AUGUST 2017: REMEMBERING A MAN AND HIS BELOVED 1930 MODEL A

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The Model A was a very popular car that managed to carve out its own identity in the giant shadow of the Model T.

 

The Model T was a game-changer as an affordable car for the masses and the Model A was built with the same idea in mind, although the onset of the Great Depression did not help sales.

 

The Model A was a more advanced car by comparison to the Model T and it was faster and easier to drive than the T.

 

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Many people from an earlier generation have very fond memories of the Model A from personal experiences and Robert Ripley was definitely one of those kind of Model A fans.

 

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Robert owned a Model A when he was a young guy and always wanted to own another one. His search was successful when he found a 1930 Model A about 12 years ago and was able to purchase a car that reminded him of his youthful days with his first Model A.

 

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A stock Model A is not easy to find in the 21st century because most of them are either long gone or have undergone a major transformation into a hot rod or custom ride. Robert faced an uphill climb in his search and was happy to get his unaltered Model A.

 

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Robert was also able to get his Model A in time for his daughter’s wedding and the car helped make the occasion even more memorable for the entire family. Unfortunately Robert passed away in 2016 and a decision had to be made about the car.

 

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The decision was actually pretty easy for Robert’s family: keep his beloved Model A. The family also have a lot of affection for the car because of Robert and they want to honor his memory by keeping it in the family.

 

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The designated caretaker is Robert’s son in law, Darren Hiron, and he is a self-described Chevy guy who says he “doesn’t feel like he needs to wear a hoody” when he drives the Model A because he likes it so much.

 

We caught up with Robert’s family at a small town car show that was the first appearance for the Model A in about two years. Robert used to drive the car to the town for its parade and Darren decided to revive that tradition this year.

 

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Darren has become the designated driver for the car because he knows how to drive a three-speed manual transmission and is also able to work the timing advance and throttle levers on the steering wheel.

 

A Model A may be less complicated to drive than a Model T but it does require some coordination to make it run the down the road. Darren also mentioned the Model A has a mind of its own in the steering department, particularly on gravel roads, so he chooses a cautious approach in the speed department.

 

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The only alteration made by Robert to the Model A were signal lights because he wanted to ensure it could be driven in modern traffic where very few people know or remember hand signals.

 

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Darren will likely leave them on the Model A because he and the family want to respect the wishes and memory of the car just the way Robert left it.

 

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It is a great family game plan that honors a car guy who loved his Model A for all the right reasons.

Jim Sutherland

 

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