Just like the title says, my wife's father passed away last year, and one of the items in the estate was his 1919 Model T touring car. We have fond memories of the car, in fact, my wife and I drove away from the church on our wedding day in it. With his failing health in the last couple of years in his life, we'll be going through it (with the help of the families' long-time mechanic) and getting it prepped to sell. We hate to do so, but our circumstances and the area we live in isn't incredibly conducive for the T. It's a really fantastic car (my father-in-law enjoyed taking it to shows and parades in rural Kentucky, where the car is located) and we were wondering what sort of things we should look out for in ensuring it's roadworthiness and sale preparation. Many thanks for your time and consideration, your help is greatly appreciated!
Sounds like you've put together a good plan, having the car checked over as you prepare it for sale. It'd too bad the T isn't going to come live with you, and I hope it goes to a good home.
While you as the seller may not have much control over it, I hope the car goes to another family who enjoy it as much as your father in law and your family did.
I think, if I were in your place, I would do what it needs to get it running even if poorly, pump up the tires and patch if necessary. Put as little money into the car as you possibly can to get it to the point where it will run.
The reason I say this is, spending a lot on a Model T, unless you plan to use it, is not going to increase very much the selling price. If it is all there and in relatively good condition body, will get you the most. The buyer can then listen to the engine, examine the car and decide how much to offer. The buyer will then decide whether to leave it as is, restore it completely, or just do the mechanical work necessary for safety and drivability.
Anyway, I wish you could keep the car and use it yourselves. Be sure to sell to someone who appreciates the Ford and will preserve it rather than one who will make a rod out of it.
Keith- You'll get lots of good advice here on the forum, and altho' it's really none of our business, we all hope the car goes to a new owner that will preserve and maintain the car in it's original condition and not end up being chopped up by a hot rodder. Hot rods are okay, but now days, they can be built with replacement bodies and parts made of new and better materials, without chopping up a nice original car. We know that's what your late father-in-law would like. Just my $0.02, for what it's worth,.....harold
Oops,....I guess that's what Norm just said, better, and with less words,.....harold
Thanks for the insight. The car is all there and in beautiful condition. It hasn't been started in the last year or two, so our focus will primarily be on the engine. Cosmetically, it's pretty awesome (I'll post pics next week). We're not looking to get rich on the car, we just want to get it into the hands of a Model T enthusiast who will respect and appreciate it....
sheesh,.....I keep "screwing up" here,......Rob just said the same thing too!
Why not take some pictures of it outside in the bright sunlight now and post them here... you asked for advice why not offer it for sale here first. These fellows are the best and has been my personal experience, they won't steer you wrong.
Keith,....I should just slow down here and quit wasting everybody's time and forum space as you obviously have your heart in the right place. It'd sure be nice if you could figure out a way to keep the car, even if you had to "put it into mothballs" for a year or two, or more,.....harold
Selling an antique car that is "roadworthy" is a scary thing. That opens you up to a law suit if the new owner gets into a wreck, as they will be able to prove that the car was not "roadworthy" due to its minimal brakes, lack of lights ect. It is better to sell the car running, but needing work to be road worthy. I like the way Harold thinks on the subject.
Keep'm commin Harold I'm enjoying it.
My condolences to your family.
Thank you for giving someone in the Model T community a chance to be the caretaker of your father-in-laws car. This is the place to ask for information and we have a classified section for selling too. Best of luck
I believe your best bet for making sure it goes to a good home is to post an advertisement in the classified section of this web site (http://www.mtfca.com/showit1/). It's free, plus it'll save you from "having to go through it". Any Model T person interested in the car would probably prefer that it's left as is as opposed to having a mechanic who may not be familiar with the inherent peculiarities with Model T's start turning wrenches on it.
In general, I would only worry about it being roadworthy if you plan to keep it. Otherwise, I'd leave that up to the next owner and be completely honest when you're selling it.
Would love to see a picture!
Many thanks for your continued kind words. I feel fairly confident that my in-laws' mechanic won't have to do much to get her started and running. He lives a couple doors down from where they lived and has known the car for many years (he's worked on T's before), I guess it's one benefit that stems from living in a one-stoplight rural country town. As far as roadworthiness, the car was in excellent running condition before it had to be garaged when my father-in-law started to get sicker; not too concerned about it. It was a wonder to watch my father-in-law drive the car in that he was a dependent stroke victim whose left side didn't work very well. He handled the T like it was a walk in the park! He was a member of the MTFCA and would be tickled to know that an enthusiast might eventually end up with the car. Upon your recommendations, I think I'll start with the classified section on this forum once I can get some recent pics and when we get the car gone through. Thanks again for everyone's kindness and consideration!
Make sure you clean off the dust before you take the pictures. It doesn't take much and sure makes the car look better. Looks like it was cared for.
On the third Tues of every month, is a meeting of the Northwest Florida Model A & T Club at the Golden Corral in Fort Walton Beach, FL. Call Holmes Auto Repair and Wrecker Service and speak to Jesse, or Mike Holmes to make sure of the time and date. There are a lot of T's where you are! Hwy 98 is busy, but, not a showstopper. Some great people in that club that could help you if you keep it or sell it.
Welcome. I also have a 1919 touring car. Mine is an April car, in the 3 million range, among the last of the non-generator blocks made.
Most of us here are pretty visual. Do you have any pics of your car available?
I agree with Keith. May we see a photo or two? Love to see your car.
He said he'd post pictures next week.
You should find a way to keep your car. You will not regret it. If you can't do anything with it now, put it away somewhere for the future.
I'm happy to report that the T is up and running! My wife took it for a little spin out in Kentucky this evening. She'll be back in a few days and then I'll get the pics posted. Keith, your car is a beauty! Larry, we wish we could keep the car, but being active duty military is a tough lifestyle to keep and maintain a vintage car. I'm afraid the T would get damaged with all of the moving we do, plus, we never know where we may end up! I'll post again when I get the pics...thanks again everyone!
Where there's a will, there's a way! Many of the folks in the local club there were sent there by the military. You might find a buyer there, or, you may change your mind. I bought my TT as a 1stLt in 1976. It made a lot of moves and even spent a little time in storage, and wasn't completed until 1999. (I also dragged a Studebaker around with me)
If it's only a storage problem you might consider looking for a business (car related) that might like to display it for you. Ford dealer parts house ,you never know what might pop up. THANKS FOR SERVING.
USAF 1951-55 B-29 & B47 Mechanic. SAC
This seems to have turned into the brotherhood (sisterhood) of 1919 T's.
This is what I have on the sign that I put on my 1919 T at car shows etc.
"Ford Motor Company cast the engine block in this vehicle on July 28, 1919 and on July 30th (Henry Fordís Birthday) it became a motor."
It is a non electric starter and will stay that way!
Having to crank is part of the fun.
I wonder how long they made T's without starters!
All the way to the end in 1927, I believe. If you didn't want to spend the dough for a starter and generator you could buy the car with block off plates bolted over the holes.
Hey Keith, my dad is a Colonel in the Marine Corps, so I grew up doing the moving thing. I can't speak for everyone but I bet a lot feel just like I do: I'd be glad to buy the car for $1 from you with the express understanding that I'm just holding it for you until such time as you would like it back, for $1. We can even have the agreement written up and notarized if that would make you feel better about it. The only condition would be that you'd have to let my wife drive it occasionally! lol
Of course, that assumes that you really want to hang on to the car and keep it. If not, I understand wanting to sell it, just thought I'd throw an option out there. I bet there are tons of folks on here who would gladly enter into the same arrangement. Especially some that have 3 or 4 or 5 cars already, 1 more would hardly be noticed. It'd work out really well for me since my wife 'thinks' she wants a touring car for herself.
Anyway, just something for you to think about. I wouldn't have any problem doing any repairs or TLC it needed. It'd stay in better shape getting driven, plus you wouldn't have to pay to store it somewhere.
Also, meant to add: if my wife likes the car, we could also work out a price and end up buying it from you if you decide you still want to sell it while we're holding it.
When I was on active duty, I stored my '13 at my dads house. Still have the car.
Hey all, sorry for falling off the grid for a while, finally have some pics of the T to share. We're actually on the fence on whether or not we'll keep it. Might hang on to it for a bit. Please let me know what you think of the car:
Whoops, slight photo-posting snafu...here are some pics:
Looks like a nice, straight car in good condition, with a couple of handy period accessories. I like.
I'd suggest that you keep it for a while and get to know it better. You might find that you like it a lot, especially since it's been a part of your family for a while. Rural KY is a great place to drive a Model T!
What a Honey! I agree with the others, keep it because it was your fathers and drive it, maybe the T bug will bite and yet another generation of smiles will continue.
I agree too. They can be overwhelming at first but once you drive them around it will talk to you. You'll know what it needs.
I don't believe I have yet to talk to anyone that owned a T and didn't regret selling it.
They all do, they all smile thinkin about them.
I don't think you ever get tired of the attention they bring as well. Little kids love them. They don't fit what a car is in their minds..
: ^ )
Looks like a good one!
That is a neat car, whats the $$$ needed.
Thanks for the kind words, everyone. Once the dust settles, I think we'll explore shipping the T from Kentucky. I'll also check out Mike's suggestion and touch base with the Northwest Florida Model A & T Club. If we hang on to it, we have a lot to learn!
If you really need the money for something important, then it is good to have an asset to sell, but if you sell the T, the money will be spent on things that you will not remember. The family picnics you take in the T will be remembered for ever, and as long as you keep the car, you will always have the asset to fall back on if you really need it.
That is a sweet car.