Harold Baggott isn’t your stereotypical early adopter, but he’s been at the forefront of automotive technology since he was 10. That’s how old he was when he first drove in a Ford Model T. The year? 1930. Now, 91 years later, he recently took a drive in something very different: A Ford Mustang Mach-E, and he was excited to show it off to this great-grandchildren.
“Since the age of 10, I’ve retained my interest in motoring, and today find myself interested in the switch to electrification following the government phasing out the traditional combustion engines I’m used to,” Harold said. “I have reminisced about my driving history with the Model T and seen what the future has in store. It was exciting to get behind the wheel of what I expect to see my great grandchildren will be driving.”
Since his first drive (on a farm) at age 10, Harold has done what he could to stay at the forefront of the car scene. He was among the first to get a driver’s license in the UK six years later and owned several of his own cars in those early years. The first car he owned was a Ford 8 Popular in 1937, and he got a Ford Anglia the next year. His family has gone on to own 20 other Fords over the years, not counting the commercial vehicles for the family business.
The family’s travel and coach business has had a number of Ford chassis vehicles (think of cutaway vans, where you build your own box on the back for various purposes), with as much as 140 owned at a time, so Harold’s business wasn’t far from his enthusiasm.
Recently, his family accompanied him to look at Ford’s heritage collection, and he was proud to show the Mach-E off after spending some time in a Model T.
This Deflates Most People’s Excuses
While I know that not all elderly people are set in their ways, the stereotype does exist for a reason. Many of the aging people we all know tend to get afraid of trying new things, and some start to have trouble learning. Despite any of these challenges, this man shows us that you can try new things at any age, and be excited for the future instead of just yearning for the past.
When we see people in their 40s, 50s, and 60s telling us that they just can’t switch away from combustion engines because it’s what they’re used to, or that the learning curve is too steep, remind them of Harold, the 101-year-old man who still loves the past but wants to show his great-grandchildren something new and exciting.
Of course, there are still valid reasons for many people to not switch to an EV. The costs haven’t come down to where many people can buy one yet, especially if all you can afford is an old used vehicle. There are also people whose use of a vehicle isn’t quite served by EVs (mostly towing long distance). Those technological and economic challenges won’t last forever, though, and all people will have left in a few years are excuses.
It would be cool if we could all be a little more like Harold.