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My First Car: '20 Ford Model T Roadster, Donald Reinholt, 80, Largo

'20 Ford Model T Roadster

This is my first car in 1945, and I paid $20 for it — $5 down and $2 a week until I got it paid off. It was black and had one seat, a box on the back, and no spare tire. We always carried a tire pump and patches for tubes. When I had a dollar or so, I would have to go to the gas station and buy some gas. It was 12 cents a gallon, so I would only buy one or two gallons. I learned how to shut off the engine a certain way, and when I would want to start it, I would pull the spark lever down and it would start. . . . In the wintertime, we would take the hot ashes out of the stove and put them in a bucket that we set under the oil pan to heat up the oil so we could crank the car. Otherwise, we would end up pushing it to start. There were no gauges like today. The only one I remember was a charging gauge because there was a battery for lights, but we never drove much at night. If we went to the next town, which was about 15 to 25 miles, it would take about 45 minutes to an hour to get there, so that was an all-day affair. In North Dakota, we didn't have paved roads. Most were trails or roads made from us farmers making them as we visited each other. . . . Everyone shared and helped each other. Also, we never had trash. We always saved every piece of wood for winter. But that was in the '30s and early '40s, and today, it is a whole new world.

Tell us your love story

What's your story behind your favorite car? We're starting a new feature highlighting some of your beloved wheels. Here's what we need:

• Your name.

• City where you live.

• Age (with your date of birth).

• Year, make and model of the car.

• A description of the car and why you love it.

• A high-resolution photo or a scanned image. (The photo must be of the actual car.)

• Send these to drive@

We're still accepting submissions for My First Car. So keep them coming!

My First Car: '20 Ford Model T Roadster, Donald Reinholt, 80, Largo 04/10/11 [Last modified: Sunday, April 10, 2011 4:30am]
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