Henry's Lady LbNA # 50714
|Placed Date||Oct 2 2009|
|Location||West Point, TX|
The year was 1926. Henry Ford’s "Tin Lizzie" was getting old. It had been produced since Oct. 1st 1908. There had been very few major changes to the car even though it did look quite different. With his son Edsel pushing to move past the Model T and design and build a "new ford" the order was finally given on July 20th, 1926 to start work on a new ford, the "Model A", although that name had not been picked yet!. It proved to be Henry Ford’s favorite, so much so that it became known as “Henry’s Lady”. The last of the Model T's was made on May 26th, 1927. It was car No. 15,000,000. It is said Henry spent $100,000,000 (Yes, 100 Million Dollars!) on the new car design and for retooling of the Rouge plant to build the new Model A. Quite a sum in the 1920's! The car contained over 6800 parts whereas the Model T only contained about 5000. Model A No. 1 rolled off the production line on Oct. 20th, 1927 but the public didn't see the car until Dec. 2nd, 1927. Unlike the Model T, the new ford came in seven body styles and an amazing four colors! The Engine was an L-head 4-cylinder, 'cast en bloc' type. It had a 3-7/8" X 4-1/4" bore and stroke with a displacement of 200.5 cubic inches. SAE horsepower of 24.03 with brake horsepower rated at 40 at 2200 rpm. Typical gas mileage was between 20 and 30 mpg using a Zenith one barrel carburetor. It's 103.5" wheelbase rode on 4.50 x 21" tires with a gear ratio of 3.77:1. The transmission was a 3 speed sliding gear unit with 1 speed reverse. The "Model A" Tool kit included with each car had the following items: Adjustable wrench, 2 open end wrenches, 2 tire irons, jack, pliers, screwdriver, tire pump, grease gun, combination spark plug wrench and head bolt wrench and Instruction book which all fit into a snap pouch. Good stuff! As for price, the new Model A Tudor Sedan sold for $495.00 with the Fordor bringing $570.00 F.O.B. Detroit. For $385.00 you could get a Roadster and $395.00 would get you a beautiful Phaeton. At $495.00, the new Ford Coupe was nice but for $550.00 the Sport Coupe with a standard Rumble Seat was a hot seller. Despite it’s popularity, the Model T only lasted for four model years: 1928-1931.
Directions: From La Grange, Texas, go west on Highway 71 for 11 miles. Look for a blue sign on the right that points you to the Overlook or Picnic Area. Take the winding road up to the top of a rise and you’ll find the rest area waiting for you. Fayette County resident William Pape, Sr. built the park. He was the section supervisor on a road in western Fayette County from 1924 to 1940. In the fall of 1933, he discovered a stretch of land on a hill on which stood several beautiful live oak trees. The property ran along Robinson’s Creek, about 1.5 miles west of the little community of West Point, on State Highway 71. After accepting this 1.3-acre tract of land from Fayette County for the state’s Highway Department, Pape built tables and benches under the trees to encourage travelers to stop, relax, and refresh themselves. When the Highway Commission learned about this, they decided the park idea was a good one for the state. Led by Judge W. R. Ely, the Commission promoted the idea of beautification until the state’s highway engineers became advocates. They advised the engineers to be on the lookout for other sites the state could acquire without cost, and the Texas roadside park system was born. According to local history, it is the first Roadside Park ever built in Texas. Newton County disputes the claim but, nevertheless, this is an historic rest stop.
To the box: Drive to the picnic table on the right and enjoy the view. If someone is occupying the table, you’ll want to rethink your strategy. At any rate, look for the small trail that goes downhill behind that table. Take about 45 steps down to a small oak tree on the left. Stop and take a reading of 330 degrees down the hill to a medium oak tree with some green bushy growth at the bottom, about 50 steps down the fairly steep hill. Henry’s Lady lies at the base of that tree, hidden by the bushes and covered with a pile of rocks. Please replace it in the brush and replace the pile of rocks. Thanks.