In the early1960s we were living in a small town in Southwestern New Mexico. I was ten or eleven years old. I loved old cars even back then. We lived out in the country. There was a neighbor that lived a mile or so south from our house. One day I was walking near the neighbor's house and I saw a Model A Ford sedan parked behind his house. It wasn't running but it was all there. I can't remember if it was a two door or a four door but I loved that car at first sight. It was black and boy did I want that car. The driver's side left front fender had been hit but there was a replacement fender for it. The interior was fair and the overall condition of the car appeared good. I can still remember the smell inside of the car when I opened the door. The smell of gasoline and moldy upholstery. The smell of love. Pure classic Model A.
I admired the car and finally found the nerve to go to the front door to inquire if the car was for sale. My neighbor came to the door and I asked him about the car and he said, "Yes, I will sell it for $250 dollars".
I rushed home and told my dad about the car. I didn't ask him for a loan because I was an unemployed elementary student and my only source of income came from a few dollars I received for special occasions like Christmas or my birthday, or an occasional dollar or two we would earn from returning coca cola bottles found along the road to the grocery stores for two cents each.
My dad didn't buy me the car. Two hundred and fifty dollars was a lot of money in those days and I'm sure he had a good reason for not buying me the car. Besides he probably knew he would never be repaid.
The years passed but I never forgot the Model A Ford that could have been mine. I made a vow that one day I would own a Model A Ford. I got older and got married. My job required several moves and we had a family. There were other priorities but the idea of a Model A Ford was never far from my mind.
In 2010 the kids were grown and the family priorities had lessened. I decided that it was time to pursue the dream. I told a friend that is actively involved in MAFCA (Model A Ford Club of America) that I was interested in buying a Model A. A few weeks later he sent me an e-mail and told me that a car had just been posted on the MAFCA website. It was a very nice 1930 Model A Coupe for sale and that the price was right. The car had been listed for about one hour when I called the owner and made arrangements to drive to California and see the car close up.
I drove to California and liked what I saw. The car was an older restoration. it was painted chicle drab and copra drab. It had a rumble seat. The wheels were black. It was a two tone beauty. It wasn't perfect but it had my name written all over it. There were minor dents and dings as one would expect from a car with a twenty year old restoration. It was a driver and not a garage queen. The owner drove the car occasionally and enjoyed it. He had owned it for twenty years. He told me that he had almost cried the night before I showed up at his house to pick up the car. He had two other antique cars and decided one had to go for whatever reason. I didn't ask him why he was selling the car but it was not a happy day for him.
I bought the car and transported it to my home in Arizona. It was the fulfillment of a dream.
I have never looked back. Annabelle holds a place of honor in my garage. My wife and I will occasionally load up the two Chihuahuas and take a tour around the numerous county roads and citrus groves surrounding our home. We named her Annabelle. She runs like a new clock, strong and never missing a beat. People will often honk, wave, and give u the thumbs up. I have never had anyone behind me get impatient when we are putt-putting along at 40 to 50 miles per hour.
Even though I have had the car for four years the feeling of driving a Model A Ford is still exhilarating. I still get a happy feeling when I see Annabelle in the garage beckoning me to go for a ride. There is nothing like a Model A Ford on a nice day.