QOTD: Know Anyone With a Pre-War Car?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

So, it seems the Cannonball Run record was smashed once again this week, with a team from Ohio making the New York-Los Angeles run in XX hours and XX minutes thanks to a specially outfitted German land missile and plenty of electronic help. The actual duration of the feat has no bearing on today’s question, so we’ll leave you to read about it somewhere else.

These Cannonball Run attempts are, frankly, getting annoying. They’re also inherently dangerous. But the news did dredge up an old article about a very different cross-country trip that proved far more interesting to this writer.

A 2013 feature in Autoweek details the crossing of the continental U.S. in a 1930 Ford Model A in 50 hours and 20 minutes, unofficially shattering the record for such a feat in a pre-war car.

Average speed? 58.5 mph. In a 40-horsepower Model A, which topped out at about 65 mph when showroom fresh, that’s quite an achievement. This is the kind of thing your author loves reading about, and it inspired today’s question.

As the internets fill with glamorous social media photo shoots depicting musclebound pony cars, ‘Vettes, and 1970s-90s Euro exotics, the pre-muscle car era classics are being forgotten. Time and lack of attention (brought about by a fiscal inability to do so) is slowly taking a toll as current owners age out of their vehicles. What becomes of the cars? Junior isn’t likely to share the habit, or even possess a garage.

As for the running board era, appeal isn’t nearly as broad as later models. Yet Ford made millions of Model As, and they remain the most achievable of the pre-war set to get into. Parts can be sourced online, and the basic makeup of the vehicle was the picture of durability and simplicity from Day One.

So, B&B, do you anyone who owns — and drives, even if only on special occasions — a pre-war car?

[Image: General Motors]

Steph Willems
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  • Jeff S Jeff S on Aug 22, 2020

    Nate always good to see the next generation interested in keeping the old cars and trucks running and maintained especially those vehicles that were in their families. It is always sad when the older vehicles that were well maintained end up being neglected and then scrapped and forgotten. That is one thing I like about Jay Leno and his car collection that some of the good old cars that are plain and have lesser value are kept up and preserved. I like Leno's philosophy in that he doesn't really own these cars but he is taking care of them and preserving them for future generations. Leno also drives his vehicles. It is always a good thing when the next generation takes an interest in older vehicles.

  • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Aug 23, 2020

    A co-worker's mother keeps a 1938 Ford up at the collective cabin. Allegedly it still runs, but infrequently since her dad died.

  • Canam23 My old boss had a Seville STS with the Northstar that he would lend me when I wanted to drive from LA to Vegas. I have to admit that I loved it. Compared to my father-in-laws FWD Deville with the 4.1, the Seville was smooth, fast, comfortable and nice handling. It also was stingy on gas. Fortunately he never had a problem with his Northstar motor and I still think fondly of that car today.
  • V16 I'm sure you could copy and paste most of the "NO" responses to 1960's Japanese sourced vehicles.
  • Canam23 I believe the Chinese are entirely capable of building good cars, BYD has shown that they are very forward thinking and their battery technology is very good, BUT, I won't buy one because I don't believe in close to slave labor conditions, their animosity to the west, the lack of safety conditions for their workers and also the tremendous amount of pollution their factories produce. It's not an equal playing field and when I buy a car I want it made with as little pollution as possible in decent working conditions and paying a livable wage. I find it curious that people are taking swipes at the UAW in this thread because you can clearly see what horrific labor conditions exist in China, no union to protect them. I also don't own an iphone, I prefer my phones made where there aren't nets around to catch possible suicide jumpers. I am currently living in France, Citroen makes their top model in China, but you see very few. BYD has yet to make an impression here and the French government has recently imposed huge tariffs on Chinese autos. Currently the ones I see the most are the new MG's, mostly electric cars that remind me of early Korean cars, but they are progressing. In fact, the French buy very little Chinese goods, they are very protective of their industries.
  • Jerry Haan I have these same lights, and the light output, color, and coverage is amazing!Be aware, these lights interfere with AM and FM radio reception with the stereoreceiver I have in my garage. When the lights are on, I all the AM stations havelots of static, and there are only a couple of FM stations that are clear. When Iturn the lights off, all the radio stations work fine. I have tried magnetic cores on the power cords of the lights, that did not makeany change. The next thing I am going to try is mounting an antenna in my atticto get them away from the lights. I contacted the company for support, they never responded.
  • Lou_BC Are Hot Wheels cars made in China?