Model T Ford Club Snowmobile Meet
Remick Farm Museum
Tamworth, New Hampshire
February 4, 2017
After 3 short months’ working only on Thursday nights Ken and Paul Leblanc, with friends Chet, Pete and myself (mostly just looking on) had his 1926 Model TT Snowmobile ready for the meet. Saturday February 4th turned out to be a beautiful sunny day in Tamworth. Ken, Paul and myself had a wonderful time meeting old and new friends, Russel Nave came all the way from the Mojave Desert in southern California! We spent most of the day driving Ken's snowmobile all over the farm making a day full of fond memories that will last a life time.
“Back in the day” these Snowmobile became an indispensable necessity for the anyone requiring dependable transportation during the cold snowy winter months. Country doctors and rural mail carriers were the largest users of this type of vehicle. In fact, when the father of President Calvin Coolidge died on March 18, 1926, a Model T Snowmobile led the Coolidge funeral procession over the snow-covered hills of Vermont.
Getting your Model T Ford out of the shed and started was no easy task it required a major effort! 1st jack up one rear wheel, next place the emergence brake lever all the way forward, pour boiling hot water into the radiator (these things would make it easier to turn the crank). Trying to spin the flywheel magnets through oil as thick as molasses in the hogs-head would be easier after you drained the oil into a can the night before and set it on the cook stove to thin in out, but DON’T forget to put it back in before trying to start your Ford.
I could really learn to enjoy winter if I had one of those! ;)
Thanks for sharing!
(42 years old, only spent 1 winter outside of Michigan, and that was in Tennessee.)
Yes, the snowmobiles are a hoot. Their biggest drawback that I can see is that for about nine months of the year it can be "rough sleddin' ", unless you convert it to a Sandmobile.
The cleats on the tracks will likely have a reduced lifespan on asphalt, though.
You don't have to have a T snowmobile to enjoy winter in a Model T; just get your car out and drive it!
Warrens comments (above) regarding the work sometimes necessary to bring frozen Lizzie to life can be true in some circumstances.
When I arose on Saturday (2/04) to attend the snowmobile meet it was a brisk 10 degrees. With the rising sun the temperature rocketed to an encouraging 18 degrees. My runabout is spending the winter in a portable or temporary shelter. I suspect these conditions are not unlike the shed of which Warren speaks.
Now, I will confess that I enjoy some modern conveniences not available to the T owner during the twenties, which are permanent antifreeze and multi-viscosity oil. Oh, one more confession: I have neglected to drain my summer 10W-30 and change to my preferred winter 5W-30. (Bad ol' Bill) After rolling up the door, I checked the oil level (fine) and entered the cockpit. I pulled back the brake lever, I always leave it forward during the winter, I held out the choke and heeled the starter button, counting four revolutions and while still keeping the choke pulled, I turned the key to battery. I was rewarded with a distinct "Chuff". I like to think that if the oil was not so stiff from the cold I might have received a free start. Well, another jab at the starter button and the engine started and with a few moments of "goosing" the choke, flipping to magneto, and increasing the spark all was well.
After I drove the car onto the driveway I performed more of a pre-flight check, such as filling all of the oil cups on the front end, other lube points, checking this and poking that.
One additional point I want to add about winter driving is that you Really Must have proper clothing. Getting cold during a winter drive on your T significantly reduces the Fun Factor.
You (well me, any how) need to drive these cars the year round to get your money's worth out of them. Be safe out there and have fun. Bill
Thanks for the play by play. You really make it look like fun, the year round driving.
Someday... hopefully sooner than later... I hope to be able to participate too!
Bill Harper, should win some kind of an award, after driving over 110 miles to just get from his house to the Remick Farm Museum in Tamworth. I am pretty sure that drive was easier than the one home, especially after the sun went down.
Great job Bill, see you tomorrow at the meeting, hope your not planning on driving your Tin Lizzie to it.
Ken & Paul LeBlanc
a very nice turn out
Great video, good to see the TT out and about. It was a real nice day for a meet, sunny but cool enough that the snow probably didn't get too soft.
I can't imagine driving an open car on open roads at speed too far in this weather Brrrr....
Driving an open car on public roads in winter, as in summer, does require that you be mindful of the posted speed limit and try to not hold up traffic too much. I pull over when I notice an accumulation of "moderns" behind me. My runabout will cruise quite happily in the upper thirties. My return trip home was a "high speed" run as I was racing the setting sun. It won. I did not depart Tamworth until 2:45 or so. With a heavy hand I kept my cruising speed in the lower forties and many times it hovered around 45. There were a couple of long downgrades when the speed exceeded that.
At those speeds you do need warmer clothing than that which you might wear while driving your Model T snowmobile. Many layers and something windproof is paramount. Minimizing exposed skin is also crucial, hence the scarf which I employ to cover my face. All in all I was reasonably comfortable. I was never sweating, of course, but I was OK. You have to try it. The look expressed by the muggles, when they see you magically appear as if from the past, is priceless. Driving a Model T in the dead of winter is a Hoot! Drive often and have fun; be safe,too. Bill
Bill what a great day and time we had, very happy to read you made it home safe and with no problems.
some other happy snowmobilers,
Ken's brother Paul driving the 1926 Model TT Ford snowmobile.