Ken Rides in a Model T

Kenneth Unger of Brookdale Pinecrest in Largo, Florida, recently turned 90 years old. At age 18, during WWII, he enlisted in the Navy because he, “wanted to win the war for our country.” He’s proud of his time in the service and it played a big part in his lifelong patriotism. There’s one wish that Kenneth held onto for over 75 years, which was to drive in a Model T Ford.

The Model T is generally regarded as the most influential car of the 20th century, as it opened travel to the common middle-class American. When Kenneth was 15 years old, a neighbor who lived across the street had a beat-up Model T Ford, which Kenneth dreamed of buying and fixing up himself. The neighbor agreed to sell Kenneth the car and shook hands with him, but when Kenneth was ready to purchase it after saving up some money, the neighbor told him that the price had gone up. Kenneth explains, “To me a handshake is like a written contract. I didn’t have the additional money at that time and two weeks later, the man sold the car to someone else. I have always regretted losing that car over such a small amount of money.” Kenneth lived a hard-working life as a husband, father, and volunteer. He served in his local community holding public office, and also volunteered for 4-H, an organization that introduced young generations to the importance of agriculture and farming.

Kenneth was never able to let go of his desire to drive in a Model T, and wanted nothing more than to accomplish this dream. “It would be a lifelong dream come true and would reconnect me with my youth,” he said. Wish of a Lifetime and Brookdale in partnership with the Suncoast T Club in St. Petersburg, Florida, granted Kenneth’s Wish of a Lifetime. On June 25th, 2016, Kenneth, his daughter, and niece were picked up from Brookdale Pinecrest in a 1918 Model T Ford for an unforgettable ride. Ironically, he was able to ride in a 1926 Model T Ford, the same year that Ken was born.