Amazing A Road Rally raises money for hospital

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 14, 2004

On Friday afternoon, it looked like the Great Gatsby had moved into the Holiday Inn, bringing more than a dozen party-goers with him.

About 27 Model A Fords were lined up in the parking lot of the hotel sitting next to their modern day counterparts. The motorcade wasn’t part of a bootlegger’s rolling party, but instead part of a unique charity event, which raised more than $9,000 for Magic Moments and the Children’s Hospital in Birmingham.

“It’s just what we do,” Jim Isaminger, the event organizer said.

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The invasion of model A’s was part of the Amazing A Road Rally. Isaminger and his friends, all model A enthusiasts, decided to combine their favorite activity, riding slow in old cars, with a desire to do some good. The group was en route from Birmingham, where the rally began. The stop in Selma was the end of the first leg of their 12 hour trip to Mobile.

“We’ve been ‘Model Aing’ like this a long time,” Isaminger said. “It’s the first time we’ve ever done it for a charity.”

The rally raised money by selling sponsorship to businesses and individuals all over the state, including Moore Stewart Ford in Selma. Everyone who sponsored the rally was honored with a sign, advertising their company, or a message of their choice on the sides of the cars.

The group started north of Birmingham, and wound there way on the backroads to Selma. They drove a mean clip of 45 miles per hour in 90 degree heat.

The youngest of the cars was 72 years old, while the oldest was 76. All the cars were Ford Model A’s, dating back to the 1920s and 30s.

Isaminger says it takes a “special” person to get in a car with no heating and air conditioning, no power steering and no anti-lock brakes and drive too slow to get on the interstate.

“When you’re living in the ‘A’ world everyday, it’s a great feeling to get in the ‘B’ world,” Isaminger said. “We’re generally on the backroads, driving slow, enjoying ourselves.”

Isaminger said the lack of modern comforts is part of the fun of “Model Aing.”

“You just adjust to it. That’s part of the fun of doing it,” he said. “You’re going back in time.”

The Amazing A Road Rally is still taking donations for the Children’s Hospital. To donate to the hospital through the rally, send funds to Isaminger at 376 Park Avenue, Birmingham, AL 35226.