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In photos: Model T club of America rolls through Alberta

the Model T Ford Club of America celebrated its 50th anniversary by rolling through the foothills of Alberta in the middle of July. More than 100 cars from Alberta and as far away as Florida used Cochrane, Alberta as base camp while they toured the countryside. Most cars were brought on trailers but some folks like Ed and Karen Archer of California drove the entire route on backroads. As the Model Ts lined the streets for a show-and-shine one sunny afternoon it was an impressive sight. Cars and trucks from 1911 - 1927 were shined up for the day...well most of them were. And, most were true to the original designs with two exceptions - cup holders and GPSs.

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Ford Model Ts line up in Cochrane, Alta.

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Ford Model Ts line up in Cochrane, Alta.

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Ed Archer and his wife Karen, took the backroads from Hayward, Calif., to Cochrane, Alta. to be part of the 50 th anniversary tour of the Model T Ford Club of America.

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Archer has eight Model T’s but says to see the country, the 1915 2 Man Race Car is the best.

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Robb Wolff of the Foothills Model T Ford Club of Calgary has restored a few pristine Model T’s but choose to tour in his home-made T. “I found the steering wheel and decided it needed a car to go with the worn out look so I scrounged parts off other club members that suited the look. I don’t think I paid for many of the parts,” said Wolff. “And if I did - it wasn’t much!”

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Bruce and Sue Stauffer of Stone Creek, Ohio, brought their “one and only” 1922 Model T Beer Delivery Truck. It was built as a beer delivery truck for Stroh’s Brewery and used well into the 1930s before a second career as a parade truck in the 1940s and finally left in a barn to be discovered by the Stauffers.

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As Sue watches people hop in for a photo she says, “It’s so much fun to watch how much people enjoy our truck. We love sharing it.”

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Fit for royalty, the 1911 Model T Touring owned by John Pepe of Temecula, Calif. sports the authentic blue paint “upgrade.” Pepe bought the car in San Diego from someone who lost interest in the restoration. He put in three years of effort to complete the task. Touring through Yosemite and Death Valley have been some of Pepe’s favourite tours. He says on the flats the car was clocked at 55 mph.

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Function wins out for Jack Arnold of Tucson, Ariz. His “mostly” 1924 Model T Runabout may not be the prettiest car on the lot but it has taken Jack and his dog on many journeys. They’ve gone on 4,000-kilometre routes through Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah, as well as over the Going to the Sun Road in Montana and Medicine Wheel Pass in Wyoming.

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Gene Carrothers of Huntington Beach, Calif. says he read the entire copy of the Vintage Ford Magazine before realizing it was his brass 1912 Model T Torpedo featured on the front. Chris Brancaccio (left) of the hosting Foothills Model T Ford Club of Calgary took the photo at a Model T meet in Nebraska. “I’ve had this car for 40 years,” says Carrothers. “We’ve been all over the continent with it. It’s a great way to meet people and reconnect with other Motel T enthusiasts.”

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“About 32 years ago, I started with the chassis and slowly acquired all the parts,” says Ken Cheney of Nebraska. His 1922 Model T Touring in the classic Ford Black glistens in the sun on Main Street. “I’ve been through 25 states and put on over 30,000 miles on this car,” says Cheney. A few years back during a timed distance race when everyone was supposed to pinpoint the time they would arrive at a destination, he blew past a Rolls Royce who was killing time before reaching the finish line. “It didn’t matter to me that he was purposely that slow. To pass a Rolls Royce in a T is pretty cool.”

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In 1914 a Model T Speedster was all about speed, but Ray Moore of Shoreline Wash. wanted more than just a two-seater. “I replaced the oval gas tank behind the seats with a flat tank. Then I built the box on the back for our dog.” A door behind the spare tire opens into the box with windows on both sides. There is also a hole at the front so the dog can visit while they drive. More than 2,000 miles have already been logged on this journey with meets in Idaho, Montana and Alberta. “I replaced the engine with one from 1926. We’ve been clocked at 66 mph but I know we have gone faster.”

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Jarol Moore of Auburn, California and owner of a brilliant red 1926 Motel T Touring laughs about the tour through the city of Airdrie, Alta. the day before. “We blew a master fuse on a very busy road with no shoulders to drift to a stop. Just as we stop though, the local fire truck was going by. Suddenly all these firemen jump out and push us to the next gas station. The trouble truck that follows the touring T’s was only moments away to get us going again but those firemen did a rescue they never thought they’d do.”

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This is the first tour for Dennis Gorder’s 1926 Model T Speedster. His other five antique cars are tucked away in the garage back in Baraboo, Wisc. What started out as a Touring T was restored almost entirely by Gorder. “It’s running pretty good. There’s nothing like riding in a speedster. You see so much more of the landscape without a top, or doors for that matter,” said Gorder.

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“I’ve got two more Ts at home and parts for at least another half dozen,” said Mike Porter, from Kennewick, Wash. Porter brought the 1911 Model T Torpedo to Alberta because it drives so wonderfully and because it is such a show-stopper. “Between 1909 and 1911 there was brass everywhere on a T and it really makes the car special. After 1911 they started cutting back on brass. Back then they even had two different sizes for the tires. The back tires are 33x3 ½ and the front are 33x3. That makes it difficult for bringing parts, you need two different spares!”

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Don and Teck Buelke, of Victor, Mont. drove their 1926 Model T Coupe to Alberta for the meet. The two seater hard-top used to be Don’s grandfather’s car. It sat in the garage for more than 25 years before Don began to restore it to the original glory.

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Parked along the curb in front of Buelke’s 1926 T is a 1914 Model T Ford Touring owned by John and Lorna Jackson of Battle Ground, Mont. Lorna’s grandfather bought the car new in 1914 and in 1917 following buffalo trails, he brought the family west from Minnesota to Montana. Her dad did a partial restoration in the 1970s. Four years ago the Jacksons had Rick Bonebright (right) fully restore the car. The first outing was their 50 th anniversary.

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Musician and Model T restorer Don Eckelberry of Montana says his Model T Pickup is a 1923. Or is it a ‘24. Maybe it’s a ‘25. “Let’s just call it something between 1924 and 1927,” says Eckelberry. “I started with the engine and friends just started giving me parts. Then one day a guy says that if I play at his wedding he’ll give me all the parts I need.” The truck is an eclectic combination of real parts and anything that will do the job. The two front hub caps are the top and bottom of an aerosol can and paint, says Eckleberry, is over-rated.

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A ford Model T is seen in Cochrane, Alta.

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