Volume 3, Number 2



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

PDF Version



                                      Hot Springs at its BEST                      A Beautiful Day on the Lake

FUN IN Hot springs

Volume 3, Number 2                                                                                                                      2007


We’re nearly halfway through our third year as a Model T club, and we’ve made great progress in such a short time.

We had a wonderful tour in and around Hot Springs the last weekend in April.  We had some new members and three Model T’s new to our tours.  The weather was perfect and Carl Broughton did a stellar job of selecting some roads perfect for Model T’s.  There is a write-up of the tour elsewhere on our website and in the newsletter.

Bill Howell prepared a presentation of results of the questionnaire which he had sent to all of our members a while back asking for comments and suggestions on how we could improve our club.  For the most part, the answers members sent reflected that we are pretty happy with the format we now have for meetings, which is a combination of a tour with each meeting, both held every 3 months.  There was a great deal of interest in having a seminar type of program at our winter meetings, rather than a tour, since the weather often precludes touring at that time.  Several members said in their questionnaire responses that they would be willing to give some sort of presentation at a seminar type of meeting.  We probably will try that to see what type of participation we get.  There was a mixed response to two questions in particular, those asking about whether we should have progressive tours and/or out-of-state tours.  But at the meeting, I asked for a show of hands vote on those two issues and they both were unanimously approved.  Apparently the members who do come to our meetings and tours are a bit more adventuresome than those who don’t; so we’ll probably try to work some out-of-state and progressive tours into the mix next year.  The consensus of the active members (the ones who show up for nearly every club activity) is that we should try some new things and gauge their worth by the participation we get.  We want to be a better club, so keep passing your suggestions on to your officers, our newsletter editor Nellie or our webmaster Bill.

Our parent organization, the Model T Club of America, reviews newsletters and websites of its member clubs and selects the ones they consider to be superior.  This year, the MTFCA chose our Arkansas Tin Lizzies website as the best of the bunch.  Their annual “Golden Mouse” award was bestowed upon our own Bill Howell for his outstanding work in developing and maintaining our club’s website.  Congratulations, Bill, and thank you so much for all you do for our club.  Bill and Nellie were unable to attend the April meeting, so the “formal” presentation will be made at our summer meeting.  I personally feel that our newsletter is outstanding as well, and recognition of Nellie’s efforts surely can’t be too far in the future.

We will be including a “Classified Ads” section in our newsletter.  If you have any Model T cars or parts for sale or trade, or if you are looking for some, send that information to Nellie for inclusion in the next newsletter.  It also will appear on our website.

Our Vice-President Roy Mathis has a fun tour planned for our summer meeting in and around Van Buren and Fort Smith, July 20th and 21st.  Information regarding the host hotel, etc., is on the “award-winning” website and is in this newsletter.  Reserve your rooms while they’re still available!

I look forward to seeing you there.

Mike Walker, President

April 29, 2007

Zone 4 hosted the 2007 spring meeting of the Arkansas Tin Lizzies in Hot Springs. President Mike Walker opened the meeting by introducing new members Mike and Joann Hartmann along with their children William and Zeke. This was their first tour in their 1921 Model TT truck. Also, Thomas and Trish Phillips were recognized as new members who hope to purchase a Model T in the future. It was also mentioned that Jim Venski brought out his 
freshly rebuilt speedster for its first tour. Mike thanked Carl Braughton and Jim Venski for their work in providing a very nice tour for our club.

Secretary David Ragsdale read the minutes from the last meeting and reported on the current club bank account balance of $1226.74. This included three deposits totaling $196.00 and two expenditures totaling $64.50.  Carl Braughton was reimbursed $50.00 for spring tour expenses and $14.50 was paid for nametags which members had ordered and paid for. A motion was made by Bob Emerson to approve the minutes and seconded by Bill Payne. 

David also discussed the 100 Year celebration next year in Richmond, Indiana. He said that the club plans to leave with members of the Heart of the Ozarks Model T club Friday morning July 18th from Springfield Missouri.  More details will follow.

Mike reported that the car tag bill met some resistance from other antique auto enthusiasts which caused its failure to pass in the legislature. He also presented a power point presentation compiled by Bill Howell that provided the details of our recent club survey. The presentation was a consensus of the members’ votes on various issues.  The club will try to use these suggestions in future tours and meetings. Printed details were handed out to the members at the meeting.

Recognition was given to Bill and Nellie Howell for all their time and work given toward the club newsletter and website. Mike let the club know that Bill Howell had received a great honor from the MTFCA for producing the best club website in 2006. Bill received a glass award that will be presented to him at the summer meeting in Van Buren in July since he and Nellie were unable to attend the spring meeting.

In new business, Roy Mathis reported our next tour and meeting will be in Van Buren on July 21-22. Interested people can contact the Best Western in Van Buren to reserve one of the booked rooms. There will be a 90-mile tour Friday and a 40-mile tour on Saturday with the meeting following at Big Jake’s Steakhouse. Bob Emerson said the fall meeting and tour has been scheduled for September 14th-15th in Russellville. The details are still being worked out on whether or not a progressive type tour will be offered. Bob also mentioned that donations are being accepted by the Petit Jean Auto Museum for a matching grant of $100,000. People interested in making a donation can contact Buddy Holzeman at the Petit Jean Auto Museum.

In closing, David Ragsdale presented a package of cotter pins as a package of cotter pins to Roy Mathis since he lacked the appropriate number on his coupe to prevent a breakdown on the tour Friday. The meeting was then adjourned.

Mike supplies cotter pins to Roy to keep them on the road!

Respectfully submitted,
David Ragsdale, secretary/treasurer

Meeting Summary:

1.      Introduction of new members.

2.      Minutes read and approved.

3.      Bank balance $1226.64.

4.      Members leaving from Springfield for 100 Year celebration 2008.

5.      .Antique license revision fails.

6.      Survey results presented

7.      Tin Lizzies/Bill Howell receives MTFCA 2006 award for best website.

8.      Summer tour and meeting in Van Buren July 20-21.

9.      Initial plans made for fall meeting.

10.  Roy Mathis gets cotter pins.

Tin Lizzies treasure

Jim Venski was awarded the Tin Lizzies’ treasured doughnut,  his T had a ride on the vulture wagon.

Spring tour

What a beautiful DRY day for a tour

Eleven Model T's and their caretakers convened at the Best Western hotel in Hot Springs for our Spring Tour, April 27th and 28th.  The weather was perfect for touring with only a light shower Friday night. 

Three of the cars made their debut appearances on this tour.  Bill and Mildred Younkin drove their bright red Speedster that Bill has been building for umpteen years.  This was the car's first-ever time out of Bill's garage, so several of us were holding our breaths hoping they'd have no trouble with it. 

The car ran fine.

Jim Venski and his friend Beverly of Hot Springs Village joined us enroute on Friday in his brand-new 1926 Speedster/Pickup ("Speed-up"?).  Jim has done a wonderful job of building this beautiful car.  Unfortunately, Jim had forgotten to put a cotter pin in the crank ratchet pin and the pin reminded him with an annoying rat-a-tat-tat.  Fortunately, it will be simple to correct and there was no damage to the car, but Jim opted for a ride on the vulture wagon anyway. 

Mike and Jo Ann Hartmann from Ola brought their 1921 TT truck with a fresh engine.  The truck had no trouble keeping up with the rest of us, despite the low-speed gearing.  They seemed very excited to be on their first Club tour, and we’re sure to be seeing a lot more of them.

The Hartmans were ready in their ’21 TT truck


Carl Braughton did a fine job of planning the tour for us.  He chose several great Model T roads and some interesting stops along the way.  On Friday, we went to the Blakely Dam on Lake Ouachita and were treated to a tour of the powerhouse.

The enormous original generators have been in service for over 50 years, and they are now controlled by state-of-the-art circuitry. 

After a lunch stop and more great Model T roads and then we circled the wagons back at the hotel.

Saturday’s drive was to the top of West Mountain for a panoramic view of the city.  We then went to "Bathhouse Row" where we toured a bath house/museum restored by the National Park Service.  After the requisite visit to an antique shop we gathered at Ryan's steak house for lunch and our quarterly meeting.








Member Spotlight


Roy and Tommie live in Van Buren.  Roy was born and raised in Hominy, Oklahoma; Tommie was born in Waldron, Arkansas.  They met at Hominy High School when Tommie’s father had moved his family there while he was working a construction job.  Tommie and Roy were married in 1964.  Prior to moving to Van Buren, they lived in Stillwater and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Roy is a medical technologist at Cooper Clinic in Ft. Smith.  Tommie has had a long time love for antiques and was an antique shop owner for over 20 years.  They have two sons, one daughter and nine grandchildren.

Roy has always liked cars, which could have been influenced by the fact that his dad had a body and paint shop in Hominy.  Roy’s first old car was a 1934 Chevy sedan.  His first interest in Model T’s came when an old high school classmate, Mike Walker, drove over to visit them in one of his T’s.  They now have two Model T’s of their own, a 1925 coupe and a 1925 depot hack that is under restoration.

Roy was elected to be our 2007 vice president and next year will be the Arkansas Tin Lizzies’ president.

Help us update

If you have a new e-mail address, home address, phone number or you have another new T, contact us via e-mail or regular mail or a phone call.  We like to keep our database up to date; use the same contact information as for the newsletter.

New members

Mike and Joann Hartman
& sons William and Zeke
Ola, Arkansas
1921 TT Truck

2007 Officers

An official picture was made of the 2007 club officers that were present at the spring meeting.

2007 officers present were Carl Braughton, Roy Mathis, David Ragsdale, Bob Emerson and Mike Walker

Tinkering tips

The following article is from the South Carolina Spark Coil, March 2001.  It appeared in Ed Meloan’s column, Thoughts From the Model T Garage.

Howdy Fellow Model T'ers!  Spring is fast approaching and we all want to get our cars back on the road after a colder than normal winter.  I thought we might briefly review the things we will want to check to get our cars ready for fun as the warmer weather arrives.

Let's start at the front and work our way back…   We'll need to fill the radiator unless the car has been filled with anti-freeze.  Either way, add water until it's about an inch deep in the top tank.  That's all we need and more will simply run out the overflow or around the radiator cap.  Now's a good time to check for leaks around hose connections and, if you have one, the water pump packing nut.  No leaks??  Great!  You will want to add a can of rust inhibitor or a gallon of antifreeze will do the same and raise the boiling point a few degrees.

Now let's check the spark plugs.  Hopefully, they will be clean with a light tan color on the insulator around the center electrode.  If the insulator is white and blistered, a cooler plug may be needed but that's rare since our low compression T engines burn pretty cool and usually need a hotter plug rather than a colder one.  If you clean the plugs, be careful not to roughen the insulator which will cause it to foul more easily.  A dry sooty insulator and electrode indicates too rich a mixture and an oily residue means we probably have too much oil in the engine or our rings are letting some oil leak past.

If using coils, set the plug gap around 30/1000's.  Distributor systems can be 35/1000's and with high a voltage coil 40/1000's should work well.  Don't over-tighten plugs when putting them in.  Just tight enough to keep them from leaking.  If using modern 14mm plugs, tighten till snug and then go another quarter turn.

If you drained the carburetor and tank, put in some fresh gas and open the valve on the bottom of the carburetor to let the gas wash out any trash that has accumulated while stored.  If the tank has gas, it's still a good idea to let a little drain out to wash out the carburetor.

Now is a good time to drain the oil and refill with fresh oil.  If you don't mind using an extra quart, you can pour one quart while the crankcase plug is still off and you'll get some more of the dirty oil in the rod dips of the pan.  Replace the crankcase plug and pour in 3 1/2 to 4 quarts of oil.  Wait a few minutes and, with the car level, open the bottom petcock.  You should get a steady stream.  When checking oil by opening the petcocks, do not assume you have oil if you get only a few drops!  You will always get that even if the oil level is below the petcock because of capillary action!  There must be a steady stream.  The ideal oil level is half way between the two petcocks but I like to have it high enough to run out of the top one.  Then I know it's got plenty of oil.  I use a brass and glass sight gauge, sold by any of the T suppliers, and that lets me know exactly how much oil I have without crawling under and getting dirty opening a petcock!  What oil??  I have used 10w30 for many years and have never had a problem.

If you use a timer, open it up and wipe it clean.  Check the rotor and contacts for wear and if it's a tiger give it a light coating of oil.  If a New Day or Anderson, a little Vaseline on the rotor and contacts will add to the life of the timer.

If you are running coils, now's the time to check the points and, if worn, replace them.  If the car has been sitting for a while, it may help to take a business card or 600 grit sandpaper and run it between the points a couple of times.  When sitting, the points will sometimes get some film or corrosion which will make the coils miss-fire.  Make sure the spark is retarded, turn on the key on battery and turn the engine over slowly to make sure all four coils are buzzing.  If you have a distributor, a quick pass between the points on it will also insure a good electrical contact.  I once could not get my T to start after sitting for a few weeks.  Cleaning the points was all it needed but I didn't think of that until I had worn out my arm!

These checks will help us get our car running smoothly.  Climb in, give her some gas and I'll...

See you down the road...

Tin Lizzies Classifieds

AUCTION: June 12, 2007 at 311 West Street, Dardanelle, AR at 10 o’clock in the morning.  Duard Finkenbinder is disposing of all his antique auto parts, restorable cars and all his Model T parts, both new and used as well as a swap meet trailer.  The auction will continue until all items are sold.  You may contact Duard at 479-229-3315 or 479-229-4603 or yelco@centurytel.net.

Send classified information to Arkansas Tin Lizzies News, 16508 West State Highway 155, Dardanelle, AR  72834.  Send a picture, if you have one, along with for sale information.  Or, e-mail it to nhh@midamericamgmt.com.

FALL meeting set
for October

Bob and Judy Emerson and David and Tena Ragsdale visited the Lake Point Conference Center near Russellville. They were very impressed with the facilities’ accommodations and price. The only three nights available for the fall were October 25, 26, and 27th.  Fifteen rooms were booked at a rate of $65.00 per night for one bed and $75.00 per night for two beds. This includes a Continental breakfast. The rooms surround a commons area equipped with a pool table and large seating area. There is a spacious pavilion with a gas grill also available for our use. People can begin reserving rooms by calling (479) 968-0318 and asking for one of the Arkansas Tin Lizzies rooms. The Lake Point Conference Center is located on the west side of Russellville.  The address is 61 Lake Point Lane; Russellville, AR 72802. Plans are still being made for the tour routes on Friday and Saturday and will be posted on our website as soon as they are completed. There will be an all day tour Friday and shorter local tours on Thursday evening and Saturday. The Lake Point Conference Center website is http://lakepoint.atu.edu/index.htm

2007 Dues

If you have not paid your 2007 dues this will be your last newsletter until your dues are current.  Those who have not paid 2007 dues will have a note attached to this month’s newsletter.

A Note of thanks

Thank you Mike and Beverly Walker and David Ragsdale for both articles and pictures and thank you Bill Payne and Carl Braughton for pictures that they sent.  Their help made the spring newsletter possible.


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.