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Photo of the purchased Ford Model A coupe.In 1930, the USGS purchased this Model A Ford coupe for $557. Geologist Foster Hewett used it in Death Valley, California from 1930 to 1956, then Geologist Levi Noble used it for mapping the Mohave Desert from 1956 to 1965. After Mr. Noble's Death, the Model A was stored for a time in Valyermo, California.
Front photo of the Model A coupe.Parke Snavely, Chief of the Pacific Coast Branch, Geologic Division, later drove it from Valyermo to the USGS Pacific Coast office in Menlo Park, California. In 1974, the car was shipped to the newly opened USGS headquarters in Reston, VA. Here it was displayed, first in the lobby, then outside on the front portico under a building overhang then back into the lobby where it remains today.
Side photo of the Model A coupe."The Model A was essentially a stock car . . . Its high center, short turning radius and wheel base, relatively low gear ratio etc. made it a very good off-road vehicle, and we took it places where a 4-wheel drive vehicle would be necessary today-although this was long before the advent of the latter. For instance we once traversed the heart of the Owl Mountains from the northwest clear to the Death Valley front . . . not to mention the back side of the Black Mts. and the Funerals and Grapevines in the east." -Donald Curry (accompanied Levi Noble in his mapping of the Mohave Desert)
Photo of person driving the Ford Model A coupe."The Model A had one draw-back: Because of its narrow tires it had a tendency to spin out or head for the ditch in loose gravel. Levi was thrown from the car on one such occasion, or at least sustained a cut on his scalp, and this contributed to his dislike for driving alone. Incidentally, the red color of the Model A came relatively late in its period of use. It used to be a gray or off-white which was difficult to see from a distance in the drab desert landscape." -Donald Curry (accompanied Levi Noble in his mapping of the Mohave Desert)
Mechanics restoring the Ford Model A coupe."We had a series of visitors from the Survey at various times: Nolan, Longwell, Gilully, Ferguson and Muller, and of course Foster Hewett are some that come to mind. Most or all were at one time transported in the old Model A." -Donald Curry (accompanied Levi Noble in his mapping of the Mohave Desert)

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