Several central New Hampshire Model T Ford Club members were helping the Big Brothers Big Sisters with their annual fundraiser on last Friday night and after enjoying the party it was time to drive home in the dark. Paul and Marilyn drove their newly built 1916 touring back to his workplace, where it would be safe to leave overnight. Bill Harper (who lives in Keene, NH) had the longest drive and I went back to Concord together. This was the first time night driving for me and it was quite the experience!
I assume the flashing light is on the camera, reflected in the windshield. I'd put a piece of tape over it. The GoPro does a great job. Those city street shots are impressive.
Warren, that's a great video!
How did you mount the Go Pro 3 in the car? Pictures of that set up would be great.
Cool night drive vid. It's been a dozen years since we've been thru Dover. Glad to see they kept their mill buildings like my home town of Manchester
Thanks, Steve, you are correct, did you notice the other lights on the windshield that seemed to be going away from the car? Bill, I use a suction cup mount like the Sametop Suction Cup Mount for GoPro. I got it from Amazon. Gary, good to hear from you. How are things in Ecuador?
Warren, the go pro has a setting controlling the flashing light. Your choices are: both on, both off, front on, rear on. You should choose rear on or both off to remove the flashing light from the windshield.
I feel that "both off" is best in a T at night. That will avoid windshield reflection as well as the reflection of passengers in errie red flashing illumination as well as red flashing bounced off the rear AND front windows. For daytime I like to have the light flashing so I will know the camera is recording. I choose the light on the side I will be standing. Also if you don't want your subject distracted by the light then "both off" is a good option.
- an example of why 12 volt lights are nice to have?? (With good reflectors, and aimed properly, of course.)
The Heart of MD T''s club wrapped up it's over night tour last evening.
We toured some great back roads in Harford & Cecil Co. Maryland on Friday and Saturday. We went to dinner last night at restaurant about 8 miles from the motel (again all country roads) it was fun and a bit nervy to be out in the pitch black countryside with original 6 volt lights.
After you got use to it you really get the feeling of what it must have been like 90 to 100 years ago. The thing that got me was when I decided to turn off the dash light. So black you can barely see your hands on the wheel. That little dash light puts out a lot of light in those circumstances. It was a hoot and the whole group enjoyed our brief nighttime tour.
Terry thank you, for that information. I also like to have the light flashing so I will know when camera is recording.
Dave (I'm thinking about making that conversion this winter) however what about "if Henry Ford wanted a 12 volt system he would have built Model Ts with it".
Larry thank you, that sounds great, can you post any pictures?
Haha Larry is exactly right. I drove my speedster in the dark and was alarmed when I realized I couldn't see ANYthing in the seat or floorboards. I will be acquiring a dash SOON. Barely see your hands is no exaggeration.
Nice video about night driving in a Model T. Very interesting. While there are alternative lighting systems available I have wondered how far people will go from being close to authentic to just using sealed beams.
I would think that that I would do some driving on less traveled roads than on heavily used highways but that's me.
I did notice in the video that the lead T had a triangle slow moving vehicle on the rear of the car. Good idea to be sure.
A slow moving vehicle comes up pretty fast when your going down the road at 60-70 mph.
Larry Bohlen wrote:
"After you got use to it you really get the feeling of what it must have been like 90 to 100 years ago. The thing that got me was when I decided to turn off the dash light. So black you can barely see your hands on the wheel. That little dash light puts out a lot of light in those circumstances. It was a hoot and the whole group enjoyed our brief nighttime tour."
It is a hoot to drive a T in the dark. (Well, of course, it is a hoot to drive your T at any time.) Night driving does add another dimension to the experience. And feeling what it might have been like "back then" is one my most favorite parts of T ownership. I have said many times before and say again now: Driving an antique car (any antique, not just a T) is as close to having a Time Machine as we can ever hope for.
As to the darkness with the dash light off; my runabout has no dash light. I feel no great need for one. Sure, I can't read the ammeter, but in the dark I will be paying much more attention to the road than to generator output and if the headlamps begin to dim then I can suspect that something is amiss. I do not need to see my hands as they are on the steering wheel and the spark and throttle levers are within fingertip reach. My feet are on the floor next to the needed pedals.
Do you drive your modern vehicle with the dome light on? Do you need to see where to put your feet?
John Kuehn wrote:
"I would think that that I would do some driving on less traveled roads than on heavily used highways but that's me."
This being New Hampshire, there are only just so many ways to get from point A to point B. Please remember, this is where everyone says "You can't get they'ah from he'ah". We endured busy Route 4 only long enough to jump off onto Routes 202 and then 9 to get to Dover, but even those roads were busy with workers heading home. The return journey in the dark presented much less traffic, but there was some early on. As time progressed the volume of cars diminished. When I left Warren at his turn off it was around 11:15 or so and the roads were rather empty. During the 45 miles to my home in Keene I was passed by only five or six cars.
The Slow Moving Vehicle triangle is attached to my car with an elastic cord so that it can be removed at will or for a tire change, but I never take it off. It is there 24/7. When I drive in the dark I festoon the rear of the car with magnetic reflectors. The cord allows for some rocking of the triangle which creates a sort of "flashing" of the reflected light. I figure (hope) that the unnatural movement of the reflection can be more noticeable to those behind me.
I will have to take some pictures of the magnetic reflectors. Drive safely and have fun. Bill
I have driven home at 11PM down country highways with just my dim headlights and single tail light. Sometimes there is so much fog all you can see is the road and you have no clue what is to your left or right. I have since added 2 bike lights to my car so any driver coming up on me is hopefully thinking 'What the H is up there in front of me?", and will slow down.
Whitewall or all white spare tire is nice for night driving also. Having followed more than a few antique automobiles with one, I can tell you that that "glow-in-the-dark floating donut really jumps out at drivers at night. I added an all white spare on the back of my coupe for that purpose.
As with most things to do with antique automobiles and modern idiots, you really cannot fix stupid. Some people just cannot see something they do not expect. So watch behind you and all around you very carefully! I have always loved driving my antiques at night. But I watch the rear-view mirror almost as closely as the road ahead.
It really is almost better to be in light traffic. A couple cars behind you can be a good thing. Once the car following you sees you, and slows down a bit, others follow him (he is not so out of place, and modern idiots mostly will see him). Be nice, make it easy for a few to pass every couple minutes. Usually, I can find someone that I can keep close enough to to keep a short line behind me most of the way.
Always, keep a close eye behind, and be prepared to head for the shoulder.
Another silly trick to remember. If you need to pull over fast because of a car coming up fast behind? If you have a place to go (I know, a bunch of "if"s)? Dive for the shoulder (carefully?) and turn off your lights as soon as you can safely. Idiots and drunks tend to follow lights. Many people have been hit from behind clear off the road because the ### followed him.
Please, drive carefully, but do enjoy! W2
When I made the video, I hope it would be a humorous one for the viewers. In reality, it was much brighter than it looks in the video (the human eye is much better than any camera that has ever been invented).
Wayne, I took the lead on the drive from Concord to Dove, because it was during the afternoon and daylight. I let Bill take the lead on the way home because I have a Blazer C6355 Red LED Emergency Light / Work Light with 24-Diodes on the back of my T and would recommend them to anyone thinking about driving in the dark or anytime. The flashing red light is a great eye catcher and shows up really well from a far distance.
ps: taking a long distance road trip on a Friday night is never going to be our first choice. However, Paul, Bill and I were very happy to be invited to help the Big Brothers Big Sisters with their fundraiser and would gladly do it again.