I see lots of pictures and ads for Model T Speedsters. How would you define a "Speedster"? Were any of them produced by Ford? Were they considered early hot rods? Thanks
Early hot rods. They were not produced by Ford. Purely modifieds. However, there were some aftermarket bodies factory produced by others.
Snips and snails, and puppy dogs tails
That's what Speedsters are made of!
Thanks for the reply. That's pretty much what I figured. By the way, Jay, I sure do enjoy all the pictures you post. I know that takes a lot of time but it' appreciated. Thanks
Ford did in fact build several "speedsters". I sometimes postulate that the first model T speedsters were the pre-T experimental chassis that were driven around Detroit in 1908. Two special cars were built by the usual assembly crew during the spring of 1909 to be run in the New York to Seattle endurance race in June of 1909. These two cars are heavily documented, and overly duplicated.
Two more cars were built by the Ford factory in about 1910 or '11. One had a basically modified T engine. The other had a special-built 410 CID block totally custom engine. These two cars are not very well documented and look enough alike that there is often confusion about which car is in some photographs. Both of these cars were run quite a bit during the early brass T years. I have read some speculation that they could have been one car with different engines, but I do not think so. Maybe Rob H could enlighten me a bit more on this. I think I have seen one photo of both cars on the ice.
In addition to these factory cars, many dealers started building their own versions around 1910 to demonstrate the model T durability in local hill climbs and other events. Some would consider these to also have been "Ford" built.
By that time, individuals had begun building speedsters (as good a catch-all term as any) of their own. A hobby that has continued to this day.
Drive carefully, and enjoy the New Year! W2
And yes, I too wish to thank Jay for all the wonderful Posting he has done this past year!
Thank you Jay.
speedsters were really the first access to speed for the common man. The thought was, make em light and give them some more HP's and i can outrun my buddy's coupe! Dealers also made them to race at fairs and such with their name plastered all over them of course. Keep in mind that the power to weight ratio of a stock touring car is about as equal as a 1914 Caddy with a 366ci engine! so when you take off the body, perhaps make one that is streamlined and then add HP the rascals they could really go for a car of the day! especially for the coin that was in them!