VINTAGE CAR CLUB of CANADA

OKANAGAN CHAPTER

OIL PAN TOUR 1997

Seven Magnificent Ford Model A's to Alaska & Back

(Modified from a Scrap Book that may have been created by Daphne)

From LEFT to RIGHT: Jack & Daphne Bergeron 1930 Coupe; Ernie & Pam Koch 1930 Roadster; Bruce & Cathy Fosbery 1929 Roadster PickupButch & Bev Chouinard 1930 Sport Coupe; Denny Branfield & Audrey 1930 TudorDan Watkin 1930 Tudor; Jim & Polly Green 1930 Tudor.

The trip also included a support vehicle along with two lovely assistants.

 

The OIL-PAN Tour: Kelowna to Alaska and Back. The CALENDAR, Wed. July 23, 1997. Reporter may have been by Steve Kidd. The following is an abridged copy of the original article. 

  Oyama vintage car buffs Daphne and Jack took their 1930 Model A Ford Coupe on a 31 day - 5000 mile trip to Alaska and the Yukon with 6 other Model A owners from the Okanagan Chapter of the Vintage Car Club of Canada.  

  The idea for the tour was the brainchild of Butch and Bev of Kelowna who had spent 35 years in the Yukon, Their restored 1930 Model A Coupe originally came from the town of Mayo in the Yukon and it was their dream to drive the car back to the Yukon.

  Two years ago Butch and Jack began openly talking about the logistics of such a tour in automobiles that came off the assembly line more than 65 years ago at various club "camp outs".

  "All of a sudden we had 10 couples that wanted to make the trip . . . a year later 7 of us were committed and ready to go," said Jack in an interview with the Calendar. He went on to say that the decision was made restricting the trip to Model "A" Fords to accommodate the support vehicle which travelled along with the tour. That vehicle carried an extra motor, transmission, rear-ends, wheels and other parts so that the vehicles could cope with any breakdown or mechanical problems.   

 "Four of the seven cars were completely restored specifically for this trip and were finished just 2 weeks before this trip. As it turned out we had more problems with the support vehicle that we did with the old cars," said Jack. "We allowed one day per week during our trip for maintenance of the cars and we didn't use those days. We did have to change the motor in one of the cars but that was only a 4 hour job and we were back on the road again."  

  Originally those taking the trip met to plan a schedule and other issues pertinent to making the 5000 mile trip, living out of a tent and with camping equipment that takes up a bit more room in automobiles that were designed long before camping became an acceptable mode of accommodation for the automobile traveller. 

  At the 3rd meeting, they decided to forget about schedules and planning and to "wing-it" on a day to day basis. "Our only reservation was at a campground in Dawson City on June 21st, 1997 where we wanted to be on the longest day of the year," said Daphne.

  

                  

  The tour left the Okanagan on June 7th and from the very first day, the car buffs caught the attention of the people in towns and communities they travelled through. "We made our own parade and, almost every day dressed in period costume, and were warmly greeted by everyone," said Jack. Every time they stopped they were surrounded by well wishers and the hospitality of the people they was at time, over-whelming.      

Dawson City, the primary destination, was also the highlight of the entire trip that included side trips to Alaska and other historic communities in BC and Yukon. Its laudable to Mention former Lake country resident Denny K., who lives and works in Dawson City, and the wonderful contact person he was for the tour. He opened so many doors for the group with people in that fair city.

  "We were treated like royalty  . . . we met the Mayor and dignitaries from all over the western world at a barbecues hosted by the Mayor. Box seat tickets to "Palace Grand Follies" were provided to the group and they met all the dancers from "Diamond Tooth Gerties". The Mayor gave permission for them to park their Model A's anywhere in the city they pleased . . . even in the "No Parking Zones." 1997 is the Year of Transportation in the Yukon and the year long salute to various modes of transportation used in the development of the Yukon over the past 100 years provided the tour with even more focus from the thousands who thronged around their entourage.

  At Watson Lake the car buffs were honored guest along with Canadian Astronaut Dave Williams at the grand opening of the town's new pavilion. Later they hung their club sign with hundreds of signs on the famous signpost there.

  The tour travelled approximately 200 miles per day and stopped and camped each night in supervised campgrounds. At one such camp they were charged 1930 camper fees, 25 cents per vehicle per night in recognition of the vintage of the restored cars they drove.

  From Prince George to Dawson Creek, Fort St. John, Fort Nelson, Whitehorse, Carcross, Atlin, and Skagway Alaska, people came forward to greet the tour and everywhere a friendly smile and words of encouragement from everyone we met.

  The group had a communal food fund and each individual put $100.00 into it. Another $55.00 per person went to pay for the support vehicle. Camping averaged $5.00 per night and Jack and Daphne spent $805.00 on gas. Not bad for a 31 day, 5000 mile excursion.

   

First stop, VERNON to top up the gas and Jean's Wine.

First Night Camping - 2 tents, 3 biker tents, vintage teardrop trailer and tent trailer.

The CORKS treated us royally in Prince George!

Local Car Club treated us to a super barbacue.

Hudson Hope and Hydro Electric Project.

Looks like the camera person left out their Model A.

For the record, the group witnessed the longest day of the year, as planned . . .

. . .  in DAWSON CITY!

Back in Kelowna July 9, 1997.

What an amazing trip!