BACKING out of the garage before work on a mild day last fall, Jonathan Klinger heard a loud backfire from his 1930 Model A Ford. Enlarge This Image Fabrizio Costantini for The New York Times HIS CHOICE
Jonathan Klinger attends to his Model A Ford, nicknamed Sophie. More Photos » Multimedia Slide Show One More Year on the Road Enlarge This Image Fabrizio Costantini for The New York Times
The 80-year old car was driven to Detroit last month for the auto show. More Photos »
The engine died. When Mr. Klinger restarted it, he heard a loud hiss and immediately feared the worst: a blown head gasket. But it was not so dire. The top had blown off the vacuum fitting for an accessory whistle, leaving a dime-size, but potentially disabling, hole.
Mulling a solution in his kitchen, Mr. Klinger spotted a cork. He pulled out his pocket knife, whittled the cork to fit and jammed it into the hole. Crisis averted.
“The wolf whistle was the weak point and couldn’t stand the backfire pressure,” Mr. Klinger, 29, said. “I was relieved because I was on my way to a meeting. My goal was to never miss or be late because of it.”
When your daily car is an octogenarian, you must be prepared to improvise.
He is ready — a good thing, too, because he is committed to driving the Model A for a year as his regular transportation. He is some four months and 5,000 miles into his endeavor.