How To Drive a Model T

My grandfather (my mother’s father) was an antique car enthusiast, and though the cars he had in his garage when I was younger were far newer than the Model T, watching this video reminded me of him, and put a smile on my face. In it, Ed Hebb, a volunteer at the Henry Ford Estate, shows us how to prepare a Model T for a drive, then takes it for a spin.

What I love, in particular, is the moment where Ed describes what the third pedal in the Model T does. In that moment, as he describes how quickly a person could go from forward to reverse, thanks to this pedal, he talks about how no modern car could do the same. And it was in that moment that I was reminded fiercely of a memory I have of my grandfather. It’s from the August afternoon that my mother and I drove to see him in her then brand-new 1994 Dodge Intrepid. Grandpa looked under the hood and was flabbergasted by what he saw, by how complicated modern car manufacturers had made things. And I imagine that’s the kind of reaction that Ed here might have, too. It’s a reaction that I played up in the book that I’m raising money to finish right now.

Do you have any antique car memories of your own? Ever ride in a rumble seat?