Glass Act

Not long ago we stopped by the new location of Dagel's Street Rods in Sutherlin, Oregon ( While we were poking around checking out the projects underway, a somewhat forlorn Model A pickup caught our eye. Obviously well used, the Ford was stock with the exception of vent windows in the doors, a modification we had never seen before.

Upon closer inspection it appeared the windwings were of General Motors origin and they looked to be unmodified. Ironically, a short time later we heard from Dennis Novy about the very same modification on his very cool Model A coupe.

Here's what he had to say:

Chevy Tri-Five vent windows are an exact fit for a 1930-31 Model A coupe. The openings are 13-1/2 inches, which allows for the vent rubber to fit the door opening. Other years could also work, but would require shortening or lengthening the vent frame. As you will note, the vent crank is fully functional.

The installation is very simple. Remove the glass and install the vent. Fasten at the top and support the bottom channel with crossbrace, as shown in the photo. Cut the existing glass to fit or replace with new.

This installation was done back in 1959. To the best of my knowledge I have not seen this specific install before. With this arrangement you have nice air circulation when you open the windshield.

Dennis Novy
Via the Internet

Not So Cool...

First of all I would like to congratulate you on your new format, content, and number of informative articles.

Now for cooling. A few months ago you ran a piece on cooling. I'm sure all your suggestions work great in a perfect world but everyone doesn't have that situation, including me.

Twentysome years ago I bought a 1940 Olds, very similar to a 1940 Chevy. It had the typical 350/350 driveline. Everything was great except for the original mohair upholstery and lack of air conditioning. I got rid of the mohair, no problem. I installed an aftermarket A/C system. Big misery. Engine temps rose from 185 degrees to 225-plus degrees, boiling over in hot weather or heavy traffic.

I tried everything to bring temps down, three different radiators, a multitude of thermostats of different degrees, including none at all, and radiator caps of different pressures, high-flow water pumps. I added -30 degree additives to the coolant to bring temps down. A recovery tank. Tried fan shrouds, both homemade and aftermarket. My rafters are hanging with fans galore, four-, five-, and six-blade, including a stacked two-fan setup. You'll find mechanical, electrical, nylon, stainless flex fans, and OEM steel examples.

Obviously being the "Village Idiot" when it comes to these kinds of problems, this was a several-year project for me to get it sorted out. Lots of dollars, no results. Every Monday night after a show or event there I was tearing things apart again.

Someone happened to mention to me, in passing, that the hot coolant enters from the top of the radiator and exits at the bottom. Shazam! Makes sense. A good portion of the radiator extends into the upper part of the hood. Therefore no cooling. Aha! I installed ZIP's water pump riser using a Chevy 250 L6 water pump from Speedway Motors. This raises the fan 5 inches higher in the engine compartment. I did have to manufacture some brackets for A/C and alternator, I see that now they're supplied with the ZIP kits. I then installed a three-row aluminum radiator. I now use an OEM mechanical fan on the engine. It's a 17-inch six-blade that had a flip at the end of each blade. I'm told it's probably from a Camaro. I put in a 16-inch SPAL electric fan in front of the condenser/radiator. I chose to use a manual on/off switch. This way I have control. Now the Olds runs at about 185 degrees or cooler. If I neglect to turn the fan on when needed I can flip "on" the manual fan switch and bring temps down from 220 degrees to 185 in less than 10 minutes. I made an air deflector and attached it to the bottom of the hood to help direct hot engine air through the radiator.

I'm sure there are a lot of folks with late-1930s well up into the 1940s street rods who may have this cooling problem. They might give it a try. It works.

Ian Stewart
Via the Internet