Most of us have a hard time imagining anything staying in our lives for 70 years, let alone a vehicle that could potentially wear out, get damaged, or be stolen. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation caught up with one Nova Scotia that man has defied the odds and still drives the 1927 Ford Model T he purchased at auction in 1949. There are a lot of cool vintage vehicles on the road today, but not many with a story quite as special as this one.
A kid with a dream
Randall Pitman was a part-time gas station attendant when he learned that the then 22-year-old Ford Model T would be put up for auction. With his $50 savings in hand, he had the winning bid at $45.
It’s as if it were meant to be and the two have traveled far and wide since that day. In fact, they still make regular excursions to vintage car shows and Pitman still drives the antique truck regularly despite having to hand-crank the engine to start it up.
Many classic cars had features that are unheard of on today’s modern vehicles. There are no electronic turn signals on the Ford Model T, Pitman performs that task manually by stretching his left arm out the driver’s side window to signal his intended maneuver.
He teases that “air conditioning” is available by rolling down the windows and turning a crank that opens up the bottom of the front windshield. The engine purrs and the brakes still work as they should, but the Ford Model T was produced before seat belts or seat belt laws were deemed a necessity so hold on tight. In the video, you can see the care he uses and you can hear the emotion in his voice as he talks about the old vintage Model T pickup truck.
Their most recent adventure took place in July of 2019 and had them traveling to a vintage truck show in Crapaud, Prince Edward Island, Canada. Although Pitman usually drives the Ford Model T to shows such as this, this time the truck will make the 600 km trip on a flatbed. While not overly concerned with any specific reliability issues or his ability to fix any issues along the way, Pitman confesses “that new parts for an old truck don’t come cheap.” Whether or not parts and maintenance supplies are expensive or difficult to acquire, one thing is certain, after all the time Pitman has spent with this Model T truck he knows it and its quirks very well.
Vintage car connoisseur
As if having one vintage vehicle in his life wasn’t enough, Pitman bought another 1927 Ford Model T in the 1960s. This newest addition is a coupe and he’s been working to restore it over the last 7 years. Imagine the looks he gets driving a 1927 Model T pickup truck to town to pick up parts for a 1927 Model T coupe.
Standing the test of time
The Ford Model T was produced from 1908 to 1927 and was powered by a 177-cubic-inch engine that reportedly produced 20 horsepower. The fact that Ford Model T engines were produced to support other applications until 1941 is an indication of its performance and longevity.