SIMPSON COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – This quest started back in the winter. It was a pleasant day somewhere out east of Magee. Now, to me, the old school bus with a homemade wooden bus body on a stock Model T frame- was just this side of a bucket of rust. But Brett McAlpin saw a family tie back to his grandmother and one of his high school teachers Kirk Hill saw a challenge.
“When my grandmother was a kid- which you don’t really ever think of your grandparents as being children- this actually took her to school. Kind of ties the family history together. And it’s an active part of history we can keep going,” said Brett.
Well, keep going if they ever get it going.
That’s where Kirk Hill comes in. Kirk’s hobby and creative passion for years has been old cars- particularly Model T’s. Kirk said Model T’s are fairly easy to work on. If you can fix a lawn mower you can most likely have success with a model T. But- a Model T that hasn’t run in decades?
“It was parked here on the ‘30s and it hasn’t moved since,” said Brett.
Well, you’re ever to be successful-you have to take a stab at it.
“When I first saw it I’d just get it and put it in the barn and keep it as just a static piece of history, if you will. We did some looking into the engine and sure enough it’s got compression and now that he’s come along, it’s very likely we’re gonna get it to run,” said Brett.
Well, after an in-the-field valve job and cleaning rats nests out of the cylinder head- and an appropriate amount of WD-40 and some of Kirk’s expertise coaxing a dead piece of machinery back to life- guess what!
It runs, but it’s far from being ready for the road. We’ll get to that, though. I’m convinced we’ll have more stories from the ancient school bus saga.