The Barefoot Canoe Expedition, Idaho to New Orleans 1984
Barefoot Goldwinging – Most All of North America, 1997-2002
Voyages of the Barefoot Windwalker Across the North Atlantic
The Barefoot Model T National Tour
More Interesting Pages and Links
Several people have asked for an address to send a donation to the Barefoot Model T Tour. For those so inclined, donations can be sent to my brother to be deposited. All donations will be gratefully accepted and acknowleged in the log as received. Thank You!!
It all began about the 1st of April, 2007, when I was reminiscing with a friend about all the old cars and motorcycles I had owned, and that starting me toying with an idea for my next "Adventure"... a 10-15,000 mile tour of the nation and the national parks, national monuments, campgrounds, historic sites, powwows, back roads, and meeting halls, taking lots of photos of the odd, unusual and exciting, logging the trip daily on the web for folks to track the progress, ultimately arriving in Richmond, Indiana for the T Party of the Century in July 2008, The Centennial Celebration of the beginning of Model T Ford production, and then writing a book of the experience ... should sell a million ... LOL .. Book title "Get Out and Get Under in the Good Ol' US of A"
I don't feel safe anymore on the Old Goldwing motorcycle, and since my sailboat, the Windwalker, sank in the storm in the Mediterranean in November 2005, I needed to think about a new mode of transportation, sooooo . . . . . . . .
As a youngster I particularly loved the unlovely but utterly simple and tough Ford Model T .... so I started looking on EBay .... These two below that I followed the bidding on would surely do .... but a little too Pricey for me now, (I used to buy them for $5 and $10 fifty-five years ago) but even so, affordable, give good gas mileage, unusual styling, easily maintained, dependable, safe road speeds, and head turners for sure .... would invite a lot of comment and experiences, and elicit invitations to visit overnight .... economy in planning is necessary these days ....
The Car That Put The World On Wheels
It will be a "Back Road" -- "Back Country" -- "Slow Down and Smell the Roses" Adventure -- NO FREEWAYS!!!!! -- The easier, softer, slower way to live!!!
I have learned in LIFE that God gives us the power to accomplish anything we honestly and truely want to do ...
I'm looking for sponsors or partners to share the experience.
'twill be fun!!
Thinking outside the box .... Buttoned up the T was as comfortable as many new rigs, and with much better visibility. Remember they were designed to run on unpaved roads before blacktop and would go most anywhere ... they were simple and tough.
As I have said, I used to buy non-running Ts for $10-$15 dollars and put them back on the road during my high school and college days.. Very easy to maintain, no mechanics on every corner then, require no special tools (except for a special 11/16 end wrench to change the tranny bands) and a point file for the coils .... no hydraulics, water pumps, fuel pumps, generators, compressors, computers, or relays to fail .... nearly indestructible .... a piece of baling wire would fix most problems of pieces coming loose, or to replace a spark wire. Spark plugs came in 3 pieces to be taken apart, cleaned and repaired, not replaced ....
Parts are available within a week anywhere via UPS or mail, no problem there ....
I figure that trudging this Road of Happy Destiny at 35 mph will take a year or more, seeing things not ordinarily seen, except as a passing flash at today's speeds.
On a trip to Spokane to pick up some finished parts from the B&C Machine shop, I got a lead from the Antique Auto Ranch on a relatively local 1914 Ford Model T Depot Hack for sale and communicated with the owner via phone and email.
The owner sent me this picture of the Model T via email!!! Isn't she lovely??? A beautiful Tin Lizzie!!!
I will be going down to Tri-Cities tomorrow, April 26, to check her out .... It is a solid vehicle, meets current roadable standards for lights, etc. .... and at a price I can contemplate .... the owner is willing to negotiate .... so ??? ....
I have also had one offer of sponsorship this morning!! I will need more help financially to put the deal together... I went to my bank, Wells Fargo, today to see what can be done there, they were quite responsive. Tod Ayers there is working on it .... day to day expenses are covered by my retirement .... with room to spare ....
The Hack will have plenty of room for camping gear, and room for passengers to join with me on occasion to share the experience for a day or a week or a national park .... or ....??? -- for a price to help with expenses -- LOL .... It may just come together by Mom's 94th birthday, June 1st, and the anniversary of the start of the Barefoot Canoe Expedition in 1984 --- I know it will if I persist with the effort, a step at a time.
Of historical note to the folks of today, who hardly know a dirt road, is this 1916 picture of a Model T Hack on the Lincoln Highway (now Route 30) in Iowa.
One of my earliest memories, of crossing from San Bernardino to Bakersfield over the Grapevine and Tejon Pass in the 1930s, was standing in the back seat, clutching the folded top, and looking over the back of the T at the gravel road whizzing under us, as Aunt Zell backed the T up the grade, because the grade was too steep for the gravity flow feeding fuel to the carburetor.
Thursday, April 26, 2007 – Shook on the deal!!!
From there I proceeded to Spokane, stopped past B&C Mfg. and then on to Richland, a 175 mile jaunt through the wheat fields of central Washington. The winter wheat is doing well, the spring wheat just beginning to sprout. I arrived in Richland at 1:20, looked the car over thoroughly. It is everything the owner advertised and then some, a very well kept, sound 1914 Model T. We estimated (as they did not come equipped with speedometer or odometer) that it had about 6500 miles under it since restoration and overhaul in 1982.
The paint is excellent and the new brass radiator shines bright like a mirror. We took it for a spin, it starting on the first cranking. Everything is tight, steering, engine, running gear, no knocks, rattles or smoke. It is truly in excellent condition, not quite museum quality, a working vehicle, ready for the road. It has WHITE 30x3 ˝ rubber on the ground, in good shape, will give many more thousands of miles. The owner and I agreed on a price, and shook on the deal.
(Of historical note, considering inflation when gold price then was $19 an ounce, I am buying the T for about a third of the original cost. The basic chassis sold for $360, the freight and Ruckstell 2 speed rear axle were extra, and the hack coachwork was custom made.)
I then returned to Post Falls, arriving about 6:15pm. Tonight I added a picture of the hack below with the Wells Fargo & Co. logo on the side curtains.
During the hours on the road I had a number of thoughts about a number of ideas on how the Lizzie could earn her own keep. One was giving paid rides in the "Wells Fargo Wagon" at a buck a head in Wells parking lots, towns and parks that I visit, with the sound track of the "Music Man" playing on the computer speaker system.
Friday, April 27, 2007 – Busy Day!!
Monday, April 30, 2007 –
-- Sponsors and Helping Friends --
Mike and Dave at B&C Custom Manufacturing Inc.
Ralph and Bob at North Idaho Resources
Dr. Richard A. McCartney, MD, Richland, WA
The Magnolia State Model T Ford Club
The Sunny T's of South Florida
I will try to get my bank,WELLS FARGO & CO., interested as a sponsor. Fleets of depot hacks like this one were used during the time of the Model T as delivery trucks by Wells Fargo & Co. Express, and after World War I by their successor in 1918, American Railway Express. I remember them still being used into the late 30's.
By 1916 more than half of all cars in the United States and Canada were Model T's, over 500,000 being produced that year, which was more than all 299 other auto manufacturers combined. By the end of 1913 Ford's application of the moving assembly line had improved the speed of chassis assembly from 12 hours and eight minutes to one hour and 33 minutes. In 1914 Ford produced 202,677 cars. By the time the last Model T was built in 1927, the company was producing an automobile every 24 seconds.
From the progression of the above data it can be seen that the Model T and Henry Ford's strategy of mass production and cost reduction to the consumer were the key elements that made the post-World War I United States the richest society the world had ever seen, especially as mass production was applied to other industries. For in the 1920s the United States became a modern middle-class economy of radios, consumer appliances, automobiles and suburbs. In the United States nearly thirty million motor vehicles were on the road by 1928, one for every five residents of the country.
The Model T
On the Web April 2007 in the Spirit of Adventure
Three mighty important things, Pardn'r, LOVE And PEACE and ADVENTURE in LIFE