TOWNSEND – The Yankee Ingenui“T”s, a local Model T Ford and early automobile club, are set to celebrate their 40th anniversary later this month.
At 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 25, the club – many in their Ford Model Ts or Model As – will “parade” down Main Street, starting at Townsend Ford and ending at Brookline Street alongside the Townsend Common. There, the club will host a car show until 1:30 p.m.
As part of the celebration, cake will be available to those who attend.
Member John Barrett said the “social” event was something new for the club, but that he and everyone else involved are excited to celebrate with the people of Townsend.
“I’ve loved antique cars since I was kneehigh to a grasshopper, a lot of us have,” Barrett said. “So we thought it would be fun to have people come out and show off the cars.”
“We’ve always been active – we’ve even had tours up in New Hampshire and even Maine – but we haven’t held many ‘social’ events, even less so because of COVID. So we thought it would just be fun to sort of get together and celebrate – everyone is excited,” he said.
Founded in 1982 by Don Lang, his wife, Pat Lang, and others, the club has served Townsend as a local chapter of the Model T Ford Club of America. The club’s mission is to promote and preserve the Model T and other antique cars for owners and enthusiasts of future generations.
Beyond nostalgia, Barrett said a lot of club interest in early automobiles stems from historical and mechanical aspects.
“A lot of it, I think, has to do with the historical aspect, as well as the mechanics,” he said. “I mean, with a lot of these cars, you’re working with a piece of history. But, beyond that, even with a fairly limited mechanical ability, almost anyone can dig into the guts of these beasts and keep them running.”
“They’re just cool,” Barrett said.
At the show, Barrett said there would also be a presentation about early automobiles, with a focus on the Model T, Model A and their histories. He also said some owners, himself included, would allow those that attend inside the cars and, maybe, even offer rides as a demonstration.
“I know some people won’t want anyone near the cars,” he said. “But, for me, getting inside, feeling around, honking the horn or even going for a drive – that’s all part of the experience.”
Barrett also said he hoped the event could serve as a recruiting event for new members and stressed that those interested do not need to own an antique car to join.
“We certainly hope we can pique some people’s curiosity or interest,” Barrett said. “We would love to see new members, enthusiasts young and old, join the club.”
“The cars are just a lot of fun, they harken back to a simpler age – we want people to continue to use these cars, to understand them and everything that goes into them. It’s history and a truly unique experience – and that’s something we want to keep going,” he said.