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On the Road: Model T Man

By Mike Kinney
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img 20120313 00286 On the Road: Model T Man

Classic cars have always amazed me because they have stood the test of time.  To see an old car still running down the road shows how well those cars were made.  You don’t see too many cars from the 80’s and 90’s any more because they were not made to last.

The thing about vintage cars, like people, the older they are the better.  95 year old Royce Peterson is the Model T man and has spent his life on the road in a Model T.  If you need to know how to fix one he can tell you.  He started working on Model T’s with his dad when he was 10.  At age 13 he built his own Model T out of scrap parts he found in the junk yard which he and his dad used as a tractor in the field of their Minnesota farm.  He has owned more than a dozen Model T’s through the years as well as a few Model A’s and even a Pierce Arrow he restored.

Peterson currently owns a 1914 and a 1917 Model T that he restored and keeps driving to this day.  I got to take a spin around the block with him in the 1914 complete with ahooga horn that he honks at the ladies walking through the neighborhood.  He has been a member of the Lone Star T’s club in Dallas since it started in the early 70’s.

The other Model T enthusiast that Peterson meets for lunch at McDonald’s every week decided they would throw him a surprise party for his 95th birthday so they all showed up at McDonald’s in north Dallas in their Model T’s.  Let me tell you one Model T will turn heads and get some attention but when you get close to a dozen Model T’s in one place you have yourself an impromptu car show and everyone stops to look and take pictures.

In cover the story, I found that the secret to a long life must be in owning a Model T because at 95, Royce Peterson was not the oldest member of the group.  There is one member who is 98 and still driving.  They have 4 members in their 90’s, three in their 80’s and three in their 70’s.  It must have to do with driving a car that tops out at 28 mph.  Ralph Waldo Emerson said “life is a journey, not a destination” and at that speed you can enjoy the journey and not be frustrated by everyone that is in a huge hurry to get somewhere.  I think I will find me a Model T and start living life in the slow lane… Sound good doesn’t it?

- Mike Kinney

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