FRED YOUNG
For The News-Review

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July 8, 2014
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Graffiti2014: 1931 Model A Roadster Demo has long history of cruises, parades and picnics

This is no doubt that the oldest demonstrator in existence is a 1931 Model A Roadster.

In 1931, schoolteacher Ruby Coryell had a 1928 Chevrolet that burned up in a Myrtle Creek garage. She needed a car, and Ford had a 1931 Model A that was being used as a demo. They let her have the Ford to drive until her insurance came in on the Chevy. Five weeks passed, and one day they told her the money was in — $210. She said she would put it on the Ford and keep it.

She drove the Ford until 1949, when she kept the license and insurance on it, but parked it in the garage.

Ruby taught my mother in the 12th grade in Lake-view in 1917.

I was trying to buy the car for years, but Ruby said no. She said if she sold her car she would be afoot.

I finally said: “I’ll buy your car, but leave it in your garage and you won’t be afoot. You’ll have the car, the money and you won’t be afoot.”

That was the nail hit on the head. I bought it Sept. 27, 1964. She had it 33 years and I’ve had it for 50 years. It is 83.

Some time passed and one day I asked Ruby if I could take it down and get it painted. She said yes.

So I cranked over the battery a few times and bingo. It started.

After the paint job, Ruby rode with us many times to parades and picnics.

Finally the day came when all of her distant relatives were coming to move her out of her home. She was over 90 then. She wrote me a letter (I still have it) that told me to come and get my car from her place. I did.

I have the original title that states she paid $29 a month. The car was paid off in Portland in 1933.

All of this info is on the title, typed on the second of August 1931. The info was added before the title was sent to her.

So I drove the Ford for 30 years in parades and tours. But after three decades of special events, I got tired of washing, cleaning and polishing the car and put it in storage on myson’s property in Canyonville.

It’s a standard roadster, but with a 2-inch taller windshield. There’s a spare tire on the back, but no rumble seat and no cowl lights.

Choppers would love to get it into their chop shop. As long as I’m alive, that will never happen.

Fred Young, 87, of Oakland was a charter member of the Cascade Historical Motor Club that was established in Roseburg in 1960. Young drove the 1931 Model A Roadster in the first several Graffiti Weekend cruises on Harvard Avenue in Roseburg.


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The News-Review Updated Jul 8, 2014 01:44PM Published Jul 8, 2014 11:11AM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.