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Arlington's George Grimm cherishes Model T's connection to his childhood
ARLINGTON — George Grimm's childhood may be long past, but he can still see it in the rearview mirror of his 1915 Ford Model T.
"I asked my dad for one in high school, but he said I didn't need it," Grimm said.
Grimm nonetheless learned to drive on a Model T, and he's been a member of the Puget Sound Chapter of the Model T Ford Club of America for the past 30 years.
"It brings back a lot of childhood memories," Grimm said. "In high school, I used to drive up and down the driveway in a Model T."
Grimm's current Model T is not his first, since he's only owned it for 20 years.
"I haven't used it a lot the past several years," Grimm said. "I've taken it out about once this year."
In previous years, Grimm frequently toured hundreds of miles, and even across the country, as part of the club, but increased traffic congestion has made such trips prohibitive now.
Grim acquired his current Model T from a friend who wound up with no place to put it, and he managed to get it at a reduced price.
"I paid $6,000, even though he wanted $8,000," Grimm said. "I didn't need it that much. It's a fun car, though. It's got a 1923 engine, instead of one from 1915, but I don't care. I can't even estimate how much I've put into it since."
While his Model T connects him to his younger years, Grimm values the connections he's made with new friends through the club just as much.
"There's a real camaraderie, like a family," Grimm said. "We all have different occupations and come from different walks of life. There are even some branches from foreign countries. You meet interesting people and make friends, even if you only get to see some of them once a year."
Grimm has enjoyed giving his grandchildren driving lessons on the Model T, with its preponderance of pedals, and he always appreciates its familiar feel.
"Before I got back into Model Ts, I hadn't driven one in 40 years," Grimm said. "But it's like learning to swim. It wasn't long before I got used to it again."