We had out of town guests for Thanksgiving and much to my delight the dinner conversation turned to cars. After finding out I own 1931 and 1956 Ford Pickups one of the ladies said her Dad, who recently went into a nursing home, has a Model T setting in his garage that is for sale. She had a picture of the car on her phone so we downloaded it to my computer. The car has 1952 plates on it and the lady recalls it setting there all her life (she is pushing 60). Not knowing anything about T's, I'm asking for some help in seeing what this car might be worth as it sets, and just to see what you knowledgeable folks think of it. Thanks in advance for your insight! Regards, Bert
Nice car. I would like to have it, but too far away for me. See the snow shovels hanging it the picture Dan
The black Ts do not sell as high as the Ts with the Brass Radiators. I have owned three Center Doors and paid between 4 to 6 thousand for them. Note Center Doors will bring more money than other models. Without seeing your T, I would say that four to Six grand would be in the ball park. A person would have to wonder how much damage was done to the car with heavy objects piled all over it. See if you can get some interior pictures of the car. A center door is very heavy so an auxillary transmission like a Ruckstell would be a real plus.
The engine serial number (left side above the water inlet) would pin down the year, assuming the engine hasn't been swapped. Without more pictures showing details, I'm with Dave on the price. Too bad it's so far from me.
It would be interesting to find out why the car had been stored for so long. Was there something wrong with it, or did he just think that it would go up in value over time? If it were in good running condition when stored and the oil and coolant was drained, then it might not be very hard to get it started and to find out how it runs.
There are several things about a centerdoor. When it was manufactured it was one of the more expensive cars, because of the enclosed model, better upholstery, and all the glass in it. There are some things to check. One would be the body wood. Since the car was stored inside, it could still be in good condition. I don't know if you have termites where the car is stored, but that would be one of the things which would cause wood to deteriorate if there are termites in the area. Another would be dry rot. Rot usually happens when the wood has gotten wet and spores get into the wood and fungus eats up the wood. Another thing to look at is the sheetmetal. It can rust through and need extensive repairs. That does not appear to be the case, from the pictures. The engine can easily be rebuilt or replaced with a good engine. The body is the expensive part to restore, and the least work necessary the better. Some like to leave the body "original" and that is a good idea if it doesn't need much work, and if it is indeed original, having never been repainted or restored. Same goes for the upholstery.
Changes you should definately make, if they have not already been made for safety's sake. Change all the glass to safety glass. Install auxhillary brakes if not already installed, and for sure inspect the thrust washers inside the rear axle and replace if they are babbit. No matter what condition the babbit is in, it will eventually break and you will lose control of the car unless bronze washers are in place. The tires should also be replaced.
Depending on the driving conditions where you intend to use the car, an auxhillary transmission is very useful. Especially if you are going to carry many passengers, go uphill, or use it in parades.
The above are not intended to discourage you. Just to let you know what to expect. The pictures make the car appear to be in good condition.
There's an awful lot to do here and Art's clearer picture doesn't make the out look any brighter. I'm assuming a high humidity condition in that garage. No expert but I've only seen tire rims in that condition when their left outside. Also note the absence of paint from the cowl back. I don't know what that indicates but a closer inspection will definitely bring the price down from the 4 to 6 indicated earlier. I agree with Dave that the center door is a rarer model but if you want a looker like his is what are you looking at to get it that way?
The car doesn't look too bad as far as metal but like Norm said the wood frame would be the main item of concern.
I think he parked it years ago because he couldn't decide what oil to use so he just set all the different types on the running board and never got back to put it in.
That car shouldn't get stuck in the snow he has 13 snow shovels in the photo.
Charlie -- It shouldn't take much more than $20,000 to make it a nice $15,000 car.
Charlie has touched on something.
Can a car rust like this stored inside? I bet this car spent some time outdoors.
I bet the garage isn't 60 years old.
Garages with block walls & concrete floors tend to sweat pretty badly. My dad's '84 Crown Vic sat for about 2 years after he passed away in such a garage. Never did run quite right after that. Anything you didn't want to rust was best stored on the 2nd floor.
One thing I've learned about stationary Ts: They make dandy storage shelves. <grin>
looks like a $2,500 $3,000 car to me, I'll bet the steel car ramps did wonders for the roof of it too...Ouch!
If you need a snow shovel I think I know where you may be able to get one.....?
Bert, you never know, I looked at a 26 roadster last year that needed a total restore, I figured 4500 would have been a big price but the guy wanted 13k later heard he got 12,500. KB
There's one born every minute I guess. Getting back to the humidity thing: I've had two '23 Tourings. the former one was stored in a wooden structure with a partially concreted floor. The T stood on the concreted part but the rest was dirt. The '23 I have now was in a "water tight" garage. The difference in the condition of the two cars was beyond belief. The under side of the former was covered with surface rust and needed cleaning/painting from front to rear. (never mind the mouse damage). The one I have now looks like it came out of a time capsule. By the way, that outside wood around the windows and doors, was that particular to the center door? Never noticed it before.
I don't know much about the area where you live, but in California near the coast, a car can rust on the inside. I'm talking about the inside of the panels. So when the car is restored, it should be disassembled and the sheetmetal should be painted inside and outside. At least a good epoxy primer should be used on the inside.
Charlie, the Center-doors had painted wood pillars until the '22 models. They clad those with sheet metal over the wood.
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