Trundling 2000+ miles in a 1924 Dodge is my kind of fun

Courtesy Jody Reeme

My husband and I got involved with vintage cars about six years ago with the mostly spontaneous purchase of a 1939 Ford, a Fordor Deluxe. We call it our first grandchild. The rest, as they say, is history. (Or, in my case, herstory.)

Since then, we’ve assembled an eclectic collection of 10 vehicles, from a 1930 Model A Ford to a 1994 Mazda Miata. I simply look for what appeals to me—and that I can drive. I can’t afford a top-tier show car and, although I appreciate them, they’re not my thing.

In the winter of 2018, I saw an ad for a 1924 Dodge Brothers roadster located in Gig Harbor, Washington. I saw it as an opportunity to drive an old car across the country. I bought the car and, after completing upholstery work and other incidentals that summer, I drove it from Oregon all the way back home to Illinois.

Vintage Dodge antique car american road trip rear
Courtesy Jody Reeme

Car people, no matter their niche, are some of the nicest, friendliest, most helpful people you’ll ever meet. Many generously opened their homes to me and my traveling companion, Billy, who has old-school mechanical skills and executed numerous MacGyver fixes—several on the side of the road.

Vintage Dodge antique car american road trip vertical
Courtesy Jody Reeme

As a girl, I wasn’t allowed to take shop class in middle school, but the car community got me back in touch with some of my formative interests. I’ve taken classes in woodworking and metal forging, and I entered a welding program at the Jane Addams Resource Corporation in Chicago and am now a certified MIG welder.

After 25-plus years in higher education administration, I am now working as a metal fabricator and have become interested in encouraging our youth to look at the trades as an alternative to college.

Check out “Jody’s Travel Blog” on Facebook for more details on her 2018 cross-country drive in this Dodge and her work as an ambassador for the RPM Foundation.




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    I think it’s wonderful you and the “old girl” made the trip. You’re correct, car people are always willing to lend a hand. What a fantastic experience!

    Very cool pictures. Seeing that car, especially out west seems so appropriate. I’d want to pull over next to it and take a picture.

    ” …interested in encouraging our youth to look at the trades as an alternative to college.” Outstanding concept, esp. from an administrator. Nothing against college, but it is not the answer for everybody. We need more skilled trades-folk. And the road trip sounds like it was a blast.

    I think that this story needed, as they use to say, the rest of the story. What part of Illinois? Obviously I’m thinking around the Chicago area. This to me is oh so better than reading about super cars. Old cars have character of their own. I wonder who else made long trips in this car when it was new. How many owners? The car may have survived most of them. Bravo Jody and keep up the good work. If your in central Illinois and need help I’m here for you.

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