Classic Ford car and the Kinsale connection
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Ford Motor
Company, a US based giant with very strong links to Ballinascarthy
Add to that chain, classic car enthusiast and Model A Ford
owner, Ken Huber, Minneapolis, Minnesota, the son of Jeanette
and Vern Huber, Ard na Lir, Scilly, Kinsale.
On a recent drive in West Cork, Vern and Jeanette stopped
to take pictures of the much admired Model A Ford replica
and the nearby Henry Ford Tavern in Ballinascarthy to send
on to Ken in the USA.
On the very day their son received the photos in the mail
he also received his copy of the Model A Ford Club of Americas
magazine (MAFCA) The Restorer (volume 48, May-June
Imagine his surprise, said Jeanette, when
Ken found in the Wheels, Wings an Interesting Things
section, an article by Nadine and Max Howard of Tulare,
California, illustrated with the same pictures of the West
Cork replica and the tavern!
The Howards, reporting on their tour through Ireland included
all the facts on Henry Ford (the local GAA park is named
after him) and even mentioned the the tavern serves
a stout Guinness (stet) an Irish stew for just a few Irish
pounds. They must have copied that from a guide book written
prior to the introduction of the euro by someone who doesnt
drink Guinness!, quipped Jeanette who is high in praise
of the people of Ballinascarthy for their efforts in erecting
a millennium memorial which is also very much appreciated
by people on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. She strongly
argued against any suggestion, as rumoured, to paint or
alter the eye catching stainless steel replica, even though
Henry Ford himself once said about the Model T.Ford You
can have it any colour as long as its black!
As for Ken Hubers Model A Ford, this sees regular
duty as an extra family car, collecting wife Donna from
her work as a food scientist at Minneapolis General Mills,
or daughters Emily and Claire from their Meadowbrook School.
The dog Wile E often comes along and the classic car is
also used for weekend shopping trips or filling special
Ken and family also participate in outings of the Twin Cities
(Minneapolis-St.Paul) Model A Ford Club which has its own
A oogah Newsletter.
In one of the coldest areas of the USA, the Hubers
live at Tyrol Hills on a street appropriately named Alpine
Pass in a part of Minneapolis called Golden Valley. When
the snows of winter descend, the treasured Model A is driven
to its shelter in a huge warehouse like building on the
grounds of Minnesota State Fair to hibernate until spring.
Minnesota laws permit the driving of classic cars on all
roads where this family gets lots of waves from passing
motorists who appreciate the time, care and loving attention
owning such a part of automobile history entails.
A Special postage stamp was recently launched by An Post
to commemorate the centenary of the Ford Motor Company.
Henry Fords father, William from Ballinascarthy, set
sail from Cobh (Queenstown) as a young boy on a famine ship
for the USA in 1847.
In 1903, Henry Ford and eleven associates established the
Ford Motor Co. From Small beginnings in Detroit, it expanded
rapidly and by 1913 was producing half the cars in the United
States. In 1917, the Marina in Cork, initially a Fordson
tractor facility, was the site of the first full Ford manufacturing
plant outside North America.
The Model T Ford featured in the 41 cent stamp, was first
introduced in 1908 and was hugely successful with over 15
million sales. The final Model T produced world wide left
the Cork plant at Centre Park Road in December 1928.
Bandon Motors, recently launched a special promotion of
limited edition black centenary Focus, Fusion, and Fiesta
cars at its showrooms in Bandon and Skibbereen. Fords
historic associations with Cork and County has always been
kept to the fore by Ballinascarthy Community Council most
notably through its unique sculpture. Henry Ford is also
remembered in the recently launched book of poems by Dan
Holland, Tullymurrihy, Ballinascarthy which has a picture
of the Model T. Ford sculpture on the front cover.
Courtesy of the Southern Star