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History on parade through Ogle, Lee counties

Model A club to tour area Sunday and make pit stop at Reagan home

DIXON – It will be a Model A day that enthusiasts and history buffs might not want to miss.

The RockFord A’s Model A Ford club, based in Rockford, is bringing its annual spring tour through Ogle and Lee counties on Sunday.

Several stops are planned, including one at the Reagan Boyhood Home, where the public is invited to get a gander at the old A-bones.

About 70 people in nearly 30 classic cars, at least 18 of which will be Model As, will meet at Sunrise II restaurant in Byron, then head to Barnacopia, 2570 N. Westbranch Road in Polo, for ice cream and a 10 a.m. tour.

They will leave at 11:45 a.m., go to White Pines Inn in Mount Morris for a buffet lunch, then tool once around the state park before heading to Dixon.

They will arrive at the Reagan home at 816 S. Hennepin Ave. around 2 or 2:30, stay an hour or so, then take the scenic route northward along the east side of the Rock River, behind Oregon and Byron, on the way home, tour organizer Russ Kotche said.

The public is invited to ooh and aah anywhere along the tour.

Ford made the Model A from 1928 to 1931; its top speed was about 65 mph.

Reagan, born in 1911, most certainly rode in one or two himself, although while in Dixon, his family owned its predecessor, the Model T. There’s one at the home, which is open for the season, including Sundays.

The RockFord A’s has more than 100 members in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, most in their 60s to 80s. One member, Earl Straley of Oregon, is 92, Kotche said.

When it comes to their cars, they’re all a bunch of sparkplugs.

“We have a great time, and this is just the greatest bunch of people,” Kotche said. “The best thing about the club is the fantastic people that they are.”

About the home

If you're going to take advantage of the free car show, why not make a day of it?

The Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. 
Admission of $5 includes a video presentation, a guided tour of the home, access to the Visitors Center and Gift Shop, and the chance to see yet another classic car – Bessy, the home's restored 1919 Model T, parked in the barn.

For more information, find the home on Facebook, go to, or call 815-288-5176.

About the club

Search Facebook for RockFord A's to learn more about the club for Model A restorers and enthusiasts, which has about 100 members in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.

Call club President Bill Aupperle, 815-979-0226, or tour organizer Russ Kotche, 815-871-6169, for more information about the club or Sunday's tour.


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