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Model A Wanted


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To the Model A folks in the Northwest<P> I am a retired teacher near Wasilla, Alaska. Oftentimes, I am called in to substitute at the local High School in Auto Mechanics, and History classes. After a couple of years research, hunting, and spending a good portion of my savings, I was able to acquire a nice 1916 Model T and develop lesson plans on the Model T, the company, Ford, and early history of the automobile and its impact on today’s society. Now I would like to go to the next step and find a nice Model A to go with the car I have. More than likely, I would be looking for a 1930 or ’31, but nothing is set in stone, nor is the model.<P> My funds are not unlimited, and I am not looking for a show car, but a good, solid, mechanically sound and representative vehicle is absolutely necessary as shipping costs on parts is astronomical here in Alaska. MAFCA and e-Bay classifieds look as though I can pick-up a really nice, older restoration, #2 vehicle, for about $10,000.00 as an average. Problem is, only God and the seller knows what the real story is, and to even be able to look at something first hand means an expensive round trip air fare. I also have a real problem in other areas being gone for more than a couple of days. Hence, I am going to have to hope to God that any sellers I come in contact with are honest and knowledgeable. Hell of a way to buy a “used car”, but not much else I can do.<P> What I need is to find a vehicle in the Northwest that fits my needs, and one that I can afford, a seller that I can trust, fly down, drive the vehicle to Bellingham, Washington, put it and myself on one of the Alaska Marine Highway Ferries to Seward, and then drive it another 250 miles home. All without mishap, hopefully.<P> Our Marine Highway System to Seward runs only once a month from May to September, so this also complicates matters even more. I would also have to make reservations by January to be safe in getting a reservation for the 2002 season, anything after that date may not be possible. Needless to say, timing in all this is flexible, but has to be spot-on once a decision is made. Landed in Seward, it would be bad enough to have a problem, but prior to that, I would be in deep kimchee. Therefore, the vehicle has got to be mechanically sound. I am mechanical, but no expert on the Model A either.<P> More than likely, assuming I can find what I am looking for, at a price I can afford, from a trustworthy seller, the vehicle would have to stay where it is until a day or so before sailing, and depending on when all this comes together, that could be several months. At that point, I would fly down, and drive it to Bellingham and the Alaska Ferry. I just hope to God a Model A drives a lot more conventionally than the old Model T, as I am still learning to operate it safely. Prior to my Model T, the oldest thing I have driven is a 1936 Plymouth.<P> As to local help and advise, there is a small group in Anchorage, but that is about sixty miles from me, and I know of no one locally who is an expert on these classics, so I am pretty much on my own. One thing I found with my Model T is that I was a lot better off, in these circumstances, to get a restored vehicle, as I didn’t even know what things should look like. Were I in the Lower 48, I certainly would go about this all differently, but being where I am, I have few logical choices.<P> If you can be of help in any of this, I would sure be interested in hearing from you. Thanks for taking the time to read through this lengthy, but very abbreviated request. If I can ever reciprocate with information on sled dog racing, hunting, or fishing in Alaska, please feel free to contact me.<P>Sincerely, <BR>Jim Uhl<BR>Knik, Alaska<BR>uhldwm@alaska.net

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