OT - a special kind of Model A

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: OT - a special kind of Model A
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Don Booth@ Bay City, Mi on Sunday, June 19, 2016 - 02:29 pm:

I met a gal at the car show today that showed me these pictures of her fathers car. Interesting to say the least.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Monday, June 20, 2016 - 09:10 am:

Don,i'm very sure Ford at the Time had a [Skunk Work's] and it might have been a photo type for Ford to get into heavy truck's?? Bud.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Semprez-Templeton, CA on Monday, June 20, 2016 - 12:08 pm:

Back in the 60's I found what looked like a heavy tandem AA frame in our local wrecking yard. It had two worm drive rear ends coupled together with a short drive shaft. The two axles were attached to a common cantilever spring setup, which in turn was attached to the frame with a pivot between the two axles. It had two sets of steel AA dual truck wheels, and four sets of mechanical rear brakes. The whole setup looked like factory work, although my Dad thought it may have been an aftermarket option.

This thread kinda sheds new light on what I saw. Did Ford build some tandem drive trucks in the 30's?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Monday, June 20, 2016 - 12:32 pm:

A couple of years ago at the registration for the OCF i saw a Model AA chassis with a tandem axle. I only got a quick glance at it and i never have seen it since.With no way to either shift the axle's in or out full time would be hard to turn and take a lot of power!! Bud.PS,The a in the picture,are those early AA wires on AA hubs?? Bud in Wheeler,Mi.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Semprez-Templeton, CA on Monday, June 20, 2016 - 12:54 pm:

Bud, I'm curious, why do you think two rear ends with differentials, coupled together, be hard to turn?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem - SE Michigan on Monday, June 20, 2016 - 01:03 pm:

John,

I don't know what Bud's answer would be, but mine is that those 4 rear wheels don't steer and would have to drag some in a turn.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erik Johnson on Monday, June 20, 2016 - 01:22 pm:

I have a hard time believing that is a prototype built by Ford Motor Co. Usually stories like that are just stories and nothing more.

A similar example: there is a beautiful 1937 Ford camper from Minnesota that folks claim was custom built at the Ford Plant in St. Paul. Frankly, my opinion is that although the running gear may have been assembled in St. Paul, the body was most likely built by the Eckland Brothers Co. in Minneapolis. It is highly doubtful that custom body work was done at the St. Paul assembly plant.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Monday, June 20, 2016 - 01:27 pm:

Any modern truck with the tandem's locked are hard to turn and it takes more power. 99% of all truck's you see on the road are running on one axle.Out in the dirt/mud/field use both if needed.Bud.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Henry Petrino in Modesto, CA on Monday, June 20, 2016 - 01:30 pm:

John,

I don't know what Bud's answer will be either, but think of how a differential works. With a direct common input shaft things are gonna be hard to turn because each of the four wheels needs to turn at a different speed when the truck is turning, but the design prevents independent 4 wheel speeds. The only other thing that can give without breaking something is the tire tread slipping on the road.

Anyhow, that's my $0.02 worth. Anybody have a better explanation?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Sullivan on Monday, June 20, 2016 - 02:09 pm:

I had a 1937 Ford big truck with tandem drive, built by aftermarket outfit, can't remember the brand, but looked good, was fairly common, sold to Jerry Mclellan of Bellingham some years ago. Would like to point out that big trucks, semi sized were commonly equipped with Timken SQW axles up into the late 50's, they did not have inter axle differential (power divider) tires had to match. Dave in Bellingham,WA


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Semprez-Templeton, CA on Monday, June 20, 2016 - 04:12 pm:

No power dividers on the chain driven tag-a-long set up's used in the 40's and 50's nor the GMC CCKW (Deuce and a half) tandem drivers during WWII.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron in Central Massachusetts on Monday, June 20, 2016 - 04:32 pm:

Not convinced this is a factory built rig. Period aftermarket, yes, but not Rouge-built. Only special-bodied Ts, As and V-8s I've seen that were documented Ford-built were for internal factory use (there's one of a '28 AA lunch cart tug in a book on the Rouge I have). Most "prototypes" are pretty well documented as well and I cannot recall any tandems being referenced in anything I've seen over the years. Do they claim to have any paperwork with it?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Monday, June 20, 2016 - 04:46 pm:

John,Your right about Uncle Sam's truck's then but who knows about now? I had two semis when i moved dirt and i drive a 18 speed in the fall harvest but i do not know the actual date of power dividers? I would guess by 1975 every tandem had it? Remember the old V belt drives? Henry is right! Bud.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey, N. California on Monday, June 20, 2016 - 06:03 pm:

I dunno if Ford built this, but yes, those are the unusual Ford wire spoked truck wheels. Normally associated with '28 AAs, but also used for the deluxe AAs, like the Ambulances.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey, N. California on Monday, June 20, 2016 - 06:05 pm:

I dunno if Ford built this, but yes, those are the unusual Ford wire spoked truck wheels. Normally associated with '28 AAs, but also used for the deluxe AAs, like the Ambulances.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erik Barrett in Auburn Ca. on Monday, June 20, 2016 - 06:48 pm:

Henry didn't know he built it because he probably didn't build it. The wheels are not 28 AA wheels, those are 20" and have a snap ring not visible in the photo. Newer factory made tandem drive trucks have an inter-axle differential. This thing must be a brute to steer in tight maneuvers.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By paul iverson freeport ill. on Monday, June 20, 2016 - 07:55 pm:

I know the car well, A good friend of mine bought it from the original owners family in 1960 he restored it a few years ago and sold it back to the family. the first owner was a early worker and friend of henrys that had it made for his farm it was made in the ford plant I saw the original 1930 mich. title.it uses 2 car rear ends not locking it also had a snow mobile track when new it uses stock 19 inch 30 31 car wheels


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Lloid on Monday, June 20, 2016 - 08:08 pm:

I tried to buy a standard model AA 3 years ago that had those same wheels on it. My model A friend that took me to look at it and decided he really wanted it so it was his connection to model A Parts so I left it alone. The truck was original and was from a coal mine but was in really decent shape. The poor truck is still sitting in the man's garage and the guy that took me to see it still says he is buying the truck. I have since given up thinking about the truck. Maybe he will change his mind and call me some day. Tim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Monday, June 20, 2016 - 08:36 pm:

When i said i thought the wheels were AA i was saying model AA as in truck. Bud.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron in Central Massachusetts on Monday, June 20, 2016 - 08:52 pm:

Those wheels were used on special production 30-31 AAs. I have only seen them on one actual vehicle - a 31 AA hearse - and in books.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erik Barrett in Auburn Ca. on Monday, June 20, 2016 - 09:23 pm:

Somewhere I saw these wheels on a big panel truck that was property of a movie studio. Very unusual, not the same as regular 28 truck wheels or car wheels. That being said, the wheels on the truck in the picture are regular 30-31 19" model A wheels, as Paul states. What an interesting history. No doubt there was room at the factory for off the radar projects. I would like to see how the rear ends were coupled. I can think of no practical way to do it. With a snowmobile conversion, there is no reason for it, the third axle is just along for the ride. Sure would like some pics.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By paul iverson freeport ill. on Monday, June 20, 2016 - 10:42 pm:

I have looked at the frame before the body was put on, I should have took a picture. it looked to me like the front diff. had a second pinnion gear coming out the back with a closed tube drive shaft hooked to a stock diff in rear it was hand welded I would guess. probly ring gear reversed in rear? it held up to 30 years hard work on a farm my friend had the body made but it was a station wagon originally and he tryed to match it. it uses all car parts and wheels. he had the bill of sale from ford


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey, N. California on Monday, June 20, 2016 - 10:43 pm:

Ron, that's the wheels I was thinking of. I saw some once, but it was decades ago (a hearse too!).


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Monday, June 20, 2016 - 10:53 pm:

It would take a bunch of work to use a snowmobile track on it as pictured.Bud.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Stroud on Tuesday, June 21, 2016 - 04:49 am:

OK.Here's my 02$ worth. Henry, I respectfully disagree with you. Each of the four wheels do not need to turn at a different speed. The four inner wheels do, and the four outer wheels do, IF, all of the tires are the same size. The four inner wheels are following the same arc, and the four outer wheels are following the same arc. In a tandem axle setup, the wheels for sure have have to slip, (slide) whether powered or not, same thing on a trailer. OK Bud, here's where I respectfully disagree with you, maybe I'm not on the same page. If you are talking about the tandems being locked that are hard to turn, do you mean the axles are also locked side to side? As I see it, if just the axles are locked with an inter/axle differential lock, that wouldn't make any difference, just as the older military Duece and a Half (and many other) trucks were set up. If the AXLES had differential locks, that would be different. Opinions welcome. :-) JMHO Dave


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Stroud on Tuesday, June 21, 2016 - 05:18 am:

Another thought. There was a company in Kansas City that built after market tandem axle conversions for trucks back in the day. I have seen factory pictures that were taken in the late 40's, early 50's, maybe earlier.The ones that I had seen had a transfer case with a high and low speed transfer case and two output shafts for the two rearends. I can't think of the name of the company now, maybe Joe Rudzick can recall it. Dave


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ed Baudoux Grayling Michigan on Tuesday, June 21, 2016 - 07:32 am:

A geometry lesson for David. All wheels travel a different arc. No disrespect. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Tuesday, June 21, 2016 - 08:15 am:

David,We are trying to talk now,and then. Then would be either both axles drive [like 3 cats in a sack] or the rear axle is dead.Dead axle's do not fight each other but unless on a hard surface road you get stuck easily! Now you can have locking axles and you can/do have a power divider which is between the drive on the first and second axle and is a in and out box with a air shift.Anyone remember about the Stainless Steel body's Ford used at the airport?? Bud in Wheeler,Mi.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron in Central Massachusetts on Tuesday, June 21, 2016 - 09:11 am:

Here is a good picture of the '31 AA Funeral Coach (Briggs had the contract to build the bodies for Ford). You can see the special 20" spoked AA wheels.

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Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron in Central Massachusetts on Tuesday, June 21, 2016 - 09:14 am:

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Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill in Adelaida Calif on Tuesday, June 21, 2016 - 09:59 am:

several years ago at the Bakersfield swap meet there was a 31 Deluxe hearse from Colorado. Beautiful unrestored truck with wire wheels and stainless trim. The 31 Deluxe AA wire wheels are NOT the same as the 28 AA wire wheels or passenger car wheels. The car in the first picture has 30-31 A passenger car wheels on it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron in Central Massachusetts on Tuesday, June 21, 2016 - 10:51 am:

My father and I chased an AA hearse here in Massachusetts for YEARS. It had been purchased new by a funeral home that received a contract to move some cemeteries (the cemeteries were being moved as part of a reservoir construction project). The funeral home had a Packard hearse, but did not want to use it for the contract (understandably). After the cemeteries were moved, the funeral home sold the AA to a local farmer. He used it up until the late 60s to haul cucumbers from the fields to his barn for packing. The hearse then sat in the barn and my father heard about it from a co-worker who lived in the area. My Dad and I stopped by one Saturday (had to be in the late 70s), asked the farmer about the hearse and he was happy to show us the vehicle. With the exception of some matted dirt from 30 years of hauling cucumbers, the interior was pristine green mohair. All the hardware (handles, brass rollers) was there - original paint, stainless AA radiator shell, those beautiful wheels - everything. Absolute time capsule.

The farmer went back and forth about selling it for years - "I'm thinking about selling it...I'm getting ready to sell....I'd like to free up the space....I'm retired now and I may want to restore it....I may leave it to my daughter....My daughter probably doesn't want it, maybe I'll sell it...I'll think about....Keep after me about it...." I think he just enjoyed someone visiting. After about 10 years of periodically stopping by, my Dad and I gave up. About 10-15 years ago, there was a full page ad in Hemmings for a Model AA Funeral Coach - the vehicle was located in Tennessee and no price was listed in the ad. For the hell of it, my Dad called the number in the ad (I was overseas at the time). The current owner said that the hearse had come out of a cucumber farm "up in Massachusetts." The previous owner had passed away and his kids had sold the hearse - they just wanted it gone. Probably went for short money.

Whole thing still causes me some sleepless nights when I think about it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Stroud on Tuesday, June 21, 2016 - 06:22 pm:

Ed, you missed my point. I am talking about just the tandem wheels. Maybe I was a bit confusing by saying the inner four wheels and the outer four wheels. By that, I mean the dual wheels that are normally used on a tandem setup. If they were singles, then naturally it would be the inner two wheels and the outer two wheels. If you had a third axle on your drawing, the rear two axles would follow the same arc and your red dotted line would be centered between them, as I see it. No disrespect taken, and I may well be all wet, but that's my take on it. :-) Dave


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