27 February 2013

A Dad’s A: Model A stays in the family for 75 years

Frank Maniatis so treasured his 1929 Ford Model A Roadster that 75 years after he bought it, the car still owns a special place in his daughter Tina Higgins’ heart – and her garage. From cross-country pleasure trips to lumber hauling, makeshift repairs and patched-up fenders to a full restoration – and even a tearful homecoming after it had been stolen – this family heirloom has just about seen it all.

23 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Adrienne Virginia March 13, 2013 at 17:04
    I have a 1928 Model A Ford that was purchased new by my great grandfather, passed down to my grandfather, my dad and now me. It has been garaged and needs some work. Can't wait to get her on the road.
  • 2
    alex ramirez san francico March 13, 2013 at 18:07
    great story keep them coming
  • 3
    GDC OKLAHOMA March 13, 2013 at 19:21
    Very interesting and touching story. Thanks for his service in the U S Navy
  • 4
    Dana Mullins Charleston West Virginia March 13, 2013 at 20:02
    What a great story. Thanks for sharing and can you imagine if that car could write, what a American story that would be.
  • 5
    Tori United States March 13, 2013 at 20:07
    Great story! My husband has a 1912 Model T that he inherited from his grandfather and we feel the same way about that car that the Higgins do about their family's Model A!
  • 6
    Randy Piper United States March 13, 2013 at 20:14
    This is an awesome story, I am so glad that he got to keep his car all these years and passed it down to his children. it is what I plan on doing with my car.
  • 7
    John Curtiss Memhis, Tn March 13, 2013 at 20:51
    Super story ! Hopefull the car will be in the family long enough for the grandchild of the lady telling the story to tell the story all over again 30 or 40 years from now. JC
  • 8
    ron perkerewicz bremerton, WA March 13, 2013 at 21:13
    we still have the 29 model a pickup great grandpa bought new on July 6 1929, original license plate still on it, 4 generations have learned to drive in it. restored about 15 years ago we take her for a spin every year on its birthday. he drove it across the old Tacoma Narows bridge the day before it fell down.
  • 9
    Ernest Moore Texas March 13, 2013 at 21:19
    Great story. I can understand his love for the car as I am also very fond of Model 'A's. My first car was a 2dr sedan Model A that I purchased for $75.00 (in 1957) My father paid for it and I paid him back $5.00 per week. Car had 25,000 miles when I got it. I am much older now and still like the Model A cars. I own a 2dr. like the first car I had, 1929 and a fully restored 1929 2dr coupe.thanks for sharing this story.
  • 10
    SilverCuda Dallas TX March 13, 2013 at 21:43
    Great story! We also liked the '48 Plymouth convertible story from last month.Please keep them coming
  • 11
    William Humble, TX March 14, 2013 at 01:10
    What an awesome story about a True American Hero and his car! Priceless~
  • 12
    Steve Clark Weatherby Lake MO March 14, 2013 at 14:09
    Beautiful story. Thanks to Frank for his service and his and his daughters perseverance in keeping it in the family. Nice looking 50 in the garage too, by the way. My dad also was fond of his father's Model A that they used on the farm as he was growing up. We have family pictures of them all in it during the Depression.
  • 13
    Bob Arper Bremerton, WA March 14, 2013 at 15:37
    Ron Perkerewicz from Bremerton: I definitely recognize that name. The Arper family doesn't have a story to match Ron's or the Higgens story but I hope to restore a car that my Grandparents had that is now part of our family. I hope to see Ron at the next "Cool Car Cruise" here in Bremerton.
  • 14
    Jack Sterett Ex Tek, Oregon March 14, 2013 at 17:09
    I was on the development team with Frank and others in the beginning years of 1960. Frank never mentioned the Model A, but he did mention , several times what his wife said about him as follows; When I got married my wife called me her greek god, now she call's me her god damned greek. I could understand that. When Frank left Tektronix a cold old chill ran through his teams bones. We never ever forgot this man.
  • 15
    TOM HADLEY ARLINGTON TEXAS March 14, 2013 at 17:13
    WHAT A GREAT LOVE STORY.
  • 16
    kapp smith winter park, fl March 14, 2013 at 19:09
    Dad's model A
  • 17
    Tom Waters Boise March 14, 2013 at 20:56
    My '28 Model A Roadster is STOCK, STOCK, STOCK. Been in my family since 1972 when I purchased her as a basket case. Two kids, two houses and 42 years and we finished a ground up restoration on 'Patience' in 2004. She's got juat almost 800 miles on her.
  • 18
    kerry west Naples, Fl March 14, 2013 at 08:58
    Great Story. Well told, documented, & produced.
  • 19
    glen stafford Blooming Grove NY March 14, 2013 at 09:45
    Nice video...A Dad's A. There aren't too many feel good stories these days and this one is top notch. My thanks for sharing it with your clientel. glen
  • 20
    Russ Lange Marcellus, NY March 14, 2013 at 11:13
    Great story, brings back memories of my Dad and his helping me work on my cars. Thanks for sharing.
  • 21
    Mark Radloff Hustisford Wisconsin March 15, 2013 at 03:20
    Very interting and well done story !! My family too has a 1929 Model A 4dr purchased from my Dad's neighbor ladies, two unmarried sisters, backin 1957 for $ 75.00. In the 1960s it was used to pull a cattle trailer, hay wagons accross a frozen lake to take hay to store in a barn on a farm island to feed the sheep my Grandfather had there, and haul calves in the removed rear seat. I talked my Dad into saving it from that abuse because it was too valueable ! In 2007 it almost was lost in a garage fire, it had some fire damage to vinyl roof and paint and is now in storage being repaired hoping to get back on the road soon to enjoy.
  • 22
    Rick Carter Stockton, California March 17, 2013 at 21:25
    Thank you for telling this story about this great man and his service to this Country. I thank him for his service. As for the story about his car, it is very interesting. His Children are truely wonderful people to keep the car going in his honor. It sure looks good today! I currently have a 1955 Chevrolet 4 door Sedan that I have rebuilt. I drive it almost constantly. I took my 18 year old Grandson out for driving practice in it last week and he was thrilled to be able to do that in Grandpa's Car. My wife and I met 45 years ago and I had a '55 just like this one then. But, to impress the new girlfriend, I traded it in on a 1969 Firebird. We got married on June 20, 1970 and two days later, I got my draft notice in the mail. Gave the new car up and went in the Army. My new wife got the chance to come live with me after I got settled in the Army. I always wanted another '55, but never got one until 2000. I found this one and bought it and did some necessary repairs on it. Then I kept it stored for the next 13 years. Just 3 years ago, I retired. I started working on the '55 then and now have it almost completely like I want it. These stories and the others I have read on here are just great and they bring a tear to my eyes. Please keep them coming! Rick
  • 23
    Bob Warren Az June 4, 2014 at 14:44
    Heartwarming. I hope you all have many years of happy motoring. I think your dad would be so proud to know that you have taken such great care of it.

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