Hank Jordan's Blog
Writing / Publishing / Business Consulting

Attention Auto Buffs

April 10th, 2011 by Hank

Here is an excerpt from my novel NO MORE AN ISLAND, published as both a printed book and as an E-book available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, etc. If you like Model A Fords or any cars for any reason, this particular part of the book will delight you. It’s about a young man who decides to make his way selling them in the 1920s:

“At first, every new Model A that found its way to the South was a black steel two-door sedan with a rigid black fabric top covering a wire mesh imbedded with cotton fibers.

The dealers and salesmen jokingly said “Henry Ford says you can have any color you want as long as it is black,” but in fact you could order a Model A from the factory in a few other colors.

The new Model A was snug, featuring comfortable cushion seats with springs, and it had a safety glass windshield and windows that rolled up and down. It looked entirely different from earlier cars which mimicked horse drawn buggies in styling.

Instead of hand cranking it to start the engine, by bending over in front of the radiator like you had to do with the Model T, all you had to do was push a small button on the floor with your foot. The Model A had an electric self-starter.

Sporting two weak headlamps and a small red tail light no bigger than a silver dollar, it was designed around a unique three speed transmission with a gear shift rod protruding up through the floor like a phallus symbol with a little black knob on the top. Its gasoline engine had the power of forty horses.

The two door sedan had ample room on the floor in the back seat for two of the large metal milk containers that almost every farmer used. The back seat cargo was easily reached by folding one of the two front seats forward on its hinges so that it was tucked away under the dashboard. Some farmers removed the back seat entirely and converted the car into a small enclosed truck, forerunner of the station wagons and delivery vans that would emerge twenty years later.

The whole car was designed so that one wrench would fit all the nuts throughout the engine and body. The universal wrench was furnished with each new car. No investment in costly tools was necessary to keep the car running. A pair of pliers and a screwdriver were all that were needed, and all the farms and homes already had them.

The four cylinder engine was easy to work on, and was very reliable. The gas tank was high up in front of the Spartan dashboard and gravity fed the fuel to the float carburetor. You could actually see the gasoline in the tank while driving. The car could be jacked up easily, and a leather belt could be attached to a rear wheel in order to run power saws and other farm equipment.”

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One Response

  1. Gregory Jordan

    I didn’t realize you could use it to power equipment, like saws!

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