BRANSON, Mo- If you’re in the Branson area you’ve probably noticed a few hundred Model A classic cars driving around town.
This gathering is called “Dancin’ in Branson Model A Restorers Club Meet.” It’s a gathering of Model A enthusiasts that travel the country.
KOLR10 Photojournalist Lex Smith caught up with the motorists to hear their story.
“The Model ‘A’ was the first car with forty horsepower from the Model ‘T’, and by getting that forty horsepower, you were able to get on the highway and travel,” says Pat James/Albuquerque, NM.
“We took three days to get from Albuquerque out here. About three hundred miles a day is about all you can stand in a Model ‘A’,” says James.
“There’s some Model ‘A’ members that keep their cars in the garage and then just bring them to show. But we get out and we drive them. It’s a part of history, so you’re looking at cars that are ninety years old here,” he says.
“It’s old. And still functioning. And still can keep up. Be in the world today, instead of sitting in the barn or rotting back to the earth. And that they’re still driveable and that we can get in them and have fun,” says Billie Pyzel of Albuquerque.
Chairman Dan Bixby says, “When I started in about nineteen sixty-four, about the only ones who had parts for them were J.C. Whitney and they weren’t much. But we’d visit the old Ford garages back in the day and they’d say ‘Oh, I think we got some Model ‘A’ parts back in the backroom somewhere.’ And so you bought what was called a ‘new/old’ stock part directly from the Ford dealership. But those days obviously are gone. Over the years, more and more reproduction parts are being made. And today, if you’ve got a frame, and a chassis, almost everything else can be bought. About once every thirty-five, forty thousand miles you rebuild the engine and you go again.”
Next year they will be in Dearborn, Michigan and are expecting between 800 and 1,000 cars there.
They made about 4.8 million Model A cars. About half a million are still operating around the world.