Model Ts cruising into Diboll on Friday

More than 100 Model-T Fords are in the area, celebrating the 36th annual Texas T-Party.

They will be at The History Center in Diboll on Friday, following a visit to the Naranjo Museum of Natural History. They will then head for lunch at Cassells-Boykin Pavilion on Lake Sam Rayburn. After lunch they will drive to Mission Delores in San Augustine before returning to Lufkin.

The Model T drivers are members of The Space City T’s, which was founded in 1974, with the first Texas T Party being held in 1978 as a one-day tour in Fredericksburg.

Over the years, the event has grown to about a hundred cars and has turned into a three-day event, culminating with an evening banquet on the last day.

Each year a different Texas locale is selected for the tour.

This is the second time the Texas T Party will be held in the Bryan/College Station Area.

Oct. 1, 1908, marks the anniversary of the first Model T built for sale. It was the first low-priced, mass-produced automobile with standard, interchangeable parts. The moving assembly line for the Model T revolutionized manufacturing in 1914.

The Model T was equipped with a 20-horsepower, 4-cylinder engine with a top speed of about 40 mph, weighed 1,600 pounds and achieved about 21 miles per gallon.

More than a 15 million Model T’s had been sold by May 26, 1927, when a ceremony marked the formal end of Model T production.

Henry Ford called the Model T the “universal car,” a low cost, reliable vehicle that could be maintained easily and could successfully travel the poor roads of that era.

Saturday marks the final day of the T-Party, as the group travels from Lufkin to Nacogdoches where they will stop at the Visitor’s Bureau and Museum for refreshments. The rest of the morning is spent visiting Main Street antique shops, historic houses and the Old University Building.

Lunch will be at Clear Spring Restaurant, and the rest of the afternoon will be spent taking in Millard’s Crossing.

They’ll return to Lufkin for the last time to enjoy a final banquet at Crown Colony Country Club.

They return each night to the Holiday Inn Express parking lot on Highway 59 in Lufkin for fixin’ and socializing, and you can see them again there each night.

The party already has been to the Texas Forestry Museum, the Museum of East Texas, the Lufkin Zoo, and all the antique shops they can find. In addition, they had a private car show at the Pine Crest Retirement Center and then a public Model T Car Show at Al Meyer Ford.

On Thursday, Oct. 3, they drove to Rusk for pictures at the Texas State Railroad, and then rode the train for a half day.