One Vintage Car – One Grand Adventure
Do you ever think about taking a road trip in your classic car? Bet it isn’t an 80,000-mile world tour, which is what one couple from the Netherlands decide to do in their 1915 Ford Model T. Dirk and Trudy Regter wanted an adventure and they definitely get one.
This Owner Knows His Model T’s
Dirk, a retired architect who inherited his love of classic cars from his grandfather, is no stranger to vintage cars, having already owned a 1923 Ford Model T and a 1928 Ford Model A. He knows the Model T is reliable, durable and remarkably suited for rough terrain. Ford built his cars for unpaved roads!
Crazy for a Cause
Taking a 100-year-old car on an around-the-world adventure is viewed by some as lunacy. “A lot of people said you are crazy; why would you do it?” Dirk says. “But our tour gets a lot of attention and we need the attention to raise money for the SOS Children’s Villages International charity and orphaned children worldwide.” Their trip is more quest than the typical sight-seeing venture.
Could Your Classic Travel Over 50,000 Miles?
In 2012 the Regters set off in their Model T from Edam, Holland with no formal route planned. With a top speed of around 40 mph, the couple clock over 15,000 miles through Africa the first year, 17,000 miles across the U.S and Canada in 2013 and 16,000 miles through South America in 2014.
We’re an American Fan
On their U.S trip, Dirk and Trudy discover just how popular the Model T is in our country. “Everyone knows it!” and the classic car community welcome them with open arms. “The most amazing thing was meeting people who also loved the Model T.” The love of a good classic car is universal.
It Pays to Be Handy
The car is entirely original apart from the tires, which were replaced with a larger variety to improve the ride. The wheels still have the original wooden spokes. Along the way there are repairs (a flat tire, broken alternator) but nothing Dirk can’t handle. “I’m pretty handy. A screwdriver, hammer, duct tape, tie wraps and tensioning straps go a long way.”
Over 15 Million Model T’s Produced
The Ford Model T is the first mass produced automobile in the world with over 15 million cars made between 1908-1927. First produced in the U.S, Ford soon establishes assembly plants in Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Spain and the U.K. It is popular everywhere as the couple discovers when they meet a farmer in Botswana with a one sitting in his barn.
An Accident Derails the Worldwide Tour
Tragedy strikes in Belgium at the end of 2014 when a speeding truck rear-ends the trailer transporting their beloved Model T. Luckily everyone is alright but the car suffers extensive damage. The couple’s plans for the Australia/New Zealand/Indonesia leg of their trip has to be postponed while they raise money to repair their car.
Down but Not Out – Rebuilding Continues
Dirk and Trudy (along with their chase team) are eager to be back on the road this year to continue raising money for charity. Determined not to let this little setback derail their worldwide journey, they are rebuilding. You can follow their efforts (and contribute to their fund) on their website. “I hope Henry Ford would be proud of me.” This classic Model T and its owners will soon be blazing new trails on this most excellent adventure. Meanwhile, the folks at Ford Germany put together a video chronicling Dirk and Trudy’s worldwide journey. Feel free to share it with other classic car lovers, as we wish Dirk and Trudy good luck!
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