Can a Model T drive 140 miles in one day? I'm planning to drive my car from Detroit to Grand Rapids in October and I'm wondering if this is feasible.
That should be no problem, we sometimes do this on a Saturday tour, I think 350/400 would be my limit.
If the car is in reasonable shape, it can make it.
Two things come to mind, though.
One, is the route you plan on taking. I wouldn't drive a Model T on an Interstate highway under any conditions, and there are lots of other roads that are high-speed limited-access roads as well. So, does your route stick to secondary roads?
Second, what's the weather in October like? Snow? Ice? If either is probable, I wouldn't chance it.
All that being said, your trip can be a really big adventure that you'll remember for life, or a royal pain in the arse that you'll remember for life. It all depends on things that are out of your control.
100 miles in a Model T is a typical tour day. 140 is certainly doable. Figure you can average 25 MPH including turns. You need to use roads where typical posted speeds are 35 MPH or less for safety sake. That will put modern traffic at 50 - 55 MPH, giving them hopefully enough time to slow down when they run up behind you.
150 miles a day is actually a fairly leisurely pace unless you are going to be stopping for sight seeing. Even at 25 mph it is less than 6 hours of driving.
If you have a Facebook account, check out Dean Yoder's travels last year:
I have done 350 in one day but that was in Kansas and Eastern Colorado (all flat country. I have a friend in Colorado Springs that did 450 in one day but it was all on interstate. Now days I get plenty Tired driving a lot less miles if I am in the mountains like driving from Loveland up Trail Ridge and back for an example.
This is one of the steepest routes up to Estes Park. This is above Glen Haven.
In 2003, seven Model Ts drove from St. Louis to Dearborn for the Ford Centennial. I don't recall exactly, but it was about 550-600 miles total and we did it in less than three full days.
Is not unusual to do 200 miles a day on a tour in the West.
140 miles! that's just to warm the T up!!
My speedometer went haywire, but from the maps I figure this was a round trip of about 250 miles.
(Message edited by steve_jelf_parkerfield_ks on February 03, 2017)
One thing not mentioned, is driving before or after dark. A black car with one small tail light going at a slow speed is very dangerous when intermingled with modern cars. If you drive at night be sure to add extra lights and turn signals. Even then it is hard to see and estimate the speed of a slow moving vehicle. So for me, I try to drive only in daylight or if on a tour, preceeded and followed by modern cars with blinkers on.
Regarding a long drive in a Model T---I think the long distance award should go to Constantine Mandylas of Melbourne, Australia. He drove his 1913 Model T touring, ALL BY HIMSELF, from Melbourne, Australia to Moscow, Russia. Drove along the southern coast of Australia, shipped to South Africa then drove up the eastern coast of Africa, then through Iran and on to Moscow, Russia. Don't recall the miles he recorded but that's a long way---and no Super WalMarts along the way. You can google "Melbourne to Moscow in a Model T" and see some of the pictures he posted of the trip. If I recall correctly, didn't Royce build the engine for him? Apparently he did a good job because Constantine finished the trip.
Hey, every year the Montana racers do 500 miles wide open in three days. Sometimes the first day is well over 200 easy.
Ya, it makes a lot of difference on the type of road and traffic conditions.
The most I have done in one day is probably close to 250 or 275 in the '12 Torpedo.
It also makes a big difference in the type of car. Some of the T's are much more comfortable than others especially on a long run. Depending on you average speed would have an impact on how long your in the drivers seat as well.
Just plan your route well. I use Google maps with the "avoid highways" option turned on. I then tweak the route from there.
This thread should probably be titled, "How far can I go? The T can go farther, long after we're worn out from the drive!
This reminds me of a Sven & Lena Joke; They get married, and after the marriage, they are driving along in the pickup away from the church. Sven puts his hand on Lena's knee, and she giggles and says to him, "We're married now, you can go a little further!"
So Sven drives all the way to Fargo!
Dave, don't forget Don Whissen had 60,000 miles on his touring that included a trip from Mexico to Canada or something like that.
My personal record for a day's driving is 325 miles, while returning from the Centennial in '08. Dean Yoder has driven 525 miles in a day. (!)
Every year the Santa Clara Valley Model T Ford Club puts on a 200 mile endurance run..
They start at 8 AM, stop for an hour at noon for lunch and get to the finish line about 3PM.
The checkpoints are set up to make it easy for a stock model T to win the time-distance rally.
I have planned several of the routes myself.
On country roads in mountains and farming communities I have found that the average speed is 23 to 25 mph weather driving a model T or just driving at a leisure pace in a modern car.
Because the routes usually also include roads like expressways or highways that have 45 to 50 mph speed limits I found that the overall average speed is around 30 to 35 mph and the 200 miles can easily be covered in six hours.
I agree with what most have said; 100-150 miles in a day is pretty common on a tour. The most I've driven (or helped drive) is 765 miles in a day. Well, day and night. David Liepelt and I did that in just under 24 hours a few years ago in his '15 Touring when we "raced" a Tesla. Such fun!!!
If you do decide to drive that far, take every precaution you can think of that will get the attention of a speeding driver approaching from behind that may be on the cellphone, adjusting the radio, looking through his CD collection, reading, or just not paying attention. A car going 70mph coming up on a T doing 30 to 35, can be on you in seconds, so you need to be visible to him from a distance using bright flashing strobe lights, and a bright red highly reflective slow moving vehicle sign on the rear. A lot of Model T's have been the victims of inattentive, speeding drivers that failed to see the slow moving T until it was too late. You can't be too careful.
With a TT, one might cover 3-4 miles in a day.
At the Minnesota state fair Ole met a Texas rancher. The Texan told him, "If I get in my pickup and start drivin' at sunup, I get to the front gate of my ranch about sundown," Ole said, "Ya, I used to have a truck like that."
My '25 TT firetruck was that way. Stock drive train. Nice firetruck, except if any fire it was called into service to extinguish back in the day wasn't under two miles the place would've burnt to the ground by the time they got there!! LOL. Burger & Steve aren't exaggerating!
Yesterday (2/04/2017) I drive to the National meet of the Model T Snowmobile Club in Tamworth, NH. The round trip distance was 220 miles.
Traveling in an old car i use this formula
35mph x 5 Hour drive time that a range of 175 miles
I have done longer.
Remember the joinery in half the trip
Remember the joinery in half the trip ?
Is this an autocorrect moment, or am I just my usual confused self ? Joinery ?
Which half of the trip ? I have enough trouble remembering things. Came home
to verify some client addresses yesterday, made a nice list, then walked out of
the house and left it on the table !
I am of the traveling school that the emphasis on all road trips should be the
journey, with a destination being a DISTANT second excuse for making the trip.
LOTS of stops, LOTS of adventures.
As Pirsig wrote: "Making 'good time', the emphasis is on GOOD, not on time"
Well probly yes
I tried to slowwwwww it down for the TT CROWD
I think lots depends on your car's ergonomics besides reliability. I'm pretty sure the car can go a lot further than I can. I have a '26 Touring...with a Ruckstell. Cramming my girth in the cockpit and trying to get somewhat comfortable is a challenge. Staying comfortable is even more challenging. My limit is right around 100 miles. And that's with some frequent leg stretching.
When I drove across the USA in 2008 We regularly did between 200 to 350 miles a day. Depending on where we were and what we decided to stop and check out.
Some days we only did a few miles but if needed it was always possible to easily do 300 plus miles no matter how flat or hilly.
Start out at 8:00am and four hours later we had about 140 miles or more up. Stop for an hour for lunch and another 4 hours and its only 5:00pm, 280 miles, as it did not get dark till 9;00pm or later we could still do another 100 miles before stopping for the night.
Luckily the Kamper is a most comfortable driving car for both passenger and driver.
It'll all be daytime driving. None at night. Currently getting the car healthy and strong enough to drive for the summer driving season.