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President's Page

June 2020

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In May, your Board of Directors made another very difficult decision. We concluded that risk to our members would still be at unacceptable levels in early December, so the Board has cancelled the annual National Awards Banquet (NAB) that was to be held in Fort Worth, Texas. This has been a very disappointing year for our members and we are extremely sorry that we have had to take this action. Like our move to cancel the National Convention originally set for this month, we believe it would be best to avoid even the possibility of COVID-19 problems in December. We are grateful to Fort Worth’s Cowtown A’s for agreeing to sponsor the event in 2021. They had already made some wonderful plans for 2020 and assure us those plans will be transferable to next year.

As you know, the National Awards Banquet is when the newly elected Board members are installed for the coming year. That will still happen, but it will be happening at the MAFCA office in La Habra rather than in Fort Worth.

I hope you agree with our decisions. They are unprecedented. Our hope is that 2021 will allow us to get back on track with our national and regional events. Our primary national event for 2021 will be the MAFCA National Tour in North Conway, New Hampshire. It will be held from June 20 through June 24. Mark your calendar now so you can be sure to get your reservation when the forms become available early next year. The New Hampshire Lakes Region MAC has been working hard to get ready for us. They have a wonderful tour planned with experiences that you will be able to brag about for years to come. And, then there will be the National Awards Banquet in Fort Worth, Texas in the December 2021 time frame. Exact dates will be announced in the near future.

We all wish you continued good health and safety as these days of COVID-19 roll on. If you have a chance to get out and drive your Model A, even around the block a few times, you will feel better just by getting out in your favorite car. I hope to see you soon.

Bill Truesdell, 2020 President


May 2020

It seems like it has been a long time since we have been able to get out in our Model A’s and tour to new and exciting destinations. Actually, it has only been a few weeks. The end will come soon and we will be able to gather again to pursue our favorite pastime.

We have some really great news to share. Bob Kreipke, former Ford Motor Company historian and author of many books, including 2020’s The Ford Model A, has agreed to be the Honorary Historian for our Model A Ford Club of America. We are delighted to have Bob join our family. You can look forward to reading articles from Bob in future issues of The Restorer. His insights and life-long interest in Ford products gives him a unique ability to help us all understand more about Model A history. Welcome, Bob. His new book is available on Amazon.com.

MAFCA has been working diligently on a new book about the Victoria Coupe model of Model A Fords. It is in the final stages of preparation and will be ready for ordering by mid- to late-June. It is an updated version of the original compilation of articles from The Restorer and the Victoria Association’s Bustle. The new volume will include a list of Surviving Model A Ford 190-A Victoria Coupes and a table of Similarities and Differences for the 400-A, 190-A and the 180-A models. Those are the Convertible Sedan, the Victoria, and the Deluxe Phaeton. If you have an interest in Victoria’s, this is a book you will want to have in your library.

I’m pleased to tell you that Chuck Christensen is back from his heart surgery and once again answering your technical questions. During his absence, Jim Cannon filled in and we thank Jim for his help. Welcome back Chuck.

All the best,
Bill Truesdell 2020 President


April 2020

MAFCA Response to Coronavirus

As of this writing, it has been two weeks since California Governor Newsom issued his order to shelter in place. We are permitted to go to the grocery store and medical appointments or pharmacies. That’s about it. And, for many of us in the “more experienced” life group, for those things we get out of the house more often than younger folks might.

Our MAFCA office in La Habra, California has been closed since the governor’s order was issued. Nonetheless, we are still responding to emails and returning phone calls when you leave voice mail messages. If you have an urgent need to contact us, we welcome your call. You can find the phone numbers and email addresses of all the MAFCA Board members on page 3 of the current issue of The Restorer. If you would like one of our staff members to get in touch with you, please call the office at 562-697-2712 and leave a message. You can reach out by email to the office staff by contacting info@mafca.com.

We are now in April and there are still many folks who have not yet renewed their membership for 2020. If you are one of them, please click on MAFCA STORE to renew today. We don’t want you to miss out on a single benefit of MAFCA membership.

With so many Model A tours and gatherings being cancelled due to the medical emergency, this might be a good time to rebuild parts you need by doing it somewhere on the inside of your house. Even now the garage is too cold in many parts of the country. It is also a good opportunity to study for your judging certifications by using our on-line study guides. For vehicle judges you will find the tests at https://mafca.com/v_tests.html. For era fashion judging you will find the tests at https://mafca.com/ef_tests.html.

Finally, we are nearing the date when we will send the new 2020 MAFCA Membership Directory to the printer. Everyone who has already ordered a copy will have theirs shipped first. If you have yet to order your copy, please click on MAFCA Store. For only $16 per copy plus shipping, you will have the latest information about member contacts. It is an invaluable resource when you are touring away from your home location and need to ask for help.

I wish each of you safety for yourselves and your families in the coming weeks. Take each day of confinement with the belief that it will help you remain virus free. I'm excited to think what fun we will have when the touring window has been reopened.

All the best,
Bill Truesdell 2020 President


March 2020

The bulbs are starting to flower here in the West. It won’t be long before they start punching their way through the snow farther East. Getting the Model A ready for touring is the next item on our “To Do” list. It easy to do simple things like checking the lug nuts on your wheels to be sure they are torqued to 55 foot-pounds. Back flushing the radiator will get rid of all the flakes of rust that may have accumulated over the winter. But also be sure to recheck the toe-in alignment on your front end so your car will hold itself squarely on the road and not bounce around or wander. Does your horn work? How about the headlights? Now is the time to change the oil (and filter if you have one). A little careful attention to annual maintenance and your special beauty will be ready to tackle another season of touring.

I was visiting the AAA office the other day and requested some maps for the route between us and Kerrville, Texas. They still have paper maps. Those are a nice alternative to the GPS displays we have on our phones these days. It is nice to spread them out on the table and use a highlighter to mark the route we want to take. They also make it easy to determine daily driving distances so planning hotel stops is made easier. We are looking forward to being in Kerrville for the National Convention, and we are looking forward to enjoying our journey to and from Texas as well.

National Conventions are so much fun. We still have an opening for a club to host the 2022 National Convention. There are some great rewards waiting for those who agree to take on that project. Talk with MAFCA Vice President David White. You can reach him at VP@MAFCA.com. He will share with you all the details.

Bill Truesdell 2020 President


January 2020 - Happy New Year everyone!

In the coldest part of the year, with snow on the ground in many parts of the country our Model A’s are sleeping snuggly in their garages. Now is a good time to plan the annual reawakening maintenance that must be done before we begin our next touring season.

So, when you plan your garden for next spring, why not plan your maintenance for the Model A, too? Order the parts you know you will need. Put together a list to be done like changing the oil, repacking the wheel bearings, lubricating all the joints and back flushing the radiator. These are just a few of the steps to take so that your touring experiences will be exciting rather than disappointing.

2020 will be a great MAFCA year. We have two exceptional programs coming. The National Convention in Kerrville, Texas (near San Antonio) will provide some great tours through the Texas Hill Country. We will also have the chance to visit San Antonio’s River Walk and the Historic Alamo. If these are destinations you already have on your bucket list, you won’t be disappointed. Save June 20 through 26 on your calendar for this special event.

In December we will return to Texas to visit Fort Worth for the National Awards Banquet. Please put December 3 through 6 on your calendar for this annual event. There will be wonderful seminars, educational era fashion events, tours through the greater Dallas-Fort Worth vicinity and, of course, announcement of the literary awards, fashion awards and the new Board of Directors for 2021.

Lots to look forward to. I hope to see you there.

Bill Truesdell 2020 President


December 2019 - Another wonderful Model A year.

This month starts with the MAFCA National Awards Banquet in Claremont California, December 2-5. I am looking forward to seeing many friends and enjoying tours and seminars. As part of the activities, new Board members will be sworn in and a new President selected. So, this will be my last President’s message.

The high point for us this year was clearly the Canyonlands Tour. There were other highlights as well, like having the MAFCA Board meeting at my shop in Stockton and previewing our new Model A warehouse close to home. All told, we drove more cars and traveled more miles than in any year in the last ten (although 2016 and 2017 were pretty good too). The Board is already working on the National Tour in 2021 and it will be another great event. Watch for the announcement on the MAFCA website in coming months.

Next year we have a National Convention in Kerrville Texas, June 21 through June 26. Having been in that area, I can attest to this being a perfect location for all Model A events. This is Texas Hill Country with many scenic Model A roads. The timing is as ideal since the hot weather comes later in the summer. You can find the registration form through the MAFCA Website under coming events. Naturally, the form will also appear in the next issue of The Restorer. Debbie and I will be there, and we hope to see many of you as well.

I want to express my appreciation for the efforts of the Board Directors over the past year. David White, Kay Lee, Garth Shreading, Mike Kelley, Bill Myers, Doug Linden, Bill Truesdell and Dan Foulk have proven to be invaluable resources in maintaining a healthy and active club with a bright future. Thanks to all of you and to Sandra Aguirre too!

Happy Holidays to all of you and your families!

Doug Clayton
2019 MAFCA President


Oct/Nov 2019 - The Grandest of Tours

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The Canyonlands Tour, what an amazing trip! I admit that driving around in a Model A is wonderful way to spend a few days. However, when you combine the fun of touring with some of the most scenic National Parks in the whole country, the excitement becomes almost unbearable. 350+ registrants made it to Kanab Utah in early October to share and enjoy the majestic vistas as well as each other’s company. Even though we had anticipated this event for over 4 years, reality exceeded all our expectations. The weather cooperated, the Model A’s cooperated (only a couple of breakdowns) and even the traffic cooperated. Congratulations to the Steering Committee for a job well done!

The next big event for MAFCA will be the National Awards Banquet in Claremont California, December 2-5. With registrations now approaching 250, this promises to be another terrific event. For those members who have never attended a National Awards Banquet, you are missing a most enjoyable time with seminars, local tours and a very relaxed atmosphere. Sign up while you still can.

Last week, we received the sad news that MAFCA has lost another one of our great contributors (and a close friend), Tim Johnstone. Back in 1986, then President Bob Swigert appointed Tim Johnstone, John Hargrave and me to the Judging Standards Committee which was, at the time involved, with printing a revision to the Judging Standards (now the Restoration Guidelines). Tim was already known for his in-depth research and restoration on Model A Station Wagons. John Hargrave went on to serve as MAFCA President in 1992, while Tim and I continued to work on every revision of the Guidelines since then. Tim also was the head of the Woody Wagons Special Interest Group, providing detailed help to countless restorers over the years. He served as Chief Judge at the 1994 Joint Convention in Tacoma, the 2008 Convention in Dallas and was appointed to serve as Chief Judge for the upcoming Kerrville meet next year. He was made a Life Member in 2004 for his tireless efforts. We will all miss him.

Now that we are back home, I am getting back to my “5S” efforts to straighten up the garage. This consists of the five basic steps – sort, straighten, shine (or sweep), standardize, and sustain. Well, I am still sorting, but I have done some straightening and cleaning as well. At the start of the project, I envisioned following the 5 steps in order, and finishing up in a month or two. Now reality has set in! Although the garage looks much better, I am starting to measure my success in feet. That is, how many feet of useful garage space can I clear and clean up in a day or weekend? Wish me luck, a little warm weather and I will be out test driving one of the Model A’s!

Doug Clayton
2019 MAFCA President


Aug/Sept 2019 - In Search of a Clean Garage

I don’t know about the rest of our members, but after having been involved in the restoration of several Model A’s, I am finding it increasingly difficult to find parts. Now, I don’t mean finding parts at swap meets or on Ebay or Ford Barn, I am talking about finding parts (and tools) in my own garage! The most rewarding day for most of us is when we actually accomplish a task in the restoration or maintenance of a vehicle. If it takes a lot of time to locate the parts, tools or supplies, then frustration takes over.

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Well, the time has arrived (maybe just advanced age) to clean up the mess. In business, we follow Lean Manufacturing principles to overcome this problem. So, I decided to take the first step by performing a “5S” effort on my garage. Actually, this process dates back to a system developed by Ford in their early manufacturing efforts. So what is 5S? Simply put, it boils down to five steps – sort, straighten, shine (or sweep), standardize, and sustain.

First, I need to move the 1929 Roadster that has been stored in the garage since it was finished in 1984. It was a nice sunny day and perfect for a little drive, so I took my grandson, Chase, for a ride. We had a great time and the car was running sweet, so that short cruise was the first day’s effort.

 picture For the past few weeks, I have been sorting all of the Model A parts in the garage. Putting like items in cardboard boxes and marking the boxes with a description of the contents. Seems like I am finding more parts than I remember. Some items were just junk and no longer needed. Those things went into the trash or put in a box marked “Swap Meet”. There are still several boxes of stuff that need sorting before tackling the second step, straighten, in the 5S process. Oh yeah, I did find a few household items hidden away.

 picture Oh, boy! Time is growing short before the Canyonlands Tour on October 6th, so I had to take a break from the garage 5S project and get the Cabriolet checked out. As I reported in my previous message, we tried to go on a tour and found that the battery had died in the month that the car was parked. As you can imagine, the car was a bit dusty and needed a little more attention than I figured. My spare parts and tools kit need some attention before we set off for Utah. I don’t want to be the one missing out on a tour through Bryce Canyon or Zion national Park!

Geez, it is a nice day, I had better go for a test run just to make sure it runs perfectly.
We can get back to the 5S effort this coming weekend.

Doug Clayton
2019 MAFCA President


July 2019 - American Pie and Humble Pie

America’s birthday is a great cause for celebration and there is no vehicle more All-American than the Model A Ford! I am seeing a lot of Model A’s on the road lately. Many local chapters are taking advantage of the good weather to go on tours. I think we could have gone on a tour 3 out of the 4 past weekends. Since there are other celebrations to consider (like a Birthday), we chose to attend a tour to visit Stanislaus County Supervisor Jim DeMartini’s private automobile collection. The tour included members from the Tokay A’s, Mother Lode A’s and Delta A’s.

With the promise of a warm sunny day, I figured getting the old 1929 Roadster out for a tour would be ideal. It’s been secure in the garage for a few years, but not driven. I did keep the battery charged and ready at all times. In the winter, I had tried to start it and found the carburetor was plugged up from that darn modern ethanol type gasoline. Not a problem, just clean the jets, reassemble and test. The car ran perfectly. However, the car was dirty and the nickel needed polishing. Going to someone’s private car collection calls for arriving in a clean and polished car, right? Friday evening was spent getting the car cleaned and ready for tour. Debbie volunteered to join me in the garage doing the final preparations. You know, checking the fluids, pumping up the tires and so on. Of course, she wanted to know that all was ready and asked if I started the car. I told her the carburetor was freshly rebuilt and tested.

Saturday morning we loaded up the car with our supplies for the trip and moved the modern cars out of the way. The meeting location was only a couple of miles from our house, but we needed to fill up on gas. We jumped in and the car would not run properly! Apparently, the gas had again plugged up the carburetor jets (after only 5 months). A little running time should fix it, right? Not this time!

Not to worry. The 1930 Cabriolet had been all checked out the month before when the Ford Tri-Motor was at the airport. We figured that was our savior. Just drive over, pick up the Cabriolet and hit the road. Well, not this time! The battery died in that one month time and we had to drive the modern car. Gary Floyd saved us by being the chauffeur on another tour with his Convertible Sedan. We were able to see a wonderful collection and hang out with the other Model A’ers. Naturally, I was the one eating the Humble Pie!

Therefore, if you don’t want to eat Humble Pie on the next tour, do what your wife suggests and start the car the night before the tour! Canyonlands Tour starts October 6th! Don’t make the foolish mistake I made!

Doug Clayton
2019 MAFCA President


June 2019

Today we just returned from the 2019 Northern California Regional Group meet in Santa Rosa. This meet was hosted by the Sonoma A’s chapter with the assistance of the Capitol A’s chapter (Sacramento). The whole meet was a rousing success. The Sonoma A’s have established a reputation for organizing, planning and carrying out Model A events. Attention to detail has become the hallmark of their efforts over the years. The Grand Tour was super as we drove through beautiful scenery in California’s wine country. Debbie and I enjoyed riding along with Gary Floyd which allowed us to see all the sights while Gary did all the work. While at the meet, we also visited the Charles M. Schultz Museum to see how he created all the wildly popular “Peanuts” cartoon strips.

Special tributes were presented for Alex Janke and Trudy Vestal, both long time MAFCA leaders who have recently passed away. Alex was the Chief Judge for this meet and his organizational planning and judging assignments were followed to perfection by Judging Coordinator Bob Johnson and his assistant Dave Uhlig.The MAFCA Board of Directors has selected Garth Shreading to fill the remainder Alex’s term as Treasurer.

 pictureOur contribution to this affair was to bring out the only surviving 1928 Prototype Town Car. This is the same vehicle that Tim Kelly took to the Gilmore Museum last September on Model A Day (along with 4 other rare vehicles). It was a great honor to follow Tim’s tradition of bringing and sharing rare Model A’s.

The summer tour season is final here. This month the 56th Texas Tour is held from June 13-15 in Kerrville Texas. The biggest MAFCA event will be the Canyonlands tour in Kanab Utah October 6-10. There are still a few spots available, but get your reservations in now! See the Jan/Feb edition of The Restorer.

June 15 is the deadline for volunteering to serve on the MAFCA Board of Directors. I can tell you, it has been a very enjoyable experience.

MAFCA’s National Awards Banquet is set for December 2-5, 2019 in Claremont California. The host chapter has an online registration form that can be found on the MAFCA website or by visiting www.2019NAB.com.

Doug Clayton
2019 MAFCA President


May 2019

Model A activity is heating up. Our schedule is quickly filling. Exactly at the time rains were ending in our area, a 1929 Ford Tri-Motor arrived at the local airport offering 20 to 30 minute rides. Our 1930 Cabriolet was already cleaned up and ready for the tour season. Fortunately, the airplane belonged to the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and they were very receptive to our bringing the Cabriolet over for a few photographs. Even the TSA folks at the airport went along with the idea and allowed us easy access. Taking advantage of an ideal situation, we rushed over and brought two more Model A’s to be photographed next to the Tri-Motor.

The deadline for submitting your application to run for the MAFCA Board of Directors is June 15th. Applications are available on the MAFCA Website. The club is very much run as a business using well-established policies that have developed and proven over the past 60+ years. I encourage interested people to apply as soon as possible. Help lead the hobby that we all love.

We are heading to the NCRG Roundup in Santa Rosa, May 27-30. This time we are bringing a one-of-a-kind Model A for display only. I took a quick look at the MAFCA calendar and see some interesting events coming up. There is a Midwest Regional Meet in Des Moines IA June 10-14. The tours include a visit to a Bonnie and Clyde campsite, a Jesse James train robbery and the bridges of Madison County. Another huge Regional event is the Texas Tour, which is set for June 13-15. These are always a huge event.

This year’s National Awards Banquet is in Claremont CA, December 2-5. Many Model A tours, seminars and other activities are scheduled. For those who have never attended a Banquet, these are much like a National Convention at a relaxing environment and pace. Registration forms and information will be printed in an upcoming edition of The Restorer.

Canyonlands Tour, October 6-10 is still the HOT ticket for this year. Registrations have exceeded 250. Fortunately, there are still a few hotel rooms left in Kanab Utah for the big event. Click here for more information. You won’t want to miss the Greatest Tour on Earth!

Doug Clayton
2019 MAFCA President


April 2019

The spring tour season has arrived! After countless stretches of rain (and in many places snow), we are finally seeing some blue skies and feeling the temperature change. The Cabriolet has already been prepped for the road and will be out and about for the next few days. Time to get those last minute maintenance tasks taken care of and perform a safety check before hitting the road!

Check the MAFCA calendar for local and Regional events close to your area. Personally, we are looking forward to the NCRG Roundup in Santa Rosa, May 27-30. Most years we love to drive one of our cars. This time we are going to do something a little different and plan to bring the rarest of Model A’s for display only. Come and see what we bring. Another Regional event is the Texas Tour, which will be held June 13-15. These events are always huge.

MAFCA is searching for dedicated candidates to serve on the Board of Directors. Our club continues as a first-class organization because of the individuals who offer their time and expertise on the Board. Each Director is elected to a two-year term and serves in one of nine positions each year. Four meetings are held in odd number years and five are held in even number years. Contact Mike Kelly (termikal @ comcast.net) to learn about this opportunity. I have certainly enjoyed the almost four years of service to the Board.

I hope everyone has had a chance to look over the online edition of The Restorer. Now, I am one of those guys that loves to sit down and read (usually cover-to-cover) through the printed copy of the magazine when it arrives. However, when I want to quickly look up an article it is easier to search on-line for the source material. I have also heard that some members worry that the printed copy will be replaced entirely by the online edition. Nothing could be further from the truth. The economics dictate that the printed edition will always continue. Speaking of economics, our next Board meeting will be held May 4th and is all about this year’s budget. If you plan to be near La Habra that weekend, drop by and see how much effort goes into managing the club’s budget. With costs rising every year, it is a constant challenge to hold the line on membership fees.

Let us not forget to sign up for the Canyonlands Tour, October 6-10. Fortunately, there are still a few hotel rooms left in Kanab Utah for the big event. Registrations are still coming in, so don’t lose out on the Greatest Tour on Earth!

Doug Clayton
2019 MAFCA President


March 2019

The heartbeat of MAFCA is heard in the club meetings of more than 285 chapters. Like the majority of MAFCA members, I belong to a local chapter of MAFCA, the Delta A’s in Stockton California. It’s a small chapter with a cadre of longtime members who enjoy each other’s company and are willing to help each other with the fun of old car ownership. Over the past few years, we have continued to slowly increase in size and our monthly meetings are well attended (naturally with lots of good food).

So, I have often wondered about other MAFCA Chapters – are they the same as the Delta A’s? What is it about the Model A Ford that attracts members? Last weekend, Debbie and I got a little insight into those questions. We received a special invitation from the Capitol A’s chapter in Sacramento California to attend a “Diamond Jubilee” celebration of their 60 years as a MAFCA chapter – the second oldest chapter in the State! This turned out to be a fantastic, extremely well planned event. Many members attended in Era Fashion outfits and were clearly enjoying seeing/visiting with each other. We were greeted warmly and met new members as well as some that we have known for many years. I felt honored to present the chapter President Dennis Martin with a certificate from MAFCA in recognition of their 60 years as a chapter.

In reflecting on the event, I concluded that the Capitol A’s meeting were very much the same as Delta A’s meetings – it was a lot of FUN! Good fellowship, great food and a warm inviting atmosphere. In addition, they were adding new members just like our club. Some of the new members have joined within the past couple of years and many had joined within the last 10 years. It was remarkable how well the club has divided up the routine tasks that keep the club going. A large number of the members have taken on leadership roles in planning and executing their events. Thus, the burden of organizing events is spread out and not dependent of the hard work of a few. I came away with a great admiration for the Capitol A’s chapter!

My theory about why the Model A Ford attracts new members is this: we are the descendants of the people that drove these cars during the darkest days of the depression. As such, we are self-reliant and willing to support our fellow members. Most of all, we get together to have FUN!!!

MAFCA members that have not yet joined a local chapter are missing out of the terrific benefits. If you do not live near a chapter, get together with four other owners and start one!

Doug Clayton
2019 MAFCA President


January 2019

‘Twas the night after Christmas when all through the garage, not a car was running, not even a Model A.

Okay, I will never make a living as a poet, but the holiday season rush is over and the cold weather is here for the winter. Although the west coast weather isn’t really that cold, I, like northern and eastern Model A members are ready to stay warm while working in the shop on their latest project(s). My work bench is already covered with three sets of shock absorbers, five carburetors and a set of top irons to get ready for plating.

While working these projects, I am dreaming of the next local Model A event. That would be the Turlock Swap Meet hosted by the Modesto Area A’s on January 26-27 at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds. There are always bargains to be found plus reconnecting with old car friends.

Meanwhile, I made my hotel reservations for the Canyonlands National Tour in Kanab Utah for October 6-10. There are many hotels, but the rooms are filling up quickly. I filled out my registration form and submitted that as well. Forms can be found online or in the January/February issue of The Restorer . I hope to see you there!

Doug Clayton
2019 MAFCA President

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Last Updated: 05/31/2020
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