Car collector ready to show off Model-T

Mike Linn

Jack Carr’s favorite automobile doesn’t have cruise control. It doesn’t sport chrome hubcaps. It doesn’t even include a gas peddle. It can’t go zero to 60 — at all.
And that’s precisely what Carr said he loves about his 1924 Ford Model-T, which he will enter Saturday in this year’s Heritage Days antique car show.
“He’s passionate about Model-Ts like young guys are passionate about convertibles,” said Carr’s daughter Helen Howard.
The wheels on Carr’s Model-T are 3.5 inches thick, about 1/3 the size of tires on modern cars. The accelerator is a lever attached to the steering wheel. The hubcaps, or spokes, are wooden. There is no speedometer, and Carr figures since the original Model-Ts only topped 35 mph, then speed limits in the 1920s were non-existent anyway — just pull the lever and let it ride.
“This Model-T is about as original you can get it after it has been restored. And since it has been restored it can go 50 mph easy,” boasted Carr while sitting in his vintage black Model-T on Thursday afternoon.
The car show scheduled for 9 a.m. in city park is sponsored by the Eastern New Mexico Antique Automobile Club is one of dozens events planned Saturday as Roosevelt County celebrates its 100th anniversary.
Carr owned a Model-T when he was in high school. He said he’s not sure what happened to that car, but after serving in World War II his interest in Model-Ts resurfaced.
As time went on Carr began searching for Model-T parts in the hopes of rebuilding one of the classics. A farmer in Milnesand found Carr a Model-T frame and motor on his property buried under a sand dune, half the fender and a portion of the window showing. Carr said he and his brother dug it up.
Carr, who sold feed to local dairies before retirement, said he found the matching body of a Model-T on a farm in Arch. The owner, Carr said, had the body slumped over a water well in an effort to keep his livestock out.
“He said, ‘you can have it, I guess, but now I’m going to have to find something else to keep my livestock out of the well,’” Carr recalled.
Carr found his parts, and has since rebuilt several classics, including a 1920 center-door Sedan Model-T and a 1926 four-door Model-T. He also owns a 1954 Chevy.
The myth that woman like fancy cars may have been supported when Carr met his second wife, Cleta.
“She kept asking for a ride, and I said ‘you’ll have to marry me if you want a ride,’” Carr said.
It worked, and after their wedding in the mid-90s the two left the reception in the 1924 Model-T, a large string of coke cans tied to the back.
“The entire ride people were honking their horns and waving in astonishment,” Cleta said.