This 1931 Ford Model A has been a treasured piece of the Barr family history for the passed 85 years. BRETTA GRABAU/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE
This 1931 Ford Model A has been a treasured piece of the Barr family history for the passed 85 years. BRETTA GRABAU/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE
An heirloom can be anything: a favorite rocking chair, treasured piece of jewelry or, as is the case for Eva Barr and her family, a 1931 Model A.

“The car was bought new by my grandmother's uncle, Will Benz, of Pawnee City, Nebraska,” Barr said.

Ford’s Model A was the second commercial success for the company. They first began producing the vehicle in 1927 to replace the famous Model T.

The car continued its legacy with the family, as Barr explained, “When Will was on his deathbed, my father, Lowell W.  Barr, and his father, Lowell C. Barr, drove to Nebraska from Albert Lea, our hometown, to buy the car from him. That was sometime in the early 1980s.” 

The vehicle began its new life in Minnesota, which kept it quite busy!

“My father restored the car and kept it in Albert Lea, driving it in parades and for weddings (that of my sister!), until two years ago when he and my mother moved into assisted living.”

Barr and her husband, Todd, then took over caring for the treasured machine. They brought it to their home at DreamAcres, which is nestled into the hills just outside of Wykoff, where it began yet another phase in its 85-year adventure.

“It needed a little work to get it running again, but it is quite happy driving on the low-maintenance gravel roads it was made to handle.”

It seems the Model A isn’t the only one that is happy with the Barr family tradition.

“The best part of owning it, aside from preserving a functional piece of family history, has to be the horn,” Barr revealed. “One little boy who rode in the car on fall pizza night liked the car so much that he asked his father to make him a Model A costume for Halloween.  The father did, but it was not complete until he came out and recorded the horn.  Instead of saying,  "trick-or-treat" on Halloween, the child said, " Ahh-ooooh-gah!"