The population of Genoa more than tripled on Thursday as an estimated 850 members of the Early Ford V-8 Club celebrated their 2013 Grand National Golden Jubilee with a road trip.
About 400 Fords rumbled into Nevada’s first settlement starting at 11 a.m. Volunteers opened up the old fort at Mormon Station State Historic Park, where the cars were lined up.
Organizer Randy Leech said that people from four countries outside of the U.S., including Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Sweden, were participating in the jubilee.
Some motorists took the tour up the east shore of Lake Tahoe, over Mount Rose and across to Virginia City before following the Pony Express trail to Genoa.
But most, Leech said, came down from the Lake over Kingsbury so they could have lunch.
Jacks Valley resident Al Abrahamson’s 1915 Ford Model T was the centerpiece in the fort.
Abrahamson said he’s owned the car for 40 years, when he built it from parts.
He said the old car is modified to be able to travel at 55 mph, and takes the hills in Western Nevada without any problems.
“I used to drive it 1,000 miles a year when we’d go to shows,” he said. “It’s the most reliable of my cars.”
Mormon Station Supervisor Suzanne Sturtevant took pictures of the cars inside the fort and sent them to her brother.
“I wish my dad could have been here to see this,” she said. “He would have loved it.”
Tables set up in the park provided those attending the event a place to have lunch under the trees in the state park.
The club was the first big event since the power poles were taken down in the center of Genoa as part of the town’s renovation.