In 1948, John R. Gasho embarked on a road trip that he remembers as one of the greatest experiences of his life.
He was 8 when his father, Marvin E. Gasho, loaded up the family car, a 1940 Ford Deluxe two-door sedan, and took him and his great aunt and uncle on a whirlwind tour to San Diego, then Northern Arizona, and back down to Tucson.
The 1,500-mile, four-day trek was meant to show the out-of-town relatives the grandeur of the Southwest, particularly the Pacific Ocean and the Grand Canyon, but for Gasho it meant a lot more.
"It was the only real trip that I took alone with my father," said the 71-year-old aircraft restoration expert, who is a regular at local car shows.
"Usually my whole family, my sisters and brothers went along. We didn't do too many trips like that at the time. That was special for me."
The memory had such a lasting effect on Gasho that he decided to re-create the experience last December using the same family car that he took with his dad in 1948.
Marvin bought the car new in Westerville, Ohio in 1940.
John inherited the Ford when his father died in 1993.
After more than a decade toying with the idea of fixing it up and taking it out, he spent the better part of two years restoring the vehicle, replacing every nut, screw and washer with nearly all original parts.
Friends were surprised that Gasho went through so much trouble.
Everything down to the rivets were redone and replaced.
"They would ask me why I didn't use bolts instead of rivets," Gasho said. "I told them that it didn't originally have bolts in it. I wanted it to be as original as possible.
"It wasn't as difficult as restoring an aircraft, but it was still a challenge."
When the car was ready, he took to the road with one of his good buddies and former employees, Sand Zaspel.
"It was something that was on my bucket list," Gasho said.
Naturally, some aspects of the trek were different.
Once-small roads had now become busy interstates.
Gasho said the car could get up to 65 to 70 miles per hour if they wanted, but they opted to keep it at about 55 to 60 mph.
"We weren't passing anybody," Gasho joked. "I didn't want to push it too hard. It's like you don't want to push me too hard. I'm only a year younger than the car. I might break down."
The amenities also changed.
Rather than getting a hotel in San Diego, they stayed with Gasho's daughter.
They did manage to get a room at the same motel in Salome, a tiny speck of humanity on the way north to Wickenburg on Highway 60.
"The (motel's) heating system wasn't that great," Gasho said. "It was as cold inside as it was outside. It appeared to have the same climate control as it did in 1940.
"We tried to eat at the same restaurant across the street, but it had burned down a few weeks before."
Aside from a small ignition problem the two fixed on the road, the car completed the journey in fine fashion.
Gasho doesn't believe he'll take another extended road trip with the classic Ford - that last road trip was satisfying enough.
When it isn't on display at car shows, the vintage vehicle is stored in a secure building at Gasho's restoration business near Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.
"I want to keep it running as long as I can so I can hopefully pass it on to one of my kids," he said.