THE MODEL T "GRAVITY FEED" FORD
I still have a recurring dream (nightmare?) about a car that couldn't quite make it back up a steep, winding hill which led down into the valley where my grandparents lived.
They had emigrated to central South Dakota from Norway and chose to locate in a spot that reminded them of their homeland. We children were always eager to go "down to Grandmothers" (for wondrous it was with chokecherry bushes, wild cherries and cutbanks to climb).
When it was time to go home Mom piled us back into the Model T, and amid waves and shouts of goodbye, we settled down and headed out for the long trek home. We were out of the valley and part way up the long precipitous hill before the car began to sputter and then, finally, came to a complete stop, and it could not be coerced into climbing any further.
Designed with the gas tank under the front seat the Model T boasted a gravity feed which allowed the gas to flow into the carburetor. When the rear end of the car was lower than the front end for any length of time the car would not budge.
Finally, in desperation, Mom, who had no towing service available (!) directed us 3 children to sit alongside the grassy edge of the rutted road while she maneuvered the car around and managed to back it all the way up the hill!
The car was a model T Ford with a gravity feed. The year was 1929 and I was 5 years old.
Louise Hullinger Copyright
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