Why a Ford Model T, Fred?
Fred Gonet’s first experience driving a model T was in 2017.
A friend in New Hampshire had asked him to come for a visit and work on some car projects he had. The friend also asked if he could tune up a couple of T’s that were to be in a 60-mile tour the next day. Unbeknownst to Fred, who had never driven a Model T, his friend’s plan was to have him drive one of them. Needless to say that Fred was “white knuckling” for a few of those first miles, especially in tight city spaces. Before the end of the tour, however, Fred had a smile on his face, and was having a hoot. He was ready for the 2nd 60-mile tour the next day.
“Model T’s are a hoot to drive.Fred Gonet
Plus I can see now,
why everyone driving them is smiling.
They are lots of fun.”
Fred came home from New Hampshire knowing that he needed a Model T in his garage. He had driven his 1908 Locomobile for many years and hundreds of miles, but the Loco now had to make room for a T.
He remembered a friend in Massachusetts had a nice touring T, that he had seen many time since the 1980s. Larry Gould of Chelmsford had a 1914 touring and that would fit Fred fine. When asked, Larry said he had more touring plans and was not ready to sell. Larry was 99 years old at the time. Knowing that Fred was very interested, Larry’s family came to him in 2020, when Larry passed at 102 years old, and asked if he still wanted the car. The Locomobile moved over and the T came home to Proctorsville, Vermont!
When Fred’s 1914 Model T was built, it was one of 308,162.
More Ford History…..
*In 1915, 394,788 vehicles were produced with a labor force of 18,892 employees. Over this six-year period, the production number of Model Ts per employee went from eight in 1909, to 14 in 1911, and to an astounding 20 in 1915.
*When Henry Ford introduced the moving assembly line in 1913, he loved it, but his employees didn’t. The work was boring and relentless, and worker turnover was high. He had to hire more than 52,000 workers that year to maintain his workforce of14,000.
*So on January 1, 1914, Henry announced that he would double his workers’ pay from $2.34 per day to $5 per day, “as long as you were over 22 years of age and conformed to the company’s standard of clean living.” It was headline news in Detroit and around the country.
*Detroit headlines January 6, 1914….. “Ten thousand anxious, determined men, some ragged and unkempt, others seemingly prosperous, this morning fought for places in the line that stretched from the employment window at the Ford Motor Co., in Highland Park, a line that continued for many blocks from the company’s factory.”
When asked about the condition of the car when he purchased it, Fred said the it was “perfect”, but in some cases, “not correct”. Some of us have a friendly term for this type of person, but in Fred’s case that is how he has built such a successful restoration business over these many years.
“Perfect, but not Correct.”Fred Gonet
The car’s dash was perfect, but not correct, so enter the correct dash. That has led to the steering column that was also perfect, and the coil box, and the side light brackets. Then there is that slight vibration at 40mph, since the dash is off, we might as well tear the engine and transmission apart to see if we can’t find that perfect vibration!
I am having fun with Fred here; I hope he forgives me. When I grow up, I want to be just like Fred Gonet.
From your editor, G. Fiske