Model A Cars Visit Marshfield

Explore Marshfield – Model A Cars Visit Marshfield

This Friday, take a drive into the past at West 14th Restaurant, where 86 year-old Ford A Model Cars will be visiting.

“There is a core group of us from the Hawk A Model A Ford Club out of Cedar Rapids, IA that try to take a ‘non-sanctioned’ club tour every summer that ventures much further than our normal couple hundred mile tours,” said Dave Fick, club member and trip coordinator.

Last year, the group went to St Joseph, Mo and cruised around, ate good BBQ, and toured Truman’s Presidential Library and home. This year, they will visit Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to learn about its copper mining history and explore where Henry Ford owned tens of thousands of acres of timber in the U.P. used in the manufacture of his automobiles.

“We’ll tour saw mills and actual towns he built to supply his needs,” said Fick, who will be driving his 1930 Tudor.  “We all live in eastern Iowa so Marshfield is the perfect halfway point to and from our final destination of Houghton, MI.

The cars travel at about 45 MPH, so their limit with gas stops, breaks, and meals is around 250 miles per day. Each of the nine cars participating this year must be able to endure 1,500+ miles.

BlueHeronModelA02“That may not sound like a long trip for a 7-day tour, but we’re driving 85+ year old cars with manual transmissions, brakes and steering, and no air conditioning,” said Fick. “The cars are very physical to drive and at the end of the day, you certainly can feel it.  They have 10-gallon gas tanks that are actually the dash so we’re all sitting under the gas tank.  The average MPG is about 15 MPG so we stop for gas frequently.”

The group will include cars from all four years that the Model A was manufactured: 1928, 1929, 1930 and 1931, including 1 Pick-up, 4 Tudors,  2 Coupes, and 2 Fordors. Each of the group’s cars ranges from 100% original to recently restored, with all having slight modifications to make modern travel more comfortable. Color schemes are all original and all are running the stock 4 cylinder, 45 horsepower engine.

“To put that in perspective, my riding lawnmower has a 21 horsepower engine,” said Fick.

The group travels mostly on two-lane rural America roads with the occasional short jaunt on a four-lane stretch, but never on a major Interstate for fear of causing an accident.

To contrast today’s fast-paced world, Fick encourages everyone to take a trip like this. “One can’t imagine how enjoyable it is to travel at 45 mph,” he said. “The things one sees and experiences that simply can’t be enjoyed at 75 mph on an interstate is astonishing!”

Fick and his 17 riding companions will arrive at about 7:00 p.m. on July 15, parking in front of the Blue Heron Brew Pub (historic Parkin Place building). The group welcomes everyone to come see their vehicles.

“These cars are a great snapshot of transportation 86 years ago,” said Fick, adding that at that time, roads were mainly gravel and dirt with a “hard surface” road being rare. “It’s an opportunity to stand back and imagine what it must have been like.”