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2015 National Early Ford V8 Club of America tour-Black Hills of South Dakota
Sixty cars from across the country joined the 2015 National Early Ford V8 Club of America tour. A few dropped out before the event but by Sunday afternoon, September 13, 57 cars arrived in Rapid City for the tour. Most of the participants drove classic cars to South Dakota. Two Ford Model A’s drove from West Virginia (we had to put a new head gasket on one of the Model A’s Sunday night after the welcome dinner). Twelve early Fords drove from California and fifteen early Fords drove from Texas. The rest of the tour participants came from everywhere in between. Officially the Early Ford V8 Club of America consists of flathead V8 powered cars from 1932 to 1953.
Craig Floyd from Sioux Falls, SD, was asked to head up the organization of this year’s Black Hills of South Dakota tour. Comments from several participants said they enjoyed the new format very well as well as the area. Many of the SD car enthusiasts know Joe Floyd from Sioux Falls, a collector of all 1936 model Fords. Joe was given an award on opening night for his long time participation in the Early Ford V8 Club of America.
The tour of the Black Hills had five day trips to choose from. We broke up into small groups each day and drove to one of the many great locations in the Black Hills. Monday and Tuesday were very hot and made the tour a challenge with a few hot car issues, but nothing serious. Wednesday and Thursday were perfect September days in the Black Hills. Friday was a rainy and windy day, a reminder that fall and winter was not too far away.
The history of the Early Ford V8 Club is very long and the clubs history on touring is very short. In the past three years they have had three tours. All the tours are hosted by regional groups and are designed as a five day event. The first tour was from Illinois to Wisconsin along the Mississippi river. The second tour was in New Mexico and the third tour last year was in the UP of Michigan. Each tour typically has about 25-30 participants. All the tours were traveling tours. Each day the group would load up and travel to the next destination with stops along the way. Each night the tour would end up at a new hotel in a new town. After five days the group would end up back at the beginning location of the tour.
The Black Hills tour was designed as a traveling tour to coincide with all previous tours. When the tour registration reached 40 cars we started to have issues finding rooms in all the small towns we planned to stay in. When the tour registration reached 50 cars we knew we had to completely change the tour in order to accommodate all the people that wanted to attend. We discovered the Black Hills was a popular destination for the Early Ford V8 members. Our re-designed tour turned into a hub based tour located in Rapid City. As a hub tour we all stayed at the same location and toured at our own pace with each small group going to our destination. The tour ended with a farewell dinner back at the Ramkota Hotel in Rapid City. Our tour group was much smaller by Friday due to weather and long drives home. All in all it was a great success.
Story by Craig Floyd and Jim Neuzil, Photos by Joe Floyd and Jim Neuzil
2015 National Early Ford V8 Club of America tour-Black Hills of South Dakota.