It was a journey back in time when six antique cars visited Living Oaks on Sunday, Oct. 12.
The vintage Ford car visit was courtesy of the Central Wisconsin Model A Club.
The vehicles included a 1931 town sedan owned by the Brad Johnson family, of Amherst, and a 1929 Ford tudor sedan with a sheriff’s emblem on its door, owned by Dale Voss, of Amherst.
“Those old cars rattled and rolled and shook, but they were sturdy little things,” said Betty Finch, a resident of Living Oaks.
Helen Hoeth, 97, recalled that her father drove a Ford Model T from South Dakota to La Crosse in 1922. That was a remarkable feat, according to the members of the Model A club.
Most of the residents of Living Oaks took rides in the antique cars. Among the riders was Chet Krause, founder of the Iola Old Car Show.
“To me, the Model A and the Model T are part of my language,” he said.
Krause said that the Model A, which followed the Model T, was a trend-setter.
“The Model T was high on its wheels to get through a snow bank,” he said. “But the Model A had the power to get through a snow bank.”
Joan Smith recalled riding through the Rocky Mountains in a Model A.
“I always wanted a boyfriend with a rumble seat,” said Rose Brostrom, who was born in 1928. “By the time I grew up, they didn’t put rumble seats in cars anymore.”
In 1933, Brostrom toured the Ford Motor Company’s plant near Highland Park in St. Paul, Minnesota. At the time, assembly line manufacturing was a new concept.
“I was a little frightened by the noise and the sparks in the plant, but I liked it,” she said. “I was impressed that after they made all that noise and carried all of those pieces throughout the plant that a new car came off the end of the line.”
Later known as the Twin Cities Assembly Plant, the factory operated from 1912-2011. Ford announced in 2006 that the plant would close in 2008, but the last truck was produced on Dec. 16, 2011.
In 1945, Brostrom’s father purchased one of the first cars manufactured after World War II. She remembered he was embarrassed because it was red, and not the normal black.
Her father was also worried that having a radio in the car would be a distraction, but she said he soon learned to enjoy listening to the news and the weather.
The Model A visit brought back a lot of memories to the residents of the Living Oaks assisted living facility. But not every memory was a happy one.
“Many people broke their arms cranking the cars to start them,” Brostrom said.