T Thoughts – Ann Duffy

Hello Members,

My first introduction to Model Ts was when we traveled to England to bring home our 1913 Tourer. Twelve months later 2013 I was asked if I would like to go for a weekend away. Sure I thought all my birthdays had come together. I was going to Cork on my very first Model T run. 

Great! The car will probably break down, I won’t know anyone, no-one will talk to me. These were my thoughts on the way down. We arrived in Rosscarbery on a lovely sunny day but I wasn’t prepared for the sight of so many cars parked alongside one another gleaming in the evening sunshine. I was only out of the car when I was asked my name, told your welcome and the conversation flowed on as if I was a regular and to this day it hasn’t changed.

There were many other Surprises on that Fateful weekend – not least the sunshine and hospitality and I didn’t want to leave at the end of the weekend. I had found my new family.

All was going well until on the way home to my horror I found out we were co-hosting the annual run the following year and I was to come up with something similar to what we had at the weekend for one day of the run. So a bargain was made that evening.  I would do what I could with the run ONLY if I was taught how to drive a Model T. 

Oh! The excuses were good. I don’t think you will be able (big mistake). It’s very different from modern cars. You have to give it notice to stop. And the big one – you will have to learn to maintain it first.

Basics – check oil, water and petrol. NO PROBLEM.  I spent ages looking for a dipstick only to find out eventually there was none.  I suppose two out of three is not bad for a novice. Then of course there had to be an oil leak. Gaskets were sent for and I learned how to change them hands on.  

I was ready. No more excuses. The day had arrived. I had my instructions off by heart at this stage(one being don’t let it cut out) but my beloved husband was not of the same frame of mind. We were going great until on a long straight road , nothing in front or behind or anywhere else he roared STOP. 

No prizes for guessing what happened. I let it cut out and something happened that needed the assistance of a 15 spanner. I still don’t know what its called but do know how to fix it.  his is unique to our car I’m told (but I’m only a woman what would I know).

I am earning my stripes at last. My next hurdle was driving on a run. Surprisingly I managed under supervision and there were no complaints from the other drivers. Now I live for the next run, the next weekend away to meet my friends and have fun. I enjoy a challenge.

Singing a song on my own (but only when everyone else is too jarred to know its out of tune). Rolling down a grassy slope without taking the gradient into account and finishing up almost under a camper van at the bottom or getting on the back of a bicycle with another member just as much up for a laugh as myself. What would life be without a laugh.

I have become content and happy in my Model T Family. In my short time with the Club I have traveled the length and breath of this country and been to places I have never even heard of and would never have seen otherwise.

Thank you all for your encouragement and support.  

Ann Duffy

7th May 2020

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