For the casual observer, Darrel Freimuth’s Model A Ford is more than just a beautifully restored representative of Henry’s legendary Lady.
With Freimuth giving the tour, it becomes a rolling piece of history.
“Today you get in a car and just assume you’ll have no problems,” he says. “When these cars were built, you were expected to have some mechanical ability.”
Freimuth opens a trap door behind the front seats to reveal a recessed box full of tools and parts used to keep the 70-year-old Ford on the road.
“With what I carry, I can fix just about any problem that might leave the car stranded,” he says.
That’s considerably different than today’s modern motorists, most of who fix their automotive problems with a cell phone and credit card.
Freimuth is a bit of a home-grown expert on the early Fords. His collection includes two Model Ts and a trio of Model As, in addition to a few far less popular cars.
He admires the A for its style and simplicity, and for what it meant to the automotive revolution.
“I think there were 26 different models,” he says. “There were coupes, touring cars, sedans and pick-up trucks. And even within the body styles, there were variations.”
His blue two-door sedan is one of his favorite body styles.
“The four doors used the suicide door in the rear,” he says. “I always figured that was kind of dangerous of you wanted to carry the grandchildren. In this one they can ride in the back and I don’t have to worry about them.”
He says part of the appeal of the Model A is that they are still relatively plentiful and the pieces are fairly easy to find.
But that’s both good and bad news to the collector.
“It means that kids can still get them and put big V-8s in them, and slowly eats up the number of originals that are left.”
Freimuth bought the Model A fully restored, and then did a few modifications (like adding turn lights and fuses) to make it more roadworthy.
“When I got it, it was like a new car,” he says.
Plus, the price was right.
(Click photo to see restoration photos)
“The previous owner had spent a lot of time and money getting the car done,” he says.
Maybe too much.
Freimuth says the project resulted in one if those legendary “it or me” ultimatums from his wife.
So Freimuth got the car, and the previous owner got off the hook, and another piece of history remains on the road.