I was contacted by a local TV station regarding the 100th anniversary of the Model T. They want to do a segment on the Model T/Centennial using my car. Although I tried to get them to involve our local club (and someone more knowledgable!), I don't know if that will happen. Just in case, since I'm relatively new to this hobby and club, and I don't know how long or involved this segment will be, I'm appealing to you for help. Can you give me some of the more important highlights, historical facts, contributions of the Model T, etc. to our life? At least for the sake of the Model T, I don't want to look like a total idiot! Thank you in advance,
Bob, Think about it. In the last 100 years there have been few inovations developed which have so impacted the national economy as the advent of the auto. Everything from refieries,filling stations,parts suppliers, tools, and all the support mechanisms which evolved from it. Better roads ,etc.
Bob, just show off your car and tell what you know. You can also mention that almost every "modern" invention was around when T's were new. Cruise control (hand throttle), alarm systems (coil wire run to the ground under the car *bad idea now in our litigious society*), fuel savings devices, etc. Do some research and have some props to back you up. If you know when they are coming, invite over a few guys from your club so they have more to look at. Take them for a ride, and put the broadcast on you tube so we can see it.
The T was not the first car, but it was the first one put into mass production and that the common person could afford. It put the world on wheels. Although it is slow compared to modern automobiles, it is faster than a horse, and goes fast enough for the dirt and gravel roads encountered when it was new. The modern paved highway came as a result of the Model T and it's successors. Although it is not trouble free, it is easy and inexpensive to maintain, and so millions are still running today 81 years after the last one rolled off the assembly line.
Last time I was on TV was fall of 1969 & yes I looked like a total idiot, If you need help let me know. But I really think this should be a team effort & the club should be involved, a combined mind is a terrible thing to waste.
Depending on their time frame I think we could round up a small flock of flivvers, say in front the Museum. That way they could interview a few us & find out what the Model T experience is all about.
The History is important but what's going on today in the hobby may be more so. Not to be sacraligious, but since the end of WWII we've slowly rolled the stone off the tomb & it's been gaining momentum every since.
Thanks everyone! That's really what I'd like to do. Maybe get some members of our club together in front of the San Diego Automotive Museum with their cars for a photo op and answer the questions, inject some interesting facts, points of interest, etc. (How about it Alex and Norm?). We've got a lot of characters in our club (dedicated, but characters none the less) that would really make this interesting and draw attention to the Model T.
I'm furiously rereading Bruce's book for info, but would still like your thoughts on several interesting facts or historical points you could give me that would add to the interview. I know I've seen you all mention these before over scattered posts. . . .just trying to accumulate some of them all in one spot! Thank you for any help,
An added tip, the tv people like short, concise statements and you will be able to give out more information if you have some of these in mind. They don't have the luxury of spending a lot of time on one subject, and frankly, their viewers are not as interested in the details of our hobby as we are. So, think in terms of the general public and what they might find interesting and then get some clear and interesting phrases in your mind to use. Folks love to hear about the little stories associated with the T, i.e. hand cranking, automatic transmission, 20 hp, etc. etc. If you get too far away from general interest, you will shorten your air time.
These are great opportunities to interest folks in the car and the club, so take full advantage of it and TV is still a very mass medium.
Like Bill said, short and sweet. If you ramble or answers are longer than they like, they'll edit out phrases and when it airs you find out you say things in the aired version that you really didn't say. Trust me on that one :-)
The only time I got on Tv was was when wally world opened the gas station in a local town and had cheap gas,made the rest of the stations that had been burning everybody up on gas prices,lower theres.The reporter ask me about it and I said " IT is price gougeing! that is what it is Plain and simple!"
Heck,for 2 months I couldnt go anywhere that someone was pointing at me and grinning.several strangers thanked me for speaking the truth.
But yes,I to,looked like a idoit sitting in my 91 ford pickup blabbering.
Oh,btw,listen to what Bill says,He has been on tv before. He knows.
While you're being creative for this challenge, you could make a sign to hang on your car, which gives the facts they should like to see on tv.
Model T Ford
The Car of the Century
This 1911 car is an example of the versatility of the Model T – the Universal Car - and was one of 15 million Model T’s built. It has been: a Roadster with a single Mother-in-Law seat in back; a pickup with a box for hauling; a Tourabout with a back seat like the front seat; a hillclimb racer with just a gas tank in the rear; and a "streamlined" Speedster. Model T's were raced on everything from dirt tracks to coast-coast.
This car has competed in 7 regional and national Great Race rally/races. It has safety and reliability enhancements allowed or required by the rules, including four-wheel brakes. It also has internal engine modifications to yield more power from modern fuel. Performance: Cruise 65 mph; Top Speed 75 mph est.
The Model T features a 20 hp, four-cylinder engine turning a two-speed planetary transmission, with the speeds selected by the foot pedals. The modern automatic transmission is based on this early design. The accelerator is hand-controlled.
Ralph Ricks, restorer, is a semi-retired Field Engineer from a major avionics manufacturer. He and Ronna, his wife of 45 years, flew their own plane for many years as well, and live in Huntington Beach, Calif,
Ronna, design consultant and award-winning costumer, has a BFA in Art History. Her costume selections are for the Gentleman Automobile Jockey of 1911, and his lady.
Ross Ricks, owner of Surf City Sound in Huntington Beach, rents, sells and installs professional grade sound, lighting and home theater systems. This old picup is sometimes used in the business, as it is Ralph’s daily driver.
Bob, Very willing. The Museum may still have, on loan, the Hack that is stock except that it will run on 15 different fuels & last time I saw it, it was turbo charged so it can run on hydrogen, which may intresting on how the T can can be modified.
By the way, how did you get snookered into this, I would have have shown them a Cross, sprinkled them with Holy Water & pummeled them with Garlic. Maybe we should have a new Board Member, PIO, Public Information Officer, Larry & Norm you may want to think about it
I should have added one other tip in the above suggestions; how to answer a question. The reporter hates a yes or no answer and loves it when your response is a narrative. For instance:
Reporter: Can you start the car by cranking it:
What they prefer is something like this:
Reporter: Can you start the car by cranking it?
Answer: The early Model Ts could only be started by cranking them by hand, but later models had electric starters available.
In this way, when they are editing they can edit around the question and put together a more interesting story -- a narrative instead of a long line of questions and answers. Try to answer the question with a statement whenever possible as if you initiated the issue and not simply as if you are responding to a question.
Thanks everyone for the help.
Alex-I didn't get snookered into this. Actually I'm looking forward to it, just wanted to have a little back-up. This is about the 3rd call I've gotten over the last year regarding Model T questions or requests. Probably from info I provided to one of the car shows I participated in since I moved to San Diego (actually seemed to start after I was invited to bring my T to the Corvette Show on the Embarcadero last year. . . .probably as comic relief?!!). Looking forward to you guys helping me out with NBC. Thanks,
I was an actor for several years, in another life, at the Globe, the Coronado Playhouse (where I met my wife) & occasionally on KPBS, Got good reviews in the UT & LA Times.
Problem being, I was acting, when I do public speaking I play this character named Alex Alongi & rehearse. Last time I gave a cold interview I was walking through Fashion Valley, a reporter from Channel 10 put a mike to my mouth & asked what I thought about Nixon escalating the bombing in Vietnam. Without thinking I said "Isn't bombing for peace like (blanking) for chastity". Kind of had a phobia ever since.