John R Pickup truck

My first car

I was 14 years old. The 1928 Model A Ford pickup that my brother drove was supposed to be shared with me.

Two years apart, no license, and I never had any time with this marvelous. simple truck.

So, I found another truck.

This one, and late 1930 Model A, was sitting along East Grand Traverse Bay, flat tires, roof hanging like Spanish moss, no windows.

It was beautfiul.

For $50, money earned working in a cherry processing plant, the truck was mine.

We ordered tires from Mongomery Ward, and had the truck in towing condition within days. My brother, a licensed driver, and a couple of friends, volunteered to assist in dragging the truck across town, about six miles, so I could begin working on returning it to operating condition. I figured I had two years to get her done, a date fashioned upon successfully receiving my driver's license.

We were about a mile from home when the red flashing lights went on. A Michigan State Police patrol car was pulling us over.


The handsome trooper approached and asked for my driver's license. I had none, I told him. He asked my plans for this vehicle, which had no box, rear fenders, windows, or licence plates. I explained I planned on restoring it.

He followed us home, flashers going, but no rotating roof lights. My father was perplexed, by calm when we arrived at home.

It turned out the trooper was an avid collector of Model A Fords, and lived two blocks from us.

Bob Fitzgerald became a close friend and mentor, and assisted me in completing my project around my 16th birthday. The truck ran beautifully, we had fashioned a wood flatbed as we couldn't find a box, and it was street-worthy and licensed.

The day I was awarded by driver's license at the county sheriff's department, my father asked if I wanted to drive home. I told him I wanted to drive the Model A as my first official, legal vehicle.

He chuckled, and I can now tell my grandchildren the first vehicle I drove legally was a Model A Ford.

I have since owned two other Model A Fords, and a Model TT Ford truck. they all have new owners.

I presently have a 1953 MG-TD, which I have owned for 46 years.

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