What do you think of the rules for the Santa Clara Valley Speedster Endurance Run? I was looking at their web link and found the speedster build guidelines. I think they are right on the mark!
You can see the rules at the club website. The URL is http://www.scvmtfc.org/
I think the rules are well thought out. It is their club and they are working to maintain "purity" of the era. Good for them. My speedster will never qualify for their events as I belong to a group that is more "flexible" and suits my choices better and that's OK to as far as I'm concerned.
It's their event and it's their right to make the rules
I do feel their brake rules are too restrictive. I have drum internally expanding cable operated front brakes but they never made in the era and I freely admit it. They would appear to be prohibited
There is a certain vision of what is wanted and the rules are trying to spell out that vision.
To that end, the rules seem pretty reasonable and fair to me. I guess the question I would have is, is this the best vision of an era speedster?
Having had just one too many scares when some other vehicle assumes I can stop quickly, I want 4 wheel brakes!!
Rear wheel only brakes on a speedster with very little weight on the rear axle can be a "un-comfortable" experience!!!
The rules certainly allow modifications that permit the participants to be capable of going fast
No further comment
You can do what you want with your car . Just dont go on the run. I like the rules but some of my cars wont make the rules . I dont want to run in in Pinto.
I can't see that you can't have 4 wheel brakes, it just says brakes must be period correct off any make of car and there was 4 wheel brake kits available for T's in the 1920's.
See "Model T Ford in Speed and Sport" page 174 for a picture of front wheel cable operated internal expanding front brakes "in the day", on a Green Engineering Model T based race car.
Here are pictures of my original accessory set based on 1926-27 Model T rear wheel brake components which I believe were intended for the street. Different than above.
I am sure that either type would be accepted by SCVMTFC if submitted with documentation.
Both McNearny and Big Four had accessory outside front wheel brakes for the Model T's back in the 20's.
And of course I am in the process of reproducing some exact copies of the McNerney front brake for T. With a bit of luck I will be testing them this year. Also I hope to be testing my new copy of the Ross steering box for the T
So yes Kerry i am capable of doing these things, many people can't.
So Tom some year I may attend and will be sure to be totally "legal"
I'm with Les regarding brakes, I started out with 2 wheel brakes on my speedster and found them poor at best. Far to little weight on the rear wheels to have them effective at speed. My 4 wheel hydraulic brakes won't fit the Santa Clara rules but then neither would my 60's vintage VW Bus steering box. I do't have the expertise that Les has regarding building brakes and have never seen era correct front brakes for a T for sale. I'll stick with what I have and drive with folks that don't mind some later style safety related modifications. That doesn't men I think the Santa Clara folks are wrong, they and I just have different priorities.
Les, the copies I made of a cross between the McNerney and the Big Four work really good and are getting better every time I drive it! I have not noticed any pull from either side but have not tried it with one wheel on the sand or gravel. Not much of those type roads around here and I try to keep it on the road anyways.
I really like them and best of all I made them mostly from stuff I had around the shop here!
I've never seen another T with period accessory front brakes.
This might be TOO period.
I couldn't resist.......
As a long-time member of the SCVMTFC, a long-time speedster fan, and a real antique car guy and member of the HCCA, I like the SCVMTFC's rules and approach to requiring the cars be more "era correct".
I also like to point out an often nearly forgotten part of their Endurance Run's history. The Run nearly died about twenty years ago. Without naming names or going into the inner political reasons, the rules were relaxed more and more from the early years of the Run. The attendance dropped from a high of well over sixty cars during the 1970s to a low of just over a dozen cars in the early 1990s. The quality of the cars got SO bad, that in years that I would go to look at the cars? I would leave thinking that there wasn't anything that had been worth the drive to go see it (about 30 miles from home). For several years, I did not have a running speedster. I had a couple of project piles, and what I saw on the Run was no incentive whatsoever to home to work on it.
I did have a young family through many of those years, and a speedster may not have been the best choice at the time. But I still wanted one, and had family to babysit if I were to go on a Run. There just were not good enough cars going to want to be a part of them. (Okay, I am a snob). I personally knew a dozen people that had very nice speedsters. Most of them were not going either through most of those years.
The 25th annual Endurance Run was a big special two day event! It had more cars on it than had been run in years. It was incredible. I took the other boat-tail I used to have (original 1919 Champion body). It was the only time I took that car on the Run, even though I toured it a lot for four years. After the 25th run? Attendance dropped off fast. Again, there would be nothing worth the drive to see the speedsters. I did go on a few Lowland Tours with the family. Those were the only cars I wanted to be with.
The SCVMTFC began talking about stopping the Run at their meetings. Several people pointed out that there were a lot of nice cars around that were not attending, and asked why. They got told why. Even I responded "I don't like the cars that are going". A good friend of mine had been the chief tech for a few years and got to the point that he just didn't want to do it anymore because he couldn't stand the poor workmanship that was pressured to be allowed (read that as bad welding where it didn't belong).
The club was ready to pull the plug. But a few people said "what if we could get these people we know to bring their cars?" "What if we tightened up the rules?"
Here I will mention a name, but still no details about the club politics. Ed Archer said that if the club would work together to tighten the rules, he could get enough people to bring their nice cars to be worth while. The club agreed to have Ed run the Run his way. The run became incredible again. Thank you Ed, very much!
Sadly, I have been a bit out-of-the-picture the past three years due to one last minute breakdown and some difficult family problems. Prior to that, the Run was still doing well in spite of gasoline prices and a "recession" cutting into attendance. Hopefully, I will be there this year! If there is a Run this year. I haven't received anything yet.
Personally, I tend to think that if they were to loosen the rules much? The same thing would happen as before. Maybe it is mostly a SF Bay Area thing. But I think that if the rules were relaxed too much, cars would get worse, and then the nicer cars would stop coming again. Remember, about a third of the cars currently attending the Run are owned and driven by HCCA members. And the major HCCA regional group in the Bay Area is still a strict pre-'16 group.
That is my view.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
This thread comes out every year, although it is a little early this year as I just got my entry form today. Rules are rules, you just play by them or don't play. As Wayne said, there have been some ups and downs on this run. My first run with my Dad in the early 90's had 60+ speedsters. My 1st run as a driver, with my wife as navigator, in 2001 there were only about 15 speedsters. I think Ed and company took over in 2004 and the car count jumped. I haven't made the last couple runs but now that I have the Mercury I will be there with bells on.
Saw these in Kanab
Erich, Thanks for posting the pics of my period copies of the McNearney / Big Four accessory brakes available back in the 20's for model T's.
There is another thread started by RDR on Front Brakes to the Forefront.
If you and I can both make it this year, we need to park the two cars together and get a photo of your Mercury and my not-a-Mercury!
I should add that a few speedsters have been allowed on the Run with four-wheel brakes during the strict rules. One set were cable operated mechanical nicely adapted to the T chassis. I only got a quick look at them during the Run, they looked a lot like 1926 Buick brakes. There are many good options out there. Several years ago, I drew up plans to make a four wheel braking system for a model T using all model T parts. The mechanical design followed front brakes used on some other car of the late '20s. They would be accepted. The six speedsters I have built and driven so far, I did not feel I needed the added braking. I do have a project pile that I would probably like to have the added brakes (if I ever start working on it).
Several systems, hydraulic and mechanical, internal and external, were offered for model Ts in 1925 through 1927. A good facsimile using mostly available parts would be acceptable (but check with the official chief techs to be certain about your specifics).
And do not forget! That if you add brakes to the front wheels, you do need to brace the front axle a bit more.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2