15 Nov 2009, 11:38am
History Roads Travel

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Last Ford Model T cruise of 2009

Model Ts at Guadalupe River State Park

Model Ts at Guadalupe River State Park

I was able, among other pressing projects, to squeeze in one last Model T drive yesterday, Saturday November 14.  Accompanied by three other Ts, we drove from the Texas Transportation Museum on Wetmore Road twenty seven miles to the Guadalupe River State Park.  Our small convoy represented the gamut of Ts well.  There was an open tourer, a closed sedan, a light duty pick-up and the “Diva,” the museum’s heavy duty truck.  I began calling it the Diva due to its unfortunate habit of running perfectly well at the museum and local roads but acting up horribly at any public event while, often, being the center of attention, for reasons that both bemuse and confuse me.

 The drive along Bulverde Road, once clear of the vast, intrusive housing and commercial developments outside Loop 1604, where once I could drive old cars with relative ease, was lovely.  Driving on Ammann and Blanco Roads, it was easy to imagine the old days when these roads were the latest thing in travel, instead of bypassed country roads.  Heavy traffic on such thoroughfares would be a nightmare but I dare say they were once far busier than they are now.

 All four cars, including the Diva, ran well.  I was delighted that it no longer loses so much speed on uphill sections.  The truck has a different rear axle from regular Ts, with lower gearing to enable the 20 HP engine to move heavy freight.  It makes no concessions to speed or comfort.  As such it is really not a suitable cruise vehicle but it acquitted itself well enough, at least yesterday.

 It was a nice ending to a busy year for me and the museum’s antique vehicle collection, maybe the busiest in the museum’s history. Now our 1929 REO Flying Cloud coupe is running well, I anticipate more adventures even further a field.  With our first major grant in 45 years, given to bring our small steam locomotive back into service, 2010 is shaping up to be a very good year for the museum.  I look forward to sharing details as they happen, as dreams and realities can, as we all know, often differ wildly.


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