Trail event pays tribute to Model T Ford history
Editor's note: This is the second of three articles to inform the public of the upcoming Model T Ford Car Run and the Glacial Ridge Trail 40th anniversary in the area on September 5-7.
In the fall of 1908, production of the Model T Ford began. It was a sturdy, efficient, somewhat attractive four-cylinder vehicle that sold for $850.
As Automotive Historian David Lewis noted, "The Model T Ford was designed to liberate farmers from the tedious and dirty work of taking care of horses. It could go through the mud or mostly dirt roads, climb hills and was even used to drive farm equipment. The demand for the Model T far outstripped Ford's capacity to produce them."
In its first year of production, the Model T was offered in four different body types and an assortment of colors. But in 1913, with an increase in demand for production, only black was offered as a color since it dried faster than other colors.
The Model T's engine generated 20 horsepower and during its popularity earned such nicknames as "flivver" and "Tin Lizzie." It was often stated that anyone with a screwdriver, monkey wrench and a pair of pliers could fix a Model T if needed.
By 1927, the last year of its production, more than 15 million Model T's had been sold. As Henry Ford stated, "It was truly a motorcar for the multitudes."
To help commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Model T Ford, the Glacial Ridge Trail Committee, WesMin RC&D, Prairie Country RC&D, the Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, the Kandiyohi Tourism Committee, Willmar Car Club, Willmar Convention and Visitors Bureau and other area Chambers of Commerce organizations will host a "Glacial Ridge Model T Tour" on September 5, 6, and 7.
The event organizers are anticipating 50 to 100 Model T's will participate in the tour, which will leave from Willmar at 9 a.m. on Saturday, September 6. The Model T's will then travel the Glacial Ridge Trail through Spicer, New London, Glenwood, Villard and end at Alexandria at approximately 4 p.m.
The public will have an opportunity to view these restored vehicles at the Willmar Holiday Inn on Friday afternoon and evening; the Lakeside Ballroom in Glenwood on Saturday at noon (lunch stop); locations (to be designated) in downtown Alexandria late Saturday afternoon; the Alexandria Holiday Inn on Saturday evening; and in communities on the tour route.
On Sunday, the entourage will leave Alexandria at 9 a.m. and journey back to Willmar through Holmes City, Lowry, Starbuck, Swift Falls and Sunburg, concluding at approximately 5 p.m.
For more information on the Glacial Ridge Trail or Model T Tour, contact the Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, 1-800-235-9441; WesMin RC&D Office at Alexandria, (320) 763-3191, extension 5; the Prairie Country RC&D Office at Willmar (320) 231-0008; or go to the following Web sites: www.seeyouinwillmar.com and www.glacialridgebyway.org .