The wheels of love...
The annual Back to the Bricks car show in Flint, Michigan, transforms the town's streets into a vivid tapestry of automotive history. Among the vibrant showcase of over 1,700 cars ranging from vintage classics to modern sports cars, a row of Ford Model As stood out. Owned by members of the Michigan Script A Region, an affiliate of the Model A Restorers Club, these near-century-old cars were more than just eye-catching—they were sentimental landmarks in their owners' lives.
Rita Gould, the current president of the national Model A Restorers Club, and her husband Rusty, a past president, are the embodiment of this emotional attachment to Ford Model As. Over the span of their 53-year union, these vintage cars have been interwoven into the fabric of their family story. Remarkably, they are the only couple to both have served as presidents of the club, making them local legends of sorts.
The couple from Davison, Michigan, currently own four Model As, but their journey began in 1973 when Rusty purchased a rundown 1930 Model A Rumble Seat Coupe for $600. "I was devastated. Back then, $600 was a huge sum," Rita, 72, recalls. "I worried our kids were going to starve." Rusty spent five years restoring the car, which later scored a perfect 500 at a national meet, establishing its rank as the best of its kind in the country.
Now, 49 years later, the car remains a cherished "trailer queen," spending most of its time garaged, a silent testament to the couple's enduring love for each other and for these vehicles. Rita even bought a 1929 two-door sedan, adding personal touches like "eyelashes" and a diamond ring gas cap, stating, "We just have a lot of fun with it."
Their three children and eight grandchildren have also inherited the Model A bug. "This is our history," Rusty, 76, explains, adding that preserving these cars in their original form is crucial to them. He even jests that he'd "roll over in his grave" if his children ever modified these historic cars.
For the Goulds, their passion extends beyond the vehicles themselves. It also includes the community they've built around these cars. "You meet the most incredible people along this journey," Rita says, encapsulating the very essence of what makes their involvement in the Model A Restorers Club so special.