San Antonio family’s story, relic to be displayed at Smithsonian National Museum of American History

The relic is a 1932 Ford Model B

SAN ANTONIO – Pamela McKinney said it’s bittersweet to watch her dad’s old 1932 Ford Model B in the back of a semi-truck, headed for the National Museum of American History.

“We were sort of nervous about it going out of the family, but it’s still in the family. It’s just in a better, secure place,” she said.

Kathleen Franz, curator of Land Transportation and chair of the Division of Work and Industry, said the story in itself is special because there are not many of those vehicles left.

But, the fact that it also tells the story of the McKinney family of San Antonio only adds to the richness it brings to the museum.

“It can tell multiple stories about Delbert McKinney being a Pullman Porter and his wife, Dottie, who is secretary for the union here in San Antonio,” she said.

They were the original owners and tell the story of travel for their family during the segregation era.

It will be the first vehicle originally owned by a Black American in the museum’s collection.

The car was then passed on to Dell’s youngest son Alonzo Sr., whose four children donated the car to the museum.

Alonzo himself also had a rich story of serving his country as an airman. Some of the stickers of the local bases are still on the car.

Pamela McKinney remembers it was a source of pride for her dad. She would go on joyrides with him.

“It didn’t go very fast. It would just go round, you know, around the block,” she said.

The interior will be restored and the stories of Delbert and his children will be told alongside of its display.

About the Authors

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.

Recommended Videos