About Ben and Nancy

You have to wonder when you start reading about a trip like this – thousands of miles in a Model T with no support vehicle – ARE these people CRAZY?  
Let me tell you a little about us.
My husband, Ben Hardeman, saw his first Model T when he was 12 or 13.  It belonged to his cousin, a man the same age as Ben’s mother, and Ben loved to sit in it and pretend he was driving.  He bought his first Model T when he was 17 and drove it in high school and college.  He has had at least one T ever since.  (And, in 2000, he was able to buy his cousin’s car – the one he had loved as a child in 1962.)

My name is Nancy and I saw my first Model T when I met Ben in 1986.  At the time, he was my employer and friend.  He was planning his first long distance trip, from Texas to Alaska and back – in a Model T.    I can remember thinking:  IS this guy crazy?
Pickup in Bluebonnetts-1.jpg
Marian Rose, Nancy and Ben Hardeman in their 1926 Roadster Pickup
Ben owned a foundry at the time and had lots of employees besides me.  He was on City Council and active in the local business community.  But he was going to take off for 9 weeks in a Model T, with is nine-year-old daughter Jennifer and her dog on the adventure of a lifetime.  

The trip was wildly successful.  He and the other 15 cars that accompanied him all made the whole 10,000 mile trip and got home under their own power.  They saw amazing things and met wonderful people and many remained friends the rest of their lives.

We were married in 1989 and it became immediately obvious that Ben was an adventurer while I was more cowardly.  But after years of hearing about his trip, I was ready when we set out on our own adventure to Alaska in 2001.  A smaller group went with us, including Ben’s daughters, Jennifer and Ginger, now grown up and in college, who drove a Model T themselves.  Also along was Ross Lilleker, a young man from England and the man who eventually became Jennifer’s husband.  (My daughter Patricia wasn’t able to go.)

The trip wasn’t as easy or troublefree this time but we made it home with our marriage intact and the cars still running.  So why are we doing it again?  Partly because we bought this new car in Alaska.  Partly because we are both semi-retired and we can.  But mostly because we want to see things we missed in 2001.  We wanted to linger in places we rushed by and explore areas that we couldn’t when we were responsible for a larger group of people.  We expect this to be our “Trip of a Lifetime.”

We plan to post photos and updates on our journey and we’d be happy for you to share it with us.  There is a “Contact Us” button on the top of each page; if you would like, we’d be glad to hear from you.  Hopefully, you will decide you would like to take a trip of your own – maybe not thousands of miles but more than just around the block. The most important thing I learned from all the trips we’ve taken: With AAA and a MasterCard, you can get home from anywhere.

Happy Motoring!