Focused on Mississippi: Final stages of repairing Model T school bus

Focused on Mississippi

SMITH COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – I’ve done a couple of stories about the Model T school bus in Smith County. It started back in January when Brett McAlpin came across the old school bus his grandmother rode to school in the 1920s.

Someone parked the old school bus under a shed 90 years ago. It hasn’t been ridden since then.

McAlpin enlisted his friends and his old high school chemistry teacher from Mendenhall, Kirk Hill, to help out with the project. Hill’s long-time hobby has been restoration of Model T’s.

In the first story, they were able to get the engine to run. Next, they were able to tow it out of the woods and trailed it to Hill’s shop in his backyard.

They spent months tinkering, tightening and pulling the motor out.

“This project has turned out to be quite a project. More than I thought to start with,” said Jack McAlpin, Brett’s father.

The old bus may look in disarray, but to the trained eye and optimistic heart, you can see the finish line.

“We’re in the final stages. You see the engine here, it’s– Kirk says it’s beautiful. Looks like an old engine to me. He knows something about T models that I don’t. And this old bus behind here? We’re going to have this thing running before long,” said Jack.

Well, there will be at least one more installment to this story. The next one will be when we get to take a ride in the old bus. After that, Hill will turn the restoration project over to Brett to make it look like new again. 

The major factor in getting this or any tough project done is determination.

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