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Local News / Automotive

Tuesday, 10 September, 2013 9:19 PM

63rd Old Car Festival celebrates Henry Ford's 150th birthday at Greenfield Village

PHOTO BY JEROME RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.COM

Attendees at the 63rd Old Car Festival at Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Mich.

 

by Gloria Rzucidlo
gloria1025@yahoo.com

 

|

DEARBORN, Mich. -- The 63rd Annual Old Car Festival was held September 7-8, 2013 at Greenfield Village in Dearborn. It was a celebration of the 150th anniversary of Henry Ford's birth. The Old Car Festival featured all vehicles from the 1890's to the 1930's. We saw the kitchen sink engine demonstration in which Henry Ford designed his first combustion engine. With a zero budget, he picked up parts at junkyards. From that he built the 1896 first quadricycle.

The Model T, also known as Tin Lizzie, was launched in 1908 and was the best-selling car in the world at the time. It was regarded as the first affordable automobile and it opened travel to the common middle-class American. It was the first automobile mass-produced on moving assembly lines with completely interchangeable parts at the Piquette plant. Henry Ford's approach to the Model T design was one of getting it right and keeping it the same. As other companies offered comfort and styling advantages, the Model T lost market share. Eventually on May 27, 1927, Ford Motor Company ceased production and began the changeover to produce the Model A.

As we walked the streets of the Village, I noticed a car that I was fascinated with. It was the 1917 Gray Dort Nine. Gray Dort Motors was a Canadian automobile manufacturer in Chatham, Ontario, Canada. Approximately 23,000 Gray Dorts were manufactured between 1915 and 1923. The original sales price was $885 in 1917. The Dort, a sister vehicle was made in Flint, Michigan during the same time period. Most of the running gear for this car was manufactured there. It is a four-cylinder vehicle with 33 1/2 horsepower and has a three-speed transmission with leather clutch.

We also saw the Auto Touring Exhibition, which marks the 100th anniversary of the founding and dedication of the Lincoln Highway, America's first coast-to-coast highway. There were tents/camping equipment displayed designed to see the USA in your motor car.

Dressed in clothing of the early 1900's, the Village Strings performed music of the era which was located in the Pavillion area.

Down at Walnut Grove, there were old car races. Each participant received ribbon awards for their participation. I thought the potato race was fascinating. As the cars raced, the passengers picked up potatoes on the ground with their sticks along the way. Also in Walnut Grove was the Model T assembly team. We watched as they assembled the Model T from scratch in record time. It took them only six minutes and nine seconds to complete.

On the way back we stopped at Mrs. Fisher's Southern Cooking restaurant and had a sweet potato cheesecake. It was fabulous, to say the least. Then as we walked through the Ackley Covered Bridge, we stopped at the Miller School to tinker with some simple wooden toys as Henry did as a boy.

There were Model T rides, which could be purchased for $5 that travels throughout the Village. On some roads and/or intersections, there were traffic jams. Also steam-engine train rides for $5 and Carousel rides for $2 for your enjoyment.

I really enjoyed the Old Car Festival which was filled with the sights, sounds and smells of hundreds of unique old vehicles. I loved the demonstrations and the Model T assembly team. There were so many things to do and see. If you like history and old cars, I would recommend this event.

Related Stories: 4th Annual Maker Faire Detroit wraps up at The Henry Ford in Dearborn

 


 

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.COM

Entrance to Greenfield Village

 

PHOTO BY JEROME RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.COM

Steam engine train rides

 

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.COM

Red 1903 Cadillac A

 

PHOTO BY JEROME RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.COM

1904 Olds 6C

 

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.COM

1904 Rambler H

 

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