Model T collection rumbles into Heritage Museum


Residents visiting the San Dieguito Heritage Museum take a trip back in time. Around 25 Model Ts at the museum on July 14 made the experience that much more authentic.

The Model T Club of America stopped at the museum as part of a five-day tour across San Diego. For two hours, the vintage car owners showed off their rides, dating back to 1908 to 1927. And they answered questions from residents.

Local resident Warren Raps, who restored a 1917 model T that can be found at the museum, helped arrange for the cars to visit the museum.

Raps has been enamored with the vehicles since he was a youngster.

“When I was 6, I went with my dad to look at a farm he was interested in buying,” Raps said. “In the barn was a 26-foot touring Model T with the top up. I thought it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.”

Raps, who belongs to the Model T Club of America and Hidden Valley Model T Club, said the vehicles have a special place in American history.

“That was the first car to put America on wheels,” he said. “Comparatively, they were cheap.”

Driving them isn’t easy, because of the odd position of the throttle, brake and shifter.

“It took me about six months to get the hang of,” Raps said. “It’s fun, though.”

Tony Bowker, treasurer and past president of the San Diego Chapter of the Model T Club of America, said he enjoys the camaraderie of the events.

“People in general in the club are real nice,” said Bowker, adding that the Model Ts frequently break down, so “we’re always willing to lend each other a hand.”