Centennial Newsletter



Click Here for: Special Edition of the Tin Lizzies News - PDF File

Arkansas Tin Lizzies, a local chapter of the
Model T Ford Club of America

A Gathering of T's at the
Antique Airplane Fly-In

Arkansas Tin Lizzies
All Polished and Ready To Go!

Tin Lizzies’ Centennial t
Party adventure

Special Edition  

August 2008

The centennial experience

For those who went to Indiana either driving or trailering their T, the general consensus was it was a great time and fun from beginning to end.  The Arkansas Tin Lizzies were represented by fifteen members, ten of whom drove either all the way to Richmond in their T or drove from Springfield, Missouri after leaving their trailer and modern vehicle.    

The Arkansas club had the most members to drive to Richmond in their T’s.  This group included Frank and Lois Cook, Jeff Bland, Bill and Nellie Howell, Joe and Betty Jeffers, Michael Nowlin, Bill and Jane Payne, Rex Poe and lady friend Marie, David and Tena Ragsdale, Al and Karol Spencer and Mike Walker.  Members that we met in Richmond were Mike Bender, Morris Dillow, Fred and Lavina Houston, Ed Levy and Earl and Nancy Zechiedrich.  In Richmond it was evident that great preparation and care had been taken in the planning and execution of the Centennial T Party.  There were 47 states represented along with 9 foreign countries and over 970 Model T’s at the party.  There were volunteers galore to help participants and other visitors.  Information was well organized and distributed.  It did not take our members long to get oriented and involved in all that was happening.  At first it may have seemed to some there would not be enough time to do everything that you wanted to do.  At the end of the week many were pretty sure that they had crammed everything into the week!

The T Party offered tours, seminars, judging of cars, a speedster event, an antique airplane fly-in, a vintage baseball game, a parade of T’s, a swap meet, MTFCA’s Model T museum, an opening and closing dinner and even a T repair area called Gasoline Alley.  With so many Model T’s in the area, some of the fun was just seeing all the other cars whether in the judging or just passing by.  It must be said, too, that the Richmond, Indiana area was a great place to visit with dozens of historical sights from museums to houses and other things of times past.

     One of those pretty old places.

Richmond, Centerville and the cities and towns of the area seemed glad to have all the people that arrived for the T Party.  Not only were they gracious to this influx of strangers, they were so tolerant of all those Model T’s on their streets and byways travelling at minimum speeds and on occasions lost or temporarily disabled.  The Arkansas Tin Lizzies certainly felt welcomed.

Downtown Richmond, Indiana also polished and ready to go!

The experience of driving a T over 1300 miles was a challenge and for first time long distance Model T riders it may have been a little scary.  All thought they would make it; but uncertainty lurked around the corner on how much trouble might be in store for these eighty and ninety plus year old cars.  Everyone was excited to get on the road.  The cars were made ready over several months time for some and many last minute things cropped up for more than a few of the Tin Lizzie members.  Frustration and a bit of panic may have set in the last weeks of preparation.

The Centennial t party in  review

The pictures that follow show a few of the fun things that happened on the Centennial T Party adventure.

In Springfield trailered T’s were unloaded and the adventure began.

Rex Poe’s Mr. Rusty was the first on the trouble trailer, but not the last!

One day turned off rainy; Joe and
Betty Jeffers geared up for it.

Jim Finney with Jeff Bland.  Jim had an astounding town car collection.

Almost everyone drove the
trouble trailer one day.

Mike Riefer’s funeral car and ambulance collection in Owensville, MO was an interesting stop

Some of the days started early and lasted into late afternoon, but everyone held up!

Country roads along the way were beautiful at 35 mph.

The little towns were scenic as well.

Tin Lizzies at the opening banquet

The historic Richmond tour showed many National Register homes.

Morris’ car placed third overall in the judging

The MTFCA museum was a real treat for all the old car buffs.

Everyone was interested in the antique airplane fly in.

Winchester Speedway was the place to see the really fast Model T’s.


Others had a chance to play like race cars.

Jeff Bland organized a cookout at the fairgrounds one evening that was as delicious as it was fun.

Mike Bender and Fred Houston’s transmission restoration seminar.

Mike Bender in his car with another speedster enthusiast at the all day speedway event Mike and Fred led.

Working on a car sometimes got more supervision than my have been required.

A gathering of most of our group from Arkansas.

Barry and Carolyn Elcock are new Arkansas members from New Zealand.

Covered bridges of Preble County, Ohio just east of Richmond were one of many interesting tours.

The five millionth Model T that came off Henry Ford’s assembly line.

A convenience store stop for gas was often as entertaining as the tours.

Lyle Hutchens of Salem, MO shared his collection with Tin Lizzies.

The Homeward bound group took a ferry across the muddy Mississippi.

Suddenly…. it was time to go home!

This says it all for those Arkansas Tin Lizzies!

Tin Lizzies go international

Some of our new friends from New Zealand and Germany.

We were happy to welcome three new members to the Arkansas Tin Lizzies from outside the United States.  Barry and Carolyn Elcock from Christchurch, New Zealand and Reiner Wilhelm of Germany joined the Arkansas club at the T Party.  Barry and Carolyn rode with the Howells during all the centennial events.  They have two Model T’s back home in New Zealand one of which is Barry’s love, a speedster.  He brought pictures of his handiwork as a machinist that all the speedster guru’s were anxious to view.  Reiner and other Model Ters from Germany sat with some of the Arkansas group; Reiner was convinced to be one of us too!  It was interesting to share our T’s and T experiences with others at the centennial. 

And then there were the cars



And more cars






All who went to Indiana certainly want to thank those who helped in the plans and preparations for the trip.  David Ragsdale spent endless hours in route selection, motel reservations and finding numerous


interesting stops and restaurants along the way.  Two Indiana restaurants were especially nice to the group, Lumpy’s in Cambridge City and Hoover’s Candy & Eatery in Bedford.  Just for the Arkansas group Lumpy’s stayed open late one evening and Hoover’s opened on a Sunday.  Jeff Bland made arrangements for secure parking at Forrest Hutton’s shop for our vehicles and trailers in Springfield and making the contact with Jim Finney to see a marvelous collection of town cars, antique vehicles and other memorabilia.  Thank you too, Forrest.  Jeff also was our organizer and chef for a great cookout in Richmond.  Bill Howell gathered and organized the spare parts for use along the way.  He also assisted in the route planning.  David and Bill led the group on all those roads to Indiana and back.  Bill Payne loaned his truck to haul the trouble trailer (David Ragsdale’s.)  The trailer housed our extra gear, new purchases and all those spare parts.  Almost everyone was a driver of the trouble trailer for one day along the way.

River Valley Plans September Tour

The River Valley region has planned a tour to Eureka Springs on September 6.  The group will be leaving the Russellville area Saturday morning early enough to get to Eureka for the morning parade and the bank robbery re-enactment.  A trouble trailer will be along should it be needed.  The group will be staying at the Statue Road Inn, 909 Passion Play Road, Eureka Springs, AR.  The motel phone number is 479-253-9163.  Call Bill Howell (479-236-3630 or 479-229-3878) if you want to go along.

Fall meeting update

Our fall meeting will be the 16th through the 18th of October.  Joe and Betty Jeffers sent a tour update to let everyone know our plans for the Vicksburg area.  The tour will be packed with things to do and see Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Thursday we will go to Vicksburg National Park and around the Vicksburg area (bring your national park pass if you have one.)  Friday’s ride will be to Crystal Springs, MS and the Mississippi State University Fall Flower and Garden Festival.  We have been invited to be in their parade that morning.  Our meeting will be held Friday evening.  Saturday touring will be to Natchez and the Hot Balloon Festival.  Joe suggested you be sure your T lights are working since our return to Vicksburg Saturday evening may be after dark.  Should this be a problem we can return early.  Our motel will be the Jameson Inn, 3975 S. Frontage Rd.  Call 601-619-7799 to reserve your room.  You should do this by October 1 to get the reduced rates.  Joe has booked 15 rooms, 10 doubles and 5 kings.  The rate will be $75.99 per night and will be available the 15th through the 18th.  Ask for the Tin Lizzie rate, you will save $24.00 a night.  There is parking available at the motel as well as at the Factory Outlet Mall next door and the Cracker Barrel.  The mall manager offered coupon books to members that want to save when they shop, just stop in at the mall office.

This map shows the general location of the Jameson Inn.


2008 Tin Lizzie officers

President……….…Roy Mathis
Vice President…....Bill Payne
Sec./Treas………...David Ragsdale
Director…………....Frank Cook
Director…………....Joe Jeffers
Webmaster………..Bill Howell
Newsletter Editor…Nellie Howell