Your mention of the New York-to-Los Angeles-and-back-in-reverse car moves me to point out that it is very easy to put the innards into the rear axle of the Ford A the wrong way round, so that one ends up with three reverse speeds and one, rather slow, forward.
Perhaps the 1930 drive was inadvertent?
October 23rd this year will be the 50th anniversary of the production of the first Model A. Would a Jubilee bonfire of the remaining example be in order?
Winchester – T. J. Threlfall