I am writing this as a fair warning to anyone thinking of going to Ford's Garage in Dearborn to have a bite while enjoying the Old Car Festival. I know there are people that may be drawn to the restaurant's glitz as they see it on Michigan Avenue.
I came early because my colleagues said they couldn't be there for another hour or so. So, I put my name in the queue and had a seat at the bar directly in front of their Model T touring. The car is nicely restored and I innocently asked what is the year of their high radiator touring. (I didn't get alongside to where I could inspect the door hinges or look for other '25 specific points.) It did have 30x3.5 demountables so I guessed it to be a 1924. The waitress replied "I think it's a 1920, that's what they told us... I know the Model A is a 1930."
Later my cell phone announced my table was ready so I passed the hostess station made out of roller chests and sat down at my table. My guests arrived and started pointing out the parts screwed to the wall. "Oh look, a front cover from a T!" one said. She said this after reading the paper tag affixed to it. Did the tag note that this cover was used from 1919-early 1926? I think not.
Whoever raided a swap meet and affixed all these parts to the wall had no feng shui for chronology or car model. They were just thrown about and zip screwed here and there.
Then the waitress delivered some of the food and gave us our tools. The other colleague said "Cool! a shop rag for a napkin!" and I gently corrected him saying it is a shop towel. After removing the napkin ring, a two inch hose clamp that had no place on an early Ford, the waitress swooped in and collected them. She must have thought I was going to swipe it and violate my Ford with incorrect parts.
The food was good, the beer was good and I attached a fair tip to my bill.
The final outrage to the evening was that the waitress pushed a button to celebrate her windfall. The Model T has a Harbor Fright oogha horn under the hood. I left the place well fed and totally offended.
UTICA Gas pump show and car show.
Aug 12 all day
Lighten up. Taking the restaurant decoration too seriously. Remember the restaurant over by the Wayne County Fair Grounds that had an early automotive décor? Had a T pickup for a salad table? Bunch of gas pumps etc. The restaurant closed and is now a drug store. I did some of the site planning and was supposed to get first dibs on the automobilia but it did not happen.
If you or anybody else wants to see some way cool gas pumps and other memorabilia stop over at Utica for the downtown car show. Saturday May12 10 to 4. USA Tire will have a huge display of pumps plus lots of neon. Also a gas and sign swap meet. The neon display is attracting lots of night time photographers and car displays..Impressive..Kind of like the over the top Christmas decorations some folks do.
Ha! Tom. Don't be offended. Their focus is good food and cold beer....Be offended - be ingloriously offended by the poor representation of probably the most popular year model -1914- touring in THF. Now their business is education. The differential halves and front spring are incorrect. And the #1 Fordson doesn't even have a coil box ! Now that's the people that should start attending swap meets
Thou art too easily offended! I'm sure that the owners and staff are more interested in selling food than in correctly naming or identifying the parts. And almost anyone except Model T or possibly other old car buffs would not even know.
Our town is having, tomorrow, and "Antique car" show. They charge per car to enter and the cars are mostly from the 1950's and 1960's and have been lowered with different wheels and different engines and drive trains. Only the bodies are from old cars and even those are modified.
I will not be at the show but instead will be at our historical society museum with my 1922 Model T (which has a 1926 engine in it). At least it is a Model T engine. I don't tell them the engine is not original. Ha! Ha! The Model A Ford club is coming to visit our museum and I will be one of the people showing them around.
I'm sorry, but the next time I go there, I am bringing a handful of part tags and a Sharpie marker to properly label the parts. I plan to offer them an after hours seminar at my shop for the wait staff so they learn how to identify the various years.
And finally, I am going to bring correct hose clamps for me and my guests.
And after I play recordings of proper horn sounds, I will mute my hearing aids for the rest of the evening.
I was so offended that I sent my son there the very next day. He and his wife were so offended that they almost used the flexible funnel as a beer bong after they consumed the onion rings served upon it.
You would think Dearborn's restaurant inspector would have caught some of this.
With that last line, you must be pulling our collective legs ??
If you're talking the daily use Model Ts, you're right. Parts are often swapped during the process of keeping them running. I know some of the fenders have been replaced as well. There are a few cars sporting demountables that never came with them in the first place.
These are my personal observations and opinions. I do not represent the Henry Ford.
....Then go to one of the tables across from the Model T rides at Greenfield Village. Wait until the lady docent gets a repop 1914 touring load of tourists and uses her electric starter with nearly a fully advanced spark lever. Stay seated and watch her do this several times and saunter over to enlighten her about the high probability of Bendix drive/spring damage. I received a yawn and disinterested reply for my initiative. Those of us that love the characteristics and engineering of the Model T can be rightly offended.....after hours she probably went to her waitressing job at the Ford Garage. ;o)
You need to take into account that probably less than 3% of their customers have your knowledge. (or care). Their not catering to Model T folks. It's decor only. Probably would have gone belly up years back if they were limiting themselves to "us". Actually, the reason I posted here is I have a friend with family in Canada and they stopped here just a few days ago on the way home. They had a good time and sent me pics by e-mail.
You look like a guy with a great sense of humor.
I once stopped at the Model T Hotel and Casino on I-80 in Winnemucca Nevada. I expected to see a Model T on Display. I asked the clerk when I checked in where the Model T was. She had no idea what a Model T was. I played a few slots and went to bed. It was several years later that I got the story from Erik Barrett that a TT used to be on the roof but was taken down and sold.
I'm confused. You go to a restaurant, get good service, cold beer, and good food and you are offended? What would the review look like if the food was uneatable and the parts were correctly labeled?
Spot On ...
A Restaurant is not a Museum
A Museum is not a Restaurant
Here is Lamy's Diner inside the Henry Ford Museum. This museum artifact serves food daily.
So what about the decorations in the restaurant if they aren't NOS, singled by Henry Ford, having exactly correct T memorabilia or parts.
So it's better to go to a T themed Resturant that's has "genuine " T parts and has so so food to eat? Don't think so!
Me thinks to much T on the brain.
I might have had more reasons for complaining if not for the interventions. For instance while enjoying their Guinness Onion Soup, I attempted to flip the cast iron bowl over to make sure it had Ford script. Instead the waitress said "Excuse me" and cleared it from the table.
Next time I go there I will check. As a matter of fact, I will keep going there at least until I find out for sure.
C'mon Tom, lighten up! The average customer at Ford's Garage doesn't know anything about hose clamps, and wouldn't care. The Garage doesn't say Ford's Model T Garage anyhoo. The place is fun, the beer is good, and the atmosphere is of old Fords. There are three of them in the Cape Coral/Ft. Myers area BTW- I did ask the waitress about the fast seizure of the hose clamp/napkin rings. Sadly you are right. They really are a frequently stolen item. Personally I find it sad that someone would make a bum out of himself for a $1.25 hose clamp, but I guess that the value of some people's self-respect is worth less then the price of a hose clamp. Going to Ford's in Cape Coral next Wednesday night.
One of my favorite Dave Barry columns was about the humor impaired, who would send him long, serious letters explaining why the joke he told couldn't possibly be true.
If you've ever had the pleasure of watching Tom and his clan demonstrate the two man top on his Ford, you have a hard time taking him seriously. I may never be able to.......
Well, I went back...
One thing the museum in my town doesn’t talk about is the Lost Participants. These are visitors that come to the car show after Labor Day and don’t realize the show is done. I volunteer every year to assist with rounding them up. We have found that the evenings closest to the anniversary of the introduction of the Model T are the best time to do the round up. We like to do this before decorating for Halloween so the little kids aren’t scared by people coming out of the woods asking where are the Hupmobiles or other scary things.
The procedure works fairly well; we place the year signs from the show in various areas and then wait for the sun to start going down.
The Lost Participants soon start clustering around the signs, looking for cars. Some are still wearing their wristbands or are carrying tattered programs.
As the sun set, we drove this good sized crowd out to the main gate after passing a historic birthplace.
All this work made us hungry so I went to my local car themed restaurant with my wife. As promised in a previous post, I checked the cast iron bowls and they are not Ford script.
However, the staff was kind enough to let me fix some of the part description tickets. The Model T front cover near the door now bears the notation 1919-E26.
They did sound the horn on one of the cars as we dined. This caused my wife to say “What was that???” adding that she never heard a noise like that come out of any antique Ford she owns. She then went back to enjoying her meal. She promised she would give the restaurant another chance, someday soon.
There is a difference between well intentioned misinformation and willful disinformation.
I'm sure that if someone donated a real Ford Model T battery horn, the restaurant would gladly install and use it.
Nice photos of the lost participants. I had heard that they exist, but are seldom seen. Good job herding them up. were they watered and fed?
Been to the one in Punta Gorda Fla and the food and beer were very good. The Model A hanging over the bar was interesting, cobbled together from "stuff" but with the press of a button, it made some noise, the horn honked and wheels turned, smoke spewed from the exhaust pipe. It was a fun place and we enjoyed it. I was not there to judge. We had to choose between Fords and Hooters. Terry
We made the mistake of dining before the walk/run. When I snapped some of the photos, I realized we were dead last.
So my wife and I were DNF as it was 90 degrees out. Also my mother was complaining her computer was broken and I needed to stop there on the way home. Plus,the course ended up passing within a few feet of our parked car. Those that did finish were offered water, cider, and doughnuts.
They did provide water along the course.
Yeah... I wasn't terribly impressed with the FG, either. As I usually don't order stuff from a restaurant I can make at home at a fraction of the cost... the burgers weren't for me. The T related decorations were pretty sparse... engines were a'll As, if I remember correctly. I'd rather go to Vendettas Garage in Royal Oak.... that one WAS a garage, and has a while lot more comfy atmosphere this one is a bit contrived.
BUT... I couldn't complain about the food, nor were the prices exhorntent enough to make me walk back out. So... all and all... I'd rate it a 'B' - 'B+'
My wife and I enjoyed the food and fortunately the 1930 Ford in my area didn't smoke. As we all know, Fords are never supposed to smoke.
The food we had was good, service was too. If I were to gripe about anything, I was told they were out of onion rings so we had the truffle fries instead. Apparently they had a luncheon earlier where everyone gorged on the onion rings and the truck was late. Either that or they mistook me for my son and didn't want to risk their funnel being re-purposed as a beer bong.
I was at Ford's Garage Friday Aug 18 and thought the food was good, The ooga horn neat if not period correct, the hamburger buns were branded with Ford's Garage looked better that they tasted.
at Greenfield village one of the hack drivers said they start Ts with advance all the way up and then bring it all the way down since they never run the engine much faster that idle while cruising the village. He said he got two days of cruising out of one tank of gas with the engine running most of the open hours of the village, more than I might except, the ride supervisor Lisa Dewchler said they have one full time and several part time mechanics who keep the Ts going, She said they have a old car fleet of about 14 cars with a T wrecker and one or two farm trucks and one model A bus that makes the rounds, She is in a U-Tube video "its not that easy to drive a model T" shot in greenfield village in the winter, My First time to visit MI & the Ford exhibits missed the factory tour maybe next time, Had a Great time at the village and Ford's Museum nothing guite like it in Texas.
There is a local, well-known Model T owner who was engaged by Ford Garage management to find cars and parts and otherwise help with the decor.
Gary Larson = Far Side
Tom Miller = Ford Side