by Glenn Storck
I have driven many miles touring in a Model T, and Susan and I have developed a set of guidelines which we feel would be helpful to club members when participating in tours. Adhering to these guidelines has made touring a safer and more enjoyable experience for us. They also help to reduce the frustration factor of modern cars which get caught behind slower moving Model Ts. The guidelines are as follows:
1. It is important to allow a good distance between your car and the car in front of you. The Model T cannot be stopped quickly, thus requiring a greater distance between cars. This extra space also allows modern cars plenty of room for passing. The “Five Second Rule” is helpful in determining the proper spacing. When the car in front of you has passed a stationary object at the road side, begin counting (one thousand, two thousand, etc.) and stop counting when your car reaches that same point. If your count reaches five as your car passes the stationary point, you have an adequate and safe distance between your car and the car immediately ahead of yours. You can adjust your speed to reach the five seconds, and this technique will work at any speed you are traveling.
2. We have found that a moderate speed of 35 miles per hour works best for traffic while not putting a strain on our car.
3. Hills are always a big challenge when driving a Model T. It is best to increase speed before encountering the hill. As you slow down going up the hill, keep to the right to allow modern cars to safely pass.
4. Be aware of the number of modern cars behind you and help them to pass by waving them around when the way is clear. If a number of modern cars stack up behind you, pull off the road at a safe spot to allow them to pass.
5. While touring with a group, always keep sight of the Model T behind you. If you lose sight of it, pull off to the shoulder and wait, or turn around to find out why the car is not where it should be.
6. Always try to start the day with a full tank of gasoline. Also, check the oil level and the water level in the radiator. We always carry at least one quart of oil and additional water to use as needed.
And although this isn’t an official guideline, it’s still extremely important!
7. It is a good idea to attend to natures needs before starting.
These guidelines have been very helpful in providing us with many miles of safe and enjoyable touring. Touring is a fun thing to do in a Model T as it is a great way to see countryside and attractions. It is also a fantastic way to meet interesting people. It can be done safely and enjoyably if you simply always keep in mind that the car you are driving is roughly 100 years old!