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Homepage. This page: How a Model A reg. VX 9832 came to be used for a tour of Europe, in the 1950s.

Ford Model A adventure.

First-hand accounts of car ownership, say in the 1950s and 1960s, are always welcome here. In 2015, Reg kindly sent over details of an adventure that he and his friend Geoff hatched, following National Service, in the early 1950s. Inspired by an example of the diminutive Citroen "Trefle" tourer of the 1920s, a Ford Model A was sourced, and heavily modified, prior to the pan-European trip taking place, as Reg now describes:
"My buddy Geoff and I, after our 2 year stint in the British Army REME 1947 to 1949, were ready for an adventure, so we hitchhiked to the French Riviera. It was in 'Golfe Juan' that we spotted a 1923 Citroen Trefle, and that was the inspiration to buy or convert something like that for a 'Grand Tour of Europe'." (shown below)
The 1923 Citroen Trefle
"So after returning home to England, the quest was on, we found a 1931 Ford Model A 2 door Tudor Sedan ready to convert."
The Model A Tudor before work began
"We cut the top off of it level with the doors, welded those shut, removed the running boards and fenders, took the body off, and started from there. We went through the engine and transmission, our motto was 'Let's do it well'. Geoff and I painted the chassis red, the wheels yellow, and the body black, all done with Valspar paint, and christened her 'Henry II' - being a Ford, what else could we call it!? Next, we started to re-assemble everything."
The Model A stripped to its chassis
"During this time in 1953 and 1954 Silver City Airways came into being, flying three cars and passengers from Lydd in England, to Le Touquet in France, so that was how we were going to start our grand tour of Europe."
"The day arrived for our trip. It was only a 15 minute flight across the Channel to Le Touquet, and we were on our way. We drove through northern France to Switzerland, camping as we went, we sure didn't see any old cars there. Then over St Gothard's pass into Italy, Milan, then through the Poe Valley to the Italian Riviera, then along to the French Riviera. After that, we headed back to Le Touquet, Lydd, and home."
The Ford Model A in France
"Both Geoff and I emigrated to the USA in 1958. He lives with his wife in Missouri. I live in California - my wife died nine years ago. Our reminiscences of that adventure are still very fresh in our minds."
Many many thanks for sending the story and photos over Reg - it must have been an enjoyable trip. The VX-registered Model A started its motoring life in Essex, prior to being rebuilt for its European trip. I wonder what became of it? A number of old photos, all featuring Model As back when they were a common sight, may be found on this page, in the vintage photograph section.
Further stories of car ownership in years gone by, can be found in the motoring memories section of the site.

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Old Classic Car (C) R. Jones 2020. Content not to be reproduced elsewhere.
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