Pig N’ Fords: Model T drivers carry pigs while racing in Tillamook
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Pig N’ Fords: Model T drivers carry pigs while racing in Tillamook


Nerves will get you until the gun goes off.
And then it’s go. And you better have one thing in mind — don’t screw up. And get that
pig, handle him with care. Give him a ride around the track, get a new pig, give him
a ride around, and do it one more time. And then you’re done. Pig N Ford races were started
in 1925. Two fellows were running with a Model T down a county road. There was a farmer’s
pig was loose, they chased him down, got him back in the car, gave him a ride back, and
they thought that would be a neat event at the Tillamook County Fair. They proposed it,
did it, and the crowd loved it and it’s been going ever since. The race today is quite
a bit different than the old days. The cars are all stock Model Ts. Everything is stripped
down. You only have 22 horsepower, so you’re trying to make it as lean and light as possible.
Thirty-five pounds is a good size to hang onto and put on a good show. And that’s more
safe for the pigs too. We always stress to our racers every day, take care of that pig. There’s 10 franchises in the club. It’ll be passed down from a father to a son, or a grandfather
to grandson, something like that. My grandpa was in it, my dad was in it, my uncle was
in it. I’ve been around it since as long as I can remember. I always thought as a child
it can’t be that hard, you know. Doing it, it’s probably one of the hardest things I’ve
ever done. You’re wrestling with the pig and driving that car around the track, it’s not
easy. You start doing it when you’re a little kid, like my dad was apart of it, and he brought
us in when we were 16 years old, and then started racing when we were 18. There’s a
lot of people that come to watch, a lot of friends and other family members that are
in it that live in Tillamook. It’s a redneck sport. I’m not gonna lie, I’m not that good
at it. For me, it’s more fun. Coming up, probably next year or the year after, my oldest boy
will be able to do it. Everyone in this organization gets paid the same, so if you win you don’t
get paid any different, but you get bragging rights. My dad started it, he raced 30 years,
I was the second generation. I’m in, like, my, I don’t know, 38th year. I remember trying
to crank start it when I was little, like 2, 3. It’s odd. But it’s competitive. There’s
nothing else like it in the world. It’s pretty fun, it’s unique. It’s something that no one
else in the world does. It’s part of Tillamook.

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