CAR LOVER: Mundubbera's Greg Rice with his Ford Model T at the Model T Owners Queensland club meeting last weekend.
CAR LOVER: Mundubbera's Greg Rice with his Ford Model T at the Model T Owners Queensland club meeting last weekend. Alex Treacy

The 'T Party' comes to town

GREG Rice's first contact with a Ford Model T came when he was just a few days old.

His mother was fond of telling the story of how when she was taking baby Greg home from the hospital in Model T, her shawl caught the wind and fell through the floor of the car.

Hearing that story, Mr Rice fell in love with the car.

The 63-year-old semi-retired bus driver from Mundubbera now owns two Model Ts, both from 1926: a Tourer (pictured) and a Roadster.

The Roadster is an ex-police vehicle from Dirranbandi, Mr Rice said.

"I just love the old cars,” he said.

"I can't stand for making (Model Ts) into hotrods, it's terrible, sacrilege.”

Last weekend, Mr Rice hosted the quarterly Model T Owners Queensland club rally in Mundubbera, where they visited the elderly residents of Coonambula Lodge, drove to Boondooma Homestead and organised a Sunday morning photo-shoot.

Ford Model T's at the Model T Owners Queensland club meeting on Mundubbera on the weekend.
Ford Model T's at the Model T Owners Queensland club meeting on Mundubbera on the weekend. Alex Treacy

Mr Rice said Model Ts are statement cars.

"You've got to have your waving arm on when you drive these,” he said.

But they require work.

"You've got to keep on to it because they're old vehicles, Mr Rice said.

"We've got a checklist for our road safety and we're very meticulous about it, we've got to make sure everything is oiled, everything is tight, everything is pinned and we do that before we go out on any rallies.”

However, a benefit of the old machines is that you "don't need any diagnostic machine to work out what's wrong with them,” Mr Rice said.

Club president Don Hill said the club has around 120 members and he estimates there to be around 500 Model Ts left in Australia.

"Because there were so many back in the day... there's still a lot of them left over,” Mr Hill said.

"So there were always more of these to put together to keep on the roads.”

According to the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, around 250,000 Model Ts were sold in Australia, and Mr Hill said at one point they made up around half of all registered cars on Australian roads.

Mr Hill said instead of club meetings, they had quarterly rallies like these in different towns, which the club calls "T Parties”.

"These 'T Parties' are a good way of getting your car out and running them, we go away for the weekend and the host decides on a destination,” he said.

They also have an annual combined rally with the Model A Ford Club of Qld and a rally to celebrate Henry Ford's birthday on July 30.

In late-September, the club is hosting the 13th National Model T Tour, a week-long event in Maryborough.

Model Ts were in production from 1908-1927 and in 2001 it was voted the 'Car of the 21st Century' by a jury of 126 automotive journalists.



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