying with them for a week or so. It makes me miss our three grandsons back in Texas.