More Model T Stories

dads-model-t

My dad and his Model T, after he got it restored and running once again.

A friend of mine, Harriet Jasper, related an old story she’d heard about the Model T.

An old couple, gray-haired and doddering, drove to the gas station in town with a shiny new  Model T about ten years after the first T came out. Curious,the attendant asked about the mint condition of the old car. They replied they were already old when they got their first Model T and they knew different cars would be coming out. However, they weren’t sure they could learn anything new at their age, so when they bought their first car, they also bought five others just like it and stored them in the barn. That way they wouldn’t have to buy cars they couldn’t learn to drive, and they would always have a supply of new cars.

Harriet tells of another memory from Model T rides:  Dad always had a screwdriver or pliers along in the car. If the engine sputtered and lost power, there was a little box in the center up and beyond where the pedals were. Might have been something to do with the battery. Dad would take a heavy tool and pound a bit on the side of that box and that seemed to fix the problem.

He also was quite a photographer, and at one time we had a picture of a Model T which had tipped over on the road. Its front was pointed straight up and the T had landed on its back window. All four wheels pointed in the direction it should have been dad-i-model-tgoing.

I am most amused when I see some of the new cars now the same shoe box squared off design.

Thank you, Harriet, for your memorable stories!

My Dad and I taking a test drive in the old T in about 1998.

Published in: on February 26, 2009 at 9:24 pm  Comments (2)  
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The Model T

grandpa-modet-t

This is my grandfather, Otto Gasser, in his Model T Ford, probably about 1923. My dad later restored this vehicle during the 1960s.

In my book, Cowgirl Dreams, I talk about Jake buying a used car and coming to pick Nettie up on a date to go to a rodeo:

“A strange sound brought her up short. Was someone running a threshing machine outside? But the threshers weren’t due for weeks yet. The engine noise grew louder.

The horses in the corral whinnied. Then a series of loud pops propelled her to the window. Who was making that noise? Her folks were in town, and her brothers had gone to the pasture. Were they back, shooting at something?

With one boot on, the other hanging from her hand, Nettie could only stare, her mouth open wide. Here came Jake, driving an open-air Model T over the dusty wagon track. His grin reached from ear to ear, and he waved his hat in the air as though he rode a bucking bronc.

Nettie nearly forgot to breathe. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing. Jake driving a car? Not riding a horse?

He squeezed the horn bulb, sounding a raucous squawk, and whooped when he saw her run out of the house, swinging her empty boot.

“Hoooeee. Lookee here what I got.”

“Jake, what in the world?”

The engine cut out with a jerk. Jake jumped over the side and swept his hands toward the car. “Ain’t she a beaut?

Sure got her cheap, only two-hundred fifty. Even has an electric starter. Guess we can go places now.”

Nettie’s hand flew to cover her mouth. Her eyes felt as wide as full moons. “It’s really nice.” She limped around the machine in one boot, looking at the hard, thin rubber tires, the gleaming black running boards, the pinstriped upholstered seats, excitement building.

“We’re really going to ride in a car?” She’d never ridden in a car. In fact, nobody she knew even owned one.

Jake followed her, chuckling. “Yup. If you wanna finish dressing, I guess we could go on to the rodeo.”

Nettie looked down at herself, realizing that she was still minus a boot. Her mouth twitched upward into a smile. “Okay, big shot. I’ll get my boot on and you can take me for a ride.”

© 2008 Heidi M. Thomas

And here is a great video on the assembly of the Model T Ford.


Published in: on February 23, 2009 at 4:41 am  Comments (6)  
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