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The ""Basket Case"" is a 1924 Model T Roadster that was covered in wicker when it was new or nearly new. The car has been in my family since 1934, when it was registered by my great uncle, John Pinkowski. John lived in Wallace, Michigan, with his wife Martha and son Raymond. After John passed in 1951, Raymond brought the car to Menominee, Michigan, where he lived. When Raymond passed in 1991, my mom inherited this car, and my dad did the first updating. Dad cleaned up and painted the wicker, polished the brass rivets that hold the wicker braiding in place, and had the bright work replaced. He also replaced the top and tires, and did enough mechanical work to get her running. His dream was to get invited to the Old Car Festival, which he achieved, and became a fan favorite. We were invited back every year, including 1997, but dad passed away that year. That's when I inherited the Basket Case.
In 2003, we were asked by the Ford Centennial committee to represent 1924 in the ""100 years of Icons that Moved the World"". This was a great honor, and a challenge, as the #1 connecting rod bearing melted three weeks before the Centennial, but we were able to patch it up enough to get the Basket Case to Dearborn. Not long afterwards, I had the engine rebuilt.
In 2019, The Basket Case went international, attending the Model T Ford Club International tour in Prince Edward Island.
The Basket Case was featured at the American Arthritis Foundation cruise-in and car show, on WLS ABC TV-7 ""I Love My Car"" and many car shows and cruise events. In 2019, The Basket Case went international, attending the Model T Ford Club International tour in Prince Edward Island.
Why was the car covered in Wicker? We don't know, but Menominee, Michigan is the home of Lloyd-Flanders today, which was Lloyd Manufacturing in the early 20th century. Marshall Lloyd and company made wicker lawn furniture, baby buggies, and other woven furniture. The construction, design and function of the wicker on the Basket Case are identical to Lloyd Manufacturing products, but there are no company records surviving that indicate the car was decorated in the factory. The initials ""SCK"" are woven into the door, which may have been the original owner, but we've not been able to solve that part of the ""Basket Case"". The original body metal remains under the wicker, except on the hood where the vents were removed, and the turtleback trunk was removed. A wicker border like a pickup bed rail was added in place of the turtleback, and a large wicker box is mounted there.
The Basket Case also has other Model T era accessories, such as a Fat Man steering wheel (the early version of tilt steering), a locking steering column, a rim-wind clock, and a radiator ornament we call the brass GPS. It also had a compression release on the exhaust system that we've removed, but kept the parts.
The Basket Case has a facebook page, @TBasketCase, where there are many pictures, videos and more stories.
Owner: J. Kluch
City: Sun City, AZ