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Bellingham collector not the only one to appreciate this classic. Now it will be on TV

Bellingham car collector Norm Chamberlin, with wife Karen, took their 1921 Ford Model T Speedster to the Rod Run to the End of the World car show in Ocean Park last September. Chamberlin and his car will be profiled by Dennis Gage on "My Classic Car," which debuts Saturday on Vintage.
Bellingham car collector Norm Chamberlin, with wife Karen, took their 1921 Ford Model T Speedster to the Rod Run to the End of the World car show in Ocean Park last September. Chamberlin and his car will be profiled by Dennis Gage on "My Classic Car," which debuts Saturday on Vintage. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Norm Chamberlin loves the nostalgia of the 1921 Ford Model T Speedster he purchased about five years ago and refurbished.

"The Model T, it takes a special interest in that car to have one," Chamberlin said. "Most guys want to go quick and fast, and these cars are not that. They're representative of a time when people were moving from horses to automobiles."

Evidently, Chamberlin is not the only car enthusiast to have a special place in his heart for that generation of cars.

While visiting last September's 34th Annual Rod Run to the End of the World — a car show in Ocean Park put on for the Beach Barons Car Club — Chamberlin was interviewed by classic car and hot rod aficionado Dennis Gage, who hosts "My Classic Car," and Chamberlin recently was informed that he and his Model T will be one of the featured cars in the next episode (season 22, episode 19) of the show.

"I'm glad to have a car from Bellingham honored in this way," said Chamberlin, who was born and raised in Bellingham and graduated from Bellingham High in 1965. "I don't know if any cars from Bellingham ever have."

The show will debut on Velocity (Comcast channel 663) at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. After it airs, it will be available to stream at the show's YouTube channel. It also will be shown at 1:30 p.m. May 29 on NBC Sports Network (Comcast channel 34 or 626).

"It's a big deal to have Dennis identify your car as one of interest for the show," Chamberlin said. "His show has been running for 22 years now, and he's seen a lot of cars. He picks cars that he thinks will be of interest to a large portion of his audience."

Chamberlin, who owns seven cars, said he purchased his Model T in Bend, Oregon, after a collector there owned it for about 20 years but never started it. Chamberlin brought it home and said he spent "upwards of 100 hours, maybe more" refurbishing everything, including the engine and drive-train and polishing all the chrome.

The creme-colored beauty definitely stands out with its green-spoke wheels.

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Bellingham car collector Norm Chamberlin, left, talks with Dennis Gabe about his 1921 Ford Model T Speedster at the Rod Run to the End of the World car show in Ocean Park last September. Chamberlin and his car will be profiled by Gage on "My Classic Car," which debuts Saturday on Vintage. Norm Chamberlin Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

One of the most unusual parts of the car is what Chamberlin calls the "fat man" steering wheel, which flips out of the way and has a locking device that unlocks the steering cam, allowing it to spin without turning the front wheels — "kind of an early-tech locking steering wheel," Chamberlin said.

"I've watched this show for a long time, and at some level, it's kind of fun to know I'm going to be on it," Chamberlin said. "A lot of guys that have their car shown have got a lot of money invested in their cars. From that perspective, this is not a Fancy Dan hot rod. ... I don't feel like it's this big honor to be featured, but it is fun to know I brought a car he felt was worthy to be shown and would interest people who know about cars."

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