Southern Nevada Model T Club
Club Members' Profiles
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Terry Handy and "Sugar."  Best of Show and First Place People's Choice, "Still Cruisin" Antique Car Show during Beatty Days, 2005, Beatty, Nevada.  Photograph by John T. Craft October 15, 2005; profile by G.A. Villa.  Copyright John T. Craft and G.A. Villa, SNMTC 2010.

Terry Handy served as the Southern Nevada Model T Club Vice President for 2012; he was also Vice-President in 2003 and 2010 and club President in 2004 and in 2011.  Born and raised in the flatlands of Kansas in Garden City, Terry found his way to Southern Nevada when he came to visit an older brother in 1975.  A gifted master tradesman and electrician and mechanic, Terry's talents earned him a position in Las Vegas as a slot machine technician and eventually as a slot administrator, positions that he held for a total of 32 years.  Things electrical and mechanical and adventuresome have occupied his interests genuinely:  he built and enjoyed Garden Railroading for ten years and also built and flew fixed wing remote controlled model airplanes for more than ten years.  He often flew the planes with other enthusiasts in Jean, Nevada, at the Dry Lake.  A true "car man," Terry owned and maintained and raced Superstock Mopar Plymouths on local drag racing circuits in 1963, 1964, and 1965.  The factory-built Plymouths were very popular at that time, and Terry turned 105.6 mph in the quarter mile in one of his cars.  It could be said that Terry rode a train into the Southern Nevada Model T Club as he shared his Garden Railroading hobby with John Craft who introduced him to the Model T and had him drive his car a few times.  Terry says that with that he was "hooked," and he bought his own Model T and became an avid owner and driver.  Terry is respected as a gentleman, a knowledgeable and savy Model T owner, and his beautifully maintained cars are a club treasure.  Terry owns a 1926 Model T Ford Coupe and a 1927 Model T Roadster Pickup.



Art GoldstromArt and Shirley Goldstrom have been long-time members and supporters of the Southern Nevada Model T Ford Club. Sadly, Shirley passed away in October, 2015. The Goldstrom's collection is housed under the title of Nostalgia Street Rods, Home of Art and Shirley's Private Car Collection, and it is difficult to visit the showroom and museum without emerging with a better sense of the history of diners and signs (the particular work of his daughter, Sheri, who also organized the museum) and automobiles.  The showroom includes carefully restored 1932 and 1940 Fords, and Model T's (both original and those converted to hot rods or impressive street machines), and an unrestored but excellent 1910 Sears (a catalog car), among others. Mr. Goldstrom's abiding interest in cars is, by his own admission, with horsepower and drag racing.  The collection includes 136 cars, many crafted with painstaking and detailed beauty, and many artifacts of particular eras. Included touchingly is a small slingshot dragster that his granddaughters when younger drove at 90 mph. There is also a wry humor in the Goldstrom collection in the form of a powerful eight-cylinder "wheelchair" with dragster capability that was presented to him on the occasion of a recent birthday (he does not need a wheelchair), a Zamboni that has gone from the usual four cylinders to eight and a good deal of power--more suitable for drag racing than for resurfacing ice. There is even a small jet-powered slingshot dragster that Art advises would be unwise to sit in and drive. The range of automotive artifacts is so extensive and unusual that one can only note that common to almost all of them is the internal combustion engine. Included is an early Maytag washing machine powered by a gasoline engine!  Mr. Goldstrom has many cars and trucks in storage awaiting restoration or others actually undergoing restoration now.  In memory of Art's mother who suffered from Parkinson's disease, Art is devoted to helping to raise money in support of research about and care for those with the disease.  Art is pictured here with one of his truck restorations.  Photograph and profile by G.A. Villa.  Copyright G.A. Villa and SNMTC 2010. 




Photograph by John T. Craft, August 16, 2006.  Copyright John T. Craft and SNMTC 2010.  Profile by G.A. Villa, copyright
G.A. Villa and SNMTC.

Marvin Ray was one of the five founding members of the Southern Nevada Model T Club, and he is pictured here in his 1915, three-quarter ton, Model C-4 Buick Truck (with overhead valves).  Marvin passed away in 2011, but his legacy lives on in his sons, who are active members of the club.
John T. Craft, the Southern Nevada Model T Club Historian, wrote in an earlier profile of Mr. Ray, that
"[d]uring the fifty years that the Rays have owned this truck, they have always kept it garaged.  We commend Marvin and Lucile for their foresight and relentless stewardship of all their time and efforts in preserving this very rare, most colorful and fascinating piece of Nevada history."

Marvin was born in Las Vegas, Nevada, and his wife of 62 years, Lucile, was also a native Nevadan, having been born in Hiko, Nevada.  So new was the Las Vegas of the Rays, the journalist Ed Koch of the Las Vegas Sun wrote in a July 15, 2006, article that when Mr. Ray was "in a San Diego military hospital recovering from wounds sustained at the costly World War II battle for Tarawa, a fellow Leatherneck in the next bed struck up a coversation.  'So where are you from?' he asked Ray.  'Las Vegas,' Ray replied.  'What?  Where's that?' the perplexed Marine asked."

Marvin Ray's contribution to the history of the early automobile reaches beyond Nevada with reference to the Model T.

Southern Nevada Model T Club Historian John T. Craft wrote a note recently in which he talked about Marvin's 1914 Wide Track Speedster which had a 60-inch track instead of the 56-inch standard track.  Mr. Craft wrote that "[t]he wide tracks were mainly shipped to the cotton growing South where the farm wagons had the 60-inch track so the cotton bales would fit between the wheels.  [The] reasoning was that the wide track would match the ruts of the farm wagons making the Model T much safer to drive on the unimproved roads of the time....Research shows that the wide tracks were built from 1909 through 1916.  There are no records showing how many were built."

Marvin and his late wife with their cars and in their person have served the history of Nevada and Las Vegas well, and we are privileged to have had them as members.

In 2010 Mr. Ray was one of three members given an award of appreciation by the Southern Nevada Model T Club for his prominent role in the organization and creation of the club. 

 


DeDe and Frog LaGrow, Mojave California Model T Tour, April 9, 2005.  Photograph by John T. Craft.  Copyright John T. Craft and SNMTC 2010.  Profile by G.A. Villa, copyright G.A. Villa and SNMTC.

Frog and DeDe LaGrow found their treasured 1925 Ford Model T Roadster in Mr. LaGrow's brother's backyard in 1985 in Salt Lake City.  It was well protected with a covering of leaves and had a tree branch growing through a space between the engine and the frame.  Brushing off the leaves and removing the tree branch, the LaGrow's made the car their own.

Subsequently while out on a Saturday morning in Henderson, Nevada, they saw a gathering of Model T Fords, and they approached the group and met and talked with Model T devotee Gary Cooper.  Encouraged by Mr. Cooper and inspired in part by the Imperial Palace antique auto collection, the LaGrow's became part of the charter member group that worked to establish the Southern Nevada Model T Club.  DeDe is now a regular contributor to the Southern Nevada Model T Club newsletter, T Driver, with her column "Under DeDe's Hat."  Ms. LaGrow writes about the fashions that were in vogue during the heydays of the Model T Ford, and she offers recipes to enliven the club members' kitchens.  Included are her discussions of food prepared in the Model T cookers which attach to the exhaust manifold and cook food while the driver and passengers find their way to a particular destination.   

DeDe was the Quest Diagnostics courier department trainer for more than a decade before retiring, and Frog was a miner in the United States for 30 years before his retirement.  Mr. LaGrow's final stint as a miner was doing preconstruction tunneling work at the Nevada Test Site.

Frog and DeDe's car has become a signal vehicle in the club and represents the remarkable durability of Henry Ford's Model T cars.  Mr. and Mrs. LaGrow add their considerable sartorial dignity and social good graces to the car and the club with each and every drive.



William P. Carpenter with his 1912 Ford Touring Car, March, 2010.
  Photograph and profile by G.A. Villa.  Copyright G.A. Villa and SNMTC 2010.

Bill and Mayra Carpenter met while they were both serving in the United States Army at Ft. Benjamin Harrison, Indiana.  Their 20-year marriage is highlighted by their remarkable accomplishments and their ongoing public service.

Bill retired from the United States Army after 36 years of service, and he was actually hired by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD)  prior to his discharge as the G3 (Operations) Sergeant Major in the 311th Expeditionary Support Command.  He has been with the LVMPD for 17 years where he continues to work as a Corrections Officer in the Department of Detention Services.  Mayra retired from the United States Army after 20 years of service in supply, recruiting, and administration; she now works for the Nevada Department of Public Safety as a Pre-Sentence Investigation Writer for the courts.

Bill and Mayra have reared four children:  Rebecca, Joshua, Daniel, and Amanda.  Bill notes with pride that Amanda, the youngest at 22 years old, graduated from Duke University in 2009 at which time she was commissioned as a United States Army Second Lieutenant in the Medical Corps.  Lt. Carpenter will enter the Indiana University Medical School in the Fall to complete her MD.

A schooled, careful, knowledgeable craftsman who did coursework in engine rebuilding at McPherson College, Bill rebuilt the engine, transmission, and drive train of the exquisite 1912 Ford Touring car that is in the picture here.  Over a period of five years, Bill also rebuilt a 1927 Chevrolet Roadster that he salvaged from an Iowa junk yard.  He also owns a 1929 Ford Model A.  An avid motorcylist, his collection includes a 1967 Superhawk, a 1970 Triumph Bonneville, a 1983 Goldwing, and a 1994 Kawasaki KLX.  Not one to be limited by time, Bill also is a clock builder, a skier, and a scuba dive master!  Mayra enjoys reading and collects original vinyl LPs as part of her love of music.

It would be impossible not to hope that everyone will have an opportunity to see Bill's magnificent red 1912 Ford Touring car.  The Southern Nevada Model T Club is proud to have Bill and Mayra as members. 




Jim Marsh and his daughter, Stacy, in his 1922 Ford Roadster Convertible, April 17, 2010.  Photograph and profile by G.A. Villa.  Copyright G.A. Villa and SNMTC 2010.

Jim Marsh and his daughter Stacy are Southern Nevada icons by nature of their television commercials in which both appear for Mr. Marsh's auto dealerships.  In those commercials, they rib one another, and Jim's "foibles" receive the good kidding of Stacy's lovely dignity.  As I sat with them at breakfast, it was apparent that the affection seen in those commercials is real and every bit as much fun.

Both are intrigued with the antiques and the artifacts of particular times and places and with the history of the Western United States and Nevada in particular.  Stacy spoke forthrightly and with an ever-so-slightly wrinkled nose about the dainty cuspidors (spittoons) used by women in the early West and about the elegance of both their smaller size and their lovely designs, and Mr. Marsh talked about the riding gloves in his collection of Western memorabilia that were worn by a Pony Express rider in the mid 19th century.

Both Jim and Stacy, a respected teacher, have a down-to-earth delight in the parts of Nevada that Mr. Marsh has bought and brought back to a contemporary dignity and historical flavor as in the rebuilding of the Longstreet hotel and casino in the Amargosa Valley.  His projects are myriad and are part of a remarkable, ongoing historical effort.

The car pictured was purchased by Jim when he was living in Denver, Colorado, with his parents in 1958.  He paid $110 for it, and when he drove it home, his dad, a car dealer himself, was appalled about the leaky condition of the car.  The car was repaired, and to this day it continues to run well and look good.

Jim Marsh and Stacy represent the Southern Nevada Model T Club well with their devotion to the history of Nevada and the West.



Dennis Rutkoskie working on his Model T frame and modified T transmission speedster.  Photograph and profile by G.A. Villa.  Copyright G.A. Villa and SNMTC 2010.

Dennis Rutkoskie's journey into a passion for collecting automobiles began in his early years in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he attended Central High School.  It was not long after he graduated from high school that Dennis began selling cars for a Kalamazoo Cadillac-Mercedes Benz dealership where he had six successful years.  A consummately casual and thoughtful man, Dennis recognized the need to explore other opportunities, and he left the auto dealership and started his own insurance agency which his business talent took to considerable success.  His insurance business in St. Joseph, Michigan, was licensed in all states east of the Mississippi, and he served large apartment projects, condominiums, and shopping centers among other commercial clients in that large geographical area.  In 1999, Mr. Rutkoskie sold his business and moved to St. George, Utah, where he returned to his earlier career by joining as a partner in John Oreno's Garage which features "reasonable used cars and trucks" and "classic and antique autos."  Dennis later became and continues as the sole owner of that business.  Dennis and his wife Jackie and his son (who he notes has no interest in cars) live in a home in St. George, Utah, which is near a 10,500 square foot garage that he built to house his approximately 26 cars:  three Model T's, three Model A's, five Cadillacs (1937, 1949, 1955, 1958, and 1964), a 1954 Ford wrecker, a 1948 chevy, and 1957 Lincoln, a 1948 Crosly, and a 1952 Kaiser, among others.  The picture in this profile tells an accurate tale:  Dennis is a knowledgeable  and skilled mechanic whose primary interest is in racing whether it is the beautiful red, handcrafted speedster seen here and which he still races (more recently in Monterey, California, and New Mexico) or Corvettes or Mercedes SL sportscars which he raced from 1985 to 2000.

Dennis' common sense, automotive knowledge, and gentleman's demeanor are always a good addition to any meeting of club members.  It is a privilege to have him as a Southern Nevada Model T Club colleague.

 
Photograph and profile by G.A. Villa.  Copyright G.A. Villa and SNMTC 2010.

Pat Black was born in Mansfield, Ohio, and his interest in engines began there when he was about 10 years old.  Pat began working on lawn mower engines and chain saw engines that were the common power plants for the go carts which he enjoyed as a youngster.  He continued to grow in his knowledge of things mechanical through high school, and as a young married man with a new family, he served in the U.S. Air Force in Germany as a heavy equipment operator from 1976 to 1980.  In addition to operating loaders, bulldozers, and dump trucks, Pat would be called upon to tow GI cars that had been impounded for more than 90 days to a junk yard.  The entrepreneur in Pat found extra money for his growing family by salvaging Volkswagen parts for resale, and he learned Volkswagen mechanics in the atmosphere of German thoroughness and careful engineering.

Mr. Black developed skills to round out his mechanical expertise:  he learned welding and bodywork and became a custom fabricator.  In 1971 he built a Bradley GT with a gel coat body that was based on a Volkswagen chassis.  Over the past two and one-half years, Pat has begun to transfer his considerable ability to the repair and overall of Model T Fords (note the missing engine and transmission in the picture!).  He bought this Model T Ford from the wife of past Southern Nevada Model T Club President Jerry Tabor, and Pat speaks appreciatively of the late Mr. Tabor's generosity and friendship and knowledge of Model T Fords.

Mr. Black is a master plumber and cooling systems expert who oversees the Department of Real Property Management, Facilities Division, as a Maintenance Supervisor for Clark County, Nevada.

Mr. Black's expertise and his good fellowship are two of his many strengths that the Southern  Nevada Model T Club is fortunate to add to its resume.




Photograph and profile by G.A. Villa.  Copyright G.A. Villa and SNMTC 2010.
The car in this photograph was purchased by Denny Shaeffer's then 12-year-old cousin, Nolan, in the 1940's, and Denny says that his cousin "ran the car into the ground."  Another of Denny's cousins offered to rebuild and restore the car if Nolan would pay for the parts, and Nolan agreed.  One important part of the car was missing originally, and Nolan and his dad had driven to Oatman, Arizona, where by chance they found a deck in the desert.  They decided to take it home with them to see if it would fit on their Model T.  It fit perfectly and was the correct trunk for the car; a locksmith made a key for the lock, and the deck and key became part of the later restoration effort.

When Nolan passed away, his son inherited the car, and not knowing what to do with it, he sold it.  Denny quickly found the car's new owner and bought it back to keep it in the family.  The car has been in the Kingman, Arizona, area since its original purchase in the 1940's, and it is now firmly a part of the Shaeffer family history there.

Denny himself was born in Kingman, Arizona, where his dad worked as a mechanic at the Ford Testing Grounds in Yucca, Arizona.  After he graduated from Mohave County Union High School in Kingman, Denny attended and graduated from a two-year community college program with an A.A. degree in "propulsion technology."  Mr. Shaeffer notes that this was a label given to courses about internal combustion automobile engines at the time!

In November, 1972, Mr. Shaeffer joined his dad at the Ford Testing Grounds in Yucca as a test driver and mechanic.  Later he was an engineering technologist who wrote reports on the prototype Ford cars that included a wide range of data (e.g., fuel economy and oil economy) for the cars from zero miles to 27,000 miles.  He was again promoted to work in the instrument laboratory where he worked with pressure transducers and sensors on the cars in order to measure temperatures of the various components in the cars; in this job he was responsible for programming computers, assembling the data, and forwarding it to Dearborn, Michigan, for the Ford Motor Company.  Mr. Shaeffer retired in 2007 after 34 years.

Denny speaks with pride of his two sons who have continued the mechanical and motor legacy of the family as an auto restorer and as a diesel mechanic.

It's always good to see Denny pull in from his trip from Kingman, Arizona, to join us for a Saturday morning drive and breakfast. 

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