I have been trying to think of another mode of travel that would draw the smiles, trust, and local advise that these quaint old cars drew along the way. Both men and women showed such enthusiasm for the cars and for our venture wherever we stopped. These encounters left us smiling as we climbed back in and headed on our way. They made the trip. I suppose you could travel with a puppy and get a similar response. But then you would have to travel with a puppy.
We drove to Montana and back in our restored Model A s with a credit card in our pockets. When you think about it, people drove these cars to California in hard times under dire conditions. Now that is amazing. I wonder if the shared hard times drew people together. Did spontaneous campsites spring up alongside the road where people shared stories, supplies and skills?
Things Learned for When Touring in Old Cars.
Go with another couple
It was comforting to travel with another couple and another car. Larry and Linda’s skills, tools, parts, and eyes, all were good things to have on the road. Rehashing the events of the day with them added a lot to the trip too.
Carry two-way radios
They came in so handy when needing to communicate between cars – “Hey, you missed the turn!” or “Pit stop next gas station” or “Gotta stop and check our coolant level.”
Have a cell phone with a good service network.
Our phone contract is with our local telephone coop. We rarely had cell reception even in some larger towns. Larry and Linda have Verizon, they had much better luck.
Make sure that your jack will lift the car high enough.
We took a modern general purpose hydraulic jack only to find that it wouldn’t lift the car high enough. Luckily Larry had one that would.
Take a 6 to 12 volt inverter for charging cell phone and GPS
Purists might have a problem with having a GPS stuck on the dash of their model A. We did our navigating on Gazetteers but we found the GPS useful at times to know exactly where we were in relation to a town or a road.
If a road trip sounds like fun to you, do it.
Larry and Linda had been intending to go on this trip for a few years. Things kept getting in the way. Two weeks before we were set to go, the crankshaft broke on the Model T they intended to take. Rather than delay the trip any longer, they decided to take their Model A instead. It was just time to do this thing.