- The Washington Times - Friday, April 20, 2001

John Warring still insists that on a long ago day about 35 years ago, "I had no intention of buying that truck."
He is referring to the 1929 Model AA 1 1/2-ton Ford truck he had seen advertised for sale. Green with black fenders, it was located in Fairfax, Va.
After taking one look at the five lug nuts on the six-hole ventilated disc design yellow wheels and the 19 louvers on each side of the engine hood, Mr. Warring was convinced that this was the truck for him.
"I got in it and drove it away," he said. After all, the Model AA trucks weren't too far removed from the Model A Ford automobile although the truck did ride on 6x20-inch tires with duals in the rear.
When new, the Model AA 1 1/2-ton truck sold with a $95 metal cab as an optional extra. This particular truck is fitted with a 6-foot, 4-inch-wide platform flatbed that stretches 10 feet long. For safety's sake, a single combination taillight-stoplight did double duty, mounted a yard back from the end of the 43-inch-high platform flatbed.
Mr. Warring, the third and current president of Warfield and Sanford Elevators Inc., had the company name emblazoned on the door of the truck. He figured it was appropriate, since the company had been founded in 1915 and very likely had used similar Ford trucks in its early days.
The oak slats at the front of the bed form a protective framework for the cab in case the load shifts.
Once Mr. Warring got his unlikely prize home, he closely inspected it to actually discover what he had bought.
He found one designer black horn beneath the left headlight. It matched the black paint to be found everywhere else on the truck.
A pleasant surprise is the mirror found on the outside of the driver's door. Another benefit for the driver is the single vacuum-powered wiper blade designed to clear the driver's vision during inclement weather.
When the sun shines, the flat windshield can be tilted open at the bottom to provide additional fresh air.
Mr. Warring easily mastered the spark advance and throttle control levers at the hub of the four-spoke steering wheel near the horn button.
The top of the cab is supported by four wooden slats, typical of automotive construction in that era.
Likewise of the era were other features found on the 1929 Ford such as mechanical brakes, 6-volt electrical system and a Moto-Meter radiator cap to detect when the cooling system overheated.
Mr. Warring points out that the battery is located under the driver's seat and that the gasoline tank is mounted in front of the dashboard. That's why the gas cap is plainly visible on the cowl in front of the one-piece windshield.
A rubber strap on each front door arrests the swing of the door to prevent damaging dents.
An interesting accessory on Mr. Warring's truck is the air heater attached to the exhaust manifold: There it is, all ready to go, but it doesn't function.
"I couldn't cut a hole in the fire wall," Mr. Warring said. It makes little difference since he doesn't drive the truck during the cold-weather months.
Not much light escapes through the 8-inch diameter reflector headlight lenses, but Mr. Warring avoids that problem by driving only during the daylight hours. Most of his excursions are during public parades with a musical band of some sort on the bed of the truck, which Mr. Warring can keep under surveillance through the small rectangular rear window in the cab.
Taking part in parades is enjoyable, Mr. Warring says, but even more fun is cruising.
"It'll run 30 to 40 [mph] to this day," Mr. Warring said.

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