Refurbished 'Model A' Getting Noticed On Tulsa Streets

Friday, August 6th 2010, 5:32 pm
By: News On 6

By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- A recently laid off Tulsa police officer used much of his free time restoring an old Model A that's been in his family for 60 years.

Charlie Ramsey is a newlywed and his wife is also an officer and was laid off. There were times they were afraid they'd have to sell the old car just to make ends meet, but with a little faith and family help, they held onto it and now, it's a beauty.

The old Model A is now something to behold. When Charlie Ramsey first got it, it was a pile of rust, but with plenty of help, it's now show worthy.

Henry Ford never made police cars, but Charlie is a Tulsa police officer and so is his wife and father and his mom's a dispatcher, so turning it into a police car seemed like a natural fit.

"Came from my grandpa. He bought in the 1950's for a dollar," Charlie Ramsey said. "Someone owed him stuff for working."

The three year journey began. The car hadn't even started in 30 years, but before long, it was running like a top.

"You definitely have to get used to how these drive though," Charlie said.

It still has the original Flathead 4 engine. They added an alternator, but it's still the six volt system.

Charlie Ramsey: "This one's been counterbalanced with a whopping 73 horses."

Lori Fullbright, The News On 6: "Oh, what's your top speed?"

Charlie Ramsey: "60 going downhill."

Tulsa's Model A's were all black, back in the day, but Charlie and his wife, Samantha, wanted this one to be noticed.

"It's not the normal reaction police cars get, where people are 'Oh God, slow down,' but people are waving, honking, kids love it," Samantha said.

The Ramsey's are grateful they didn't have to sell it while they were laid off, but for awhile there, things were pretty tight.

"It got finished three days before we were sworn back in; it's never leaving the family. It's ours," Charlie said.

Charlie hopes his daughter someday learns to drive the car, just as his mother did, making the old Model A not just a treasure of history, but a treasure of memories as well.

Other than a few safety modifications like turn signals and seatbelts, the Model A is original.