28 September 2016

Swap to Street 2016: Please help us with our parts list

Editor’s Note: We’re hosting a Live Q&A with build team lead Davin Reckow and newcomer Brett Lirones on Friday, Sept. 30, at 12 p.m. EST. Tune in to www.YouTube.com/Hagerty/live to ask our builders your burning questions and share your parts list suggestions.

The parts should all be there. Proverbial needles in haystacks that we have to find. And we could use your help.

Less than a week before the second edition of Hagerty’s “Swap to Street Challenge” kicks off on Oct. 4 at the AACA Hershey (Pa.) Fall Swap Meet, we’re about as antsy as kids on Christmas Eve. Starting with the remnants of a 1930 Ford Model A, four Hagerty employees will attempt to build an entire car in four days using parts sourced at the meet. The entire build will be streamed live, then we’re planning to drive the vehicle 750 miles back to our home offices in Traverse City, Mich.

Project lead Davin Reckow and his teammates – Brad Phillips, Randy Clouse and Brett Lirones – are up for it.

“I can’t wait to get started,” Reckow said. “Hershey has been the elephant in the room for months. It’s a huge task that weighs on your mind, but you can’t do anything about it until the whistle blows. It’s hurry up and wait, then pedal to the metal.”

Last year’s inaugural – and successful – “Swap to Street Challenge” featured a 1946 Ford pickup truck. The biggest hurdle was finding an engine. And although this year’s project came with one, we don’t know if it will work.

“I feel like we’re going in with much less than last year,” Reckow said. “We had a chassis and a cab last year. We had something that we could steer, something to work with – you could tell what the thing was. This is a little different. A lot of people have said, ‘It’s only a Model A. It should be easy.’ But anyone who has ever assembled a car knows that it never goes perfectly. We’re missing a lot, and we have to find it all, including a body. The longer that takes, the less time we have to work. Plus this thing is 86 years old. We know there will be challenges, we just don’t know yet what those challenges will be.”

In addition to a Model A chassis and a non-working four-cylinder flathead engine, the car includes a three-speed manual transmission and its original mechanical brakes. Everything else will have to be located by scouring Hershey’s massive swap meet – more than 9,000 vender spaces covering 85 acres surrounding the Giant Center and Hersheypark.

“I’m confident that every part will be somewhere at Hershey,” Reckow said. “But will we find it all? Will we find it before someone else does? What if we don’t?”

Reckow answered his own question a year ago when the clutch linkage for the ’46 truck couldn’t be found and he fabricated what he needed from other car parts. “I love solving problems, so successfully fabricating something is a huge win. It’s testament to the ingenuity of our grandfathers. You just figure it out. Period.”

Reckow said the five most important pieces to the puzzle will be: 1. Body; 2. Seats; 3. Gas tank; 4. Lights/electrical components; and 5. “Everything else we’re forgetting.” Reckow isn’t as concerned about the first two as he is about the third. “The fuel tank fills the hole outside the body, it makes up the dash, you attach the steering wheel to it, and it can’t leak, so finding a clean one is pretty important.”

With that said, the team would love your help in making sure the parts list is as complete as possible. We’d love to hear from you, so leave your recommendations in the comments.

For updates on the team’s preparations and more details on the vehicle, visit www.hagerty.com/swaptostreet. If you’re planning to attend the meet, please stop by and watch the build, which will be located on the Chocolate Field near the pedestrian bridge. Those of you who want to watch from home can subscribe to the livestream here: www.YouTube.com/Hagerty/live.

10 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Paul Shinn California September 28, 2016 at 18:32
    As Hagerty's Jonathan Klinger said time and time again (regarding the Mighty Model A), "Any part for a Model A is just an overnight shipping charge away!"
  • 2
    Steve Newton Culver City, CA. 90232 September 28, 2016 at 19:02
    I have my 1929 Model A Sport Coupe insured with you and been in the Model A hobby for more than 55 years. It is a dying hobby unless we get more youth interested. I don't know what you do with these projects after you complete these events but one idea might be a donation to a non-profit Model A Ford Youth Club which is starting up at Pasadena High School in California. They are sponsored by the Santa Anita A's in Arcadia CA. and have been given the uses of the auto shop at Pasadena City College. The have created a Tax deductible fun for donations of car project, parts,money and books. Just a thought !! Thanks for the great events with the Model A's !! Steve Newton, Culver City, California
  • 3
    Duane Hewitt Michigan September 28, 2016 at 19:46
    Use the original Model A engine. Rebuild it with lots of original speed parts. Steve's Antique Auto Repair in GR can probably help with that.
  • 4
    Dr. Seldom B. Overboost Putnam CT September 29, 2016 at 13:43
    All it needs is tubbing and a big block! Oh yeah, a body would also be nice.
  • 5
    Greg Hammer Mt. Solon, Va. September 29, 2016 at 15:26
    Depending on the body you go with, the '28-'29 are very similar, and 30'-'31 are very similar. A '29 gas tank won't fit a '30 body, etc. I will be there Tuesday spaces C4Y 1&2 with two trailer loads of A parts including another chassis like you already have and enough sheetmetal to assemble a '29 coupe or a roadster pickup.
  • 6
    Howard Maseles guilford, ct 06437 September 29, 2016 at 09:49
    Schwalms ford rebuilding service Great co,nice people to deal with new,rebuilt T,A ,V8 parts loc in green field GAE 1-6 good luck see you there Howard
  • 7
    Howard Maseles guilford, ct 06437 September 29, 2016 at 09:50
    Schwalms ford rebuilding service Great co,nice people to deal with new,rebuilt T,A ,V8 parts loc in green field GAE 1-6 good luck see you there Howard
  • 8
    Richard Johnson Sr. Micanopy Fl 32667 September 29, 2016 at 11:17
    I have restored several Model A's and the hardest parts to find either in original condition or replacement catalogs are the Gas Tank and the Cowl Bands! Good Luck
  • 9
    Greg Hammer Mt. Solon, Va September 30, 2016 at 14:11
    Looks like you'll need all of the brake rods and e-brake cross shaft, radiator and apron, grill shell, hoses, hood, radiator to cowl rods, body, fenders, running boards and splash aprons, interior, windshield and frame, glass, body mount wood, exhaust, lights, steering column and wheel, electrical wiring, horn, bumpers and brackets, and fasteners to put it all together. The more complete the body you can find obviously the better.
  • 10
    Elrod Texas October 3, 2016 at 15:44
    Tom "Flop" is building a nice A body roadster in the 10 days prior to Hershey. Adds to the fun of building it fast. Be sure to check it out Orange OBM16

Join the Discussion