There seems to be about three different groups in the Model T world. One prefers to restore the Model T to as close as possible to original and show. Another restores them to near original and prefers to drive them. Yet another group has a Model T body with something under the hood that may or may not resemble what Henry produced.
My '15 was restored to near original but I have made a few concessions to make driving both more enjoyable and safe. One of the first upgrades was to put an extra rear "kerosene" lamp on wire all four corners for turn signals and stop lights. That way all the other drivers do not have to wonder why I wave at them at corners and know what I am about to do. Another is not quite period for a '15, but the Ruckstel makes driving the hills of the west more pleasant. Yet, the car must still be crank started with its '15 engine and transmission drive train otherwise original. My desire is to experience the Model T as it was produced. Gravel roads are welcomed on tours.
There are those, also that seem to want to be able to drive their T's more like a modern car. They are modified to make them more reliable and faster among other reasons. Distributors make them more reliable as well as the 12 volt alternators, modern Warford transmissions, e-timers, disc brakes, etc, etc. Some of these folks also want to drive at speeds more like the modern cars. At the Montana tour last year I found myself eating a lot of dust as these cars sped by.
One thing that bothers me is that there seems to be less and less tolerance between these groups. This is most recently very evident in the e-timer discussion. I find it very inappropriate for members to bait and blast those like Royce who have an opinion on restoration of Model T's. It seems we are getting away from "enjoying life in the slow lane" at 35 mph.
As the rabbit's mother in Bambi said, "if you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all." We need to recognize that there are different reasons to be into Model T's and be a little more tolerant of others. I for one, would be for barring those that participate in these bait and blast tactics from participating in the forum. JMHO
So let me get this straight, You think we all need to be more tolerant but anybody that has a difference in opinion needs to be barred? OK.
I would like to jump in here and say that I agree. There should be room in this hobby for all of us. We should be understanding of the opinions of others, even if we don't agree with them. This is especially true with our over-seas friends where we are divided by a common language and different sense of humor.
I am an opinionated S.O.B. and like my Ts my way. But I admire other peoples Ts even painted pink with Disc brakes and alternators.
We also need to recognize the right of others to say what they think. Within reason. Tis a conundrum.
Happy Holidays, and drive carefully, W2
How true, and I agree!
For me, finding and fixing and installing the old time accessories offered by those little start up companies back in the teens and twenties is all the fun of Model T 'modernizing' I like. But that's just my opinion.....any T is fine with me. But I must admit, modern conversions don't excite me.... I like Henry's 1909 technology in action.
And....well...maybe those rat rod, or V8 T-Buckets aren't in my taste or thoughts....my wish is that T's are kept together with Henry's 22 hp powerplant and the magneto and trembler coils...but what do I know, I like a slow 28 mph speed anyway
Afternoon today at my toy lathe, fixing up old time accessory wishbone spring loaded ball caps...
Is that similar to an Apco accessory? I'm not sure I spelled Apco right?
I say let 'em all in. I never would have heard about the E Timer (for instance) if it wasn't for the Forum. I don't mind any modern inprovement on the T like modern seals or head gaskets and such especially if they don't show. The exception, for me, would be turn signals and stop lights which are necessary for your own safety.
I think I'm in the second group. Fix 'em up as near original as possible and drive. But that doesn't stop me from using a $35 bicycle speedometer instead of a $1000 original, or a Fun Projects coil box kit. Preferring to drive doesn't keep me from appreciating the beauty of the show cars and all the work that goes into them. I'm not a big fan of modern "improvements", which I see as diminishing the T character. But I don't see any reason to excoriate folks who like to add modern stuff. The next owner can get rid of it.
John, Jeff got the message of what I meant by stating some should be barred. Saying something knowing that certain others have a different opinion just to get them to say something so you can in turn berate them is not appropriate.
In addition to the 15 touring, I have been putting together a 27 speedster with Ricardo head, Stromberg carb, dual exhaust, distributor, 3:1 gearing, Warford transmission, etc. just to say I have done it. But I still enjoy driving the 15 at 35MPH best.
If you live long enough you reach an age where everything reminds you of something else. The quote from Thumper's mom reminded me of: "If you can't think of something nice to say, come sit by me." — Alice Roosevelt Longworth
"I can run the country or I can make Alice behave. I can't do both." — TR
Quotes and people from the T era.
Yes, these are cast iron original accessory. You can get new ones from Frank Fenton, his quality is swell. They work great.
Also I use the smaller ones on the drag link at the pitman arm and the ball end at the steering link. Really snugs up your steering. You do have to use new ball ends when possible, but with a nice used pitman arm, these spring loaded caps make a world of difference in handling and steering errant Lizzie Much better fix than the backyard smacked copper penny inserted in the caps !
I think there is room for everyone who can be civil. No one ought to be shouted down, right or wrong.
To me, a Model T is like a puzzle. It takes patience and trials to get the peculiarities correct in a car. My problem is that many people don't admit that they don't know how to get a particular problem fixed correctly so they "modernize" to make it "better" and "more reliable" than Henry did. To that I say, "it might be your lack of knowledge or ability to repair it correctly". I, as well as many of you have spent a lot of time, to get all of the items configured correctly to make the T run as she should. Was it ever Henry's fault? I don't think so, I know that I was learning during these times and sometimes didn't want to invest the time to do so. We share information to help others enjoy the fruits of our experience. We should never knock anyone for their opinions or desires to repair or modify their cars. I do get bothered when someone blames the car or the builder for the problems they are having with their particular car. I do enjoy seeing the inventions that people come up with, like disc brakes, electronic ignition, and on and on. Even though I have no desire to do any of those, it doesn't offend me if you do. Just like we adjust our charging rates becuase we drive the cars different than they used to, some use disc brakes because of the speeds or traffic they drive. I'll get off my soapbox now.
What you state is pretty correct, and that's is the reason forums, like gatherings around when the hood is off, produce real discourse. Now too, keeping it civil like Royce's comment is proper.
In reality, posted comments can be perceived as negative if one's own mind is in that mood on any given day.
Try to keep civil. But with Henry's FORD , that's a tough job.
I like this old ditty from a magazine....
"Couldn't you have fixed up the flivver yourself?" asked the Mrs.
"Yes," answered her husband, "but I like to take it to the shop once in a while. The repairman has a bad temper and the way he talks about the machine gives me some new ideas."
And to all of you and your family, and friends and to our mutual stables of Lizzies, have a Merry Christmas!
Todays my birthday, I have fooling with this stuff for 60 years now, IF IT POPS, BANGS, OR MOVES, I love it.
The right of any American is there freedom of speech. The lifes of many Americans have been given to mantain this right. Nuf said
If your Model T doesn't have an original accessory on it, It can't possibly be correct!
"Was it ever Henry's fault?"
Henry was as stubborn as he was creative. Case in point: the early front wishbone. It should have been fixed as soon as it started causing accidents, instead of waiting until 1919, when he was reportedly in such an accident.
1923 science magazine
I keep and drive my Model T's the way I like them. I have no problem with others who like them different than mine. I, however, do not like to see the Hot rod with a modern frame and running gear and a Model T body on it. But that's just me. Someone else might think that Hot rod is just great. I don't mind the Speedster which uses Model T parts mostly available during the era whether or not the body is original.
As for my cars, I accept parts and accessories which were made during the Model T era or repro's of them. Therefore a starter on a pre 19 car is OK and a 26-27 engine in an earlier car is OK. A ruckstell in any Model T is OK. I would not enter a car so altered in a judging contest, but I would not enter a completly stock one either.
To me to do as much of the work as I can do myself, and to drive the cars is what it is all about. I treat them like the original owners would have done. When something breaks, I would replace it with what is available. Usually that means a later part on an earlier car. That is what would happen at the Ford dealer.
But, possibly an earlier part (thinking about visiting the wrecking yard in the day)
Anyway, we should not get so dogmatic and so biased and opinionated that we become enemies instead of friends.
"The modifications on MY car make it safer, more reliable and improve it’s appearance. The modifications on YOUR car are unnecessary, troublesome, gaudy and ruin the whole character of the Model T!"
Norman - This is an interesting post, and I sure like what you and others have said above.
Norm,...you said,...."I don't mind the speedster which uses Model T parts mostly available during the era whether or not the body is original."
That comment gets very close to something I've never been quite clear on; and that is, just what IS the Model T speedster "ERA"?
I might be wrong, but I've always thought that Model T speedsters were built and driven well into the depression era of the '30's, partly because speedster "enthusiasts" during the depression in the '30's could pick up an old Model T for practically nothing, because they were laying around in barns, fields, etc everywhere as this was during and after the Model A helped make the Model T obsolete, but before the intensive scrap metal drives of the '40's for the war effort.
Accordingly, I can't help believe that many of the original speedsters were also built in the '30's and must surely have utilized some Model A and other automotive parts that were manufactured well AFTER the Model T era.
That's why I think speedsters open up a little broader area of tolerance for parts, components, etc being used to build a speedster. In other words, part of the fun of a speedster is that "anything is correct", within reason of course. And I guess I'm asking, what do you all think is "within reason"???
I don't think turbo chargers or fuel injection is appropriate, but then I don't think objection to parts or components limited to only "Model T era" is quite appropriate either. Gotta' believe that quite a few bits of Model A and other '30's engineering advancements found their way into speedsters too.
Anybody have any thoughts on this?
If it looks like a Model T, sounds like a Model T and smells like a Model T, it's a Model T. Build a show car, restore a museum piece or maintain a daily driver,the choice is yours, as long as it does'nt destroy a Model T in the process. Keep it real, keep it civil, keep an open mind and most of all keep it fun.......Merry Christmas to all right or wrong
What is written in one frame of mind, then read in another frame of another mind, may come out in a tone not intended by the sender. Some of the squables we see here would not have ever happened if we were all standing around talking in person.
I have found so much value in the knowledge, ideas, and opinions of this group I often wish we could regularly stand around the shop and visit. But that being impossible, this forum is the only way to get access to all the model T brain power and must be taken for the imperfect medium that it is. I'm first in line to say I sometimes fall a bit short of perfect myself and I bet one or two of you do on occasion too.
For all the rumpled feathers, I still find a ton of value here, controversey or not.
Merry Christmas all, Erich
I can remember many Model T's being driven and seen parked around town when I was a boy in the 30's and 40's There was a stop sign about 2 blocks from our house and it was uphill from there to our house. In the summer when we had the windows open at night, I could tell what kind of car started out from that stop sign by the sound of the engine. Many of them were Model T's. After the war there were still some of them being driven, but most were replaced with more modern cars, and the Model T clubs began to form. So I guess, you could extend the Model T era to about the early 1940's. There were still parts available at the Ford dealer, Western Auto, and Pep Boys at that time.
Aside from a flat-tube radiator core, my 1915 Tourer was in original condition when I bought it, but in the interest of not getting hurt, I had some changes made. I wanted the car to be a reasonably safe daily-driver, with equipment that matched the traffic environment in my neighborhood.
First thing I had addressed was the front wishbone...
I was sorry to lose that aspect of the car's authenticity, but I've got this obsessive/compulsive thing about being the only one in charge of the steering wheel while I'm driving.
After that, came the electric self-starter to accommodate my crippled back. A no-maintenance, Optima battery was hidden beneath the rear floorboards. It's not very accessible, but I shouldn't have to touch it for ten years. I also decided on having a modern, belt-driven alternator installed.
Now, not only did I now have quick-restart capability, I also had plenty of juice for headlights, a GPS and an air compressor. All of these modifications were made by the gentleman who sold me the car and he even went so far as to change the steering ratio over to the less skittish 5:1 gearing.
The tail lantern was wired up to work as a brake light and I bolted a pair of light housings to the saddle arms for two more brake lights and turn signals...
... and wired up the cowl lamps, too.
I got the turn signal brain box from the nice folks at "Tickin' Through Time."
A high-compression head and larger intake manifold were installed and that was just to match the car to the local traffic situation and hilly terrain.
It's no show car, but with everything closed and buttoned down, most of the modifications are hidden, except, of course, for the front wishbone--which only experts would notice--and the extra rear lights--which I want everybody to notice).
I am with the turn signal and brake light group. Living in town, I want people to know what I am doing. Nice thing about Model T's, they were modified from almost day one!
Good job, Bob.
A national tour creates a level playing ground!
Nice work on your T.Bob....one item that I would change now is the wheels, from wood to wire for safety in high inertia turns....Also, being a pilot too, I am very concious of wheel stress in turns...Just like my wings...
Jack '25 Roadster pick-up
My 27 Tudor is "pretty close" to stock. Somebody did a (half baked) 12V conversion on it (bulbs and battery), I finished it with a real 12V starter and an alternator. It's got a solid state distributor instead of coils and timer. The tranny has Kevlar bands in it, but like Bob's, mine is a "driver". The family will be out putting around town in it tomorrow for the annual Christmas day ride.
The real T guys know it's not "correct" but the general public can't tell the difference. I don't care about car judging contests.
I put a pair of Harley Davidson side view mirrors in place of the top hinge pins for the sake of safety. The bumpers are aftermarket (or Model A?), but that's about it.
The "All American Car" has to have all American flags on it.
Reading Bob Coiro's and Dennis Halpin's post prompted me to write this lengthy thought about "winning awards." Awards at car shows are something that has perplexed me. I will most likely upset some folks, which is not my intent - it's more to gain a better understanding to some things that allude me at car shows.
Of the shows that I've attended and read about, awards have been given out. Some make sense: "Oldest car," "Farthest distance driven," "People's choice;" others don't: "Best of show" or "First in class" or "Best original car." Obviously, the car wins because of its looks or the attention to detail in the restoration work, but did the owner actually restore it with his own hands? Shouldn't the person who did the restoration receive the award? These type of competitions are contrary to the ones that I've participated in. Please let me explain.
My experience in competitions, though limited in scope, has been in the area of music and model building. I was trained as a concert pianist and began entering Guild competitions from the time that I was ten until my early twenties. Yes, the credit can be given to my piano instructor, but he wasn't the one performing. I was. It would be no different than if I asked one of you how to repair the carburetor on my car, you explained how to rebuild it, and I did the work.
My second example has to do with model kit competitions. I consider myself an above average builder, but certainly not in the top 10%. I've received a few awards, but not like my friend Fred. Fred builds 1/12 scale Formula 1 cars and they are so detailed that they look like miniatures of the real thing. He adds spark plug wires, hydraulic hoses, discolors the exhaust pipes, mesh screens, and even the markings on the tires. His attention to detail is breathtaking. I've attended a few shows with Fred and he almost always takes Best of Show and First Place in every category he enters. Please note - Fred didn't hire out someone to glue the kit together, he didn't hire someone to putty and sand the seams that weren't supposed to show, and he didn't pay someone to paint the car for him. He did all of the work himself. Do you see what I'm getting at? In both types of competitions, the one that receives the award is the one that's done the work.
I own a 1927 Canadian Tudor that I purchased in 2006. It was 90% original and 90% worn out. It ran, but the engine knocked and leaked oil like a seive, the steering was incredibly loose, the rear axle needed bearings and seals, the reverse drum was cracked, the pinion gear chewed up, the upholstery rotting - you get the picture. It had served more than a lifetime of use.
Before I did the engine/tranny/radiator rebuild, a fellow looking at the car said, "It's all original - no one's bastardized it." That comment made me pause and the more research I did into the "value" of keeping the car original as opposed to restoring it, the easier my decision was: do I keep it "all original" and unrestored, tucked in the garage because it's unsafe to drive or restore it? I chose the latter.
I bought this car to be a driver, have fun with the family, and to "relive" an era gone by. Some people read books or go to movies to escape every day life. For me, it's driving the Model T; however, the difference between going to a movie and driving the T is that I can't escape reality because it's all around me. I'm driving in conditions that react much faster than they did eighty-three years ago and I want my car to be safe, no matter if it's on a club tour, a trip to the park with my 5-yr-old daughter, or a jaunt to Starbucks with my wife. So, the next items on the restoration list are to put on some disc brakes and turn signals (I already attached a brake light). I want my car to be as original as possible, yet safe at the same time so I can enjoy driving it in most conditions - I know better than to take it on the freeway
Again, I will probably upset some folks with the next few statements, which is not my intent - I'm just trying to understand the system we live in. It makes me wonder why awards are given for "Best Original Car." Did that individual who now owns the car do anything special to keep it maintained? In all likelihood, someone else before them did. Shouldn't the owner that maintained the car be the one to get the award? Chances are, the person's passed on, so why give the award?
What about awards for "Best of Show" or "First in Class?" I realize the absurdity of someone doing all of the work to restore an automobile themselves, although it can be done by talented individuals. To own all of the tooling to machine the block, sandblast, powder-coat, rebuild a radiator, and upholster is not cost-effective for most people, especially those like myself who do not have a shop. I ask again, who really earned the award for the restoration? The guy who bought the car or the people that actually did the work? Even if a fellow did all of the research and hired the work done, should he really receive the award?
Is it me? Am I missing something because I really want to understand what these awards mean to those individuals who compete for them. What are they really for? Is it for the guy that spent the most money? Is it a form of elitism? Is it to show how lucky someone is because the person was at the right place at the right time and acquired an all original car? I don't get it.
Trust me, I'd glad I paid the gentlemen to do the work on my Model T because I certainly didn't have the tools, let alone the expertise to rebuild it. Once my Model T is restored, I'm confident it will never take any awards. It could never compete for the coveted Stynoski award because it won't be restored to the original specs. It would never win a Concours award because it's not a Packard, rare or unusual - it's just one of 15,000,000 cars that Ford produced for the middle class. Now that I've made improvements, it won't even qualify for "best original car" - not that it could have before, but now it's not even a possibility. But the hint of receiving an award isn't why I attend car shows or participate in antique automobile events. I go to relive a bit of the past and to share it with others.
I'll leave you with this final thought. The last car show I attended a little girl, about age eight, walked up and said, "Daddy, can you lift me up so I can look inside?" Without hesitation, I opened up the door and said, "You're welcome to step on the running board and look inside." She looked up for no more than ten seconds and had the biggest smile on her face. Isn't that what the car shows should be about? Looking, listening, learning and sharing?
Well written, asked, and explained, Jim K.
For myself, I have been in the antique car hobby since I was a kid, about 45 years now. When I was young and full of hope, I wanted to get into show cars, eventually. I figured that I would have to have ten good driver cars first (before I could have one and not drive it too much). Driving and enjoying the cars was always my first interest. For many people, it is about patting themselves on the back. I have known a few of those people. I have met many people that brag about the car they have, but they never have driven it except when they first got it, to put it in the garage. A very long time ago I met a fellow that did a very nice restoration on a late '20s Packard phaeton. He bragged constantly about his wall of first-place trophies. But as long as I knew of him, he never drove the car except on and off the trailer and up to the stand to receive his award (and he never put it in a major show).
I will never have my show car. That I can well live without. Life has not been kind to me. Most of the cars I have owned and/or restored I have had to sell for the good of the family. I do almost all of my restoration work myself, usually on a very short budget. I enjoy working on them. But mostly I enjoy driving them. I enjoy following others and I enjoy looking back and seeing them follow me.
I wish to thank everyone who works to keep the clubs running and provide tours and forums. I appreciate all the people that share this hobby in all the lands. I have got to drive it a lot more this year. See me on a tour soon.
But I will still not put turn signals on mine unless forced to do so. I think Califunny passed a law banning their use anyway. (I do put a brakelamp on all my antique autos and try to demonstrate hand turn signals often.)
Happy Holidays, and drive carefully, W2
I seldom do car shows and would be [car people] hate me when i do! Im not one to sit in the shade and not show/repersent/use the car! If kids show interest they are invited in the car to honk the horns or anything but do dammage.If people wan't pictures they are invited to get in and i help take the pictures.If people show interest i often take them for rides and im not above putting them behind the wheel for a driving lesson.Car people hate it!! On the other hand if one has no manners they can usually expect a hard time from me! I really like the last five words of your post!!!!!!!!! Bud.
I've attended a few car shows with my speedster, my Mini, and friends cars that I did some work for.
Your "final thought" paragraph I agree with completely. YES, that is exactly what it's all about. It's also about the proceeds of the event helping out some charity or someone in dire need.
Forget who "deserves" the awards, whatever they may be. Simply leave before the awards presentation.
If you win some award and aren't there to receive it, I'll bet the award will find you in the near future.
I enjoyed Jim Kelsey's post.
I too like to have someone who might have never had the opportunity to sit in a model T sit in mine, if they show the interest.
What Jim's post made me think tho is that entering a car in a show comes down to decision making. Even though a car owner might not have done the work himself, he most probably directed the work, made decisions as to how the car was configured and paid the bill to have it done. The owner also had to make the effort to get to the show that day and detail the car if it needed it.
I don't have a show car, but I can see what I am talikng about being a part of it.
I get a little bored with the Barrett-Jackson Auction or the Pebble Beach types. They don't have cars, they have investments. The "trailer queen crowd" wound never do something like this with their car.
But when I'm long gone, my grandson is going to remember all the fun he had with grandpa and playing with his old car. Not just memories of something out in the garage, under a cover, that he was never allowed to touch. If he puts a few scratches on the front fenders by using them as a "ski ramp" for his "Hot Wheels" cars, so what, I did worse. I used my model car paint to paint "flames" on the hood of my dad's 37 Ford. He sanded therm off, repainted the hood and never let me forget it to his dying day.
If changing a few things makes the car more fun (and less work), so be it. I'm investing on memories, not machinery.
I'm in total agreement with you. The reason why I purchased the Model T was because of the fond memories I had in the HCC with my father and his uncle. Dad toured in a 1913 Michigan, which he sold when I was ten, and my uncle in his 1914 Hudson, which he still has. I had several "firsts" on an old car tour: swimming in an indoor swimming pool and riding in a boat.
Going to a museum is fun for me, but, in my humble opinion, riding or driving in an antique car is as close to "reexperiencing the era" as one can get. Maybe I'm off base, but it reminds me of the today's Civil War reinactments. Whether or not my daughter chooses to own an antique car when she grows up, my hope is that I will be able to provide her with as many fond memories as I have had.
Happy New Year to all.
I have fooling with this stuff for 60 years now and have pretty much seen it all. One of my cars is a 1933 Terraplane 8 coupe, last year at a local cruise nite this kid about 10 years old came up and went nuts when he saw it, It seems he had read about them,but never thought he would ever see one. My comment was you are all rite kid,wanna set in it. Momma had a camera. That kid was happyer than a sissy. !!Thats what it't about.!! My 21 T huckster was restored about 40 years ago and looks like it, but it runs 45 with ease. and hasn't failed me yet
Up in Connecticut, Reginald Maxmilian Keefe had just concluded a verbal ten-million dollar deal with a handshake. He adjusted his ascot and pulled the silver spoon out to light up a Havana cigar. Then, between puffs, he pressed the intercom button on his desk and said to his secretary, "Mrs. Sullivan, would you please phone the house and ask Jeeves to find me a nice antique automobile project with which to compete in this year's Pebble Beach affair? He knows the kind I like."
Later that afternoon, Mr. Keefe would make a ridiculously large donation to the Boy Scouts of America (Just because he was filthy stinking rich didn't mean he wasn't a hell of a nice guy--and he was good for the car hobby).
Jeeves walked to the master's climate-controlled main garage and threaded his way through rows upon rows of rare and wonderful, pristinely maintained automobiles, on his way to the office of Mr. Keefe's chief mechanic, Konrad Von Geschwindigkeitsüberschreitung (another guy who was very good for the car hobby). Von Geschwindigkeitsüberschreitung smiled knowingly. He had anticipated this and already had a particular car in mind. It was a [Fill in the blank with your favorite dream-car] that had already been halfway restored, but then, after its owner had suddenly passed away, the restoration was interrupted and the car sold through an estate auction. Konrad Von Geschwindigkeitsüberschreitung, experienced car guy that he was, had the knack of knowing how to be in the right place at the right time--and he got a hold of this impossibly rare find.
Problem was, Von Geschwindigkeitsüberschreitung was a busy man and his staff was not so much skilled in the art of restoration as they were in maintenance. He'd do the engine and drive-train because that was his forte, but the body and chassis, the upholstery and top, the instruments and accessories and a thousand other little things would go out to various other machine shops, platers, electricians and aging, old-world overhaulers of arcane brass bric-a-brak.
Konrad wasn't sure where to send the radiator for overhaul, but he knew a few guys on the Model T club on-line forum who had some experience getting radiators done. They'd help him decide.
But I digress (always wanted to say that).
Well, the half-way restored car made a lot of significant progress as the contributions of various artisans were bolted on. Then, Mrs. Reginald Maxmilian Keefe decided she wanted a divorce and, as she had one hell of a sharp lawyer, the almost-ready-to-assemble car, along with most of Mr. Keefe's collection, wound up at an invitation-only auction.
Joe Blow, an expert mechanic friend of Konrad Von Geschwindigkeitsüberschreitung, got on the inside track and made the winning bid. He trailered the car home, did about twenty-grand worth of work on it over the course of a couple of years, realized how badly he'd gotten in over his fiscal head and sold it off before the car could wreck his marriage.
Jimmy McGoodfellow got a real good deal. The divorced father of two married sons (who were both smart enough to have married a couple of car-gals) picked up the rare car that was already 88% finished by guys who really knew what they were doing (and who were all good for the car hobby)--at a bargain-basement price. He figured he, his sons and their wives could complete the project, send it out to be painted and maybe, if they all worked ridiculously hard, get the thing finished in time for The Big Competition. They toiled through 18-hour days, worked weekends, and as they desperately tried to get finished by the impossible deadline, the Discovery Channel video-taped their incessant bickering.
Predictably, they got in just under the wire and the judges unanimously decided this was the best car at the field. Problem was, the judges had to figure out who, out of all the people who worked on the car, deserved the trophy.
Maybe this is why the prize goes to whomever happens to be the current owner?
When I was a kid (late 50's early 60's) we use to take our 1919 wagon to antique automobile meets and parades.
My dad and I (11 years old) did a frame off restoration and he made sure all the parts were original.
Dad insisted that the pin striping was “exactly” like the original.
When it was painted he didn’t fill in the pits left by the rust but had the car painted with enamel instead of lacquer because it was not what was on the car in 1919.
The wood was and still is all original.
It had and still has the original seats and fabric.
We never won any trophies because it was not cute like the super shiny brass red and blue vehicles or the bright speedsters.
In fact sometimes I was a bit embarrassed because our “special” car got little attention, but our family had fun being together.
Dad even trusted me to take it to high school football games by myself.
When I became a teenager my interests changed.
I did little with my family because faster cars and girls became more important
Today I have enough trophies from sports car racing, rallying, and NASCR to fill three large boxes but they don’t mean very much.
The thing that has lasting memories is the very “Special Model T” that my dad and I restored together in the mid 50's.
I get REAL enjoyment when my grandchildren get excited about riding in “Great Grandpa and AB’s Model T” (AB is what they call me)
So - I’ll take my dull worn out 1919 suburban to town with my grandchildren for ice cream, a parade or a little ride and we will wave at the folks that have big smiles.
I feel sorry for those people that are in a big hurry to get no place and get agitated because we are not doing 35 MPH in a 30 MPH speed zone because they don’t get what life is all about.
In my estimation the true reason for having a model T is family, friends, and owning a bit of history.
Sorry – I’ll get off my soap box now…
I'll second that!
"In my estimation the true reason for having a model T is family, friends, and owning a bit of history"