Hey guys, I am a 25 year old guy living in rural Alabama and just got a sustainable job and my cabin built, so I am wanting to get going on a speedster project. My grandfather got me interested in vintage Ford's because he owns a 1931 Model A Fordoor Sedan.
I have been doing quite a bit of research but haven't come up with one definitive spot on where to get build information. I am currently looking for a frame and other parts to start the build, but once I get those I am afraid I won't be able to source a good place to look for information. I am set on building a basic wood floor speedster with basic cowling, a model t grille, wood dash, and sheet metal seats with some basic upholstery with the gas tank mounted behind it and a toolbox on the back.
I would love to have a turtle deck style roadster, but working on my budget I doubt I could pull it off. Later though I can always sell the body I build for this and replace it with a bucket body and turtle deck.
If anyone has any advice on sites for building and sites for trying to find a frame, suspension, and grille/radiator I'd be greatly appreciative. I am wanting to start the build on about $600 worth of frame, suspension, and grille so I am really going to have to dig no doubt. I have the woodworking skills and wood to build everything, but the sheet metal work will be all new to me. Thanks so much and I look forward to hearing back! God bless.
Here are pictures of the basic idea kind of cars I think I could build
Here are the dream cars that I wish I could build, and may be able to do so if I get the parts and help for cheap.
Lowering the Model T and integrating the seats seems amazing.
One last question, what are these windshield/clips called and where do you get them? I want to add this double folding style windshield to my car one day.
Easy as, Any questions? We can answer! Those windshield things are called aero'screens in the british car world i think i last saw them for $150 each back in '99 so you might want to settle for furniture hinges modified with a saw and some bits of leather and stuff with either some glass cut at a shop or plastic (not sure if plastic is legal in your area?) or if you fins those things that hold the side glass for an open-top model A at a swapmeet and clamp the glass?
Think http://www.snydersantiqueauto.com/3281 that thing but a cheap used one. Or 4. Whatever you think will fit a speedster.
Thank you so much for that! I will have to check up on furniture hinges as well. I am so excited about this build. I am hopeful in finding all the parts I'll need to get started.
I wish I could find a frame with all the running gear on it because that would make it a lot easier no doubt, but on my budget I doubt there is anything out there.
You'll find lots of info about what they did back in the old days in the speedster books "Model T in Speed and Sport" and the "Fast Ford Handbook"
You can also check all the info and pictures at the North West Vintage Speedster club site: http://www.nwvs.org/
When you find some parts to start with you'll get lots of help here and perhaps in a local T club, if there is any - the closest club I could find is on the other side of Birmingham,
HEART OF DIXIE T'S
240 Aslan Way
Pell City, AL 35120
I think the windshields on James Zabala's car are windwings from a Model A. The glass can be cut to any style by using the mounts and replacing the glass.
Check out the website - www.nwvs.org
They have many ideas for speedsters!
Look in an old hardware store for those hinges. Look specifically at the old industrial style toilet seat hinges. You know the style with the black horse shoe shaped seat. Those hinges are probably the ones you want. I'm sure you would have to change the hinge pin with a bolt or something to enable you to increase friction.
The real good part of using those is one day when you get married and your wife climbs in you can ask her, "aren't you glad I left it up?". Married guys will get this.
Cory: PM me I live in B'ham. Dan
This is the plans I used with some minor modifications. Nothing too complicated. It will fit the 26,27 frame.
I hope the forum-police don't see that picture of James cranking right-handed.
If you want to come to Mid-Missouri I'll sell you a T frame front end and rear end already together as found, all need rebuilt, will put in engine and transmission and steering column engine is stuck and all parts need rebuilt 500.00 pick-up here firstname.lastname@example.org, mid 20's frames and engines
If the forum police don't change his ways, the orthopedic surgeon will.
I really need to write something generic up and keep it where I can find it to re-post.
The first thing you should do, is ask yourself what kind of car you want, and what do you want from it?
Model T speedsters have been built in every year from 1908 up till now and hopefully beyond. Do you want a car to represent any particular era? Do you want a car that will be viewed as an antique automobile? Or do you want to continue the 100-plus-year-old-tradition of "building your own thing" from the modeling clay known as a model T?
There is no wrong answer. However, you should be aware that not all types of speedsters are as acceptable in all areas of the hobby. Some events require a car follow the basic concepts from the era that it is intended to represent. a few clubs are very strict. There are some other reasons to consider keeping a car "era correct" within limits. Just for the purposes of full disclosure, I prefer cars kept close to era correct. That is the way I like them. I want my cars to look like they have been yanked from an original photograph.
But that also brings up the question of what era do you want your car to represent? Speedsters were built in the "brass era". They were very popular during the height of the model T era in the 1920s. Race cars were built by the hundreds during the post "model T era" from about 1928 until the mid '30s, but the style and proper era correct modifications were a bit different. A slightly different era was the mid '30s until WWII. Cars were built during WWII, but with a different purpose in mind. The style changed again post war. Soon after that, restoration and re-creation of speedsters began and continues to this day.
You have many options. There were dozens of different styles of cars to consider. A few good research sources were given above. If you (or anyone else) would like to look at a bunch of old photos of speedsters, try this link to my Photobucket compilation of photos;
I cannot take the credit for these. Most of them were posted on this forum before. Jay of Nor. Cal. compiled thousands of photos from previous postings. I went through and cherry picked what I wanted for my various researches. You may need to ignore the non-speedster stuff. Or enjoy it! It is mostly all model T.
Thanks again Jay!
If you have trouble with the link, please let me know. I haven't checked it out for awhile.
One of the ones I have had.
Good luck! Keep us posted with updates. Post photos when you have something to photograph. Ask questions. Welcome to the affliction. (You do realize that you will have to have more than one?)
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Cranked my first T whin I was 15, 63 years ago..Right handed...Still do...My right hand and arm are just fine...