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MODEL As ALONG THE PARKWAY

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Model A Fords Take Over the Blue Ridge Parkway

The Model A Ford Club of America (MAFCA) is the largest automobile club in the world devoted to a single automobile — in this case, the Model A Ford, produced from 1928 through 1931. A significant part of the hobby is driving these great old cars. They are safe at highway speeds of about 55 miles an hour and very reliable. MAFCA conducts a national tour every odd-numbered year. We look for great driving roads across America, and the Blue Ridge Parkway was an ideal choice for 2013. With a 45 mph speed limit, incredible scenery and thousands of things to see,the parkway provided a perfect tour.

share-story3Almost 200 Model A’s undertook the five-day drive from Charlottesville, Virginia to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. We spent the day before the tour at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson?s home, and the following morning hit the road. It was raining fairly heavily, but the little cars braved the route, including those in open cars without side curtains. One family in a four-door Phaeton put on full rain gear and took off. They had a fantastic time and even stayed pretty dry, thanks to their outfits.

After a couple of rainy days, the weather cleared and everyone forgot about the wet and just enjoyed the ride. As the Parkway winds up and down the mountains the seasons would change. At higher elevations the trees were not even in bud with occasional patches of snow along the road, yet as we descended they went into bud, then leaf, then flower and finally into full glory. The wildflowers slowly showed themselves with each elevation change. The trilliums were particularly spectacular with huge patches of bright white flowers along the forest floor.

share-story4Stops included the National D-Day Memorial, the Biltmore estate, Grandfather Mountain and Mabry Mill. The wonderful turn-outs on both sides of the Parkway offered sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Shenandoah Valley, and numerous other valleys. Every stop was a photo opportunity.

Almost all the cars completed the journey, ending in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Blue Ridge Parkway offers the visitor one of the finest touring roads in the world. The Parkway is packed with natural and cultural history, scenic beauty, and just good driving opportunities.

If you have not traveled it, you need to plan the 469 mile trip.

It is a once in a lifetime experience.

If you have a Blue Ridge Parkway story you’d like to share with us, please send text and photos to FRIENDS at staff@friendsbrp.org.

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