In June 1995 some members of the Vintage Drivers Club members demonstrated the assembly of a “T” Model Ford on the Daryl Somers show, “Hey, Hey It’s Saturday” in 28.5 seconds.
I remember that.
One of the VDC team of assemblers was Peter Gabe, who kindly sent me this article on how the event came to be, and it is from the Vintage Drivers Club newsletter of June 1995
HEY HEY IT’S A FORD
The 1994 Spectacular had seen Meccano Models, Pedal Cars, Merry-Go-Rounds, and wooden horses in addition to the car displays and fashion parade but the 1995 Spectacular needed new ideas.
I suggested to the Spectacular committee that we could assemble a “T” Model Ford, only to be greeted by stunned silence. Several weeks later I came across Lyle Drysdale who explained that he still had the car that we used for the Don Lane Show in 1977.
Now with car available I again put the idea to the Spectacular Committee and guess what? The stunned silence turned into a luke warm response. Undaunted I pressed on and hassled Lyle for several weeks until one day Lyle rang to say that the Ford’s motor was totally seized. Things looked pretty grim. Then out of the blue Lyle turned up with Andrew Brown’s 1922 “T” Model – exactly what we needed.
I assembled a team and we started work. For weeks on end we never even managed a full assembly and as time passed we achieved 45 seconds then 34 seconds then 30 seconds. The car was restored and we progressed with Jack Vears making lifting lugs and bushes, Bill Eldridge painting wheels and making brackets, Wes Wilkinson making numerous speed nuts, support fittings and task lists for each member of the team.
Wes took control of team motivation, made videos to show us where time was being lost and worked out the fastest way of doing each task. John Buchanan and I made a large stop watch on a sandwich board, Marc Middleton and I painted the radiator.
Marc and Wes pushed on with publicity and Wes finally made the breakthrough with a contact at Channel 9 for “Hey, Hey it’s Saturday”. Wes also organized sponsorship of the overalls and transporting of the car to Channel 9.
On 27 May 1995 it finally all happened when Daryl Somers showed our team at work on National T.V. and announced our time of 28.5 seconds – Wow!
In all, a great team effort. Over the last three months or so the following people were on the team:-
Kevin Hibbert, Doug Sterry, Wes Wilkinson, Marc Middleton, Bill Eldridge, Ralph Quaine, Peter Gabe, Norm Clark, Peter Jowett and Dianne Wilkinson (clock).
Others involved were Lindsay Truman, Russell Clough, Daryl Leslie, John Shorland, Peter Buszko, and Lyle Drysdale.
Subsequent to the demonstration on the Daryl Somers Show, the assembly of the “T” Model was carried out at the Vintage Drivers Club’s Spectacular Swap Meet at the Fresh Centre.
An audio/visual disc made included the following:-
1. Assembly of the car in 28.5 seconds on the Daryl Somers Show (Hey, Hey It’s Saturday).
2. Assembly in slow motion.
3. The practice sessions in the garage at Mulgrave. It’s interesting to note that in the initial two sessions the team couldn’t manage to assemble the car at all.
"They all look so young back in 1995"