A Sad Story

Discussion forum for AA related activities, weekend outings, AA stories etc.
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John Losch
Posts: 13
Joined: May 7th, 2014, 3:58 pm
Body Type: 82b stake bed
Model Year: 1930
Location: Holliston, MA

A Sad Story

Post by John Losch » August 31st, 2014, 11:25 am


In April 2014 I was given 1930 AA Stake Body truck fully restored as a working truck. It was a gift from the restorer, a former student of mine who actually bought it from me about ten years ago, after I had started to restore it almost twenty years earlier. Why he gave it back to me is another story, not relevant to this story. He is a craftsman, which is why he was my student in the first place. We both restore historic clocks and scientific instruments professionally, although both of us have been automobile and truck enthusiast most of our lives. We are essentially amateur auto mechanics, but skilled in our pursuits. I am eighty two years old, and he thirty years younger, and if you don't think that matters, wait until you are eighty two. The truck was beautifully restored.

I had the truck from Mid-April until July 9, 2014. On that last date I took my adult grandson for a ride. We went the two mile route since he had to go back to Boston quickly. It was his first ride, and my last. Within less than a mile from my house a car in the opposite lane on a two way road broke out of his lane and accelerated directly toward us and my truck. Of course there was a head on collision, and my truck was apparently totaled. My grandson sustained a serious ankle fracture, I got five broken ribs, a damaged knee, and various other injuries. We were both lucky to be alive.

I have to say that those fourteen inch mechanical brakes did their job beyond reasonable expectations: we went from thirty miles per hour to near zero and skidding when impact took place. On my schedule the week this happened was to install seat belts. They are not required for an antique in Massachusetts unless it was originally so equipped. I am sure that the fact that we were high up, and that we sat on a massive steel frame is what saved us. At impact I managed to bend the steering wheel.

Both my grandson and I were in shock, so we were both able to get out of the truck unassisted. When I got out of the truck I discovered that a car following me had also rammed into the truck from the rear. That car sustained considerable damage, moved the bed of the truck about five inches forward and against the cab (the U-bolts slid along the frame), and although that driver left the scene in an ambulance, his passenger was uninjured.

The fact that we are AA collectors will always have a double entendre, but I can assure you that being denied alcoholic beverages for four weeks will be part of my claim for pain and suffering. Now that its over, what about the truck? Just a few days ago it was delivered to my yard where I can begin a thorough autopsy on the wreck, and wreck it is. From it's good side, the left, it looks ready to drive. From the front and right it is another story. RIP beautiful truck.

Before I have analyzed all of the problems, here are the most important: the engine was moved back about six inches with the balancer smashed, the bell housing is completely smashed, I am told that the transmission case is cracked, the frame is bent and the left frame "horn" is broken off and attached to the font bumper, removed. The front axle is pushed back from the frame at the right, and is probably bent. This, of course effects the brake rods, etc. The front splash apron is demolished, the bottom of the radiator shell is collapsed, and the radiator is damaged. The right front fender is seriously damaged, the sheet metal above both running boards is sprung and wavy, and the alignment of the doors to the cab is irregular. At the time of the crash an electrical short burned all the wiring harnesses.

As I recover from the accident, and regain my mobility, I will examine the truck in detail. Then the fun begins. I know what I think the truck is worth whether restorable again, or for salvage. The insurance company will have a more conservative idea. I will keep you all posted.

If it is still up, this URL will have an article about the accident with a picture:
http://holliston.wickedlocal.com/articl ... /140706910

John Losch


Re: A Sad Story

Post by spdway1 » August 31st, 2014, 12:01 pm

Get well soon!
Thanks for sharing your sad story.
If you need anything I am in Springfield, MA.
Don Jr 8)

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Posts: 1874
Joined: May 15th, 2008, 9:53 pm
Body Type: Mail Truck, Stakebed
Model Year: 1931
Location: Quincy, Ca.

Re: A Sad Story

Post by spectria » August 31st, 2014, 12:18 pm

Thanks for letting us share in your story, really sorry you were hurt, and lost your truck. Hope to hear more as you recover, and maybe we can all help in some way.
Dave in Quincy, Ca. I love Pics!!!! Post them All!!! :)
Join the Ford Model AA Truck Club - membership form at http://www.fmaatc.org

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Posts: 273
Joined: May 4th, 2009, 1:20 pm
Body Type: 82-A
Model Year: 1929
Location: Wilhoit, Arizona

Re: A Sad Story

Post by macswoods » August 31st, 2014, 6:17 pm

like the man said , put in seat belts. yes in my 29, tudor and AA. Let us know if you need help from the AA group. Mac.........

Posts: 449
Joined: June 3rd, 2013, 6:15 pm
Body Type: 186-B stake
Model Year: 1931
Location: SoCal

Re: A Sad Story

Post by ModelAkid » August 31st, 2014, 9:19 pm

I read the news article. Antique "pick up truck"? Sometimes it's hard to believe how stupid reporters are.
Looks like the modern Jap iron was probably totaled, as I would expect it to be hitting Heavy Henry Iron. I'm sure your AA is repairable and I wish I could help you with it, but being 3000 miles away makes it difficult.

Posts: 159
Joined: July 8th, 2011, 4:36 am
Body Type: 82-A
Model Year: 1929
Location: Townsend,MA

Re: A Sad Story

Post by JPP » September 1st, 2014, 5:18 am

John, glad to see your fine. I too am in mass, if I can help just ask..

Posts: 316
Joined: November 15th, 2008, 8:18 am
Body Type: 186 stake
Model Year: 1931
Location: Hawthorne California

Re: A Sad Story

Post by Shorthaul » September 1st, 2014, 8:48 am

Sorry to hear of your sad situation. It is/was a fine looking vehicle and although it suffered quite a lot of damage it should be repairable. I'm curious to find out how out of square the frame is, I'm sure taking a hit on the left corner tweaked it some and it shows up the way the rear suspension clamps to the axle, with one side rolled around in a different location than the other side. Hope that makes sense. I think an easy fix tho.

Hope you are feeling better, ribs are hard to deal with, especially when trying to sleep / cough or laugh.

Posts: 1154
Joined: June 14th, 2007, 7:29 pm
Body Type: Grainbox
Model Year: 1929
Location: Illinois

Re: A Sad Story

Post by Stakebed » September 2nd, 2014, 7:42 pm

WOW you are lucky! What also saved you is if it wasn't a civic or other low hood car hit you and attempted to ride up under your truck there may be a worse story. You and your grandson were being watched!

Don't forget that lap belts only are rather useless in model A's. Sure it protects your knees and body from crumpling up under the dashboard or falling out and the vehicle rolling on you but a shoulder restraint will keep your head, brain, and chest from hitting the unforgiving iron spike known as a steering columb and or flat windshield.

Hopefully it can be rebuilt, but if the frame is tweaked (sounds like every cross member is severely bent) its going to be hard and costly to get the frame somewhat square again...be interesting how insurance plays out.

Was the driver that caused it drunk or not paying attention or heart attack or something?

Posts: 33
Joined: June 29th, 2016, 10:12 pm
Body Type: 82A;88A;188A
Model Year: 1928
Location: western Rhode Island

Re: A Sad Story

Post by carlsoncg » October 5th, 2016, 1:47 pm

I am getting seat belts installed in my AA. I see the point re lap belts vs shoulder belts. Has anyone installed shoulder retractable belts? Any suggestions on how to do that without major or ugly surgury?

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Posts: 75
Joined: February 23rd, 2012, 10:34 pm
Body Type: 82A
Model Year: 1929

Re: A Sad Story

Post by fdohnke » December 4th, 2016, 8:54 am

How is the progress on the truck?

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