It was pure providence that Bill and Lee fell in with Miss Vicky, the 1931 Model A Ford Victoria destined for Peking-to-Paris. Of all things, she was discovered on Craigslist while in Scottsdale Arizona for the annual January auctions where we thought we’d find a Model A. They never made it to the auctions!
There she was, plucky, perky – poised for adventure. The paint was delightful and entirely suitable for our needs: at 10 feet, she looked perfect. Any closer and, well, her paint’s crinkles and crackles appeared, indicating she’d seen a mile or two over 86 years. Behind the Vicky’s famous “bustle,” the leather strapped travel trunk added to her “ready-to-travel” appearance. Close examination of the running gear showed a perfectly straight frame, supporting original ash woodwork in fine shape requiring only minor attention to come up to snuff for the grueling 10,000-mile journey for which she was intended. A serviceable original motor started promptly with that wonderful Model A exhaust note: a blend of rasp, snort and, finally, purr. At 40 horses, we knew we’d be upgrading to modern Model A specks but the starting point was perfect. Modern seats, upgraded and stronger wheels, a two-speed gear splitter, 12-volt alternator system and the loudest, original Spartan “oouuughaaa” horn ever heard. In short, Miss Vicky had very good bones.