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October 28, 2020-Wall Street Journal Columnist AJ Baime Publishes Story about the Silver Streak and the Bradford Model T Girls

WSJ Oct 28, 2020

September 25, 2019- Play written based on the book “Darlene’s Silver Streak and The Bradford Model T Girls”

Jennie Johnson, playwright from Denver Colorado has written a play based on the book Darlene’s Silver Streak and The Bradford Model T Girls.  The play is titled The Adventures of the Model T Girls.  Jennie is in the process of scheduling a premier for the play in the Denver metropolitan area sometime in 2020.

In support of the Sesquicentennial of Bradford, Illinois, home of the Model T Girls…aka the Gypsy Coeds, Jennie agreed to come to Bradford and conduct a “staged reading” of the play  on Friday evening August 30 in the form of a dinner theater at Shallowbrook Retreat and Conference Center in Bradford, and on Saturday August 31 in the Junior High Gymnasium.  It was the first public reading of the script.  Several of the volunteer cast members were related to the Bradford Model T Girls, including 6 of our grandchildren, 5 reading as Gypsy Coeds and one as the sound manager.  One of the Gypsy Coeds was present in the audience, Winnie Swearingen Hays, 101 and the only surviving Gypsy Coed.


This was not the first time Jennie had come to Bradford.  She attended the Labor Day festivities in 2018 as part of her preparation for writing the play.

More information about the Denver Premier will be posted here as the dates are finalized.

July 29, 2019, “Silver Streak and Gypsy Coeds” Story part of exhibit at the Gilmore Car Museum

The Gilmore Car Museum, North America’s largest auto museum, located near Kalamazoo, MI will honor many women considered pioneers in auto travel, motor sports and automobile design in a special exhibit, Women Who Motor, which opens July 19 2019 and runs thru July 14, 2020.   The Gypsy Coeds of Bradford, Illinois will be included in this tribute along with Alice Ramsey, Joan Newton Cuneo, Helene Rother, Audrey Moore, The Damsels of Design, Betty Skelton, Lyn St. James, Shirley Muldowney, and Danica Patrick.”  The car driven by the Gypsy Coeds, a 1926 Model T Ford touring car that the girls nicknamed “Silver Streak” will be included in the special exhibit.  The Silver Streak has never been restored and looks very much like it did after the last trip in 1942, including the graffiti, “Lizzie Labels” that adorn its exterior.

For 9 consecutive summers, beginning in 1934, Darlene Dorgan, the small town beautician invited friends to take summer vacations with her in her 1926 Ford Model T.  Such travel by young single women was not common, particularly in the early years.  They crisscrossed the nation, traveling coast to coast with visits to Canada and Mexico traveling an estimated 71,000 miles in total.  By night, they slept in country schoolyards and even jails while by day they hobnobbed with the rich and famous, including Henry Ford, who met with the girls twice in Dearborn. Henry became a patron of their travels, providing the girls with tickets to Worlds Fairs in New York and San Francisco, sending them travel maps and in 1941 even paid for the overhaul of the Silver Streak’s engine when the girls were stranded in San Francisco.

The book, Darlene’s Silver Streak and The Bradford Model T Girls, recounts those adventurous vacation years and is on sale in the Gilmore Gift Shop.  The book is written by John Butte, who is the son of one of the Gypsy Coeds.  John actually tracked the Silver Streak down in Portland Oregon, still owned by a descendant of Darlene Dorgan and was able to purchase the car and return it to its roots in Central Illinois in 2012. Much of the information for the book was found in diaries, letters, newspaper articles, interviews with living Gypsy Coeds and the archives of  The Henry Ford Museum.  The book is also available at & Barnes &, as well as the Bradford Public Library.

To learn more about the “Women Who Motor” and the Gilmore Car Museum near Kalamazoo, MI , visit  For more information about the Gypsy Coeds and the Silver Streak, visit

January 13, 2019: Silver Streak and Gypsy Coed story will be part of Gilmore Museum Winter Lecture Series on February 3, 2019

Honored to have the chance to be part of the Gilmore Automotive Museum Winter Lecture Series at Hickory Corners, Michigan. The Silver Streak and the Gypsy Coeds are the lecture on February 3, followed by a book signing, “Darlene’s Silver Streak and The Bradford Model T Girls”. Should be a fun time.


screen shot 2019-01-13 at 7.48.17 pmscreen shot 2018-12-20 at 7.17.11 pmfebruary 3 lectureModelTGirls_front-cover

May 2, 2018 – First Episode of STICKER SHOCK is now available on the Internet.

The Silver Streak was on the Premiere episode of the new Discovery Channel car show STICKER SHOCK, which premiered on Monday April 30.  It is now available on the internet.

You can watch the whole episode or if you are interested in just the Silver Streak story, head to the 36:20 minute mark.

April 28, 2018 – Hagerty Insurance includes story of Silver Streak’s pending appearance on STICKER SHOCK in their online magazine.

Thanks for the story Hagerty Insurance!  Hagerty Insurance is an insurance company specializing in classic car insurance based in the United States. The company is the leading insurance agency for collector vehicles in the world and host to the largest network of collector car owners. They have also been recognized as “largest insurance agency for collector cars in the United States.”

April 25, 2018 – Alert!!! Silver Streak will air on Discovery Channel’s STICKER SHOCK Premiere on Monday, April 30.

An apparent late programming change has placed the Silver Streak story in the Premiere of the Discovery Channel’s new car sho series, STICKER SHOCK.  That debut show will be at 9:00 Central/10:00 Eastern and Pacific on Monday, April 30.  The series will continue on Wednesday May 2 at 9:00pm Central/10:00 Eastern and Pacific and remain in that time slot.


April 22, 2018 – Silver Streak to be Featured in Premier of New Discovery Channel Car Show, “STICKER SHOCK”, May 2, 2018 at 9:00pm CST


Variety Link:

APRIL 11, 2018


(Los Angeles) – Fill up the gas tank, because it’s time to hit the road. We asked America to bring us their rides to answer the age-old question, “What’s my car worth?” in Discovery Channel’s all-new series STICKER SHOCK. From dad’s old pickup to souped up hot rods, this series has it all, and host Dennis Pittsenbarger and our team of expert appraisers are ready to uncover their value. Whether it’s a clunker or a classic, what it’s worth may shock you. STICKER SHOCK premieres Wednesday, May 2 at 10pm ET/PT on Discovery Channel.

From cars you’ve always wanted, to cars you’ve never heard of, including Keller Super Chief, Blue Ray III, and Starcraft Starcruiser, Dennis, along with professional appraisers Randy Carlson, Addison Brown, Nick Smith and Todd Wertman, investigate their history and condition to determine a price tag you won’t see coming.

Cars are more than a set of wheels to get from point A to point B – they are members of the family. Aside from determining appraised values, STICKER SHOCK unveils the history and memories of these unique rides and automobile memorabilia. From cross-country vacations to circling Indianapolis Motor Speedway, each car has its own story, and this series is here to tell them.

STICKER SHOCK is produced for Discovery Channel by The Intellectual Property Corporation (IPC). For IPC, Executive Producers are Eli Holzman and Aaron Saidman. Showrunner Tod Mesirow Executive Produces as well, along with series Executive Producer Christopher Meindl. For Discovery Channel, Executive Producer is Kyle Wheeler with Producer Brian Peterson and Coordinating Producer Lindsay Malinchak.

About Discovery Channel
Discovery Channel is dedicated to creating the highest quality non-fiction content that informs and entertains its consumers about the world in all its wonder, diversity and amazement. The network, which is distributed to 100.8 million U.S. homes, can be seen in 224 countries and territories, offering a signature mix of compelling, high-end production values and vivid cinematography across genres including, science and technology, exploration, adventure, history and in-depth, behind-the-scenes glimpses at the people, places and organizations that shape and share our world. For more information please visit<;.

About Discovery:
Discovery, Inc. (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is a global leader in real life entertainment, serving a passionate audience of superfans around the world with content that inspires, informs and entertains. Discovery delivers over 8,000 hours of original programming each year and has category leadership across deeply loved content genres around the world. Available in 220 countries and territories and 50 languages, Discovery is a platform innovator, reaching viewers on all screens, including TV Everywhere products such as the GO portfolio of apps and Discovery Kids Play; direct-to-consumer streaming services such as Eurosport Player and Motor Trend OnDemand; and digital-first and social content from Group Nine Media. Discovery’s portfolio of premium brands includes Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, Turbo/Velocity, Animal Planet, and Science Channel, as well as OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in the U.S., Discovery Kids in Latin America, and Eurosport, the leading provider of locally relevant, premium sports and Home of the Olympic Games across Europe. For more information, please visit<>and follow @DiscoveryIncTV across social platforms.

April 15, 2018- Find A Grave sites created and added for the Gypsy Coeds

IMG_2262Thanks to the efforts of Phil Adams of Galesburg, Illinois,  Find A Grave sites have been created for 17 of the 18 deceased Gypsy Coeds.  Ruth Gustafson (deceased)left her body to science.  I met Phil at a presentation I made at the Clover Library in Woodhull, Illinois in the fall of 2017. We talked after the presentation. Phil had read the book, Darlene’s Silver Streak and the Bradford Model T Girls and had already visited several of the cemeteries and grave sites of Gypsy Coeds.  He explained what he wanted to do and away he went!  Not only did Phil search out the locations of all Gypsy Coed grave sites, he also wrote a tribute to each of the women regarding their Gypsy Coed experience.    He added photos of the girls and a tribute as well as photos of headstones in some instances.

Above is the picture of Phil in the Silver Streak in Woodhull, October 5, 2017.

The Find A Grave sites are listed and links provided here.  They can also be found under the name of each Gypsy Coed in the website under the heading, “The Gypsy Coeds”.  Find A Grave format changed during Phil’s work.  In some instances you will need to “hover” over the picture of the Gypsy Coed added by Phil and then “click” in order to see the tribute he created.  Thanks for what you have done Phil, a great tribute to the Gypsy Coeds!

Darlene Dorgan –

Verna Dorgan –

Marjorie Dorgan –

Olive Bell –

Eleanor Butte –

Clare Breen –

Regina Fennell –

Helen Fuertges –

Muriel Cunningham –

Anne Holland –

Kathleen Moran –

Harriet Fisher –

Ruby McDonald –

Zola Dailey –

Rosemary Moran –

Patricia Moffett –

Margaret Burnett –



February 9, 2018-The Silver Streak is headed to Hollywood!

The story of the Silver Streak and the Gypsy Coeds has “played in Peoria” and now will have a chance to play in Hollywood.  The Silver Streak will be featured in a new television series about cars on the Discovery Chanel.  It is expected to debut in the summer of 2018.  It is expected that the Silver Streak will be in Episode 3


.   Its a great opportunity to tell the story of the Silver Streak and the Gypsy Coeds to a national audience.  Thanks to the Model T Museum in Richmond, Indiana for alerting us to the “talent search” that was launched in January, looking for cars with stories.  We filled out the application, went through their interview process and received work that we had been selected.  A transport company picked up the Silver Streak at the Model T Museum in Richmond earlier this week.  We will be joining the Silver Streak in LA later in the month.  This is not the first trip to LA for the Silver Streak.  It was there 78 years ago!