The Manchester area last week hosted a Classic Car Club, made up of a large assortment of Model T Fords.
Linda Moorehead, Smoky Mountain T member of Louisville, Ky., Said “you can see so much of rural America through the windshield of a Model T.”
And gather a few spectators along the way.
About 51 cars participate in the training. Each day, groups receive driving directions with itineraries that reflect local attractions.
“You can be more involved in communities, in points of interest (in these cars). It’s a great way to find out about history, ”said Moorehead.
The club is a mix of restaurateurs, cars passed down from father to son, while some are just Model T enthusiasts. But no matter how cars got here, the experience takes us back to a time when the pace was much slower. About 29-32 MPH is the average speed at which the group is moving.
“We’re going a little faster on the descent,” said Moorehead. “Before you go on a tour, you make sure everything is working fine, but things happen. We all carry spare parts and everyone is ready to step in and fix your car, whether it’s on the road or in the hotel parking lot.
Moorehead said there are thousands of Model T’s on the road across America.
George Akin of Louisville, Tenn. organized the annual fall tour. The group stays at the Hampton Inn in Manchester, then makes daily trips by car to visit the area.
Ford Model T were manufactured from 1909 to 1927, Moorehead explained. Unlike modern cars with an accelerator pedal, the Model T has a throttle lever on the steering column, where the gear selector was on your father’s pickup. The gearbox is less complicated with a reverse gear and a clutch.
Moorehead’s Model T was modernized with blinders, as she discovered that modern drivers no longer recognize arm signals as they once did.
“There are so many different styles,” she says. “You can find a bit of everything.
John has been with the Manchester Times since May 2011. John has won the Tennessee Press Association awards for Best News Photography and has placed in many other categories. John graduated from Tullahoma High School in 1994, graduated from Motlow State Community College, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Middle Tennessee State University. He lives in Tullahoma, enjoys painting, dancing and exploring the outdoors.