Take a ride to the past with Model A Day
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A visitor admires the antique vehicles lining the streets during a past Sharon Model A Days. Terry Mayer photo.
SHARON -- What do the Rock Ford Model A Club, the assembly line and Sharon have in common? The answer: Model A Day -- and it’s coming to the streets of Sharon on June 3.
The village of Sharon hosts the event the first Sunday in June. The Rock Ford Model A Club is one of the clubs that attends the event with members driving and hauling their Model A automobiles into the village. The vintage automobiles line the street as visitors enjoy a trip back in time, wandering the downtown, oohing and aahing over the immaculately restored vehicles. More than 200 are expected to motor in this year.
“If we have good weather, it’s more like 300,” said Bill Aupperle, president of the club.
The Model A was built by Henry Ford and the Model Ford Motor Company, beginning in 1903. Central to Ford’s ability to build an affordable car was the development of the assembly line.
This year, during Model A Day, that assembly line will be re-created by the Friends of the Wisconsin State Historical Society.
Beverly Wassam of Delavan helps coordinate the event. “We’re planning a re-enactment of the assembly line. We’ve got part of a chassis, the undercarriage of a Model A and we’ll have people work on that.”
Visitors will be able to help bolt on parts and get an idea of what it was like to work on an assembly line.
“Once they’ve done their work, they’ll get $5, which is what Henry Ford paid his workers for a day’s work. Of course, our $5 has Ford’s picture on it, not Abe Lincoln’s,” said Wassam.
Mike and Lana Peters, of rural Sharon, also are members of the club. They were instrumental in getting the club involved with the event when a venue for their annual club event was needed. He contacted the Sharon Main Street Association.
“They were looking for some kind of an event and we were looking for a venue. It’s worked out real well,” said Mike Peters.
“It’s a neat little town, real appealing for a lot of reasons and the event fits the town and the town fits the event.”
Virginia Harvey, of the association, said this year’s event will include Model As from Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Minnosota, Iowa and Michigan. She sent an invitation to clubs in those states, but said the clubs spread the word among themselves.
Anybody with a Model A within a 300-mile range is fair game because the old automobile can travel about 40 mph, so that distance can be done in a day.
Peters will bring his Model A truck. “My father and I restored that back in the 1980s. It always reminds me of Dad.”
Perhaps that’s why Model A Day is such a popular event with so many who may not own a Model A themselves. It brings back memories of another time.
A time when you could slow down a little and enjoy the good things in life.
If you go:
-- What: Model A Day
-- When: 9 a.m.-2 p.m., June 3
-- Where: Sharon
-- Cost: Free
-- Events: Swap meet, re-enactments, live music, car show, pig roast