Isanti County resident, local historian
Many of us remember our first car. In my case it was a 1929 Ford Model A two-door.
I owned the car along with my good friend Stuart Skoglund. We had purchased the car from another friend, Vernal From, for $75. The car had a rather interesting history. It had been owned by an uncle of Vernal, and it had not been driven for a number of years. Vernal had rehabbed the car, including reupholstering the interior. It looked pretty classy. Vernal sold it since he was going into the Army.
The time was the early summer of 1943, and if you were 18-years old Uncle Sam wanted you. After all it was right in the midst of WW II. Stuart and I decided we would overhaul the engine.
We ground the valves, put in new rings, and replaced the spark plugs and gaskets. When all of this had been completed, we took it out for a test drive. We discovered we had not installed the oil pump properly, so we had to correct that. Once that was done it ran like a Swiss Watch.
Sadly, shortly after, Stuart got orders to report for duty in the Navy, where he went on to become a pilot. I bought out Stuart, and became the sole owner of the 29 Model A. Since I was soon headed for the Army Air Corps, I painted Air Corps symbols on the doors. It wasn’t too long until I trooped off to the Air Corps, and the car was sold to a local resident. When I returned from the service in late 1945 I would occasionally catch a glimpse of my Model A, complete with the Air Corps symbols.
During the summer of 1943 a couple of the tires need to be replaced. Since we supplied sweet corn to grocery stores in Isanti and Cambridge, my dad convinced the Rationing Board to allow us to buy two new tires.
One of the interesting features of the Model A was the location of the gas tank. It was under the hood right in front of the windshield. Not very safe should you be involved in an accident. Over the years I’ve owned a number of vehicles, but that 29 Model A was a very special means of transportation.
This originally appeared in the July 21, 2010 Isanti County News.