My 14 year old son & his best friend (16 year old) have been practicing their driving all week for the upcoming national MTFCI tour next week where the 16 year old is wanting to earn his Jimmy Walker Award. Inexperience with the pedals overwhelmed the 16 y.o. and got them into trouble. All 3 kids seem to have escaped major trauma however Blake is likely gonna have to spend the night in the hospital for observations since he took a nasty hit to the head. They all will be sore for a few days! These two youngsters will have a great story to tell next week at the tour in Johnson City huh!!
Blake is very proficient and the 16 y.o. seemed like he had a pretty good handle on things up until that point. Just a reminder to us all that these things can be dangerous if we are not paying attention to the details.
Oh, a few phone calls have turned up a windshield, a wheel, and a couple of other pieces. The guys at the shop already have it stripped down and are looking things over. My feelings right now is we'll be there with the car however a little worse for wear! Sure is nice to have friends who can come to the rescue with needed parts when time is of the essence! Thanks Jack!!
Wow! Glad no one was seriously hurt and that the car can be repaired.
I am very sorry to see your son injured and that beautiful model T torn up. We are all very thankful no one was killed or injured more seriously.
In every state it is illegal for a 14 year old to drive on public roads. There is no insurance company on earth that will insure a 14 year old unlicensed driver. Please, for the safety of your son and all of us, keep your son in the passenger seat until he is old enough to operate a car legally and safely.
If the 16 year old is proficient then he is welcome to join us on any tour so long as he is covered by your insurance and has a valid drivers license.
Any of us can have an accident just like that, the steering wheel in a Model T can be yanked right out of your hands by hitting a chuck hole. It is important, particularly in cars with 4:1 steering ratio, to hold the wheel with both hands firmly whenever possible.
Second to what Dick said. We all need to be reminded that it can happen. With a little luck the boys will be back on the road next week along with the 15. Know that everyone will have fun up there.
Brent: Looks like they were lucky.
Have a question, saw the ruckstell, what ring gear and pinion are you running? Standard or 3 to 1? How does it work with your hills. I am starting to build one for my 16 and your country is like what we have here in AL. Thanks, Dan
Very very thankful your son and friend are ok.
Wow, that's a father's nightmare. The T can always be fixed, not so with our love-ones.
I have taught a few youth and young adults on how to drive a T. Always in the front seat with them. My results have been good, but you know, the best student was by son-in-law's daughter. She was 18, a driver, but with automatic cars. So she took to the instinct fast of the 'go' pedal. I always call the 'low' the "GO" pedal, you push and you go! She was great, understood and drove well.
Her Dad was the worst student, grew up with a shift car, and when he got going towards the chain link fence in the yard, yep....he thought he would 'throw out the clutch'...and pushed down hard on the "low the go"' pedal and hit the fence.
No damage, just dampened worthiness in driving my old T....you have to use a lot of care and lots of practice to have confidence with the Model T and then some....
See you in Johnson City
Someone was sitting on their shoulders, thankfully no one was seriously hurt.
Sure it's not true anymore, but in 63 had a friend who had his Calif license at 14, if you were in a rural area & the family was agrarian. they'd give you one. Now, unless you have professional driving lessons with a certificate you don't get a license til you're 18 & then try find an insurance co. that will insure you.
My mother had her license at 12, Central Los Angeles, 1924, she told me her father took her to the police station, which was a block from the house, the desk sargent asked her few questions & she got it, no driving test. She got her first & only ticket in 1963 for having her high beams on.
Looking at the road, one would not expect excessive speed to be the cause of that accident.
Glad to see everyone is OK. Please post a list of the detail parts you will need. I would be happy to send what ever I can.
Very sorry about your bad luck Trent. That's great that the boys weren't seriously hurt. Being a restorer, the car probably won't be a big deal either. Good luck.
Brent - I'm glad no one was seriously hurt. Those pictures of the windshield would make a good advertisement for safety glass. I hate to think what could have happened without it.
Best wishes, Keith Gumbinger
Royce, there are many times you speak of wisdom, --and sometimes you say the stupidest/rudest things of which you show your ignorance!! This is again one of those times I wish I had not even read your comments! My son was NOT driving the car, --and had not been driving during any of this, ...HOWEVER he has had much experience driving in a controled environment (racing & off-road) and has for years. The last I checked, you were not registered for "my tour" next week so you don't need to bother with sticking your nose into something and giving advise that does not concern you whatsoever! Also, FYI, Tennessee does allow 14 year old drivers in hardship cases, and the 16 y.o. boy who was driving the T was indeed a licensed & insured driver.
Dan, it has a stock gear in the rear with a 280 cam and a Z head. Hills are not an issue as far as I am concerned. The MTFCI National Tour next week has been planned (by the one who was in the accident) with minimal hills so cars without lots of compression or more than 2 gears will still be able to hold their own.
Thanks all for the kind words everyone however this posting was more of a reminder to us all to be careful. We had planned to do a frame-off on the car this winter anyway so it truly isn't as bad as it seems.
Wow Brent....that car needs a frame off? Looks like it was in fantastic shape! (before of course)
When I was teaching our three sons to drive our old cars many years ago and the new ones as well, I was always there to turn off the key or tug on the wheel to save it. Why were you not there ? One would ask where was the proper supervision ? That road has soft shoulders and ditches and is not a place for learning by any stretch of the imagination. If the driver was proficient in driving that car with the quick steering and small steering wheel then it was alright for him to be at the wheel. But that is the type of road that will grab the wheel out of your hand and tip you over if you are not right on the proverbial ball at all times.
I don't see anything wrong with the road, even for a learner. Far better than the roads available when the car was new and people learned to drive them then.
That looks like quite an "ouch" on Blake's head and I hope he mends quickly and learns lots from this unfortunate mishap.
Please re - read my comments. In no way shape or form did I indicate nor insinuate that your son wrecked your once beautiful machine.
I simply begged you to not let it happen again, or , worse yet, cause injury to other innocent people who might get hit by an uninsured, unlicensed juvenile driver and sue the pants off of you for the loss.
Great to see that your son was not seriously injured. Tell Blake good luck and have a great tour. jon crane
Frank, you are absolutely correct, I should have been there with them. The problem is I cannot be there with them for the rest of their life. Maybe I made an error in judgment too? We all should learn from other's mistakes!
For what it is worth, during this past week I have been riding with this new driver for about an hour in the morning, and an hour in the afternoon for all five days, and again on this past Sunday afternoon. All totalled up, the boy probably has about 15 hours of T instruction time and 3 or 4 hours of driving on their own yesterday. They had been driving about an hour this morning too. I honestly felt like the boy had mastered the technique of driving a T, --but they both admitted that it was driver error and he just got confused and paniced. I suspect just before that, they became complacent & felt invincible, and were not paying attention to the details. They got a quick dose of reality!
Now what is important to note in this mess is the fact that there are many "experienced" Model T drivers (many about Frank's age too) who make equally stupid errors in judgement, ...just like these kids did. People on tours who simply do not pay attention to the vehicle in front of them, --or find themselves in trouble because they were looking at scenery or paying attention to things other than driving the car prudently. It is easy to do because we think that driving slower makes it safer for us. It was a close call for them, and a good lesson for each of us to learn from their mistakes. BTW, there were no cell phones or radios that distracted them in this instance either!!
They have all been treated and released from the hospital now, and Blake has already been back to the shop to see what he needs to do to get "his" Model T ready to be touring next week. Not only will he be feeling pain physically while he heels, he is feeling some emotional pain as this is working on him too. This will be a good thing to help brand it into his brain for future recall!
BTW, the engine was re-fired this afternoon and it had a miss until we realized a coil had bounced up & out of the box causing it to run on 3 cylinders. Both right side fenders were removed and "smoothed" in the English wheel as was the left front fender, the R/R door hinge was removed and straightened, the cowl was pushed back up where the steering column brace forced it downward as the steering wheel hit the pavement. The other three wheels have been checked, and plans are for me to drive it tomorrow to see if there is hidden damage we didn't correct today. Thus, as you can tell, much of the superficial damage has already been repaired this afternoon and the replacement windshield & wheel are coming from Michigan and will be here on Friday.
Glad it was no worse, Brent. Give my regards to Blake.
Can you figure out what broke the wheel?
Just a note from a newby. I know how much I love my son and my TT, I am glad your son is ok.
Brent, no insult intended. When I learned to fly an airplane they didn't let me solo until they knew that I knew that they knew that I knew. That road has quite a crown and that 13-14 T has quick steering multiplied by a small steering wheel. That is the type of road that will pull you down and over and under quicker than you can think. You stay in the middle of that road by golly and slow down and pull over when someone is coming the other way. That is a ten mile an hour road for sure and even then that is speculative.
That is why a T will go six miles an hour in high gear all day.
Agree, Teens think they're invincible, whether on skateboard or a car. Yes, it is easy to panic in a Model T for a new driver, I know, it's harder control the panic than the car.
I started every one of my kids out in a used (modern) car. Each of the three of them had a (non-serious) accident during the first year of driving. Each learned from it. One accident is worth more than hours of parental preaching....
Royce, In South Dakota, it is legal for a 14 year old to drive between the hours of 6AM to 10PM with parental permission with a "Restricted Minor's Permit". They can obtain a regular licence at age 16.
We all were driving T's once with lots less experience than those boys had. That road still looks like one of the better roads to drive a T on, and very similar to the roads we all drove on the tours at the Centennial. I'm very thankful that the boys are OK!!! Mechanical things can be fixed. The boys just had a very good lesson in driving safely.
I feel for you and the kids Brent. I swiped and rolled my ol man's brand new car when I was 14.
My dad was glad I was unhurt but I spent the next 3 summers picking fruit to pay for the damage and to his dying day, I never lived it down.
I won't pass judgment here, it's not my place to do so. (especially with my background).
I almost flipped my Tudor the first day I drove it, on the first tight turn I had to make.
Even an inexperienced adult doesn't understand how top heavy these cars are when compared to a "modern" car, especially the closed cars, like mine.
Brent,Here's good on ya for teaching kids something instead of watching tv! Lizzie can be a handfull but those roads look perfect to me.Im glad no one was hurt and the T can be fixed so it was just a learning experance! My oldest Grandson seems to favor Grandmaws model A and at the second drive he was doing good at shifting! Thank God for country roads!!!! Bud.
First of all I am glad that everyone only had minor injuries.
I think Brent is doing the right thing. The maturity level of the young driver is very important when comes to allowing them to drive in any car. I suspect that his son has a lot more hands on experience in and around old cars than many individuals that are much older.
I was driving Model A's and Model T's at the age of 16 (and before but not on the street). When I was 15 and my brother Dan was 14 we bought a 28 Model sedan with paper route money and restored it with my father's help. By the time it was finished I was 17 and Dan 15. I had my driver's license and he had his permit. With me as the licensed driver in the right seat he logged a lot of miles behind the wheel with no other "adult" supervision. In the early 70's in Georgia it was legal to do this and insurance was not a problem. As an older teenage college student Dan won the youngest driver award on the Glidden Tour in 1977. My father and mother taught us the basics of driving but the key to our driving old cars at such a young age was that we were very mature and we were inveterate car enthusiasts who had been studying cars and driving for years.
BTW Dan still has that Model A and we have both logged many thousands of miles in it and other prewar cars. There has to be a willingness to allow a young driver to experience old cars. But the young driver needs to be mature enough to be able to take the responsibility of driving seriously. That is something a parent should have a clue about.
Glad to hear the kids didn't get badly hurt. Y'know, it's the old story: As we parents give our children progressively more and more responsibility and freedom--an unavoidably hazardous part of growing up--we pray we're not too early or late dispensing these life lessons. It starts with letting them cross the street by themselves and next thing we know, the time comes to take off the training wheels. And sometimes a kid skins a knee or chips a tooth or gets otherwise banged up and we wonder whether we mistimed that last call--at least I do. My daughter will be taking her road test next month and probably get her license and like most Dads, I'm uneasy about her driving around by herself. I was uneasy about her boyfriend, too. Man, this parenting deal sure isn't conducive to peace of mind. Again, glad to hear the kids came out of this okay.
From a standpoint of someone who has been driving a T from a young age ( 16 ) and toured by himself since then. I now have 22 years of driving experience, and I still Panic every once in a while, here in NJ, you either drive with traffic or get run over. Choose which is more dangerous.
Myself, and two other guys in North Jersey all have been driving T's since the same age, alone on tours, and we all have stories that we can re-count that are no-ones fault. These stories could happen to anyone and the result would have been the same.
One of mine is coming home a few years ago from a grocery store run. I was running about 35, and turned a corner going down a hill, and a guy decided to unload a bucket loader in the middle of the road. I hit the rocky mountains, and skidded up a driveway onto the sidewalk, and finally stopped about 3 car lengths past the bucket loader and dump truck.
I was 35 at the time.
The moral of my story is people may blame youth in a situation like this, but I am sure we all have a story to tell like theirs. In their case, they were lucky all they got was a wrinkled fender, a battle scar, and a lesson in " I will never do ... Again.
Brent, so glad that something more serious didn't happen and that you posted this as a reminder of what can happen. As was said, things can go wrong that are not in our control, we just do what we can and hope for the best. Just don't let them be afraid to "get back in the saddle"! Dave
Very glad to know that your boys are OK, just a little banged up and hopefully nothing more than that. Despite the crumpled fenders the car looks pretty straight. Did the car totally roll over or just tipped on its side. I was curious as to what actually caused the mishap. Did the front wheel fail and then cause the steering to jerk out of the drivers hand?
Cars no matter how rare can be replaced-children are irreplacable.
Very, very glad to hear the injuries were minor and they're home from the hospital. That is much, much more important than the condition of the car.
Any idea of the sequence of events? From the visible damage it looks like the right side hit, then it rolled the other way and wound up on the left side, but didn't go upside down.
I don't like how the wheel collapsed. When our T the front wheels hit hard enough to bend a steer arm, wishbone and twist the axle, but the wheels survived intact with no obvious damage. Runout is worse than it was before the accident though.
BTW, it looks like a good Model T road to me for those who are used to that type of road.
Our roll-over accident started me thinking about the wisdom of adding a steering damper (aka steering stabilizer) on a T. These photos have me thinking some more. But the installation would need to well engineered. I've heard about a car in our local club which had a damper mounted which caused the tie rod to break at the bracket for the damper.
By Brent in 10-uh-C on Tuesday, July 14, 2009 - 04:59 pm:
...We had planned to do a frame-off on the car this winter anyway so it truly isn't as bad as it seems.
I hit post before I was done... I'm glad they boys are doing well and what a great leaning experience... Sometimes things learned the hard way are what sticks with us... don't ask me how I know that!
Based on a couple of things like scratches/gouges on the perimeter of the steering wheel, and scuffs on the upholstery at the top of the front seat back, it appears it actually did a 1¼ roll. I think the crushed windshield kinda confirms that too.
The sequence of events is they were driving in front of the brick house (seen in that 1st picture) and was making a left turn onto the road they rolled on. One of my employees lives at that house and his wife is the one that can be seen in the picture with blue shorts on. She was standing at the kitchen sink looking out the window when she saw them go by. She said when they crested the hill in the front of the house they did not apear to be travelling very fast however they never seemed to slow down to make the turn. That is pretty consistant with what the driver and my son both said. I had been working with him all week on alternating between using reverse pedal, low pedal, and the brakes when slowing, ...and I think he just got confused at the last minute as they entered the turn and he paniced.
Also on the pavement were some large gravel/rocks, and you can see evidence in several of the pictures where the skidding tires were rolling on those rocks and it caused them to lose some much needed traction. The steering wheel is scarred on top when the front wheels are turned to the left which tells me they never corrected after making the sharp turn. I suspect the wheel took some hard shots bouncing across the pavement which caused the original R/F wheel to break.
I do think that is what save them and the car was they had scrubbed off so much speed that the car did a gentle roll. There is hardly any skidding or scrape marks on any of the sheetmetal which would have likely happened if they would have been going faster and slid to a stop. You could see in the soft mud a small impression the moto-meter made in the dirt.
It is funny what was priority at the time when he called. He said "Dad, come quick we have been in a bad accident in front of Larry's house". I asked him do I need to call an ambulance which he replied "No." I asked him how bad was the car hurt which he said "Bad." The next thing that seemed to matter at that moment was I asked him "Did it kill the radiator?" He paused for a moment and said "No." as if to be relieved. I said "Then it will be all right."
I guess every fender could have been torn completely off of it and the body crushed flat but somehow in my brain I had it pegged that if the brass radiator was not damaged, then all was OK. Jeesh. We have laughed about that several times this evening.
Lucky they are OK. I taught my son to drive very early on - like 13 or 14. Why? If something happened to me and I needed to get the car back, or me to a hospital, he would be capable. Plus it builds self-confidence. He also built the car at that age - imagine rebuilding an engine at 13 or 14. Gives them pride in actually being able to drive what they made whole again. And they take care of and respect it. I also taught my wife to drive - that's way scarier. But I won't go there
Brent, knowing you and your son he would have no problem driving on the roads. It's when you add an unknown person who hasn't had the experience of growing up embedded in the T's and under your control that problems occur. Same thing happened to me in my motocross days when I let a friend who I thought was competent drive my Husqvarna and trashed it because it was too much bike. Sorry we're going to miss the tour but we have had a change in life plans. For those that are going Tennessee is a great place to tool around. Knowing Brent it will be a fun one. Put him right back in the drivers seat so he doesn't get a bad taste early on. One learns from a bad experience. As the saying goes - what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. Drive safe. Best of luck. Any chance those spokes were oak? Tony
That car looked like a fresh restoration to me. I'm surprised that it was not recently redone.
Many older people suffer broken hip injuries. The story usualy goes that they fell and broke their hip. The actual facts are that they broke the hip and fell in most cases.
I am wondering the same about that front wheel. Was it broken in the accident or did it break and cause the accident?
The event brings back memories of my youth. I wrecked my first car when I was 14. At least they didn't take my license, as I didn't have one or any registraton or insurance either. Unfortunately, the town barber was about 100 yards from me and heading toward me when I ran off the road. That was before e-mail, but he told everyone.
As having been a 16 year old myself once upon a time, I would never allow any of mine to drive my T even if I was with them. Once out of sight they do tend to get rowdy, I know. These cars are old and cannot be replaced, and so it is with children. Glad no one was hurt seriously and even more glad they did'nt hurt anyone else.
I was one of the lucky ones who learned to drive out in the wide open spaces. My Grandmother and I were sitting on the front porch visiting, one of the T's we used on the ranch (pretty well stripped down to just a flat bed) was under a tree out front. I had been cranking one and steering while scattering salt blocks and etc., but with a grownup. I just bellied up to the bar and told her I was going to go try her on by myself, and bless her heart, she said go ahead. I know I could not have been over 8 at the time. Anyhow, away I went, made lots of circles and etc. Bad thing is, even at my age, I still have a bad habit of going to low when I clutch it. The boys will have stories to tell their Grandchildren, and glad you are taking the time to work with them.
The damage from our roll-over accident was similar, though the wheels survived but the top of the radiator was pushed down. Also more damage to the windshield, cowl lamps and fenders.
Check that the frame isn't bowed down and/or twisted. Our frame needs replacing.
A couple of the less desirable features of a T are the lack of damping in the steering, and the tendency for the steering self return to drop off the further the wheels are steered. So if something causes the wheels to steer sharply they can keep on steering.
I don't think reverse and low should be routinely used as brakes. I strongly suspect doing so has cracked more than a few drums.
Funny how parents protect children.
I grew up driving farm tractors - before I could even reach the pedals. I clearly remember having to slide to the side and with one leg 'hooked' over the transmission to reach down with the other to push the clutch home or stand on the brakes!!! (a 'Ferggie' TEA, FORD4000 and a JD 2010).
The '36 John Deere AR was easier to drive as you have a long lever to pull on for brake/clutch), but steering required a lot more strength - at least you could 'lever' yourself on the flat deck under the seat to turn the baby.
Then driving a 10 ton Commer (English) truck with 'Armstrong' power steering all over the farm and roads. That baby was often loaded way over 10 tons with potatos or hay bales or silage (wilted grass), then driven down the public roads to the sheds. Driving was my job (I tended to knock over fewer posts and gates than my brothers) - which I preferred to throwing the hay bales up the back in the hot sun in any case
At least then I could see over the steering wheel - but certainly was too young to have a licence.
BUT - was I ever allowed to drive the family car - even out of the garage to wash it? NO WAY
Grady, aren't you glad we were raised in the west by parents and grandparents who figured we had an ounce or two of common sense and expected us to use it? I could ride a horse from the time I was 2, drive a tractor pretty well at 8 and sat on the back of our hand-tie Case baler for countless hours from the time I was 8 or 9. A lot of times it was toss a coin for my sister and me, which one of use would tie bales and which one of us would herd sheep or check the fences and water holes. My sister liked to ride and didn't like the hay field so much but a lot of days she would sit on the back of the baler and tie bales or drive the tractor so my dad and brother could block and tie. She never was strong enough to pull the spring on the blocks back so she couldn't block. She knew I liked to ride, too, and sitting on the baler got old pretty quick so she would trade off with me for a day, until herding sheep started looking as bad a sitting on the baler, then we'd switch again. When I was 13 my brother went in the Army so that left my sister and I to put up the hay with our dad. When he was working away from home we did the mowing and raking and then he would take a few days off work and help us bale. We hauled the hay and he went back to work.
Both of us could drive anything on the place by the time we were 12 and drove 15 miles of country road to high school in a 1941 Ford by ourselves. In 12 years she missed one half day, when she was a junior and I was a sophomore. It was a terrible blizzard and my dad was having a hard time getting the Cat D-4 started to plow the 5 miles miles to the highway. He said we couldn't go to school but my sister cried and said she had never missed a day so Dad and I went out and finally got the Cat started so we could pull the pickup to pull the car we drove to school and get it started. We followed him to the highway in the blizzard, about 20 below zero and went on to school. We got to town, chained up and wearing about all the clothes we owned, at ten after ten and the SOB Superintendent wouldn't count us tardy, he counted us absent for the morning. That was the half a day she missed. No phones, no way to know if we got there OK except to wait and see if we met him at the highway at 4:30 to follow the Cat home. No wonder she could run a 60 mile gravel road mail route for 40 years and only miss two days. Her route was out of Lambert, Montana. Fewer than 30 people on a 60+ mile mail route, all gravel and dirt roads. By the way, she has a Masters in concert piano. She just likes farming better. After my dad's health started deteriorating, she and I put up the hay by ourselves and for two years after he died she came home from summer school and helped me put up hay.
I started working on T's when I was 11 and got one of my own when I was 13. I "rebuilt" it with tar paper gaskets and got it to run and it is still running today, tho it has been restored again.
I taught the girls I raised to drive my T when they were nine or ten, standing up in my T and stepping on the low pedal to go. They could both drive anything I owned by the time they were 13 and when they were barrel racing in high school they not only did most of the work of putting up hay at Michelle's mom's ranch (the girls were not sisters) but drove our F-350 with a trailer behind it thousands of miles pulling their barrel horses. Later, we got a 36 foot diesel pusher motorhome (mostly because I didn't like them sleeping in the trailer when we were going from rodeo to rodeo and traveling at night) and put the horse trailer behind that. Both of them drove it thousands of miles and I could sleep in the right hand seat when Michelle was 16 or 17 and not worry about her handling that rig. I often wondered if they liked rodeoing better or having the cowboys see them pull into the parking area behind the wheel of what was at that time a huge motorhome and huge trailer. Now it wouldn't seem so big. I'd hate to think I wouldn't let my kids drive my T. It's just a car. They made 15 million of them. I wish the girls would have been interested in old cars but they weren't, one made a career of the Coast Guard and the other is a Doctor. The boy I raised isn't either, but it wasn't because I didn't have him driving everything from go-carts to my boat by the time he was 14 or 15. I had a 25 foot boat at the lake in those days and the girls spent many days & nights out with their friends on it while I was on the road, Brad had his high school graduation party at our dock and took a bunch of his friends water skiing. He was 18 and had been driving the boat for 4 or 5 years at that point. It is light here in the summer until 10:30 or 11 at night and there are hundreds of kids at the lakes every night water skiing and tubing. If one of mine wasn't mature enough at 17 or 18 to handle the boat safely and be the pilot in command he shouldn't have and wouldn't have been out there.
I started the girls flying when they were 14 or 15, Cindy soloed on her 16th birthday and got her license when she was 17. Neither Michelle or Brad liked flying as much although they both took a couple lessons from a real instructor but Cindy liked it and has maintained her license to this day. She is both Helicopter and fixed wing certified via the Coast Guard. Did she smack the Cessna 150 I bought them to learn to fly in? Yep, she did a hard landing and we had to replace the tail skid and do a little paint and body work. After she got her license she flew my Piper Pacer--taildrager conversion, droop tips, O-360 Lycoming--in and out of the Bob Marshall wilderness a couple times and participated in a mountain search and rescue operation for a missing plane with it. The adventure of doing that was a big part of the decision to go into the Coast Guard and learn to fly helicopters and fixed wing search planes for them. Is flying in the mountains dangerous? Yes. Did I worry about her flying search and observation in the mountains at 18? Of course, you would have to be a fool not to worry about any pilot doing that, especially a girl you've watched grow up. But that's part of the deal.
I would be ashamed of myself if I had a T or a pickup or a tractor or a motorcycle or anything else and hadn't taught my kids to drive it. I don't have kids of my own, but the ones I helped raise got every chance to try whatever they wanted to and see what intrigued them enough to keep going at it. They all had cars, pickups, & horses, they all played music and they all worked auctions with me to where they were comfortable in front of a crowd; they packed sound equipment on and off of stages at honky tonks and fairs for me, learned to run sound for me and my bands and they learned that the job isn't done until it's over, then we're gonna go have some fun.
I hope those kids appreciate the opportunities you've provided for them... most kids can only dream of those kind of life experiences!
I was 12 years old when I was taught to drive both a Model T and a column shift Rambler station wagon. It seems to have served me fairly well. Some of the kids I grew up with whose parents were to busy to spend any time with them learned to drive at 15 or 16 in drivers education classes. I cringe when I have to go somewhere in a car driven by someone who learned to drive "By the Book" rather than by a caring parent or family friend. Most of them cannot even adjust the mirrors correctly. I learned more from driving with my parents and uncle than in the "approved and required" drivers education class I had to take. For some reason my folks had a vested interest in teaching me how to do this safely. When I actually got my license my uncle then taught me how to drive on a crooked mountain road while pulling a trailer that was loaded with a Model T! I will never forget to pull through the curve by giving it the gas rather than letting the trailer push you into a jackknife as you timidly apply the brake! Priceless.
Glad the kids are ok.
Do you have any pictures of the repairs in progress that you can share?
I'm so thankful the kids are ok. So sorry that it happened.
If you discover any lessons learned that might help the rest of us -- please let us know after the dust settles and cuts and bruises are healed etc. And if you can determine if the wheel failed and that contributed to the accident or if you can determine that the wheel failed because of the accident that would be helpful. And of course the type of wood and condition of the wheel would be of interest -- i.e. do you know if it was hickory, oak, other, or unknown?
All of that is secondary to getting the boys taken care and having a great time at the tour next week. Hug'em while they are still within reach -- they grow up so fast.
Hap Tucker 19l5 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and l907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.
Do you have any pictures of the repairs in progress that you can share?
Hmm, this thread has me wondering if I should put the later, larger diameter on my '16 touring, and save the original wheel for shows--just for safety. Seems like a simple thing to do to improve my leverage on the steering.
PS Brent, glad everyone is OK, and wow, you work fast!
5:1 gears don't show, David.
I always enjoy Stan Howe's comments. As always, they are spot on.
There was a song that came out within the last 10 years by Alan Jackson called "when Daddy let me drive." Both that song and Stan's comments bring back memories of my father with a smiling kid sitting on his lap driving the tractor until I was big enough to drive it myself.
The facts are that kids will learn from someone. As parents, grand parents, uncles & aunts, etc. we have their best interest at heart and are the very people that should be teaching them (this learning isn't limited to driving either).
Brent, I'm glad they weren't seriously injured. The car is just tin and can be fixed or replaced. There is an old saying, "live and learn (if you live)". I promise they both learned.
We now have another piece of the puzzle to confirm what happened. The driver said that the wheels locked up and he was pushing different pedals and nothing seemed to be happening. All along we figured it was the rocks that was causing the skid however when we started driving it yesterday, as I started to pull forward the brakes would squeal slightly. When I pulled out finally, as I throttled up, all of a sudden the car just bowed up and about killed the engine. I tried to move forward and it would act like it was in a huge strain. I backed up just a couple of inches and it "fee-ed up" and rolled again. This happened two or three times before I "backed" backed to the shop. Upon inspection, we noticed the R/R brake band was wrapped in a bind against the drum. Look at the tab, --and look at the quality of weld.
I now think I know what caused this to happen. The boys got ready to make the stop and the tab broke loose causing the "self-energizing" brakes to 'self-energize' to the point where the band wrapped tight enough to lock that wheel. Unfortunately it was the R/Rear wheel. What I also noticed was the brake pedal was "rock hard" at the top which would be because the band was wrapped and pulling on the brake pedal to keep it from going further. That also makes sense why there was skid marks all around the corner and the boys said it was just sliding.
I now think the reason the front wheel broke was because the wheels were turned all the way to the left and that wheel slid off the edge of the pavement.
Anyway, an experienced driver might have been able to save it by steering through the entire situation but it sure does suck when and aftermarket piece has this kind of shoddy craftsmanship on it. Maybe we had been lucky before?? (Look how far that brake band is wrapped around the drum in relation to where the bolt that centers it is...)
I don't consider myself an expert welder, but even I could do better than that. Looks like it was done with too small a tip (not enough heat). I'm sure the manufacturer didn't set out to make an inferior product, but it would be easy to design a better tab and weld it to stay put.
Hi, Wire welders make it easy to weld but a stick welder will pentrate better. A stick welder will make a puddle not just puddle on top of your metal. Thanks, Scott
The problem stems from the fact that the band is far thinner than that u-shaped piece.
I would have made that part have ears that silver-soldered to the band.
Those are Rockys? If so, I dislike Rockys even more now.
Judging by the rust on the weld area, those two welds were about 90% broken for a while. It didn't take much for the remaining 10% to let go. Thank goodness the results weren't tragic.
Those rear accessory brakes arn't the modern Rocky Mountain Brakes as made in Temecula CA today.
Here is my set of modern R-M on the '26 touring.
These are the large drum R-M as supplied. They work just fine.
View from front looking thru the wheel
Brent, did you purchase those brakes new? If you look just under the bottom weld , it appears that the bracket has been cut off and repositioned. There is a remnant of an old weld that has been ground down some. Might not be the manufacturer's fault. Just a thought. That is definately a poor weld, whoever did it. Are the boys mending well? Dave
Looks to me like the weld didn't have any penetration into the flat strap. the rusty area looks like it rusted because it wasn't painted because it was supposed to be welded. If he was making a left hand turn with the right wheel bound up, and right tire skidding, wouldn't the differential double the speed of the inside wheel causing the car to lunge unexpectedly?
Seth, why do you dislike Rocky Mountain Brakes? What's your experience with them?
I have no experience with them, but try to believe what I read here. They don't work when wet, they don't work when backing up, and I think they are butt ugly and look to me like they belong on a riding lawnmower.
I think that if you are stuck with a small drum rearend and want some wheel brakes then you should bite the bullet and affix hydraulically-actuated discs and have something that performs.
Alternatively, fit a big drum rearend like I had on my speedster.
Those things (whatever they are) on Brent's (or Blake's) car are total crap and could have killed Blake and his friend.
My Rocky brakes have served me well for many years. They have always stopped my car, and I will continue to use them. Lets not start another panic thread over brakes like the ones that developed over broken axles and cranks. I have noticed that over the years, that newer T owners are often timid creatures that scare quite easily. Remember, there are thousands of unmodifeid T's being driven just fine out there, with "oh the horror "....stock band transmission brakes...nooooooooo!
I think the bigger picture here is what these are, by design, ...should be OK for the intended purpose.
Last year at Hendersonville, we came out of Pisgah Forest on "whatever" that mountain is, and it was raining like the proverbial bull and the rock. I have four adults in the car and they stop adequately for the conditions. It was raining so I could not see well, and the road was winding & curvy, so I naturally slowed down. In that instance, like I said before, they worked OK, ...however if that piece would have broken because of the weld, things would have been much more stessful. I don't know if this should be charged off to equipment failures that are Acts of God, ...or whether you blame it on cheaply made products.
BTW, I'm not alway faulting the manufacturer because they are forced by a bunch of titewads to make something "cheaply". Otherwise people who own Model T's will say it is too expensive! When it breaks, we complain too. So, ...whose fault is it??
When I was young my father taught me how to weld and in my experience the failed weld in the photo was inappropriately done and clearly originally defective.
I would add; Trying to use "silver solder" for this type of mechanical connection????????????????; I cannot stop laughing.
Ron the Coilman
I agree that the tightwads exist, but their demands for low cost are no excuse for cutting corners in design, especially when it comes to safety.
Yes, I know, where do you draw the line - what is "safe enough"? Safer than depending only the Ford's complete driveline for brakes? Those accessory brakes have that covered well, as do any accessory brakes.
Spending another couple of dollars to prevent depending on that bracket attached that way would have been more prudent in my opinion.
Not trying to start any panic here whatsoever, I just think it is unfortunate that the manufacturer made that choice.
Those brakes are homemade in my opinion.They certainly are not Rocky Mountains( a very good product I think) or any brakes that were aftermarket in their day. Might be interesting to run them down. I bet they were made by a previous owner.
Glad everyone is OK as you head into a great week of touring in one the best places on the planet, East Tn.
Good Ron, keep on laughing. If that bracket was a "T" instead of a "U", there would be all the surface area that you might want to silver solder the bracket to the band. It would make a far more durable connection than the design that broke.
I figured that at some point you'd chime in with some more of your typical useless rant. Just keep it up and all your many followers will probably chime in to cheer you on.
I have silver soldered many bandsaw blades and plumbing connections. Silver soldering is not the typical cold solder used in electrical connections. It reqires the metal to be reddened near melting, and fluxed. Silver soldering would have worked in that application, had the joint been lapped, rather than butted. Silver soldering is VERY strong.
Thank you, Ed. I'll now do a little laughing of my own.
I've seen several original variations of that braking system, with the bracket riveted on the band, and they never seem to fail.
i am glad everyone is OK and the tour should be a good one,i highly recommend the Colorado Mountain brakes for stopping on hills,backward,wet in any combination.For the folks on the tour ,never leave home without it.
Rick in Tennessee.
Richard- That is the most unique ornamemt I have ever seen.
Brent- Those brakes are similiar to Pike's Peak brakes, but the bosses on the back side look built up. Also were the spokes hickory or oak?
Art in Pahrump
Maybe I'm missing something here, but isn't silver solder supposed to be for things like copper? We use it at work all the time for split copper pipes, saves time over sweating in repair couplings or unions. I just thought it was for softer metals not steel. Is there different kinds of silver solder, again I'm just curious.
Yes, there are low temperature silver solders for applications like you describe.
Then there are the strong ones, like Harris Safety-Silv 45 that I've always used on steel.
With the proper flux, the joint fills completely. It will successfully repair cracks in cast iron also.
I'll have to check that out, learn something new everyday!
I can't weld. Never learned how and not interested in learning how. Silver soldering is easy if I can do it and it results in a very attractive joint. I rebuilt the external oil lines on my father's MG TC using silver solder and a propane torch. The steel pipes were soldered into brass banjo fittings. I was really impressed with the end result.
Back to the brake issue -- Those brakes look like a copy of the A-C brakes I just put on a rear end.
They could be new or old, but they look to be knock-offs of the A-C setup. But the bracket at the bottom of the A-C's is cast, and the loop on the band is riveted using four heavy rivets. It's a much stronger arrangement.
I had seen the original A-C's on Fred Houston's cars during my visits to Fred's garage, and I liked the looks of them much better than Rockies or Bennetts. So I got a set of the new repro's for the Coupelet I'm working on. It'll be a couple of years before I know how they work, but I am impressed with how well they are made and how well they fit.
A very good looking brake. Are those same type as the ones someone had at the Centenial last year?
I agree that someone along the way decided that the ones that ended up on Brent's car couldn't be that hard to make. They copied a pair of A-C's.
Yes, these are the ones which were at the Centennial last year. (I got set number 3.)
Mike - Could you please tell us where to buy a set like that?
Thanks, Keith Gumbinger
I might be interested in a set of these. They do look better than the RM brakes which I currently have on my '15.
I was afraid this would happen when I posted the pic. They are nice looking brakes.
The problem is that I am terrible with names, and sometimes my record-keeping lets things fall through the cracks. I cannot remember the name of the fellow who is reproducing them, nor the name of the fellow who had the sample set and the flyers for them at the Centennial. A search through my paper files netted no paperwork on the brakes. I posted something here right after I returned from the Centennial, but I couldn't find it using a keyword search. (I have found that system not to work most of the time.) The guy at the Centennial used to be a regular poster here, so maybe he will see this and volunteer some info. Otherwise, I can look for some paperwork at my shop tomorrow, but I can't promise that will turn up anything. I'll keep digging though.
I could dig around too, but it's too hot outside to go to the garage! Remember, these brakes are NOT sold as brakes, but as "decorative items." I don't want to spoil a good thing here, as I think these "Decorative items" look real good on a "museum display" and I intended on putting them on my "museum display" when I finish it--even though I signed a paper stating that I was using them as an art piece on the wall of my garage.
Good thing we have lawyers to protect us!
Did anbody save a link to that thread about them last summer?
How bout: Larry Sidmore,
15625 Corte Laguna Vista,
Sonora, Cal 95370
Brent,I am glad to read that the boys arent hurt up to bad.
I am curious though about something.Are they helping with the repairs?
Also,can you post some photos of the repairs?
I am also 1 of the 1's that is dumbfounded that a car that looks that good needs a frame off restoration.
I know when I tore up stuff when I was young,I got to help fix it rather it was of intrest to me or not.
BUT,that insteeled some common sense into me.I dont abuse my cars and trucks because I know who gets to fix them if they tear up,and how much it cost.
Thanks, Warren, and thanks to Tom Franken and Keith Townsend for refreshing my memory. Here is a scan of the A-C Brakes flyer sent by Tom F.
Nice BS at the bottom. Their lawyer can't spell, as see there.
Are all the wheel and spoke vendors paying exhorbitant insurance, or just one lawsuit from bankruptcy?
I guess folks got to say whatever it takes to cover
their behind in a situation like this. If I'd of
known about these prior to my rocky mountain brake
purchase, I would have seriously considered them.
Especially since it looks like they would work in
By the way, what you get with these is what is shown in the flyer pic, which are the parts that install on both rear wheels. They include the longer bolts needed to mount them, which I thought was a nice touch. You will need to acquire or make the other parts forward of the wheels such as the brake rods, equalizer, pedal, etc. The RM parts will work just fine and are available from the RM folks, and probably from Chaffin's. I don't think Lang's or Snyder's would sell partial kits, as I think they buy them as full sets.