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Driving and Defending History

Historic Vehicle Owner Protects His Automotive Passion

1931 Ford Model A Town Sedan
Owner: Jonathan Miller, Woodbine, Maryland

After searching for almost two years and traveling all over the United States, I eventually found my Ford in December of 2011. The vehicle was less than three hours away from my home. One day I was looking for cars online and there was an ad with pictures of the car posted by the seller’s grandson. I turned out to be the first caller and took a friend, a Model A expert, with me the next day to inspect the car.

The car was in better condition than the photos suggested, having been restored in 2008 and driven about 7,000 miles since the restoration. I was thoroughly impressed. Although I knew the brake system would need to be rebuilt, I bought it on the spot since it was the exact car I had been looking for. Using my pickup and a rented trailer, I brought my Town Sedan home the next weekend. I spent the winter rebuilding the entire brake system in my home garage, learning as I went, and switched to cast iron brake drums that work great. Not built as a trailer queen, my Model A is an outstanding driver and performs just like it should. I consider myself not only the owner, but the life-long custodian of this fine automobile and intend to keep it running as Henry Ford designed it. I love it!

Earlier this year, I had the chance to defend my rights as a “historic” vehicle owner in Maryland. I was attending one of our Greater Baltimore Model A Ford Club meetings when the topic of H.B. 550 came up (see “A Sunday Drive” in the April 2012 issue of Driving Force). I had no idea that my state was seeking to place new restrictions on vintage vehicles like mine. Along with many other hobbyists in the state, I went on an immediate personal letter writing campaign. A friend in the club told me that the SEMA Action Network (SAN) was leading this effort, so I signed up. Now, I will know about legislation like this earlier and will be able to help our community’s effort from the beginning.

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