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Ninety-Nine Fourths Under Its Hood, And Going Strong

Natalie Jablonski

Among the floats, clowns and marching bands at the Rhinelander Independence Day parade was one vintage car celebrating its 99th Fourth of July.  The Ford Model T has been in the owner’s family throughout its long life.

George Scholz is adjusting the gas on his car’s old fashioned headlight before the parade.  Though he’s been bringing his Model T to the Rhinelander parade for more than a decade, he’s been driving it for way longer.

“I have two brothers that are very close in years to me. I’m the youngest. And we convinced dad that it would be a good thing to get the car running and us kids would learn how to drive and so on and so forth. So at the ripe old age of 10 I learned how to drive on this car, right there.”

His great uncle bought the car 99 years ago, and it was passed along to George’s dad, then to George himself, who will eventually pass it on to his son. Scholz says it’s got mostly original parts, though the transmission and engine have been replaced.

“And the paint job was something it got back in the 50s, and I don’t remember if that was something I did with a brush or a mop.”

Scholz says maintenance has been a bit of a challenge, since after all it is 99 years old. 

“The top is – the frame is still good, and I will get new material, hopefully before it hits a hundred. I’ve been kind of promising that to the car – it is temperamental, it has to be babied, you know.”

At least, it does if he wants the car to make it to its 100th Fourth of July.  

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