200 East 4th St. Appleton City, MO 64724 660-476-2626

Early days at Zink Motor Co

Zink Motor Company (“The Garage”) in Appleton City Missouri started life as the Motor Inn in 1913 owned by the Schuller brothers. The Motor Inn sold both Ford and Buick automobiles from 1913 through 1916/17.  In 1917 we transitioned to selling Ford and Dort automobiles.  Adding Fordson tractors to the lineup in 1918/19.  Our original building was located 200ft west of our current location and was a mixed use facility.  Three quarters of the building was used for automotive sales and service.  The remaining quarter was used to house the Appleton City Fire Department. The Zink family purchased the business in 1916.  Changing the name to Zink Motor Company in 1920.  In 1918 they decided it was time to expand and built a state of the art facility designed by Ford Motor Company.  It was a two story brick building with a 6,900 sq ft footprint with 13,800 sqft between the two floors.  The showroom and vehicle storage area was located on the first floor.  The Service Department and Body Shop was located on the second floor.  From notes passed down by Wilbur Zink we know that per Ford guidelines in the early days we didn’t have an outdoor lot to display vehicles for sale.  Every aspect of the business was contained within the four walls of our store.    

Many early automobile owners in Appleton City only drove their vehicles when leaving town and chose to store their automobiles at our dealership.  That is what much of the main floor storage area was used for during the Model T days.  The second floor service Department and Body Shop was and still is accessed by driving or walking up a 51ft long wooden ramp.  We have notes stating that most of the Mechanics choose to back the T’s up the ramp to keep them from running out of fuel before reaching the top.  The ramp is rather steep and does try your nerves a bit driving a car up or down it.  I have navigated the ramp in both reverse and going forward in low gear.  Personally I have found that the float bowls hold enough fuel to make it up the ramp nose first without sputtering or stalling.  When going up the ramp, after making the transition from the concrete floor to the wooden ramp.  You have to advance the spark and apply additional throttle to maintain momentum.  When going up in reverse it is definitely challenging to look over your shoulder, keep a hand on the steering wheel, while adjusting the throttle and spark advance simultaneously.  Another reason I prefer to drive up nose first. 

Driving down the ramp comes with its own set of challenges.  Because of the steep angle, gravity overtakes the T’s ability to slow itself.  It is a fine balance between trying to slow the car and not skidding the tires.  Regardless of how hard you try to slow the car it continues to build speed as you make your way down.  It is critically important that the car is squarely positioned and the front tires hit the transition from ramp to concrete at the same time.  I learned this lesson the hard way.  A few years ago the rear tires skidded just before reaching the bottom which caused the left front to transition a fraction of a second before the right front.  This caused the car to develop a violent repetitive bounce.  It took the steering full lock to lock several times before I was able to bring the car to a stop.  By the grace of God without making contact with the wall.  The many scratches on the brick wall alongside the ramp tell the story that I’m not the first person to go on that ride.  There was a cable winch that was used to pull inoperable vehicles up the ramp to the service bays.  The winch was removed decades ago.  But a patch in the floor shows where it was located and grooves worn in the floor by the cable where the second floor meets the ramp shows further proof of its existence.

Some of the Zink family records mention that we received new Model T’s from Ford two in different ways. Some were sent to us by rail in crates.  Others we had to make the 70 mile journey to the Kansas City plant and pick up.  I found an article in the Appleton City Journal dated July 19th, 1917 titled “Another Flook of Fords” that outlines a trip to Kansas City to pick up new automobiles.  It is a fun glimpse into what traveling in a T was like back then.  It is a good read that I will share with you now.  

“Dee Zink - local Ford agent, accompanied by 10 gentlemen, went to Kansas City Friday morning to bring down a cargo of new Fords.  They brought home seven new Fords and one Dort, and all of them were sold when they got home and other buyers turned down.

Part of the boys started home late Friday evening and from the stories they are telling, must have had some experiences along the way with mud, engine troubles and a lack of lights.  The engines were new and the hot magnetos soon burned out the headlights.  They did say that Roy Shoop took turns riding on the radiators of different cars and striking matches to light the way.  He admits that he used up two boxes of matches.  Some of the boys were new at the wheel and did not know the roads very well and others had to keep tabs on them.  Ben Brown played the rabbit and tortoise act by running ahead into Adrian where he went to bed, but was later aroused and then beat the other fellows home.  They spend most of the night on the way home.  The rest of the bunch stayed over in the city until Saturday and came home in good shape.” 

Jeff Cross began purchasing stock in Zink Motor Company in 1984.  Becoming 100% owner in 2002.  In 2015 we began the process of peeling back the layers and restoring our 1918 building.  The second floor service dept is displayed as it appeared in the late teens and twenties.  As well as having a 1919 Dort Model 11 and many original items on display in our showroom.  We are very proud to have a Henry Ford era dealership that has been continually selling and servicing Ford automobiles for over 100 years.

We have a passion for automotive history and enjoy sharing our history with others.  Each year on the second Saturday in July we partner with the Appleton City Car Show and empty our building of as many modern items as possible, fill it with early Fords and re-create a scene from the teens and twenties.  It is a great event that will take you back in time.  I hope to see you there!  

Top Car Maintenance Tips

Properly maintaining your car is key to keeping it in top condition. It can also help ensure your safety, the safety of your passengers and your fellow drivers. Here are some ways to help keep your car running smoothly.


Consider adding these items to your vehicle maintenance "to do" list:


Knowing how to maintain your car's tire pressure can help reduce wear on the tires and helps ensure you're getting good gas mileage. Checking your tire pressure includes finding the recommended pressure, checking the PSI and inflating or deflating your tires accordingly.

A flat tire is a hazard that can be dangerous to you and your car. There are several preventative steps you can take to help avoid a blowout, including rotating your tires every 5,000 to 10,000 miles and watching for tire recalls.


Routinely checking and changing your car's oil is essential to keeping its engine in running condition. Check your oil each month and change it as directed in the car's owner's manual.

You can change your oil yourself or take it to a service center. If you choose to do it yourself, learn the necessary steps to drain the fluid, set the correct oil level and dispose of old oil.

You should also know which type of motor oil is best for your car, regardless of whether you change the oil yourself or take it to a service center. This generally means considering three things — the oil viscosity, whether to use synthetic versus non-synthetic oil and your car's mileage.


There are several fluids that should be kept at the appropriate levels to help keep your car running properly. According to Popular Mechanics, you or your mechanic should check:

  • Engine oil
  • Coolant
  • Power steering fluid
  • Brake fluid
  • Transmission fluid
A leak with any of these fluids can affect the way your car drives. If you spot a leak, you may be able to identify the fluid by its color. This can help you and your mechanic determine where the leak is coming from. It can also help speed up the repair process.


A broken or burnt-out bulb is a safety hazard and might get you a ticket. Learn how to thoroughly inspect each bulb on your car. If a bulb is out, take your car to an expert to determine whether it's the bulb or the fuse that needs replacing.

Headlights are key safety lights on your car. Consider taking a few extra steps to help keep them shining bright, such as cleaning the lenses and replacing bulbs as they start to dim.


If your wipers aren't working like they used to, don't let the problem linger. Damaged or worn out blades can reduce visibility during a heavy rain or a snowstorm. Knowing how to inspect your wiper blades regularly and replace them when necessary is one way to help keep your car safe.


A dirty engine air filter can allow dirt and other particulates into your car's engine and reduce its efficiency. Inspect your car's air filter once a year and replace it as needed.


Some routine car care tasks can be done at home, but others require trained technicians. Take your car to a technician if the check engine light comes on. Trained technicians can diagnose the problem through the car's on-board diagnostics (OBD-II) port.

A qualified repair shop will also be able to inspect and replace other core components like the alternator and the wheel bearings. Scheduling regular tune-ups will help ensure that your car gets other maintenance items repaired as well.


Your car's brake pads also require regular inspection. While driving, listen for any brake noise and pay attention to shuddering or vibrating from the brake pedal. If any concerns arise, consult a service center as soon as possible


Your car is subjected to all sorts of elements, from road salt and ice melt in the winter to tree sap and bird droppings in the summer. Some of these hazards are not only unsightly but can cause damage to paint and the undercarriage, according to AccuWeather.

Keeping your car clean may help prevent long-term damage. Find the car washing method that works for you and regularly wash your car.


Keeping your car's belts and hoses in good shape can help keep your car running and may help you avoid a breakdown on the road. For example, if your serpentine belt breaks while you're driving, it may cause many of your car's systems to fail.

Having your belts and hoses checked at every oil change will help ensure that they're in good condition and don't need replacing.


Just like regular car checkups, it's a good idea to review your car insurance policy from time to time. This can help ensure your policy's coverages, limits and deductibles are up-to-date and suitable for your current situation.

Keeping your car in good shape can help keep you and your passengers safe. And remember, if you're ever unsure about how to inspect or replace a car part, be sure to contact a local mechanic for help.

Article Originally published allstate.com

What is the fuel economy of the 2019 Ford Ranger

2019 Ford Ranger Efficiency Ratings

With the 4×2 configuration, the 2019 Ranger gets an estimated fuel economy of 21 city/26 highway/23 combined mpg. With the 4×4 configuration, the 2019 Ranger gets an estimated fuel economy of 20 city/24 highway/22 combined mpg. These are the best efficiency ratings of any gasoline-powered midsize pickup truck in the United States.

source:  ford.com

Payload and Tow Capacity of the 2019 Ford Ranger


You carry gear — and lots of it. And the new Ford Ranger has these big advantages over other gas-powered midsize pickups: best-in-class maximum 1,860-lb. payload* and 7,500- lb. tow** ratings. Need to haul more? Tow more? Head out to your next adventure in the all-new Ranger.
*Class is Midsize Pickups based on Ford segmentation.
**When properly equipped with the trailer tow package and a trailer brake controller. Class is Midsize Pickups based on Ford segmentation.

source:  ford.com

How does the Blind Spot Information System work on

Trailer blind spot profiles on the 2019 Ranger

While having blind spot warnings can be useful, if you are towing you may also want warnings about when a vehicles is next to your trailer. Fortunately BLIS on the 2019 Ford Ranger includes trailer coverage. Drivers can keep up to three trailer profiles in the Ranger’s system so that the radar knows the length of the trailer and how far back to provide warnings. It can be challenging to haul a trailer, but with the Blind Spot Information System on the 2019 Ford Ranger drivers can leave some worry behind.

You can see this in action on the video embedded in this page.

Rear cross traffic alert

In addition to BLIS (which will also work just fine without a trailer) the 2019 Ford Ranger is available with rear cross traffic alerts that will warn drivers if there is a car coming behind them when they are leaving a parking space. This can make leaving a parking lot or a tricky work site even easier.

source:  ford.com

2019 Ford F-150 CarGurus Test Drive Review

2019 Ford F-150 Test Drive Review

The Ford F-150 employs a few modest updates for 2019 to stay relevant in the face of completely redesigned competitors.

8.2 /10

2017 Ford Escape Test Drive Review

Join me in reviewing my time behind the wheel of Ford’s 2017 Escape SE!!!

Vehicle Stats


2017 Ford Escape

Trim:   SE

Exterior Color:  Black

Interior Trim:  Grey Cloth

Drive:  FWD

Engine: 1.5L 4-cylinder

MPG Reports:  City – 23 Highway – 30 

My MPG:  29.2 avg 85% Highway, 15% City


First impressions:  The 2017 Escape has a sporty and rugged appearance. It maintains the sleek body lines shared by previous model years, but has a more aggressive reconfigured nose and front end.


Ride, Drive & Comfort:  The Escape has a nice, smooth ride. I found the steering and suspension to be very responsive. It handled corners and transitions with ease. I noticed little road and wind noise. A definite improvement from previous model years. Like other 2017 Ford vehicles the cloth interior has a more rugged feel to it and seems much less prone to staining. The seats are comfortable and supportive. I found the seating position to be very driver friendly. It provided nice front and side visibility. The controls as well were all in easy reach for both driver and passenger. Ford SYNC system works very well and is leaps and bounds above previous versions. It paired seamlessly with my phone and automatically connected each time I entered the vehicle. The rear seats fold down allowing for additional storage. I also found that rear passenger leg room to be very reasonable for small vehicle. Something else that I found convenient was the Escape's tight turning radius. It made backing and maneuvering in tight parking lots easy.


Engine performance:  This Escape was equipped with Ford's 1.5L engine. It is a very good match for the FWD Escape. It is peppy and low speeds and pulling out into traffic and can still achieve 30 MPY Hwy, which is nice.

Overall, I really enjoyed my time behind the wheel of the Ford Escape.  It's practical, looks good, nice MPG and reasonably priced. Which makes it a winner in my book.

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