- The International Model T Club is in the region this week for its 64th annual tour.
- The club has more than 130 chapters across the world and does annual events to promote and support the hobby.
- More than 230 cars and 500 members are in for the event, which includes visits Tuesday to Newcomerstown and Roscoe Village.
- Mindy Brems of the CVB said such groups visiting gives a boost to the local tourism economy.
COSHOCTON – About 230 Model T Fords and more than 500 members of the International Model T Ford Club descended on Roscoe Village this week.
The club is in the region until Friday as part of its 64th annual tour, which travels to different areas each year. They’re staying in New Philadelphia and Dover and then traveling to other tourist destinations. The club was last in the region in 2001.
On Tuesday, the club started out in Newcomerstown with visiting the Temperance Tavern and Olde Main Street Museum. The afternoon was spent in Roscoe Village going to the stores, restaurants and historical locations. That evening, historical sites were toured in Ragersville, including the first cheese house in Ohio.
Mindy Brems, director of the Coshocton Visitors Bureau, said such groups give a shot in the arm to the local tourist economy, which generated more than $58 million and supported more than 750 jobs in 2019.
While tourism was down in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Brems said it’s bouncing back strong this summer. She said in 2019, they might have had about 75 people enter the tourism and information center in Roscoe Village over a summer weekend. They’ve been well over a 100 every weekend this summer.
“I think people want to get out and they perceive Coshocton and Roscoe Village as a safe place to be. We’re not really highly populated, we’re considered a rural setting,” Brems said. “We’re also seeing a lot of people driving their own RVs. They’re just wandering through the country and are visiting.”
However, a concentrated group like the Model T Club not only gives a one-day boost, but possibly repeat business as they come back on their own in the future, Brems said.
“It’s great for Coshocton and Roscoe Village to have so many people here from so many different states. It gives us wonderful exposure and, hopefully, all these folks who have gotten a taste of Coshocton and a taste of Roscoe will plan later trips to come back here,” she said.
The Model T Ford Club was founded in December 1952 in Chicago, Illinois. The International part was added as new chapters were chartered. It publishes a magazine and does annual tours as a way to promote and support the hobby. Chapters do a variety of events on the local level as well. There are about 130 chapters around the world, including 10 in Ohio.
Sue Cook of Sycamore, second vice president for the club, said the annual get-together was to be in New Philadelphia last year but was cancelled because of the pandemic. She said more than 30 states were represented. Last year, members from Australia and Canada were planning to attend, but still couldn’t come due to pandemic travel restrictions.
Sue and her husband, Jim, have a 1916 pickup truck that was a touring car. It belonged to Jim’s great-grandfather. More than the cars, the Cooks enjoy the people they’ve met.
“Model T people are very friendly. Frugal, but friendly,” Sue said with a laugh.
“Of all the old cars, they’re the cheapest ones to own,” Jim added. “They’re very easy to maintain. People who own multiple old cars, if they have a Model T, they prefer to drive that because it’s so dependable.”
Jim said they top out at about 45 mph and you don’t want to drive them more than 100 miles a day. They’re also simple in operation, most kids could drive one without a problem, he added.
Don and Carol Mannherz of Langhorne, Pennsylvania, had a 1914 brass touring Model T that’s now owned by their granddaughter, Julia Thompson. She’s been part of the club with them since she was 7. She would sit on Don’s lap and steer. They said a lot of younger people are club members and that’s encouraging to see.
“We’re just the caretakers to pass it on to a new generation,” Don said.
Carol said people are so friendly when they see the Model T. They’re always waving and smiling and eager to come over and talk when they make a stop.
Other events for the club included a cruise-in at the Boltz Family Farm, a car show with judging in Downtown New Philadelphia, Summer Showcase at Tuscora Park, vintage fashion show and trips to the Dennison Railroad Depot and Museum, Trumpet in the Land, Schoenbrunn Village and the Ernest Warther Museum and Gardens.
Thursday has the group going to the Age of Steam Roundhouse and Amish Country. Friday finishes the group’s visit with stops at Atwood Lake, Zoar Village, Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway and the Reeves Victorian Home and Carriage House Museum.