Loves in a Hooker’s Life

I suppose not all women would be so open about the loves in her life as I am going to be with you in this short writing. Right off the bat, I will tell you, if you do not already know, I am a card-carrying “hooker.” I am just one in a large group here in the Northeast Kingdom that has and continues to enjoy sharing our craft with all that show interest in it. As you might guess, this brings us in touch with a diverse group. In Derby Line, fellow hookers meet every Thursday to talk and catch up with what our week has brought about and what might be happening in the next week or month. We keep track of each other and the loves in and out of our lives.

My “loves” have come in many shapes, sizes, and colors with names like Willy #1, Sugar, Bismarck, Willy #2, and at present Willy #3 and Serena. All have had such different personalities, some sweeter than others, some full of mischief and seemly pure distain for me and anyone allowed into their space, but all have been loved and cared for like they were the best companion anyone could have. Their backgrounds were as different as their personalities. The one thing they all had in common were that, until me, no one wanted them and, in some cases, had thought to have run away from some bad situations.

Willy #1 did come from a loving home, my grandmother’s, but we had been warned (because Willy was a foreigner, a Siamese) be careful – they can turn on you! (Really, that was the warning.) Sugar was from Texas where he had been hit by a truck and so developed a dislike for anything with large tires. Bismarck came to us because he and his brothers (and mother) were dropped off at the vet to meet whatever fate. Willy #2 lived under our car trailer for a year until we took him in when winter approached. And a few months ago, Willy #3 and his sister, Serena, we rerescued from a bad situation in St. Johnsbury and have been settling in over the last few months. Willy #3 is a pure lovebug and his sister is “his sister”! She barely tolerates him; she will not let him lay on the bed and rushes him if he is unsuspecting. He creeps around trying to avoid all conflict. In the night, when Serena is snuggled in next to me, Willy #3 cries but is never allowed in to join us no matter how sad he
sounds.

As I am sure you have guessed by now that these “loves” of my life are all the 4-legged kind. I have had one of the 2-legged “loves” (still have him), and we celebrated fifty years (50!) together on April 29.

P.S. The only “hooking” I do is rug hooking!

From your W T Co-editors.
CONGRATULATIONS
Nancy & Gary
HAPPY 50TH
ANNIVERSARY!

1971 M35A2

This 1971 Army Deuce and a Half lives in White River, Vermont and is owned by Mary Kay & Dennis Brown

How did you get interested in these military trucks Dennis?

As a little kid, we used to have several convoys of Armytrucks go past our home on Rt.4 in White River Jct. VT. When I saw the convoys, I’d go out and wave to them and they’d honk for me. I made up my mind at an early age that I had to drive those trucks. When I was 18, I enlisted as a Motor Transport Operator with the US Army. I drove just about everything the Army had, from Jeeps to 20-ton trucks and loved it. I was in the Army Reserve, in Rutland’s 368th Engineer Battalion, and the NH National Guard’s 744th Transportation Company. In 1990 my unit was activated to Desert Shield/Storm. While there I drove M915 tractors with M872 trailers. Truck # 38 was mine and I was very proud of those 22 rolling wheels! My job was to transport everything from water to bombs during the ground invasion.

How long have you had your “Deuce”? Have you made any changes?

My wife, Mary Kay, and I bought this truck in 2017 from a person in northern NJ and drove it home, and I had a blast driving it back! The guy we bought it from put a lot into this truck and he loved it. He was a Vietnam Veteran and had driven these vehicles. He had this truck for similar reasons that I wanted to buy it. He’d had both of his knees replaced and couldn’t manage it anymore. He decided to sell it, although it pained him deeply to part with it. Several people inquired about buying it but wanted to turn it into a log truck or similar thing. My wife and I told him we wanted to keep it pretty much as it was; driving it and showing it off. He liked our plans and sold it to us. Since I stopped serving in the Army in 1994, I had missed driving those green (and sometimes tan) trucks, so this has been great to have, I also consider it a rolling history museum. During many of the shows we’ve gone to, I’ve taken great pride in showing some of its unique military features, like its absence of keys to start it, its pioneer kit, and blackout drive lights.

*** Do It Now Or Walk Later ***

Are you enjoying being a member of the Green Mountain Military Vehicle Club?

When my wife and I bought this truck we decided to join the GMMVC and New Hampshire’s Merrimack Valley Vehicle Collectors and this has been great It’s great to be around people with like minds!

Have you made any changes to your Deuce?

This 1971 M35A2 was in great shape, so we haven’t had to do much, no huge repairs. Here’s a small list of a few changes we’ve done. Two years ago, we kept the green, but added, per manual specs & patterns, some brown and black to camouflage the paint. We also changed the Vietnam era white lettering to 1970s flat black. Additionally, we’ve put on a new right fender, new window frames, a left running board (all due to rust), and 2 new front tires. I also discreetly added a USB connection from a 12v converter, so we could charge our devices. Normally these trucks would have the unit number and truck number on the bumpers, but I decided to have some fun with this. While I was in the Army, we lived by PMCS, which stands for ‘Preventative Maintenance Checks and Services,’ so that’s what’s on one side. The other side reads DINOWL, which is short for ‘Do It Now Or Walk Later!’

WWII scene

From your editor…..

Dennis’s M35 has a Continental engine that he believes puts out 175 HP.

It is called a “6X6” because in the old days the truck had single tandem wheels in the rear. With the front wheels locked in, all six were under power. Later duallies were added to the rear, but the terminology stayed the same.

The first design for this truck was made by REO in 1944 and the first M35 delivery to the Army was in the 1950s. Production ceased in 1988, after over 150,000 “Deuces” were built. A number of companies built them for the government over the years, including Studebaker, AM General, REO and Kaiser. Bombardier of Canada and KIA of Japan also built them for their military.

Empty weight is 13,530 pounds and fully loaded for highway use, that weight can go to 23,530. Top speed is 53MPH and when the government purchased Dennis’ truck, the cost was $46,750.

The FMTV truck replaced the Deuce in 1991. The Austrian built vehicle is now built in the US and modified for US Army use.

Ford Model A Pickups

Have you ever noticed how serene Model T Pickup owners are? 

The pickups here are Model A’s and we will try to explain why their owners may not be the serene-type…

Rob Marcotte’s 1934 Ford Model 46-830 pickup

The red truck is my 1934 Ford Model 46-830 with 21 stud flathead V8. 

After many false starts looking at both Model A’s and B’s I found this one in PA. It is an amateur restoration and I do mean amateur! The previous owner worked on it for 10 years, drove it 5 times and passed away at 89 years old. It looks like he used whatever was available in his shop for screws, nuts and bolts. 

I have replaced all of the wheel bearings, 5 new tires, 2 new water pumps, rebuilt the brakes, installed an alternator, 2 temperature gauges and sorted out the cobbled up wiring. He used solid core 14 gauge house wire for the brake lights. After being stranded by the distributor a few times I just installed a Stromberg E-Fire electronic distributor and new plug wires. 

After all this I am probably going to sell it. I hate red and have found a green 1933 that is for sale. It has a newer 24 stud engine and hydraulic brakes. Looks to be more original than mine. 

I really don’t know what got me hooked on these trucks. I just think they look cool going down the road. My “perfect” Model A pickup would be 1931 wide bed with steel roof, steel bed and indented firewall. It would be either Brewster Green with black wheels or Thorne Brown with black wheels. It would have a Mitchell overdrive and a Model B engine with a counter-balanced crank shaft and insert bearings. Absolutely no whitewall tires on any truck. Also nothing chrome or stainless. These were work trucks and should look like work trucks. 

The Model A pickups do not have much room in the cabs. Apparently there weren’t any big and tall people buying trucks back then. The post 1932, 33 and 34 pickups do have a bit more room in the cabs. 

As soon as the weather breaks and mud season is over I will be putting the truck up for sale, and go look at that green one again. 

VAEer, Rob Marcotte 


Dennis Dodd’s 1931 Model A pickup

This Model A to the left is a 1931 and owned by Dennis Dodd. He is one of those guys who Rob was talking about above. Dennis has some height to him. So, along with a really nice body-off restoration he has done a few things to make more room for him self. First was to push the seat frame back about two inches, to more easily get his feet in, and he plans to make thinner cushions. He will also be cutting about two inches off the foot pedals. 

The really big move was to raise the steering wheel up about three inches. To do this, he had to remove the gas tank and rebuild the steering column attachment to the dash area. The task now is to find a place for the tank, he has a few ideas. 


The Paradis’ Ford Model A pickup

The A to the right belongs to the Paradis’ in Bakersfield. They purchased it, not too long ago, and have done some work to get it ready for the summer drive season. Joe says this is his fourth or fifth A-Pick up and the reason; he just likes the looks of them. He has changed out some damaged gears in the transmission and rear-end, and also a few minor wiring repairs. He says he never liked Moto Meters and has added a temp gauge to his dash area. 


This from your editor…… I am happy with my T-pickup, and totally in a place of sereneness Arummmmmmm. I do not want to do anything to it. 

A Raxaul rear-end and Rocky Mountain brakes came with it, what more could a feller want? 

Now to why an “A” owner might be missing the “Serene” part. I can only guess. When I am going down the road at 32 MPH, and the 20 HP engine just humming along, it is a nice day. 

Maybe the 24.03 HP engine that can make an A go 40 or 50 MPH gives out different vibes. Remember the Army tank captain, Oddball, in the “Kelly’s Hero’s” movie….now he knew his “vibes”! 

Maybe it is a hold-over Henry thing. Remember reading how much he loved his Model T’s? When his son could see other car brands passing them by, he created the model A, behind his dad’s back. So, maybe the A’s just do not have the “Henry vibe” ….do you think? 

I am sure there will be problems with my assumptions. There might even be some name-calling and such. I will simply stay in my Zen-state….. Arummmmmmm…… 

Hey Rob, Did you know the color red is the “happiness color”? 

Your Vote, Your Choice

Well, another Town Meeting Day has come and gone without a physical meeting to go to. It just doesn’t feel right. Let’s hope next year we’ll be back to normal, whatever that is. 

I remember the first Town Meeting I went to. We hadn’t lived in Underhill very long, and it was all new to me not being a real Vermonter yet. The meetings were held at the Town Hall, and we walked up the road to the Elementary School for the pot luck lunch. I walked with some old guy who was telling me he always started his tomato plants on Town Meeting Day. Being new to the veggie garden thing, I went home and planted some tomato seeds. By May they were so long and leggy, I tossed them out and bought some nice tomato plants that were all set to put in the garden when the time came. 

The Town Hall had a wood stove which was going for the meeting, and it was so hot people moved their chairs away from it. The Underhill Ski Bowl was open, and people would leave their kids off to ski. When the kids had had enough, they would walk — yes, actually walk — down to the Town Hall. If I remember correctly, Clark Wright talked about sitting up in the balcony as a kid and watching the whole process. There was the year that folks in the Town Hall noticed a house nearby was having a chimney fire, so the volunteer firemen left abruptly to take care of that. 

We had a resident artist in town for many years. He and his family lived in the old Green Mountain Academy in Underhill Center. He was known for making the best dandelion wine, and I still have the recipe he gave me. For years, he would sketch drawings for the covers of many town reports. One, in particular, had a sketch of town meeting, which included a lot of old timers, the interior of the Town Hall, and the moderator. A great drawing. I must make a copy of it and identify some of 

the people I recognize before I forget who is who. 

Gael was moderator for a few years. It was back when the town started growing and the Town Hall was getting too small to hold our meetings there. The only other place that would accommodate all of us was the local middle school, which is located in Jericho. That didn’t set well with Gael. There was something wrong with having Underhill’s Town Meeting in another town. So he politely(?) declined when asked to be moderator the following year. 

The luncheons that followed the meetings were always something to look forward to. I was always 

involved in the luncheon preparation and cleanup, so in recent years I was always in the kitchen instead of the meeting. I would hear what went on at the meeting or what didn’t go on while eating lunch with friends and neighbors. I was a ballot clerk for many years too. I always took a vacation day off from work to do that. For years I knew almost everyone, but not anymore. Times change. I could always count on the same women to come in with their knitting and the same people that would have writing on the pages of the Town Report concerning things they wanted to ask about. Sometimes there wouldn’t be much discussion about anything and the meeting would be over quickly; other times it would continue after lunch. 

Tomorrow I will go and vote at the Town Hall, see a few folks there, and go home. The weather sounds good and the roads should be fine. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens next year. 

Over Bearing

I recently changed one of the rear wheel bearings in my 2016 Outback. This is fairly typical, as the car just passed 50,000 miles, and this is a common problem with Subaru’s. I have changed many rear wheel bearings on Subaru’s. I can usually do the job in less than an hour. 

The Subaru does not have a serviceable bearing, the whole hub needs to be replaced. The hub bolts on to the spindle with four bolts. The process of replacing the bearing use to involve removing the axle shaft, then removing the four bolts, and the hub simply comes off. 

For some reason, Subaru redesigned the hub assembly in 2015. The new hub design retains the four mounting bolts, but the assembly is pressed in to the spindle with a flange that presses in to the hub. This flange is over an inch long. 

I took the axle nut off, and easily removed the four hub mounting bolts. To my surprise, the hub would not come off the spindle. I used a big slide hammer, and even heated up the spindle assembly. After struggling for hours, I ended up removing the spindle and pressing the hub out on the press. Fortunately, I was able to remove the spindle without damaging the rubber boots on the links or the ABS wheel speed sensor. I have a 20 ton press, and it was all I could do to remove the hub assembly. The new hub assembly had to be pressed in to the spindle. 

I noticed the rear brake pads were almost worn out while I was working on the wheel bearing. This was my first introduction to electric parking brakes, and how to reset the caliper to replace brake pads. That will be discussed in a fu-ture column. 

I can not understand why Subaru changed the design of the bearing. The spindle was also redesigned. The spindle is mounted to the car with conventional ball joints, and the links have conven-tional tie rod ends. The rear spindle looks like it is mounted on the front, not the rear. When these cars get some years of use, the chances of the ball joints and tie rod end link assemblies coming off easily will dwindle signifi-cantly. A simple rear wheel bearing replacement will likely result in having to replace the links, ABS wheel speed sensor, backing plate, and the spindle in addition to the hub assembly. The job could easily take 2-3 hours and cost well over $500 in parts. 

This is a classic case of newer cars not having serviceable parts, and an unbelievable amount of labor to replace wear items. 

I’d rather work on my 20 year old Outback. 

The Softer Side of Barrett-Jackson

Don and I have been snowbirding in Arizona these last few months, and he got us tickets to the Barrett-Jackson car auction in Scottsdale for January 27. I have sat through hours of TV viewing of the auctions while Don was engrossed in them, and I was intrigued by the whole “up close and personal” side of it but also hoping not to spend THE WHOLE DAY just watching cars being auctioned! Well, I can tell you that Barrett-Jackson has so much more to offer than cars. 

So early on the 27th, we left for Scottsdale. We arrived about 11 a.m., and making our way with 10,000 other people into the main pavilion, the first order of business was to find a bathroom! Ladies, I can tell you they’re all over the place, stall after stall after stall, and spotless, with NO waiting lines! Deliriously happy with that good start to the day, I continued following Don through the main pavilion and then 10, count ‘em 10 huge tents with cars either already sold or waiting to cross the auction block. 

In the midst of the main pavilion, we passed concession stands selling anything and everything you’d ever care to eat. Plus, outside in the beautiful sunshine in between the car tents were more food vendors. I felt like we were at the Champlain Valley Fair. The hardest part was figuring out where and what to eat. 

After satisfying our hunger, we made our way to the grandstands and watched the auction. Car after car passed over the block. We saw some cars sell for $20K and others over $100K in the blink of an eye! We then made our way through the automotive vendors. They were hawking everything: car lifts, concrete coating for garage floors, insurances, powder coating, chrome everything, tools……you get the idea. And as interesting as all this was, I was looking for something more. 

Well, next thing you know I’m standing at a jewelry booth trying on a $1.2 million natural pink diamond surrounded by 3 carats of top-of-the-line diamonds! It was gorgeous. (I think the booth was catering to the men who were dropping big bucks on cars and then, feeling guilty, buying jewelry to make their wives or girlfriends happy also!) 

After reluctantly handing back the ring, the next booth had beautiful bakery items for sale, or so I thought. I was salivating and just about ready to buy that irresistible-looking lemon/vanilla cupcake when I realized it was actually hand-made soap! 

You could get a facial, have your makeup done, get an astrology reading, buy cutlery. There were clothing boutiques and vacation resort promotions. It was like a Vermont home show on overdrive. And there was even live music every day of the auction from noon to 3 p.m. at Billy’s Tequila Stage. 

After a very full day of watching cars pass over the auction block and walking many miles by more vendor booths, Don and I made our way back to our car, but first I had to check out my new want: the new, all-electric 2022 Ford Lightning in pearlescent blue! 

1969 Plymouth Road Runner 

This 1969 Plymouth Road Runner was “the transportation” for Megan and Adam Shafritz when they married.

It was the fall of 1985 and Adam Shafritz was looking for a project car to work on for his Advanced Auto Mechanics class during his senior year at Mamaroneck High School (NY). 

Late 1960’s muscle cars were just seeing their resurgence. He had already done all the work he could on family and friends’ cars and wanted to advance his mechanical knowledge and abilities. With the help of a gym teacher who had bought muscle cars at auctions in the south, Adam identified one with 3 cars of interest. 

In December, Adam and his dad flew People’s Express airlines from Newark, NJ to Charlotte, NC and purchased at auction his Sunfire Yellow 1969 Plymouth Road Runner for $2,000.00. The car looked like it had undergone recent cosmetic restoration, but they were not able to test drive it prior to bidding. The other two cars of interest was a 1968 Hemi for $4000, and a Superbee for $5000. There were a few times that Adam looked back and wondered if he should have begged his dad for a loan at the auction. 

Adam and his dad then set out on a 650 mile road trip bringing the car home. They soon realized that the only things that worked were the headlights, speedometer and windshield wipers. The transmission leaked a quart of fluid every 200 miles, the engine burned a quart of oil every 500 miles, and the front-end suspension and steering was shot, causing the car to change lanes every small bump in the road. What an adventure! 

Adam, right & his teacher, Stephen Bullock 

He brought the car into the high school auto shop, where he got to work with the assistance of Stephen Bullock, his teacher, rebuilding the front-end, steering, engine and transmission. The instrument cluster and electronics were restored, and in April of 1986 the car was out of the shop and on the road. He use to show up a few minutes late to his AP Calculus class covered in grease every day where he met his future wife Megan, who took note of their math teacher’s calling Adam out regularly asking him about the car pro-ject he was working on. When the car was finished, Adam asked Megan if she wanted a ride, and the rest is history. 

They both went off to college and professional schools and the car sat in Adam’s parents’ garage for more than a decade. During that time, the car began to slowly decay and although Adam would periodically take the car out for a drive, it lost its reliability. 

In late 1999, Adam contacted Chuck Pierce from Lempster, NH and had him perform an updated restoration. It was found that the 383 block was cracked so an early 1969 casting was located, bored 0.040 over, the compression ratio was lowered and hardened valve seats were installed to allow the car to run on pump gas without the need for lead substitute. Because the car was no longer numbers matching, Chuck Pierce converted the 727 Torqueflite automatic transmission to a 4-speed manual with a Hurst shifter. To make the car stop without having to apply both feet to the brake pedal, the front drum brakes were converted to power disc. 

plymouth road runner wedding

Adam and Megan moved to South Burlington, VT in 2001 and put a garage addition onto their house to specifically house the Road Runner. They joined the VAE in 2002 and have 2 children, Emily and Justin

Justin has developed a love for all things mechanical and has picked up cars along with antique farm equipment, tractors, and hit and miss engines as hobbies. You will frequently see the two of them together at car shows with their various vehicles including a 1957 Studebaker Silver Hawk, 2008 Z-06 Corvette, 2018 Type RA Subaru and a 1919 Alamo hit and miss engine. 

The Plymouth Road Runner is a mid-size car, with a focus on performance, built between 1968 and 1980. 

Plymouth paid $50,000 to Warner Brothers to use the Road Runner name and likeness from their Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner cartoons (as well as a “beep, beep” horn, which Plymouth paid $10,000 to develop) 

American Standard Catalog reports there were 81,125 Road Runners built in addition to 3,295 built for the Canadian market. 

1903 Grout Model J Drop-front Roadster

Bill Cooke and Sarah Moon have a car they call “Tilly”. The car is a 1903 Grout. 

Above, is the completely restored Grout, a Model J Drop-front Roadster, of today. 

VAE Presidents Restoration Award
Bill and Sarah were presented the 2021 VAE President’s Restoration Award for this beautiful steam car.
Bill Cooke and Sarah Moon’s 1903 Grout, sleeping in a New Hampshire garage in the 1940s 

The story from Bill and Sarah 

Tilly, our 1903 model-J drop-front Grout, joined the family in the summer of 1967 in a group-purchase that included an ’06 Franklin, a ’23 Ford pickup, a ’16 Oakland, and a ’46 Chevy hauler. The previous owner was Harry Hopewell, a real estate developer from New Hampshire. He had purchased the Grout from a family in Maine in 1941, it had been in a wood shed from 1905. The lady of the house had “inherited” it and had a particularly bad day of driving the car, topped off with running over the neighbors cat in the driveway. 

Harry stored it in his father’s garage for the duration of the war, eventually putting it on display in Glenn Gould’s Meredith, NH car museum. Gould was in the process of moving his museum to Wells, ME when Bill’s dad, Frank Cooke made the group-purchase. At the time of purchase, Tilly was thought to be the last surviving Grout. However, a Mr. J. Beun had been working at his model J restoration since 1955. 

1903 Grout Model J  bill sarah

Tilly was running again in 1968, needing only a few mechanical repairs and eventually a paint job. The next 3 decades were pretty sweet. Lots of meets, shows, and a few cameos in local TV. Tilly made 2 ½ London to Brighton runs, 1979-81, and met another Grout in 1981, who also thought they were the sole survivor. The car kept putting away in central Massachusetts with the local car clubs calling her the only running Grout. Then in 2005, a boiler replacement project revealed a sag in the wooden frame that was threatening to break the car in half. 

The full restoration was started in 2013. The woodwork was done by Mark Herman in CT. He replaced the frame, and repaired the body panels that could be saved. The wheels were rebuilt at Stutzman’s Wheel shop in PA. We did the prep work for the paint on the body, wheels and wooden fenders, which was completed by Randy Beaudoin and Kenny Jacobs in MA. 

The boiler and burner were made by Don Bourdon in Woodstock, he also got us in touch with the man who made the copper water tank. The leather is original to the car. All the plumbing and mechanical restoration was done by us. Sarah made the boots for the top and the era inspired costumes for us. 


Bill working on the boiler 
Sarah sanding the body

Tilly enjoyed a full debut season in 2021, participating in an annual steam car tour, and 3 large car shows including the V.A.E. Waterbury show and a couple best in pre-war awards. 

Mr. Beun’s car has made it to Australia and is now active in the car community there. We now know of a dozen Grout cars world wide, and though the company started and ended with internal combustion vehicles, only the steam powered cars survived. 

The New Year 2022

Here we are in a new year, 2022, and I am left wondering how I got here so fast. It seems like only a couple of years ago I was talking to Gary about how we were going to say 2001. Would it be two-thousand and one or twenty-01? And now it is twenty – twenty-two. Amazing! 

And now is the time some people are making or have already made a resolution for the coming year, taking stock of oneself and deciding what we should work on or, in a lot of cases, “work off”! I personally have made a few over the years of the “work off” kind but always seemed to start very motivated, and then think I could do it tomorrow or next week and, as it turned out, had the thought that it would be a good one for next year! 

I really admire those that can plan and stick to it, but guess I am not one of those. I have a friend (from childhood) that plans her eating and exercising every day and never veers away. While on one hand I think doing this is admirable, but my thought is that you will miss something 

wonderful in your quest to be perfect. We took her to a fabulous restaurant once, and we could tell it was almost painful for her to decide what she could eat. She chose eggs Benedict with meat and hollandaise sauce on the side (both left untouched), and she let Gary order her dessert and take it home. Gary was happy, two desserts! But have to say, “To each his own.” But also will add that is why she looks like a toothpick and I look like a bush! 

So am I making a New Year’s resolution? Not really, but I will try to be kinder, happier, smile more, and not always passing on dessert might just be the answer. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

1929 70A Willys Knight Sedan

Tammy and Charlie Thompson, (Daughter and Dad), are on their way to a parade in this beautiful 1929 Willys Knight Sedan.

1929 Willys Knight Sedan hood ornament

Tammy’s 70A Willys Knight is a sight to be seen! The lines are great, it was built during the height of the factory’s output (140,000 were built that year), and the engineering quality is among the best.

One other small detail is the type of engine that hauls this beauty around. The gent who developed this unique engine is Charles Knight. One requirement of his, if you wanted to use his engine, is that his name had to be added to the vehicle name: thus “Willys Knight”. The Knight engine does not use the normal valves we are use to. When he was thirty-two years-old, Mr. Knight purchased a vehicle in 1901 and was very annoyed by the sound of the slapping valve. He found financial backing and developed an engine that was added to a new automobile in 1906, called the “Silent Knight”. His cure for all that noise was to dump the old valves and add two sleeves inside each cylinder. Each sleeve had built-in holes and when certain holes lined up, the exhaust was allowed to leave. Another set of holes would be lined up when the gas/air mixture needed to get into the cylinder. Tammy’s Willys Knight model was built from 1914 through 1933.

Tammy purchased her Sedan about six years ago from a gent in Connecticut. She was influenced, in a small way, from her dad, Charlie Thompson, who has a Whippet, built by the same company; Willys-Overland. She fell in love with the brand while joining her dad to a national Willys-Overland gathering. Her car came up for sale and with the help of her dad and other WOKR Club members, she bought it. Beside the brand, the condition and the car’s history; there was one other important reason for her purchase….it was red, her favorite color.

1929 Willys Knight 70A Sedan

Tammy has become use to the 200-to-300-mile tours that happen when their WOKR club gets together. Asked about the longest distance she has traveled, driving her car, she said the trip from Marietta, Georgia to Jasper, Indiana was the longest. Her son, Ethan, and her dad, Charlie, joined her in the 800-mile round-trip. Except for a small emergency about a half hour at the start the trip, all went very well. The emergency was a fire from a dragging right-rear brake, which happens to be just inches from the gas tank. Ethan could smell smoke and it took a while to convince his mother it was coming from “her” car. A squirt or two from a fire extinguisher, a short wait for everything to cool down and a small adjustment to matched that mechanical brake to the other three, and they were on their way again.

She said her Willys Knight loves to cruise at 43 MPH. The Knight engines are noted for burning oil, and some, putting out lots of tail-pipe smoke while driving down the highway. You can see from the front page, as Tammy was gearing up to entering the highway, that her engine is not a smoker.

The only other mishap was when she had entered a rally race with her Willys Knight. Her navigator had to cancel at the last minute, so she decided to go anyway. All was going very well as she followed a competitor in his speedy little sports car; until “the corner”. She said the car requires strong arm steering, and while the little sports car sped around the corner, she went straight. She was very proud that she did not do a “wheelie” like she had done a few years earlier with her dad’s Whippet. She recovered and came in sixth place. (Tammy’s definition of a wheelie, in a car, is to have the two tires on the left or the right, off the ground.)

1929 70A Willys Knight Sedan interior

Tammy’s next project is a Vermont Willys Knight. A 1928 Model 56 Sport Coupe that had belonged to Gael Boardman from the mid-50s. There is a WOKR gathering in Huntsville, Georgia next June and she hopes to be driving it.

That “Coupe” has lots of VAE club history going back to when Gael was a young man and Pevey Peake was having his old-car adventures. If you do a little Wheel Tracks research, you can find Gael-stories about the coupe. One story he wrote is called “Takes a Licking, Keeps on Smoking”, where he mentions driving the car over 100,000 miles while he had it. This coupe now has a new life with Tammy and ready to make much more history.
Ain’t this old-car stuff fantastic?

Good luck in your travels Tammy. You don’t need to be told to have a good time, you have that part exactly right.