What is the Danish Ford A Klub? The Danish Model A Club (DFAK=Dansk Ford A Klub) was founded in 1965 under the name Copenhagen Ford A Club with the purpose of bringing together people interested in restoring and driving the Ford Model A. Today it has about 600 members spread throughout Denmark. Membership is not restricted to owners of a Model A.
1965 was a different era compared with now. Model A’s were still in everyday use on the road. They were, after all, “only” 35 years old. Most of them had stood unused during World War 2, but returned to daily use soon after, probably because the supply of new cars was limited and for several years after the war it was not possible just to purchase a new car.
In the middle of the 60’s, more Model A clubs were created around Denmark. Their purpose, beyond being a meeting-point for owners, was to organize the purchase of spare parts, which were becoming a huge problem. Today, only 2 of these clubs still exist, the Danish Model A Club and Vamdrup Model A Club, founded in 1958. The club in Vamdrup is not only Denmark’s oldest Model A club, it is also the country’s second oldest vintage car club. Some of the other clubs are now regional vintage car clubs for all brands.
The spare part supply situation was one of the reasons why we founded the Copenhagen Model A Club. Another was to create a place for Model A owners to meet. They were not truly welcome in antique car clubs whose members perceived the Model A more as a “used car” rather than a “real” vintage car. Fortunately, this has changed a lot. People have learned from the mistakes of the past. Today we consider any vehicle over 25 years as a vintage car in Denmark (as in the rest of Scandinavia). Just a few years after the setting up genuine spare parts supply, the club acquired stocks of spares from all over. Many of them were gifted to the club. The range of spare parts though was limited to could be obtained. This was far from being able to provide everything that members needed.
From around 1968, the club started importing spare parts from the United States. As in Denmark, Model A’s in the US were not used as “daily drivers” but were considered as vintage cars. Many of the oldest spare parts suppliers in the United States have had the Danish Model A Club in their customer records for more than 30 years.
As the years have passed the supply of spares evolved into a genuine “store” within the club. Today we have more than 1,500 items in stock, all controlled by an IT system. Operated today as it always has been on a voluntary and unpaid basis, this is a unique aspect of the Danish Model A Club. All other spare parts distribution for model A’s in Europe is done on a commercial basis.
Of course, the Danish Model A Club is not only spares. Road rallies and other social events are a big part of club life. Only 14 days after its foundation, the club had its first rally with members’ cars. Tours or rallies in the Model A, both in Denmark and the other nordic countries, are a significant part of member activities in the club. They vary in format, both formal and informal, national as well as international. During the season, which runs from April to October, there are many opportunities to get the Model A´s out in the country. Though the network of the club, many members group together informally to go on holiday in their Model A’s throughout Europe, such as in the Austrian alps.
Several times the club has taken on the role of “exporter” of Ford Model A’s, filling a train wagon with cars to be transported down through Europe. At the destination, the members pick up their cars and take a Model A holiday without having to use vacation days for transportation. Others take up the challenge and let the journey to the destination be part of the holiday experience.
The Danish Ford A Klub has in many ways been one of the most active car clubs in the country. The club was first to hold a swap meet in Denmark, it was one of the initiators in setting up a joint venture with other vintage vehicle clubs in Denmark – a historic motor agreement – the first year as an informal organisation, thereafter with a formal structure.
The first and third Tuesday of each month have a special meaning in the Danish Model A Club. For more than 20 years these days have been the “fixed” club evenings. Initially the meetings were hosted privately, courtesy of a member’s company. In 1991, the club took a leap forward and purchased its own clubhouse in Glostrup, west of Copenhagen. This has created space for club life plus facilities for spare parts and administration. In the garage beside the clubhouse, a brake test stand is set up, where members can come and get brakes checked. There is also a small workshop.
The clubhouse also forms the backdrop for the club’s winter activities, movie nights, technical evenings, parties and a Christmas get-together.
Of course, the Danish Model A Club publishes a club magazine, namely Ford A News which is published 4-6 times a year. Connoisseurs will know that the club owns 2 Ford AA fire engines from 1929 and 1931. They were bought in the club’s early years and have since served as mascots for the club. They had served respectively in Tårnby, Amager, including coverage of Copenhagen Airport and in Sønderborg in southern Jutland. In the spring of 1999 something happened that radically changed the Copenhagen Model A Club. The General Assembly adopted a proposal to bring the club’s name in line with reality, namely the Danish Model A Club.
The change had for nostalgic and for individual emotional reasons been long under discussion. Experience has shown it to be a good decision, resulting in significant member growth, particularly from Western Denmark.
Presumably, as members around the country get together, it will provide basis for burgeoning local groups, a development that we look forward to following. The first tentative steps have been taken both in North Jutland and Lolland Falster.
Presumably, as members around the country get together that will bloom local groups up. A development that we look forward to follow, the first tentative steps have been taken both in North Jutland and Lolland Falster.
The Danish Model A club is an active participant in the introduction of the “global village”. Via the Internet, the world is the diminished. The club has a great asset in its very popular website, take a look at www.fordaklub.dk. We are also active on the social media Facebook and Twitter.
These sites have been actively used in marketing this year’s club arrangements.
In 2015 we could celebrate the club’s 50 years anniversary. To celebrate, we made a tour called Gedser to Skagen. Gedser is the most southerly place in Denmark, Skagen the most northerly. The trip was planned so members could participate in the whole trip or a part of it. Almost 50 cars participated in the trip and 32 cars completed the whole tour. A little trip of about 1300 kilometers.
We have a nordic cooperation between Denmark, Norway and Sweden called the “Border Rally”. Every second year one of these countries is host for these border rallies, this year it’s in Baastad in Sweden. In 2 years’ time it will be in Norway and Denmark is host in 4 years.
History written by Henrik Thostrup and adapted by Michael Reher Thorvaldsen
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