Last Thursday we were up at 0500hrs to make it to Lorton Virginia to Amtraks Auto Train with the my 1919 Model T touring car in the trailer. We pulled into the train yard about an hour ahead of time and unloaded the T. There was already a small line of cars waiting at the gate. Everything seemed to be going great. Around 1100hrs we processed through the gate and went to the loading area. Thats where things took a turn for the worse. The head man was called over and he told me that there was no way to secure the car because the tires were to high. At this point I was getting a bit scared. My son had already headed back to NJ with my trailer and truck. I explained to the man that I had verified three separate times about the height of the tires and the car and had been told that would not be a problem. He said his strap were not long enough to reach over the tires. Well, I was stuck. I then said, Why don't you just put the straps through the spokes and tighten down that way. I couldn't imagine the ride could be that rough, We were on the same train! After a while he agreed to the idea. The next problem was even more scary for me. They refused to allow me to drive the car onto the train so now I had to show the head guy how to drive the car. I had made that wood block that someone suggested so the stick could not go clear forward so this helped. After about a 20 minuet lesson on driving the car and a few trips around the parking lot he go to the point that I felt he could do the job and away he went. I have to wonder if the last three trips around the parking were just for his enjoyment. About ten minutes later he emerged from the rail car and gave me a thumbs up. About 1530hrs my wife and I boarded. The room was small but we made the 17 hour trip to Sanford Florida. I must say there was some rough road. When we arrived I told the lady that was taking car of are car about the Model T and that whoever unloads will need to ask me how to start and run it. We were asked to meet the head man outside and I made it sound as confusing as possible to run the T. They just pushed it out which made me feel much better. I was amazed at how much condensation that was on the engine. It was very wet. The little car ran just great for the 90 miles we had to go. Bottom line, The Model T is now a Florida car. I will be there Dec 1. I think if I ever had to do it again I may pass on the Auto Train to transport the T. I would say the funniest thing that happened on the trip was going on Rt 1 some guy yelled out, Hey its Bonnie and Clyde, Think he must have been a little confused as to what year those two outlaws were around.
That last bit about Bonnie and Clyde illustrates the general public's concept of history. To them "The Past" is a world where Columbus, Washington, Lincoln, and Elvis intermingle, and the Cugnot steam wagon, the Model T, and the '57 Chevy share the road with Conestogas and high wheel bikes. Any conception of when anything happened is just too confusing. This is why you get a major movie setting a scene as "Interstate 24, 1946", or a story set in 1928 with 1938 music. Most people don't know any better.
Steve or jet contrails over an indian ambush.
Glad U got your car there OK. Are you going to drive it back?
I'm not surprised Will. You were dealing with a mighty large Union. They are more apt to look for reasons 'Why Not' than for problem solutions. I'm glad you've successfully completed the rail transportation of your T across country, albeit by a means I would never consider. Let me get the time-line correct; you began trailering the T at 5:00 am and only began the 17 hour trip at 3:30 pm? Thats 10.5 hours + 17.5 hours for a total of 28 hours to get from Jersey to Florida and I'll not even ask about the cost. . .WOW!
George, Without airfare coming home ($95.00 x 2) it was around $850 for the car and my wife and I. I don't think I could had fed my diesel truck, paid all the tolls, Stopped for food and a night in a hotel somewhere along the way for that much for the round trip. Plus I saved all those miles on my truck and for 900 miles and the food aboard the train was free and I was able to lay back and sleep. In my mind I didn't have to drive 2400 miles and 30 hours round trip. Just one foot note, My wife and I were the youngest couple on the train and Im 58!