Model T shows modern cars how to tour
BRENTWOOD, Essex — A 100- year- old Ford Model T is on a challenge to drive around the world.
Dirk and Trudy Regter from the Netherlands have owned their 1915 Ford Model T since 1997, and began their journey in the summer of 2012.
The couple, both retired, have so far covered over 80 000 km, visiting and supporting various projects run by the international children’s aid organisation: SOS Children’s Villages.
The Ford Model T covered 22 530,816 km in 180 days during the first leg of the drive in 2012, which took them from their home town of Edam to Cape Town in South Africa.
In 2013 the couple drove through the USA and Canada, crossing 22 States during their 27 359 km, 180- day road trip. In 2014 they ticked off another 25 749 km through South America in a further 180 days.
Sadly, the Model T was involved in an accident with a Land rover Defender when it returned to Europe.
However, the couple plan to continue their journey through New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, and India, crossing the Himalayas to China, through Mongolia and back to the Netherlands via Central Europe dur- ing 2016 and 2017.
Dirk previously owned a 1923 Ford Model T and a 1928 Ford Model A, inheriting his passion for vintage Fords from his father and grandfather.
Ford built 15 000 000 Model Ts between 1908 and 1927 to put the world on wheels, and owed its mass appeal to its affordability, reliability and ease of maintenance with standard, interchangeable parts.
The Regters said all these attributed still make the Model T easy to drive and maintain anywhere in the world, including the 3- litre petrol engine that is unaltered from its standard 1915 factory specification.
The single exception is larger tyres for the wooden- spoked wheels, making the ride softer for long journeys.
“On the border of South Africa and Botswana we met a farm- er who had an old Ford Model T in the shed”, Dirk said.
“He gave us a tyre off it as a gift to help us on our way.
Across North America, the couple met several other Ford T owners who still love these rugged transporters.
Their journey is about to restart, and more of the highs and lows of their amazing journey has also been posted on YouTube.
After driving across three continents, the original 1915 Ford Model T is still going strong.