Volume 2, Number 3



Arkansas Tin Lizzies, a local chapter of the
Model T Club of America

Twenty hardy souls made it to the Mountain View Meeting

Mountain view

Tour abbreviated

Volume 2, Number 3                                                                                      2006


Our meeting was a rainy situation to handle. However, optimistic and resourceful people that our group is, we rearranged the schedule and had fun anyway.  I congratulate all that brought their cars but did not get to tour around the area.  We completed our business meeting a day early and then hoped for a drier Saturday.  That did not happen, but we were all thankful for the rain and hoped that it was raining back in our home towns.  Thanks to everyone who made the meeting with no tour.  Mountain View had several interesting shops and great restaurants.  We won’t give up on the area for another meeting.  We had some members that had their cars out for a meeting for the first time.  They have done an excellent job with their cars that any Model T enthusiast would be proud of.  They certainly look good and are sure to run equally well.  Watch the website for updates of the fall meeting in Fayetteville.  Plans are shaping up well for Zone 1’s tour.  See you there.

Morris Dillow, President

July 28, 2006

The summer meeting of the Arkansas Tin Lizzies was hosted by Zone 2 in Mountain View.  The meeting was brought to order by President Morris Dillow.  He thanked everyone for coming even though the weather was a bit wet and plans had to be changed.

Morris mentioned that we can still order jackets and name tags.  Contact Morris about ordering a jacket and Jane Payne about name tags.  The jackets are still $75.00.  The name tags are $6.00 with a three week delivery time.

A nominating committee was appointed to select officers for the coming year.  Committee members are Bill Payne, Nellie Howell and Morgan Story.  The committee will select candidates for vice-president, secretary/treasurer and zone chairmen for those zones in which there will not be a 2007 club officer.  The president for the coming year will be this year’s vice-president, Mike Walker.  Make your suggestions for nominations to committee members.  The new slate of officers will be presented and voted on at the fall meeting in Fayetteville.

Mike Walker reported that he received considerable information from the Revenue Department on the regulations for Arkansas antique vehicle license plates.  The state did not send it to him in time to review it before our meeting this quarter.  He will study this information and get with the other committee members for a report at the fall meeting.

Michael Nowlin reported on information he had obtained for specialty license plates.  He put together a handout that he gave to those present.  Bill Howell will put this information on the website.

Bill Payne made a presentation for David Ragsdale to Chuck Haynes.  It was a black Mickey Mouse hat that was inscribed “Chuckie”.  The reason for this honor was not disclosed

The Tin Lizzie Doughnut/Hard Luck Trophy was presented to Morgan Story by Nellie Howell, the spring tour recipient. 

Morgan brought his 1914 Model T for a tour (after thirty-four plus years in restoration.)  He did not even get it off his trailer because of the bad weather.  To Morgan’s credit it was in damp but pristine condition.

Morris Dillow and Mike Walker reported on the 50th annual MTFCI tour in Clearlake, Iowa.  There were 400 Model T’s participating in the five day tour. They had a great time, ate plenty of good food, saw some outstanding cars and met many new people.

Our fall tour will be hosted by Zone 1 in Fayetteville on October 6 – 7.  We will use the Fairfield Inn on the north side of town.  There will be two types of tour offered.  One will include antique store shopping and the other one will be more driving and not so much shopping.  We will invite the Tulsa and Springfield T clubs to join us.

Morris and his mother Jenny are planning a barbeque for the club at their new home in Eureka Springs.  The date in the next couple of months will be announced later.  Morris said that you could come with your car or without.

Business was completed and the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted
Jane Payne, secretary/treasurer

Meeting Summary:

1.      Club jackets and name tags still available.

2.      Nominating committee appointed.

3.      Antique license plate discussion delayed.

4.      Hard Luck Trophy for Morgan.

5.      Fall tour set for Fayetteville.

6.      Barbeque invitation in Eureka Springs.

Pinewood Cabins’ pavilion was a good place for our meeting

Addendum to the meeting

Our secretary/treasurer, Jane Payne, reported that the spring meeting’s minutes and bank balance will be presented for approval at the fall meeting.

 Summer tour

Many of our members arrived Thursday afternoon and evening. 


The Pinewood Cabins were just as comfortable and nice as last year and are still a top notch place to stay.  There were twenty attending our summer meeting and tour.        Our group began to feel a bit hexed by rain when it poured down by the buckets full on Friday morning.  The touring had to be cancelled and the club business meeting was moved up to Friday afternoon.  The rain persisted after the meeting so folks went to visit the local antique shops and some went on the Blanchard Springs Cavern tour.  Friday evening the rain abated and the pickin’ and grinnin’ around the Mountain View courthouse was in full swing.  The courthouse lawn was full of different groups playing music and people enjoying the fun.

On Saturday morning there was a hope of touring, but the rain returned and most of our group went home early.  Some decided to stay over on Saturday evening since they had made the trip, were away from home and were still in the vacation spirit.  Though we were not able to tour it did not keep anyone from having a great time again in Mountain View.  The town folks there seemed to be grateful that we brought rain and said they would invite us back when they needed it again.  Had they known our ability to bring the rain along on our tours, they would have tried to get us to come sooner.  A note of interest: we have had rain on five out of seven meetings!


Member Spotlight

The Tin Lizzies News still needs your spotlight information.    Please send your information along if you have not done so already.  If you need a spotlight form, contact Nellie Howell, Arkansas Tin Lizzie News, 16508 W. State Hwy. 155, Dardanelle, AR 72834, (479) 229-3878.


Virginia often accompanies son Morris Dillow, our current club president to our meetings.  Also along for the ride is Jenny’s 14 year old Shih Tzu, Samson.  He is an avid Model T buff.

Though she does not personally have a Model T, Jenny has watched Morris develop his old car hobby since he was in his preteen years.  She commented that when Morris was a young boy she always knew where he was when he was in the garage working on an old car.  Often times the dinner table was full of Morris’ friends that were out in the garage too.

Virginia was born in Missouri but moved to Illinois at five and a half where she grew up.  Her college plans to be a physical education teacher were interrupted and she went to Dallas where she worked for a photographer.  This work took her back to Illinois and Jenny’s ultimate profession of associate engineer at Northrop.  In route to being at Northrop Jenny worked on the timing equipment for the limb of the Apollo space mission at the research unit of the Elgin Watch Factory.  She was back into super secret technology at Northrop working in metrology (the science of measurement) on the SR71 Blackbird spy plane.  Jenny said that this was not only super secret but also super interesting and wonderful profession.

Virginia moved along with Morris to England, Arkansas in 1999.  Our summer meeting last year was held in her lovely 1903 colonial style home there. Then in 2006 they went on to Eureka Springs.  Jenny is retired now and she and Sam, the dog, are able to devote full time to old car trips.


Morris is our current club president.  He has also been the president with the Fox Valley Model T Ford Club of Elgin, Illinois and 2nd vice-president of the MTFCI.  He also spent several years as the club photographer of MTFCI. 

Morris grew up in Elgin, Illinois and lived there until moving to England, Arkansas in 1999.  He and mom, Virginia, moved to beautiful Eureka Springs in 2006.  It took many trips back and forth between the two towns to get not only household goods but tools, antique cars and other old car stuff installed in Eureka.  Morris is a professional electrician and also does some freelance photography.

Morris’ has three adult children, two sons and a daughter.  His pride and joy, of course, is the seventeen month old grandson.

Morris has been an old car buff almost all of his life.  His first antique car was a 1930 Model A that he paid $150.00 for.  He dragged the chassis of this old two door sedan home behind his Volkswagen with the rest of it in buckets and baskets. He tinkered with the A for a total of three months until he got it put together and running.  Morris went through numerous Model T’s, a ’29 Model A roadster and ’09 Hupmobile before his present Model T’s, a 1926 pickup and a 1911 touring car.

New members

Jim and Connie Jones
Clinton, Arkansas
1922 Roadster

Ron and Sharon Osburn
Tulsa, Oklahoma
1927 Coupe and 1914 Depot Hack

Tom and Maggie Patris
San Diego, California
(Soon to be moving to Dover, AR)
1911 Open Runabout

Four Cars
Debut at Meeting

Four cars were brought to the Mountain View meeting for the first time.  It was great to see what our members are able to do with parts pieces and some rusty old cars.

Bill and Mildred Younkin showed up in their “Arkie” truck that Bill is putting the finishing touches on.  It has a pine body that shows off Bill’s exceptional talent and workmanship. 


Morgan Story’s 1914 certainly did shine in the rain as well as in the loving care of restoration from Morgan. 


Michael Nowlin brought his 1925 Runabout that has sported an Arkansas #1 antique license plate that was surely the envy of many!


Bill Payne brought along a new truck that he just does fit into to drive.  It is a real prize and another one of those “Boy Toys”.

Get Well wishes

Two of our members who are usually at our meetings were missed in Mountain View.  Ann Stephenson had surgery and Carl Braughton has the shingles.  We hope that both are doing better and will be out with us in Fayetteville.

You are invited

Mark your calendars for lunch in Eureka Springs with Morris Dillow and Virginia Ness.  The Tin Lizzies have been invited to come September 16 at noon to their home.  The address is 18 West Bluff Lane, Holiday Island (Eureka Springs.)  Please RSVP to Virginia at 479-253-8748.  They will be cooking the meat and we will be potlucking the side dishes and desserts.  Sounds like a fun time in a beautiful setting.

Fall Meeting and tour

Everyone get your cars polished up and ready for the fall meeting and tour.  Fayetteville is great place to be in the fall.  Mike Walker is planning an exciting time for us in northwest Arkansas.  Make your reservations at the Fairfield Inn, 479-587-8700.  The address is 720 Millsap Road.  Mike has arranged for a discounted rate for the Tin Lizzies; be sure and ask for it.

Mike is looking for a vulture wagon driver for this meeting and tour.  He will provide vehicle and trailer.  If you will be able to take on this job let him know as soon as possible so that he will be able to complete his plans for our next meeting.  Contact him at 479-521-1222 or 479-790-4229.

New members make Vintage ford
and model T times covers

What a great thing for our new members and the Arkansas Tin Lizzies.  Geff Bland, one of our newer members from Springfield, MO has made this month’s cover of Vintage Ford.  Geff is pictured gassing up his 1915 touring car.  He has been dubbed “COVER BOY” by his Springfield friends. 

Morgan Story is on the cover of the Model T Times and his restoration technique for making the top bows for his ’14 runabout is a featured article. Congratulations to Morgan and Geff!  The Tin Lizzies appreciate you both for being such skilled and enthusiastic hobbyists and great advertisements for our club. 

Tinkering tips

The following has been recopied in part from an article by Ed Meloan in the Sept. 1999 South Carolina Spark Coil newsletter.  We send our thanks to them for their generosity in sharing this article.

For the past half dozen newsletters we have been discussing the Model T electrical system and how to get the best out of our coils, magnetos, sparkplugs and the accessory distributors.  That about finishes the electrical system but before we leave the topic let's take a brief look at using a 12 volt battery instead of a 6 volt one.

The T was originally intended to run without the need of any battery and the fact that you could do so was advertised as a plus.  In the early years, most folks did connect a set of dry cell batteries for easier starting though.  When used only for powering the coils while starting the T, the dry cells would usually last an entire driving season.

In 1919 the closed Fords came out with a 6 volt storage battery, generator and starter as standard equipment.  The open cars were still magneto only.  Then Ford added the battery system to open cars for an additional $75.00.  The starter was very well made and really overbuilt for 6 volts.  This certainly makes the 6 to 12 volt conversion more practical!  The generator was another story.  It was marginally designed at best and gave problems even when the T was the main transportation on the road.  But... marginal or not, it can charge a 12 volt battery just as well as it can charge a 6 volt battery as long as the charging rate is cut in half.

There are certainly advantages in converting the T to the modern 12 volt system.  A 6 volt system will not run the coils well at speeds about 20 or 25 miles an hour!  A 12 volt battery will make the coils work at pretty much any speed.  A real plus if you have a poor magneto.  A 12 volt battery will give you QUICK starts!  If you don't believe that, listen to any 12 volt T when the driver cranks it up!  This brings up an important point.  Your starter and Bendix MUST be in good shape or 12 volts will cause you to wish they had been!  Timing should also be correct.  You do not want the engine to kick back when the starter is spinning at 12 volts!  A broken bendix or bent starter shaft are very likely!

The Model T generator is pretty dumb.  It doesn't know 12 volts from 6 volts and will happily put out 10 or 12 amps to a 12 volt battery just as it will a 6 volt one...  for a very short time!  It will then self destruct with hot solder flying everywhere.  If running 12 volts, you should set the charge rate at not more than 6 amps and probably 5 would make your generator happier.  You will need to change the cutout from a 6 volt one to a 12 volt one.

I'd suggest considering one of the 12 volt alternators that all the Model T suppliers offer.  They not only offer higher output but they automatically adjust the charging rate based on the battery's charge.  This is a real plus.  The higher output lets you put brighter bulbs in the headlights and the automatic charging gives you much longer battery life and longer periods between adding water.

The only other change needed is to replace the 6 volt light bulbs with 12 volt ones.

By the way...  The Model T battery should be installed with the negative terminal attached to the frame and the positive terminal attached to the starter cable.  Because the Model A reversed these connections, you will sometimes find Model T's with the connections reversed.

So... what does all this work give us?  You will have a T that will start faster and, I believe, will run better on coils or distributor with lights that make it possible to actually see where you are going after dark!  I've got a set of 55 watt halogen bulbs in my 12 that you have to see to believe!

I'd like to hear from you if you have any questions or comments concerning anything we've covered in past issues.  Whether you agree or disagree, just write, call or email.  My number and address is on the front cover.

Restoration Project

It’s not that this vehicle does not need some help.  However, it could be that it may be too, too far gone.  It has been reported that David Ragsdale hoped for a really good car when he went to Dallas for this one.  He will have to let us know about how really good the car will turn out to be.


Would you like to contribute or suggest an article or pictures for the newsletter?  We would like to hear from you.  Send it to Arkansas Tin Lizzies News, 16508 W State Hwy. 155, Dardanelle, AR 72834.