Checking Up On Rupert Walls

By Staff
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Rupert Walls with his Ford, summer 1997.
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Two views of 'Daddy's Baby.'

6485 Forsyth Drive Cumming, Georgia 30130

I am writing this to show you what my father, Rupert Walls, has
been doing for the last five months.

The story starts back in February, 1997. Dad asked me if I would
like to be a partner in a 1948 8N Ford he had heard about that was
close by. I said yes, and on one of the coldest days of our winter
(the high was about 28-30 degrees with 30 m.p.h. winds; pretty cold
by Georgia standards), we set out for a neighbor’s place about
four miles away. Dad drove the truck that we had filled with chains
and tie straps; I drove a John Deere ‘B’ pulling the
trailer to bring home the Ford.

After talking with our neighbor, we learned that the Ford had
not run in a year or two. It had been bought new by his
father-in-law. My dad has memories of the man planting pine trees
all over our area.

After agreeing on a fair price, we loaded the old Ford on our
trailer for the trip home. It was brisk on that Deere; just like
riding in a convertible!

Upon our arrival, my mother was convinced we had wasted our
money. She just couldn’t see beyond the rust and grease that
disguised a real classic.

After about two days, Dad had gotten the tractor to crank, but
it would not run very well. I got him a carb kit and, after he
installed it, the tractor ran well. But the wiring was shot. Dad
then rewired the entire tractor. Everything now works, even the
switch on the plow light.

Next came the steering. After Dad got the tractor to run well,
we found that the steering had quite a hit of play. I thought it
was worn out, but Dad said, ‘No problem, we’ll adjust it a
little and it will be fine.’ I was skeptical, but as fathers
do, he taught me a lesson that day. He showed me how Ford had
designed the steering to be serviced to correct the problem we were
having.

Then came the paint. Dad took the tractor completely apart and
sandblasted it. I bought the primer and paint and we began to
spray. We sprayed all the grey paint one Saturday and all the red
the next. In the meantime, I bought a set of decals to complete the
facelift.

Dad is retired so he filled his days with the reassembly of the
Ford. It took about a month from start to finish.

By this time it was mid-June and Dad was just putting on the
finishing touches. We were trying to finish in time for the parade
we have on the Fourth of July in our town. It is a great parade,
complete with steam engines, tractors, antique engines and
cars.

On parade day, we entered both the Ford and the Deere. It was a
great parade with lots of bands, floats, tractors and engines.
Dad’s Ford was a real hit. He was interviewed on television
while-he was on the parade route. When we reached the end of the
parade, Dad was asked if he would allow people to have their
picture taken on the Ford.

If you are ever in Gumming, Georgia, on July Fourth, come to the
parade in town. It is a pretty good bet that Dad and I will he
there. It is also a good bet Dad will be riding his Ford!

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