DuWayne Headrick’s 1926 Model T truck is “home” for the week, in time to take a few spins around the town where it started out.
The Flandreau graduate who lives in San Antonio hauled the truck 1,200 miles to take part in the Sesquicentennial and all-school reunion parade.
“We thought since it was the Sesquicentennial parade, it would be only appropriate that it make a final parade run,” he said.
The restored truck brings with it some local history.
“It’s been in the family since 1969. My father-in-law (Jim Prouty) bought it from the original owner,” Headrick said. “I believe it was a female from Egan that owned the truck originally, and she used it to haul goods around the county.”
The Flandreau delivery truck became a family treasure.
Prouty, who worked for the county highway department, liked to tinker, Headrick said. “He just wanted another toy.”
When Prouty died in 1989, he willed it to Headrick’s daughter, Illona Weber. In 2007, the family moved his mother-in-law Mary Ann Prouty to Texas and took the truck south, too. It sat in his daughter’s garage until 2010, when they took it to a professional restoration shop, getting it back three years later, fully restored.
“In 2013, we picked it up and have had it in various car shows and parades throughout the county in the San Antonio area,” he said.
Except for the wooden parts, the truck is original. “It was in pretty rough shape. We had to replace all the wood on the box and the cab. The cab is made of wood,” he said.
Now, the truck is pristine but not the easiest to drive.
“It’s a stick shift, and there’s no clutch. You’ve got to throttle up, throttle down,” he said. “It’s not very comfortable to sit in. You don’t want to drive more than five miles before you have to get out and stretch your legs.”
Despite that, owning the Model T is fun and gets the Headricks a lot of looks.
“I take it to car shows, and the younger generation they’re just in awe sometimes as to what it looks like, how it operates,” he said. “Even when we’re pulling it down the road, we get a lot of thumbs up from other cars when they’re passing it.”
The dash has one gauge, and there are no seatbelts. The flathead, four-cylinder engine has 20 horsepower with a top speed of 22 miles an hour. “Even then, it’s doing a lot of shaking and rattling,” he said.
In addition to driving in the parade on behalf of his family and the class of 1964 – the year he and his wife, Connie, graduated -- he hopes to take it for a ride on the streets it has known since it was new.
“I may even drive it around town and honk the horn,” he said.
There’s one other way to recognize the truck. He will haul it with a black Ford F150.
“If you’re going to pull a Ford Model T, you’ve got to have a Ford truck to pull it,” he said.