I checked off two things from my bucket list on Saturday. One was an open air biplane ride which I wrote about yesterday. This was something I had always wanted to do but required some degree of facing a fear. It was an exhilarating adventure but I did something else Saturday that kept me firmly on the ground and required no bravery at all. It was just a fun thing to do.
I took a ride in a Model A Ford!
While Dewey Davenport was thrilling people with rides in his 1930 D-25 New Standard, there were some other fun things happening on the ground – planes and helicopters, food from some local businesses and a collection of gorgeous Model A cars waiting to take people on rides.
The owners of these vehicles belong to the Southern A’s Model A Car Club which has Model A owners from three states. They were giving rides in their vehicles for donations so my pal Shelly and I jumped at the opportunity to take a ride.
This car club is unique, especially when you consider the age and value of the vehicles they drive. You see, they don’t really do car shows. Their club is about driving and showing off their vehicles in a hands-on way. I love car shows but those events are always a look-but-don’t-touch method of learning about the vehicles. And that’s fine. I get it. The public can be inconsiderate and I wouldn’t want dirty fingerprints (or worse) on my pristine car either.
But the folks in this Model A club want you to experience their cars the way they were meant to be experienced – up close and personal. They are happy to talk freely about the development of the Model A, about their vehicles and what it’s like to drive them.
They’re excited to share their hobby with others.
Shelly and I rode with a gentleman named Chuck who happens to live in the neighborhood so he took us down some peaceful rural backroads and past his own farm, answering our questions and providing delightful narration along the way.
Getting paired up with him was a real treat. He actually purchased this 1930 Model A (the same age as Dewey’s biplane) when he graduated college 51 years ago. Incidentally, he’s been at the same job for that long as well!
He regaled us with tales of the places he’s been with his cars. He owns a few Model A’s and travels with them to events all over the place -Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina and all points in between. He likes to find forgotten old cars in barns and then spend a couple of years fixing them up.
He says it keeps him out of his wife’s hair.
He can tell you all about the original paint colors, about how Henry Ford was the first to provide his factory workers a living wage and will tell you about some of the differences between these cars and modern vehicles. For example, you work a little harder to steer these cars because they have no power steering. There’s no speedometer either so he uses a dash mounted GPS to gauge his speed. He joked that they don’t stop very well and that if you can’t stop, something will stop the car for you!
Riding in this car was a real treat. It’s a beautiful shade of green and is clearly loved. But it was Chuck who made the ride a memorable experience. It’s just fun to meet people who are passionate about something and who love what they do. It’s even better when they love something that you like too!
Maybe it’s because I haven’t found my passion yet but I want to see, do and learn about as much as possible. There’s always something interesting around the next bend, someone with a fabulous story to share even though they typically think they aren’t that interesting.
Go take a look. You might be surprised at what you find!