Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Mike's 'A' FORD-able and Grandfather's Day

6 June 2009 Maysville, GA to Mountain City, GA 98 miles

Pictures L to R: Mike's 'A' FORD-able Parts (logo on his deluxe delivery); parking lot shot--still more cars to show up!; tow-truck; Ramblin' Reck from Georgia Tech; 1929 fire truck


What a day! We went to the Grandfather’s Day Celebration at Mike’s ‘A’ FORD-able Parts in Maysville, GA. Mike, of Mike’s ‘A’ FORD-able Parts has been putting this event on for the past 6 years, ever since he moved to Maysville, GA. Apparently Mike’s business grew from a restoration project he started years ago. According to Benny, of Bentley’s Antique Auto Service, Inc., Mike, while working on his project car bought the parts he needed in bulk to get the better price. He was soon selling the extras that he didn’t need to his local club members. This became so successful that over the years he has expanded to an entire warehouse. Mike’s ‘A’ FORD-able Parts is the shop that supplied us with all the parts and pieces we needed for our engine “tune-up” over at Bentleys. After the BBQ event, Mike gave Dave and me a “tour” of his stock room. For you Model A enthusiasts, it is a sight to behold! Mike told us that he strives to have virtually everything you need when placing an order, and that realistically, he has a 97% success rate. (For us, that number was 100%!) Quite an amazing feat!

Back to Grandfather’s Day…We got there shortly before 10 AM—we were the 41st A to come in. Cars began arriving from all over Georgia, as well as from South Carolina and Alabama. I’m sure there are some other states that I missed. The Ramblin’ Reck from Georgia Tech was there, as was rival Old Miss from Mississippi. A retired fireman from Oxford, Alabama brought his 1929 Model A Fire Truck (which was a personal favorite of mine!) We also saw a 1931 Deluxe Pickup. These are just a few…there were over 130 amazing A’s at this event—everything from original rusted “found in the barn” project cars to high point show cars. I’m not sure, but I think we got the prize for the most miles traveled!

Bobby, from Bentleys’ Antique Auto Service, Inc. had made arrangements for a reporter to come talk to Dave and me about our trip. We had the opportunity to feel famous for 10 minutes or so, with all the cameras clicking. Our very own Paparazzi! Dave even took Katie (the reporter) for a quick ride in our car, since she had never ridden in one.

After the interview, we spoke with many of the other Model A’ers in attendance. The most common comment/question was, “You trailered that from California, right?” Surprisingly, we met many who are planning, or are thinking of planning a similar adventure of their own. In fact, one couple, from South Carolina were just finishing up a month-long tour to NYC, Canada, and down through Michigan. So you see…we are not the only crazy adventurers! We were surprised when Gerald Grizzard, the owner of the fire truck, presented us with a trunk tray that he had made for us after discovering our blog last week. We also received a “Touring Passport” from Tom Smith of Minford, Alabama. This looks like a US Passport, but with the Model A on the cover and a place for car and owner information inside.


Pictures L to R: Bobby and his parents, Darrell and Susan Chaisson--the owners of the family farm; Two of the three cotton gins; Front of the general store

After the BBQ, about 30 cars headed out on a short tour to the Shield-Ethridge Heritage Farm for a “homemade” ice-cream social. This farm is owned by Bobby’s family, and has been in their family since 1792! A registered historical landmark, they have restored many of the original building to their original locations and looks. These include a working grist mill, a general store, the tractor barn with a 10hp hit-and-miss engine, the school teachers house, the school house, and a building which houses three original cotton gins. They even have the original last bale of cotton that was ginned here! I’m sure there is more that I have missed. This site is a true treasure to Early American history. You can visit their website at:

After a quick tour of the farm, Dave and I headed out, hoping to make at least 30 miles north into the Georgia mountains before dark. When we reached the campground we were aiming for, there was “no room at the inn,” so we continued on until we found a place to pitch our tent. Overall, it was a very busy, but great day. Dave got his Model A fix for awhile. Something we’ve noticed here in the south…where in California we refer to our car as a “Model A,” here they say “A Model,” or “T Model.”

7 June 2009 Mountain City, GA to Ashville, NC 133 miles

NC and the Start of the Blue Ridge Parkway

Pictures L to R: View of the Smokey Mtns from the Blue Ridge Parkway; Us at the high-point on the parkway.

We broke camp early, and continued our journey north. Since David was not in an oatmeal mood, we had decided to eat out. When we reached Dillard, GA, we stopped for gas, and then went to a flea market (swap meet) for a bit. We didn’t find anything we couldn’t live without, but we did run into another Model A’er who was with two other cars from South Carolina—one of them broken down. He was looking for a front outer wheel bearing and race. Never to leave another Model A’er stranded, we unpacked our car to get our spare out from under the back seat—yes, under all our gear!

After breakfast at a small cafĂ© in Dillard, we soon crossed into North Carolina. Our goal was Cherokee, NC, which is on the Cherokee Reservation—part of the Smokey Mountains National Park—and is home to the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Blue Ridge Parkway is 469 miles long—or there abouts. As we headed north on the parkway, we passed by and stopped at many incredible vistas of the Smokey Mountains. Unfortunately, the climb from this end is pretty steep in places, and much of today’s mileage was at 25 mph. After 133 miles, traveling most of the day, we stopped at Lake Powhatan National Forest Campground, which is near Asheville, NC. Our average speed today, according to Hannah, our GPS, was 19 mph.

1 comment:

  1. I can only imagine how much fun the Grandfather's day event was, I truly ejoyed this blog. I am really having fun read and seeing your adventure. Miss you guys and we can't wait to see you again. Keep the big wheels turnin' Wade and Somer