The MTFCA Speedster and Racecar Hall of Fame is looking for nominees for the 2012 class of inductees. The requirements are outlined below:
Individuals who were or are actively involved from 1950 to the present day in researching, restoring, and promoting historically accurate Model T Ford based speedsters and racers. Individuals must be a minimum of fifty-five (55) years of age, must have a minimum of twenty (20) years of involvement in the activity for which they are being honored. During their active years, they must have made significant contributions locally and regionally with some national prominence.
In addition the Hall of Fame is looking for nominations for Speedster or Racer of the Year. The requirements are listed below:
The car must be equipped with an original or an exact reproduction of a speedster or race car body that was produced during before 1928. All parts that can be easily seen must be either stock Model T Ford or original or exact reproductions of Model T speed equipment built before 1928. Internal engine, transmission, and rearend parts can be modern replacements.
All chassis, engine, or body modifications, and construction methods must have been known and used before 1928.
All wooden parts must be of solid wood construction, plywood is not acceptable. Welded parts may be used but all welds must be ground in a manner that makes the parts look like an original cast or forged parts. Welded tube exhaust headers are acceptable since they were first available about 1920. Frame rails modified using welding techniques are not acceptable.
The car must be painted with a color that was available from the original body builder. Bodies that were originally sold with only a primer coat may be painted any color that was available before 1928.
Please submit your nominations either on the forum or email them directly to me. If you want your nomination accepted you must submit more than just a name. If you are nominating a car then some pictures and a detailed description is required. I must have enough information about a nomination to develop a writeup to submit to the board of directors so that they can determine if they want to sponsor the nomination.
MTFCA Speedster and Racecar Hall of fame
Just a question on why the 'no plywood' construction?
Laminated wood and composite wood materials were used for speedster builds in the twenties. While my little buckboard racer made in the 70's wouldn't compete with the big boys, used plywood for the base and box riser on the rear.
Excerpt from "Fast Ford Handbook" page 130. Notes ply-wood was used.
'15 ply-wood base speedster.
I don't know that I am qualified to answer for Larry. But from the research I've done, and the originals I have seen, there are two types of "plywood" that were really used during the model T era. One was the veneer covered blocks of wood, like the early wood firewalls. They were used in sizes up to about two feet in the long direction. That material is not real good for structural use as the strength it does have runs only in one direction. It was okay for the firewall, it was more aesthetic than structure (yes it held the steering column, but only a very small distance and right next to an iron bracket).
The other type was furniture grade thin plywood. Usually it was less than 1/4 inch thick and was only two or three layers of veneer glued together. It was available in sizes up to about two by four feet (based on the sizes I've seen in large furniture). It could be, and I am sure sometimes was, used as the outer skin of a body in the same way sheet metal could be used. I have never seen an original done that way.
What I have seen is that type of plywood used in seat cushions. It is glued and nailed to a wooden frame and largely just closes off the padding and filling of a non-spring seat cushion. It usually has a couple of small holes drilled in it to allow air in and out.
Plywood like we have become used to today (1/2 inch, 3/4 inch etc in four by eight to ten foot sizes) did exist. But it was so expensive that, generally speaking, no one would use it to build a car body. There were just too many other good, strong, and cheaper ways to do it. It was used in very expensive construction, like high-rises and dams.
Just my penny and a half worth.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
In my 1916 fire wall(orig.) it had laminated wood, thick center with thin wood gluded on each side. This means that it was three ply, therefore I call it plywood. This may not be the same as modern ply wood but I think that it is still ply wood.
Bob -- That is called "lumber-core plywood". Last I heard, it was still available.
In 1905, the city of Portland, Oregon was getting ready to host a World’s Fair as part of the 100th anniversary celebration of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Several local businesses were asked to prepare exhibits for the event, including Portland Manufacturing Company, a small wooden box factory in the St. Johns district of the city. Part owner and plant manager Gustav Carlson decided to laminate wood panels from a variety of Pacific Northwest softwoods. Using paint brushes as glue spreaders and house jacks as presses, several panels were laid up for display. Called “3-ply veneer work,” the product created considerable interest among fairgoers, including several door, cabinet and trunk manufacturers who then placed orders. By 1907, Portland Manufacturing had installed an automatic glue spreader and a sectional hand press. Production soared to 420 panels a day. And an industry was born.
This early plywood was more expensive than solid wood, so the market was slow growing. During its first 15 years the plywood industry relied primarily on a single market—door panels. About 1919 Gus Bartells of Elliott Bay Plywood in Seattle began to set up the first nationwide plywood dealership system. In 1920 Gus was able to persuade several automobile manufacturers to use plywood for running boards. The market grew steadily from there, the price began to fall, and by the mid 1920’s 3-ply lumber core plywood was available to the general public across the country.
Since 90% of speedster body builders were out of business by 1923 it is highly unlikely that any body built before 1923 would contain plywood since it was expensive and hard to get. Therefore modern plywood is not an appropriate material for a” period correct” or” historically accurate” speedster or racecar.
The mission of the Hall of Fame is to honor cars that are” period correct” or “historically accurate”. Therefore, cars that are obviously built from modern 5 or more layer plywood will not be considered. Cars with original bodies that have been restored using some plywood, especially if it cannot be seen, and are otherwise historically accurate may be considered for induction.
Reminds me of the omly period Ford speedster in Sweden I've seen pictured that didn't have a commercially produced body - it had a homemade plywood body:
From the swedish magazine "Motor Journalen" #2 1925. The text translates:
How bout this Ford? We've got this picture from Sunne in the Fryks valley, it's supposed to be a Ford as Mr Ola Olsson, commonly called "Car-Ola" wants it.
He started with a standard Ford chassis and engine but made some changes. Thus the track width was narrowed 9.5 inches and the chassis was lowered 8 inches (sic? should likely be shortened wheel base)
Inside the engine aluminum pistons was fitted and compression raised by shaving the head, so bentyl can better be used giving the same power as gasoline. (Bentyl was a mix of 25% gas and 75% alcohol sold in Sweden from the 20's up until the 50's) The usual Ford ignition was replaced by battery ignition wich makes the engine run completely different from an ordinary Ford. (?)
The whole body was made out of plywood, also the hood and the fenders. It makes with its graceful lines and neat mahogany color a certain beautiful sight for everybody, both the professional and the man on the street.
Made for two - with a rumble seat for two extra passengers - the car meets all demands for a nice sports car.
The wheels has also got plywood covers and baloon tires. The driver's and passenger's seats are adjustable, giving certain comfort. The car weighs 1300 pounds and is calculated to have a top speed of 50 mph. Car-Ola is certainly pleased, but we wonder what Mr Henry Ford himself would say about this new design.
Why hasn't the MTFCA's web site been updated with all the current inductee's from 2009, 2010 and 2011? Who is in charge of updating this information?
In order to make the firewall out of the correctly colored wood they make the core out of a cheap wood such as poplar or basswood and glue a nice very thin sheet of veneer of the correct wood to each side. You could call it plywood but it is actually simply a piece of veneered wood.
You can purchase pieces of packaged verneer at better lumber yards. We have used it to rework older tube type radio cabinets. It comes in all of the better woods and is only about one sixteenth of an inch thick or even thinner and can be attached to curved surfaces wihtout cracking. They make it by peeling a log with a very sharp knife blade and it rolls of like paper towels from the log.
I would like to know that as well. i would love to read about the 2009, 2010, 2011 inducties. The only person I am familiar with is Dan Erceg.
The wood issue is one of my pet peeves. If you were to build a Speedster that looks like it was made in the 1920s, the only wood you can use is decades old. In fact, my office is partially made from Redwood that I always joke comes from an old pirate ship (will post photos on Monday), but it's not so far off the truth. It's possible to purchase reclaimed wood and that's the only wood that should be used when building a period speedster. I put my money where my mouth is as that's what I am using wherever possible on my own skeleton Speedster. Some things just can't be faked without using correct materials.
You can download the 1922 patent here on moulded plywood. Loughead was later changed to the phonetic spelling of Lockheed. The process was used by them as early as 1913 according to the book Revolution In The Sky.
Lockheed built their Vega airplanes out of cold molded plywood in a monocoque style which required limited interior framing. They were very strong and also very light weight and because of it could carry huge loads. They were used as short-haul airliners well into the 30's and some into the 40's. Notice how many windows there are with two people at each window and only one engine of about 300 horsepower. That's up to ten passengers and the pilot and co-pilot on 300 horsepower in 1927. Some were equipped with a 225 horsepower diesel radial engine and got away with it because of the higher torque put out by the diesel so it could swing that big prop just as well as the 300 horsepower gas model did. Some were fitted with radial engines up to almost 500 horsepower and could carry even more weight. Some were mounted on Edo floats. The range was in the 700 mile area. Near the end of production some were built with aluminum fuselages.
You might enjoy my web page Frank. I own about 95% of the original single engine drawings and assist with re-create projects world wide.
Here are some progress photos on Tom Haueter's aluminum fuselage DL-2A Altair from scratch using drawings from me.