Model T tour rolls through Greenville

By Heather Meade hmeade@civitasmedia.com

July 22, 2014

GREENVILLE - Nineteen Ford vehicles built from about 1909 to 1923 rolled through the streets of Greenville Monday afternoon on a Model T tour from the Model T Museum in the Depot District of Richmond, Indiana.

They came to Greenville for a tour of downtown, specifically the KitchenAid Experience, explained Susan Wiltshire, wife of Tony, the “leader of the pack.” After lunch and some shopping, they headed to Historic Bear’s Mill for a tour, before heading to Fountain City to visit Amish country, Susan commented. After some ice cream, the group was scheduled to return to the museum in Richmond, she said.

It’s actually a two-day tour, Tony stated, with their final visit to the Hagerstown antique plane fly-in, he said. The tour included 19 Fords, all but one a Model T, built between 1908 and 1926, Tony said, and they came from Ohio and surrounding states, including Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan.

One of the tour members, a man from Tipp City, was driving the lone Model A in the group, and owns two more vehicles that are nearly 100 years old, he said.

Gary Frenkle pulled his 1909 Model T on a trailer from his home in Waterford, Michigan, he said.

“I’ve been collecting Model T’s for a long time,” Frenkle explained. “This one became available, and I’d always wanted a brass Model T…And no, I didn’t buy it new,” he joked.

Frenkle said he is only the fourth owner of the 105-year-old Model T Ford, and the first two had it for nearly 48 years each, he added.

It’s a hobby that typically requires a passion and commitment, one Model T owner noted.

“I spent 40 years in motor racing, and about eight years ago my neighbor had a Model T, and I’d always wanted an old car, but I wasn’t sure what,” Tony commented. “I’d seen him drive his car around, and so we bought a Model T and we’ve enjoyed it ever since.”

The Model T Club of America is headquartered in Centerville, Indiana, Tony explained, but there are chapters all over the country, with about 6,500 members. Model T’s were built from 1908 to 1926, he said, and they made approximately 15 million of them. The most commonly found year in the Model T tour this round? 1922 and 1923, Tony said.

Tony encouraged anyone interested in learning more, or seeing a Model T in person, to visit the Model T Museum in Richmond, located at 309 N. 8th St., Richmond, Indiana. Learn more at www.mtfca.com.