1928 Ford Model A - Reader Ride

By: Guy Allen, Photography by: Guy Allen

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arthur bartlett arthur bartlett

Arthur Bartlett's '28 Ford Model A only gets out every few decades but still runs okay

I’ve had it for 50 years and 30 years ago I started it and it hasn’t done anything since. Just last week I pulled it out of the shed, hotwired it, hit the starter and it got going and idled straight away. First time in 30 years and all I did was pump up the tyres. There’s chicken wire and timber holding up the roof. The chicken wire is original. What they used to do was line it with carpet underfelt, lay material over it and give it the pillowed look.

I had it given to me 50 years ago by a boy from around the corner. It was parked under a pine tree and that’s why the whole top is rotten. I did think one day I might restore it.

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I’m 84 years of age and thought I’d bring it down here to see what people thought of it. The advice is, don’t do anything to it.

When you put it among all the good cars at shows, people will still crawl all over it.

It’s beautiful to drive. It cruises along in top gear at 20mph, just off idle, just chugging along. I’m not sure about going for a trip with it – I doubt you’d get very far. But it’s fun to take along at shows.

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I have three of these Model As. One of them has barbed wire spark plug leads. They’re all in this sort of condition.

I’m the chaplain here at Phillip Island Circuit and have been here for years. I started with Bob Jane in 1991 and I’ve been a chaplain to all the Grands Prix in Melbourne – that’s 23 of them.

Valuation: With a bit of luck it will be passed on for nix for decades to come.

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