The “Tonford” conversion used a standard Model T Ford chassis and added heavy duty rear frame rails and a low speed chain driven rear suspension. It would have been less expensive than a new TT truck if you installed the Tonford kit on a used Model T.
This week we will have the privilege of seeing a lot more vintage post cards depicting humor that involved America’s most popular automobile – the Model T Ford. Truly the king of Model T comic post card illustrators was Cobb X Shinn, but he was not alone. Many of the cards we see today are signed “Witt”, we don’t know who Mr. Witt was but clearly he was quite talented too. Other Model T joke cards were, like the example above, not signed at all but very funny.
The cards seen here are primarily from the collection of Erwin “Irv” Plagman. Mr. Plagman is no longer with us, but we hope he is looking down upon us and enjoying what his son is sharing with us here today.
Recently I was privileged to be introduced to Ken Kennedy who is the manager of the driving collection of cars at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. Ken is quite a clever Model T mechanic, and he also is a T owner. Ken drives his own Model T’s on tours and local club events. This guy has what must be the dream job to end all dream jobs for a Model T enthusiast. He gets paid to do what the rest of us have to do for free. The driving collection at the Henry Ford consists of 14 Model T’s, a TT tow truck, and several Model AA trucks. There is also a Model AA bus. Let’s take a look at the shop, and learn what it takes to care for this fleet of lovely antique vehicles.
A wrecking yard in metropolitan Washington DC has a Curtiss JN-4 “Jenny” as a street side attention getter. It worked we think! Notice the rows of delivery bodies on the left side of the entrance, we suspect this photo would be around 1930.
Cobb X Shinn was an artist who specialized in greeting cards. About 1914 Ford Motor Company hired him to pen a series of humorous cards that portrayed the Model T as iconic, inexpensive, yet superior to other cars of the day.
Shinn was a young man of 27 at the time. He went on to serve in the US Armed Forces in WWI, and lived in the Midwest until 1951 having a long career in illustrating mostly post cards and greeting cards.