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Model A pickup success story

The inset photo is the before picture from the Roamin Angel Corner in December of 2012. The main photo is Jerry’s ‘28 Model A pickup now. What a difference nine months can make.
Submitted by Ron Cherry |

Everyone likes a success story, a tale of someone who worked hard to make it happen.

Back in December of last year, Jerry Brown’s 1928 Model A pickup was featured. If ever there were a rags-to-riches tale, Jerry’s Model A was it. The picture showed a pickup with no hood, no interior, no cowl, no windshield and faded blue paint.

It was definitely not an eye-catcher and didn’t even run when the photo was taken, but much has happened since then.



With a rebuilt Ford Model B engine (same 201 CID engine as the Model A but with 10 more HP) that has been boosted with a hotter cam and a Lyon high-compression head, it still purrs but has a lot more bite.

He’s kept it in the pre-war hot rod class, right down to the gravity-fed fuel line feeding the updraft carburetor without the aid of a fuel pump. He hopes to make the engine dual-carb as soon as he finds another Model B carb to go on the intake he has on the shelf.




The ’39 Ford trans has syncros (which the Model A did not) with a Borg Warner overdrive to make freeway driving easier. Fellow Roamin Angel Larry Eckman shaved about 30 pounds (not quite half the total weight) off the flywheel to make it more responsive to the throttle.

After pulling the ’32 Ford truck rear-end out and replacing it with the stock ’28 Ford one, Jerry feels it’s running just like he wants.

“It fires off, never fails,” he said.

When Jerry bought the Model A, the body was sound. That made it much easier when he had it repainted in maroon with black fenders with some subtle pinstriping. After buying a new radiator housing, he had other chrome parts replated.

After powder-coating the wheels, he put on new radial tires. He had the upholstery redone in gray Naugahyde. The bed he redid himself in oak.

Since he kiddingly tells people it’s a truck for dump runs, he felt he should have sideboards and used oak to do that.

The main task left is the convertible top, which he has already begun. He has the bows and canvas already, so it’s mainly a matter of assembling and fitting. He says that it probably never had a top at the farm where the truck was formerly used because the workers would just hop over the doors to get in, but he’s not young enough to do that anymore.

Jerry tells of when he was buying the Model A at the then-Arco Arena.

He was negotiating the price with the seller when two fellow Roamin Angels walked up. They were a couple of characters and decided to give Jerry a hard time.

“You’re selling it to him for that cheap?” one of them said. “Why, I’d give you a lot more than that.”

“That’s really too low,” the other one said. “It’s worth a lot more.”

Fortunately, they backed off before the deal went south and Jerry got upset. He laughs about it now, knowing they were just having a little fun with him. And his offer was successful. Just another part of this Model A pickup’s success story.

For more about Ron Cherry and his latest book, “Foul Shot,” go to http://www.rlcherry.com. For more information about the Roamin Angels Car Club, go to http://www.roaminangels.com, call 530-432-8449, write to Roamin Angels, P.O. Box 1616, Grass Valley, CA 95945, or just stop by IHOP on Taylorville Road some Friday at 6:30 a.m. for breakfast.


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