Bruce McCalley, one of the six founding members of the Model T Ford Club of America and the author of several seminal works on the cars, died Feb. 15 at age 86.
McCalley, a resident of Allison Park, Pa., was a luminary in the old car hobby, particularly in Model T Ford circles. He was a MTFCA president, club official and longtime editor of the club’s publication, The Vintage Ford.
An electronics technician by trade, McCalley bought his first Model T Ford in 1959. He eventually left his job in 1972 to research the history of the Model T and work for the MTFCA. McCalley was also an expert on antique radios and associated literature, and wrote a number of computer programs.
His first big Model T book, “From Here to Obscurity,” was published in 1971. With the help of others, he compiled huge volumes of information on the Model T, much of it through his own tireless research. For many years, McCalley made annual trips to Dearborn, Mich., to comb through Ford archives and records.
His 614-page book “Model T Ford: The Car That Changed The World” was published in 1989 and became the definitive written resource on the cars. Later, he transferred some of his research and writings to CDs that are still available.
Even into his later years, McCalley was a frequent speaker at Model T gatherings and other hobby events, and a willing source of information for thousands of hobbyists who corresponded with him and turned to him for advice on their Fords. He was also a past winner of the Rosenthal Award, the highest honor awarded by the MTFCA.
McCalley was born Feb. 4, 1926, in San Diego. He served in World War II in Alaska as a military radio instructor. He lived for many years after that in the Burbank, Calif., area before moving with his wife, Barbara, to Pennsylvania in 1991.
He is survived by his wife and sons David and Stephen. Memorial donations can be made in Bruce’s name to Animal Friends, 562 Camp Home Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15237, or to the Gateway Hospice, 9380 McKnight Road, 201 Arcadia Court, Pittsburgh, PA 15237.
For more resources on Fords, check out:
- Standard Catalog of Ford 1903-2002
- Just Fords: Fascinating Finds & Great Machines from the Blue Oval