They were one of the two affordable cars that Ford Motor Company built that changed the way the world lived. The first was the Model T. And then this one, the Model A, with its shift lever transmission among other changes.
Wayne Hilliard: I'm sure there's a lot of Model T folks say they are a whole lot better than the A's. But I really like the A's. They're real reliable and so forth.
Walt: That's Wayne Hilliard. He's one of the Jackson Area drivers who took the trek from Nashville to Natchez this week, along with drivers from as far away as Alaska who came to the deep south for the chance to stretch out their cars. You need a reliable car for that distance. Steve Darrow from Kiowa, Colorado was one of the out-of-state-ers who came here. The Trace seems to be the perfect road for his car.
Steve Darrow: It's a wonderful run, yea. It's a Model A road all the way. It's a national event, and we sure are glad to be here. I think we've got somewhere in the neighborhood of 250, 300 Model As.
Walt: Bob Dampier of Brandon had his car in the run. Bob is a life long Model A fan.
Bob Dampier: Well I got my first Model A in 1962 when I was in high school. It was a $125 two-door sedan.
Walt: A part of the hobby of old cars is fixing them up. And that can be a decades-long process if you do the work yourself and pay for it as you go. But at some point in time it comes time where the rubber has to meet the road, to prove the car and prove yourself by putting some miles behind you. And the Trace is the place.
Wayne Hilliard: Well, you can drive from Nashville to Natchez and never see a red light.
John McIntire: Other thing you don't have these commercial trucks and everything to blow you around so it's a really nice drive. Very pleasant.
Walt: But even the best preparation can't overcome the age of the vehicles. Our friend from Brandon, Bob Dampier had to tow his car part way back to his house.
Bob: We think the timing gear might have broken. We'll just have to find out. But that's part of the hobby. That's what makes it fun.
Walt: And later, good news, Bob found it was just an electrical problem and finished out the last day of the run and ended up in Natchez with the rest of the folks.
There is something about taking an old thing and restoring it to working order to give you a sense of accomplishment. And then getting it out on the road and it doing what it was designed to do after you've done all your hard work is nothing short of ecstatic.
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