Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Fair Weather Car

As I was leaving my office for lunch yesterday I spotted this old beauty heading towards to parking lot in front of the MVA Express office on Dobbin Road. I had a few minutes to spare so I followed him into the lot.

It was a 1930 Ford Model A.
“They had lots of variations of this car,” Buzz Spencer told me. He was more than happy to spend some quality car talk time with me. He showed me the clock embedded in the rear view mirror and even opened up the rumble seat so I could have a look. Buzz purchased this car already restored but indicated that it needs a little work now. “The last restoration was in 1978,” he told me.

In that regard he’s lucky. Buzz told me that he can get any part he needs for this car right across the HoCo border in Mt. Airy at Brattons Antique Parts.
Buzz says there are almost a million of these cars worldwide that are still licensed to operate on public streets. Initially I was a bit surprised by this but later I discovered that Ford made almost five million Model A’s before production ended in 1931. I asked him how fast it can go. He said he once got it up to 70 mph but that wasn’t much fun. “It sounded like it was going to explode.”

I’m not surprised. This car is like a big tractor and when he started the engine for me that’s’ exactly what it sounded like.

Buzz puts about a thousand miles a year on the car now, taking out only on nice days... like yesterday.

This particular Model A was assembled in Norfolk,Virginia and, according to Buzz, may have once been owned by the Baltimore City Police Department.

Before we parted ways I asked Buzz what his “everyday” vehicle was.

“I drive a Chevy truck with over 250,000 miles on it. It still rides nicer than this car.”

Yeah, but I'll bet nobody approaches him in a parking lot when he drives that!
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