Focused on Mississippi: Model T School Bus

Focused on Mississippi

SIMPSON COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – Brent McAlpin found an old Model T school bus his grandmother once rod when she was a kid, and he wants to refurbish it. The bus hasn’t run in more than 90 years and has been housed in a shed in Simpson County since the 1930s.

McAlpin’s 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 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 McAlpin.

That’s where Hill comes in. His hobby and creative passion for years has been old cars, particularly Model T’s. Hill 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.

“It was parked here on the ‘30s, and it hasn’t moved since,” said McAlpin.

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 has compression and now that he’s come along, it’s very likely we’re gonna get it to run,” said McAlpin.

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, it runs! But it’s far from being ready for the road.

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