I often get into animated discussions with my old-car (and old-airplane) buddies on the subject of originality. The breakdown usually goes down like this:
If you've spent the not-inconsiderable bucks to acquire an antique vehicle (be it a wooden boat, airplane, car, whatever), it's your right to do with it as you will according to your taste and wallet.
And then the discussion continues past that point simply because it's so interesting. It's sort of like the participants have an unspoken agreement that when it comes to the issue of what one should or should not do with their antique vehicle, there's no such thing as, "None of your business!" Were we to have that attitude, all our postings would be technical and we'd lose so much of the magic we enjoy when, say, a new member gets his engine started for the first time and we pat him on the back, or when some newbie (like me) stains and varnishes a wheel and some of the guys ooh and ahh over it a bit just to make the new guy feel good—in spite of the fact that what he just accomplished actually detracts from historical accuracy.
So, okay, we have all kinds here. Most of the newbs couch their sentiments with, "In my humble opinion...," or, "For what it's worth...," etc., and that's probably the way it should be. On the other hand, we have some elder statesmen in attendance, who, by their knowledge and experience, have earned the right to shoot from the hip. Now, I happen to prefer Hap's ever tactful approach, but by the same token, when I found myself in the middle of a sticky problem, Royce, salty as he can sometimes be, was right there to help me out of a jam. Yeah, the man is opinionated and passionate, but he's also seldom (if ever) wrong when it comes to a technical issue.
Now, back about a year ago, we had a controversial poster who was so caustic and so absolutely useless that, instead of getting upset (okay, maybe just once or twice), I simply ignored his postings along with everyone else until he just went away—which is what the ne'er-do-wells always do when you ignore them long enough. I don't think we have any of that type right now, but we do have a lot of salt, pepper and cayenne. And that's okay (in my humble opinion).
By BERNARD PAULSEN, San Buenaventura, Calif on Saturday, June 22, 2013 - 10:42 pm:
while your point is valid, it's not unconditional. Let's use an extreme example and say a guy like Bill Gates buys up all of the Picasso's he can find and uses them to make pillow cases out of them. He bought them, paid for them with his own money, owns them, so he can do with them as he pleases, right?
I would think otherwise. When it comes to an object that deserves preservation for future generations to enjoy, whether it's a piece of art, a building, or an automobile, it's an (ethical) crime to destroy it, convert it, transform it, misuse it. There have been cases where people where covering their eyes and scream in emotional pain, namely when an oil sheik purchased an original 300SL Gullwing and turned it into a resto mod.
It's a long ways from a Gullwing to a Model T, but I would argue it's "wrong" to cut up a beautifully preserved original car and turn it into a hot rod. So far it's legal to do that, but I still don't think it's "right."
Excellent. Very well put by Bob (still our best writer) and Bernard. As one who leans toward originality but is willing to make some modifications when I find them expedient, I greatly admire and appreciate guys like Bruce and Hap and many others who have put great effort into finding "how Henry did it", and made that information widely available. Also very much appreciated are the ones who ardently pursue and advocate originality in their own and other vehicles. Though I'm willing to stray from the original path sometimes, I want to be aware that that's what I'm doing so I can evaluate whether I really want to do it. Do I want to paint my engine with Rustoleum, or do I want to apply a "Gilsonite wash" that will quickly go south? I choose to go modern. Do I use castle nuts and cotter pins on my oil pan, or do I use lock nuts? I choose to go original. In each case I appreciate having the opportunity to make an informed decision taking into consideration the great store of information, experience, and even opinion, that we have here. If the information, experience, and opinion are sometimes stated dogmatically or with insufficient tact, I can live with that. Even on those unfortunate occasions when a thread veers into a death spiral of political twaddle, I remind myself that intelligent people can believe the most preposterous things, and resist the temptation to leap into the dog pile. I can simply pass it by and move on to something worthwhile. Happily, there is a great deal on this forum, including some of the OT posts, that falls under the Worthwhile heading.
I tried to keep mine as original as possible. Even down to the mouse eaten interior. It might be a bit rough but it is the way Henry had it made. Made a compromise and installed a brake light and that will be it. My Next T might I experiment with a few new ideas to see how it goes.
As far as making a Hot rod, street rod or rat rod, there is enough junk and miscellaneous pieces/parts out there to create something along with an entire industry of parts specifically made to make one. I do not see anything wrong with hot rods, just don't take a 80+ year survivor and cut it up to make a hot rod.
"The modifications on MY car make it safer, more reliable and improve it’s appearance. The modifications on YOUR car are unnecessary, troublesome, gaudy and ruin the whole character of the Model T!"
If your Model T doesn't have era correct finish/paint, you would be a hypocrite to criticize the modifications on mine.
A comment was made that "we have to draw the line somewhere" which I disagree with... you can draw your line where you want for the vehicles in your garage, and I can draw mine where I want for mine, but "we" don't have to all agree on where that line is.
We all enjoy the same hobby, but for different reasons, and in different ways.
If you're enjoying yourself in this hobby, you're doing it right, no matter how "wrong" someone else might think you are.
Everyone has to decide where he will draw the line between originality and improvements. And everyone has the right (and responsibility) to make that decision for his own car. There are some here on the Forum who forget that part (or don't agree with it) and insist upon demonstrating their own biases repeatedly, which sometimes gets to be annoying. But any time you put a hundred or more people together, there WILL be differing opinions.
I think that pretty much all of us here appreciate and respect the Model T's place in history, or we wouldn't keep messing with these antiquated machines. How we handle our own cars depends upon many factors, and as a result, no two of our cars are exactly alike today.
The Model T was the most accessorized car in the world when it was new and some folks continue that line of thought/action today, figuring that if Henry had had access to parts we now have available, he would have used them. Others accessorize only with "period-correct" aftermarket parts, and some shun accessories at all costs. Most of us use aluminum pistons when we rebuild engines, even though Henry didn't make them that way. And few of us use cotton transmission bands any more. There is the school of thought that true originality can be "bent" a little bit if no one can see the improved parts.
Most of us like to drive our cars, so we do make some changes to facilitate that. The two-speed transmission and marginal brakes our cars came with are two areas which definitely can be improved upon, making them more pleasurable and safer to drive, so those areas are often improved for "driver" cars. And if you have a "show" car and want to have it judged at an MTFCI national tour, they make exceptions for "safety" improvements such as better brakes and stop lights.
I think we all cringe when faced with a nice Model T body put on a hot rod chassis, but it doesn't bother me nearly as much if someone later could remove that body and put it on a restored T chassis. No harm, no foul. But chopping the top on a Coupe or Sedan is over the edge, I'm sure all of us here agree. However, that guy has the legal right to do whatever he wants with his piece of tin, if not the ethical right, as Bernard mentioned. Where are the "ethical police" when you need them?
So, with a hundred or more of us gathered around here, in a public setting, we should remember that what we believe to be right, however vehemently, is still only our own personal point of view. And it is no more important, or valid, than anyone else's. We all know we are entitled to our own opinions; the difficult part is remembering that everyone else is as well.
I should have added to the above, "What you think of me, or my car, is none of my business, so don't bother telling me."
TOE-MATO TOE-MOTO, It's still a vegetable, or is it a fruit?
I think that's the problem in a nutshell Ralph. This is a public opinion forum. I don't expect anyone here to agree with me 100%. If you expect no one here to ever disagree with what you say you are going to be disappointed.
It's perfectly OK to disagree or state that you have a different opinion. It's not OK to attack a person's character.
It's 80 plus years old and frankly it wasn't the best out there in the day. It was just so darn affordable so it multiplied wildly. Think a minute: a great idea will be duplicated by other manufacturers if they can get around patents. No body tried for a low tension mag or a 2 speed foot controlled trans + a number of other T'isms because frankly they didn't thing they were good ideas. Just makes a T more a T. Aux brakes and stop/turn lights can be seen but I feel are necessary. Improved/new style seals and other modern options can't be seen but just make sense. Take the new T's at the Village. They appear to try any thing that will keep the cars going. Seems to work for them. The bottom line is you're free to go straight orig or you can mess around a bit too. Both OK here.
I am passionate about Model T's and take pride in keeping them original as possible, at least from an operational standpoint. I don't mean I won't ever repaint one, or have a new top, or new upholstery. Just that if I do, it will still be the same color and of a similar material to what was used originally. Mechanically, I prefer the original transmission, the original ignition system, and the original lack of pumps. It is a matter of pride to me to make them operate successfully. At car shows, I generally have a crowd gathered around as I tell them about these things and how they work. I would find a lot more joy in explaining how thermosyphon works than telling someone "Oh that? That's the water pump." I remove the coil box cover for the sole sake of generating questions about what that is and explaining that it is not the battery. I point out that the rims are not demountable and you would have to repair the tube right there on the side of the road. I lay out various tools including my oil check tool to show people how you had to check the oil. Lot's more fun than explaining why there is a plastic dipstick handle under the hood with a yellow oil can on it. I keep my oil lamps oil burning and magneto horn and headlights operating on magneto. Show that off at cars shows too. People find it fascinating (And so do I).
I don't a have a problem with flat tube radiators, Rocky Mountain brakes (although I don't have them, yet), or, despite rumors, non original air in the tires.
I feel a Model T should be 'experienced', not just driven. And to whoever it was that made the comment last week to the effect that people who think they need the true Model T 'experience' should stay off of modern roads, well......we drive the dirt roads pretty regularly around here and derive a lot of pleasure from it.
Following up on my previous comment where I stated that it's a conditional issue, I would think that somebody who wants to have a nice and restored car will not start off with one-in-a-ten-thousand original paint car. Once the original paint is gone, all bids are off and there's nothing to preserve anymore.
The point I'm trying to make it simple: you are free to do whatever you want with your property, as long as your actions do not will not cause the destruction of an irreplaceable artifact. Sadly, I have sold original paint cars, remarkable survivors that escaped all well-meaning yet ill-fated attempts of restoration for decades, and the new owner started out in taking the car apart and have it completely restored so that the nice original looked like a replica afterward. In this regard -- preservation -- the Brits are way ahead of us, but we slowly seem to be "getting it." Just look at John Mozart's 1911 Cole, and you'd probably agree that restoring that car should carry the death penalty for crimes against humanity. Luckily, he's among the ones who understand the value of an original car.
Yet, reversible upgrades that can be undone do not do harm. My main point is to preserve factory original paint, upholstery, and finishes as well as hardware. This doesn't matter much on that '69 Camaro with the NOM GM crate engine, but I personally feel it does matter on a car that's about a century old, even a Model T.
Interesting point about a '69 Camaro. I would posit that there might be fewer first generation Camaro survivors than survivor Model T's right now. If so, why would they be less deserving than our cars? Shouldn't history be preserved, even if it's not our own preference? Similar to my comment in the Buffalo nickel thread, a coin guy would hate to hear that I would consider dishing a dated nickel to use as an auto part.
So we don't care about muscle cars, and hot rod guys don't care about original T's and A's. Are we that much different?
Regarding the reference made to "drawing the line" Henry drew it when the car rolled off the assembly.
How far we choose to deviate from that line is of course our personal business.
Pretending that distance from the line is irrelevant regarding the definition of a model T is naive.
As an interesting original aside -for my sins I also have a 1967 Sunbeam Alpine Roadster in my stable I have tried to keep this pretty original -some times to the point of stupidity (when the cowl rusted out because the original drainage system for the scuttle wells is inefficent I had it rebuilt to original -even though it is completely invisable) However one club night we had a gentleman speak who had worked on the original Sunbeam production line in England . We ended up having a (vigorous) discussion regards the correct fasteners to use on the car - He ended up roaring with laughter -he said the correct fasteners changed weekly depending on what the company could source cheapest.!!!
While the correct Factory specs for most years of T are pretty well known - In this country I would argue that as RHD export cars ex Canada in kit form and assembled in New Zealand no one can be sure exactly how they looked originally.
"Original" is such a loaded word, and is applied in so many ways, that it has lost much of it's value.
There are NO completely "original" condition Model T's, and haven't been since the last one rolled off the assembly line in 1927. Even if you have a car that has not been touched, but stored in a garage since the day it left the factory, the car has now aged to the point where it can never be "original" in the sense that it looks like it did when built. Even if you had unlimited funds, you still couldn't duplicate it exactly. Exact paints are no longer available. Exact tires are no longer made. Any metal that is stripped and re-painted is no longer exactly the same as when it was freshly stamped, and painted at the factory. And no one seems to be certain on so many "original" facts, such as blue vs black, etc that the entire exercise is futile.
Anyone who gets a 100 year old car back in operation and enjoys it deserves respect and support. Not everyone has unlimited funds, and I am just as impressed with a car that was put back on the road for minimal cost and parts from several different model years as one which a billionaire has paid someone else huge amounts of money to restore, and then ships it around the country to "shows" so they can collect the applause and awards.
It's a hobby! Enjoy it any way you want. If you can't say something nice about someone's Model T, then ..... Well you know how that goes!
David brings up an interesting point. There are a few (Or more) details that no one today knows the answer to. Take engine paint, for instance. Seems to be an on-going debate about whether they were painted and if so, what color. And no one really knows for sure. Lot's of people would like to know for sure, but the info seems to be lost to time. So.....how many more things like that would be lost to time, if it were not for the purists who strive to preserve this history and do proper restorations down to the last detail? And then there are those who want make fun of them and say they have NOS air in the tires.
I have a hard time understanding why if I owned the MONA LISA that it would be OK for me to put some cool LED's where her eyes are. I could do it with only two very small holes. Then I could make her wink to all that passed by her picture in the art museum.
I don't see myself as the owner of any of my cars. Perhaps I am stupid but I see myself as the current care giver for them. It is my job to pass them along in the same or better condition as I found them. I am allowed to have a lot of fun with them so long as I don't violate my prime directive. Sometimes that makes for some tough decisions. To leave something bare metal to watch it rust deviates from the prime directive so I paint it. I try to paint it perhaps a bare metal color but preservation is my goal and it wins out over authenticity rarely but finally it is in fact more important and I can note for posterity what was original. Preservation can also involve making the thing stop. Since I make a VR I could be found guilty of violating the prime directive but I have found literally hundreds of destroyed generators and they all have failed the same way with their solder tossed out. I don't modify any original part to make my VR and it is a "bolt on" but will only work with a totally correctly original generator. It has circuitry in it that forces it to give up its life to save the generator that it is riding on and that circuitry works very well and has proven itself. You can remove the VR at anytime and put your old cutout back on and the car will return to stock but the generator will then be at risk and for sure the old mechanical cutout will eventually kill that generator - not IF but WHEN. I like to think that my VR has saved at least a thousand generators from burning up. Not a single product that I make requires a hole be drilled in the T nor does anything require any modification of the T that cannot be completely undone with only a wrench or screwdriver. I simply have no interest in making things that require the T to be permanently altered and I use Ford's drawing and his engineering as my first choice. I love research more than anything and trying to figure out what Henry did on a particular car to solve a perplexing problem is the most fun of all. I have no interest in driving my T very fast and I really worry that those who do drive their T's fast will have serious accidents. I fear for their safety but I also fear that one serious accident caused by a T driven at high speed will be just what some politician will need to make himself famous by championing some new law saying "These antique cars don't belong on the highway - they belong in museums..."
I used to race small block Chevy (1956 240 HP optioned) with my brother Pat and I loved those years but we raced at the drag strip and I not so sure that I had any reverence for history of the auto back then. I am no shining example but I never used a cutting torch on anything. I used to shoot birds with a BB gun when I was a boy but realize now that it was not such a great thing and so I now have bird feeders around my house and keep them full as my act of contrition. My hummingbird feeder is the center of action and those little guys can really move. Have fun in the hobby - we all have personalities - we are all different. We can look for how we are alike or we can look for how we are different. We generally find what we are looking for.
Well said, John !
Hal and John, I like your answers. Personally, I don't like modified T's. Yes my car has new, modern paint but, it is black and my outer demountable rims are silver, not zinc plated but a very specific paint and that's good enough for me. To me, a cutout is still a "voltage regulator" so, I see nothing wrong with having the modern and totally correct looking voltage regulator that you can buy today. There is no way to replace the exact original capacitors in your coils but, nobody is going to see the modern capacitors you buried in the tar of your coils. I did install an Anderson timer and I hang my head in shame every time I look at it. I will be changing back to a roller timer soon. My point is, I do what I can to make my heavily driven T as correct looking as I can while still being functional. I despise things such as non factory colours, childish toys such as exhaust whistles and other crap that makes our cars look like clown transportation. These things are often done by people who are bored and have run out of things to do. Do the hobby a favour, sell your car and buy the hot rod you really want. I don't like turn signals. I am considering a brake light but, just can't bring myself to do it. As for trucks and period correct speedsters, I find it hard to argue against them because Ford sold the "Chassis" and lots of them. These vehicles had to become "something". Would even the most devout purist expect chassis owners to sit on the gas tank and drive around a bare chassis? I think not. Therefore, I would have to logically support any period correct vehicle that was built from a chassis. This is where originality becomes a gray area.
"Do the hobby a favour, sell your car and buy the hot rod you really want."
Butt out. . . . That's answering a command with a command.
No Model T will ever be a Mona Lisa, and those really rare models and credible original survivors are valuable enough that they will be be preserved or restored. Most of the rest are more common today than Corvairs, and barely more deserving of worship.
You will do what you want with yours.
Here's my clown car, pieced together (albeit not by me) over many years with parts he could find/afford. I like it, i drive it, if it doesnt preserve history to your satisfaction, i'll still be here driving it every chance i get with its water pump, anderson timer, accessory horn and non factory colors
Sorry Ricks. That part of my post was way over the top. Gotta learn not to drink and post.
It may be the generational differences that cause me to see it differently, but in my opinion, as one of the young guys into Model Ts, the hobby needs to be FUN in order for it to survive.
Criticism or ridicule of anyone who modifies their car to make it more enjoyable for their own tastes or purposes is only going to turn away the people who are needed to keep this hobby alive.
I personally would make every effort to keep the early pre-assembly-line cars as original as possible, but the later cars exist in great enough numbers that making it "yours" is OK to me, and kind of fun to look at.
I like cars that look original or period correct... I'm not a fan of most aftermarket accessories, but I do like vintage speed equipment (and modern speed equipment if it can be hidden). I also like anything that makes the car easier to maintain without having to rely on other
(not sure how the last part got cut off there)
I also like anything that makes the car easier to maintain without having to rely on other people to help keep it running well. Being able to fix things myself is important to me, and some of the unique things about a Model T require specialized tools and knowledge that I do not possess.
I don't see what difference there should be between pre assembly line cars and the ones that came later. Some people such as myself, would much rather have a black era car than a brass one. I find the big assembly line push at Highland Park and The Rouge to be some of the most interesting parts of Ford history. I also think they look better. I'm not saying that tan coloured runabout pictured above doesn't look good. It does. I just don't think it represents what it's supposed to be. I think black is very important on most years of the T.
"I just don't think it represents what it's supposed to be."
Who's to say what it's "supposed to be"? To Ron, it's supposed to be fun and it appears that it is. Each of us finds our own particular way to enjoy these cars. For some, it's total correctness and the ability to achieve it through in-depth research and dogged pursuit of some very elusive parts. To others, it's just driving along a nice smooth road, with no particular agenda in mind, on a nice cool day. To still others, it's seeing the old Ford sitting out back, returning to the earth as it slowly rusts away but, remembering good times when dad used to use it to drive the family to church on Sunday.
There's no "right" or "wrong" here guys. Whenever I see a T that has "this" or "that" done to it, that I would never want on my car, I can still imagine how good it must make the owner feel to have his car that way. Why would we want to take that away from anyone?
I don't mean this to be a slur or an insult to any one but I'm not the type to drive a rust bucket just to preserve a few spots of original paint here and there. That's just me. You will get an argument when I'm told "that's the way it should look". Why? If you can't afford to or just don't want a decent paint job it's your business but most were black so paint is OK. By the way with my limited painting abilities the T is the ONLY car I'd try to paint and expect it to come out OK.
what "it's supposed to be" you find out by research and in a book titled Ford's Model T, The car that changed the World. In it you'll find that Ford Model Ts from 1915 to 1925 supposed to be black. In fact, you can ask a retarded monkey, somebody who knows as much about Model Ts as a banana, what comes into his mind when hearing Model T, and he most likely will utter "any color as long as it's black." This is truly unique to the Model T Ford, and it's what defines it more than any other feature. It's the essence of Model T-ness.
That doesn't matter that somebody doesn't have the right to paint his Model T any color he wants to, lower it 12 inches, put chrome bits on it, install a Chevy engine and automatic trans, and even put a sticker on the back reading Fords are for Fags, but on the same token, people who appreciate Ford Model Ts for what they are and for their place in automotive and transportation history, have the right to utter their displeasure with such practice.
This is a free country, at least we like to think of it that way, and this includes the freedom of expression. As I stated before, something being legal doesn't make it right. The only question is where to draw the line between personal expression and disservice to the essence of the machine, and that's where we disagree.
Again...the more you modify a T the farther away you get from Henry's line.
That is a fact.
Some like staying close, some get joy out of the distance.
The line is still in the same place.
Peoples opinions on originality always amuses me, its a subject they take very seriously. It has to be black because it originally was, but it can have some period correct accessories or speed parts or electronics (as long as its not an e-timer apparently) unless i find them inappropriate in which case you shouldnt put them on your car. Its your car, do as you please. The above runabout perfectly represents what its supposed to be, a car that was put together from pieces of many and that gets used and enjoyed.
I also have a '20 centerdoor thats unrestored, has the original interior and is just the right shade of dull rusty black with bad touch up paint in places. I drive that car just how it is and some people love it and some hate it. Some day i will probably restore it and paint it black or yellow or orange, because its mine ;)
After posting several times on the preservation of my 16 coupelet and getting many responses to keep it "original", the bug has bitten me. I've been on a "original quest" to find correct year parts for my 16. They may have not been on the car but are year (period) correct.
Now I just need to find some 1916 air for the tires and I'll be set.
I might be a snob - OK I am a snob - because I have an almost original T.
In my opinion the T's at Greenfield Village are replicas made from today's parts - not authentic T's.
BUT - I can imagine someone riding in a Greenfield replica, getting the affliction, and turning a pile of rust that some farmer had in his field into a usable T.
Would I like to have a replica T? -- yep
Would I like to have a replica 427 Shelby Cobra? yep
It is all OK as long as the person is honest about what they have
Honest about what they have........ I can't help but think of the local guy here who entered his Shay Roadster in a car show as a 1929 model. It kills me what some people will do for a plastic trophy. Last show I went to, I told the judges not to bother and got hung up talking with someone and didn't even walk up to the stage and see if they listened. Sorry for the thread drift.
I love my T's. My 1927 Touring has non-original paint color and serves in weddings regularly.
My 26 Tudor is so close to original (paint and upholstery) that I do not want to change a thing (even though the drive train is fresh and it has a distributor).
I am building a "parts car" 1915 P/U that I plan on doing any damned thing I want to with it because it is not anywhere nearly original. This is the only car of 4 that will not have a Ruckstell. (Also have a 1923 Runabout parts car) Does a Ruckstell make it non-original?
They are mine and I have a mixed bag of cars. Personally, I like "originals" and love my Tudor the most but non T people love the bright red shiny Touring.
Enjoy the hobby as do we all so let each enjoy his or her personal preferences. Bashing me for putting an air horn on my 1915 or a search light on my 1927 makes no sense to me any more than laughing at me for sitting on mouse eaten upholstery.
Is it not true that some large companies could order model T's any color that they wanted???
"Is it not true that some large companies could order model T's any color that they wanted???"
Not sure about that but I can tell you that "Any colour as long as its Black" was largely a USA thing. Certainly Down under in Australia and New Zealand they where many other colours other than black available originally for all years -Karl
Back when I was writing for an historical aviation publication, I learned that authenticity comes in more than one flavor. One of the most faithful examples thereof was the F6F Hellcat that was fished out of a lake back in the mid 1980s and, without changing a thing, put on static display. A similar story concerns this P-40 Kittyhawk, which was recently discovered in the Egyptian desert—untouched since it force-landed in 1942.
Will it be displayed as is and thus retain its absolute originality, or will it be lovingly restored so it can fly again in fulfillment of the design's original intent? Which is better?
Now, if you're going to fly a seriously aged warbird, the FAA is going to have a whole lot to say about how you're allowed to restore the thing and the limits of its operation. For instance, the FAA doesn't like the original Curtiss Electric prop on the P-47 Thunderbolt, so most airworthy examples use the more acceptable Hamilton Standard Hydromatic. The two props don't look at all alike.
Maybe you've heard of "Fifi," the world's only flying B-29 Superfortress.
Well, the Superfort's original engine design was downright awful, and Fifi suffered a number of engine failures and near-failures over the the course of decades until mega-bucks were finally spent on replacing the original Wright R-3350-57AM engines with a brand new, never-existed-before type that combined components of the R-3350-95W and R-3350-26WD. Oh, and the turbo-superchargers? Long gone. See, the question becomes one of whether you want to operate it or embalm it for static display.
We in the historical automobile world have it comparatively easy. The authorities are very lenient with us regarding safety equipment like windshield wipers, seat-belts, brakes—or even the overall safety of the basic design. With the Model T, as with all other Brass-Era cars; when you drive it, you're really taking your life into your hands. You're almost as vulnerable as a motorcyclist, but without the biker's ability to zip out of the path of danger with far superior acceleration, maneuverability and braking. Our sense of self-preservation usually leads us to install brake lights, turn signals, RM brakes, etc., and all of that does detract from historical originality, but the question again arises: Do you want to safely drive it or just display it?
Back to my original point, that of absolute authenticity being available in more than one flavor: Your absolutely original barn-find looks nothing like it did when it left the factory, so on that basis, one could debate its originality. Then there are the pristine, AACA-recognized prize-winners. When they compete, the owners pick pebblettes and bits of grass out of the tire treads and the ones that go home with the six foot tall trophies are absolutely, positively "correct" and virtually factory fresh. Such a pity these poor, sad trailer queens never get to go out and play in the street with the other antique cars! But hey, somebody has to break the old records, raise the bar and set the standard. These cars, as perfectly stock and well documented as they are, have ceased to be automobiles and have instead become works of sculpture. Or, if you're not of a romantic bent, they're nothing more than a three-dimensional reference.
So, you can pick your favorite flavor. Me, I like the awesome, ground-shaking thunder of the Commemorative Air Force and the sooty, screeching steam power of the Strasburg Railroad. And I was absolutely thrilled when The Constitution stopped being a static display tethered to the dock at Boston Harbor and hit the waves again under the power of her own sails. Man, that's what "Old Ironsides" was born to do! But hey, if this 1925 Bugatti Brescia Type 22 Roadster that spent seventy years in a Swiss lake (and was auctioned off for over $370,000) happens to be your favorite flavor of authenticity, ain't nuthin' wrong with that, either.
Except you're nuts.
"...This is a free country, at least we like to think of it that way, and this includes the freedom of expression."
I believe that's what I was doing! Or, is it only o.k. when YOU have an opinion to express?
Since you're wrapping your views in American freedom, here's another example, what my car is "supposed to be" is up to ME and not some G.D. book and DEFINITELY NOT YOU!
If any of you have a hankerin' to restore a B-29, I saw pix at Old Bold Pilots this morning of two at Carl Scholl's place in Ocotillo Wells. He has a bunch of A-20, B-25 and B-26, etc., major parts, too.
you are free to do with our car(s) as you please. Life is short, so enjoy whatever makes you happy!
Fair enough Bernard. You be happy too.
When will it be learned - Ain't nobody gonna change anybody's mind on this topic?
Perhaps Jay Leno can?
Listen to the LAST sentence he utters!
I never thought the intention of this thread was to try to change anyone's mind, only to get a feel for the various opinions. I think it helps some to understand WHY others feel the way they do. Of course, then, there are others who couldn't care less why someone feels the way they do. You're wrong and that's all there is to it.