Hi, I am thinking of putting my brass T into an indoor car show, usually dominated by hot rods. Though this Touring is an old restoration with a lot of hard miles on it, I think a lot of folks would really enjoy seeing a Sunday driven original car, that my daughters have named "Henrietta".
I have never done a car show before and would like to create a decent display for it, especially with the 100th Anniversary of the Ford T being this year. Any ideas from you experienced car show veterans? Pictures or posted doodlings/sketches appreciated too.
I'd say "shine the brass" and you are set. Any period accessories (side curtains, etc) might be good. We always place a "timeline" poster by our cars, telling important events, President, etc, for that year, along with some T facts, such as number made, cost, and specifications.
You'll have the "hotrodders" green with envy.
I've seen guys or gals get some 12" square mirrors say 4 of them and lay them all together in a 2' square at a strategic point (under the vehicle)
Definitely do a "When this car was built" board, list as many trivial facts as possible, US population, average wage, life expectancy, prices of common items, popular music, books, world events. To most young people today anything prior to the 70s is ancient history.
A TV with a tape showing you starting and driving the car will fascinate the crowd. Set it up so it is at eye level. Show them how the pedals work, how the spark and throttle work, how to switch from "BAT" to "MAG".
Show a scene where you raise the top and install the side curtains. You get the idea, there are endless possibilities.
Ed, further to Mike Cullen's suggestion... I made a display with an ad for a Model T touring from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch from March of 1924 (microfilm room of the public library), a description of the car (below), some photos from various tours we've been on, and a few typical ads from the newspaper of the day.
The narrative reads as follows:
The date of manufacture of individual Model T Ford cars is not known, but that of the engine is. The engine of this car was made on March 10, 1924. On May 27, 1927—just over three years later—Ford discontinued the manufacture of Model T’s after having produced 15,000,000 of them in about 20 years.
In March of 1924, Calvin Coolidge was President of the United States, the flag had had 48 stars since the admission of Arizona as a state 12 years earlier, World War I had ended not quite five and a half years before and the attack on Pearl Harbor which would trigger U.S. entry into World War II was over 17 years away. George V was on the throne of England and would reign another 12 years before being succeeded by his son, Edward, who would abdicate in favor of his brother, George VI. Frederick Ebert was President of the German Republic and would be succeeded a year later by Paul von Hindenburg, who on his death nine years later would be succeeded by Adolf Hitler. Pius XI had been Pope for two years.
The population of the United States at the last census was 106,021,537 and of the state of Missouri 3,404,055. The average life expectancy for Americans was 54.1 years. Charles Lindbergh was three years away from making his historic flight from New York to Paris. In a few years, talking pictures would be introduced in New York City with Al Jolson in The Jazz Singer.
Until September 1996, this car made its home first in Girard and then in Waverly, Illinois. It now belongs to Dick and Anja Lodge, of Kirkwood, Missouri. In June, 2003, it was driven from St. Louis to Dearborn, Michigan, and back for the Ford Centennial Celebration in June 2003—a distance of 1,227 miles.
Get several 3' high floor stands with red velvet ropes between them to keep curious bystanders at a safe distance. Especially those with children eating ice cream and drinking drinks. It will discourage climbing up on the running boards and, in the process preserve your upholstery from greasy hands and spilled drinks and your paint job from big belt buckles and jeans rivets. Jim
Don't put mirrors under it like the hot rodders do. They'll get covered with oil........
Ed, I like Dick Lodges suggestion of the poster with data from the time. Also, if possible spend as much time with the car as you can. You will get lots of questions and wonderful stories from people about their experiences from long ago.
What was the sign,
"Please touch, but don't look."
I like the sign featuring Daisy Mae Yokum. "Old Cars are like Wives - Don't Touch Her if She Ain't Yours!"
Younger members: Please don't ask me who Daisy Mae is. I'll hold my grey haired head in my hands and just sob.
Thanks for the suggestions submitted so far. I was always thinking of going with an educational angle to it. Am I correct on this one? : "The Model T is the first mass produced car that had a detachable engine cylinder head that made repair much easier for the average shade-tree mechanic"......... I would also go into such aspects as the 3 point frame system (you could say the First Jeep?) that allows slight twisting of the frame with no damage. A sort of 2 speed automatic transmission. Stock engines have NO oil pump, No water pump, engine and transmission share the same oil and the same oil pan. No other car in the world (except for the VW which came close) ever had as many accessory items made for it. What other car has ever dropped in price each following year it was made? ... Any other unique and Attention grabbing factoids from you fellows? -Ed
Ed, park beside a similar year and model street rod along with 'before' and 'after' signs..
"real" 26 cdn coupe
My placard's simliar to Dick's, with Babe Ruth's batting average, that Annie Oakley died the same year, Amos'n Andy was the most popular show on radio, blah, blah, blah, ending with some of the more important features of the car. The time frame is the hook. Don't throw a lot of facts at them up front, people get bored real quick, it's a show not a museum.
Don't feel bad I remember that Mammy & Pappy Yokum's names were Pansy & Lucifer & Honest Abe was Abner & Daisy Mae's son. High Schools still have Sadie Hawkins day dances & I'm sure they don't have a clue about the reference & Dogpatch is the part of your town you hate driving through.
Greg Yokum is doing some house remodel for me.
Come to think of it, this place is getting more like Dogpatch all the time.
I'm sure we're playing with a lot of post baby boomwer's minds, I found this:
Era trivia is important.
Most will just see an "old car" and few will be old enough to grasp how much the world has changed.
Whenever my wife and I go to a show, we take the "LOOK BUT DON'T TOUCH" sign and cut out the "DON'T". We have more fun letting little kids climb all over our car which is an unrestored '17 touring. Granted, I don't have to worry about scratched paint etc. and I have ticked off a few other show car folks but many families are tickled pink that we allow them to take photos of themselves sitting in our T. The kids are usually very respectful of the car and have to be prodded a little bit because they can't believe someone is actually letting them play with the car.
For news on any year: http://www.infoplease.com/year/1908.html
For SCIENCE 1908 says: Henry Ford develops the first Model T automobile, which sells for $850.
Whenever somebody approaches me in a parking lot or somewhere and asks to take a pic, I take their camera, put them in the car, and take the pix for them.
Afterward, I thank them for the nice camera...
Got any of them good digital cameras yet you would trade me?
Nah, most of them think they should get the T in trade.
The owner of this mutt was, ummm, interesting. And, yeh, it was the 4th of July.
When I took my TT to the threshers reunion I knew I couldnt be there all the time and enjoy the rest of the shindig.I didnt actually use the advice but a freind told me to get a couple stuffed animals,like Taz and Goofy and put them in the seat.That way there was nowhere for the kids to sit.Of course a couple friends told me to just buy Taz,I would be fine for Goofy.
I just put the photo album in the seat when I werent there.If I was ask politely by a parent,of course the kids got to sit in it.I appreciate the respect they had to ask.
Here's a cute touch for ya.
The dog is a "prop" it's not real.
I have a tool display I've made up of the tools that came with the car, and some of the accessories - those always attract attention. At my last show Bessie ('26 Touring) was parked in between two muscle cars and it was very interesting to see who stopped to see which cars. In general, it was the families and what I would call the "characters" who would stop to chat about the Model T. One absolutely charming woman looked like she was straight out of Mary Poppins...
I agree about the suggestion to spend as much time by the car as you can. I go walk-about several times during the show, but enjoy talking about the car - and giving the occasional kid and family a chance to sit in it.
I like the idea of a period history poster and will have to make one up before Spring gets here.
Last year, I brought my seven year old to the Pantowners Show and let her demonstrate just how easy it is to crank start a '14 Model T. I think she was the big reason that the the car won 2nd in class and the Mayor's Choice award. I also made up a little billboard with a copy of the car's original bill of sale, a photo taken with it's original owner and a brief write up of the '14 Model Ts features.
Here is what I have done:
Nice car but what is the white towel for?
I'll venture a guess. I'll bet that is a duster and hat. Back in the day, before paved roads, drivers had to wear long dusters (coats), with special hats and goggles to keep the dust from getting on their clothes, in their hair and in their eyes. Am I right Roland? And yes, it is a beautiful car. Jim
My hack is NOWHERE as pretty as Rolands car, but the item I get the most comments about is my storage jacks...the ones that slip under the hub and raise the truck up just enough to take the weight off the tires so they won't flat spot when stored. I get "hey...look...it's the parking brake" or "what the heck is that?" and then TONS of questions. I also have written up a a one page history of my truck about it's use back in the day and the family history and get lots of comments and questions from that.
If you have a locking boot, put that on. People like to check it out. Ed send me your e mail address and I can send a number of pictures of posters our club used in a recent "Worlds of Wheels Show".