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Everything on Doug Jasmon’s 1929 Model A closed-cab pickup was handmade.
By Justin L. Fowler | SJ-R
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Old made new
Doug Jasmon’s handmade truck was a project that took years
By Carol Sponagle

When Doug Jasmon graduated from Springfield High School in 1968, he had logged many hours rebuilding cars. Soon after graduation, his hobby was put on hold as he started a family and took a job at City Water, Light and Power.

After building four houses, raising children and settling down in his current home, the self-proclaimed "motorhead" got the fever again. 

He came up with the idea to work on an old truck. Almost overnight, he located a green and black 1929 Ford Model A closed-cab pickup - all original save the V8 engine. 

"I got it and drove it three times; then I realized the steering knuckle was stripped out, and I started tearing it apart. Then it sat for nine years," says Jasmon.

Life happens when you have a job and family, but rebuilding the Model A eventually became a reality. 

"Finally, when I retired from CWLP, I needed something to do. I needed to work with my hands. I added onto the garage and built a new shop where I could enjoy working on it. I just got it running two months ago," he says.

At first glance, Jasmon's truck is all Model A, but look longer and you'll see some unique features along with the original details. The exposed engine, shortened bed, chopped top and channeled floor give the truck hot-rod appeal. 

"Everything on the truck is handmade," says Jasmon. "I had never done any fabricating, and reworking metal is hard. I bought a welder and got the hood from an old car. I practiced on it until I felt like I was good enough, then I started cutting on the Model A."

"I rebuilt the old frame from scratch, with the help of a friend, Charlie Morse," Jasmon says. "He helped set up the framework and work on the suspension, motor and transmission."

"I put in a Smeding crate small-block Chevy 350 motor. It's 400 horsepower, and it's incredibly fast, with a solid ride."

Jasmon hired experts to do the paint and upholstery, but everything except the sun visor has been rebuilt. The handmade details make this vintage truck a true original.

His truck isn't the only original. Jasmon's handiwork is evident throughout his home and property near Lake Springfield. A house he built with the help of friends and family, a custom kitchen, three outdoor workshops, a go-kart track and a covered pool cabana/bar mark his talent at crafting nearly anything imaginable.

When asked if he had plans to show the Model A, Jasmon said he planned to take it to the Street Rod Nationals in the spring.

"It's a hobby," he says. "I just wanted to build an old truck."

History
In June 1927, Henry Ford stopped the Model T "Tin Lizzie" assembly line to retool for his son Edsel's new, more graceful design. Six months later, the new Model A was introduced to the public. The Model A truck, just one of Ford's Model A options, sported an open cab, soft top, canvas side curtains, four-cylinder engine (40 horsepower/2200 RPM) and a three-speed manual transmission with an H shifting pattern.

In 1928, a closed-cab version was made available to the public, featuring an all-steel cab with roll-up windows. Both vehicles came in black or rock moss green with painted black fenders, wheels, running boards, radiator grille and headlight buckets.

Before the 1928 model year ended, Ford produced 26,171 pickups. In 1929, Model A pickups were offered in more color choices, and exterior door handles became standard for open-cab models. Ford's Model A became so popular that 77,900 were sold that year.

By 1930, the Model A pickup was upgraded and restyled, but due to the economic impact of the Depression, only 48,278 units were sold. The year 1931 was the last year for Model A production. The Model A Deluxe Pickup was a larger, slab-sided truck that was offered in limited production - only 293 were produced and sold. 

Read
"The Legendary Model A Ford: The Ultimate History of One of America's Greatest Automobiles," by Peter Winnewisser.Krause Publications, 1999 (www.amazon.com).

Go
42nd Annual Street Rod Nationals 2011, August 4-7, 2011, Kentucky Exposition Center, Louisville, Kentucky, http://nsra-usa.com

Specs

  • Paint: Brock Allen, Mechanicsburg, IL
  • Engine: Small-block Chevy 350, 400 Horsepower
  • Motor: Smeding crate

 

 

Story published Friday, January 7, 2011 ( Volume 5, Number 8 )

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