Report of the 2001 Texas to Alaska Model T Adventure

Last Revised: November 15, 2003


Thursday, July 12, 2001

Texas to Alaska

Model T Travel Report


Today's report

sponsored by:

Texas T Parts



Day 37 - July 12, 2001 - We spent another day at the the home of Bruce and Marl Campbell to do repairs on the car. Bruce has three garages and we took up two of them and the parking area in front. Bruce fixed a great breakfast each day for all the working types. After working all day yesterday, the engine was ready to put back in. We waited until this morning for the actual installation because everyone was tired last night. First thing this morning, the great effort took place. Everyone, including Bruce, was involved and Nancy took pictures. Success! We are getting awfully good at this, unfortunately.

The rest of the day for the car repair people was spent finishing the Fordor, doing some maintenance on Ken's car, and repairing a problem with the steering linkage in Jennifer's pick-up. Nancy and Cindy, nether of whom are mechanically inclined, took an afternoon trip out to the Portage Glacier with Bruce and Marl. (No need for EVERYONE to miss out on the sights of Anchorage!) By the end of the day, all cars were running, laundry was done, supplies were packed, and a terrific Chinese dinner was devoured. We went to bed late and set the clock for 5:30 am since we have a 250 mile day tomorrow.


712a - Fitting the engine back into the Fordor took the combined efforts of everyone willing to help. It is a classic example of fitting a square peg into a round hole. While balancing the weight and awkwardness of the shape, the universal joint has to fit into exactly the right position in the back of the engine. Here, seven people are involved. Starting at the left and working your way around the front of the car: Behind the door, Bruce Campbell with an assist from Taylor; Ben Hardeman, Ken with his back to the camera; Steve Markowski holding the front end; Ginger Hardeman; Jennifer Hardeman, and inside the car with only the top of his head showing, is Ross Lilleker.


712b - During the repair of the engine, Ben discovered that the neck of his radiator had come loose. Using Bruce's soldering torch, Ben and Ross repair the loose connection.


712c - It helps to have a fully equipped shop and Bruce generously allowed our group to use any tool or part that we needed. Here, the soldering torch allows for a quick and permanent repair. (Don't ask to borrow it from Bruce; we bought it from him and took it with us.)


712d - Jennifer makes repairs on her car, not the sort of problems that you would fix at the side of the road but the kind of things that need to be done to make the car run better. Next to the pick-up is a 1977 Impala station wagon that belongs to Bruce and Marl. We LOVED driving that car. Big and comfortable with power steering and windows and a radio! (We have had so many people ask, "don't you have a radio?") It is amazing how luxurious those big older cars were. Of course, the Impala is a "modern" car compared to our normal transportation.


712e - Ross and Ginger work on the steering linkage in the 1926 pick-up. Note Ginger's position. Both girls had some working knowledge of Model T maintenance prior to the trip from helping Ben. On a trip like this, though, every pair of hands helps and Jennifer and Ginger have both become pretty good mechanics. It will take months to get the grease out from under their fingernails. Ross Lilleker is the best mechanic on the trip. It is fair to say that we wouldn't be in Alaska had he not come with us.


712f - Ken had a list of maintenance items planned for our stopover in Anchorage and here he gets an assist from Ross (under the car) in Bruce Campbell's garage. Ken's touring car is a 1922. The "52" on his license plate refers to the year that he bought the car. He has owned it and driven it ever since.


712g - Bruce and Marl Campbell of Anchorage. Bruce is president of the local Motel T club and a member of the Antique Auto Mushers of Alaska. He and Marl took Cindy and Nancy on an afternoon trip to Portage Glacier. We stopped for lunch at the Alyeska ski resort "The Bake Shop" (wonderful homemade soup and fantastic flower boxes and baskets). They met and married in their early 20's while both worked in Juneau and have been married over 40 years. Really wonderful people and we are happy to have the opportunity to get to know them.


712h - On the trip to Portage, we spotted this young male moose. Bruce guessed that he is probably about a year old since he has no antlers yet. He was meandering along, ignoring the eager tourists up on the road taking his picture. We have seen very little of Alaska's famous wildlife and I was excited to see this guy. This is the only moose we have seen, even though there are signs everywhere warning to "watch out for moose." (We think that is a ploy to get the tourists to slow down. There really are no moose.)


712i - The drive to Portage has mountains on one side and the ocean on the other. There was a heavy cloud cover and a slight drizzle so we almost didn't notice this Dall sheep ewe and her baby high on the mountain. Like mountain goats, the Dall sheep live high on the edge of the rugged mountains and pick their way over the rock looking for bits of grass and other vegetation. They don't cut their babies any slack - they follow or they don't and, if they don't, they die. This mother had just jumped across a gap and the baby was gathering his courage to follow her. While Cindy and I held our breath, he made the leap and landed behind her. We watched them until they topped this hill and disappeared from our sight.


712j - Cindy Hudgens and Nancy Hardeman at the Portage Glacier. The mountain behind us is not the Glacier but the ice formation is a calve from it. We were struck once again with the deep blue color of the ice; unfortunately, the grayness of the day kept it from showing properly in this picture. Cindy graduated from high school in May and will turn 18 shortly after she flies home next week.


712k - When Ben and Jennifer were in Alaska in 1987, the Portage Glacier extended around the curve into the lake. It has since receded back around the rocky outcropping and is not visible from the beautiful visitor center they built for the tourists. You can see the glacier on both sides of the large center ridge of the mountain as it sweeps down and curves toward the lake. Tree line here is at about 2500 feet since it is so cold and windswept and the summer is so short. We are above tree line and across the lake for this picture.

For Further Information Contact:

Ben or Nancy Hardeman
Texas T Parts
1820 Gray Stone Drive
Bryan, Texas 77807
Tel: 979-361-0271
e-mail: or

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