Woman driving nearly all-original ’24 Dodge from Oregon to Illinois

Woman driving nearly all-original ’24 Dodge from Oregon to Illinois

Rather than shipping her latest purchase, Jody Reeme is hitting the road

A long road trip is on many car enthusiasts’ bucket lists, but when Jody Reeme spotted a 1924 Dodge Brothers roadster online, she knew she had to act.

“I’ve had this car adventure percolating for a while so when things started coming together I said, ‘This is the time to take a chance,’” she told the ClassicCars.com Journal.

A longtime employee of Northwestern University, the Wilmette, Illinois resident decided to step away from the office and into the driver’s seat.

“I actually left my job at Northwestern and I’m going to do this little adventure and, when I get back, I’m going to look for another job,” she said.

Ninety-four years ago, the Dodge Brothers built the roadster that Reeme would take on an adventure. | Jody Reeme photo

Ninety-four years ago, the Dodge Brothers built the roadster that Reeme would take on an adventure. | Jody Reeme photo

Reeme was born in Detroit and has the same birthday — July 30 — as legendary automaker Henry Ford. She said she didn’t grow up in a car-loving family, but she had long had a desire to acquire a classic.

“I’ve was always fascinated by mechanical things and I always in the back of my mind thought, ‘Someday, I’m going to buy an old car and drive it around town,’” she said.

She and her husband bought their first classic car, a 1939 Ford 4-door Deluxe, about four years ago. The couple took it to a car show and fell in love with the community. The Reemes now own 10 cars, ranging in years from the 1924 Dodge to a 1994 Mazda Miata. That doesn’t include their daily drivers, either.

Reeme poses with her first classic car, a 1939 Ford 4-door Deluxe. | Jody Reeme photo

Reeme poses with her first classic car, a 1939 Ford 4-door Deluxe. | Jody Reeme photo

When Reeme began searching for her next car, she had an inkling she may want to drive it home herself. She didn’t know she would wind up with the Dodge when she first started looking.

RELATED:  Gone, but not forgotten

“I didn’t want anything like super fancy and pretentious like an old Packard,” she said. “I thought, ‘Well, do I want like a station wagon from the ‘60s, a pickup truck?’ There’s a lot of different considerations as far as cargo and stuff.”

But her mind was made up when she spotted the 94-year-old patinaed car for sale at Jim’s Classic Garage in Gig Harbor, Washington. She said she called the owner and discussed if the car would be able to make the trip. It was determined it could — albeit with a touch of work. Reeme was sold.

This is what the roadster looked like when Reeme found it online. | Jody Reeme photo

This is what the roadster looked like when Reeme found it online. | Jody Reeme photo

“I’m not planning to restore the car or paint it or anything, but I did want to make sure it was safe for driving back,” she said. “It was like a scavenger hunt (to find parts).”

The roadster is mechanically all-original, save for an electric fuel pump. She had the car shipped to Molalla, Oregon for some interior work and to have a convertible top attached. That’s where she will depart from sometime in the next few days.

Reeme’s roadster after the canvas top was attached. The reworked bench seat can be seen in the interior. | Jody Reeme photo

Reeme said she has only three rules for her trip to the Chicago suburbs: No driving on freeways, no driving at night and no driving in the rain.

RELATED:  Rocker Gregg Allman’s custom motorcycle will be offered at Florida auction

“I might get stuck somewhere for a couple days,” she said, adding that the car’s mechanical brakes would prove a complication in some weather as it takes longer to bring the car to a stop.

She also planned ahead and bought some extra parts. She said that at worst, she might have to load the car on a flatbed and ship it home, but she was optimistic about the trip.

“I’m just taking it one day at a time,” she said. “I’m ready to go and see what happens along the way and whatever happens, I’ll have to deal with it.”

The roadster is nearly all-original and the engine was recently rebuilt. | Jody Reeme photo

The roadster is nearly all-original and the engine was recently rebuilt. | Jody Reeme photo

The 2,200-mile drive would likely take a couple days in a modern car, but it will take her a little bit longer. She also plans to take a more southerly route to avoid some elevation changes.

“In a regular car, you could bang it out if you wanted to in 3-4 days,” she said. “For me, I’ll be driving a maximum speed of 30 mph — that’s not an average speed — and be doing a lot of stopping along the way.”

Reeme wasn’t worried about the extra time. She plans to have friends join her along the way and wanted to use the trip to make new acquaintances.

RELATED:  What’s the car equivalent of ‘reverse’ art show?

“People don’t communicate much in person anymore,” she said. “I like meeting and talking to people.”

She set up a special Facebook page and email address — DrivingConversationsAcrossUS@gmail.com — for those looking for a lunch date, hosting a car show or who may have a couch she can sleep on for the night.

If you find yourself on a backroad between the Pacific Northwest and the Midwest and happen to spot a cool old Dodge roadster cruising along, give a wave. Reeme just might be the person who waves back.

22 comments

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

22 Comments

  • Roodie Seidner
    July 14, 2018, 6:47 AM

    Good luck Jody! What a great article! You are an explorer!

    REPLY
    • Shelly Miller@Roodie Seidner
      July 17, 2018, 3:54 PM

      Hey Jody can’t wait to see the new addition,watch out for slow deer.

      REPLY
  • Gail and Ted Struve
    July 14, 2018, 1:47 PM

    Go Jody, Looks like a great experience!
    Keep us up on the trip. We’ll be thinking of you all the way back!❤️❤️🤔 Best!!!

    REPLY
  • Robert Jessee
    July 14, 2018, 3:16 PM

    Best of luck to her,Wish I was going along,Trip of a life time

    REPLY
  • Gregory Black
    July 14, 2018, 3:41 PM

    Best of luck on the drive! I just bought a "pretentious . . . old Packard" from a party in Monterey, CA and need to get it to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, just up the road from Wilmette, IL (a 4th series coupe manufactured in 1927). I’m paying a comparative fortune to get it here via enclosed trailer. While Packard in the day spoke proudly about the cross-country capabilities of its cars, I’m not contemplating any drives like Jody is undertaking. If she’d like to show her 1924 Dodge at the August 2019 Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance, I can assure her a spot awaits her application. She’d have to be willing to retell her stories a hundred times over, however, for the appreciative audiences her car would attract.

    REPLY
  • Raymond Boudreaux
    July 14, 2018, 5:43 PM

    Awesome story about the ’24 Dodge, but the ’39 Ford Deluxe 4-Door caught my eye. It’s the only other ’39 Ford Deluxe I have ever seen other than my Grandpa’s. His had been abandoned behind our barn, along with 2 2-door ’39 Fords. My friends and I tried to get his running…it was sold for junk. Also have friends who lived in Wilmette, and have friends in Elmhurst. Would like to see the ’39 Ford.

    REPLY
    • Steve Albertson@Raymond Boudreaux
      July 15, 2018, 7:59 PM

      That ’39 is a gem. It was the first classic that Jody and I acquired and it remains one of our favorites to drive. The photo was from the 2014 Early Ford V-8 Club national meet. We won 2nd place for the car you would most want to drive home.

      REPLY
      • Susan Newman@Steve Albertson
        August 2, 2018, 6:50 PM

        You go Courageous Woman!! Welcome to Idaho ( Boise )…Plz Come stay in our Double Decker Bus!! We will guide you into the Kuna Car Show Sat. 4th. We also L ove our 20 Dodge, 1919 Model T, 30 1 ton International, 72 (Electric) Electra King etc…Proud of you and your BEAUTIFUL PRECIOUS DODGE

        REPLY

Search the Journal

Latest Articles

Trending Articles