British man driving across the country in old Model T

Tim Moore sits in his 1924 Ford Model T outside of Frontier Travel Center in Bowman. Moore is driving the antique car across the country. (Pioneer Photo by Cole Benz)

Driving across the country in a car that’s nearly a century old, Tim Moore made a stop in Bowman on his way to the west coast.

A journey that started in Charlottesville, Va., Moore—a native of London, England—is driving a 1924 Ford Model T through small towns in the United States, with the intention of ending up somewhere in Oregon.

“This seems like this was the car that launched the kind of American dream, the golden age of America,” he said. “It began with a Model T.”

Another motivation for Moore and his travels with the antique car is the future of the auto industry. America seems to be entering a new chapter, with the growing popularity of electric and hybrid cars, and the development of self-driving vehicles, Moore felt like they aren’t going to be making cars like they did in the past for very much longer.

Moore is a travel author, so he’s documenting his trip. The book—which will be his 11th—is scheduled to be published in October 2018.

Tim Moore sitting in his 1924 Ford Model T automobile. Moore is making his way across the country in the antique car. He is a travel author and is documenting his trip. The book is scheduled to come out in October 2018. (PIoneer Photos by Cole Benz)

After starting his adventure in Virginia, he’s made stops in Detroit (inspired by where the Model T was created), Alabama, Texas, Wyoming, among others, and eventually made his way to North Dakota through South Dakota.

Though the vehicle can hit speeds as high as 50 mph, Moore keeps the Model T paced at a steady 30 to 35 mph. He said the car started to have problems when he tried to top out on the throttle.

Local admirers of his car during his stops frequently ask why he’s stopped in their small town. And why he doesn’t bring the treasured automobile to bigger communities.

“This [car] kind of changed the face of small town America,” Moore said. “That’s why I’m going the way I am, I’m going through all the small towns.”

He’s also trying to get a feel for what he calls the Trump Phenomenon in this country.

“In my country, we didn’t see [Tump’s election] coming, at all,” Moore said.

When asked what’s surprised him most when conversing about the president, Moore said it’s the fact that his supporters usually don’t mirror his actions and rhetoric.

“It’s interesting to find out while talking to the people who are still supporters, are just really nice, gentle people,” he said.

Moore admitted he didn’t know why he thought they would be any different, and said his conversations usually didn’t revolve around President Trump the person, but what the president stands for to his supporters, which is a change in the status quo, and an America first mentality.

Citizens of the United States have overall been very friendly to him.

The front end of Moore’s 1924 Ford Model T with the signature ‘Ford’ grill badge attached.

“Every time I try and to stop over, and something goes wrong with the car and I try to fix it myself I never even get a chance because within five minutes all the local old guys are there,” he said. “They get out and help.”

Moore also commented on the spaciousness of the United States, saying that he can usually see a grain elevator in the distance signifying the next town. But then he’s surprised at how long the building is in the horizon, and how long it takes to get from point A to point B, even though it may be in his view point.

From the start of his trip he has carried a bottle of water from the Atlantic ocean, which he gathered before he started on this adventure. He plans to ceremoniously empty that water into the Pacific ocean when he makes it to his final destination on the west coast.

You can follow Moore and his journey on Twitter @mrtimmoore.

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