Ocean to Ocean 2019

The 2019 Ocean-to-Ocean Rerun Team will be making a stop in New Hartford on June 17th around 4pm at the Holiday Inn Utica – New Hartford at 1777 Burrstone Road. The public is invited to check out the cars and meet their drivers.

The 2019 Ocean-to-Ocean Rerun team is gearing up for its cross-country venture beginning June 15th. The members of the Ocean-to-Ocean team love automotive history and don’t mind life in the slow lane. In fact, they plan to spend 30 days in the non-passing lane when they drive their Ford Model T’s from Tarrytown, NY to Seattle, Washington.

The route will cover 4000 miles in 11 states. Unlike many rare auto collectors, this group drives their cars rather than allowing them to become expensive dust collectors. Driving in a Model T allows drivers and passengers to enjoy the great outdoors – all of it. There is no heat or air conditioning in the cars and many of them will be running with the tops down in order to maintain “running” speed of 40 miles an hour.

Maintenance is also a huge concern for the Model T’s many of which are over a 100 years old with original wooden bodies. Drivers will have more than just the local landscape to consider as they need to keep a keen eye on the many maintenance items that have to be addressed every day. A Model T gas tank located securely under the front seat will hold 10 gallons and cover 175 miles. Oil levels, gas levels, tire pressure and water levels in the radiator must be checked regularly. Changing tires means manually removing the tire and tube from the rim. It also has to be replaced with hand strength.

There will be 35 Model T owners from several countries. Milt Roorda will be driving a 1909 Model T which will be oldest one in the group.

Morris Dillow and his co-chairman Jon Greisenbeck of Virginia are anticipating a wonderful historic endurance run of the 110th anniversary of the original race. Their love of driving and appreciation for history led them to organize the 2019 Ocean to Ocean Rerun, a re-enactment of America’s first transcontinental automobile race, the 1909 Ocean-to-Ocean Automobile Endurance Contest which started in on June 1, 1909 with the first competitor reaching 22 days later. The first place prize was $2000 which is worth $55,288 in 2019.

“Henry Ford was true marketing guy who knew he had to prove the durability of his cars. This event created an ideal opportunity to show the Model T was affordable and more reliable than any of his competitor’s cars,” said Dillow. “There were very few paved roads west of the Mississippi River in 1909. Competitors faced running out of gas, fires, getting lost, axle deep mud and even quicksand. Ford heavily advertised the race results after Model T was first to cross the finish line after 23 days. As a result, it became the worlds best-selling car in the first half of the 20th century,” added Dillow.

Contact Morris Dillow at moedillow@yahoo.com