Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Here are some summary numbers from the Centennial Celebration. There were 928 T's registered, from 45 states, and at least 10 countries. We heard Edsel Ford II and Henry Ford III speak. there were so many activities that we could only attend half of them.

For us, towing our T, it was 2338 miles going, and we got 12.7 mpg. Coming home, it was 2492 miles (we detoured too Phoenix) and we got 12 mpg. I attribute the drop in mileage to the prevailing westerly winds. I must say that on the trip east, we had one day thru Wyoming with the wind at our back, we rolled along (even at the high altitude of 7000 ft) at 70 mph and got 14 mpg.

This was undoubtedly the greatest old car meet that we have ever been to. How can anyone ever top it?

Friday, July 25, 2008


I came up a bit froggy on Thursday, so decided not to tour, but rather just spend the day at the fairgrounds, and also this was the first day of the swap meet. Santa Clara Valley Model T Club had a space where we put up a canopy and our club banner. There was a pretty good turnout of vendors and lots of stuff. Bob Edwards bought another speedster body and a Muncie to go with it. In the one picture of Mark Edwards, the young boy with him is Artie Vaughn who wants to build a speedster in the worst way, we will be sending him some plans and instructions on how to do it.

On Friday, still froggy, so more hanging out at the fairgrounds, and the swap meet was still on for another day. And, this was the finals of the take apart car. We named ourselves the Santa Clara Valley Wrecking Company, 6 guys plus Trixie and Lizzie who were our cheat sheet holders. And needless to say, we kicked butt, got the car together and running in 19 minutes, 52 seconds, which was the best time ever for this assembly.

Tonight was the final banquet, lots of people in era clothes, live band, filet mignon. We all got a plaque for our first place finish with the take apart car.

This has been an incredible event. There are 1000 local volunteers and several dozen local sponsors. As you drive down the roads on tour there are literally hundreds of signs at businesses, churches, motels, restaurants, gas stations which say “welcome Model T’s”. Folks here have bent over backwards to make all the T people feel really welcome and appreciated.

And so we now head for home tomorrow morning, so this will be the last post unless something extraordinary comes along. We will be generally following what used to be route 66.

DAY 8 – From the Mansion to the Winchester Speedway

Another great touring day on these perfect Model T roads, first stop at “The Mansion” bed and breakfast, for morning coffee stop. It is a restored turn of the century mansion, absolutely lovely, and you know what? It is going on the market at the end of the year, for about a half million. (Has a 3 carriage garage in the back,,,,,,,,)

Then we stopped at Mrs. Wicks pie shop for lunch, good food, very reasonable and pies of every kind for $2 a slice. They were a little overwhelmed by all the T folks, so Ray helped out, bussed a few tables, we left him a tip.

And then, the highlight of the day, on to Winchester Speedway, the “fastest half mile track in the world”. Wow, got to run the speedster around this very steeply banked oval flat out, really fun. It was so banked that on one lap, I got slowed way down behind another stock T and 44 began to sputter because the gasoline all ran to the downhill side. I loaned the speedster to Chuck and Rich so that they could make some laps also.

Pictures: The mansion, Ray bussing tables, and the Speedway.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


8:00 seminar on early Fords before the Model T. And then on to our tour for today. 85 mile loop. First stop was at the Hoosier Gym, where the basketball movie “Hoosiers” was filmed. That was the morning coffee stop, and of course we had to shoot a few hoops.

Then onward to Wilbur Wrights birthplace, and I might say that all the tours are on Model T roads out through the farmland. And you either have corn on both sides of the road or soybeans on both sides of the road or one of each. The Wilbur Wright birthplace is a farmhouse out in the country that the local folks rescued and restored. Nice museum goes with it, with a replica of the Wright Bicycle shop and a Wright Flyer. The ladies had to drag us gentlemen out of there.

But the best thing of the day was the antique airplane fly-in at the Hagerstown airport which is a grass strip out in the country. All the Model T’s went to this one, so we got the chance to see all the T’s in one place. Wow, mind boggling. Hope the pictures do it justice. The antique airplanes did some fly-bys and then had a flour bombing contest.

Long day, but great fun. Couple misc pictures, Bob and Ray tightening Ray's low band, and one of a Model T Semi truck.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Wow, Model T’s of every size and shape, on every street in town, parked under every shade tree at the fairgrounds, boggles the mind.

We registered today and got oriented a little bit. Today was our first tour, a fairly short one around the town of Richmond, and to a couple historical places. Part of the tour was on a bicycle path that they opened up for the T’s. While we were eating lunch, it started to blow and got dark, so we got out our ponchos and made a dash for the fairgrounds. It rained for about two minutes and then was gone, fortunately we were just on the edge of the thunderstorm as it passed by. At the fairgrounds, they were not so lucky, blew away some canopies and one branch from a tree fell on a primo town car, ouch!!!

In the afternoon, we had a practice session for the take apart car. We waited and we waited and we waited, cause we were supposed to put it together, and it was not apart. Finally contacted the chief honcho for the car, and he said we could take it apart. So we dismantled the car, and then we put it back together again. Took us 41 minutes to put it together. I think it actually took us longer to take it apart. We have our own cheering section, one of the pictures above. I can’t figure out how to caption them.

It is warm and humid, they tell us it is not as hot as normal, whoo boy, takes a lot of water to keep this group from just wilting like daisies.

The welcome party was in the evening, over 2000 people in a really large building. We about starved before our turn came at the food line. One of the speakers was Edsel Ford the 2nd or 3rd.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Mileage wise, this was our shortest day, saved to last, which was a good thing, cause we are definitely getting a little road weary. First thing this morning, we crossed the Mississippi into the Illinois farmland guess what, more corn and soybeans to look at, and you definitely want to observe the truck and trailer speed limit in Illinois, lots of state troopers in smokey bear hats wielding radar guns and even pulling over the big rigs. We did pick up I70 which takes you directly to Richmond.

The big highlight of the day was our stop at the Indy speedway. We unloaded the speedsters and ran them up in front of the museum for a picture. I think the other tourists enjoyed it too, a lot of pictures were snapped. Then we all climbed into the shuttle vans for a ride around the track (at 35 mph, despite our encouragement to open it up) and went into the museum to admire all the vintage race cars.

We came out of the museum into a gulley whomper, and splashed our way out of Indianapolis and back onto I70 to Richmond. Found all the other members of SCVMTFC, almost everyone is staying at the Super 8. We didn’t have time to get to the fairgrounds to register today, that will have to wait until tomorrow.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Slept in a little since we got in so late last night. This morning drove to Lincoln to check out the Bill Smith Museum, Strike One, closed on weekends, but the parts counter was open so we checked that out, and peered into the giant warehouse, and picked up catalogs and pressed on into Iowa.

Bob decided that the thing to do for lunch was to get off the interstate, go into a small town, and hit a local cafĂ© for some good old Iowa home cooking. Rich picked the town of Walnut, and Bob picked Aunt B’s restaurant. Great choice with homemade pie at $1.99 a slice. Bob asked for rhubarb, but when he took the first bite it turned out to be apple walnut. Ate it anyway and then asked for another slice and described how rhubarb pie looks to the waitress who had apparently never had rhubarb. (Incidentally, we found out she is a fugitive from LA). She brought a piece of rhubarb this time and was so embarrassed that she declined to charge for it, so Bob got two pieces for 1.99.

After lunch, we browsed the local antique stores. Bob got a car tool, spring leaf spreader for greasing your leaf springs.

At this same location, we began to see busloads of people and bicycles, because tomorrow is the start of the Ride across Iowa, an annual event attended by thousands. Janet was inspired to climb up the bicycle sign at the gas station.

Then we pounded the highway, having decided to visit the Iowa State Auto Museum on the other end of the state. Strike Two, the brochure said open till 6, the door said open till 5, we got there at 5:15.
Okay, onward, after a few miles more we came to the world’s largest truckstop, and it was complete with a large truck showroom, large truck parts and accessory area, barber shop, theatre, dentist, showers, etc, the works. There were lots of historical pictures to look at, and one of the truckers who saw us looking at them said that the trucking museum next door was open till 10. We promptly hotfooted it over, figured we might find one museum open. Strike Three, closed, so we looked in the windows at a few of the antique trucks and declared it a day for the museums.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Woke up to the smell of money (crude oil). The whole town of Rawlins was permeated with the smell of crude, must have been from the refinery just outside of town. I guess if you live there, you don't mind, if you own one of those wells, you sure don't mind. Hit the road early, stopped for breakfast in Laramie at McDonalds, and there are the Tregieros again. Lots of antelope on the high plains this morning.

Climbed out of Laramie and then had a fast downhill run to Cheyenne where we blundered into and out of Frontier Days, I think this would be a fun event to attend someday, looks like it would be second to the stampede in Calgary. Next stop was at Cabela's in Sydney, NE for lunch and shopping. Bob bought another pair of trail pants (many pockets) and they hemmed them on the spot. After Sydney, mile after mile after mile of wheat and corn. Wheat harvest is in full swing, combines everywhere, and they don't stop till sundown.

By the way, Janet gets a lifetime achievment award, after entering NE, she has now been in all 50 states. We celebrated by taking her to the Old Ford Garage in Julesberg, CO, so she got to enter NE twice today. The Garage is courtesy of Ray, who always finds interesting things and people. He knows Lee Kizer's brother who sent us to Lee Kizer in Julesberg who operates the Old Ford Garage which is kind of a little private museum in a bona fide old Ford garage that dates back to 1908. We enjoyed the old cars, gas pumps, and memorabilia including a vintage barber shop which Lee still operates one day a week for his cronies.

Back on I80, we had a headwind which held our speed down until it finally died down. We lost another hour today so we really got in late, again. (11:00) Oh well, we are not wasting any time, sitting around in motels. bought gas today for $3.99 and thought it was a real bargain, how quick we adapt.

Enjoyed all the blog comments. Always fun to read them.

Friday, July 18, 2008


Left Elko at 7, and pressed on to the east. First stop was at Bonneville Salt Flats to inspect the salt, and for Ray to make a sign on the salt showing other T’s which way to go. At a little break stop in Knolls, we ran across Bernie and Becky Trigiero, former members of our T club. They were also pulling a car trailer with a T inside. Next stop was at Saltair, the old amusement/bathing facility on the edge of the Great Salt Lake. There were actually quite a few people who were walking out about a half mile to swim in the lake. We were content to just view from a distance. Making our way thru SLC, we started over the Rockies. The climb up I80 from SLC to Park City was a tough pull for our rigs. Got all the way down to 3rd gear once and did not have any power to spare. The amazing thing is the speed at which most of the semis go up this hill. We got to the top and I asked Ray if he had enough gas to make another hundred miles or did we need to hit a station. He responded that he had used a quarter tank on this hill and we did need a station.

At Park City, we had bright blue sky for the first time. The Nevada-Utah desert is incredibly hazy and smoky from the CA fires. On I80 east of SLC, I think there are more trucks than cars, and they are moving. The speed limit is 75 and I think that is what the trucks are running at. At 6000 to 7000 foot elevation, about the best we can do is 65 mph.

Saw quite a few drilling rigs, oil and gas rush is on in Wyoming. The sharp eyes of Ray spotted a few antelope. Made the obligatory stop at Little America and got one of their advertised 50 cent ice cream cones and then made a late day push for Rawlins, getting in at 9. Beautiful sunset in the rear view mirror. Flopped into bed, long day tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


We are off to the Model T Centennial Celebration in Indiana. We are lugging a little black trailer with our speedster in it and Ray and Linda are tailing us and sometimes leading us with their trailer and speedster. We also have Janet and Rich with us as passengers, apprentice model T wannabes, and assistant everything. First day, we got an unexpected sendoff from the donut shop in Milpitas when Hazletons and Jones from the Model A club showed up to see us off. We bumped and pitched our way out of California on the worst roads (I680, I580, I5, and I80) you can imagine. California has got to be entering a crisis stage as far as the roads breaking up. What a relief to get into NV and onto some smooth roads. Long day, got into Elko at 6:15, took longer getting over the Sierras than we thought and more total miles than we thought. But,,,,, we had a great Basque dinner at the Star Hotel, obviously THE place to get Basque food in Elko judging from the crowd on a Wed nite. Included a couple desert pictures that show what we looked at for most of the day.