I never knew the Museum in Dearborn had one of these.I took these pics at the Old Car Festival.Sorry for the photo quality.I though I'd never see one of these up close.I wonder how many are still around that are authentic and not made up.
Here's a milling machine Ford used to machine the tops of the blocks,15 at a time on this machine.
I think this maybe the one Les Henry found in a barn in the '50's, when Ford first started the museum they couldn't find (or buy)one, they had to reconstruct one.
I saw one in Orange California in a private collection, in 2003 when we were celebrating the 100th anniversery of the Ford Motor Co.
Good to see you had fun at the museum. They have changed quite a few things for the better since I visited a few years back. One of those improvements was bringing the two lever Ford from way back in the back and putting it out where more folks would see it. I think that is the same 1909 that is on the cover of Clymer’s “Model T Ford Restoration Handbook along with several photos of it inside the book.
Kim Dobbins has done a lot of research and tracking of the early 2 lever cars. From his 8/3/04 posting he shared the, “I count around 24 2 lever cars that exist in various forms. There are about 8 are fairly complete cars out there. There are also a few sleepers that are still in hiding such as #126 that is pictured in "Tin Lizzy" and restored by John Stynoski some years ago. Another is #432, a 2 lever Roadster listed in the 1954,61,65 HCCA registry thats current whereabouts are unknown.
There are at least 3 two lever cars out there with most of there original parts and at least 1 that still has a complete original body. There are also many 1909-10 cars that are restored from complete original cars and quite a few very nice unrestored complete original cars left. These cars need to be documented and preserved or we will end up with only re-creations of the past.”
Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout.
I am going to Detroit this week, what museum are we discussing, I would love to go?
It's the Henry Ford formerly known as Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. It's in Dearborn near Michigan Avenue and the Southfield Freeway M-39.
I think it was when Ford wanted to celebrate its 50th in 1953 that they couldn't find a 2-lever '09.
The museum's been up and running since Old Henry's day.
I seem to recall that the car is sort of authentic but there was some Hollywood-type trickery involved; the car wasn't totally the "original barn find" that it was purported to be.
Number 685 is being sold during the Hershey RM Auction. Log onto www.rmauctions.com and click onto Vintage Motorcars at Hershey/View Inventory Listings for photos of this great car from the Swiggart collection and other neat brass cars.
firstname.lastname@example.org if you need more info.
If you will be in town this coming Saturday also, plan to visit the Piquette Plant in Detroit. That is where the Model T was developed and the first two years produced. The plant is at 461 Piquette at the corner of Beaubien.
For more information, go to T-Plex. For information on the other Model T Centennial celebration, go to Piquette Ts.
Did they move the presidentail Limos? That looks like about were Regans was parked.I woulda loved to drove that Lincoln home.Sharp ride!
Provenance of 2-lever #839
Sold 1909: by Kirkmeyer Motor Co. Richmond, Va.
Purchased by: L. G. Crenshaw (my grandfather)
Sold to: Mr. P. L. Travis,used car dealer. used as a "sign"... 1941 South Richmond, Va. The 25.00
purchase price was used to pay my "birthing bill"
Sold to: Mr. Martin Brosic (from Murfreesboro, Tenn.)1955
Sold: by Brosic to his friend Ed Delbridge (also
Sold: by Ed Delbridge to John L. "Jack" Skaff of
Sold : Jack Scaff to the Ford Motor Co...$925.00
"The price he paid for it." @1957
Ford valued the car restored in 1959 at $5000.00
I have Ford's archive pictures "as found" with
the two-lever assembly fully intact.
Thanks for the update. Do you know if that is the same car that is on the cover of Clymer's "Model T Ford REstoration Handbook"? Page 14 shows a picture of I believe the same car in a barn (front shot, hay straw under the car).
Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout
I thought the picture of the two lever T was great. I have a question. Didn't the pedla shafts coming out of the floor boards seem very long?
How many of us can trace the lineage of our Model Ts? Thanks for providing both interesting and entertaining info on your grandfather's car.
Thanks again Lee for contributing such neat and important info on that T !
The two lever Moderl T Ford that was on display in 1956 just inside the original entrance of the museum (now known as the Henry Ford) has disapeared from the displays. It was a later 1909 with an unnumbered early engine installed and two lever parts made up from accumulated parts. The second lever was another brake lever with part of the handle removed. It was billed as"Model T Number One." It was painted black with an original body and upholstery. I have seen photos of this T in publications from the 1950s.
I can trace the linage of my May of 1910 Touring that I bought at the age of 14 in 1946. It was shipped to Peoria, Ill on May 8, 1910, In 1931 it was found in a junk yard in Chicago by the Pure Oil Company and shipped to Minnesota to the main Pure Oil garage near 7 corners in Minneapolis. It was then painted yellow with Pure Oil decals on the doors (rear, as there are not any front doors), I have a picture of this T taken in 1937 at a parade in Excelsior, MN where I now have my store. I have owned this T since September 28, 1946.
I beg to differ. There were two Ts upstairs in the museum along with pieces of Mr. Ford's Highland Park office. One is number 15 Million restored and repainted its original green. The original 15 million numbers are photographing through the paint as the new letters don't duplicate them exactly. It is now on display in the Mack Avenue plant inside the Village along with some other T parts. The red 08 or 09 touring is the same one on the cover of the Clymer softcover red restoration book. It is now on the main floor of the museum between the Reagan limo and the McDonald's arches. Both cars are alive and well except for a few missing parts stolen by visitors for reasons I'll never know. This is the same car that recently appeared in other forum threads and it was refitted to the two lever design prior to displaying it.
I was only talking about the two lever 1909 that is no longer on display. I have been at the Ford Museum 4 times in the last 6 years. I was there in 1956 when the 1909 was on display. I was there in 1975 and it was no longer on display. I know of the 1909 pictured on Clymer's book ( I knew Floyd Clymer and have several letters from him from back in the 1950s) What I am interested in is ever happened to the fake Number 1 Model T.
Then I have to confess, I may be too young to know the car of which you speak since I was born in the mid-fifties. The only 1909 two lever that I've ever known of is the one pictured on the top of this thread. It's possible the car you're referring to is in storage or it was auctioned off since it was fake. The only '09 I know of is the one shown at the top of this thread. This is the car that came downstairs when they converted the second floor to business offices.
Tom and Darel,
I suspect you both are correct. I remember the Model T upstairs at the Henry Ford Museum - and that it had two brake levers. The story I heard was they returned a proper early car to two lever from three pedal and one lever as best they could in the mid-'50s. A later restoration of the car, perhaps when it moved downstairs, returned it to a proper two lever configuration with only one brake lever and one reverse lever.
Now, to contact the Curator of Transportation at The Henry Ford and get the real story.
Piquette Ts / Casual Ts
The story of the engine coming from the engine display came from what I considered at the time a reliable source. Now this took place over 50 years ago, probably when Les Henry was curator of the auto collection. When I wrote Les in 1956 that I was coming to Dearborn, he sent me a pass. When at the museum, Les showed me around the back rooms, including the 1928 Model A pheaton with model A engine number one installed. The pheaton came from the Thomas Edison estate. Model A number one was a tudor. So it shows engines were moved around.
In the 1950s there were more Model Ts and other interesting cars on display. One was Henry Ford's personal Model T Coupe, originally a 1923 style coupe. It had a large drum rear end and other up-dates. In the 50's the early autos were just lined up in rows. I remeber that "Old Pacific" was in the line up. Old Pacific was a very early Packard (1903?) that went coast to coast. At one time, this car was sitting outside (at the Packard Plant I beleive). A picture exists in one of the collector books showing the outside storage.
Now the Model A, I do know about since that is well documented. Since Edison was spending time in the south at his Florida lab, he requested that Ford re-body number one to an open car when he initially received the tudor. The engine wasn't switched, the body was.
Old Pacific was restored several years ago. I remember its debut at one Old Car Festival. The clincher tires got shredded near the rims and were eventually replaced. It's on display near the drive in behind the gas station. Henry's other cars, a Model A coupe and the 1942(47) Ford are in his garage at Fairlane.
Here's Old Pacific as of last week
This is getting to be an interesting thread. I remember Les Henry opening the hood of the phaton and remarking that they did not realize that this Model A had engine number one until after sometime. I thought then the engine had been switched, rather than a new body installed. The Ford Museum must have many interesting historic vehicles in storage. I wonder if a list of the vehicles in the collection is avaiulable.
Hap, I've been looking back at some old threads this evening and see that you asked me a question about #839. This is the same car that is featured in Les Henry's book. I was able to visit
the archives and was furnished all the material on that ascension. It had glossy photographs showing the car in as-found condition with an
excellent view of the two-lever inner workings.
(below the floorboard). These pictures are in Mr. Henry's book.
Your obe't servent,
Thank you so much for confirming that it is the same car as the one on the cover of Clymer’s “Model T Ford Restoration Handbook.” I’ve printed it out and put it with my copy of the book. Sometimes when I am scanning back through older postings I will also find a question s that was never answered. Thank you for sharing. It actually triggered another thought. I wonder if the Henry Ford Museum also has a similar “record” on some or most of the other cars they have? And if so, for the 1907 Ford Model R [which is currently not on display but is shown on page 45 of Stern’s book “Tin Lizzie”] I wonder if the "records" would contain any details about the color of the frame etc. prior to restoration? Or why the car has the 28 x 3 wheels the Model N and Model S Runabout came with rather than they usual 30 x 3 wheels the Model R Runabout came with.
Again than you so much for your help.
Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.
Hap, I think you're getting 2 names and/or books mixed up.
“Model T Ford Restoration Handbook.” is by Les Henry, not Floyd Clymer.
Clymer did "Henry's Wonderful Model T" among several other books.
Maybe I'm missing something, did he also do a book called: “Model T Ford Restoration Handbook.”?
I believe that Clymer is or was the publisher of Les Henry's 'Red Book.'
The Restoration Handbook was authored by Henry and published by Clymer.
The publisher comment may be my fault as I mentioned it earlier in this thread. I though Clymer was the publisher. I knew Clymer was not the author because I knew Les Henry did the red book and eventually was one of the three authors of "The Model A - as Henry Built it"
The red soft cover restoration handbook was published by Lincoln in 1965.
Yes, Henry Ford Museum has a photo of most, if not all, of the cars they have or had. A buddy of mine has an 1899 Locomobile that was supposedly sold by the museum in the 30's or 40's. He went to the museum, was outfitted with a pair of gloves and allowed to look through box after box of photos. He finally found a photo and short history of his car. The history part wasn't much as it only covered when the car was accessioned by the museum and when it was deaccessioned. I believe he also found mention of a 1910 Buick he owns that was also at one time a HFM car.
I believe the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History had an early two level Model T Touring. When I first saw it at exposition park, it had an incorect 1915-1916 hood, which was later replaced. When the collection was moved to "The Peterson" on wilshire Blvd, it wasn't on display. I think it is currently in storage.
The Petersen has been run by artsy types who never even acknowledged the Ford Centennial, AFAIK, and probably won't do anything for the T Centennial.
When we were last there in '99, they had a beater coupe on the first floor, and this nifty Speedster for the kids to play on. One kid was my Mother-in-law. The car in the background is on a mural.
The Peterson was founded by the publisher of "Hot Rod" magazine. I wish the model T recieved more attention. There is one fascinating display, and that's figures of Laurel and Hardy, in a squashed Model T Touring, between two streetcars. I'm a big Laurel and Hardy fan, and I think that may have been the actual prop model T from "Hogwild"
Sorry for the confusion – yes, as pointed out above, the “Model T Ford Restoration Handbook” shown below which was authored by Les Henry and this version was published by Clymer Publications.
Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.
Harrah's had number 451 in there collection in the late 70s
Dang it. I was done in by Amazon. They said it was Lincoln Publishing - 1965. But the red covered book is what I meant. The one that lists JC Whitney in Chicago as a parts source.
If I recall, the HCCA of america did an all model T issue in 1959, and they showed the 2 lever being reassembled on a modern assembly line between two new 1959 Fords to celebrate the 50th aniversary of the Model T.
I had that news article at one time. Seems like it was made on the assembly line in New Jersey and the year was 1963, but probably 1958 or 1959 for the 50th anniversary. The two lever parts had to be remanufactured, as none could be found. No one seems to know where that car is now.
Ford's 50th anniversary was in 1953.
Ford's 100th anniversary was in 2003.
Hap, the copy I have is by Polyprints, 1965. The only reference to Clymer is that he signed the "Announcement" on the first page.
On the bottom LH corner of the cover where your's says, Clymer Publications, mine has a small oval logo that says: Polyprints Books About Ford, with the number C-18 in the middle.
I guess these books are like Ts, they're all the same but they're different.
Respectfully submitted, Ken
Thanks for sharing. No matter which publisher printed it, the book has some interesting items. I especially like the 8 x 10 or so Ford Archive photos in the back. Not as nice as seeing the original, but much easier to see details than when 3 or more photos are shown on a single page. It also contains a good article on installing a closed car and open car top (they don't use a T for the examples, but the ideas are very well communicated). And as Ken shared -- similar to our Ts ... they are all the same but different.
Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Ford Runabout. Sumter SC.
HCCA Gazette cover, Jan-Feb, 1959
article on nbr 839
Well, I found the newspaper article with a 1958 year and no other date info. Here is part of the story:
The bulk of the antique unit, which in 1909 was the 839th Model T to be built by Ford, was purchased from John Skaff, a furniture dealer in Flint, who is also an antique car hobbiest.
Some parts simply were not available. New wheels, for example, could not be found at all and were made especially for the Ford car by a Newark, N.J. company. The fenders took form in a shop in San Luis Obispo, California, and the reupholstery and touring car top was done by a custom shop near Detroit.
The rare, old two-lever 1909 Model T was recently reassembled at Ford division’s Mahwah, N. J. plant as probably the last Model T ever to be built. The car will become a permanent display vehicle at the Henry ford Museum of the Edison Institute in Dearborn, Michigan.
The old car is valued by museum authorities at about $5,000, or twice the price of a new 1959 Ford.
"The rare, old two-lever 1909 Model T was recently reassembled at Ford division’s Mahwah, N. J. plant as probably the last Model T ever to be built."
Of course, in 1958, they didn't know about the T-100 project that would occur 40+ years later....
I wondered if anyone would notice that line.
There have been a few others rebuilt too, at least four.
I for one, don't really care if these 2 lever cars are original or not, as clearly nobody is trying to pawn them off as originals. The important thing is that this relevant phase of T history is being agressively preserved for enthusists who appreciate the development of the most ambitious automotive venture ever undertaken. Not just a footnote in a book in a library somewhere, but the real deal, just like they first appeared 100 years ago. You will on occassion hear purists denounce even the highest quality reproductions as somehow degrading to the integrity of original cars and the hobby in general...I beg to differ. For all who saw Craig Beek's 1910 reproduction coupe featured in the December MTFCI Newsletter , you had to step back and say "WOW". Original or not, this fabulous gem is a dead-on copy of the original, with a totally authentic 10 chassis... truely magnificent by any standard. What an epic event to have whitnessed this regal ghost skillfully brought back to life, purely for the benefit of young and old who truely love the T.
Scott Rosenthal 1912 Town Car (Reproduction Body)
The more I read about the 2 lever, 2 pedal early Model T Fords, the less I know! At one time I thought that the first 500 units had 2 levers and two pedals. Then I was under the impression that the first 750 units had 2 levers and 2 pedals. Then a parts list tended to indicate that perhaps some units in the first 800 units built may have 2 levers and 2 pedals.
Perhaps Ford did not change from all 2 lever 2 pedal units to one lever 3 pedal units all at once but phased them out. Now if I am reading it correctly, is it possible for a unit as late as unit number 839 to be an original 2 lever 2 pedal unit?
Arnie, If you have Les Henry's Restoration Handbook look on page 14. This pictures the car as found in a barn in Tennesee. If you look closely you can discern both levers.
Yes, I have the book and have looked at page 14. I agree it certainly looks like a 2 lever arrangement.
What I am questioning is: is this vehicle #839? If so this leads me to believe that Henry Ford produced a 2 lever, 2 pedal vehicle later in production than I thought. Of course the first in first out on engine numbers may not apply, but with the early production did they have that many pre-assembled assemblies!