SAAC: Spotlight on the Connecticut
Post article featuring Charles (& Victoria)
Gagel's Model T Fords
As Published in the Tuesday, October 28, 2008 edition of the Connecticut Post newspaper
(this page new as of 5/19/2009)
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This article originally appeared in the Connecticut Post newspaper (www.connpost.com), Tuesday, October 28, 2008, front page and continuation on page A6.
IMAGE AT THE RIGHT: This is a photo of how the front page of the Tuesday, October 28, 2008 edition of the Connecticut Post newspaper appeared (thanks to a co-worker of mine for saving this issue for me). As you can see, the Model T article that is profiled on this page takes up a very substantial piece of "real estate" on the front page, complete with no less than two full-color photos accompanying! Detail views of the newspaper article photos were carefully scanned and are included for your viewing further down on this page.
An American Classic - Orange man revels as Ford Model T celebrates its 100th anniversary
By Melvin Mason, Staff Writer, Connecticut Post; photos by Phil Noel, Staff Photographer, Connecticut Post
The little vehicle revs up to no more than 40mph. It has no radio, let alone a Global Positioning System. Aerodynamic it is not.
But for Charles Gagel, the Ford Model T is an American classic that has stood the test of time--100 years to be exact.
"It's one heck of a way to view the world. It's really life in the slow lane," the Orange resident said of driving his Model T, one of the most popular production cars in history.
A century after the first Model Ts rolled off the assembly line in Dearborn, Mich., the boxy car continues to make people like Gagel smile and conjure up images of days gone by.
The first Model T was built for sale on October 1, 1908, according to Ford. It was marketed as the first low-priced, mass-produced automobile with standard, interchangeable parts.
Ford reports that more than 15 million Model Ts were sold by the time production ended on the car in 1927.
Collecting Model Ts has been a love for Gagel, 54, since he was a child. His father owned a Model T station wagon when the family lived on Old Tavern Road in Orange.
Model Ts generally weigh less than a ton, and Gagel says they're simpler and more fun to drive than today's cars. He even has an affection for the vehicle's small windshield, the simple two-speed transmission and the little lamps.
"I grew up with the car. I love the simplicity of it, how it runs, how it sounds, how it handles," he said.
According to Ford, between 60,000 and 80,000 Model Ts are still on the road. Gagel belongs to the Connecticut Crankin' Yanks, a branch of the Model T Ford Club of America. Last month, he attended an Antique Automobile Club of America event in Hershey, PA, to mark the Model T centennial.
Gagel, the chief of the Orange Fire Department, owns three Model Ts: a 1922 touring car that he purchased in 1991 after a barn fire; a 1922 1-ton truck that he's restoring, and a 1926 model that needs extensive work. The latter two are stored in barns on his property, waiting for him to do some tinkering and repair work.
IMAGE AT THE RIGHT: This is a photo of how the upper left portion of page A6 of the Tuesday, October 28, 2008 edition of the Connecticut Post newspaper appeared (thanks to a co-worker of mine for saving this issue for me). Another full-color photo accompanies the article on this page also! A detail view of the newspaper article photo on this page was also carefully scanned and are included for your viewing further down on this page.
Gagel and his 25-year-old daughter, Victoria, share ownership of a 1914 Model T that they've named the "chief's car" because it resembles an old-time fire chief's vehicle, including the "C1" designation and the gold "Orange" lettering on the front and the distinctive monocle windshield.
'I enjoy them just as much as he does," Victoria said. "I was born into it."
The 1922 touring car gets plenty of use. Gagel and his wife, Linda, regularly go for rides in it.
Gagel has traveled to gatherings of Model T collectors and enthusiasts with fellow members of the Crankin' Yanks Model T Club. He's also driven his classics on vacations, including a six-hour drive to Bennington, VT, that would ordinarily have taken about half that time in a modern vehicle.
But the Model T's slow pace doesn't bother Gagel. He likes to relax and appreciates tooling around in an icon of automotive history.
"It's not for profit. It's for my enjoyment," he said.
About the Ford Model T
Sources: Henry Ford Museum, Ford Motor Co., Time Magazine
IMAGE AT THE UPPER RIGHT: This is a detail scan of one of the images accompanying the Model T article in the October 28, 2008 edition of the Connecticut Post newspaper. In case it's not readable, the caption to the photo reads: "Victoria Gagel and her father, Charles, are reflected in the radiator of a 1914 Model T fire engine at their Orange home."
IMAGE BELOW: This is a detail scan of one of the images accompanying the Model T article in the October 28, 2008 edition of the Connecticut Post newspaper. In case it's not readable, the caption above the photo reads: "A Century of Memories." The caption below the photo reads: "Victoria Gagel, in a 1914 Ford Model T fire engine, left, and her father, Charles Gagel, in a 1922 Model T, are members of the Connecticut Crankin' Yanks, a car club devoted to the Model T, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this month."
IMAGE BELOW: This is a detail scan of one of the images accompanying the Model T article in the October 28, 2008 edition of the Connecticut Post newspaper. In case it's not readable, the caption below the photo reads: "A 1922 Ford Model T belonging to Charles Gagel, left, and a 1914 Model T fire engine belonging to his daughter, Victoria, sit outside their Orange home."
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