February 2005
FRONT SEAT NEWS
MODEL T FORD CLUB  NORTHWEST OHIO, INC.
Bob Hollister, Pres.; Bob Torbet, V-Pres.; Jack Putnam, Treas; Jim Cook, Sec/Ed
NEXT MEETING: February 2nd 2005 7:30 at Jack Putnam's shop 1215 Hancock Rd 28; Bluffton, (4th house east of Anderson Tractor Supply), Phone (419) 358-6313
The January meeting didn't happen.  The leadership felt that the weather was too bad and getting worse; so, the meeting was called off.  The January meeting is always quite iffy anyway.  We just plan on it, so that no one will get out of the habit of dropping by Jack's on the first Wednesday of every month.  Its really a shame, because a group of our friends from the south were ready to head our way.  Dave  Nolting and Brent Mize travel all of the way from the Columbus area just to see what's going on with the NWO group.

Just a reminder that your dues for the club are due at this time.  They are still only $20.  Your dues are used to help pay for the newsletter, the web site, our fine club meeting place, and also show your continued interest in the club.  Speaking of the newsletter and the web site, last month's newsletter with the story "Herman and Freida and the Ruckstell Rearend" was viewed 481 times.  John Dahlstrom's story about his 1926 Tudor still has the record of 609 views in one month.  And the T-100 block section of the web site is still the most popular with 4,629 viewings to date.

It's time to start thinking about summer tours.  If you have an idea for a summer tour, please let Bob Torbet or Bob Hollister know about it.  I'd personally like to take the group over to Tiffin, Ohio where there are a couple of great old car collections.

Since we did not have a regular meeting in the month of January, I would like to present another wonderful Model T story.  Stan Howe, 4433 Red Fox Dr. of Helena, Montana has given the club permission to present his story of "Herman and Freida and the New Model TT Truck".

I hope that we have a meeting this month.  I'm running out of material to fill the newsletter without the meeting projects to report.  If you'd like to tell the story about your T, send me an e-mail (jncsnc@woh.rr.com) or letter (Jim Cook, 103 E Fourth St., Sycamore, Ohio 44882).  I've heard little bits of some of the stories about how others have acquired their cars and would love to tell the whole story.
Herman and Freida and the Model TT Truck
"Henry Ford," Herman said to himself, "Is a genius, just a genius all the way through.!  Anybody who could put the world on wheels the way Henry Ford has in the last fifteen years has to be a genius.  "Talk about all the Presidents and Popes and Big Mucky Mucks who think they've done a lot for the world and none of them could hold a candle to Henry Ford." "Just think, fifteen years ago, before Henry Ford brought out the Model T not one person in a thousand had ever even ridden in an automobile, let alone owned one, and now every good farmer in North Dakota has a good Ford car and some of us have a good Ford truck, too." "Here I am, going to be hauling my grain to town with a Ford Ton Truck instead of sitting out there in the cold spending all day getting to town and back with half the load I can carry on this truck in half the time." "If it wasn't for Henry Ford I'd still be riding up on the top of the grain wagon instead of driving my own truck."  He smile, whistled a line or two from Leva Da Finskogen and pulled the throttle down another notch and eased the spark lever down just a touch, too.  "What a bunch of power this has," he thought as the Ford picked up speed, "more than I thought it would have in a truck." And the speed, too.  Even though he had no speedometer he could tell about how fast he was running from the way the ground was speeding by.  "I'll bet," he thought, " I'm making twenty miles an hour if I'm making anything at all." "By Cripes, this is the way to go!" "I don't know why I didn't buy one of these before." Well, he knew why.  He'd bought the new Ford sedan the fall before and the Fordson tractor, too and so there went all the extra money from the crop, and with seven kids to feed and clothe there was never quite enough to go around.  He'd taken the Ford in that morning to get the coils set and a tire put on the back end where the chains had chewed up the sidewall and while the shop men were working on the car he'd gone out to the showroom to take a look around.  There sat the prettiest Ford truck he'd ever seen. A brand new square cab with a grain box on the back, all black and shiny with a green box on it.  He'd heard Ford was coming out with a new cab, not that old fashioned C Cab with the side curtains that let in all the cold and tore the first time it got good and cold out and you tried to use them.  This looked like a real truck. Not some thing some farmer had cobbled up to try to make a truck out of an old Ford car.  There was a sign in the windshield that said, $760.00 complete with Grain box, Ruckstell two speed rear end & demountable rims on all four wheels. Starter and generator, $65 extra; including battery.  He had thought the new square cab would be considerably more than the C cab he had looked at last year but it was only about $25 more. Just like every thing Ford made, it looked well built and sturdy. Herman looked it over pretty well.  The engine was the same as the Ford car, only the frame and rear end was really any different.  The front tires were the same as his sedan, the back tires were 30 x 5, big enough to do any job.  He got in. He liked that it had a door on the drivers side, just like his sedan.  The seat was pretty comfortable, a lot better than the seat on the wagon was, and when he closed the door he could see in his mind's eye the snow blowing around the outside of the cab and himself sitting inside warm and dry and out of the wind, rolling along the road to town with a big load of wheat, getting there in time to get unloaded and back home before dark.  Time in town to stop and have a beer or two and visit a little instead of always having to feed the horses and get headed for home.  With a cab as big as this, Frieda and the triplets would have plenty of room to come along to town with him and still get home in time to do chores and get supper, she wouldn't be stuck at home while he was hauling grain.  Then too, he thought, the boys might be able to pick up some hauling jobs to help pay for the truck.  Still, that was a lot of money and he didn't have quite enough in the bank right now to cover it.
The Ford man came over and leaned on the frame of the open window on the right side. "Now, what do you think of this, Herman?" "Old Henry did himself proud on this one, didn't he?"  The Ford man knew Herman, everybody in the county knew Herman, both for his fiddle playing and the fact that he'd named the triplets Henry Herman, Ford Hellferstout and Clara Freida after Henry Ford and his wife. "You could load up the boys and their fiddles and have a dance in the back of this one, that box is so big!" Herman laughed, "Well, I don't know about that but it would haul a load of grain to town and get home in time to go dancing, wouldn't it?"  The Ford man knew he had him hooked. "Tell you what Herman, since this is the first one of the new square cabs we have in, I can knock a few bucks off to get it out and let people see it." "You can tell everybody you bought the first new Ford truck in town, and it will help me sell more of them." "Tell you what I can do." "I'll put the starter and generator on it and we'll make it $800 even." "It will just take the boys a couple hours to put it on and you can drive it home today." "The generator makes better lights, too, than the magneto lights do." "It's too rich for my blood," said Herman, "Maybe if the crops are good another year." "We've got financing Herman," said the Ford man even though he knew Herman was of the old school that paid for it cash or didn't buy. "We can take $200 down and the rest at 50 dollars a month for the next year." "You'll save that much in time every month with a truck and you can get rid of one team of horses and put that money towards the truck, you'd have it paid off by spring." "Think of the feed it takes to keep that team going when you aren't using them and think of the work you have to do every day just to take care of them." "With a truck you only have to feed it when you get work out of it and you only have to take care of it when it is working." "Think of the time you'll have to do other things and make a better living and spend time playing fiddle with the boys instead of feeding horses." "You know Herman, if you want to keep those boys on the farm you have to keep up with the times." "They don't want to be the last ones in the county to have a truck, they want to be the first." "I've heard they're doing pretty well running competition to us putting Ruckstells in cars, you should get them one of these and paint their name on the side of it so everybody knows they are going to be progressive farmers and mechanics instead of just plodding along behind somebody else who is taking the lead."  He knew he had him for sure. He knew Herman was worried that the boys wouldn't want to stay on the farm. Especially Tovald. He was kind of a dreamer and more interested in school and building things than he was in setting on a sulky plow or the Fordson all day going  around  and around a field. Eimar was different than Torvald and might make a farmer but he was getting to the age where he was going to be wanting to go out on his own. Tillie and him were running around the country together and Herman knew it wouldn't be long until they'd need a place to live and a way to raise a family.  He'd like to keep the boys on the farm with him and Freida and knew they'd have to buy more land and farm bigger to take care of them all.  The Ford man was right, this would be the way to do it. "By Cripes," he said, "I'll do it if you'll knock off $65 and make it $700 even." "But I don't need the starter and generator." "I'm not so old and crippled up I can't crank a Ford on the coldest day of the year and get it to start right on the mag." "When you've had Fords as long as I have, you know how to start them." The Ford man smiled. He knew Herman pretty well. "Come on in and we'll write it up." He knew Herman would have a starter on it in a week from one of the old Fords he had in the fence row or would pick one up somewhere and have the boys rebuild it and put it on.  That was OK with him, the shop was busy today. He'd rather just sell the truck and have it go out the door than to have to pull the mechanic off another job to put the starter and generator and battery on the truck.
So it was. Herman was on the way home with the new truck.  He and Einar would go back to town in a day or two with a load of grain and pick up the car.  He would let Einar drive the truck home by himself and he would take the car and follow him.  As the Ford pulled down a little at the bottom of the hill he gave it a little more gas and eased the spark lever up just a touch. When the hill got steeper he eased up on the gas, pushed the low pedal about half way down and snapped the Ruckstell shifter back into low.  The speed picked right back up and the Ford was pulling the hill with no effort. It was warm in the cab, the Ford sounded like it would run forever, the coils singing and a little wisp of steam coming off the radiator. "The way Henry builds them, this will be running and hauling grain seventy five years from now, I'll be long gone but maybe my grandchildren will be hauling grain with this truck." "Life is good," Herman thought, "I hope Freida made dumplings for supper."

@11-2004 by Stanton S. Howe
All rights reserved including the right of appoval of publication.
Administered by Howitis Music & Publishing, BMI