racing a touring? tortoise and the hare

I happened across this interesting photo of a touring car filled with guys. The car has its windshield removed and a number on the hood. It’s interesting that if they are in a race, wouldn’t you loose your heavy buddies? Does anyone know the proper scenario here? I want to say it’s a 23 or 24 high rad car but it could be a optical illusion dues to the cars movement. It very well could be a 19-22. I have to say, this car if in a race is definitely the tortoise :stuck_out_tongue:

It is a very interesting image. Hopefully someone knows the story.

The two fellas in the back seat both have white hats and dark high collar coats on. Perhaps they are some type of official or military and are riding to the race or coming back from the race. Or they are taking a victory lap after beating the five year old boy on his tricycle

Sorry, guys. I can’t let this go without what will likely be a rather acerbic comment.

OK, I get it. Model Ts are “slow”. Agreed. What with most residential speed limits being posted at the average T’s top speed, and interstate limits posted at 80mph (drivers “go with the flow” at 90+) many current Model T owners are thus velocitized, and many probably have never even seen a dirt road. The result is an expectation of speed the Model T was never designed to own, and a resulting failure to relate to its true nature, or understand its very soul.

In 1909, the automobile was an idea injected into a world that traveled on foot, bicycle perhaps, by horse, and on rails. For an auto to survive this environment, it had to be what we would nowadays call an ATV. Speed was relative, and governed by two factors, first, the rarity of a smooth, hard-surface of any length where a guy could “let it out”, and by the sensibilities of new drivers who were accustomed to driving teams of horses for heavy hauling (average speed 5mph) pairs for light transportation and pleasure (average speed 10 mph) bicycling (urban areas mostly - average speed 15mph depending on the cyclist’s stamina) or climbing into the saddle for a fast lope of short duration (average speed 25-30 mph). Speeds above 30 were strictly the domain of rail travel.

That the Model T remained a truly “universal car” for nineteen years of production attests to its incredibly durable flexibility (as ATVs go, it beat its competition hands-down) its simplicity of operation and maintenance (which made it an easy transition for horsemen) and lastly to its economic attractiveness. These features placed it front and center in terms of utility through a score of years during which the country made huge transitions from 19th century norms into being a world of asphalt and steel.

Now, you want to race ? A Model T memory I dearly cherish came one day at a body shop and garage where a few of us oddball Model T aficionados liked to hang out - sort of a 1970s Gasoline Alley. A buddy had dropped by to show off his brand new Bronco. His enthusiasm for the wonders of his new machine somehow turned into a sneering diatribe of ridicule, as he berated my best friend’s Model T which was present. My friend called him out, and offered to race his new Bronco IF he could pick the course. Bets were placed, hands were shook, and the rule set was that my friend would drive his Model T first, marking the course, while a neutral party timed his run with a stop-watch. Bronco Man agreed to follow the course he set.

Now, just across the road from the body shop were the railroad tracks of U.P.'s Montana Line. There was no grade crossing, because there was no road, and the land across the tracks was waste-ground between some grain elevators. The sagebrush grew scraggly there among good-sized boulders of lava rock. My friend cranked his T, I climbed in beside him (sort of navigator) the clock started, and we headed for the railroad grade, literally “walked” the T over the tracks at an angle, down the other side, and into sagebrush and rock. We made a rough circle in that lot a couple hundred yards around, crossed the tracks again at a different spot, and returned to the “starting line”. I don’t recall our time. Bronco Man revved his new engine, headed for the tracks, put one tire over the rail . . . and stopped. Backing up, he turned around red in the face, and declared, “You guys are crazy.”

So you see, fellers, speed is a relative thing, especially where the Model T is concerned. Love 'em for what they are ! Please !

Flyingcollie, Great story! And your lead-in about the relative times was very good also. Most people don’t really understand all that. Life, times, and inconvenience, are all relative. People in the first quarter of the past century did not mind driving or riding in an open, cold, touring car because it was normal. Before that touring car with with its comfortable seats and a blanket, it might have been on the back of a horse in the same rainstorm with no top at all. Those people were living the good life, and most of them knew it.
Very nice. Thank you.

Flyingcollie, NOW SEE Here!!! everybody knows that if you travel faster than 35mph it will suck the air out of your lungs and you will pass out or worst. Oops, I apologize I started my answer before I read your very interesting, captivating story. But, I still need to take issue with your assessment of a Model Ts speed ( they don’t call me Barney Oldfield for nothing, you know). Last Sunday I had the pleasure of leading the CNHMTC on a tour to Walpole, New Hampshire ( please see Burdick’s Chocolate & Walpole Creamery Tour for complete details). I managed to find over "Forty miles of Bad road, what I mean is dirt roads) and I had to keep stopping and waiting for everyone on the tour to catch-up.

Happy motoring,

14. I just got out of his way in the nick of time, South Road, Lempster, New Hampshire August-1-2017 - Copy.jpg
8. Pratt Road, Walpole, New Hampshire August-1-2017 - Copy.jpg
4. Un-named Road Washington,  New Hampshire August-1-2017 - Copy.jpg
2. Beard Road, Hillsborough, New Hampshire August-1-2017 - Copy.jpg

Hendy, that’s my kind of thing. Good on you, that looks like it was a fine tour, and definitely in the spirit of things !