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1923 Model T highlights Antique Truck Show in Madrid

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MADRID — A vehicle that was produced just five years following the end of World War I highlighted an array of vintage automobiles, tractors and trucks on display Sunday in Madrid.

The St. Lawrence Power & Equipment Museum along Route 345 played host to this year’s Antique Tractor Club of America Francis E. Walsh Border Show and featured more than 40 vehicles.

Among those was a 1923 Ford Model T, which is owned by Louisville resident Larry Beattie.

“I’ve had (the car) since 1969. I bought it from Francis Adams and he told me that it came from the town of Potsdam,” Mr. Beattie said. “When I was very, very little, when my mother was a school teacher — this was back in the early 1920s — she got a little bit of money and she bought her father a Model T truck to use on the farm.”

The owner said he quickly became enthralled with the truck.

“When I was 6 or 7 years old it was stored in the barn and I can always remember getting in it and playing in it,” Mr. Beattie said. “Then as the years went by, that truck disappeared somewhere and then when I had a chance to buy (the 1923 Model T), I bought it.”

The former St. Lawrence County Highway Department employee said that a big reason in his decision to bring the vintage vehicle to Sunday’s show was that “it’s a conversation piece.”

After explaining the history of the car, Mr. Beattie invited some show guests for a free ride on the 91-year-old machine, which is able to start up every day. He said the vintage vehicle can still reach speeds of up to 20 miles per hour.

The show is in its 11th year and alternates between Ontario and St. Lawrence County each year.

Previously held in Massena, the show came to Madrid for the first time in 2011.

“The Border Show is two antique truck clubs. There is also the upper Canada chapter and this is an antique truck show for 25 years or older,” Northern Empire Chapter of the Antique Truck Club of America President Matt Arnold said. “We just meet on the grounds here and play with our old trucks.”

The event ran from 8 a.m. until dusk while attendees could see the show for free.

Plenty of food and beverages were offered, and a handful of raffles took place as well.

“There are various makes and models. ... We have a 1954 Red Chevy from Frenchie’s Chevrolet, a 1937 Dodge, etc.,” Mr. Arnold said. “(The cars) are mostly from St. Lawrence County. We have a lot of friends from Canada, so there’s a lot of trucks from Ontario here.”

Among the other vehicle owners to display their machines were Cory Jacques, Delta, Ontario, and Dave Dewick, Prescott, Ontario.

Mr. Jacques purchased his 1977 GMC Astro in 2008, shortly before the truck was scheduled to meet its demise.

“I got it from Ohio and saved it from Malone’s scrap yard. It was headed to the junk yard,” he said. “My family were all truckers and they’ve all passed on, so I just kind of bought it for keepsake or memorabilia. ... The Astros came out in 1969 and 1987 was the last year they were built.”

Mr. Dewick brought his 1974 K123, which he bought a few years ago, to Madrid Sunday.

“It was pretty much going to be going nowhere and was sitting under a tree for 10 years, so I decided to get it,” he said. “My dad and I had our own trucks, so I grew up around them. My dad had his own business for 30 years and we had our own shop at home and he was always fixing up something and we were always working on something. So it’s definitely in my blood.”

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