AXA Classic Show March 2016

AXA Classic Motor Show 5th March 2016

There was a ‘buzz’ about the place, although not exactly the ‘buzz’ that is music to the ear of Model T operators, nevertheless members of the Irish Model T. Ford Club were enjoying the action.

This was Friday the 4th March and we were assembling the Club stand at the Axa National Classic Car Show 2016 in the RDS in Dublin4 in readiness for the opening to the public on Saturday and Sunday.

This is only the third such show, the first being in 2013 when eighteen clubs took part; one in 2014 and now in 2016 forty one clubs displayed their wares and showed what they were about.

A group of volunteers had met in Portlaoise a few times to plan the T stand. No time was wasted as John O’Neill was appointed Chief of Staff.

A stunning eight feet wide image of the stainless steel T at Ballinascarty was obtained and displayed but unfortunately it blended too well into the black background and was not as effective as we hoped. There was no way of knowing in advance what our allocated area was going to look like.

Discussions followed and it was decided that a ‘technical’ display would be of interest to the visitors to our stand given the unusual and little understood workings of all Model Ts.

Beautifully prepared and displayed by Eamon Dunne this item proved a great success and probably the most visited part of the stand. Even the “know it alls” were impressed as Eamon patiently, and with good humour explained the workings of the collection of bands, clutch plates, planetary gears and buzz coils, over and over again.

In addition to the engine and parts display it was decided to have three cars on the stand, chosen for variety. They were…

  • A stunning 1909 red Model T Ford Touring Car with beautifully polished brass,
  • 1921 Model T 7 Cwt Delivery Van in excellent original condition, used to great effect as a locker,
  • An all black 1917 Model T Touring Carall, probably the least expensive model made by Ford, apparently because of the USA joining WW I there are less of the this model in circulation.

For general interest on this point on 6th April 1917, the United States Congress declared war upon the German Empire; on 2nd April 1917 President Woodrow Wilson had asked a special joint session of Congress for this declaration.

Another item which attracted a crowd and much laughter was a display showing Laurel and Hardy films. No matter how many times one sees the black and white movies with two bowler hatted guys wrecking Model Ts, one can’t help being amused; it’s a wonder there are any Ts left.

Many members dropped by for a chat and show their support, this was a great aspect of the show and really is what all clubs are, or should be about. By Sunday evening all involved were quite happy to be packing up and heading home, although tired all felt the effort had been well worthwhile, some deals done and probably a few new members, but above all friendships rekindled as is the case whenever the club meets.

Thanks to all who visited ‘our’ stand and especially to all who contributed to the success of this venture.

Scribe Clive Evans

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