Ever since he used to hitch a ride to school in his cousin's Ford in Belleview, Ill., Wayne Chadderton has nurtured a desire to have an old Ford of his own. "However,' he explains, "college and life got in the way."
After Chadderton retired in April 2011, he settled in Herndon, Va., and set about filling the vacuum in his life with an antique car. With fond childhood memories of his cousin's Model A Ford, Chadderton began searching for a similar car. In September his hunt led him to a Volo, Ill., facility west of Waukegan that was filled with antique cars for sale. There he discovered a 1932 Ford roadster.
"I thought I was going to have to buy it," Chadderton says. "I got into the roadster. but I couldn't get out."
With some assistance, Chadderton managed to extricate himself from the cozy cockpit. He then expanded his search to cars with more spacious interiors.
Chadderton looked at a 1939 Ford, as well as a 1938 Chevrolet. He remembers spending four or five hours looking at cars with his wife, Jane, and his son, Bryan. Family perseverance paid off when a 1934 Ford Deluxe four-door sedan captured their attention.
The Vineyard Green Ford was freshly restored and when Chadderton sat in the mohair driver's seat he declared, "It's big enough."
The three Chaddertons went home to think it over, but they had actually decided to buy the Ford before arriving home. "I called the next day," Chadderton recalls. Arrangements were made to transport the car. Upon arrival the Ford underwent a close examination.
When new, this model had a base price set by Ford at $615. Beneath the hood -- ventilated on either side with 24 louvers -- is the 221-cubic-inch, flathead, 90-horsepower V-8. The speedometer stops at 90 mph. The odometer shows 58,000 miles and Chadderton believes it to be correct.
In the days before air conditioning the five occupants in the 1934 Ford would maintain a comfort level by directing fresh air inside through the cowl ventilator or by cranking open the one-piece windshield. Suspended from above the windshield is a single vacuum-operated wiper for the driver's benefit.
The 2,599-pound sedan rides on a 112-inch wheelbase supported on wire wheels. The 1934 Ford Deluxe sedan came equipped with an ash tray, cigar lighter, glove compartment and two taillights. All eight windows have safety glass and above the rear window is a shade for privacy.
Chadderton did replace the exhaust system and the plastic window handles. In a nod to safety, he installed a removable light bar at the base of the rear window. It also contains a third brake light, just as on new cars and turn signals. Attached to the rear of the Ford Deluxe is the spare tire, which necessitates a dip in the middle of the rear bumper.
"I've always wanted an old car," Chadderton says, "and this one is a fun car, too."
For your car to become the subject of the Classic Classics column, e-mail us your .jpeg image, plus brief details and phone number. Type "Classic Classics" in subject box and send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, send a photo (frontal 3/4 view) plus brief details and phone number to Vern Parker, 2221 Abbotsford Drive, Vienna, VA 22181.