The Formation of the Model T Ford Club of South Africa
In 2008 I was invited by Phillip Kuschke, one of a handful of passionate Model T Ford Enthusiasts in South Africa to participate in the Centenary Rally celebrating 100 years of the 20th Century car of the Decade, the Model T Ford. At that point in time, I had owned my Model T Ford Speedster for sixteen years and in that period had only encountered a few Model T’s at the car shows and events that I had attended.
What a wonderful surprise to find that there were Model T’s from all corners of the country ranging from (DATE) to (DATE), that had converged on George for the centenary celebration. We were soon mingling and meeting all the people that we had not met before and talking to people whom we had only communicated with on the phone or by email.
As this is not an article on the 2008 event, as that can be read in articles written by people far more knowledgeable on the event than myself, however just to say that we met a whole new group of friends (who have remained friends for the last nine years). Thanks, however to Phillip Kuschke, the Southern Cape Old Car Club and the sponsors of the 2008 centenary run, for the tour and the planting of a seed.
Driving home to Gauteng after the event I thought to myself that it would be a tragedy if the group of people that we had just met, never get together again, this sparked the idea of forming a club for just Model T Ford’sin South Africa.
How to form a club where the members were spread all around this vast country of ours was difficult to visualise and I eventually decided that the Model T Ford owners would have to decide as a group how they would like this club to develop and how they would be part of club with a group of friends that owned these wonderful cars.
I obtained from Phillip Kuschke the names of all the people that he had approached to be part of the 2008 tour which he duly sent me and whilst I was in the middle of compiling a register of Model T Ford Owners, South Africa along with the rest of the world was struck by the global financial crisis, and by November of the same year the project that I had been assigned to in my company was shelved. This forced me out of the country and into work in South America from 2009 to 2014, which put my plans to establish the Model T Ford Club on hold.
I was fortunate enough to be able to retire early, and in 2014 I returned home to start enjoying my retirement and to get heavily invested in all my projects that had been hidden away during my sojourn in South America. It was not long before many of the Model T Ford owners, old and some new ones were in contact with me looking to buy Model T Ford Spares (which thankfully I had bought in 2002 so as to prevent the previous owner from shipping them overseas). At this point I decided to create a WhatsApp group for everyone that I knew that had an interest in Model T Fords and added everyone that I knew on to the group. At the same time I heard from my very good friend Emil Kuschke that his brother Phillip was attempting to create a Model T Ford Register. After many cups of coffee, telephone calls and emails, Phillip, Emil and I decided to resurrect the concept of having a Marque Club for Model T’s in South Africa and decided to form the Model T Ford Club of South Africa ‘MTFSCA’. We prepared a prospectus and started getting this document out to as many Model T Ford owners as possible.
By Some good fortune Model T Ford owners were invited by Mike Liesegang the chairman of the Model A Ford Club of South Africa to a Ford sponsored day to be held at the VVC on the (DATE). We quickly sought permission from Mike and the Chairman of the VVC to use this auspicious occasion to launch the Model T Ford Club of South Africa. This permission was kindly granted and an emotional inaugural meeting was held. Minutes of this meeting are available elsewhere on this website.
Importantly at that point in time the members present decided that as club we would not be prescriptive as to how the club would operate and allow the club members to steer the club in the direction that they would be part of. So I guess that this is the first chapter of what I hope will be a long association with people who love the Model T Ford and that it will be, as one of the members eloquently described it as a ‘club for cars and not just another club for people’.