It is 7:45 AM Saturday, June 9, 2018 at the Farmington Minnesota fairgrounds camping area. We pulled in and started unloading. It was a beautiful morning, about 60 degrees F. Wet dew was on the grass. It looked like a perfect day for a Model T tour! The peaceful morning was the perfect backdrop as first one, then two, then several Model T’s puttered, coughed, and snorted to life.
One by one the Model T’s were unloaded from their trailers. This 1926 roadster pickup was nice and shiny at the beginning of the day.
One car that did not get unloaded from a trailer was the well travelled 1924 touring and trailer belonging to Dean Yoder. He drove up from Iowa to join the tour.
The organizers directed all of us to line up, then we waited for the driver meeting to begin.
This little pickup had an original old aftermarket cab and bed. Neat truck!
I tried to count the Model T’s and came up with a number of 35 which should be close to accurate.
Rudimentary maps were passed out in case we got lost or separated but this was a “follow the leader” type tour. A brief drivers meeting was held to talk about safety and the importance of leaving lots of space in front of you. Model T’s don’t always have the best brakes! With the drivers meeting completed, we all fired up and started the drive.
Heading out of the fair grounds on a lovely Minnesota morning. It was about 58 degrees and dry.
Just outside of town we got off on some graded dirt farm roads.
Our first stop of the morning was at Dick’s Hot Rod Shop in Lakeville, Minnesota. These guys can build anything for a street rod, with a full fabrication shop, CNC machining capability, tube bending, chassis fabrication and anything else that you can imagine. There were donuts of course!
This ’56 Chevy Belair hardtop had a full fabricated chassis, custom firewall and a Chevy LS engine going together on the frame jig in one room.
In another building was Dick’s personal collection of something like 30 cars. Many were on the second floor to allow more room for more cars!
Life size mannequins of Marilyn and Elvis flanked one of the doors.
Dick had a trophy case to show off some of the awards he has won with his cars.
Out in the parking lot it was time to line up for the next leg of the tour.
Sweet TT truck went the distance, never missed a beat.
As we departed Lakeville the skies opened up and the rain started falling.
We stayed relatively dry. The hand operated windshield wiper did its job admirably.
As we pulled in to our next stop smoke erupted from the fuel door area of the shiny ’26 roadster pickup!
Then the dash and interior filled with smoke as the owner and several others worked to disconnect the battery. The face of the ammeter melted. The car was equipped with an alternator, capable of producing far more current than the factory wiring can handle. With the alternator disconnected the car was able to complete the tour.
As the rain started falling in heavier amounts we were treated to a fabulous hamburger and hot dog dinner. No one went away hungry on this tour!
After lunch we continued the tour on mostly level dirt roads. The rain kept the dust down.
Our last stop of the day was for your choice of either an ice cream root beer float or ice cream with chocolate syrup. No complaints here!
The rain pretty much stopped as we polished off the last of the ice cream. One Model T rode the vulture wagon back to the Farmington fair grounds due to a flat tire.
The next day, Sunday June 10, 2018 we were back at the Farmington fair grounds for the swap meet and car show. It was a lovely day with temperature ranging from 60 in the morning up to 72 degrees in the afternoon. About 30 vendors were set up, all selling only Model T related parts and items.
I sold enough stuff to pay for the items that I bought and a hamburger too!
Birdhaven set up a large amount of stuff including a good selection of reproduction Model T parts. The Birdhaven vehicle was interesting, a mid – 1970’s Ford F250 four door pickup truck powered by a Cummins six cylinder diesel and Allison automatic transmission from a 1980’s school bus! It was all very well executed and could have passed for a factory installation if you didn’t know better.
About 50 Model T’s were present for the car show adjacent to the swap meet area.
Julie and Tom Praus (on the right in this photo) own this fine example of a very rare Model T town car. This 1915 town car is one of 619 produced during the 1915 model year. This particular car was restored by Frank Kelly around 1960. At that time it belonged to Dwight Madsen, who was a good friend of my father. I rode in this car many times as a child. It brings back wonderful memories.
This car was produced in March 1915. A speedometer was standard equipment, but is missing here.
Note that the wooden features on this car were painted body color when the car was sold new. The restorer took some liberties which is understandable considering the beauty of the woodwork. The speaking tube was standard equipment.
Rear jump seats were standard equipment on the town car which cost $690 new, the most expensive of all Model T body styles. The divider windows have straps on the rear side so that they can be lowered if desired.
The town car, center door sedan, and couplet all shared one interesting feature – both driver and front seat passenger doors opened.
This was a great event. I plan on being there next year! Thanks again to all the T Totallers for the fine show / tour / swap meet.