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Front Page » June 10, 2003 » Local News » Wheeling through Town
Published 5,010 days ago

Wheeling through Town

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This Oregon couple specializes in period dress as they make the trip from California to Michigan.

An entourage of Model T Fords passed through Emery County on their way to Dearborn, Mich. for the celebration of 100 years of the Ford Motor Company. The group met in Lancaster, Calif. and began their journey on May 25. As they passed through Huntington after coming down the Huntington/Eccles scenic byway, Al Avoian of Torrence, Calif. stopped for lunch. He said they were on the fourth day of the trip after spending the previous night in Delta after 168 miles of travel. He described the drive down Huntington Canyon as beautiful. He said some of the cars had trouble with vaporlocking as they ascended Fairview Canyon. Many of the people on the trail were delighted with the snow that was still over the top and had their pictures taken with it.

One of the gentlemen built a snowman and placed it on the hood of his car for pictures. Two of the cars have already been trailered with mechanical problems. One of the couples participating is from Brisbane, Australia and their car was shipped to America on a boat which took six weeks to get the car here. The couple flew into the states and met up with their car. They will put it on a ship in the east for the return trip to Australia. She said the people along the way have just been great to help out when their car broke a crank shaft. A car club in Wyoming came and picked the car up and is helping her husband fix the car afterwhich they will trailer him and the car to Fort Collins, Colo. to meet up with her and the tour. "The people are just fantastic on this trip and it is such fun," she said.

The entire trip encompasses 3,011 miles of scenic America and 19 days of travel. Avoian said," The Model T has three pedals with the clutch being on the left and reverse in the middle and the right pedal is forward. There are three drums with a band that turn with the engine.The Ford Motor Company started out with a Model M and then worked their way to the T," said Avoian.

Milt Webb from near Sacramento, Calif. is also part of the tour. "I estimate there are a half a million Model Ts still running and one and a half million in garages somewhere waiting to be restored. In San Fernando, Calif. 10 guys met together and started the first club. The clubs in California and Illinois have the highest percentage of members. There are 14,000 members in the two national clubs and numerous smaller clubs throughout the nation and in foreign countries. "The Ford company produced 15 million Model Ts between 1909 and 1927. In 1928 Ford consented to gear transmissions which were the forerunner of modern automatic transmissions. It is relatively easy to get parts for these Fords. Some guys make their own parts. Stock, these cars will go about 40-45 mph. But, the average speed is 35 mph. I usually get around 16.4 miles to the gallon. This trip it is estimated that the cars will use between 150-170 gallons of gas each," said Webb.

Lucille Basye is following the group or leading the group as the case might be in her modern Cadillac. She gives rides and support to anyone with car trouble. A large van with supplies and a support vehicle for anyone experiencing difficulties are also along on the trek. After leaving the Castle Country area the tour moved through Vernal and across Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and into Michigan where they are scheduled to arrive on June 12 where the caravan will be honored with a parade down Michigan Avenue.

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