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Flivver faithful get their mascot: Kingsford High School rolls out Model T after 92 yearsSubmitted: 10/20/2017

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KINGSFORD, MI - Fridays in Kingsford, Michigan belong to the Flivver faithful.

"Being a Flivver is a part of our life," Kingsford High School senior Mitchell Wiltzius said.

It's a special name and mascot reserved for just one community.  The name comes from the old Ford plant in Kingsford that once produced station wagons starting in 1931.


"I think the mystique of what's a Flivver is pretty neat and pretty unique," high school athletic director Al Unger said.

Unger is proud to tell people a Flivver is a Model T ford. But for 92 years, the school couldn't exactly show people what it meant. That changed Friday.

"It's not our new mascot but our physical mascot we finally have now," Unger said.

During a ceremony at the football field, the school rolled out its mascot -- a 1923 touring edition Model T Flivver that Al Unger's uncle, Clyde, refurbished.

"I enjoy working on old things," Clyde Unger said. "Gives me something to do while I'm retired and I'm spending other people's money while I'm doing it."

Starting in February, Unger worked on the Flivver for about 1,000 hours over seven months. It was a job made easier by the Berlinski family taking such good care of it.

Susan Berlinski's father was the second of the car's two owners. Her family made the tough decision to donate the Model T to the school.

"[Having it leave the family was] terrible but this is where it belongs," Berlinski said. "I think it's well taken care of they did an absolutely beautiful job on it, just gorgeous."

Friday, a crowd of about 1,800 students, staff, and community members -- essentially the whole school district -- got to see their mascot wheeled out in person.

"When they're walking around with Kingsford Flivvers on their shirt, they're going to know exactly what it is," Unger said of young Kingsford students.

"We have a car and that is very different, but it's a very large sense of pride," Wiltzius said.

A permanent reminder from one generation to many to come, showing every day is a proud day to be a Flivver.

"My father, my mother, my husband... I'm sure have great big smiles today," Berlinski said. "This is where they would want it."

The Flivver will sit in a special display room inside the school's entrance. The car itself doesn't run, but the school is considering bringing it out on special occasions like next year's Fourth of July parade.

Story By: Lane Kimble

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