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Model A's visit Milan

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:13 PM


MILAN It looked like a scene from the 1930s over the weekend when eight Model As drove around Milan's town square and parked on the east side.

The drivers and passengers, from the Shelman Chapter of Model As, then enjoyed meals at The Invention and Jim's Pizza Box. Ford made Model As from 1928 to 1931.

The group meets monthly. During the spring and summer club members take their beautifully-restored vehicles out for weekend driving tours. Last weekend was their first outing for 2008.

Members from the club come from the Shelby, Marion and Mansfield areas.

Harold Leonhard, president of the club, was responsible for the choosing the route Saturday and he decided to return to his old stomping grounds. He was in the last class to graduate from Milan High School in 1965.

Leonhard, who drove his 1931 Model A widebed truck on the outing, said he is headed to Dallas this summer for a joint meeting between two national Model A clubs. Even though he has logged 28,800 miles on his truck since he restored it 18 years ago, he's not worried about the long trip.

"It made it to Boston two years ago," he said. And he's become pretty proficient at repairing his vehicle. "Some times it is just once in a while. Some times it is daily," he said with a grin. "It is pretty reliable."

Leonhard said his truck features the first all-steel cab ever made. When he goes on long trips, he pulls a small camper and gets about 18 miles per gallon. He said the rising cost of gas is a problem, but it won't keep him from enjoying his antique truck.

"It affects my pocketbook, but not my plans," Leonhard said.

Vernon Burks, 86, is the oldest member of the club. He and his wife founded the club 50 years ago when he first started collecting Model As.

Burks now has 43 Model As. He admitted most don't run at this point, but he just enjoys collecting them. He usually drives the 1929 Model A Towncar he restored.

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