Drive like a flapper

Cal Auto Museum hosts Model T driving classes

Cars are great!

Cars are great!

Photo courtesy of the California Automobile Museum

The Ford Model T is one of the world’s most famous cars. Known for its ubiquity, its commercial availability to the public and its tractor-like look, in 1908 it helped usher in the American obsession with automobiles. With millions sold over 20 years of manufacture, it was the first and last word in cars.

They don’t make ’em like this anymore. Literally, they don’t—and potentially for good reason. There’s no accelerator floor pedal; you use your hands on a lever next to the steering wheel instead. There are two forward-traveling gears, low gear and top gear. Depending on the model year, you’re probably going to end up crank-starting the car.

If you hear all that and think to yourself, “Golly, sign me up!” then you’re in luck, because you can sign yourself up. You can learn to drive like they did in the early 1900s at the California Automobile Museum.

It is hosting a number of Model T driving classes this summer, walking you through the ins and outs of operating the original Ford. With a little practice, you’ll be speeding along like a champ—not too fast, though. The top speed of Model Ts is in the 40 mph range.

The workshops are on July 13 and September 21 at 9 a.m., and tickets run $95 a person, lunch included. Take your summer joyrides to the next level by slowing down and focusing much more on shifting. It’s an 18-and-over class, and you’ll need a modern driver’s license. They also offer Model A driving classes if you prefer. 2200 Front Street,