Model T replica to take centre stage
A BRONZE replica of the Ford Model T car that was driven to the top of Ben Nevis in 1911 will be unveiled in Fort William next year.
The group behind the project has received £35,000 EU LEADER funding to complete the project. The sculpture will be unveiled in Cameron Square on Saturday May 19, 2018, to coincide with a rally of Model T cars from all over the UK which is scheduled to come through Fort William that weekend.
The replica celebrates the journey of Henry Alexander, the son of Scotland’s first Ford dealer, who drove a Model T to the summit of Ben Nevis in 1911.
The sculpture will take pride of place in Cameron Square between the High Street and the West Highland Museum, and will feature Alexander at the wheel. Chris Robinson, chairman of the Ben Nevis Bronze Ford Committee, said: ‘The Model T will be a significant promotion of the town. It will sit in the High Street and no-one will be able to pass it by without wondering what it’s all about.It will get a bit of a buzz about the place.’
The total cost of the project is estimated to be £89,000.
Many Lochaber people and businesses have contributed to the project and considerable sums have been donated by Model T enthusiasts. Tyre tracks on the pavement in the square will lead into the West Highland Museum encouraging visitors to find out more about the famous ascent.
Film footage of the climb in 1911 was discovered in 2015 and will be on show at the museum.
To mark the centenary of Alexander’s quest in 2011, 77 volunteers carried a dismantled replica of a Model T Ford to the summit of Ben Nevis where it was reassembled and then taken apart again before coming back down. Some of these parts will be used as the moulds for the bronze replica.
Mr Robinson said the structure will become part of a bronze trail through Fort William, starting at ‘Sair Feet’ in the West End, to the aluminum worker in Inverlochy, finishing at the Commando Memorial in Spean Bridge, adding: ‘There has been talk of having a bronze trail, with potential for many more throughout Fort William.’
Highland Council Lochaber leader Andrew Baxter said: ‘Congratulations to the team behind this bold project. It will be a fantastic centrepiece to the town.’