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Model T Enthusiasts Are Returning To Richmond, Indiana

Courtesy of the Model T Museum
The museum in Richmond is the only one in the world solely dedicated to the Model T Ford.

The 'Roaring '20s' are back this week in Richmond, Ind., as Model T Ford enthusiasts from around the country are puttering into town for a homecoming celebration.

The event became a tradition following the 2008 "Centennial T-Party" commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Model T, produced by Ford from 1908 to 1927. The Model T Museum in Richmond is the world's only museum dedicated solely to the Model T Ford.

"The Model T is the first car that was mass produced; the first car that was really affordable for the American family," says Rachel Hughes, executive director of the museum. "They're just cute cars, too."

Coming out of the pandemic restrictions, Hughes says organizers aren't sure what to expect in terms of participation.

"We've had such a great response from people who are just ready to get out and enjoy themselves and be with fellow Model T enthusiasts and others in the community."

Credit Courtesy of the Model T Museum
Model T enthusiasts from around the country - and sometimes across the world - travel to Richmond, Indiana, to celebrate the nostalgic vehicle.

Of the 15 million Model T's Ford produced, about 10,000 to 15,000 are still on the road, Hughes says.

For her, the appeal is part nostalgia and part community.

"When our club goes out for a tour, we do it as a group; we do it as a family. If someone breaks down, someone else is there to help them fix their car and get it back on the road. If someone needs a part, someone else in the group has it. It's just that family feeling, that connection," Hughes explains. "In a time when things are so hectic and so chaotic, it's just slowing down and taking life a little easier."

The historic cars will likely be seen in and around Richmond as early as Wednesday. Scenic driving tours are planned leading up to the weekend events, which include a vintage car show, museum tours, a swap meet, webinars, a keynote address from Bob Casey, retired Curator of Transportation at the Henry Ford Museum, and demonstrations by the Quick Assembly team. The crew completely assembles and drives a Model T in 20 minutes or less.

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.