Project Showcase: Share What You’re Working On In Your Garage

Right now, many enthusiasts have found a lot more time to work in their garages. Even though we’re busy churning out stories for enthusiasts to read, even we’ve found a few more minutes of solitude in our build-chamber.

We were emailing with some readers about our projects and how things are moving along lately when the idea of having our readers join in on the conversation popped up. Everyone loves to share what they’ve been working on, and everyone loves reading the good, bad, and ugly details of the build process. We’ve all got a story to tell, and we’d like to open up the venue for enthusiasts to do just that.

My little T has been a long-term project, but acquiring parts at a good price can take time. Each part seems to tell a story and when this car is finished, it will be a rolling album of memories.

We’re not reserving this for completed cars only. We want to see what you’re working on right now! Whether a long-term project or a stack of newly-acquired rusty metal, we’d love to share in the enthusiasm of bringing something from our mind’s eye to the real world.

We moved between Pennsylvania and Florida and the little T's chassis moved with us in various forms over the years. I first assembled the rolling chassis in the cellar of the apartment we were renting at the time. The owner of the place and a few neighbors were car guys as well.

Let me take a few lines to introduce you to my long-term family member. Back in high-school (yes, THAT long ago), I started gathering parts for a Model T. I had previously helped my dad build a T-bucket while in high school and figured I’d build my own in my spare time. I started squirreling away parts such as the early Chevrolet headlights, a beat-up ’32 Ford radiator and shroud, and the rolling works of a ’40 Ford pickup.

Thanksgiving was exceptionally good for me when I found this body at the Turkey Run in Daytona Beach, Florida. While it isn't a flat-backed truck body, it'll do.

I’ve always said you can build a car two ways – quickly, or inexpensively. I was definitely seated in the latter category. After college, a friend and I were walking around a swap meet and located a Model A frame at a price I could afford, so I snagged it up. Problem was, I lived in an apartment at the time, the frame was in Florida, and the rest of my car parts were in Pennsylvania!

My friend said I could keep the frame at his house until I could do something with it. As all the parts worked their way south, I secured a small spot in the garage where I was working. When I went over to my friend’s house to retrieve the frame, he had it hanging over his pool table! He said it made for a cool conversation piece and a neat way to hang the overhead light!

The place where I worked let me use the shop to finally gather all the pieces into something that resembled a car. The grill is a cut-down, steel version of a '32 Ford, the headlights came from a '28 Chevrolet, I think. I've installed turn signal/parking lights behind the glass of the headlights.

The project really took a leap forward when I found the body and the engine. I found the body at the Daytona Turkey Run. The story I was told by the seller was, a cabinet maker who was an enthusiast, began building the body from a shell. He cut out the doors and custom-installed all the wood, including the floor. Then he stopped working on the project when his wife said she wanted the body out of their living room! That’s right, I guess he built it in their house!

The engine came from my brother in law. It’s a 1956 Desoto 330 cubic-inch Hemi. I mean, who WOULDN’T want an early Hemi in their ride? The engine is currently disassembled, but plans are for a cost-efficient rebuild since the little T doesn’t need much power to those wide-white 6.50-16 tires, ’35 Ford wire wheels, and ’40 Ford banjo rear end. The wire wheels and Banjo steering wheel were a gift from a good friend who was rodding out an original ’35 Ford back in the day. Thank you Steve!

This is very much what I had envisioned in my mind’s eye for the T. Having my own garage now greatly aids in getting something done on the car. I’ve since swapped out the rear spring to lower the back of the car.

Another good friend who taught me a lot about life and cars had been collecting parts for decades. He had this steel Model T/A bed sitting in his barn, collecting dust. Sadly, he passed away, and when the parts were eventually sold off, I had the opportunity to purchase the pickup’s bed. I’d much rather have him still with us, but the bed helps keep his memory fresh in my mind.

The car is again getting the attention it deserves. We're finalizing the chassis setup and preparing to get the Desoto engine situated. I've since located a transmission adapter to use a newer transmission. It'll still be automatic, but I'm trying to decide whether this car would benefit from an overdrive transmission or not.

The car has morphed throughout the build process, but one thing has been constant – I still need to get it on the road! Which is what I intend to do with this new-found time and a few extra hands around the house. I’m not sure how long it will take, but my younger son has asked if he could take it to prom. He’s got a few years before that clock strikes, but it’s a realistic goal and he’s got the incentive to make it happen. Perhaps we’ll find ourselves solving problems together along the way, much like my father and I did on his T. It’ll be a good experience for the both of us, and who knows, maybe we’ll even get to finally hear this old Hemi run!

This is my younger son sitting in the T. He is now getting his permit to drive, which tells you how long I’ve been toting this ol’ T around. He wants to drive it to his prom in a few years. Challenge accepted!

Show Us Yours!

If you’ve got a project that you’re working on, feel free to send us some pictures and information about your build. Whether large or small, we’d love to see what you’re working on and we’d love to share it with folks who are working through their own projects. It’ll give all of us a nice shot in the arm and right now, that’s something that we ALL could use! Click the “Email Me” tab at the bottom of the story (in my mugshot) and we’ll start sharing YOUR great stories with our readers! – AB

About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
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