There’s a science to driving an antique automobile. You can’t just bring your Depression-era ride to Jiffy Lube for an oil change.
So it’s good that — thanks to their chemistry backgrounds — Elaina Sendro and Ashley Latta should have no problem handing their 1925 Ford Model T pickup.
Last spring, the friends found the vehicle they’ve christened “The Little Red Truck” on eBay and decided to turn it into a business called Tipple, which is a fun word for “drinking alcohol” that’s even older than the car itself.
The iconic ride, which spent decades collecting dust in a Midwestern barn, was overhauled and retrofitted with a custom tap box that allows it to serve up to eight different draft beverages, including wine, champagne, beer and cold brew coffee.
It’s now available for private parties, weddings, corporate events and community festivals. So far, the Model T has appeared at Jimmy Wan’s in Cranberry and at Millvale’s Yuletide & Holiday Drink Tour.
Sendro, 32, and Latta, 33, both healthcare IT workers, were inspired to rumble down a different career path by the Bubble Bros., three British chaps who converted a three-wheeled Piaggio Ape into a mobile wine and prosecco bar.
“We wanted something fun,” Latta says of launching Tipple. “When we landed on this, we decided to go forward.”
The across-the-pond drinks mobile craze is a common sight on the West Coast. But, due to inclement weather and icy roads, it’s been slower to catch on in Pennsylvania.
Tipple’s Model T has a maximum speed of 40 miles per hour, so the women load it on a trailer and transport it to events. They also bring along a tent to shield this piece of Americana from the elements.
In the future, they hope to partner with a mobile eatery at the Pittsburgh Food Truck Park in Millvale and raise a glass with local gearheads at car events. With all of that booze, we’re thinking they’ll probably win Best in Show.
“It’s definitely an eye-catcher,” Sendro says.