By Adelle Whitefoot
MARQUETTE – The Model A Ford Club of America concluded its public events for its national convention Thursday night with a public viewing of the vehicles in the Superior Dome.
One vehicle owner said he almost didn’t make it to the convention, which has been going on all week around the county. Joe Schutz of Illinois brought his 1929 Model A Ford Boyer Firetruck to the event this year.
“We finished (restoring) it two weeks ago on a Sunday at four o’clock in the afternoon,” Schutz said.
The fire truck was the second truck bought for the fire department in Maregno, Ill. back in 1929, Schutz said. When the city was done with it, they gave it to the American Legion, who painted it blue and parked it outside for about 20 years, Schutz said.
“When I got it, the motor was on the ground, the fenders were off, the hood was gone, the radiator was out; the whole front section was on the ground,” Schutz said. “Being outside, somebody stole the lantern, the siren and the ladders were gone.”
According to Schutz, it took five years to restore the truck to its former glory.
“The hardest part of the whole thing was getting parts,” Schutz said. “Everyone has parts for cars but who has parts for fire trucks.”
Not only did car owners come from all over the country, but so did some of the spectators. Kaye Valentine and his wife flew into Houghton Thursday from Salt Lake City, Utah.
“We came to see the 20 millionth Ford. We had heard stories about it a couple of years ago,” Valentine said. “We were told there was going to be a big show out here, so we came to see what they had to offer.”
The convention wraps up today with a farewell banquet. Edsel Ford II, great grandson of Henry Ford, will be speaking.