By Phil Ierardi
Henry Ford’s incredible Model “A” Ford was produced for only four years (1928-1931) and came after the two decade run of the venerable Model “T”. It was then followed by the more powerful flat-head V-8 engine. Compared to the Model “T”, the Model “A” was truly a modern car. Its 40 horsepower engine was twice that of the “T”. It had a manual 3-speed transmission, four-wheel brakes, hydraulic shock absorbers, a starter, a windshield wiper, and shatter-proof windshield glass. The Model “A” Ford is the automobile that provided transportation for many families during the depression years and it became famous for its durability and reliability. As a result, it had a huge following during the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. About 5 million A’s were built in the four years and it is estimated that over 250,000 of them are still around. It was a truly remarkable car in its time.
In 1958, three St. Louis Model “A” enthusiasts, Bob Bagby, David Hargraves, and Terry Oberer met in a garage and started the St. Louis Model “A” Ford club. In 1961, it became a region of the National “Model “A” Restorers Club” (MARC), which was founded to assist its members in preserving and restoring the Model “A” Ford. The St. Louis club was then named “The Missouri Valley Region” of MARC, representing Model “A” Ford enthusiasts in the St. Louis metro area.
For the last thirty years, the St. Louis club has consisted of between 120-150 members. Most members own one or more Model “A”s, while a few members are looking to buy one. Many members have totally restored their cars, some of whom had the same car since high school/college. Club members help/advise those who need assistance in restoring their car with proper information and guidance. We all enjoy both our Model “A”s, and the fellowship of each other. The club participates in driving tours, picnics, historical automobile meets, garage tours and other club functions. A number of our members actually drive their “A’s” to national meets which could be anywhere in the USA.