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Submitted by Janice K. Mayes, daughter

First Car: 1931 Model A

By Scot Kendall

My first car was a 1931 modal ‘A’ Ford that cost me $ 20.00. It
didn’t remain a car very long because I stripped it down so just the
windshield was left. I built a hardwood truck body where the rear
seat and rest of the car used to be, reason being, I had to use it
to earn extra money hauling slab wood.
What I liked best was that I had a versatile vehicle that with a
Ford monkey wrench, a pair of pliers and some haywire, would keep me
from having to run to a garage for repairs.
The adventures came when some of us boys could load our gear into
the back and head for camp at Shagg Pond for either fishing or
hunting trips, which used to include a barn dance at the Red Barn
near Labrador Pond.
When I got the truck ready for the road my father was very strict
about making sure the brakes were right up to snuff and that you
could drag the wheels. What Dad didn’t know was I had the rear
brakes disconnected because something was wrong. Because they were
mechanical brakes, you could take up the brakes with a turnbuckle
and could drag the front wheels. I made sure they were right.
One day when headed for Farmington (Maine), a State Police Officer
stopped me. He said he’d had a complaint that I was driving around
with inadequate brakes. He said, “You mind if I try the brakes?” I
said, “No Sir.”
I got out and he tried to get behind the steering wheel but couldn’t
because when I built the body I had pushed the seat way forward and
the policeman, being a bit on heavy side, was unable to get behind
the wheel. So he said, “Why don’t you get in? I’ll stand on the
running board, you proceed smartly out onto the bridge, and when I
give the signal, you apply the brakes.” (Because of the brakes just
being on the front wheels, when you applied the brakes hard, the
truck would sort of lurch down.)
About the time I shifted into second gear he said, “Now!” I slammed
the brakes on, and much to my surprise he wasn’t holding on hard
enough. When the front of the truck lurched down, he kind of rolled
forward with the truck and ended up in a heap right between the
fender and the hood. He got up, brushed himself off and said, “You
wait until I see the person that said you didn’t’ have good
brakes-now get out of here!”

He made me feel pretty darn proud and happy that my Model “A” Ford
had done its job in passing the road test. And I think I know whom
the complaint was from…

Scot Kendall
Shagg Pond
Sumner, Maine