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Ray and Lorraine Villeneuve’s 1930 FORD VICTORIA

Ray and Lorraine Villeneuve’s 1930 FORD VICTORIA
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“Beauty in the Beast”

In the ever-revolving world of street rodding there are few cars that create the same impact today as they did when they first touched tarmac than the Ford Model A, and in particular, the 1930 Ford Victoria. Ray and Lorraine’s rendition of their retina-thrashing, ocean-blue Victoria is a testament of time and passion. In fact, this model (original tub, frame, sway bar and 4-point suspension) is number 366 of only 6,306 units made. A small block 3.8 liter, V-8 Buick engine coupled to a 3-speed auto transmission, was introduced to prevent Ray from removing the original gas tank.

Even a glimpse and you can feel the ever-present, wind-cheating muscular prowess the 3-inch chopped roof offers, allowing for wedge-like aerodynamics and a persona that this vehicle means business. The dressing is finished off with street burning 15-inch Aluminium American racing wheels. The car is also equipped with dual gas tanks for long journeys (this is no trailer queen). A very clever cosmetic addition is the hidden gas tank filler is through the rear spare tire-mounting bracket.    

      

 

Where and when did you purchase this car?

I found and bought this car over the Internet in 2013. It was located in Stoney Creek, Ontario. 

What is the story behind purchasing this car?

For several years I had an interest in this particular model and had been following one on eBay but the price was out of my price range. I was doing some work on an old Corvette that I own and, through happenstance, I decided to check Kijiji for the first time to see if there were any interesting cars for sale. Sure enough, the first car that appeared on my screen was the magnificent 1930 Ford Victoria. The next morning, my wife and I drove the 500 kilometers to the owner’s place and purchased my dream car on the spot. It was meant to be. This car is special to me because of its rarity. The Model A Victoria was produced also in 1931, total production that year was 33,906 and then in 1932 Ford stopped making Model As and went with the Model B with the new V8 flat head motors and a few other changes to the original Model A.     

What did you restore and how long did it take you to restore it?

This car was built and modified by a gentleman from the Niagara Falls area that the owner used to go to car shows with and he also travelled the United States on organized cruises. He must have been somewhat of an artist for designing the building custom billet aluminum dash and consul. This car has an all steel body with glass fenders. The only thing I’ve done to it was to install an air condition system and replaced the old shocks with adjustable air shocks. Although it still retains it's original frame, but has been boxed and welded for reinforcement. The body is original Henry Ford steel but the fenders are fiberglass. It has electric powered windows, and A/C. The front suspension is Mustang 2 and a four link with coils and air shocks in the rear.       

 

Have you repainted it? Why that particular colour? Was it the original colour?         

The blue has lasted since 1983, but I have done some minor touch-ups to repair some stone chips.   

Since owning the car, has it won any prizes?

My wife and I drove the car 3,200 kilometers on a 12-day trip that took us to

Moncton, New Brunswick to attend the Nationals Car Show and then on to Cape Cod for a few days, and onwards to Syracuse, New York, for the Nationals. My car placed in the Top 25 in the Moncton show where 1,800 vehicles participated. We attend several car shows in the area we live in but my car show starts the moment that we drive out of our driveway.   

What reaction do you get from the public when driving it around?

This car brings smiles to people’s faces when they see me driving down the road. People wave to us, give us the thumbs up and take pictures of us driving down the highway.

Do you own or have you restored other collectible cars? If so, what are they?

I own a 1977 Corvette that I purchased 15 years ago and I have had many other beautiful cars, such as a 1939 Plymouth Coupe, and a 1970 Cuda (new), and several other classic cars but none have drawn the attention from the public as this 1930 Model A.     

Have you given your car a nickname?

Vicky, the Happy Car because it makes people and myself smile wherever I go with it.

If you were able to have another collectible car (money being no object), which car would you wish for? Why?   

It would have to be another 1930 Vicky because you can never have enough

happiness.   

What does your 1930 Ford Victoria represent to you?       

My 1930 Victoria is my pride and joy. It is the greatest conversation piece that I've ever owned. I don't know how many people have owned this Victoria before me but they obviously all thought that it was worth preserving and making it better for the next owner. I feel that it is my turn to keep it alive until someday someone will take over the responsibility to take care of it and enjoy it as I do. 

In your opinion, what is the future of the classic car/hot rod?     

As for the future of street rods and hot rods, I believe that there will always be a demand for such vehicles. The antique and classic car industry is a big business, from manufacturing of reproduction parts to distribution of said parts, classic car auctions, custom car shops, National car shows are all part of an industry that feeds the demand of the car enthusiasts, and therefore, a very important part of our economy. Street rods will never die, because it isn’t so much about vintage cars, as what you can accomplish in customizing a classic.