Volume 3, Number 3



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


     The Old Fort at Fort Smith                    Historic Downtown Van Buren


Historic sites on SUMMER TOUR

Volume 3, Number 3                                                                                                                                            2007


Our Club had its third tour of the year over the third weekend of July, in and around the Van Buren and Fort Smith area.  The weather was great for the tour, other than being a bit on the warm side.  (What can we expect for July in Arkansas?)  Thanks to Roy and Tommie Mathis and to Roy’s sister, Lou Freeman and her husband Bill for putting the tour together.  Bill and Lou have helped with driving the vulture wagon on so many of our tours that they seem like family.  They are now part of our Club family, since they opted to join the Club at this meeting.

Bill and Roy and their wives treated us all to a fish fry Thursday evening, which met with rave reviews.  The guys fried the fish, while the ladies furnished several yummy side dishes and desserts.  The fish fry was so popular it seemed that there were more people there than on the tour!

Welcome to Al and Karol Spencer from Springfield, MO, who are new members of the club.  Al and Karol are members of the Show-Me T’s of Springfield, and Karol and her sister Dorothy are the organizers of the annual Show-Me Tour.  The ladies always do a great job of putting those tours together.  It’s always good for our Club to have new members who are so active in Model T events.   Several other couples joined our Club at the Petit Jean swap meet in June but were unable to attend the summer tour.  We hope to see them in the fall.

We have one tour remaining this year, and it should be a dandy.  David Ragsdale and Bob Emerson will be our hosts.  The tour will be based in Russellville, and David and Bob have some exciting events planned for us.  More information is available on the Club’s website and in the newsletter.  Fall is a wonderful time to get out and enjoy driving Model T’s here in the Natural State, so please come with us. 

Everyone is invited to our tours, and we do not charge people to participate.  If you don’t have a running Model T of your own that’s not a problem; there are always empty back seats available so you can ride along.  We’d love to have you join us.

Plans are still building for the MTFCA 100th Anniversary Celebration of the Model T to be held in July of 2008 in Centerville, Indiana.  Centerville is the headquarters of the MTFCA and also home to the newly opened MTFCA Museum.  This will be a week-long celebration, with tours and other activities each day and also a 1945 and earlier swap meet.  The MTFCI will also be participating, hosting the Model T vehicle judging and youth events.  Several of us Tin Lizzie members will trailer our cars to Springfield and join Springfield Heart of the Ozarks club members for a 3-day trip in our T’s to Centerville.  We will be joined enroute by members of the St. Louis Club and others.  This is being heralded as “the largest gathering of Model T’s since they left the factory”, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to immerse yourself in Model T activities.  “Be there or be square!”  There is a link on our award-winning website to information on the celebration, and contact information is in the Vintage Ford magazine.

Mike Walker, President

July 21, 2007

On July 21st 2007 Zone 1 hosted the summer meeting of the Arkansas Tin Lizzies in Van Buren. President Mike Walker, with gavel in hand, opened the meeting with 19 in attendance. He introduced new members Bill and Lou Freeman from Van Buren, Al and Karol Spencer from Springfield, Missouri and welcomed charter member Ed Levy from Fort Smith. Bill and Lou were thanked for their support in driving the vulture wagon on Friday’s tour. President Mike gave updated information on the Arkansas Antique car license legislation which was defeated in the past session. A new bill will probably be coming forth  in the next couple of years with possible support from MOTAA. In old business, David Ragsdale reported that the club account balance was at $1396.74. There were two deposits totaling $170.00 and no withdrawals since the last meeting. It was also reported that there were six new members added to the roll since April, and there are still 14 members who have not paid their 2007 dues. A motion to accept the minutes and the treasurer’s report was made by Ed Levy and seconded by Bill Payne. In new business, David Ragsdale made a motion to retire the famous donut plaque since it was becoming somewhat a burden to keep up with at each meeting with the various members. It was suggested in the motion that the donut remain the property of the Arkansas Tin Lizzies club and that Bill and Nellie Howell be the custodians of the historical piece. The motion was seconded by Bill Payne and approved by the members.  David suggested that the club consider sending a donation to the newly built MTFCA museum in Centerville, Indiana. Nellie Howell suggested sending $250.00. Vice President Roy Mathis made a motion for the club to send $250.00 to the MTFCA museum. The motion was seconded by Ed Levy and approved by the members. David will try to have a route laid out and a list of motels for the “2008 Birthday Tour” ready at the fall meeting in Russellville.

Carl Braughton was awarded a large Model T key and key chain for coming to the tour without his Model T key.

Bill Howell, our Tin Lizzie webmaster, was officially presented the MTFCA Golden Mouse Award.  This award is given each year for the best club website.

There were several small pieces of business at the meetings end.  President Walker said he would like to have a little more time to appoint a nomination committee for our 2008 officers. He recommended that the vice president be a nomination committee member.  He also presented a Ford script wrench to the club for auction to the highest bidder. Ed Levy was the winning bidder with the highest bid of $50.00. Roy Mathis was reimbursed $50.00 for summer tour expenses.

Bill Howell made a motion to reimburse the vulture/trouble wagon driver at each tour.  It was seconded and passed.

The fall meeting of the Arkansas Tin Lizzies will be held at noon at the Western Sizzlin’ Restaurant in Russellville on October 27th.  Rooms at the Lake Point Conference Center will be used as the host facility.

Respectfully submitted,
David Ragsdale, secretary/treasurer

Meeting Summary:

1.      New members introduced.

2.      Antique car tags update.

3.      Donut retired.

4.      $250 donation made to MTFCA museum.

5.      2008 Birthday Tour plans to be detailed at fall meeting.

6.      Carl Braughton given T key.

7.      MTFCA website award presented to Bill Howell.

8.      Club voted vulture wagon driver reimbursement.

9.      Fall meeting is October 26 & 27.

 Summer Tour

Our summer meeting and tour began Thursday evening with a fish fry at Roy and Tommie Mathis’ home.  We were told to bring our appetites and lawn chairs.  We did as instructed and were hosted to a delicious fish dinner complete with all the fixin’s.  Roy and Tommie along with Bill and Lou Freeman did the cooking; Bill even caught the fish.  We were also treated to a tour of Roy and Tommie’s home that showed off many beautiful pieces collected over the years when Tommie and her parents were in the antique business. 

 Just a sample of the pretty things

There were a door prizes won by Paula Levy, Mike Walker and Bill Payne.  Two auctioned items (a couplet lid with handle and a band wrench with Ford insignia) were bought by Mike Walker and Ed Levy, respectively.

Friday morning dawned warm and sunny as Roy explained our route.  He had planned a well organized and interesting tour.  There was a promise of rain but it did not materialize on this tour!

Roy got us started and on the road.

The drive was lush and green with the wet weather that we have had.


All the streams, creeks and rivers that we crossed were swollen.  We went from Van Buren into Oklahoma and then back for lunch in Fort Smith.  We visited the Fort Smith National Historic Site.  The fort was a bastion of law and order between Arkansas and the Indian Territory for nearly 80 years.  It was a fort and barracks for the Army, a Federal District Court and a jail building.  The exhibits told the story of the prisoners, federal marshals and the famous Judge Isaac C. Parker.

Are these fellas part of our group?
There were three Bills with us!

Shortly before lunch there was an unexpected stop for a trouble/vulture wagon pick up.  The Howell’s new ’25 Tudor had a short but not permanent ride.  It was only a broken fan belt and was repaired for the Saturday tour.

Bill Howell says don’t sweat the small things.


Shade trees were a treasure Friday.

Everyone was present Saturday for the tour.  It was cloudy and offered a reprieve from the hot temperatures.  The morning drive was another excellent trip and everyone made it without incident.  Historic downtown Van Buren had something for everyone.


There were cafes, antique stores, candy stores, toy stores and a  restored train station offering rides.

Member Spotlight

Trish and Thomas Phillips

Trish and Thomas have lived in Hot Springs for eighteen years.  They grew up in central Oklahoma, specifically, Midwest City and Edmond.

Trish has been a ceramics and wood crafter for twenty-five years.  Thomas has done remodeling and new construction for forty years and has also taught math and science.

Their Model T story is an interesting one.  Since Trish was a little girl she loved antique cars and pedal cars.  She wished for one of those beautiful, shiny new pedal cars.  One day her father came home with the long awaited gift of a pedal car.  It was old and rusty but she fell in love with it and spent hours scooting around their yard and imagining great trips.  Thomas knew the pedal car story and for her birthday in 2006 he gave Trish a brand new Model T pedal car.  These Model T pedal cars are a treasure and a limited edition so it is kept protected from the weather in its own “barn,” a cargo trailer.  They hope one day to add to their Model T collection with the real full sized T.

New Members

Lee Beck
Hattieville, Arkansas

Steve and Caroline Bonifant
Austin, Arkansas
‘15 Touring

Bill and Lou Freeman
Van Buren, Arkansas

James Kingsbury
Conway, Arkansas
’23 Roadster (under restoration)

Clyde Lampp
Batesville, Arkansas

Mark and Kim Moore
Vendor Arkansas
’25 Roadster

Al and Karol Spencer
Springfield, Missouri
’16 Roadster Pickup, ’18 Touring,
’23 Roadster, ’22 Coupe,
’26 Roadster Pickup, ’26 Speedster

Greg and Victoria Webb
Cabot, Arkansas
’26 Coupe 

Tinkering Tips

The following article is from the South Carolina Spark Coil, September 1998.  It written by Ed Meloan for his column, Thoughts From the Model T Garage.

Gather a small group of Model "T" owners together and I promise you can get a lively discussion going just by innocently asking which timer works best on the "T".

Let's talk about the system Henry designed into our beloved T's, a low voltage mechanical timer to send 6 volts to the coils. With something that simple nothing can go wrong, right?? As all of us who have cussed this system know, there are several problems with this "low-tension" design.

Ford knew there were problems with the timers as evidenced by their continuous experiments with various materials and designs starting almost the day the "T" came out in 1909 and continuing right up until they last one came off the assembly line in 1927.

Henry buried the timer down on the front of the engine where it is not particularly easy to get at but it is certainly easy for oil, dirt and water to find it! If you're using a conventional timer with a roller then a little oil is needed but it should be clean oil and it should be a small amount of oil.

The "Tiger" timer is the modern day equivalent of the original Ford timer. Some folks swear by them and others swear at them. To get reasonable life and smooth operation, the "Tiger" needs to be cleaned and oiled just about every time we take our "T" out. Being a lazy guy, this is not my favorite timer!

Another popular timer design was the "New Day" timer. It was sold during the model "T" period and is still available today from any Model "T" parts supplier. The "New Day" uses a bakelite housing with a spring-loaded copper brush which wipes around and over for copper contacts. The timer case says, "Never needs oiling" but a little lubriplate smeared around the path of the rotating brush will greatly increase the life of the "New Day" timer. A quick wipe and fresh lubriplate every once in a while won't hurt anything either but it is more maintenance free than the "Tiger".

The problem with both these timers is the relatively short life they have. Most folks I've talked with say they replace these timers each season or about every 1000 miles. Back in the Model "T" period both these timers could be bought new for about a dollar to a dollar and a half but now you won't get too much change when you hand the friendly parts man a ten and a twenty for one!

Which brings us to my favorite for long trouble free timer operation...

Again, back in the "T" era, there was a company that sold seemingly hundreds of gadgets and accessories for the Model "T". The company was "The Anderson Company" and their product name was "Anco". You'll find many of their ads in the magazines of the period. One of their products was the "Anco" Timer. It used a different principle than the "Tiger" or the "New Day". It used a spring-loaded steel brush which pressed against four steel fingers as it rotated around the housing. This eliminated the biggest problem with both the "Tiger" and the "New Day" which was the uneven wear between the metal contacts and the insulating material on either side of the contacts! The insulation, being softer, always wore faster and, sooner or later, caused the roller or brush to jump when it passed over the high/low spots! The Anco didn't and doesn't have this problem!

The Anderson Company and Anco are long gone but a fella by the name of Bob Thompson has resurrected the Anco design and upgraded it to use today's modern high grade steel for the contacts and brush. Folks, this timer is a winner! Bob is so confident; he gives a 2 year warranty on it! Just like the "EverReady bunny", it just keeps going and going! I've got one on my '12 Touring that's got 4000 miles on it now and it still ticks along like new!

You'll find the ad for the Anderson timer in the Vintage Ford and I notice that Smith & Jones and Lang’s have them in their catalogs. They cost a little more but they're well worth it. You probably won't have to buy another one.

See you down the road... 

Fall Meeting Set
for October

Lake Point Conference is at 61 Lake Point Lane, Russellville, AR.  Their phone number is 479-968-0318 to call for room reservations.  Take Exit 78 from I-40.  Follow directions to London, turning right onto Hwy. 64 toward London.  Proceed until you see a sign for Jct. 333 and Arkansas Nuclear One.  Turn left after the Arkansas Nuclear One sign onto Hwy. 333. Cross the railroad track. 


On the left just after crossing the tracks is the Lake Point  sign and entrance.  Park your trailers across Hwy. 333 from the Lake Point sign.  There is a large lot there that will better accommodate trucks and trailers.  Then drive your T over to where the rooms are located. 

You can learn more about Lake Point at their website, http://lakepoint.atu.edu/index.htm

A Note of Thanks

Thank you to Tom Patris for his suggestions for the newsletter.  For newer members and for us with poor memories he recommended that the newsletter have a listing of officers. 

Tin Lizzies Classifieds

For Sale: 1916 roadster pickup, frame off fully restored; Ruckstell rear end, 12 volt system, Rocky Mt. brakes, completely rebuilt engine, all new wood.  Contact Al Spencer – 417-887-1536.

Send classified information, wanted or for sale, 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.

Suggestion Box

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.

2007 Tin Lizzie Officers

President…………Mike Walker
Vice President…...Roy Mathis
Sec./Treas………..David Ragsdale
Director…………...Bob Emerson
Director…………...Carl Braughton
Director…………...Morris Dillow
Director…………...Michael Nowlin
Webmaster……….Bill Howell
Newsletter Editor...Nellie Howell