I would like to introduce myself. My name is Ivan, and I recently bought 2 model T's. The 1st is a 1927 roadster pickup, and the other is a 26 roadster car with a home made body that will be replaced. I have been checking out the forum for a few months and find all you guys very considerate and informative. I have really learned a lot from everyone. My question is, I live about an hour's drive from Hershey, and plan on going there in October. I want an early 20's roadster body for the 26 car. Are these commonly found there, and how is the pricing usually? I also own 5 Mustangs of various years and go to Ford Carlisle for parts for them. Is the Hershey show similar to what I find at Carlisle, with the difference being Model T, and antique parts. Thanks, and it's great to be involved with these cars.
Let me be the first to say welcome to the affliction. I don't know how available bodies are, or what they're likely to cost, but my impression of the two meets from what I've read is that Hershey is much bigger. I guess I need to go there and find out for myself.
Welcome to the world of Ts.
I'm in Lewisburg PA; that's in Union County, about 45 minutes west of you. There are several antique car guys here and eight or so operational Ts.
In answer: Hershey is the biggest antique car meet in the world; it is mind-boggling with thousands - maybe even ten thousand flea market vendors. Most years there are a lot of T parts and T "project" cars. You're more likely to find a roadster body for sale there than anyplace else. I have no idea as to pricing, but bring your walking shoes: even if you walk up and down the rows really fast, you'll need two solid days to get through the whole flea market.
Something to consider: there may be some issues trying to bolt an early '20s body to a '26 running gear. Doable I'm sure, but you should get some of the guys here to weigh in on that.
Private message me if you need any help or want to talk Ts with any of us over on this side of the Susquehanna.
Rick, currently the car has an early 20's front end, meaning the hood and radiator are from an older car than a 26-27. Also the fenders, running boards, and splash aprons are also from a pre 26 car. It has the coil box under the hood, gas tank under the seat, and pedals from a newer T. I guess after all these years it could be any combination of parts and cars. It is titled as a 26 though.
I forgot to add, I am really excited about Hershey now that I know this. Never thought I would like to see the summer go by, but it can't get here soon enough.
George n L.A.
Ivan: You never know what will show up at any swap meet. Hershey is so big lots of stuff comes there. Most often you see whole cars, easier to move. If I do not sell it before then, I will have a 24 Roadster there. Look me up, I am in the Chocolate South Field. Dan
Welcome Ivan from a fellow PA T'er. I'm on the other side of the Susquehana closer to Philadelphia. Hershey will blow your mind. The old saying "If you can't find it at Hershey, You're going to have to make it yourself," is pretty accurate. We go every year and always manage to find something we can't live without or didn't know we needed.
Ivan, welcome to the hobby , you will find a wealth of information from all of the T guys here. I live in the Lebanon area where they make all of the good bologna, about 15 minutes from Hershey.
If you want to use an earlier body, you will have to find a frame made in '25 or earlier.
Good luck at Hershey. The parts you need are probably there but finding them is another story.
They have somewhat of a listing of what venders have and where they are, but it is not real helpful.
I was at the last Hershey
Thanks for the great reception from everybody.
I have a question for Larry Smith. What is different about an improved car frame that won't allow me to use an older body? Is it completely different, or are the mounting locations different. I have a lot to learn here.
Ivan, check out a space at Carlisle first. Go up over the Hill and down the other side by the turnpike. The guy has many spaces full of bodies and parts he brings in from out west. I'm talking about Fall Carlisle.
You get a good look at the stuff and a chance to buy a week before Hershey, where he sets up on the chocolate field. I've found that if you really like something, buy it there because it will probably be gone before he sets up the following week at Hershey.
At Hershey, the Red Field is probably the the best for T parts,but there is no telling what or where you will find a treasure. The best I ever did was a beautiful 15 slant top coil box for $15.from a guy selling license plates. To my surprise, i found 4 brass top coils inside when I opened it up. I also have been taken more than a few times, and why I say I have a 15 T, and enough parts to build three more.
The early bodies were all built on a wooden framework, fastened to the chassis frame with 6 bolts and two firewall brackets. The 26/27 improved bodies (except for the fordor) had a steel subframe and were fastened to the chassis with 8 bolts and (mostly) two firewall brackets - in different locations than on earlier chassis. It takes some work to make an earlier body fit on a 26/27 frame, but it's doable. The wooden body sills will have to be drilled for the new body bracket locations. To make an improved body fit on an earlier chassis you'll have to drill out the rivets for the body brackets, drill new holes in the frame and find a couple of extra brackets to fasten on the frame.
Here's a drawing showing a 1909-13 frame, but the main dimensions is the same up through 1925: http://www.funprojects.com/pdf/FPIframe.pdf
Here's a drawing showing the 1926/27 frame: http://www.wescottsauto.com/WebCatalog/Tech/FrameDiagram1926-27.pdf
There are restoreable 26/27 bodies out there for reasonable prices if you keep looking for a while.. Earlier bodies found today will most likely need all or most of the wood replaced. If you're both into wood working and metal work you can have fun fixing up an early body though
Get there early and buy a "program" (or whatever they call the book they sell for about $5.00.) When vendors register for a space, they select a code number from a list that corresponds to the preponderance of parts they have for sale. If you sit down the night before and study the program, you can find those with mostly "MODEL T" and locate them on the map. Decide where you're entering, and, you can then plan your routing to hit the most the quickest. That seemed to work best for me looking for specific items. After I had hit the spots I had identified, I could spend the rest of the time meandering around looking for the "T deals" mixed in with non-T items.