YAKIMA, Wash. - Today, a fleet of 55 Model T Ford cars is chugging
through central Washington on a journey that began last month in New
York City. In the next six days, they'll cross Snoqualmie Pass to end
up in Seattle. It's a reenactment of a race that was a highlight of the
Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, the "World's Fair" held in Seattle a
century ago this summer.
Eric Taylor, the heritage program manager with 4Culture
the King County cultural services agency, who is helping to coordinate
the Washington events, says that as road trips go, it's been quite an
"There's no air conditioning. Some of the cars don't have windshields;
some are open-air. And when you're driving them, that's all you're
doing - they are prone to breaking down. But at the same time, they are
very simple machines, so the drivers are able to make changes along the
way to keep them going."
The original race, called the "Ocean to Ocean Endurance Contest," was
held at least in part to provide publicity for Model T's, which were
brand new back then. According to Eric Taylor, things should be a bit
easier this time.
"It took them approximately 22 days in 1909, across some very rough
territory. The difference this time is that the 55 Model T's that are
coming across have their schedule planned out so that they drive for
four days, and then they have a day of rest for the automobiles and the
Towns along the way have planned public events around the Model T
visits, from a salmon bake and screening of "The Great Race" in the
town of Snoqualmie, to a 1909 World's Fair exhibit in Issaquah. The
cars and drivers will spend tonight in Yakima, then Thursday at the
Summit Lodge on Snoqualmie Pass. There's a layover Friday and Saturday
nights in Issaquah, and they reach Seattle on Sunday, July 12.
The Model T racers are blogging at oceantoocea.ning.com
. The full race itinerary is online at www.ayp100.org