Y2K Endurance Run (40th) The 2000 Endurance Run was based out of Great Falls, Montana and we had a wonderful tour through Glacier National Park following the race. The dates were June 18th through June 22nd, 2000.

First of all, we better give a big "thank you" to the timers, flaggers and trouble trailer drivers. Thank you Bonnie Nickol, Jamie Nickol, Marilyn Huson, Janet Cerovski, Gary Cooper, Harold Mann and anyone else that helped. You did a super great job with all of these things.

Hopefully I’ll get most of the following pages written right. On Sunday, June 18th, the directors inspected 13 Model T’s and 1 Model A tour car. During the inspection, Tom Carnegie thought he could make a bit better speed by reducing the friction between the pistons, rings and cylinder walls and Rick and Nan gave him a hand. They tore Tom’s car apart, had it put back together and running by the end of the afternoon.

On Monday, June 19th, the 40th Endurance Run began with Nan Robisin (1) as the first car away followed by Tony Cerovski(2), Tom Carnegie(3), Harold Mann(4), Sam Nickol (5), Carla Carnegie(6), Dave Huson(7), Steve Coniff(8), George Nickol(9), Rick Carnegie(10), and Simon Nickol(11). Actually, the tour cars went ahead of us most of the time. This should be standard practice on interstate driving but we may need to send out endurance cars first on narrow 2 lanes next time. The tour cars were lead by Gary Ebbert(13), Carl Walden(14) and Sean Walden(15). No one was assigned number (12), just in case any of you were counting.

We drove 47 miles from Great Falls to Loma in good shape with the order of arrival being Tony, Tom, Sam, Nan, George, Dave, Rick, Steve, Simon, Harold and Carla. After a pit stop we drove 60 miles from Loma to Havre for lunch. The arriving order at Havre was Tony, Tom, Sam, George, Rick, Dave, Simon, Steve, Nan, Harold and Carla. While at Havre, we went to an underground tour and saw what’s left of the city below the City of Havre. A while ago, Havre had a bad fire in the late fall and most of the business district burned down. Since winter was coming, the people just built their businesses below the ground for the duration of the winter. It was very interesting walking through the old bordello, noticing the names above the beds. (Don’t worry, we didn’t see your name there!) Back to the race.

We met up with the timers and flaggers at the Havre Y and also tied up with an Old Goat! Marvin Klienjan named one of his classic car creations the Old Goat or Goat Mobile) in order to keep one of his pestering friends from calling him the same. (I think, anyway.) Someone snapped a fantastic panoramic picture of all of the T’s & Ter’s and that picture can be seen at the "Unofficial (probably official) Montana 500 website. Then, away we went, heading for Loma with Carla in the lead, followed by Harold, Tony, Tom, Sam, George, Rick, Dave, Simon, Steve and Nan. The tour cars snuck out ahead of Carla.

Gary Ebbert somehow got his T to puke its’ coolant water. Boy, I didn’t think that Gary’s driving was bad enough to make his T puke, but Kathleen said that "His driving was responsible and that it was a lucky thing that Liz had a cast iron stomach.

On the way to Loma, we all gave our Model T’s a free cold rainy wash and windy blow-dry. By the time we gassed up in Loma and used their one hole’r for the second time on the day, the weather was again nice but we noticed that Harold’s T was on the trailer. Every Model T’er feels sadness when a T is wounded and put on a trailer. But we had to keep going and that ment we had better hit the trail to Great Falls. The arriving order in Great Falls was Tony, George, Rick, Nan, Simon, Dave, Steve and Carla. Harold’s car was on the trailer, Tom’s car needed a trailer and so did Sam’s car. Harold brought along a buddy who looked like Gary Cooper alright and in fact he was Gary Cooper. Anyway, Gary Cooper decided to work over Harold’s T on Tuesday and have her ready for the Big Tour while Harold would drive the trouble trailer around with us. Tom called his T "Done In For" and Sam took slow time for the day plus one hour penalty and had his T ready for the second day.

On Tuesday, Day 2, June 20, 2000, we headed out in "slow car first" order from a parking lot on the northwest bypass, North of Great Falls. With the tour cars out first, Sam started off followed by Carla, Nan, Steve, Dave, Simon, Tony, Rick & George. We raced our hearts out until we hit road construction West of Vaughn. So we re-started from about the Sun River Y and headed North. Everybody thought about slowing down in Fairfield, but all of the locals were waving us through! So both levers were pulled down while in town. Not really. Choteau was the town to stop in so we just kept going. Somewhere along the way to Choteau, one of Tony’s 4 fan blades broke off just like it did in 1994. What a bummer. Did you know that other T’s can catch you when this happens? They also can pass you by when your new New Day brush holder breaks! I should have followed my own advice and used one of Bob Thompson’s Anderson Flappers. The arriving order in Choteau was Sam, Dave, Nan, Rick, Simon, Tony, George, Carla and Steve.

After leaving Choteau, my car was getting more squirrelly than usual, and George was catching me in places where I was feeling like I had better throttle up a bit. I think it was Rick who killed (stalled) his T on the Valier cutoff road and had to crank and crank to get his T started. Anyway there was one mean Model T route between Fairfield and Valier, the grades and corners were plenty fun. At Valier, George noticed my wobbly rear wheel and we checked it out. I felt that I should put the old gal on the trailer and head for town, but then others thought I could make it to Great Falls. So, we ate lunch at the local cafe, gassed up and readied for the re-entry to the Endurance Run.

Away went the tour cars, away went Sam, Rick, Dave, Simon, Tony, George, Tom (in Nan’s T), Steve and Carla. When Tony turned on to the I-15 on ramp, the drivers side rear axle broke off at the end of the key way. (See pic on web site). No one was hurt, but the car had a stretched fender, like what would happen if the tire had to come out the rear of the fenderwell while cornering at say 25-30 mph!. I waved George, Tom & Carla by. Tom thought it was neat or convenient that the Fed Ex man was already delivering me a tire and wheel. Steve and Reid stopped to help Harold and I load the T on to Harold’s trailer. I do like electrical winches! Thanks Harold, Thanks Steve and Thanks Reid.

The arriving order into Great Falls was Sam, Rick, Dave, George, Simon, Tom (in Nan’s T), Carla, Steve and Tony on the trailer.

On Tuesday night starting about at 9:30 p.m., Rick, Tom, George, Simon, Sam and Howard Conquergood helped replace the large drum rearend in my T. I think I just about watched it all happen and it was finished up before midnight. They shortened the drive shaft tube bell and the u-joint to make ‘er fit. Thank you all very very much. It is nice to have good friends that are so good with the hands and brains!! Thank you!

Wednesday, last race day, had fast cars going out first to Shelby. George could have been leading us away but the noise from inside the crankcase was getting bothersome. After listening to his engine, he decided to trailer on the last day. Later on during the day, we pulled his inspection pan and the found that the center main was hambergered. It was a good thing George decided not to go further with that engine, as it is still fixable.

So Rick had the honor of heading out to Shelby first followed by Simon, Dave, Nan, Steve, Sam, Carla, Tony. Eight cars were left in the Endurance Run of eleven starters. Of course the tour cars were doing nicely. The finishing order in Shelby was Rick, Simon, Dave, Nan, Steve, Sam, Carla and Tony. Carla and Nan are real strong ladies. Driving their roadsters along with guys like us is tough enough to do, let alone the nasty early summer weather that can occur during the Endurance Run. We really think the best of these pioneering women. I remember Joyce Smith and Sandy Pindar doing the same kind of thing in ‘95&96 or so.

After we ate lunch in Shelby, we opened the final race meeting. Some discussion took place before getting into tearing down the top 3 finishers. Most of us felt that a teardown was unnecessary, but the new rules state to do it. Finally, George made a motion to "Not to have a teardown this year and rescind the new 2000 teardown rule." The vote was 9 drivers in yea, 2 drivers in nay. The motion carried. I think that the nay votes could have been recorded as a yeas if we were to reconsider.

So the Ultra Happy Winner of the Montana Cross Country Model "T" Association’s 500 Mile Endurance Run is Rick Carnegie, of Spokane, Washington. We Congratulate you Rick, for a job well done. Cheers!, Hooray, Hip-hip. Ataboy.

Sincerely yours,

Tony & Janet Cerovski Sec-Tres.

Montana Cross Country ‘T’ Assn.