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Centennial Sparks Caravan of 43 Model T’s from California to
May 5, 2003 – The 100th anniversary of the Ford Motor
Company on June 16th
will be celebrated in unusual fashion by a group of
Model T enthusiasts. Beginning
on May 25th, a caravan of 43 Ford Model Ts, some
approaching 90 years old, will embark on a 3,000-mile journey from
California to the Ford Motor Company Centennial celebration in
Dearborn, Mich., which begins June 12.
‘Dearborn or bust’ spirit of these travelers was born of pure
passion for the car that put American on wheels and a deep respect
for Henry Ford’s unique role in history,” said Jim O’Connor,
Ford group vice president, Marketing, Sales and Service.
“Enthusiasts like these who honor our first 100 years bolster our
determination to innovate in our next 100 years as well.” “Our
theme is ‘Fords last forever,’ and we aim to prove that,” said
Lee Chase, 73, a 1914 Touring Car owner from Los Angeles.
half the vehicles on the tour will be Model Ts with brass radiators
built prior to 1915. The rest will be “black cars” built in the
1920s. Many were formerly rusted relics buried in rural graveyards
and acquired for as little as $15 or less. “I got my first Model T
just after World War II from a farmer who told me, ‘Just cut the
weeds and bushes it's buried under and you can have it,’”
a festive sendoff at Lancaster City Park, the group will wind
through nine Western and Midwestern states, stopping for pancake
breakfasts, charity events and media interviews, often at Ford
dealerships. The caravan also will stop at several nursing homes,
where residents will be invited to ride for a couple of miles in the
back seat of classic Model Ts.
tour route of historic back roads was designed both to accommodate
the speed limitations of the cars and to protect them from the
hazards of modern freeway driving. Top speed will range between 14
mph when the group tackles the Rocky-Mountain climb and altitude
between Steamboat Springs, Colo., and Fort Collins, Colo., to 35 mph
on flat roads. Ford
Motor Company has promised a couple of support vehicles (of modern
vintage) to accompany the enthusiasts.