The private life of a Model T

Here’s the fascinating 38-year ease history of one car: of the man who sold her and the five who have successively owned and loved her. It reads something like a romance

ERIC HUTTON June 22 1957

The private life of a Model T

Here’s the fascinating 38-year ease history of one car: of the man who sold her and the five who have successively owned and loved her. It reads something like a romance

ERIC HUTTON June 22 1957

The private life of a Model T

Here’s the fascinating 38-year ease history of one car: of the man who sold her and the five who have successively owned and loved her. It reads something like a romance


On the first warm spring Sunday afternoon of this year Willis Schneider, a Woodstock, Ont., carpenter, drove his wife Marion and their twoyear-old daughter Marie out to picnic at nearby Innerkip. It was the pleasant uneventful sort of motor trip that millions of Canadians were taking that day. The only thing different was the car.

JC.'. .Schneiders’ family Ford is thirty-eight years old — nine years older than the present owner, who is her fifth. She is a Model T, grown old so gracefully that Schneider stoutly maintains she's worth more today than the $690 Bill Masters, now' seventy, paid for her when he was a prosperous young Oxford County farmer and World War 1 was still being fought.

There’s nothing unique about the car physically. On the contrary, she was the most prevalent car in history, being one of some sixteen million virtually identical Model Ts produced, including seven hundred and fifty thousand in Canada, between 1908 and 1927. She has simply outlived mediocrity, and in doing so has led an eventful existence. Nowadays an automobile tends to be a gaudy but impersonal necessity, driven a year or two (three if you're underprivileged) and then traded into oblivion. The decline from showroom to scrap heap is not so

much a story as a statistic. But the Schneider car has had meaning to all who have been part of her life, from the seventy-seven-year-old dealer who sold her new, to the two-year-old girl who will inherit her.

She has been the wedding car for a bride (who was courted in her, what’s more).

She had to break trail through deep drifts in a blizzard for the funeral coach bearing her first mistress to burial.

By day she has harrowed fields and hauled grain to the mill.

By night she has been the exciting hot rod of an earlier generation of rock ’n’ rollers.

She has poked her unstreamlined nose into the jet age by trundling her fourth owner the sixty miles to and from London. Ont., airport (where coarse laughter always greeted them) for the training that made him a jet pilot.

The low point in this Model T’s career came in 1943. when, aged twenty-five, she w'as sold for a ten-doilar bill, for the sake of the paltry gasoline ration that went with her. She has changed hands three times since then, each time at a higher price. In her thirty-ninth year she has become somewhat of a show-off. chugging along in parades and winning trophies at auto shows for her well-preserved senility, but her


principal occupation is still that of family car.

That’s what she has been ever since that late autumn day in 1918 w'hen Bill Masters, wishing the while he was driving a horse instead, took delivery of her in Embro, Ont., pointed her nose uncertainly toward the farm—and made it.

That year had been a busy and profitable one on the Masters’ farm at Braemar. Food was still a critical war material. Full-page advertisements in magazines and newspapers proclaimed “the only thing that sustains our men on land and sea is food,” and urged farmers to plant every foot of land. Masters did his share, and after the harvest he decided to splurge himself on a good pair of horses. But his mother, a spry widow, had other ideas. “Buy a car,” she advised him. “It’s the coming thing.” A lot of Canadian women were progress-minded in 1918; it was the year they finally won political

equality with men by getting the right to vote.

Masters, in his buggy, scouted the car dealers of nearby Ingersoll and Woodstock. He took a demonstration ride in the $1,125 Gray-Dort tourer, whose factory was less than a hundred miles west on Highway 2 at Chatham. He looked over the handsome Chevrolet that had been so much in the news that year because adventurous William C'. Durant had used the popularity of this new car of his to win back control of General Motors. The “Baby Grand" Chevrolet tourer was $1,295. Masters was sorely tempted, too, by a car that was presently to become a stablemate of the Chevrolet and eventually to lose its own identity—Canada’s pride, the McLaughlin, priced at $1,460 for the light six.

In the end, though. Masters went up to Embro, where, as everybody for miles around knew', the Atkinson brothers were selling Ford Model

Ts even faster than they could bring them in from the factory at Walkerville. Dr. Howard and Dr. Edgar Atkinson early in the century established a livery stable in Embro as an offshoot of their veterinary practice. The brothers now live in Thamesford, Ont., in lively retirement. In fact, when he built a new house recently Dr. Edgar, the elder at seventy-seven, insisted on including a veterinary dispensary. He drives, with some dissatisfaction, a large car of pastel shades and towering rear fins. “Wouldn’t give it garage room if I could get a ’16 brassfront Model T,” he growls.

As early as 1911 the Atkinsons saw the handwriting in the dust of the roads around Embro. A hardware salesman from Toronto, one of the traveling men who regularly hired Atkinson rigs to cover the region, turned up in a rented car. He claimed he could cover four times more

territory than in a horse rig, and the Atkinsons decided it w-as time to add a horseless carriage to their stable.

In 1912 they applied for a Ford dealership, but were put off with a subdealership and a quota of eighteen cars to sell that year. They sold thirty-two, and found themselves full-fledged by 1917. "It was Howard who did the gabbing that sold the cars.” Edgar recalls. “I was the man with the wrench who kept them sold. The Model T w'as under guarantee for ninety days, but we never limited our customers to that.”

The Atkinsons’ generous service policy originated in a trip on which Dr. Edgar learned how helpless a new motorist was away from home. He drove with his two young sons to Wingham, a good fifty road miles away. Something went wrong with a wheel bearing and they barely made it to the Ford continued on page 40

The private life of a Model T

Continued from page 24

company’s recently appointed dealer.

"You keep a stock of parts?” asked Dr. Edgar.

“Sure,” said the dealer. He took from a drawer a matchbox full of microscopic odds and ends. “Pick out the part you need,” he invited.

Actually, Model T dealers were required to stock ten dollars in parts for every car sold. That would not go far in a 1957 model, but the handbook Masters received with his car noted that “the eighteen most required parts cost a total of $5.40,” and the charges authorized for various jobs make his car-owning friends of today simmer when Masters recalls them: “Valve and carbon job $3; re-

place front fender, $3.75; remove running board, straighten and replace, $1; install new muflier, $2.60; align front wheels, forty cents.”

When Masters visited the Atkinsons’ livery stable at Embro late in the fall of 1918 they had only one of each Model T body style left in stock, a runabout at $660, a touring at $690, a coupe at $875 and the “luxury” car of the line, a $1075 sedan. That year they had sold a record forty cars, a turnover that emboldened them to dispose of the horses and buggies and stake their futures solely on automobiles, although, as they put it, they had “about enough capital to buy a tin whistle.”

Dr. Edgar’s confidence in his own ability to handle cars as well as horses had been boosted by something that happened that year. The Ford plant at Walkervilk, working on a rather casual schedule, found itself producing more chassis than bodies. Presently the storage spaces were uncomfortably full of Model f skeletons, so Ford started shipping them out to dealers with the laconic promise “body and fenders will follow.” When these turned up Dr. Edgar assembled the finished products. Forty years later he could give an expert once-ovcr to the car he sold Bill Masters and conclude with satisfaction that he had “put ’em together so they stayed that way.”

Masters wanted the touring car. But he also wanted it equipped with a selfstarter, a luxury that was available as a $90 extra in the late 1918 model. But Dr. Howard Atkinson, the salesman brother, warned him, “Three or four people are mighty anxious to buy that car just as she is.” So Masters took out a bankroll and paid cash on the spot. It wasn’t until thirty years and four owners Inter that the car finally got her selfstarter.

Edgar Atkinson chuckled when he was reminded of the transaction recently. “Howard wás a great one for making people want to buy,” he said. Competition was fierce, and salesmen then, as now, were alert to gimmicks. One salesman, when he approached farmers at a time they would be working in their fields, took along an experienced farm hand who would take over the farmer’s ploughing while the latter listened to the sales talk. Selling cars was as seasonal as selling ice or coal, Dr. Edgar remembers. “Nobody would think of buying

a car with winter coming on,” he says. “The company used to allow us twentytwo percent profit on cars we kept over the winter, instead of the fifteen percent we usually got. One time I had to make a trip into Woodstock in December and as usual I phoned around to see who else wanted to go. I picked up a carload of women, and all the way in they couldn’t get over driving that late in the year. ‘Fancy.’ they kept saying, 'motoring in December!’ ’’

One of the services that came with a new car was driving lessons, provided by Dr. Edgar. Masters got the hang of it in one lesson, but many students landed car and teacher in the ever-present muddy ditch at least once before they realized that “whoa,” "‘gee" and “haw" had no influence on a Model T. Women drivers were rare in 1918. The first one Dr. Edgar taught was a widow whose husband had been killed when his car overturned. She went into mourning for a year, and kept the car locked in a shed in penance. Then one spring day she telephoned the Atkinsons. “Time 1 learned to handle this thing.” she said. “Come out and show me how." And she drove the Model T competently and happily for the rest of her own life.

The driver’s license had not yet been invented in 1918, and ability to drive was largely a matter of the individual’s interpretation and conscience. When he w;as as young as twelve. Howard Atkinson’s elder son Anson, now a medical doctor practicing at Norwood, Ont., ferried Fords to Embro from the factory in Walkerville, now part of the city of Windsor. Sometimes a customer preferred to pick up his own car at the factory —occasionally with weird results.

The horse on wheels

There was a Woodstock man w'ho thought driving a car was a natural talent. like driving a horse. He took delivery of his car at the factory and headed east along Highway 2. All went w'ell on the open road but when he reached the first towm. Tilbury, the traffic and pedestrians on the main street terrified him. He stopped, telephoned a Tilbury man he knew and implored him to pilot the car through town. With open highway ahead he took over again—until Chatham. There he telephoned another friend to take the car through. The same process was repeated at Thamesville, London, Thamesford and Ingersoll until finally he gained the familiar outskirts of Woodstock. “He was lucky to have so many friends along the road,” chuckled Dr. Edgar.

From the day Bill Masters got his own Model T home his life changed profoundly, and so did that of his mother who had shrewdly perceived in the first place that a car on the farm was “the coming thing.” There was scarcely an evening after chores that Bill didn’t have the car out, taking his mother to a Ladies’ Aid meeting or a church supper. or himself to a dance or a movie in town featuring Lila Lee and Thomas Meighan, or just joyriding around the county with neighboring young folks behind headlights that shone brighter the faster he drove. Masters was a personable young bachelor who never lacked for passengers.

“But I never forgot that I’d bought the car instead of a team of horses,” he adds, “and she had to earn her keep.” He took her into the fields and hitched harrow and cultivator to her and she pulled them even through heavy going without a murmur. He piled her with bags of grain to haul to the feed mill, and then had to chase the mice that

climbed into her to eat the seeds that leaked, and stayed to nest in her upholstery.

Ten years the Model T served the Masters with never an anxious moment or a serious breakdown. For some weeks Mrs. Masters didn’t come out for her usual rides, and then she died. It was the day of a raging blizzard, and two days later the drifts lay deep everywhere. The funeral coach stuck at the gate of the laneway some distance from the house, and Masters had to crank up the Model T and drive her back and forth along the lane, mashing down a pathway so the funeral could proceed. When Bill Masters put her back into her shed he never got behind her wheel again.

He decided to go west and try farming in Alberta. Two years later he was back home, his health severely affected by an accident in which he was nearly asphyxiated by tractor exhaust fumes. His doctor ordered him not to drive a car. He moved into Woodstock and got a job as waiter at the Royal Hotel. The Model T remained locked in her shed out at the farm.

“I didn’t forget her,” says Masters. “1 always hoped the doctor would let me drive again. That’s why I didn’t sell her. I suppose it was a matter of pride too. A man who has owned a car hates to become a man who doesn't own a car. As long as she was out there 1 could talk about ‘my car' along with the other waiters.”

The car that Masters talked about became the subject of a lot of kidding among the Royal’s waiters and tavern regulars. Some maintained she was a figment of his imagination, this car he boasted would “climb the side of a barn in reverse.” would sometimes start when the switch was turned on even though

she had no self-starter, would navigate “floods up to her hips” and sail through the deepest ruts with ease.

In 1943, thirteen years after he had locked his car up, Masters suddenly decided to sell her. A new waiter named Charlie Case came to work at the Royal, and after listening to tales of Bill Masters’ car, offered him ten dollars for her. “Sold!” said Masters. His acceptance surprised even himself. Masters later admitted, but his decision was partly prompted by the thought that the doubt-


Mail Call

Steps on the porch; rush to the door; Circulars there — nothing more.

Macie Lester Pickett

ing waiters and customers would finally see his car, parked at the door of the hotel beverage room.

Case had other ideas. He already owned a good middle-aged car, and he proposed to tow the Model T into his back yard and use in his own car the thrcc-gallons-a-week ration to which the Model T would be entitled.

“Your car won't run, anyway,” he told Masters.

“Sure she will,” Masters answered indignantly. “At least, she was running line when I drove in there.”

Confidently he poured gasoline into the tank, primed the carburetor, gave two quick flips to the crank handle in just the way that had always worked with her —and the motor rumbled into life, for all the world as if it had been an hour

instead of fourteen years since she had last run. Case scratched his head in wonderment and set about seriously appraising his investment. He soon realized that instead of ten dollars’ worth of junk he had bought something that lovers of the Model T dream about: a car that has been stored for longer than it has been used.

True, there were things to be done. The floor of the shed had collapsed with thirteen years’ weight and the car was resting on her axles. When she was jacked up and hauled out, the tires were flat, but three of them held air perfectly when they were pumped up. The upholstery was intact but brittle. It was softened with a liberal dousing of oil, which drove out several families of mice that had made their homes in the stuffing for countless generations. The cloth “touring top" was intact, too, as were the mica side curtains. There was even the Model T version of a gasoline gauge; a marked stick that, pushed into the underseat tank, translated the level of wetness into gallons remaining.

That day in 1943 Charlie Case proudly drove home with expired license plates— thirteen years expired. Instead of relegating his purchase to the back yard, though, he turned his newer car over to his wife and adopted the Model T as his personal car. For the next two years the car more than made up for her long hibernation. At that time beer was tightly rationed in Ontario and hotels remained open only for a couple of hours a day. Case and his fellow waiters used this enforced spare time to take almost daily trips into the surrounding area. “We got to know the country around Woodstock better than we had in all our lives before, or since,” Case maintains. And his wife and children, too, came to prefer the

Ford to the “new” car for picnics and week-end outings.

With the end of the war the second phase in the Model T’s life came to an abrupt end. Case was to move to a new job and decided to sell her. On his last outing with his hotel colleagues he detected a strange look on Bill Masters’ face. On impulse, he said, “Like to drive for a bit, Bill?”

“Oh, yes,” answered Masters eagerly. “I’ve been hoping you’d ask me that for two years . . .”

He slid behind the wheel and went through the routine that was second nature to millions of Model T drivers: left foot on gear pedal to hold it in neutral as combined gearholder and emergency brake lever is released; press gear lever gently down while pulling accelerator hand lever down to gain speed; then a sudden flip upward of the accelerator, simultaneous with releasing gear pedal all the way back to change into high; and finally the gradual pull on the gas to reach cruising speed.

When Masters finished that last ride he told Case, “Thanks, Charlie; she was just like I remember her.”

Case sold the car for fifty dollars to Leroy Couch, a young man who was starting his first job and wanted a car to get to work. With the car went a rather dog-eared instruction manual. “Always strain gasoline through chamois and water through muslin,” it cautioned, and “remember you have control of more speed than you can safely use.” Case gave Couch something else it was customary for Model T owners to pass on to successive owners—a briefing on the car’s personal quirks and idiosyncrasies, knowledge of which could make the difference between good and bad performance. For example, the exact amount the choke

wire, protruding handily near to the crank handle, should be pulled out and the strategic instant it should be pushed back in for successful starting. But everyone was assumed know without being told such simple facts as how to clear a choked fuel line (remove front seat, unscrew gasoline-tank filler cap, press mouth firmly into aperture, blow until head reels and spots appear before eyes. The procedure leaves a dirty ring around the mouth, but it almost always clears the gas line). Or how to climb a hill that the car wouldn’t go up in low (go in reverse —the reasonable explanation being that the gear ratio of reverse was lower than the low gear, fourteen-tç-one instead of ten-to-one).

After Couch bought the Model T she started to have the occasional breakdown. He suspected that she had run too many miles without a complete over-all checkup, but he had no way of knowing. Like her sixteen million sisters, she had no speedometer. Model T owners had to devise their own rule of thumb to estimate how far and how fast they were driving. A popular diagnostic formula went this way: “At ten miles an hour the lamps shake; at twenty the fenders quiver; at thirty the windshield vibrates—and over that you can hear the passengers’ bones rattle.”

For weeks at a time the Model T stood inoperative on a lot in Henry Street, Woodstock, forlorn and, to admirers of the wondrous new postwar cars, unlovely. But she had none of these blemishes in the eyes of a rangy young high-school boy named William (Slim) Houser, who had to pass her every day on his way to school. He approached Couch, who agreed to accept sixty-five dollars for her “as is.” Financed by his father (with a reluctance that required all Slim's enthusiasm to overcome) Houser and three schoolmates. Ross Deller, Ralph Davis and Willis Schneider, took delivery. She wouldn't start, and the tires were shot, but the four boys manhandled her into Houser’s yard and went to work on her.

The principal wasn’t impressed

Houser ignored Henry Ford’s dictum that black was the only suitable color for a Model T, and painted her a tasteful blue. When he got her running he became the first student of Woodstock Collegiate to drive to and from school in his own personal car. It was a status that did not impress principal E. P. Hodgins, who would periodically request that Houser park his “eyesore” elsewhere than directly before the school’s front door.

Houser had to develop special techniques for operating a car on a schoolboy’s budget. Antifreeze, for example, was out of the question. On winter mornings he started the car with its radiator empty and immediately filled it with water, which would not freeze as long as the motor ran. When he reached school he drained the radiator. After school he drove the car, waterless, the shortest way home and left it ready for the start-andrefill drill next morning. By giving all his trade to one gasoline station he persuaded the proprietor to dole out fuel in fifteencent or twenty-cent squirts—often representing the total cash-in-hand of Houser and friends. A burned-out bearing (not an infrequent contingency) was treated temporarily by begging a free five-gallon canfull of crankcase drainings from the nearest service station and stopping every three miles or so to replenish the Model T’s oil as it leaked out the dead bearing.

The Model T's infirmities at this stage of its career were not so much inherent as the inevitable result of having to operate on a frayed shoestring, or as many

Forlorn and trapped by nightfall the Model T crept blindly ahead, feeling its way back home

a proud owner of the same model put it, “on its reputation alone.” The car faced even more unusual hazards. It became a sort of unofficial mascot of the Woodstock High School football team and as such the target for supporters of rival schools. Win or lose, the opposition fans developed an irresistible desire to tip over the Model T, and it was often the innocent centre of lively affrays.

On one memorable occasion Houser escaped with a carload of cheerleaders after a bitterly fought game. As he turned to wave derisively at the outdistanced pursuers the car ran into a post. The steering rod was bent so badly that the front wheels were spread apart and the car was immobilized. While the other side jeered and his own carload of girls gasped, Houser crawled under the car and straightened the rod with his bare hands.

“They thought it was sheer brute strength,” he recalled recently, “but actually it was soft metal.”

The most perilous of all the Model T’s journeys were those that found it away from home after nightfall. Its lighting system, which operated only when the motor was running, worked erratically when it worked at all. More than once Slim’s father, Clifford Houser, a building contractor, had to drive out into the countryside in search of a forlorn sight —an unlighted Model T crawling along the shoulder of the road in low gear, blindly feeling its way home.

In 1946 Houser knew exactly what he wanted to become: an RCAF pilot. His resources were modest: a part-time job that paid seven dollars a week, and one twenty-eight-year-old car. He calculated that, with luck, those should be just enough. A half-hour weekly flying lesson from the veteran pilot AÍ Smith at London airport cost five dollars. The remaining two dollars might cover the Model T’s gas, oil and repairs—provided the latter didn’t arise.

As if the old car realized that schooldays’ fun was over and a young man’s future was involved, she behaved courageously that whole summer. Houser was not once late or absent from a flying lesson. But the sight of the spindly vehicle rumbling up to the air-age hangars never failed to raise a guffaw.

Soon after he won his civilian wings Houser joined the RCAF. He is now a flight lieutenant stationed at Trenton, an instructor and one of Canada’s most experienced jet pilots.

When the time came to dispose of the Model T in favor of jets, Houser knew who was his best prospect. He was Willis Schneider, the schoolmate who had suffered and triumphed along with Houser over the car’s ups and downs, and in the process had become an incurable Model T fan.

Ever since he left school to learn the building trade Schneider had been saving up to buy a Model T—Houser’s if he’d sell it, or somebody else’s. He still suffers when he thinks how close he came to snatching what was probably Canada’s top Model T. One day he and his boss were working on the roof of a new house on Highway 2 near Woodstock. Presently the boss heard Schneider’s hammer blows falter and then stop. He followed the direction of his assistant’s rapt gaze and saw a truck disappearing down the highway. Atop the truck was a Model T.

“All right,” said the boss with a resigned shrug, “chase after it. Take my car.”

Schneider descended from the roof with perilous speed and gave chase. An hour later he was back, shaking his head sadly and yet with the connoisseur’s gleam of appreciation in his eye. “It’s the best I’ll ever see,” he told the boss, “but the guy who has it knows that. It’s a Model T that’s gone less than a hundred miles. Honest.”

Schneider finally bought Slim Houser’s Model T. Houser had put new tires on, and the price was eighty dollars. Not only did that transaction mean that the car had fetched more money from its first second-hand price of ten dollars in 1943, through three more sales, but it probably established some sort of record: five sales, all for cash. Actually, there was nothing unusual about the car selling new for cash. Dr. Edgar Atkinson, the dealer who sold the car to Bill Masters in 1918, recalls that the financing of car sales in those days was the exception rather than the rule.

“There were no finance companies that we country auto agencies ever heard of,” he said. “If we liked the look on a man’s face we might give him credit, although it meant tying up our own capital. We never had to repossess a car, although some buyers were mighty slow payers. The slowest was a man who paid up a two-hundred-dollar note last summer on a car he had bought in 1925. Of course, he’d been paying interest for thirty years.”

“She doesn’t look too bad”

Edwin Schneider, Willis’ father, a retired farmer from Hickson, north of Woodstock, was displeased when his son broke the news that he owned a car. He didn’t approve of young fellows gallivanting around in cars in the first place, and he didn’t approve of Fords in the second place. They didn’t have sensible gearshifts like the Chevrolet, one of which he had owned on the farm. He forbade Willis to keep the car at home.

So the Model T had to spend her nights on vacant lots, on friends’ driveways, wherever there was space for her. But Schneider boldly drove her home for lunch. One day his father looked out the window, silently appraised the ancient auto at the curb, and said, “Hm, she doesn’t look too bad after all.” With the first snows of the winter of 1947 Mr. Schneider said quietly, “Don’t you think you should put up a garage for the winter?” It was the first garage the Model T had had to herself since her long hibernation in the shed at Braemar. Schneider senior and his wife enjoyed outings in the Model T—and he even drove her occasionally—until his death last year.

In 1951 a girl named Marion Hutchinson came to board at the house next door to the Schneiders’ on Anne Street in Woodstock. She had attended Woodstock High School, had returned to her parent’s farm at Innerkip a short distance north, and now had returned to work in a Woodstock office. The first morning she looked out the window she saw something familiar parked in front of the next house. It was the Model T that those crazy boys had fooled around with at school. Presently one of the crazy boys, now grown into a husky man, came out of the house and got into the car. She recognized Willis Schneider.

"Actually I didn’t know any of those Model T boys very well,” Marion recalls. “I thought they were crazy, with that old

car—and anyway they had plenty of girl friends.”

Now Willis took to driving Marion downtown in the morning, home to lunch, back downtown and home after work. One evening a friend asked Willis why he never dated the girl who rode in his car four times a day. “Oh,” said Willis, ”1 just happen to be going where she’s going at the same time.” But that week he asked her for their first date—to go riding in the Model T, of course. They were married in June 1952. and drove from the church to the reception in the Model T.

Willis and Marion Schneider started soon after their marriage on a serious program of rehabilitation for the Model T. They put on a new top, reupholstered the car and gave the body a careful refinishing in traditional Model T black. Bill Masters’ first “improvement,” the electric tail light, was banished in favor of an authentic oil lamp. Together and separately they plied junkyards for needed spare parts.

"Parts are getting tougher and tougher to get,” says Schneider. “One Canadian accessory company still sells a few Model T parts, and a United States firm turns some out. But the reason junked Model Ts are hard to find and strip for parts is that the great vogue for Model Ts in the United States has caused Americans to

come over to Canada and buy up all of this model they can find. Not many Canadians know' that we do a brisk export business to the U. S. in cars—cars thirty to forty years old.”

Nowadays when a man finds himself the owner of an ancient car in good condition he's likely to end up as a member of a club of old-car enthusiasts. Schneider is no exception. In 1952 he joined the Horseless Carriage Club of Southern Ontario. Now he is the president. And the erstwhile ten-do!lar jalopy has brought a row of cups and trophies to the Schneider mantel. For this coming summer the Model T is as busy as a society dowager, with practically every week end booked up for a parade or a town's anniversary celebration somewhere in Ontario.

"1 hope she lasts out until Marie can take her over,” says Schneider. "Marie is only two years old but she’s heard so much about Model Ts around the house and among our friends that she’s a redhot Model T fan already.”

Of course, Marie has one advantage over grown-ups: she thinks all cars are Model Ts. Driving along the highway the other day she spied through the rear window one of those huge car-carrying trucks with a load of half a dozen 1957 monstrosities, "look!" she yelled. “A truck with six Model Ts!"