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Vintage metal is passion for wood worker

September 9, 2010
By J.T. Whitehouse

When you work with wood all day what better way to relax that to enjoy something different, such as the vintage metal that makes up a classic 1930 Ford two-door sedan.

Paul Plunkett, of the West Side of Youngstown, has worked in wood most of his life. He owns and operates Plunkett Furniture Refinishing and Repair on Salts Springs Road in Youngstown. He takes on jobs restoring and refinishing rare antique furniture, which he does with the touch of a true craftsman.

About 18 years ago, Plunkett made an investment that brought him a lot of joy. He said his grandfather had owned a Ford Model T that he remembered as a child growing up around Altoona, PA.

“I originally wanted a car that looked like it,” Plunkett said.

He began a search and found one that was for sale. He went and looked at it, but didn’t like it too much. Not long after he was looking through the newspaper and found an ad about a fellow who was moving out of town and wanted to sell his antique vehicles. Plunkett took his daughter and paid the man a visit. The car was a beautiful 1930 Ford Model A two-door sedan in a dark burgundy body with black fenders and the fancy luggage container in the rear. Plunkett liked the car and the daughter convinced him to put some money down to hold it.

“She told me, if you want it give the guy a deposit,” Plunkett said. “When we arrived back home, I told my wife (Mary Ann): guess what we just bought? When I told her, she said you’ve got to be kidding.”

Plunkett brought the classic car home and has since joined a car club and enjoys weekend jaunts in the classic old Ford. He said in 1995 a close friend by the name of George Bush came for a visit and convinced Plunkett to join the club he was in, called the Mahoning Valley Olde Car Club (MVOCC). Plunkett did and today he doesn’t regret it one bit.

“We enjoy the car and the club,” he said. “We get to drive in parades and go on road trips. I like the trips more than anything.”

For the safety factor, Plunkett installed seat belts in the car. The paint is the original, but he did have some mechanical work done. Last year he had the four-cylinder flathead motor rebuilt. Bush helped him with a lot of the under-carriage work like shocks, brakes, clutch and wheel bearing replacement.

He carries a manifold heater with him, but doesn’t attach it permanently. The device is made to sit on top of the exhaust manifold and takes in air from the fan, forcing it into the passenger compartment through a hole in the firewall.

Plunkett has no plans to permanently connect the heater piece as he stores the vintage ride in the winter. Before heading into storage, he will definitely be making the club’s biggest event in August when MVOCC holds its annual “Cars in the Park” car show at Boardman Park. In the meantime, he said there is no intent to add more cars or start a collection. He has the car he always wanted and now he and his wife are just enjoying the trips and feel of a piece of the past.

He said with the new engine, it cruises pretty nice.

“It tops out at around 50 miles per hour,” he said. “Sometimes I can get it up to 55.”


Article Photos

Paul Plunkett heads to work in style in his 1930 Ford two-door sedan.

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