Old Dominion Model A Ford Club
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Jack gets us lost but who
Jerry gets the coveted chicken
Sites as seen at the Gilmore
Day NineThe "Michigan Impossible" group found this to be both a sad and happy day. Knowing this was the last day we checked over our vehicles and did some last minute adjustments. Stew and Archie decided to change out the starter on Cheryl’s car. We did not want her to rely on someone pushing it to get started after she left the group. As usual when you start a project on an A another develops. The replacement starter was not the same so the bendix was removed and installed on the old starter. There was some discussion as to whether Cheryl should keep the chicken or should we pass it on to Jerry Crews. After all, his repair the day before lasted longer than 20 minutes. To be fair we pass it on to Jerry with much fan fare and photos.
Our fearless leader lead the way and off we went. We hadn’t gone two block and he took a wrong turn. The picture on the right shows you the narrow street we ended up on.Our journey through the hills was filled with beautiful scenery even though there was a heavy overcast of clouds. After an hour or two on the road Dennis was experiencing some handling problems and was preparing to pull over when all of a sudden he had a flat tire on the rear. It would have been nice to have this in an area where we could pull off but no. Some of the group traveled further down the road where they could pull off safely. With a car in front, a car behind and of course our safety net driver Nancy protecting the back with flasher going a game plan formulated. Jerry directed the one lane of traffic in front and Robert directed in the back. While one person located a jack and raised the car, one removed the tire, one retrieved the spare and the plan came together. It was not long and we were back on the road. Our spirits were not dampened because the weather was perfect and driving conditions great. We stopped in Culpeper for lunch and found a delightful restaurant with the atmosphere of and early century decor. Great photo op and lunch. When we were ready to pull out a patron of the restaurant came in and announced one of our cars had a flat tire. Out we go only to find out Dennis and Linda’s vehicle had another flat. This makes three flats on this trip. Our experienced crew went to work again and in just 8 minutes we were ready to roll. Unknown to Dennis the crowd turned ugly and decided it was his turn for the chicken. This was met with him protesting that the repair only took 8 minutes. It was pointed out by Cheryl that it was a cumulation of two flat tires in the same day. The decision was upheld and Dennis and Linda are now members of the Chicken Coupe. Loaded up, we all said our good byes and went our separate ways home. Thanks to all for providing a memorable trip.
This is the view that greeted us after we crossed the Allegheny Mountains the first time.
Peter's learning about his car
Day Eight Some members decided that Cheryl’s vehicle needed some decorating so finding some discarded Caution tape (the yellow tape around construction sites), wrapped her vehicle. Multiple pictures of the event took place and then we prepared to leave. While standing around we called Cheryl to the front of her car and awarded her the chicken. This coveted award was due to the hour and a half spent at the Haar’s farm repairing her brakes. You just are not allowed holding this group up with out some type of penalty. After this prestigious ceremony we hit the road. The weather was a little misty for the first couple of hours and then clear sailing. Its a good thing that it has never rained on this venture. I don’t think there was one good wiper in the whole fleet. There was one mishap in our journey when the group got separated in one town and we had to rely on the GPS to route us back together. At one of our frequent gas/pit stops we did some routine maintenance of adding oil, water and adjusting points. Jeremy did some modifications on a noisy fan on the water pump. Our vehicles ran well with very little overheating on the mountain roads. We stopped in a quaint little town and relaxed over a delicious lunch. Back on the road we made excellent time and arrived at our final destination the Ramada Inn. This was another enjoyable day experiencing a beautiful countryside. Even though we had some overcast skies the fall foliage made up for it. If you ever get the chance, drive this way on one of your adventures. You will not be disappointed.
This is not a post card. Its real.
Day Seven Sadly we have departed Dearborn and headed back to Virginia. Our first stop was to the NAPA store to pick up a starter we had previously ordered. Next it was to the Haar farm to do oil changes on all the vehicles, repair Cheryl’s brakes and tighten up steering in two vehicles. Leaving the farm we headed out with some appreehension about making it to the next motel before it got too late. Our return travels were again through a little town with many quaint stores and an abundance of Amish horse drawn carriages. It was exciting to see these simple modes of transportation with occupants hanging out with thumbs up and encouraging us to blow the Ahooga horns. The country side had a special glow about it on every turn. The sun was low in the sky and at our backs gave an enchanting color to the coming fall foliage. We arrived at the motel sooner than expected and were delighted to get some well deserved rest. Our guesstimation is we will drive 200 miles tomorrow and stop of to do a little site seeing. The next day will be another 200 miles and we will be home.
Ford should have made more room under the hood for when problems develop.
Day Six We were able to sleep in an extra 1/2 hour today. The task master (Jack Haar) said we couldn’t get in to The Henry Ford Museum until 9:30. So up early enough to get a wonderful breakfast at a local and close restaurant. From there it was a quick run to the museum. This was another surprise in that just about every building in Greenfield Village was a vintage antique when they were re-assembled there in the early 1930’s. Henry Ford spent a huge amount of money laying out this historically accurate time in history. Original buildings like Edison’s work shop from Florida, Edison’s grand parents hope from Canada, Ford’s home and the list goes on. There are Model T rides, horse drawn shuttles, Model A tour bus and a steam locomotive train rides around the village. Many of the vehicles used for service and maintenance were Model A’s. What a sight to see while standing in a historical building and looking out the window and see a Model T drive by. Every building open had a knowledgable historian present. They would give their standard talk and if you wanted to stay and chat, they would provide additional info. The weather (again) was perfect. We have enjoyed this trip beyond measure. It is sad that we will have to pack up tonight and head out in the morning. We have to leave early so we can stop back by Jack’s family farm and work on Cheryl’s vehicle. Other maintenance such as oil changes will also take place. So far we have traveled just under 1000 miles. Service wise we have had one distributor problem, one brake issue, one starter problem, one flat tire and one locking up of the transmission. Not bad for an 80+ year old cars.
Model A Parts Department
The cuckoo crew leaving Cuckoo
Sept 24th Drive to Uniontown, PA (285 miles) Hopwood Motel
Sept 25th Drive to Fremont, Ohio (250 miles) Days Inn
Sept 26th Drive to Hickory Corners, MI (180 miles) Visit the Gilmore
Red Roof Inn, Battle
Sept 27th Spend the day at the Gilmore 2nd night Battle Creek
Sept 28th Drive to Dearborn, MI (140 miles) Visit the Ford Museum
Stay Red Roof Inn, Dearborn
Sept 29th Visit Greenfield Village 2nd night in Dearborn
Sept 30th Drive to Strasburg, OH (200 miles) Ramada Inn
Oct 1st Drive to Cumberland, MD (200 miles) Ramada Inn
Oct 2nd Drive to Richmond, VA (200 miles) Sleep in our own bed
Trip Info: The Model A Museum is one part of the Gilmore Car Museum which includes several other buildings on a 90 acre parklike setting. Included among the A's on display is Thomas Edison's Model A, a school bus, mail truck and a tow-truck.
The Gilmore Museum also is home to the Classic Car Club of America Museum, the Pierce-Arrow Museum and the Franklin
Collection, a 1918 Franklin Car dealership, a re-created early 1930's Shell gas station, an 1890's train depot and an operating 1940's diner. To view more go to www.gilmorecarmuseum.org/about-partners-ford.html
After spending one and a half days at the Gilmore we will drive 140 miles to Dearborn and visit the Henry Ford which includes Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum. The Village is a collection of buildings of historic significance such as the Wright Brothers bicycle shop plus much more. The Ford Museum celebrates American innovative genius.
After spending one and a half days at the Henry Ford we will head back to Virginia.
Breakfast meeting to discuss some final planning.
Jack - Leader of the pack
Nancy - Road Runner/watch your back
Peter - Intern
Dennis - Flat Tire Freddie
Linda - Food Scientist
Stew - Top Sergeant
Charlie - Mr. Tea
Archie - Mr. Fix It
Vicki - Sand Box Leader
Cheryl - Ratchet Jaw Queen
Jeremy - Ice Cream Man
Robert - Mr. Nice Guy
Mom, I've been run over by a train
This "cutout" engine makes understanding how it works easy.
Statistics: Cars - 6 Model A's, 1 Subaru
Mileage - 1,550 (average)
Fuel - 81 gallons (average)
MPG - 18.8 (average)
States Visited - 7
Times over the Allegheny Mountains - 2
Flat tires - 3 (all on the Stone's car)
Times we pushed Cheryl's car - ?????
Fun Factor - on a scale of 1 to 10 - 10+
Stew filling up at the Ford Model A Museum
Where is the road?
Pushing Cheryl's car yet again
Day Three This day began at another early hour and very thick fog. A quick breakfast at the motel and we were off. The visibility was terrible and most of us had no idea where we were or what direction we were going. The trip began like the earlier days with the gentle but loud hum of our mighty 4 cylinders. A push for Cheryl found us scratching our heads as to why the car wouldn’t start. Seems that turning on the power and gas makes a big difference. Off we went traveling more back roads and a few interstate roads. To us in the back of the line it looked like we were lost as we turned down a one lane road while dodging oncoming cars. Our fearless leader pulled us into the yard of a farm house and then we knew Jack was home. A quick tour of the homestead and refreshment provided by his sister and we were off again. We left Cheryl's car in the barn to save us some time, and our plans are to return and repair her problem starter. Our next stop was only about 50 yards away to the local airport. Jack explained that this is where he and his sister learned to drive their dads old Crosley. More pictures were taken by every one and Peter climbed a tower to get that perfect shot. I hope no one blinked. Off again and we took another interstate just to make up time. This day ended earlier than previous ones, so everyone could rest up and prepare for a meal at the local Crackerbarrel. Archie Marks had spotted a problem with Dennis and Linda’s car the day before, and was concerned about the abnormal wear on their new tires. Out came the overalls for Archie and Dennis, Stew and Charlie assisted in doing an alignment of the toe in. After the initial repair, a quick test run, and a second adjustment, we complimented each other on a fine job and hit the showers. Thanks Archie for making those Firestones go a little further! We are happy to report that no other vehicles experienced any other problems. Our day ended with the coveted Chicken award going to Peter Haar for his multitude time of holding us up on tour.
Today's trip began around 6 to 6:30 for most of the crews. The contingent from the Southside of Richmond (Stew, Charlie, Dennis and Linda) met at Joe’s Inn and traveled to Cuckoo, VA. There they met up with The Haar’s and their son Peter, the Marks, Jerry and friend Robert. After a round of picture taking we headed west to catch up with Cheryl. Before we could got to far Peter had a problem with his new purchase. After some lengthly discussions and a lost gasket from the sediment bowl, it was determined not to be a fuel problem but what seemed to be a bad ignition switch. We ventured on and 6 more pull offs to the side of the road it turned out to be a short to ground in the distributor. Thank you Jerry and Archie for tracing this elusive problem. Everyone pulled back on the road only to find out that Cheryl’s vehicle would not start. Another Technical seminar was quickly performed and a determination that her starter bendix was not working. This being the case and no spare parts, we reverted to pushing. This was the norm for the remainder of the day. Our trial didn’t end here. When we stopped for gas, everyone was ready to leave when Cheryl was waving her hand frantically and yelling that gas was leaking out of her dashboard and down her leg. For some reason it picked this time and place to start leaking. Another technical seminar was held to determine how to stop it. Once the correction were made we were back on the road. By now we were 3 hours behind schedule. At 7:30 we rolled into the parking lot of the motel.
Tire repair #2
Tire repair #3
A protest was registered and
overruled. The chicken was
awarded. The chicken is definitely worse for the wear after this trip. Notice the duct tape repairs.
How many of us remember eating at Howard Johnson's while traveling?
Old Dominion Cars at the Ford Model A Museum
Cheryl's car has been declared a disaster area.
The scenery was beautiful
Here we go again!
Turning a 15 minute job into a 90 minute job.
Big place to have a building
in a building.
They use vintage trucks
The entrance to the Henry
This will give you an idea of the size
of this building.
Sorry it is blurred but you can see how much
attention we got. This young woman was yelling Hi as we passed.
Rosa Park's Bus
Henry's first car
Day Five Another beautiful day in Michigan. I know that sounds like you have heard that before but its true. Oh yeah, we said that about Day four. We have had perfect weather this whole trip. Today we left behind the Gilmore area and headed to Dearborne area. It was a nice ride and being Sunday, low traffic, we took the Interstate to get there as soon as possible. Rolling into town you can tell by the signs that this was a place that Ford built. On every other street there was a Ford something, i.e. engine design, engineering, body design. Pulling into the parking lot of the museum we were supprised to be able to park close to the front door. (Forgot it was Sunday) Before we ever went in, a group of people came up to admire the cars and ask a multitude of questions. The most common one was were we there for a show. And the answer is….We are the show. Inside we were greeted by smiles and given directions to the events. This place is huge. The displays are well laid out and plenty of information to guide you. Vintage cars, planes, trains, carriages and even a metal prefab house. A surprise to many of us, there were many non-Ford vehicles displayed. Fortunately they were such great cars that we didn’t care. Limos president used, the Oscar Mayer hot dog vehicle, the bus Rosa Parks rode on, air planes (full size DC 3, Ford Tri Motor) and time pieces are just a sampling of the individual displays. Finishing up the day we headed back to the motel, had supper and put our bodies at rest.
Zero problems with cars today. Stew discovered that the people in Dearborn are honest when he noticed he left the gas on and the keys in the ignition all day.
Day Four Another beautiful day in Michigan. One problem croped up with Peter Haar’s vehicle when the transmission locked up in two gears. A few quick pokes and groans and we were back on track. The Museum was more than expected. Upon entering the compound, we were given the opportunity to park in front of the “A” museum. The cameras were clicking and people were pondering what was going on. Then to our amazement, we were allowed to leave the vehicles there the whole day. What a great advertisement for our club! Thank you Otey Pemberton for having those club banners made that were displayed on the backs of the cars. The Model A building was set up in easy to read displays and beautiful cars. Every kind of option, feature and modification was displayed. Cut away transmissions and engines gave us a true picture of what goes on with things we don’t normally see. The uniqueness of the Model A engine was amazing in the display of its many uses. The airplane hanging from the ceiling showed just how far its power could be extended. Boats, compressors, race cars and other machinery seemed to round out their usefulness. One section of the museum was the parts department. It was wonderful seeing the many varieties of items that were around at that time in history. After exploring the A museum, we then went to the other buildings. Every kind of automobile you can think of was there. Many of these vehicles were show car winners. On some of the Auburns, Rolls, Packards and Pierce Arrow cars the paint jobs alone cost more than all the A’s we drove to Michigan with. The Shell service station was also a hit. A few of us were able to sneak our vehicles around and have a terrific photo shoot. When returning to the vehicle in the afternoon, Dennis saw his rear tire was low. Jack Haar brought out his bicycle pump and the work began. After much huffing and puffing it was decided enough was enough. While disconnecting the pump, the valve stem cracked and the air ran out. Back to the tool box and out comes the jack and wrenches. Many bystanders stood there and I guess they thought this was part of the museum presentation! Jack and Dennis finished changing tires in record time, however no applause was received from the crowd. The day came to an end with your club representatives tired but happy.
Pushing Cheryl's car
Roadside technical seminar
Day Two An early morning wake up and we were on the road. First stop was a highly recommended restaurant. Upon arrival we found the establishment closed. Jack found out they were in and just hadn’t opened the doors yet. After a hearty meal we hit the road. As far as events, there were no major happenings. We did have an excellent day for driving. If ever there was a perfect day and a perfect Model A road, we found it. Traveling through West Va., and Ohio was great. The scenery was beautiful with the sun highlighting some early fall foliage. The country roads were lined many sites to hold our attention. Our members were as thrilled to see the Amish horse drawn carts as their occupants were in seeing our caravan. Many others along the route smiled as we alerted them with our Ahooga horns. Again we must say that Jack has pointed us in the right direction on this trip. All cars ran perfect, even Cheryl’s after each push to start. Our plans are to replace her starter at one of our stops on the way back. Parts have been ordered.