View Full Version : starting a 1920s/30s truck

02-25-2013, 03:57 AM
I've been reading more than my brain can handle about coil ignition systems and all I really need to know is how one started a truck made in the 20s/30s. I realize there's variation there. But I also figure keyed ignitions didn't necessarily originate back then... I just need to describe accurately what one would have to do to start one of these trucks. Perhaps a quick answer regarding early models versus later ones. Any help is appreciated!

02-25-2013, 04:00 AM
Lots of older cars and trucks had a choke, just like a lawnmower. They also had a starter switch one pressed with the foot. So you would pull the choke to the desired point and hit the starter button with the left foot.

It really depends on the model and year you are looking for...

King Neptune
02-25-2013, 05:04 AM
One of my uncles had a 1936 dump truck that also had a crank as a back up method for starting, but normally one would have opened the choke and pressed down on the start pedal; I think it had a key that closed the starter circuit.. One might have had to pump the gas pedal or hold it down.

If you know what make and model you want, then search online, and you may find diagrams of the starting system.

Duncan J Macdonald
02-25-2013, 05:39 AM
There is a step-by-step procedure on this page (http://www.ehow.com/how_7658234_start-ford-model-first-time.html). While for a 1931 Ford Model A, it would apply to Ford trucks of the same decade.


02-25-2013, 01:05 PM
Pick a truck model. Even if you don't ID the truck in the story, different models start different ways. Remember, older vehicles would still be on the road as well.

Duncan gave you the Model A link. Here's info on starting a Model T. There were truck versions and they were fairly common. They'd be out of production by the late 20's, but there'd still be a bunch around.

What to pick depends on the circumstances, the economic class of your characters, whether the truck is supposed to be newer or older, etc.


02-26-2013, 08:52 AM
Thanks, all! I went with Duncan's link. I appreciate everyone's help.