By Rick Palsgrove
Like mechanical ghosts from the past, 94 Ford Model T automobiles rambled into Groveport on Sept. 2.
The historic cars were built between 1908 and 1927 and are considered the first mass produced affordable automobile.
About 215 owners and drivers passed through central Ohio as part of the 34th annual Model T Jamboree, sponsored by the Central Ohio Tickin’ T’s, where they visited Grove City, Ashville, Harrisburg, and Groveport (including Motts Military Museum as a stop) as part of their tour. As part of their Groveport tour they stopped at Palm Pond in Heritage Park for lunch.
Tour Director Megan Miller said the farthest car and driver to travel to the event drove up from North Carolina. She said only one Model T, which have four cylinder engines, had broken down so far during the tour
“They are simple machines,” said Miller, “You can look, listen, and feel for problems and then assess solutions. There’s no computers involved.”
Though the most common color for a Model T is black, many of the cars in this tour featured a range of colors including, red, blue, green, and yellow. One yellow 1924 Model T Touring car, owned by Paul and Linda Griesse of Granville, is nicknamed the “Bumblebee” because of its color.
“It’s fun to drive,” said Paul Griesse.
Among the 94 Model T’s were touring cars, coupes, hacks, and modified pick up trucks.
Miller said a hack could seat six people and was sort of the SUV of its day. Coupes were commonly used by doctors.
Joseph Kemper, of Gilmore County, West Va., drove his 1915 Model T with its wooden truck bed in the tour. Kemper said by 1925 Ford was making Model T pick-up trucks, but before then farmers or business people would add their own wooden truck beds to their Model T’s to turn them into pick-ups.
Kemper also noted there are Model T “C Cabs” with bodies containing a “C” shape.
“Those were called ‘Huckster’s Wagons,” said Kemper.
Kemper added that Ford had a fun way of describing two door and four door Model T’s.
“Ford described two door Model T’s as ‘Tu-dor’ and four door models as ‘Ford-or,’” said Kemper.
Miller said the Model T’s were driven down Groveport’s brick streets – Blacklick Street with its interurban railway tracks and Front Street – so the drivers could appreciate the sense of history of the area.
“Groveport is a beautiful, historic town,” said Miller.