T Thoughts – My Family and Vintage Cars

Hello, my name is Eimear (15) and today I’m going to be talking about my family and vintage cars

I will be discussing My Grandad, The Irish Model T Ford Club, their rally’s, costumes members wear on these rallies, and I will be mentioning some information about a variety of different vintage cars my family owns. I will also be including a couple pictures of costumes and the rallies throughout my speech.

I will begin with my grandad. My Grandad has loved engineering and old cars since he was around our age. He owns around 20 vintage Cars today. These range from Ford Popular, Fiat Topolino, Rolls Royce, Austin 7, Model A and Model T.  His first old car was a 1910 Swift which he still owns today and is his pride and joy.  My Great Grandfather was a mechanic and taught my grandad all about cars and he met my granny in 1963 at a dance where he was driving his first ever car.  My Granny was very impressed by his car as not many people had cars like his at that time and this led to their relationship.

Today my Grandad can always be found in his garage tinkering with his cars.  There is nothing about cars that he cannot fix and doesn’t know. He loves to help people and joke; he always makes everyone laugh as he loves to dress up as different characters in relation to the car he is driving.  His favourite dress-up is a funny undertaker with funny teeth (picture) that he dresses up as when he drives his vintage Ford hearse.  He also has an old bread van, and this has fake cakes and bread in that he made himself for the van,

He loves to drive his cars to Bray seafront and around Wicklow and other destinations. Of all his cars, his favourite is his new (well new to him) Ford 1914 Model T Taxi as it has a cab and suits their needs as my granny gets cold in the open top cars.

There are many differences between a modern-day car and a vintage car. These include: the driving of the car (the model T has no clutch, and there is no gearstick), there’s no indicators, on some there is no roof or just a soft top roof, there’s no seatbelts, no windows and the engine doesn’t start automatically you have to use the starting handle at the front of the car specifically in Model T’s. Also, they can be pretty noisy compared to modern day cars.

Our family are all members of the Irish Model T Ford Club which is based in Cork.  My two uncles, my dad and grandad all love to drive model Ts.

My dad owns a Morris Tourer which he is currently fixing up with my grandad but unfortunately as it is not a Model T it cannot come on any of the Model T Rallies, but we hope to bring it on another rally when it is ready.

The family have been members since it was set up and organised a run in 2011 in Wicklow. The club consists of members from around Ireland who own Ford Model T’s and the rallies enable them to come together with other owners and socialise. Each member from different parts of Ireland organises annual rallies in their home county which usually takes place on a weekend in June or July. The next annual run is due to take place in County Cork in July and my family is hoping to attend.

The rally consists of a morning meeting on a Saturday and preparation of the cars and a route showing popular landmarks in the selected area. There is usually a lunch stop or picnic depending on the weather along the way and some local history stops and chats. The organisers of the rally plan the route to suit the cars needs as some of them are quite old and hills can be a problem.  The day finishes back at the starting point which is usually the hotel the club is staying in with an evening dinner dance. Then on the Sunday the rally usually finishes with another small run.

On the rallies myself, my family and other attendees usually dress up in outfits people would have worn in the period when their own car was drove around. Outfits range from large flowery dresses to suits with bowler hats or top hats (pictures).  My Great Granny loved to attend the rallies also and made many outfits for the family to wear. She was a seamstress by occupation and made curtains into fancy costumes for the car rallies.  

My Aunt and Uncle sell Model T merchandise to members of the club, these consist of a special model T jacket, body warmer, jumpers, hats and scarves. All these are crested with the Irish Model T Ford club logo which helps to identify members of our club due to the bright green colour and it also promotes the cars.

Thank you all for listening to my speech.  In the future I hope to go on many more rallies with my family and maybe someday when I’m older I will learn how to drive a vintage car like the rest of my family. You never know I might even bring some of you for a drive in one, one day.

Eimear Dunne

Sources: 

Interview: Eamon Dunne (My Grandad)

Website: https://irishmodeltclub.ie 

Interview: Lorraine Kelly 

Interview: Colm Kenny

Interview: Lisa Kenny

DATE PUBLISHED: 20th April 2022

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1 Response

  1. Raymond & Olene Megaw says:

    Eimear,this is an excellent composition,giving us an insight into your family and their cars. It is a privilege to call your family our friends. It is lovely to meet up with them at the ‘T’ Rallies. See you in Cork

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