I am often asked to provide Model T fun at parades.
Would like to ask if anybody has simulated engine explosions .. noise + smoke .. while Modelt T in motion ?
Any ideas to brighten parades and spread fun welcome !
Island of Cyprus / Europe
Given the nature of the world today, I personally think, anything that sounds like an explosion in public gatherings will not be well received. Just my .02.
I'd think of another gag.
Michael- read Christopher's profile. he lives is the real world- not in our new modern world where everything that is bad- use to be good.
Not sure if they know it there, but we made eyes for Lizzy just like the movie Cars and we play "Life is a Highway" from the movie Cars. The kids love it. It is especially fun to see the "cool" teens smile and nod letting "only us" know that they think it is great.
Unfortunately, I have to agree with Michael. While what Christopher is describing would have once been just another bit of good, clean, family fun, in this day and age of bombs being planted at public gatherings, it's no longer a good idea. More's the pity for it too, because I remember such displays as a kid and there were frenetic circus clowns, billowing smoke and all manner of silly, slapstick catastrophe. Alas, the world in which we now live is a whole lot less whimsical. The age of innocence is over and we have to be careful about popping our gum in public.
All the parades around here have multiple Legion and VFW posts marching through them firing .30-06 blanks through M1 Garands every block or so... I haven't seen any panicking spectators stampede each other yet.
I accidentally discovered a good crowd pleaser. My then 1916 Depot Hack stalled in the parade. After I cranked it the on lookers all applauded.
So every hundred yards or so I would purposely turn the car off, get out and crank it.
Then it would not crank anymore so I crank, took my hands off the crank and my wife on the passenger side slide her left leg over and pushed down the starter button. The car started. The crowd thought I cranked it and everyone was happy.
Back in the late 50's and early 60's our old '12 Paddy Wagon had a box under the back with a wire to trip a trap door. In the middle of the parade, you would pull the wire & out would drop a piston, a few valves and any other old engine parts. Lots of fun! You need an assistant to run back & get them of course
Back in the 60's we loved to drop a piston and rod out from between the floor boards every block or so. Someone would usually holler "something fell out" or "you broke something" whereupon the passenger would jump out, retrieve the piston, open the hood, and hand it back up through the floorboards. Then we would drive on. It seemed to entertain a lot of folks.
Good one, Robert.
A wolf whistle is always fun.
You beat me to it Bill. Great minds think alike.
Many years ago I remember a parade with a clown car--the clown had a piece of pcv pipe hooked to a hose that went to a CO2 cartridge. He would load the PCV pipe with talcum powder and at the appropriated time would release a shot of CO2 emitting a cloud of "smoke" I think with a little playing around this could be made to work in a Model T. Dewey
I am against any idea that makes a joke of the model t ford in public. This was the car that put America On wheels. when you look at the history it represents it deserves more respect than that! A lot more! Please understand that often that parade is most peoples first introduction to model t's ever and they will remember that perception either as a joke or as a respectable car that it is. The model T ford has never been a clown car to me and fail to ever see the humor in this.
How do feel about killing the engine, then getting out and cranking?
Mike C. I can respect that. I think the Laurel and Hardy films are what got me interested in old cars at a very young age. The humor got my attention and I think I have a lot of respect for them now.
Just my thoughts
Wow, Mike - tell us how you really feel ! Mike is one of the "youngsters" of our local club.
Here's a pic of a T in the local 4th of July parade held in Faith, NC. The car was owned by Bill Bledsoe. He and his troop of clowns marched in the parades including the Christmas Parade in Rowan County for 47 consecutive years and in this 4th of July parade for 40 consecutive years. I lived in NC for 34 years and it was faithfully there.
Not sure if you can see in the pic but it's a touring, and it's driverless. The head clown carries the steering wheel with him. The car weaves back and forth in the road, blackfires, blows smoke, flips fenders, pops the hood and plays music. There is a glass mirror across the back of the front seat. Sometimes one of the clowns is dressed as a kop and the car will roll right up to him, he blows a whistle and the car will stop mere inches from him.
The Faith 4th of July, 2010 parade was a milestone for the little Ford. Sadly, Mr. Bledsoe passed away on November 16th, 2010, one week before the Salisbury Christmas Parade (Holiday Caravan). His car is no longer in either parade.
An old friend, the late Don Jennings, used to kill the engine in parades. Lois would jump out and run up front where she would spin the crank, without pushing it in to engage. Don would hit the starter and the crown would go wild cheering Lois as she climbed back in and flexed her biceps.
Another friend will richen the mixture and then hit a switch which powers a 5th coil hooked up to a spark plug inserted into the tailpipe on his speedster... Instant noise and flames going out the rear (long time before 2001!)
Another friend had an oil line connected to his drilled tail pipe where it came off the manifold. A little squirt of oil and a huge billowing cloud appeared out the back of the car.
I've seen Shriners with a T whose rear wheels were moved about 3' forwards. Put a stout passenger in the back and you do wheelies every time you open the throttle.
My personal most amazing trick is to just complete the parade on my car's own power!
Don was a real prankster. He told me about the time a young fellow came up to him and told the "old fellow" to stay in the car while he started it, with his girl looking on. Don let him exhaust himself on the crank and then turned on the ignition and went up front to show how it is done!
My grandfather once modified a car for the 1945 victory parade so that the rear axle was placed well foward and a hand brake only operated on one wheel. As he was driving along he would get his rear passengers to lean back - the front of the car would lift up and he would apply the hand brake and the car would make a complete revolution.
Our 12 T has 5 Horns Explosion whistle- off spark plug, air more, bermuda bell, wolf whistle and regular horn, I have found in the shop a 15 mag horn and a model A ahooga witch will go on after the engine is done, You do have to be mindful you don't spook the horses.
So, how did they drive the driverless Model T? Remote Control?
I wondered that!
Some small guy with a mirror?
Mocking Model T's is a part of their history... here's some local parade footage which shows my great-grandparents 1914 Touring (now restored and owned by my parents). The beginning and end are from around 1942, and some of the middle is another parade from 1939-1940 spliced in.
I saw a modified T Touring that was used in early movies at a swap meet some years back. It had a steering set up in the back seat area and the driver drove with a periscope unseen by the camera. It was used in runaway car scenes in the Laurel and Hardy films or similar.
I believe the mirror along the front seat is part of the set up. I cannot remember if the car actually sounded like a Model T when it was in the parade. But I hadn't lived in NC since 2001, and 2000 was the last year I saw the car. The clowns and the antics of the car usually distracted from that. The back seat area is completely obscured or full of stuff.
I used to think that it was remote control, but the car was used before that type of technology existed.
Derek that was magnificent. The age of innocence, no PC crap. People dressed as Clowns, people in blackface, people just enjoying life. Odd, no dogs. Your Great Grand parents were lucky to have lived in this time.
The video was kinda sad, like a moment in time lost. Schools are banning cowboys, indians, hillbillies, and sombreros plus other things this year. We sure don't want to offend anybody ...
Back in the day when Steve Tomaso, and I, were as young as Mike Conrad, we had T's with original two piece valves. During the City of Tacoma's Daffodil Parade my 2 brothers and I would make the trek to Tacoma from Seattle in our '22 Depot Hack. It was great fun to rev the T engine at a slow spot in the parade, then shut off the car with the throttle wide open loading a charge of fuel in the combustion chambers. When it was time to move along, turn the key on bat...and wham...there would be a huge explosion out the tail pipe. We would laugh and laugh time after time until the two piece valve heads let go. We drove the car home on 2 cylinders from Tacoma to Seattle up Hwy 99 with a top speed of 20 mph. Every slight incline was a low gear affair. We didn't do too much laffin' on that trip home. You may not want to put your car's mechanical health at risk by following our poor example.
Derek, thanks for sharing the video. I agree with Ed in Cali that it was a little sad (could've been the George Winston tune) but as I watched it I was thinking like a lawyer...geesh how many lawsuits could have been filed for unsafe conditions ????
At The Centennial in Richmond IN thee was a Model T which parked near the final dinner venue next to the area where the Model T Kampers were who put on a show with a his Model T where flames and explosions came out of the exhaust pipe.
From memory there was a You Tube video of it. Don't know who the guy was but someone must know.
There is a horn on ebay now that might be fun.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Rat-Rod-Ooga-Horn-Ford-Chevy-GM-Mopar-Chrysler-M odel-A-Model-T-/271306278734?pt=Vintage_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item3f2 b1d474e&vxp=mtr
It is not an ooga horn but a "Bull Horn" and sounds like a sick cow and is controllable. It's the first one I have seen for sale that comes with the control lever.
I wonder if that parade was the last one for a few years. Our local fall festival, Arkalalah, began in 1928. The 1942 Arkalalah was the last one until they resumed after the war.
How about bubbles? No noise, totally unexpected and could result in a free car wash. Just a thought.
Christopher, if you 'really' think you want to do something like this, simply turn off the ignition while you are rolling along in high gear, pull the choke out, wait a second and turn the ignition back on. Now, you may have to pick up the remains of your muffler off the parade route.
Fond memory, Wayne !
My wife is an expert on calling cows in with one of those cow horns (family were dairy farmers) and she had one in her '25 coupe. I have a bubble machine and was figuring out on hooking it up to the Fire Chief's rig to blow bubbles and/or water out of the hose during parades.
I did not realize that my question about adding some street fun in public shows, will create so many interesting comments !
I thank you all, including those who have expressed some concerns .. I respect all !
You see .. I live on a small sun-blessed island where noise is encouraged and loud but well-meant fun is regarded ‘above’ the strict spirit of the rules.
Yes we have our problems, but no security threats here and kids play more time in the streets than at home.
So please allow me to ‘brake’ the modern rules, as I live on an Island 50 years behind !
And to all you Model T chat friends .. I love you all .. come and visit me .. but not all at once !!
I will try to contact directly some of you who expressed interesting ideas .. but pls feel free to write to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
I will sent you an article about me and what I do with Model T .. 10,000 miles away.
God Bless you all.
Put a bucket of soapy water on the back with the exhaust pipe running into it & get lots of bubbles?
Because simulated explosions are incorrectly politically incorrect, just drive the Model T in the parade and be content when all the sheep in the crowd sheepishly shout Baa! Baa!, all the while thinking to yourself how utterly pathetic and sick they are.
Why bother simulating? Just drain the oil and run her through at full throttle. Sooner or later you'll get an explosion of sorts.