Thursday, March 27, 2008

Model T Ford Opportunity

I attended Pasadena Nazarene College in Pasadena, California in 1953 and was fortunate enough to have my brother's car for transportation. Toward the end of my Freshman year, I got a knock on my dorm door from one of the guys across the hall. He was on a committee that was planning the rally for elections for the next school year and was in charge of getting a donated 1913 Model T Ford to the campus. However, he didn't have a car and asked me to drive him to Monrovia which was about seven miles away.

We arrived and when he saw what he was to drive, he said no way! Never drove one of those before! I think he was expecting something like the Model A which drove like cars of that day but the Model T was quite different. This car had a hand crank to start it. Three pedals on the floor instead of the usual two. One was the brake of course. One was reverse gear and one was two forward gears -- push down for first and let up for second. The emergency brake was also the clutch. The gas feed was on the steering column as well as the advanced spark needed on this car. So coordinating all this took all your attention.

I asked the owner how to drive it because I had never done it either but was game for trying. He briefly explained all the details and then I took off without any further assistance from the owner. Would you let your prize antique car leave with someone who had never driven one before? And not go through a test drive first?

I drove the Model T and my college friend drove my car back to the campus. This was through many lights and traffic. After we arrived on campus, two students got in the back in red and white outfits with posters and we drove all over the campus getting everyone excited about the elections. You will find our full page picture in the Model T on page 121 of the 1953 La Sierra yearbook. That was the only day I have ever driven a Model T Ford. I bought a model of the 1913 Model T Ford for my home as a reminder of that interesting day.

I am barely visable in the picture above behind the wheel. This was not the picture in the yearbook but taken at the close of the rally.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That was quite a venture. It was pretty cool seing that car on campus.

Dave Cole