Published by the Texas Transportation Museum, San Antonio

Texas T Party 2023

Wednesday October 18 - Saturday October 21

Rockport, Texas

TTP 2023 Tour Information

Last updated on September 20, 2023

Welcome to the 2023 Texas T Party web page. You will find information about the tour, a tour application, the mechanical reliability statement and a link to the base hotel to facilitate reserving your room. An outline of the tour is also provided and also some FAQs (frequently asked questions). You may ask questions or request that the application and safety inspection form be e-mailed to you by using the "Contact Us" button in Section A on the right had side column on this page.

This tour is being made possible by the Rockport Cultural Arts District.
Their assistance with almost every aspect of the tour has been invaluable.


CLICK : 2023 Texas T Party Registration Form


The address is at the bottom of the form

Please note that some computer systems may not open the "pdf" form directly. It may show up as a download link on the bottom of your screen that you then click to open. If you cannot open the form, please send a message using the "Contact Us" tab in the column on the right to request that the application form be e-mailed to you.


Please click the "MTFCA Model T Safety Inspection Form" linked below for the mandatory inspection form you must submit in order to participate on this tour in your Model T.

DO NOT MAIL THIS FORM with your tour application and payment. Please print it out and complete it and then bring it with you when you register in person at the tour

CLICK : MTFCA Model T Safety Inspection & Release Form

Please note that some computer systems may not open the "pdf" form directly. It may show up as a download link on the bottom of your screen that you then click to open. If you cannot open the form, please send a message using the "Contact Us" tab in the column on the right to request that the "Model T Safety Inspection Form" be e-mailed to you.


Rooms of the same high quality at the same rate of $94 per night including breakfast are available at two of the best hotels in Rockport, The Fairfield Inn and the Hampton Inn. (More expensive suites are available at the Fairfield if you wish.) The Fairfield has a business suite so it is the base hotel. Only the Hampton Inn is pet friendly - with a small deposit. The hotels are about half a mile apart. Both are near gas stations and major grocery stores HEB and Walmart. Lots of chain and independent restaurants are nearby as well.

You will get the best service if you use the web sites to book your rooms. You will be sent a confirmation e-mail. Reservation by phone is available from 9 AM - 5 PM, Monday through Friday only.



Fairfield Inn & Suites (base hotel)
2950 Hwy 35 North Business
Rockport, Texas 78382
Phone :(361) 727-9007


Hampton Inn Inn & Suites (pet friendly)
3677 Hwy 35 N Business
Rockport, TX 78382
Phone :(361) 727-2228


RV Parks

Fulton RV Park
907 Mesquite Street
Fulton, TX 78358
Phone : 361-775-5230

This facility is immediately next door to the Hampton Inn

Click : Fulton RV Park to visit their web site

Beacon RV Park & Marina
301 S. Fulton Beach Road
Rockport TX 78382
Phone : 361-729-3026

Seafront facility with access to fishing piers. Seascape Cottages next door has small cabins

Click : Beacon RV Park to visit their web site


Neither the hotels or RV parks have much room at all for all the Ford Model Ts, trucks and trailers expected. FREE and SECURE Parking for trucks and trailers has been arranged at the nearby Aransas County Airport, only 2.05 miles from the Fairfield, even less from the Hampton. An access code for the gate is on the map image linked below.

Aransas County Airport
421 John D Wendell Rd
Rockport, TX 78382
Phone : (361) 790-0141

Aransas County Airport
Click on thumbnail to see map of airport location and the all hours gate access code

2023 Texas T Party - TOUR OUTLINE

Tuesday October 17

Tour check-in will start in the late afternoon at the Fairfield Inn only. A map of the parking area complete with gate access code will be in the tour book you will receive. There are no other activities planned for this day.

Wednesday October 18

Click : Port Aransas Tour for the tour directions and maps

9 AM start. Going to Port Aransas. About a 45 mile round trip. Involves a short (free) ferry ride. There will be a mini-parade past the local elementary school on the way out of Rockport. A fun way to get started. There are no planned group activities on the island. It is a major tourist destination with plenty to do. You'll be on your own for lunches. There are many, many places to choose from. Information provided by the Port Aransas visitors bureau about places to eat and visit will be in the goodie bag and some will be listed in the tour book. Of particular note is scheduled cruises on a real life pirate ship. The boat can carry about 40 passengers a time. There are two cruises scheduled for Wednesday 10/18, at 1 PM and 5:30 PM. You should book your trip in advance. Here is a link to their web site with all the details.

Click : Red Dragon Pirate Cruise to visit their web site

Wednesday evening. For anyone who wants to go, the 100 seat RLT (Rockport Little Theatre) will be an opportunity to see a couple of short Model T era movies and possibly enjoy some local musicians, plus, I hope, a couple of performances by tour participants, including a specially written song about the Ford Model T. There will be a $10 admission fee, which also includes popcorn and a soda. Adult beverages will also be available. There will be a food truck outside as well. The venue is very close to the combined “Winery on the Bay / Dog Gone Brewery” which is the only large winery tour planners have found in the area. It closes at 7 PM. Theater doors will open around 6:30 pm. Performances start around 7 PM. If you'd like to be a performer, please let Hugh Hemphill know.

Thursday October 19

It’s picture day, so not a whole lot of T driving on this day. Most of the morning will be getting individual tour participant pictures made at the Fulton Mansion. People wanting to get their tour picture should enter the area via Fulton Avenue, which is immediately adjacent to the Fairfield Inn. There will be a lot of waiting. The local police will be assisting at the corner of Fulton Avenue and Fulton Beach Road. (All the details will be in the tour book.) The photographer will be in place and ready to go by 9 AM. Free coffee and donuts will be served in the parking lot at the mansion visitor center, located behind the mansion.

Lunch & Afternoon A hamburger style catered lunch will be provided in a hangar at the airport, where the trailers should be parked during the tour. Golf carts will be available for those who cannot or don't want to walk the distance from where the Ts need to be parked and the hangar where lunch will be served.

A drone video and photo-shoot is being arranged to record all the Ts lined up side by side - somewhere between 75 to 100. This will make for a stunning and very memorable memento of the tour. Owners are politely requested to stay away from the Ts while the video shoot is taking place. People who bring modern cars are politely requested not to park in among the Ts.

An aircraft will be positioned near the terminal building for anyone who wants to take their own picture of their T and themselves in front of it. There may be some other activities at the airport as well.

Some flights in vintage aircraft will be available. The Stearman biplane can only take one passenger at a time. Another enclosed vintage aircraft can hold three, with a minimum of two passengers on each fight. There will be a raffle to select one lucky winner for a flight in the biplane over the bay. The company providing the aircraft is asking people to book their flights ahead of time. $200 for ten minutes in the biplane - only 1 passenger at a time. It's $200 for a 30 minute flight in the Avion aircraft that can take 3 passengers at a time.

Click image to go to the Vintage Air Tours web site
for more information and to book your flight

Thursday Evening. There are several planned activities at the Fairfield Inn. No food is being provided by the tour but there is a bar. The always popular Farkle tournament will take place. Sandra and Jim Ruhmann will have a corn hole set-up as well. Luke Cordes will be running "Pinewood Derby Races" following Boy Scouts of America rules and guidelines. Tour participants are encouraged to bring the "Pinewood Derby" race cars they already own or to make one. Prizes for fastest, most unique and for the race car that most resembles a T will be awarded. Kits are available from Amazon and other vendors. Here is s link to the Boy Scouts of America pinewood derby web page where you can read the rules, get plans if you want to make one from scratch. Parts such as wheels and axles can be purchased if you want to make the rest yourself.

Click : Boy Scouts of America Pinewood Derby

If anyone is interested at the time, there may also be a round table discussion about Ford Model T maintenance and ownership issues. Tour participants, especially new owners not lucky enough to have a club where they live, will have an opportunity to ask the folks assembled questions about Ts such as how to address a particular issue. Daniel Bratcher who owns and operates the "Timeless Ts" Ford Model T repair shop in San Antonio will be the moderator but anyone who has answers are encouraged to offer their thoughts. Courtesy and civility towards opinions that vary from your own will be expected. This is not the internet. Disagree nicely. Let the people asking the questions get more than one point of view and decide for themselves.

Friday October 20

Major driving day. Around 140 miles.(*) Departure at 9 AM. First stop will be for coffee and donuts in Refugio, 40 miles from Rockport, where town leaders are really excited about our visit. This will be a fund-raiser for the local “Boys and Girls” club. Our refreshments are covered but they are anticipating a lot of local people coming to the park where we will be stopping to see the Ts. There will be an opportunity for tour members to make a donation if they are so inclined,

(*)For those not comfortable with this much T driving in one day, the opportunity to trailer your T to Refugio has been set up. Parking will be at the Refugio Community Center on the other side of the street from the coffee and donut stop. Driving to Goliad and back to Refugio will be around 50 miles.

On the way out of town we will be doing a mini-parade past the local elementary school. Then on another 25 miles to Goliad where we will be having a catered Tex-Mex style meal within the hallowed wall of the La Bahia Presidio itself. This is a very rare and privileged opportunity. We will be allowed to drive our Ts within the walls as well, so no issues with having to walk long distances.

After lunch, tour participants are encouraged to drive another two miles or so to the historic court house square in the town center. There are all kinds of tourist type businesses here, including antique stores, and ice cream parlor and a lovely bar for those in need of an adult beverage.

No evening plans after such a long, full day.

Saturday October 21

Morning Tour

A "long way round" drive to the “Big Tree” a remarkable specimen that is over 1,000 years old, one of the three oldest trees in Texas. The scenic route is about 31 miles. Slower Ts may wish to drive to the tree directly, a distance of less than eight miles. The 'long way round' will involve driving some pleasant coastal routes not previously experienced in the tour.

Drive back to Rockport and lunch

The drive back to the railroad depot museum at center of Rockport's Heritage District for a sandwich lunch catered by a local vendor is about 13 miles. The main street through the historic district will be closed to allow one last mini-parade. Some local dignitaries may need a ride in a T for the procession. A few brief remarks will be delivered by the mayor and possibly others. The town will be promoting this part of the tour as a major attraction so expect a big crowd.


No scheduled activities after lunch. However, T Party participants will find themselves very close to many local artistic themed stores and local attractions, such as a depot centered walking tour of local houses and businesses with explanations of their history and significance provided. The afternoon is "free time" where tour participants can get a good opportunity to experience Rockport itself, with its many shopping, cultural, fishing and beach experience opportunities. The shopping is excellent, varied and unique. There are art museums, the recently restored railroad depot and the nearby maritime museum. There are self-guided walking tours of historic buildings available at the depot and also in your tour goodie bags. No one should come to Rockport and not actually get to spend quality time there.

Evening The traditional banquet will be held at the First Baptist Church of Rockport. It will be a BBQ style meal. All the usual things, a few speeches, a few awards, information about next year's tour, and that just about wraps it up for TTP 2023.

Texas T Party TTP 2023 preparation

Fairfield Inn, Rockport, Texas, Texas T Party preparation visit, April 2023
Rockport Visitors Bureau and Chamber of Commerce building Texas T Party preparation visit, April 2023
Local vendor, Texas T Party preparation visit, April 2023
Fulton Mansion, Rockport, Texas, Texas T Party preparation visit, April 2023
Historic House, Rockport, Texas, Texas T Party preparation visit, April 2023
Coastal drive, Rockport, Texas, Texas T Party preparation visit, April 2023
Big Tree park, Rockport, Texas, Texas T Party preparation visit, April 2023
On the ferry to Port Aransas, Texas T Party preparation visit, April 2023
Port Aransas visitor center, Texas T Party preparation visit, April 2023
Pirate ship at Port Aransas, Texas T Party preparation visit, April 2023
On the beach at Port Aransas, Texas T Party preparation visit, April 2023
Meting with the mayor and the police chief in Refugio, Texas T Party preparation visit, April 2023
At the court house in Goliad, Texas T Party preparation visit, April 2023
At Presidio La Bahia, Texas T Party preparation visit, April 2023

Please see the FAQ (frequently asked questions) section at the bottom of this page.

To ask a question by e-mail, click : 2023 Texas T Party Questions

To ask a question by telephone, text (preferably) or call Hugh Hemphill at (210) 394 0483

To ask a question about registration only, call the
number provided at the bottom of the application form.


Does the discount rate apply before Tuesday


Do the host hotels allow pets?

One does, the Hampton Inn. They do ask for a non-refundable deposit.

Is there a day rate for the tour?

No, there is no day rate for this tour. The tour hosts will be paying for most activities months in advance using the funds received.

Can my tour fee be refunded if I have to cancel?

Yes. Your tour fee will be refunded in full if you decide to withdraw before August 31, 2023. After that, any rebates will be allocated on a prorated basis from any funds remaining after the tour is over.

Do I need to be a member of any club or live in Texas to participate?

No. You don't have to be a member of any club, local or national, to participate in this tour. You also don't have to live in Texas. This tour attracts people from all over the country and even from outside the USA.

Can I participate in the tour without bringing a Model T?

Yes. While bringing a T to the tour is kind of the point, people tagging along in other vintage cars or even modern cars are quite welcome. There are many good reasons, such as health issues, or your T is not yet completely restored or safe to drive long distances. People who do not yet own a T but are seriously interested are also most welcome.

How many miles will we drive each day?

This will not be a high mileage tour. The drives will be short on both Thursday and Saturday. We are looking to provide a good experience for people to see this part of Texas but also get a chance to fully experience the places we will visit.

What if my T breaks down during the tour?

This will happen quite a bit on a tour that lasts several days with many, many miles of driving. In almost all instances, tour participants will stop to help for an "unscheduled roadside repair seminar." And most of the time they will succeed in getting you going again. That's the beauty of the T. If you run out of gas, there will be "trouble trucks" driven by tour volunteers who will provide you with fuel or oil or radiator fluid or whatever else you might need - up to a point. If necessary they can load your T on their trailer and haul y'all back to the hotel. Some people prefer to be taken back to get their own truck and trailer and that can be accommodated also.

Can my need for a special diet be a consideration?

Sadly, it's just about impossible on a tour of this size and scope to accommodate the special diet requirements of some participants. The best advice that we can give is to bring your own food with you during the day if you cannot eat what is provided and eat your main meal in the evenings after we return to the hotel.

Do I have to stay at the host hotels?

No. You may use any hotel or other form of accommodation that best suits your needs. Some people will be staying in RVs, for example, or with relatives who live in the area. All daily activities, including the drivers meeting will start at the base hotel.

Are children welcome on this tour?

Yes. Absolutely. Most years there any number of youngsters taking part. We do not have any activities planned for them as such, and they are, of course, the responsibility of the people who bring them.


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Published by the T Fords of Texas, San Antonio's Ford Model T Club