While Mike Breed may not be Langley’s principal guru of Model A vehicles, he’s certainly one of them.
The secretary of the Pacific Model A Club has 11 Model As parked on his sprawling Brookswood property, six of which he owns.
He restores, shows, and has a general passion for the Ford models, manufactured from late 1927 to 1931.
Need a question answered about a Model A? Breed will likely have the answer you’re looking for, as a pair of 90-year-old residents of Pennsylvania recently found out.
While visiting the state, Breed and wife Lil drove through a little town, where he caught a glimpse of the front end of a Model A parked inside a stone shop with its door open.
His interest naturally piqued, Breed quickly introduced himself to the two men.
Breed learned that the car was purchased, brand new, by the grandfather of one of the men, and had been sitting in a barn built by the grandfather a century ago.
And it turned out, these two seniors were in a pickle.
They were trying to get the car up and running for use in the area’s Memorial Day Parade last month.
“They were having trouble timing it, so I was able to take the time to show them how to get it timed and do it for them,” Breed said. “They were tickled pink with the idea that somebody would stop and help them out. It worked out well.”
A 73-year-old transplanted New Zealander who arrived in Canada in 1962, Breed bought his first Model A in, he figured, “1956 or ’57.”
“I started with the Model As when I was 14 years old, working at the local shop,” Breed shared. “At 15, I started my five-year apprenticeship there (at the shop).”
The vehicle at the shop in Hamilton, N.Z., happened to be a Model A, and Breed also drove a Model A to school.
But it’s not just raw nostalgia that draws Breed to Model As.
“Oh, restoration, preserving them, keeping them on the road, and also having a ton of fun driving them,” he said, about his passion for the vehicles. “It’s something you grow up with. The kids these days, they’re looking at what their folks had when they were little, and that’s what they’re looking to restore, and that was the Breed likes the fact that Model As are simple, meat-and-potatoes type of collector cars.
“The Model A was actually a family car, with an affordable price for family people,” Breed said.
The two-door Model A was designed in a way that parents could put their kids in the backseat and not worry about the doors “flying open,” Breed said.
Breed said he does a lot of restoration work while lending his mechanical expertise to members of other Model A clubs as well as private owners.
One such car, a 1930 Sport Coupe that Breed said he did a full restoration on, belonged to a man who has since passed away.
“I had to panic to get it finished because he had cancer, and I wanted to get it together, for him to drive it, which he did,” Breed said. “It’s now owned by his widow, and she does not have a place to keep it, but I do.”
Breed showed one of his cars at the Pacific Model A Club’s 26th annual show last Sunday at the BC Farm Machinery and Agricultural Museum.