Ocean to Ocean in a T

The Centennial of the 1909 Ocean to Ocean Endurance Contest

June 2009 - 55 Model T Fords will rerun a race that changed both automotive history and the world. This site is for participants and fans.




Blog Posts

Billy McGuire

Posted by Billy McGuire on February 19, 2009 at 1:30am — 65 Comments

Jon Griesenbeck's Blog Page

Posted by Jon Griesenbeck on May 26, 2009 at 11:30am — 12 Comments

Day 1 VIDEO!

Posted by Dennis & Martha Fleming on June 15, 2009 at 10:47am

Clara gets a new body

Posted by Gail A. Shafer Crane on October 5, 2010 at 10:09pm — 2 Comments

2015 O2O Reunion Tour Photos Now Posted

Posted by Steve Shotwell on June 22, 2015 at 9:57am — 1 Comment

Steve Ross

Posted by Stephen W. Ross on March 6, 2015 at 7:50pm — 1 Comment

Garage for a Model T near San Fransisco

Posted by Larry "The Limey" Riches on February 14, 2010 at 12:33pm

monday july 27,2009

Posted by douglas hauge on July 27, 2009 at 3:15pm — 1 Comment

wednesday july something 2009

Posted by douglas hauge on July 22, 2009 at 6:04pm — 2 Comments

Written by our leader Peter Bernhardt
On June 22, 1909, at precisely 12:55:25pm, a 1909 Model T Ford won the 1909 New York to Seattle Ocean to Ocean Endurance Race. The contest, sponsored by the millionaire Robert Guggenheim, was part of a publicity campaign for, the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition held in Seattle that year.

The spidery tough Model T, which weighed less than a thousand pounds, started the Race with four heavy-weight cars; the Stearns, Acme, Shawmut and Itala; each weighing from 3500-4600 pounds. Henry Ford was convinced that a cheap, tough, lightweight, flexible car was what was needed for the impassable roads of 1909 and in that conviction he was right. The Race, to be 4106 miles and lasting 22 days, started from New York City Hall on June 1 when President Taft pressed a golden telegraph key in Washington which both opened the AYP Exposition in Seattle and signaled Mayor McClellan of New York City to fire a gold revolver. They were off for twenty-two days of indescribable driving conditions, requiring the drivers and the mechanics to be entirely self-reliant, highly creative and ingenious in overcoming the many obstacles before them. The summer rains were terrible; the mud ubiquitous and a plague; streams had to be forded; the Fords, (two were entered), were mired in quicksand; often they became lost in deserts and badlands. At Prosser, Washington, an observer, not used to cars, struck a match on the side of the Ford's gas tank and the car caught fire. At Snoqualmie Pass, just east of Seattle, the Ford sank four feet in the snow and a railway gang dug it out.

Arriving at the finish line in Seattle at the Drumheller Fountain, which was the center of the AYP Exhibition of 1909 and now the center of the University of Washington where the fountain still exists, the Ford was declared the winner with a jubilant Henry Ford (caught for posterity by the brilliance of Mr. Kodak) proudly standing by. Although the Shawmut, which crossed the finish line seventeen hours after the Ford, was ultimately declared the winner the following November by the Automobile Club of America, the Shawmut's declared ex-post-facto victory came too late. Pursuant to Rule 3 of the Race Rules, the Ford’s engine had been illegally substituted for part of the distance replacing the engine stamped by the ACA at the beginning of the Race. From June to November Henry Ford put on an advertising and media blitz which implanted in the mind of the world at large that the FORD HAD WON, thereby providing a huge impetus for Ford sales--- the 1909 Model T which won the race was the first year of production which ran until 1927 with 15,007,033 Model T's having been manufactured.

In recognition of the centennial of that long ago feat in automobiling, fifty-five Model T’s, ranging in age from 1909 to 1927, will be following the original route of the 1909 racers, stopping nightly in towns in which the early racers stopped a century ago. Only in a few instances, in which the old roads have disappeared (i.e. in Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon and Washington), will the 2009 racers run on interstate highways, minimizing the amount of deviation from the original route.

Fifty Model T's from the United States will represent each of the fifty States and five additional will come from overseas. The 2009 Centennial Run will start from New.York City Hall on Sunday, June 14 and end on Sunday, July 12 at the Drumheller Fountain; Three days will be spent in Detroit at Dearborn at the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village; and three days at Seattle.
Chris Collins, grandson of one of the organizers of the 1909 AYP Exhibition, is hosting the celebrations for the Centennial of the AYP. He is planning joint activities with the 2009 Run Participants and a parade of the cars will take place through downtown Seattle. We hope that a member of the Ford family will be present at the finish line, hopefully having driven a Model T himself for part or the entire Run.

To repair man and machine, every fourth day will be a free day. Planning started in earnest for the 2009 Run in 2003 and is well advanced. Chairmen of the 2009 Run are Mary and Peter Bernhardt and Judy and John McLaren. In all probability there will be extensive media coverage. Given the ever-increasing danger of modern traffic this will be the last time such an event will be able to be held to recognize the beginning of the Model T era and the birth of the Model T, which put the world on wheels. The 2009 Run will recognize the signal achievements of these early racers, particularly Burt Scott, winner of the 1909 Race and father of Jack Scott, who is planning to be on the 2009 Run.

Latest Activity

Willard Revaz replied to douglas hauge's discussion 7th O2O reunion tour july 23, 2016
"Hi Doug, After your reminder at the Winter Tour, I finally got around to reading this post about our 2016 O-2-O Renion Tour. Please count me and Barbara IN! We look forward to an extra day of touring, especially with our fellow O-2-O friends. I will…"
Mar 14
douglas hauge posted a discussion

7th O2O reunion tour july 23, 2016

hello O2O model Ters!      It was so much fun to see so many at Hershey in October. We had a great dinner at Stapley's flea market site. Thanks to the Stapley's, Rose and Barbara, and anyone else that helped to make the evening very enjoyable. The conversations were many and story telling was at an all time high.It was a fun time for all of us. It is amazing what the model T has done to this world, creating small model T families like us.       On a personal note, Thank you everyone for the…See More
Oct 28, 2015
Larry "The Limey" Riches commented on Larry "The Limey" Riches's blog post Ocala to Long Island via a tour in Gainesville and chattanooga
"Hi Willard and Barbara, the more we look back at the Holland Tunnel, the more we think maybe not again! Hope to see both soon, Larry and Christine"
Oct 26, 2015
Willard Revaz commented on Larry "The Limey" Riches's blog post Ocala to Long Island via a tour in Gainesville and chattanooga
"Larry and Christine, Your travels in Limey are a true testament to the reliability and durability of the Model-T! Going through the Holland Tunnel is challenging in a modern car, none the less in a 95 year old vehicle. Be careful, NYC drivers could…"
Oct 26, 2015
Larry "The Limey" Riches posted a blog post

Ocala to Long Island via a tour in Gainesville and chattanooga

Hi Everyone,Just to let you know that the 1923 Model T known as the Limey, has arrived back in Long Island, it had been shipped to Ocala in January 2015, it then took part in the Winter Tour in Florida , then onto Jacksonville to visit Amelia Island and friends, before being stored in Jacksonville until until July, we then collected the car, she started immediately and we drive from Jacksonville to Chattanooga, 520 miles in two and a half days, then did the 020 reunion tour, which was great,…See More
Oct 11, 2015
Jon Griesenbeck commented on douglas hauge's blog post r. scott hauge
"Doug, I just saw your post I am so sorry for your family's 'loss.  It was so nice to meet your brother and dad in Chattanogga.  Janets and my prayers are with you and your family.  Jon and Janet Griesenbeck'e"
Sep 18, 2015
Larry "The Limey" Riches commented on douglas hauge's blog post r. scott hauge
"Hi Doug, Just saw the posting privileged to meet your Brother in Chattanogga, God speed and may he rest in peace, Larry and  Christine Limey"
Sep 10, 2015
Larry "The Limey" Riches commented on Jon Griesenbeck's blog post Robert from England stopped by
"Hi Jon, It was Ralph who called ( not Robert),  Ralph also saw Dennis Fleming on his way to Leesburg, I am collecting the Car again on the 4th October and will drive the Hershey on the 5th, hope to have a pass for the arena, can you tell me…"
Sep 10, 2015


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