Here’s What It Was Really Like to Drive a Model T Ford

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Tired of driving down easy-street in your super comfy modern car? Well, have no fear because the Model T is here! Let’s take a ride down memory lane with a humorous look at what traveling in a Model T was like when it first came out.

1. Air Conditioning? What’s That?

Model T Ford
Zrenjanin; Serbia ; 07.09.2016. Ford Model T from 1921 on exhibition of old cars — Photo by overcrew.

If you like feeling the wind in your hair and bugs in your teeth, then traveling in a Model T Ford is perfect for you! With no air conditioning, you’ll feel the fresh air blowing through your hair and keeping you cool. Just make sure to bring some goggles to protect your eyes from those pesky insects.

Fun Fact: The Model T used a unique set of controls that is quite different from the standard pedal configuration we use today. The three-foot pedals controlled the gear selection, reverse, and brake. The throttle was operated by a lever on the steering column, as was the spark advance.

2. The Smell of Gasoline Is a Feature, Not a Bug

Ford Model T
STUTTGART, GERMANY – MARCH 17, 2016: Vintage car Ford Model T, 1910. Europe’s greatest classic car exhibition, “RETRO CLASSICS” — Photo by S_Kohl.

Ahhh…love that ever-present whiff of gasoline? With its carburetor design and lack of emission controls, you’ll enjoy the intoxicating scent throughout your journey. It’s your own personal aromatherapy session.

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” – Henry Ford

3. Who Needs a Radio When You Have Engine Noise?

Ford Model T 5
Valencia, Spain-October 16, 2009: Restored 1926 Ford Model T Cabriolet at the 2009 Motor Epoca Classic Car Show in Valencia, Spain. — Photo by ventanamedia.

Tired of the same old radio stations? The Model T is the perfect solution! With its loud engine noise, you’ll never miss a beat. It’s like having your own personal concert every time you hit the road.

Fun Fact: The Model T had a planetary gear transmission, which is much different from modern manual or automatic transmissions. Learning to drive the Model T involved mastering the use of its foot pedals and throttle lever.

4. Pack Light or Don’t Pack at All

Ford Model T 3
Zrenjanin ;Serbia ; 07.09.2016.Ford Model T from 1921 on exhibition of old cars
 — Photo by overcrew.

Minimalists will think traveling in a Model T is right up your alley. With limited storage space, you’ll have to pack light or not at all. Who needs extra clothes, toiletries, or snacks when you can enjoy the freedom of traveling with only the bare necessities?

Fun Fact: The Model T was designed to be mechanically simple and easy to repair, but it required more frequent maintenance than modern vehicles. This included regular oil changes, frequent cleaning of the carburetor, and adjustment of the mechanical brakes.

5. Get Ready for Some Arm Workouts

Ford Model T 4
QUEENSTOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – 17 June 2017: Vintage Model T Ford car parked at public show in Queenstown — Photo by ToscaW.

Forget about going to the gym because traveling in a Model T is a workout in itself. With its manual steering and brakes, you’ll have to use your arms to navigate through the twists and turns of the road. Who needs a personal trainer when you have a Model T?

Fun Fact: The Model T was a bare-bones vehicle. It did not have features we take for granted today, such as air conditioning, a radio, comfortable seating, or extensive cargo space.

6. Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Ford Model T 6
ROLLAG, MINNESOTA, Sept 1. 2016: A 1922 Ford Center Door Model T is displayed at the West Central Steam Threshers Reunion in Rollag, MN attended by 1000’s held annually on Labor Day weekend. — Photo by fiskness.

If you’re in a hurry, then a Model T is not the vehicle for you. With a top speed of 45 mph, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the scenery and the company of your fellow passengers. No need for speed when you have the joy of a leisurely ride!

Fun Fact: The Model T was originally started with a hand crank, although electric starters were introduced in later models. The hand crank could be dangerous if not used properly, as a backfire could cause the crank to spin around and strike the operator.

7. Say Goodbye to Comfortable Seating

Ford Model T
BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA, August 6, 2016: The Capital A’Fair in Bismarck features the” Fords and Mustangs” car show where the 1913 black Ford Model T is displayed. — Photo by fiskness.

Tired of plush seating and comfortable cushions? Then a Model T is perfect for you. With its hard metal seats and bumpy suspension, you’ll feel every bump and pothole in the road. It’s like having your own personal massage chair!

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” – Henry Ford

8. Bring Your Tool Kit

Model T Roadster
LANDSBERG, GERMANY – JULY 13: Oldtimer rallye for at least 80 years old antique cars with Ford T Roadster, built at year 1911, photo taken on July 13, 2013 in Landsberg, Germany.

If you’re handy with a wrench, then you’re going to love the Model T. With its simple design and easy-to-access engine, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to tinker and fix any problems that arise. You’ll be the driver and the mechanic.

Fun Fact: The Model T was flexible in the type of fuel it could use. It was designed to run on gasoline, kerosene, or ethanol. However, because of its simple carburetor design, the smell of gasoline was often present during driving.

9. Be Prepared for Flat Tires

Ford Model T
Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

Get ready for adventures because driving a Model T is like having your own personal tire-changing book camp. With its spindly wheels and lack of modern tire technology, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to change a flat tire or two. 

10. Get Cozy With Your Fellow Passengers

Model T Ford
Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

Don’t care to travel alone? Then climb right in the Model T! With its lack of sound insulation and cramped interior, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to bond with your fellow passengers. Who needs personal space when you have the joy of shared experiences?

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” – Henry Ford

Best Gas Stations in America Worth Stopping For

Bucees gas station red truck
Image Credit: EWY Media /

Gas stations are typically nothing more than mere pit stops during long journeys, serving the functional purpose of refueling vehicles. However, there are some exceptional gas stations across America that go beyond the ordinary, offering unique experiences and amenities that make them destinations in their own right! 

Best Gas Stations in America Worth Stopping For

Here’s What Travel Was Like 100 Years Ago

female driver black and white
Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

Travel has definitely improved over the past 100 years. And by the way, if you’re thinking 100 years ago was back in the 1800s, you might be showing your age…100 years ago was 1923, and Americans were hitting the road in their new-fangled automobiles. Here are ten things you might expect if you traveled across America 100 years ago.

Here’s What Travel Was Like 100 Years Ago

10 Iconic American Road Trip Movies

Thelma and Louise - Pathé Entertainment
Image Credit: Pathé Entertainment.

CoPilot researched the history of road trip cinema and chose 10 of the best, most iconic films in which people drive across the U.S.

10 Iconic American Road Trip Movies

Main Street of America: Route 66 Attractions State by State

Route 66 sign
Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

Known as the “Mother Road” of the U.S., Route 66 connects Chicago to Los Angeles. Stacker compiled a list of 50 Route 66 attractions for any traveler looking to make the eight-state road trip.

Main Street of America: Route 66 Attractions State by State

This article was produced by Our Woven Journey.

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Demi Michele is a seasoned traveler, turned freelance writer. Having explored most states and ventured internationally, her love for outdoor cafes, new cuisines, and cultural immersion shines through her wide range of articles. Based in Texas with her family and two Scottish Terriers, Demi turns her adventures into captivating travel narratives to share with readers.