William & Joyce Berger

(805) 964-4164
billyb270@cox.net

My life with an A-400 would not have materialized if it wasn't for the downsizing of the armed forces at the end of the "Korean Police Action". I was planning to make the Army my career, but in 1954, our President, Dwight Eisenhower, decided otherwise for me. So I returned to the USA, decided I wanted more education, so my family moved to Santa Barbara. My wife always wanted a Model A, so we went to the LA area, which was a hotbed of Model A enthusiasts, and we looked around. The best we saw was a restored 1930 Deluxe Roadster, and it's price was $350. That was out for a veteran on the GI Bill, with a family, so we came home rather dejected. As we drove up State Street in Santa Barbara, we were surprised to see a "funny looking car" in a used car lot, as my wife described it. So we stopped and had a look around. I knew very little about A's, so I did not know the model, neither did the car salesman. He described it as "a one-time owner car, complete except for a muffler and front bumper. The leather upholstery was still in it, but in sad condition. Guess what? It also had the two ashtrays in the back seat. My wife and I discussed the buying of the car, and I made a deal with the lot to put on a muffler and a front bumper, which he did. So, sometime during the month of May 1954, we became owners of a car I found out later to be a 1931 Model A Convertible Sedan, body number 3747 for the gosh-awful price of $125. That was an awful lot for a young veteran with a wife and son. But what a lifetime experience it was creating. PRICELESS!!! I made contact with the late Claude "Red" Grow, and we were invited to meet with him at his used car lot in San Fernando, CA. If I am not mistaken, it was the same day that the Model A Chapter was being formed. I got from Red the address of the Model A Restorer's Club, and wrote a letter to Bill Hall, the president, asking him to put a request into the national paper for owners


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