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The Lake Erie Region of the
Antique Automobile Club of America

"My Car Story"
by Dan O'Connor, January 2018

Most of us classic car enthusiasts caught the car bug in our early years by either being interested in the mechanics of the machine, ownership and memories of that first car in our teen years, or perhaps seeing the beauty in want can be considered as art created by talented designers and engineers. Whatever it took to capture our individual interest in the old classic cars, today it can reasonably be suggested there is a degree of sentimental attachment to owning, or just seeing, one of these outstanding collectables from our past years.

In the 70’s as a teenager is when I purchased my first muscle car. A 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle SS with a 396 cubic inch engine and 4 speed transmission. In the years following there were other sporty looking cars in my driveway, but nothing as spectacular as that Chevelle SS and the sound of its powerful internal combustion engine.

Today, there are no classic muscle cars in my garage. But there are a couple of true early classics that have brought great enjoyment and ownership pleasure to Candace and I.

It was because of sentimental reason why I purchased my 1930 Ford Model A Coupe in 2014 from a very nice couple living in Rome, NY. The Model A is a car that I have thought interesting for a very long time because of its history associated with Henry Ford and the period in time as being instrumental in the Industrial development and progression of our country. However, what motivated me in purchasing the Model A was stories told by my father of his first car. His car being a Model A having a rumble seat that friends would bundle-up with blankets when riding in during the winter months. He eventually gave that car to his younger brother when serving as an officer during World War II.

Around 2005 I had the pleasure of meeting for the first time Ed Erler as he worked on his 1926 Ford Model T Roadster in his garage. It was Ed who in 2005 suggested I join the Model A Ford Club of America and learn all I could about the Model A car if I was to own one. I took his advice and became a member of the National MAFCA eventually purchasing several technical manuals that support the Model A.

Again in 2016 Ed Erler and I met and spoke in his garage in front of his Model T Roadster. I had never considered, eleven years earlier, I would be purchasing Ed Erler’s Model T Roadster from him. (Ed Erler, a former member of Lake Erie Region AACA, passed away during the summer of 2016. Some of you may remember Ed and his brother Charlie and their 1917 Stanley Steamer).

The Model T Roadster has given Candace and I many hours of fun driving it around local roads here in Clarence. Considering top speed for the Roadster is less than 35 MPH, we are never in a hurry to get to our destination anytime quick. But, driving the Model T Roadster to the Clarence Town Park to listen to their evening Summer Concert Series is made so much more special arriving in a classic Roadster!

Recognizing Candace and I belonged to two local car club chapters each sponsoring destination events, the Ford Model A Coupe and the Model T Roadster

was finding it difficult to keep up to some of the higher speeds of the road. We needed a sharp looking, go fast, classic, post war car that followed the generational progression of the previous two cars.

Our very good friend Dennis Powers informed us a long time member of our club, Bill Wolff was considering selling his 1946 Ford Business Coupe. Bill owned his 1946 Business Coupe for 20 years. Bill being a Master Mechanic and a respected member of our car club, why would I look any further. I purchased the 46 from Bill this past spring and have truly enjoyed motoring to club events in it.

It has been a pleasure owning and caring for these great time pieces. And, being members of both the Lake Erie Region AACA chapter, and the Niagara Frontier Region Model "A" Restorers Clubs, meeting new members of the car clubs and making new friends along the way has truly brought both great pleasure and enjoyable times to both Candace and I.