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Taking a 3000 KM Journey Back in Time

When Kelly McLellan hit the highways earlier this summer for a 3000 km journey in his ‘newly bought’ Ford Model A, you’d think the Unity man was signing up for a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

McLellan’s latest trip somehow made it on the list of many bucket-list-type moments.

“My wife and I have taken a ’68 Coupe Deville to Vegas. We got re-married in a drive-thru wedding chapel on our 10th anniversary,” shared McLellan, “We’ve taken a bulletproof van we bought off the FBI in Chicago all the way down to Mississippi and Alabama, and back up to Canada.”

McLellan is clearly proud of his latest international commuter, that’s a lot older than he is.

“The car is a mostly original 1934 Model A. It’s an original motor, transmission, and differential. It does have overdrive. It’s been converted to a 12 volt electronic ignition.”

McLellan and his uncle were the two crazy enough to take the trip that began just north of Des Moines, Iowa. The trip went through Nebraska, and then South Dakota where the pair experienced ‘Deadwood Nights’. Leaving the state they drove the Needles Highway and Iron Mountain Road, taking the Model A through the over 300 twists and turns their route had to offer.

“Pretty intense driving for an old car like that with no power steering, no power brakes.” said McLellan, as these driving conditions meant for modern vehicles, made for quite the trip in the now-confirmed-trusty Model A.

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Even though it ended up a storybook trip, things did get off to a rough start.

McLellan went back to the day he stepped foot in the United States.

“We got off the plane in Minnesota, it was 41 degrees there, and then flew into Des Moines, and it was 41 degrees there.” said McLellan, foreshadowing what happened next. “We drove an hour north, and first five minutes of seeing the car, it caught on fire.”

It took five and a half hours of work to get the car back on the road. McLellan could tell it had been a while since the Model A last moved.

“(Cleaned) two pounds of rust, and dead animals, and everything else out of the fuel system.”

Once the car was ready to roll, McLellan departed Jefferson, Iowa for a 30 hour trek to Omaha, Nebraska to pick up his passenger.

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With the car back home now, McLellan has been no stranger to getting it on the road. Any given night you might see the blast from the past driving down a west-central Saskatchewan street or highway.

McLellan is clearly no stranger to the automotive world. Road trips, rallies, you name it.

He already has plans to show off the car locally. 

“We are hoping to take in the Goose Festival with the Model A, and Dusty Wheels in Rosetown.”

People who are lucky enough to see the classic vehicle will be blown away by its original features.

“Obviously it’s been a well taken care of car. Somebody loved the car before us, and for a long time, so it is in really good shape.”

Good shape other than that one time in North Dakota.

“We had to stop in the middle of North Dakota at a semi-shop and weld the fender.”

Even that was a blast from the past.

“We couldn’t find any modern welders, so we actually welded it with Acetylene, which is what it would have been welded with in the 30s. The only welding rod or filler metal that we could find to weld the fender with was a rusty fly swatter, so you know it kind of added to the adventure.”

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It’s likely onto the next purchase for McLellan in the midst of the current Model A fun, and who knows where he’ll end up. 

As far as he is concerned, people can have their standard vacations. 

“Some people go sit on the beach in Hawaii and bring back a towel. Some people go to Disneyland and bring back a t-shirt,” chuckled McLellan. 

“I went to Des Moines and brought home a car.”

Source : West Central Online