Car lovers gather in Spencer to celebrate the Ford Model T

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Jessie Burchette
SPENCER ó How can you tell a Model T from a Model A?
That may have been the most asked question Saturday at the N.C.
Transportation Museum’s Salute to the Ford Model T.
Hundreds turned out to check out the 64 Model Ts and 35 Model As from across the state.
On a very hot day, Mother Nature directed her storms away from the array of meticulously restored and polished vehicles.
Tommy Watts and Donnie Napier drove from the Wadesboro area to see the Model Ts. Watts brought his grandson, Ken McCorkle, who had heard a lot of stories about the Ts but had never seen one.
As a teen, Watts had gotten an old Model T which had been stored for years in a barn. He got it running and kept it for years.
Watts had the easy answer for telling a Model T from a Model A.
“The Model Ts have got three pedals (in the floor), the clutch, the brake and reverse is the middle pedal. The Model As don’t have three pedals,” Watts said.
Like many others, they found the wood-sided Depot Hacks fascinating. A sort of pickup-van designed to carry passengers or cargo, the vehicles featured two or three seats.
Looking at one of the Hacks with a 1926 New York license plate, Napier imagined a newly married couple getting a ride to the train or ship as they set off on their honeymoon.
While fascinated by the Hacks, they were equally impressed with Ford’s new entry, the 2009 Flex, a hybrid SUV with three rows of seats capable of seating eight. While checking out the row of cars, Watts and Napier found a driver in distress.
Richard Bolick, of Conover, tried to get his 1926 Model T started to load it on a trailer for the trip back home.
Bolick bought the “Doctor’s Couple” about 15 years ago and frequently takes it out for a drive, turning heads as he goes.
After a few minutes, someone came up with a battery and a set of jumper cables that put life back in the 80-year-old-plus vehicle.
The show drew a wide array of the antique Fords, including a bright red 1923 Speedster owned by John Cheek, of Asheboro.
Powell Sigmon, of Newton, brought his 1926 pickup, which sold new for $381. It’s a convertible, and Sigmon added a cover for the pickup area when he drove it to Colorado several years ago.
Terry York, of Asheboro, brought the car that many men no doubt have dreamed about. York’s 1912 Model T Mother-In-Law Roadster features a back seat, or rumble seat, outside the enclosed cab.
The Model T event was conducted in conjunction with the museum’s annual All-Show which drew a wide array of cars.
Glenn Graves, an official with Ford Motor Co., cut two cakes ó one to celebrate the 100th birthday of the Model T and another for the 80th birthday of the Model A. Graves served cake to those attending. Mark Brown, a communication specialist with the N.C. Transportation Museum, said turnout was very good.