Swine are co-drivers in Oregon's totally unique Pig N' Ford Model T racing

Originated in 1925

Some people keep their classic Ford Model Ts tucked in climate-controlled rooms in pristine condition. Other people strip off the bodywork and race the naked machines through dirt while they carry pigs under their arms. Those other people can be found in Tillamook, Oregon, host to Pig N' Ford races that have been part of the area's culture for nearly 100 years.

Legend has it that Pig N' Ford racing was inspired by a real-life occurrence. Two people were driving down a Tillamook County road in a Model T when they saw a farmer's pig on the loose. The guys chased the pig, picked it up, and gave it a ride back to the farm. The sequence of events was apparently fun enough to inspire the two people to suggest a full race at the Tillamook County Fair. The first races took place in 1925, and the crowd loved it so much that it became an annual mainstay that still happens to this day. 

The summer fair just went down August 7-10, 2019, and The Oregonian did a fresh story on the event, seen in the video above. There are 10 "franchises" in the club, and they are usually passed down through generations of families. The races use stripped-down stock Model Ts that have roughly 20 horsepower and 35-pound pigs. At the start of the race, the pigs are kept in pens next to the track. The racers have to run, pick the pigs up, keep them under their arms, crank-start the cars, and race down the track. 

That leaves just one question: Are you a climate control person or a pig person?

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