Well, my friends, the day has come. Today is the 365th day of our adventure with the Mighty Model A. You’ll notice in the first sentence that I said “our” instead of “my”. What started out as my crazy idea of spending one full year with an old car as my primary driver grew into this great community where thousands of people from all over the world got together on a daily basis to share stories, pass on memories of days gone by, and offer technical advice. And the magic of this is that it wasn’t just everyone interacting with me but rather a place where people could interact with each other and learn from those interactions. I have to thank the couple dozen of regular commenter’s who provided ongoing advice but I’ve had literally hundreds of people tell me outside of the blog that they enjoy reading and learning from other peoples stories and advice. Just to put this into perspective…the blog averaged 20,000 visits a month from all over the world.
I am struggling with the best way to sum up this entire year other than “Wow…what a ride this has been!” I do want to take this last day as an opportunity to thank some people as well as answer some remaining lingering questions:
“My Friend Randy”
It was important to me to do the maintenance and repair work while driving the Mighty Model A as that is absolutely part of the experience of enjoying an old car. However, there were many times when I needed an extra set of hands as well as his expert opinion and he never turned me down when I reached out to him. There were also times when my schedule was very hectic and he offered to step in and help with whatever needed to be done. I really enjoyed working side by side with him on some of the bigger projects (engine swap and installing the Mitchell Overdrive) and there were times that we worked very late into the evening. Randy…thank you so much for your help throughout the past year. Your knowledge and willingness to pitch in is priceless and I am certainly in debt to you for your generosity.
“My Favorite Passenger”
The person who I referred to as “my favorite passenger” had no clue that when she started dating me that there would one day come a time when I would announce that I was putting my modern cars in storage in favor for an 81 year old car and expect her to ride with me through all types of weather and long distances. Her car has just about every option you could get on a modern car including heated and cooled seats and she rarely questioned why her car stayed in the garage and instead we took the Mighty Model A when we traveled somewhere together. There was only one time when I had to put my foot down on a very hot weekend this summer when she offered to drive her car (with me in the passenger seat) the 100 miles to one of her relative’s lake house. I told her that we need to suck it up and if it were 1930 we would be thrilled to drive a Model A that same 100 miles. At the end of the trip we were both glad we took the Mighty Model A. Shelly…you were a real trooper and thank you so much for sticking by my side throughout this year. Thank you for having faith in me and the car the few times we were on the side of the road and I had to make a repair. Out of all the road trips we will ever share together the adventures in the Mighty Model A will be the most memorable.
There are many fellow colleagues that I need to thank within Hagerty. Yes, every single word on this blog was typed from my two hands (and I take credit for every typo and grammatical error) but I regularly had help from several people when it came to all the extras like photo shoots and video editing. Also, I need to especially thank McKeel Hagerty for challenging me to follow through with this crazy idea and allowing us the creative freedom to make this a reality. He is a true car guy and a great friend. His enthusiasm trickles down through the rest of the company and that is a quality that is often lost in CEO’s of large organizations.
20,000 hits a month
I think the most important thank you goes out to all of you. I would have never guessed this many people would take part in the daily adventures. I truly enjoyed getting to know so many of you throughout this as well as the people I was lucky enough to meet in person. Again…thank you so much.
Future of the Mighty Model A?
I am happy to announce that the Mighty Model A is now a permanent part of my collection. I am going to retire it from winter driving for the sole reason that the salt on the roads will have long-term negative consequences if I continue to drive it through more winters. But, I promise you that the old girl is still going to be driven regularly during the other three seasons when there isn’t salt on the roads. I also plan to continue driving it from now until the first sign of salt on the road. I have started the process to get my “modern” cars back on the road…but only started. The only thing I’ve done is put full coverage insurance back on them. I have yet to make the registration current or even start them. I am not in a huge hurry as I still have a few good weeks of driving in the Mighty Model A.
Also, I am planning to enter in the Great Race next year that runs June 23 – July 1. Ironically, it starts in Traverse City, Michigan! It will then head north to Canada, down and back through New York and ultimately end in Detroit, MI. More details can be found at www.greatrace.com and if any of you will be at any of the listed stops, please look for me and say hi.
Future of www.365DaysOfA.com?
Today marks the last official day of daily blog postings. However, I am going to leave the blog live for the foreseeable future and will definitely post periodic updates (although probably not daily). Make sure you check back occasionally and drop a line to say “hi” when you do. I will also fire the blog up for the Great Race next summer so mark your calendars for June 23rd for more daily updates. And just a hint for the next posting…Shelly (my favorite passenger) and I are heading to Mackinac Island on Sunday and I will definitely post a photo of the Mighty Model A crossing that five mile bridge to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Also, many people have mentioned they want to see a book based on these experiences. If this is something you are interested in, please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so that if a book were to ever become a reality I can let you know. Nothing is in the works as of right now, but that could always change!
For the past year several of my colleagues would refer to this as a “year-long challenge”. Now that I can look back on this I think we have been incorrect. I think the correct way to say it is this has been a year-long experience and one I will always remember. Once again, thank you so much to everyone who made this experience so great. I will forever remember this and I hope everyone has something to take away with them. The greatest part of this experience is hands down the people.
In signing off of this last post I want to leave you with the one quote that I’ve mentioned multiple times. This absolutely sums up what I’ve learned from the Mighty Model A and all of you throughout this past year…“It isn’t just about the final destination; it is about the journey itself and the people you meet along the way”
I hope to see all of you down the road…