Volume 4, Number 1



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

    Changing transmission bands                     Transmission and flywheel balancing

Technical sessions
A huge success

Volume 4, Number 1                                                                                                         2008


Wow, it doesn’t seem possible that over a year has passed since I agreed to take on this position; just 2 years ago I didn’t even know the difference between a T and an A!  Well, it has and 2007 was a good year for the Arkansas Tin Lizzies. Mike Walker did a great job serving as our President (and getting me interested in Model T’s) and on behalf of all the club members, I would like to give him and the other 2007 Board Members a great big “Thank You” for all their efforts.

2008 should be another banner year for the club.  We got off to a wonderful start with the “Tech Clinic” Winter Meeting in January.  Bill and Nellie Howell were gracious in hosting the meeting in their shop (there must be a better word for such a building as theirs – maybe “Howell’s Grand Palace”).  They also went far beyond what’s expected in preparing the 2 lunches and other goodies.  Thanks Bill, Nellie, and others from the River Valley Zone that helped.  The technical presentations were enjoyed by all the men, and the instructors did an excellent job.  Thanks to Mike Walker and Bill Younkin for the Ruckstell assembly class; Chuck Haynes for his transmission band lining and band changing demonstration; and Mike Hartman for the transmission balancing clinic.  Thanks also to Tena Ragsdale and Jane Payne for heading up the ladies’ activities.

Tours for 2008 are already being planned plus the 2008 Centennial T Party will take place in July.  The Spring Tour will be in southwest Arkansas.  Bill and Nellie have planned the tour.  The dates and the host hotel are listed elsewhere in the newsletter.  Michael Nowlin will host the Summer Tour beginning in Paragould June 19-21.  The 100 Year Birthday Party Tour will be July 17-29.  Joe and Betty Jeffers will host our first club out-of-state tour in Vicksburg, Mississippi for the Fall Tour.  I look forward to all of these great tours and hope that all you members will make every effort possible to attend them all.

Other officers for the year are Bill Payne, Vice President; David Ragsdale, Secretary/Treasurer; Zone Directors, Frank Cook and Joe Jeffers.  If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact any of us.

Roy Mathis, President


On January 19th Zone 3 hosted the winter meeting of the Arkansas Tin Lizzies in Russellville.

Bill and Nellie Howell graciously offered their plush car barn for our technical and business meeting. President Mike Walker opened the meeting that had 19 members in attendance by passing the club gavel to Roy Mathis of Van Buren. After the minutes of the last meeting were approved, David Ragsdale reported the club had no deposits and two expenditures totaling $55.57 for meeting expenses since the last meeting. The current account balance was reported at $1271.17. A vendor is now available to those who would like to have a club jacket, or polo shirt with an embroidered club logo. Those who are interested can contact Tina Byrum at 479-890-5270. Bill Howell said he would be placing this information on the club website. In old business, Bill Howell reported on his trip to an elementary school to present educational classes and show his Model T to a class of sixth graders. He stated that the students were both amazed and entertained by the Model T. For those interested in using a similar presentation for a school in their area Bill will copy you a CD.  In new business, President Roy stated that the club was not following the rotation schedule for meetings in 2008. Zone 3, which hosted the 2007 fall meeting, also hosted the next meeting in January. It has been decided that the spring and fall meetings will be in the south, and the summer meeting in the north central zone 2. When asked for comments regarding the change, David Ragsdale recommended staying with the original rotation where every zone area would have a different season over a four year period. Mike Walker stated that the by-laws do not require the club to use any rotation schedule; therefore it is really not necessary. Roy stated that the officers would decide where the meetings would be held the following year between the fall and winter meetings each year.

Bill Howell reported that the next meeting and tour would be held this spring near Old Washington State Park. Details will follow. Michael Nowlin will be spear heading the summer tour out of Paragould on June 19th-21st. The host hotel will be the Holiday Inn Express in Paragould. Joe and Betty Jeffers will be setting up the fall tour and meeting out of Vicksburg Mississippi this year. Details will be provided at a later date.

Bob Emerson reported that the Ford Model T would be featured at the spring swap meet on Petit Jean Mountain this year since this is the 100-year birthday of the Model T.  There will be a designated area for us to park our Model T’s on the show grounds for visitors to view.  We would have a tent with club information available along with other Model T attractions.

Meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,
David Ragsdale

Meeting Summary:

1.      Roy Mathis receives gavel.

2.      Account balance is $1271.17

3.      Vendor found for logo clothing.

4.      Bill Howell reports on school program.

5.      Meeting rotation discussed.

6.      2008 meeting places noted.

7.      Model T to be featured at Petit Jean Swap Meet this year.

Mike passes gavel to Roy


winter tech session

We had a great turnout for our club's first-ever technical session.  We decided after trying to tour in freezing rain during January of last year that we should have indoor activities in lieu of a tour for our winter meetings.  This turned out to be a good plan.  Although there was no freezing rain, it was "a bit chilly" for Model T driving.

Bill and Nellie Howell graciously agreed to play hosts to our tech sessions and meeting, at their new "car barn" in Russellville.  This was a great place to hold the get-together, and they even provided our lunches on Friday and Saturday.

The first tech session was "Rebuilding a Ruckstell", presented by Mike Walker and Bill Younkin.  The most important bit of info presented here was to get a copy of the MTFCA booklet on Ruckstells if you're considering rebuilding your own.  The guys took us through the various steps, from determining what amount of wear is acceptable on the used parts all the way through the final assembly of the Ruckstell rear end and how to adjust the pinion-to-ring gear clearance.

Bill and Mike explain about Ruckstells


Chuck presented useful tips

Chuck Haynes then demonstrated the procedure for relining a transmission drum and installing it in the transmission.  (Don't forget the rags!)  Just about everyone in the peanut gallery had an opinion on the best type of lining to use, etc.  Chuck's demo took us right up to lunch.

After lunch, we headed to Ola, Arkansas, to Mike Hartman's machine shop.  There we were shown the method of balancing the flywheel and transmission drums, and how to machine the drums and tailshaft parts to achieve proper alignment.  These 80- to 90-year-old transmissions have experienced a lot of stress during their lives, and balancing and aligning their components is crucial to having a smooth-running Model T.  This session lasted until after 5:00, and it was continued on Saturday morning.

Mike Hartman’s Shop in Ola

We gathered at the car barn again on Saturday for coffee and donuts, and some of us returned to Ola for the continuation of Mike Hartman's demonstration.  Steve Bonifant had brought his '15 Touring on Friday, along with a set of shiny new white tires, tubes, and flaps.  An impromptu tire-mounting demo ensued after the donuts, and about half the members supervised that activity while the other half of us went to Ola.  When we returned to the car barn for lunch, the '15 sat proudly on four new white Firestones.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the educational sessions, so the format probably will continue for future winter meetings.  This seems like a welcome and worthy complement to our tours, which will be held during the more pleasant weather of spring, summer, and fall.
by Mike Walker

Editor’s Note:  The ladies had other interests afoot while the fellows studied rusty old parts!  They went to several of the antique shops in the area.  Most of them contributed to the local economy with their purchases.

Shopping was a tiring business and required some rest afterwards.

Boyntons Volunteer

Lowell and Ann Boynton have volunteered to take their 1912 touring car to represent our club and the Model T’s 100th year.  A company in Springdale, Flintco Inc., will be celebrating 100 years in business.  Flintco called our club to see if someone would bring their T over for the company’s birthday party March 4 as part of their memorabilia display of century old items.  Lowell and Ann agreed to exhibit their car at Flintco for photographs and for folks to admire.


Member Spotlight


Gene and Betty Pyeatt
with their 1921 Huckster

Betty and Gene joined the Tin Lizzies at the end of 2007.  They are forty-one year residents of Tulsa, but grew up in Guthrie, Oklahoma.   However, their ancestors were Arkansas residents at Cane Hill and Lincoln before moving to Oklahoma.

They got into Model T’s when a long time friend talked them into getting one in 1990.  The Pyeatts owned a Volkswagen repair shop for twenty-seven years so cars have been an interest as well as a livelihood.  They are now both retired.  Though they have owned different T’s, all have been sold but their 1921 Huckster affectionately named ”Herman”.  Modern Mini Coopers are a present fascination.


Tinkering tips

Some of our Tin Lizzie members were out in their T’s for a ride not too long ago.  They were passing a farm when a rooster ran out in front of one of the cars and was killed.

Feeling bad about what had happened; the driver went to the farmhouse and knocked on the door.  When the farmer’s wife came to the door, our member offered to pay for the rooster.

Looking out at the man’s old Ford, the farmer’s wife said, “Aw, just forget it.  If that rooster couldn’t outrun that old thing, he couldn’t catch a hen anyway.”

Moral of the story:  It’s time to tune up your T’s for the spring touring season.  Get them ready to put on a little speed and out run those roosters.  Do you need to change the oil, adjust the brakes, or adjust the throttle?  Now is the time.

The publications below are in our loan library should you need one of these subjects to help in repairs.  You can check them out from David Ragsdale:  
1. Adventures of Herman & Freida & their Model T (This is fiction but entertaining reading.)
2. Transmission Repairs
3. Engine Repairs
4. Carburetor Repairs
5. Speedometer Repairs

Spring Tour Meeting

Cassatot River

The spring meeting and tour has been set to hub from Nashville, Arkansas in the southwestern part of the state.  Mark your calendars for March 13–15.  It will be highlighted Saturday by the Jonquil Festival at Old Washington State Park.  You can see historic buildings, beautiful flowers and shop arts and crafts vendors. 

Thursday there will be an optional tour going to Cassatot River State Park & Natural Area and a special stop at Center Point. It will leave at noon from the motel.  Friday’s tour of 100+ miles is still in the planning stage.

Southern Belle Inn in Nashville

The host motel is the Southern Belle Inn in Nashville.  There will be plenty of trailer parking spaces for us.  Special room rates are $54 per night which includes a continental breakfast.  We have reserved fifteen rooms with king beds up to February 29.  If all those rooms have not been secured at that time our reserved rooms will drop back to ten.  This is a very busy weekend for them, so get your room early.  Mention confirmation #572 for the Arkansas Tin Lizzies.  Their phone number is 870-845-2247.  They are located at Hwy. 27 and the 27 South bypass which is 1757 South 4th.  You can find them on the web at www.southernbelleinn.com or email sbi1994@yahoo.com  Also, several good restaurants have been located nearby.

The Saturday meeting will be held next door to the Southern Belle Inn at the Western Sizzlin’ Restaurant on our return from Old Washington.  We hope to be there at 1:30.

Summer and Fall meetings

June 19-21 are the days for the summer meeting and tour.  Michael Nowlin will be in charge of the tour.  We will be staying in Paragould and have trips to Crowley’s Ridge, Hemmingway Museum in Piggott and a Park and Nature museum in Jonesboro.

Betty and Joe Jeffers will be planning the fall meeting and tour centered in the Vicksburg, Mississippi area.  Joe suggested touring on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  Plantation homes, Natchez and Battlefield Park were mentioned as possible sites to see on the tour.  An October weekend may be the date for this meeting.

Detailed information on the website and in the newsletter will come later for both these meetings.

Colorado/Wyoming Tour in 2009

The Northern Colorado Model T Club is having a progressive tour from Colorado through Wyoming in June 2009.  Some of you may be interested in going. The tour will be over a six day period in Colorado and Wyoming.  Cars attending the tour must be 1927 or older to participate. For detailed information see their website or contact the people listed below.

http://clubshemmings.com/frameset.cfm?club=ncmtc - Northern Colorado Model T Club website.

Contacts: Dave Huson modelt1912@msn.com              Robert Ducharme rducharme@hughes.net

2008 dues

Send your 2008 dues to our secretary/treasure, David Ragsdale, 216 N. El Paso, Russellville, AR 72801.  They are still only $10 and are due NOW.

logo clothing

The information for ordering Arkansas Tin Lizzie logo clothing is now finalized.  To order items contact our vendor, Tina Byrum at 479-890-5270.  You may purchase the clothing from her or provide your own shirt or jacket to be used.  The prices are very reasonable.  If required, your total will include shipping. 

Tin Lizzies Classifieds

For Sale: 1925 Speedster, a copy of the faultless speedster body built by B and B Body Company of Lapeer, Michigan.  The body is all metal, aluminum disc wheels with 21 inch 450 tires, leather interior, new radiator, dropped front axel, completely rebuilt engine with a stipes 280 cam, Z head, model A carburetor, 350 Chevrolet valves, 80 psi compression on all cylinders.  Rebuilt rear axle with new ring gear and pinion.  Nothing was spared in making this a nice running machine.  Contact: Melvin Birks; 5 South Model T Drive; Afton, Oklahoma 74331; 918-257-4131. mybirks@hotmail.com

For Sale:  This 1926 Speedster has an engine that Bill Younkin rebuilt.  It has new babbits, rebored cylinders, aluminum pistons, a Sherman superfire head, ’26 wire wheels, new Denman tires and top and side curtains.  For more information call Bill Younkin; 1741 N. Walnut Ave.; Fayetteville, Arkansas 72703; 479-442-7676.

Auction: The Heart of the Ozarks newsletter listed an auction that might interest some of you.  Tom Daw’s considerable collection of T parts is to be auctioned on May 2-3, 2008.  A website, tomdaw.com lists details of all important data.

Send classified information, wanted or for sale, to Arkansas Tin Lizzies News, 16508 West State Highway 155, Dardanelle, AR  72834.  Send a picture and a detailed description and condition of items offered for sale.  Or, e-mail information to nhh@midamericamgmt.com.


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.

2008 Tin Lizzie officers

President……….…Roy Mathis
Vice President…....Bill Payne
Sec./Treas………...David Ragsdale
Director…………....Frank Cook
Director…………....Joe Jeffers
Webmaster………..Bill Howell
Newsletter Editor…Nellie Howell