Masonic Unique Vehicles Group at Ringwood

On Sunday 22nd August the Masonic Unique Vehicles Group visited the Ringwood Masonic Centre. Vehicle owners and many of their partners had a picnic in the South.

Rather than being a “vintage” or “veteran”, or “hotrod” car club, the all catching “unique vehicles” tag allows anyone with a vehicle of special interest to be involved. I was particularly lucky on the day, getting a ride around the block in a Model T Ford – a rare experience!

Brief History

A brief article appeared in the 2009 summer edition of Freemasonry Victoria inviting brethren with an interest in historic vehicles to a luncheon at the Village Green on Sunday 14 February 2010 (Valentines Day – fitting, these masons love their cars!). Twenty-one brethren and ladies attended and it was decided to hold a BBQ at Bro Bruce and Helen Paroissien’s home on 30 May (Bruce is a member of Lodge Evolution meeting at Gipps St and coincidently was also a Master who assisted in establishing the Christmas Family Day promoted by Lance Maguire in the preceding pages).

The first resolution of the Group was to name itself the “Masonic Unique Vehicles Group”. A number of logos were submitted and that submitted by Bro Lyle and Marg Detez was accepted. Bro Brian Sanders became the Convenor, a steering committee (pardon the pun) was selected and Helen became the Finance Co-ordinator. The annual fee was set at $20 per family. The group then unanimously agreed to ask MWBro John Evens PGM to become the Patron of the group (John owns an MG Sports) who accepted with his wife Rosemary.

The first official outing of the Group was to Lara Masonic Centre. The second to Whittlesea Masonic Centre.

At the completion of the first years activities, group membership was 47 Masonic families, representing 33 lodges and over 80 vehicles ranging from Veteran 1915 Model T Ford Touring Car, Vintage 1924 Buick Tourer, to classic Aston Marin and E-type Jaguars, a BSA motorcycles and several trucks with many members having multiple vehicles from far and wide including Mitta Mitts, Kyabram and Lakes Entrance.

“The ingredients of Freemasonry and unique motor vehicles interest have combined to form a very enthusiastic group of brethren and ladies who expect to spend many enjoyable occasions together promoting Freemasonry’s “grand designed of being happy and communicating happiness to others/

Whether one owns a unique vehicles or would just enjoy being involved with them, all interested brethren and their ladies are invited to become members of the Group. We welcome subscribing members of Freemasonry and their ladies and members, visitors are also welcome at our outings.”

Bro Lyle D

Some Facts on the Model T Ford.

The Ford Model T (colloquially known as the Tin Lizzie, Tin Lizzy, T-Model Ford, Model T, or T) was a truly revolutionary vehicle. Often incorrectly know as the first car produced on an assembly line (that began in 1901 with the Oldsmobile Curved Dash) nonetheless the T truly changed the world. Produced from 1908 to 1927, more than 15 million were made putting cars on the road in a way the world had never seen. The Ford Model T was named the world's most influential car of the 20th century. I agree.

Of it, Henry Ford said ""I will build a car for the great multitude. It will be large enough for the family, but small enough for the individual to run and care for. It will be constructed of the best materials, by the best men to be hired, after the simplest designs that modern engineering can devise. But it will be so low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one – and enjoy with his family the blessing of hours of pleasure in God's great open spaces". He was right.

The 1909 4-seat open tourer cost $850, by 1913 dropped to $550, 1915, $440. By the 1920's, the price of a typical T had fallen to $260 equivalent to $3,061 in 2014. There were many configurations including 1,2,3, 4 door versions. During its 19 year production life Model Ts were produced in various versions including coups, roadsters, town cars, and wagons. Users often modified them and there are many photos of them on farms with wheel removed being used as a movable engine. There’s an unusual one on the next page.

The first Model T was made in Michigan, but sales and production became truly global. There were plants in places like Cork Ireland, Cadiz Spain, Copenhagen Demark, Buenos Aires Argentina and even one in Geelong.

The T engine was known for its simplicity, reliability, and economy. The engine remained in production for many years, and millions of units were produced. The engine design's lifespan exceeded that of the Model T vehicle itself. Production of the T finished in 1927, but the engine was made until 1941, - for exactly 12,000 days. After the car, the engine continud to be sold to various consumer, industrial, military, and marine markets throughout the world. The T engine is on the Ward's 10 Best Engines of the 20th Century list.

The T engine was primarily a petrol engine, but it had multifuel ability and could also burn kerosene or ethanol. The T had a top speed of 40–45 mph (64–72 km/h), depending on variables like the body weight and engine condition. A Model T will climb a 1 in 12 gradient in top gear with full throttle, and will come down it in top gear with no throttle and no brake application. They can safely negotiate 20% or more grades in low range, but the fuel is gravity feed. If you have less than about ¼ of a tank climbing a 20% grade, you might run into problems as the gravity feed system becomes less effective the steeper the grade. It was common practice, if the grade was too steep and the engine starved for fuel, to back a T over the grade. It took until 1926, the last two years of production before the tank was moved higher and sat under the cowl.

The Model T is a truly amazing piece of world history

Masonic Unique Vehicles Group Visits Monash Children’s Hospital