I have been poking along on my 1927 engine for about 4 months now. Today "Rusty" is all together and testing has started.
Rusty is a late 1927 commercial roadster pickup which was purchased by the Los Angeles City Fire Dept. as one of a fleet of 6 in 1927. Commercial fleet vehicles came with demountable wooden wheels, black running gear (fenders, aprons and radiator shell, green body, and a running board mounted spare.
The L.A.F.D. added their own paint scheme (red bodies and logos with station number on the doors) on all their equipment except the "Mountain Patrol Vehicles", one of which was Rusty. They got L.A.F.D. on the green doors in yellow block letters. They also got "FIRE" on the back of the rear seat and on the radiator. Photos of this paint scheme for the 1927 T is not available, but is visible in photos of the 1928 Model A Mountain Patrol Vehicle.
Some time after acquiring Rusty I sanded a little on the doors and uncovered the L.A.F.D. logo (thank you Bill Mitchell who spotted the markings and pointed them out to me). Some paint covering the logo was applied when the fire folks sold the car back in the '20's... that is why the logo remained. That was all I could find on the car. It was enough because upon research with the L.A.F.D. museum folks I found out that only Mountain Patrol Vehicles had letters on the door like that. They even came up with a photo of the whole Mountain Patrol on inspection in 1927.
I would rub the truck down with linseed oil or kerosene and drive the dickens out of it.I wouldn't repaint it.It is only original once and being it is 1 left of all of them,I would save it as is.
Could you find another shell and paint the logo on it? It would not be original to the car but it would be a faithful copy of the original that is carefully hung in the garage!
I don't know how well it would react to linseed oil? Maybe experiment with some on other rusty parts first? But like Mack C, I think I would go that route. I think Rusty is a unique and special model T! (And I have seen him in person)
Terry I like it as it is dont paint it! I would soak it up with motor oil that will preserve it and stop people from climbing on it! our T is oily and dirty but people seem to get a kick out of it
Mack, I have been driving "the dickens out of it" for the past almost 20 years. The night I brought it home I proudly showed my wife what I had bought for $5. Her response: "Do you think you can get your money back?"
Rusty pretty much stays just as he is now for the remainder of my life. Part of the recent work was to replace some modified parts with originals.
The doors have a thin over-coating of clear lacquer spray. No one seems to notice... I will probably try that on the shell. I think that oil might make the recently emerged "FIRE" go away.
That's pretty neat. Leave it as is. In California if you park it indoors, it will last almost forever. I don't know where Penn Valley is, but if it is away from the ocean, it will stay very good. However if near the ocean, it will rust very fast.
Terry glad see you still got RUSTY remember him well befor you picked him up at uncle Bills place
Bob, how is Bill K.?
Spray the shell to preserve it. Why are you disappointed with Rusty at present? Anything we can help with?