Archive for October, 2017

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Thank you to the people of the Thruway Authority and Tee Zee Constructors. They have been absolutely wonderful…. not just in helping with the coordination of my driving across the bridge, but in all the work they have done on the bridge and for the community.

https://twitter.com/NewNYBridge/status/916644250279923713/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2Fnewnybridge

https://twitter.com/CaruchaLMeuse/status/916526418980458496/video/1

https://twitter.com/NewNYBridge/status/916483607774056448

The old TZ Bridge was designed to last for 50 years and I suspect was never anticipated to accommodate the 130,000+ daily crossings that has punished its infrastructure. If you know the bridge, you know it really has that 50s era highly functional erector set feel.  I am certain it has seen more than its shares of Model As.  For those who followed my road trips a few years ago, you might remember the excitement I had when I first crossed the bridge to start a drive to Boston and the thrill that I had when I crossed it on the way back home.  The old bridge an essential part of Rockland County.

Aside from being more functional, the new bridge is much more elegant. The patterns of the cables are beautiful and the chamfered towers blend well into the Hudson River valley. The new bridge will have pedestrian walkways, a bike path, more lanes, etc.  Check it out at http://www.newnybridge.com/about/

Let’s talk about the car…. The Phaeton did great. In retrospect, I should have adjusted the generator for night driving — but that is just my paranoia for draining the battery. Aside from that the car started beautifully and the engine sounded great.

Folks have been asking, “how did you get to be the last car?” My official response, “I got lucky”.   My unofficial response, “I emailed a lot of people, spoke to more, emailed more, offered up rides, was respectful and genuine with my requests and got lucky”.  I probably should answer, “I’ve been stuck on the side of the thruway in the Model A enough time that I figured that they wouldn’t even notice me there anymore”.

Regardless….. My Model A was the LAST CAR OVER THE TAPPAN ZEE BRIDGE!  How awesome is that!

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A Bridge Not Too Far

Posted: October 6, 2017 in Uncategorized

Bridge Attempt!IMG_7738

Yes, the Phaeton is back on the road and feeling much better. After a few years of effectively being a large paperweight, the engine/transmission are now getting along beautifully (they weren’t) and the car has been test driven on a few short adventures.

October 6th is slated to be the night when the old span of the TZ Bridge is closed for good.  This is the bridge that connects my hometown to “the other side of the Hudson”.  This evening, Kobi, Noah, and Gary Holmgren as well as I will be stationing at an undisclosed location and will attempt to be the last car to drive the old span. Sure, there is also the chance that we will be the last car that needs to be pushed over the old bridge, but that is ok too.  As I figure, why not go for it anyway?

A few things:

  • SAFETY FIRST. This adventure CANNOT be done in any way that would interfere with the construction and safety folks who have been doing such a great job. What they are doing is important. What I am attempting is a novelty. Effectively, what they say goes.
  • I’ve spoken with the Thruway Authority. They have stated that they cannot assist me in this adventure; however, did provide me with some insights as to the staging of the bridge closure and loved that I was making the attempt. If you haven’t already, please check out their website. http://www.newnybridge.com/   While I was really hopeful that they would “hook me up” on the side of the road, they have taken the highly appropriate, “can’t play favorites” approach. Again, what they say goes.
  • The Model A is old! If you happen to be driving near us on the attempt, please give us some room. The car meets the safety standards of 1929 but does not have the braking power of modern cars.
  • Lights…. I’ve got them… but again 1929 lighting standards were not quite up to today’s standards. Turn signals…. Yes, I have an arm and can signal which way I am turning… no, I don’t have signal lights to help me do this.

The media:

  • Journal News’s Robert Brum was the first to hear of my planned attempt. He and Seth Harrison met with me on the 5th to do a test run across the bridge. Brum was writing a column about his favorite times with the bridge…. He has a new one. Seth Harris shot some video for an online segment:

http://www.lohud.com/story/news/local/2017/10/05/tappan-zee-bridge-29-ford-last-cross/726732001/

http://www.lohud.com/videos/news/local/2017/10/05/video-rockland-resident-hopes-last-driver-cross-tappan-zee-bridge/106337096/

  • VIOS news interviewed me on the morning of 10/6. I don’t have a link to it yet.
  • I am told that there was talk about the planned attempt on the radio on 10/6.  I have no idea who was talking about it.
  • NBC and a few other outlets reached out to me on 10/6 to discuss doing a ride along… unfortunately my day doesn’t (didn’t) allow it.  They are all welcome to join me for a drive on another day.
  • I hear that the Juice is Loose and I am hopeful that it is my car chased by the helicopters on TV instead of his… is that wrong?

Regardless, I’ll post more when there is more to report. I would also encourage anyone interested in historic cars to consider rescuing one. There are many Model As and Model Ts that have survived all these years that are looking for home.  Most (ok, many) counties have a Model A or Model T club.

If this is the first time you are visiting this website, you need to scroll way down to get beyond the engine repair technical stuff if you want to get a laugh at the car being broken down on the side of the thruway near Albany or needing water due to radiator problems on route 17 or driving through Times Square.