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Model T takes Juneau detour

Driver crosses country in 20 horsepower, four-cylinder 1915 Ford

Posted: Monday, July 27, 2009

Doug Hauge drove a restored Model T from New York to Seattle to commemorate the 100th anniversary of a cross-country endurance road race - and then kept going.

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Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire
Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire

This weekend, he and his nephew were in Juneau with the 20 horsepower, four-cylinder Ford, which was built in 1915.

The 49-year-old just retired from firefighting and calls Utica, N.Y., home.

Hauge estimates the Model T is worth about $20,000. The car is very durable and reliable, he said, despite the untold miles it's logged. And this is just one of six Model Ts he owns.

Collecting the tough old cars is a family affair, but not one he likens to a hobby.

"Well yeah, it's a disease from my mother, my father," he said.

His brothers also own Model Ts.

The Model T was the first mass-produced automobile, and as a consequence, the first that many people could afford. In 1909, millionaire Robert Guggenheim sponsored a cross-country endurance race that the Model T won.

That's the race Hauge and 54 other Model T drivers set out from Manhattan on June 14 to commemorate. They avoided highways - the interstate system didn't exist until the 1950s - and took a somewhat leisurely pace with related events and celebrations along the way.

The race commemoration officially ended July 12 in Seattle, though Hauge plans to continue by ferry, road and train to Fairbanks before heading south again, winding his way to Key West, Fla., by February.

• Contact Jeremy Hsieh at 523-2258 or jeremy.hsieh@juneauempire.com.



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