We all remember our first car, and some of us have managed to hang on to that car for years. While we all have some kind of impression left on us by our inagural vehicles, Clarence Curtiss' story is far better than any yarn we could spin. The 1929 Ford
Model A shown above was purchased by a 15-year-old Curtiss for $10 in 1938, and he's had it ever since. The most charming part is that Curtiss and his future wife Dorothy carved their initials into the steering wheel shortly after he'd bought the car, and they went on to be married for 56 years. To this day, you can see the characters scratched into the bakelite.
Though the A is unrestored and has racked up 200,000 miles, it's not entirely original. Way back in his teenage days, a Hudson
Terraplane's powerplant found it way under the front bodywork. It seems that the A just didn't have enough speed to satisfy a young Mr. Curtiss. The Terraplane engine fixed matters, enabling the speedometer needle to twist itself deep to the right. Curtiss, who eventually owned Curtiss-Ryan Honda
, still takes the Model A to car shows
, and it's just one of the roughly 25 cars he owns.
Thanks for the tip, Matt
[Source: NY Times]