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Car of Century on parade
Hobart Akin poses by his classic Model T on Court Square in McMinnville on Monday. Akin is a member of the board of directors for the Model T Ford Club of America and has been participating in fall rides since 1996.

Hobart Akin has seen his share of countryside at 30 mph.
The Knoxville resident is a member of the Model T Ford Club of America, a group that made its way through Warren County on Monday. There were 31 cars carrying 65 people in the convoy that traveled from Manchester to Falcon Rest for lunch.
The Model T was produced from 1908 to 1927 and any person with a vehicle made during that time is eligible to join the club and participate in the annual fall ride. The vehicle needs to be in good running condition because the ride usually covers 100 miles a day.
“Either that or they won’t make it,” said Akin, who has been participating in this five-day ride every year since 1996.
Akin said average running speed during the ride is 30 mph, although he said some unmodified Model Ts can reach speeds of 50 mph.
“Our biggest danger is having somebody run into the back of us when they’re topping a hill,” said Akin. “You usually don’t expect to come upon a vehicle doing 30 mph, even if you’re on a back road.”
The Model Ts don’t have many of the features we’ve come to enjoy in vehicles today, most notably heat and air conditioning. With temperatures dropping Monday, ride participants were bundling up.
“You’ll see me in a down coat out here tomorrow morning,” said Akin.
Fall ride participants generally try to cover 100 miles a day for five straight days. Akin is from Tennessee, but participants come from all over the United States. The ride that went through Warren County on Monday included residents from Wisconsin, Ohio, Texas, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
While the antique cars are neat, Akin says they aren’t worth a fortune. He says you can expect to pay around $20,000 for a Model T in good working order. He said models in need of repairs can sell for as low as $7,000.
The Ford Model T is regarded as the first affordable automobile and the car that opened travel to middle-class America. In the 1999 Car of the Century competition, the Model T was named the most influential car of the 20th century.