Jay Klehfoth, the CEO of the Model T Ford Club of America and editor of The Vintage Ford magazine has a few Ford tractors and often gives tours at the Model T Ford Museum in Richmond, Ind. (featured in last week’s column).
The town of Richmond is filled with industrial history and is quite picturesque. “We just opened last September,” Jay said. “The building was donated by the city; it was a pole barn that we framed and insulated.”
He said parts were actually made for Model T engines in Richmond, so the museum is situated in a fitting location.
A model that is a bit on the sentimental side to Jay is the one the local high school auto mechanics class put together. “We gave them the parts to build this,” he explained. “They built this for the 2008 Centennial Celebration.”
The model the students built represented both the Model T museum and the Wayne County Historical museum.
Not only do the models at the museum look good, but Jay swears they all run. Vehicles are owned by the Club and several belong to Jay personally, such as the 1925 Touring and 1926 dirt track Racer. The 1923 Model T Town Car Jay and his wife, Barbara, own is on display.
“This was built in England,” he pointed out. “It was a limousine with a right-side driver. This car was in the ‘Chariots of Fire’ movie and was used in the television series ‘Upstairs Downstairs.’ I found it in Texas, and it was our family car for years.”
Jay worked for the Ford Motor Co. for 18 years and has loved Fords since he was just a boy. This love went against the grain of the Klehfoth family, though. “I am an outcast in my family. They all loved General Motors. I bought my first Model T when I was 13,” he observed.
Jay said the Model T Ford Club of America is big, with approximately 8,000 members. Lovers of Model Ts flock to the Richmond museum and themed events. “People from Australia and just about every state, and even a group from China, have visited,” he said.
While the museum is going great guns, the club has yet more plans. In the future those in charge would like to eventually double the size of their museum. They accept donations for that purpose and anyone wishing to donate, or plan a trip there, should get more information from www.mtfca.com
Admission is free to members of the Model T Ford Club of America, and the fee for non-members is $3.