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Haysville family preserves 100-year-old Model T family heirloom

Published: Nov. 28, 2021 at 8:31 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - One Haysville family has a more than 100-year-old family heirloom, a 1916 Ford Model T automobile passed down through generations.

Earlier in November, Johnny McPherson passed the keys onto his son John; the first address change for the Model T in more than 50 years.

As the fourth generation to own the automobile, Johnny McPherson said, “This is the picture of great grandpa Coleman when he bought this car in Lordsburg New Mexico and drove it 700 miles back to Medicine Lodge, Kansas in 1926.”

It was nearly 100 years ago that Johnny McPherson’s great grandfather, John T. Coleman, bought a 1916 Model T.

“I guess you have to look at it like this, it was just a little bit faster than a horse,” said Johnny.

McPherson said over the decades, the car has been passed on to several family members. He’s had it since 1954.

“I remember the very first time I saw it in Medicine Lodge, Kansas, I was 7 years old, my grandmother had it in her garage and I looked at it and got in and turned the steering wheel and just dreamed someday I could have that car,” reminisced Johnny.

But after more than 50 years, McPherson has turned the keys over to his son John.

Fifth generation owner, John McPherson said, “Growing up and riding this in the parades in Haysville on the 4th of July as a little kid in the 70s, just knew it was always going to come to you.”

John said his favorite memory of the Model T is the family time spent restoring it.

“Working with my dad,” said John. “It’s been a lot of fun working with my sons and Grant has been instrumental in helping rebuild a lot of this car. It’s been a really fun thing to do as a family.”

“Because it was a family heirloom, the history,” said Johnny. “I overhauled the engine in high school shop in Lyons, Kansas in 1958.”

“This was my great great grandfather’s pad lock, kept all of his tools and his money back here as he traveled,” said John. “There’s his oil can. It’s definitely special to know that it’s been in the family nearly 100 years.”

The McPhersons said they’ve spent an estimated couple hundred hours restoring the Model T just in the last five years.

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