Dad’s Ford Model A

Richard Stout remembers his dad’s chore truck, a 1929 Model A Ford roadster.


| October 2014



1929 Ford model A

A 1929 Model A Ford pickup truck.

Photo courtesy Richard Stout

My father was a believer in the McLean County, Ill., system of raising hogs on clean pasture. There was a well approximately in the center of his 160-acre farm. Each year he would have a clover field cornering against the well. He did that to be able to get water to the hog waterers by pipe or hose.

These pens were fan-shaped, 20 rods deep from the corner of the field. But as the three pens were only 16 feet wide at the narrow end, and as the hogs had a built-in roto-rooter attachment, the area in the point of the pens became big mud holes, which made getting feed and the hog buildings in and out of the pens difficult, especially when it was muddy. Evidently he decided to change the system, stringing the pens out so the hog waterers and feeders would be more isolated. He had to get water to the hogs some other way.

And that meant a lot of temporary fence every year. Anyone who has used a hand post auger to make postholes knows it is not an enjoyable job. In early 1943, Dad took a Model T rear end, a part of a car frame, a cut-down Gleaner combine auger, an IHC sliding PTO shaft — all of which he had on hand or got at the Mose Levy junkyard — up to Waggoner Welding in Washington (Dad did not have a welder) and got them welded into a posthole digger. He bolted that to the lift arms of his 9N Ford-Ferguson tractor to be able to raise and lower the auger.

It did dig postholes a lot faster and easier than you could do the job by hand. This was before 3-point posthole diggers existed. It had a tendency to corkscrew under certain conditions. It could also do a number on field tile. When you saw red tile chips coming up when boring a posthole, it did not help your humor because you knew you would then have to get a spade and dig it out by hand and fix the tile.

Recycling a roadster

The local loan company had repossessed a 1929 Model A Ford roadster. It ran and was cheap so my dad bought it. The reason it was cheap was because the former owner did not take his loss very well. He had gone out with the sledge and pounded all four fenders down to the tires. Dad got it home and pounded the fenders back up but that just made it usable, not good looking.

One of my early memories is of my dad in the corncrib with a cold chisel and a big hammer cutting off the roadster from just back of the top bows to over the fenders, down to the sub-frame back of the fenders. He bolted a Model T pickup bed on to it. He used that for a pickup until September 1940, when he bought a 1930 Model A Ford pickup. He put the ’29 Roadster pickup up above in the barn, I suppose to get it out of sight of the scrap drives.