I was recently visiting a nearby town, and my friend took me to a guys garage with some Ts in it--nice ones, but the '24 roadster was in pieces and up for sale--but only the body & fenders, as his wife wanted a speedster and he was going to build a "1914 speedster' with the chassis.
Now this was a low mileage car--always apparently kept indoors, as there was almost NO rust on it--in fact, the back seat panel was still bare-metal and it looked like a new part! Apparently the wood sills had some rot in them, so he was replacing all the wood when they changed their mind as to what to do with the car.
This car made it 90 years intact, and now will be dismembered to build a speedster. BTW, it has non-demountable wood square felloe wheels. This guy is apparently the second owner; has had the car for years, and used to drive it around. The transmission parts look new-no wear in the cam surfaces, beautiful drums, etc.
Am I the only one who thinks this car's history should be respected? It's not like chassis are that hard to find to build a speedster--I even have one I'd trade him (he wasn't interested). If I weren't unemployed, I'd buy it (well, that and a lack of garage space!)just to put it back together!
No, you are not alone. My personal dislike are hot rodders. I have seen many modified cars done this way but I have also seen a 1912 that got the "T Bucket" treatment. It was criminal. I therefore do not attend any "Show & Shine","Hot Rodders Shows" or anything that supports modified vehicles against my hobby.
I am not knocking the hot rodders or speed demons. They do fabulous, detailed work an their cars are often the best presented and maintained. More often then not the cars are art on wheels, a beautiful sight to see. I do appreciate the work. But I do not share their "passion".
I have no grey in this issue. You either restore an original item or you are not part of my hobby. Plain and simple. I am a member of the Veteran Car Club of South Australia where we use, preserve, restore, maintain and use all veteran vehicles. Some happen to be a genuine racing cars or speedsters. I am not against genuine racing cars or speedsters that have a history, such as Noel Bullock amongst many others. They too need to be restored and preserved. These are also a valuable part of our motoring history.
I can understand taking parts to make a speedster but have a hard time with disassembling a complete vehicle to make one.
The comment that rings in my ears is -
It is only original once.
That is sad, Now someone complete the irony by buying it to turn their speedster into an original spec' car.
I hate it when someone brings to its end a good surviving car (restored or not) to build their own creation (whether speedster or hotrod). It shows a clear lack of understanding of what historic artifacts are all about.
It is far too easy to get a loose chassis, or put one together out of even more loose bits and pieces. I have "resurrected" six model T speedsters over the past 40 years. All of them came to me as a few original speedster parts along with some rejected T parts from other restorations. I acquired more and better parts and filled in the missing pieces. I duplicated original home-made body parts and matched them to original era home-made body parts to come up with some decent looking speedsters. I do all my work using era methods and comparable materials (often also era tools). Otherwise unrestorable (due to too much missing) cars become fairly correct representatives of many cars that used to be. They can again be seen, heard, and enjoyed.
And the best part is; NO surviving original car is hurt in this process in any way. And I enjoy my cars, stock, and speedster, guilt free.
Like David D, if I had the money and the space and the time, I would like to buy that runabout just to bring it back again. But I cannot be buying anything like that. Especially a two passenger non-HCCA.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
That is sad that someone would chop up an original example of the most famous car in the world that has survived this long only so they can make a silly toy out of it to satisfy some childish urge during their short and pathetic lives. There needs to be a registry of original cars and some hefty jail time for these kind of people. Heritage buildings are protected, why not cars?
There are A LOT of frames around to build a speedster, a so called barn yard cruiser or whatever.
Whats really bad is when some idiot, yes idiot takes an original car that's in nice original condition and totally screws it up to build his own whatever.
Unfortunately it happens and its sad when people with deep pockets do it just for fun.
Remember the nice original T Coupe that was built into that gosh awful so called street rod? It was on Ebay. Don't know if it sold or not.
That has to be the most ugly hot rod? ever built!
I prefer speedsters and I think its sad to turn a complete car into speedster! Its fun to take random old crap and fix it to get another car going.
This would be more of an issue if we were talking about a brass car, because they've gotten to be so darn rare (and I suppose the scrap-drives of WWII, which hunted down brass like a bloodhound hunts down raccoons, did more to create this scarcity than anything else). But this is a "steel" car, of which the population is greater, so the injury to the collective is somewhat diminished. Still, it doesn't do my heart any good to hear when this kind of thing happens to an intact historical vehicle.
The sign on the car says, "My duty now is to lick the Jap."
In the first sentence of this thread it states "in pieces" so the car has already been dismantled and a project waiting to happen. I've seen many projects start out with one vision/intention but turn into something else. This appears to be his something else. And its for his wife, so I believe that deserves some merit.
Kep, They do get rescued sometimes. Personally, I saved my 51 Merc Convertible after it had been turned into a hot rod (refer to previous thread: As seen on ebay- merc from movie Grease. To see the picture of it). I did the same thing with my 36 Ford Roadster. My next project is a 56 Ford Convertible, that was turned into a hot rod. I am bringing that car back to its former glory.
Unfortunately, the majority of supposed car people are ruing these cars left and right. I think part of the problem is with the education system . They don't teach a feel of history. They teach a lot of crap that kids will never use. Also, the chop them up TV shows don't help
My wife thinks these guys have to much time on their hands and run out of things to putter with, so they end up destroying the cars.
It's possible TV has added to this trend. I know I cringed when Coddington tore up that T Coupe years ago but a lot of guys didn't. It's a fact though that the big money guys that buy these resto-mods want AC & all the power options, ect. It's what we're used to in modern cars. (What, no AC? Are you KIDDING?) While I'm for restoration as opposed to speederfication maybe the unused stuff will get to someone that needs it. It's something anyway.
I personally believe the other half of the problem is the notion that restorations cost unlimited money and are hard to do. Hot Rod parts are easy and relatively cheap to get, and in a society that is very impatient many believe it is easier to go that route. Unfortunately more times than not the end result is a hacked car some poor shmuck thats in over his head
If everybody wanted exactly the same thing, this would be a pretty boring world.
I'd personally rather see someone build a speedster or hotrod that they drive and enjoy than let something sit for decades unfinished, in pieces, and bringing no joy to anybody.
The true crime here was taking the car apart. If it was in such great shape, it should have just received a tune up and a few other fixes like new tires to make it roadworthy, then enjoy the car as it is. Once it was apart the damage was done. At that point restoring it should have been the clear choice, but it's ultimately the owner's choice. I would like to see some pictures of the car though. If nothing else, it could still be documented in order to help others in restoring their cars.
I have most of the parts needed to make a speedster. Talk to the gent and see if a trade is possible . ( I'm not that far away.)
Even Bill Gates wouldn't have the money to rescue them all boys. His car to do with what he wants. KGB
You could probably offer to GIVE the owner all the parts to build a speedster, any he'd probably say "no thanks".
It's called the United States of America, and a lot of good men and women died to make sure you and I can do whatever we want with the stuff we own. Yea, we might feel sad about a good T going that way, but I would die to defend his right to do what he wants....
Hal, I'd be glad to. (I'll private message you) The gentleman that showed me the car I believe saw it before dismantling, and he thought the sill could have been easily repaired. The guy bought the wood kit from some supplier back east,and the wood didn't fit, so he sent the guy his wood, and got back new wood that did fit.
Yes Michael, you are, of course, right--still doesn't make sense historically, at least in my opinion. Glad to see I'm not alone. I have a 25 roadster that is no where near this nice and I'm trying to keep it "barn fresh" so this really hit home when I saw it.
Well, if they're making a "true" speedster out of it and NOT a "street rod" at least that's not so bad. Turning a Model T, or even a Model A for that matter, into a street rod is just down right sacreligious!
Although the car would not be "original" in that the parts would have not come from the same car that came out of the factory, many people would like a good body to put on their chassis. I'm sure he could find a buyer for the body and someone else would add another car to the road and he would have his speedster.
I have for the last 60 years wondered why the hot rod and speedster group often seem to want to butcher the best car they can find instead of finding a chassis with a deteriorated body to make their creation?
I have taken a pickup load of rusty parts and cleaned them up, painted, upholstered, rebuilt the chassis and put on new tires and top to restore a car. I wouldn't like it if someone took my car and sold the body to make a speedster out of the chassis.
I guess it takes all kinds to make the world go round.
It is incredibly sad. I simply don't get why someone would destroy a survivor like that.
I think speedsters should be made out of left over parts or what ever parts you have on hand. Never disassemble a complete car. Mine is made from years 1916 to 1927. Find a part here and a part there, I made mine for the fun of having a T to drive not show. If I do show it, I usually have a sign that says: non Ford body and guess the years. Just my 0.02.
I guess if you want to keep the whole car together I would never have had as much fun and joy of driving my T as I have had over the past few years. When I got my coupe it was a barn find with very bad wood. I did not have money or space to rebuild and restore the body so the body got sold. The huckster body was built in place on the frame and in fact I drove it as I was building it.
If it brings him joy to build a speedster and someone that needs a body gets their car on the road it's win win.
Mark, your situation is far different from this situation. This gentleman could likely afford to buy a restored speedster, although I think he likes working on the cars, so that would take some of his fun out of it. There are so few unaltered Ts around today, that I think one with a known history should be kept together--but that's just me. My '16 T will be authentic when done, but the fenders are from another car, windshield, hood, etc. too, front axle and rear axle came from who knows what (well, actually the front axle is NOS from the Portola Ford dealer's barn). Same is pretty true of my '16 Dodge Brothers touring, the body is being built out of at least 4 body remains (none a complete body, all field finds--even though I have and will have the original body number). This car, though is still all what the factory put together--except for the wood and the upholstery. Likely it soon won't be.
Someone who has a spare rebuilt chassis that would be acceptable to him, needs to offer to trade him for his car plus cash. Either that or he needs to sell his body and unused parts to someone with a suitable chassis to complete a car. I hope he makes a better "original speedster" than the one on Ebay for fifty grand.
Just a thought . . .
When ever I go to a car show these days I can’t help but admire the ingenuity
and craftsmanship of some of the customized or hotrod cars, but seeing some
nice original ‘oldies’ in the mix is always the best treat.
Perhaps refusing to show survivor or restored cars at ‘show and shines’ etc is
a missed opportunity to show the viewing public that there is a another choice.
Stay with your vehicle, avoid being negative, keep smiling and give them a show.
A few people chatting in lawn chairs behind their vehicle doesn’t do it either, as
I feel like I’m intruding. Get up and talk to the folks if they are admiring your car !
I do wood installs from kits or I usually make my own. I do really good work if I am checked out. I would be glad to install this person's wood or make new. I would also build his body for his speedster for the 25 roadster body. I am again in Branson, Mo. If someone could bring it by or put us in touch when you go to Chickasha, Ok. It could work out for everyone. I hate to see people get into things that stops them from completing their dream. It is THEIR car, their life, and their wants. Last time I noticed this IS the USA. We build what we want here. I have never ever tore up a good car to make a hot rod. I have bolted a good body on a few but did not do mods. If a car will restore then I restore unless the owner wants it otherwise then we talk and try to not hurt the car. You guys may NOT understand this as many of you on here get pretty wound up on what is original!!!!! I respect that!!! But also this is the REAL world and when a person OWNS something it is their property and we MUST respect that. I do not love what RAT RODDERS do to their cars but again some of them are pretty ingenious in their creations. I AM NOT A RAT RODDER! Again this trend ALL started because of US!!!!!!! Our prices on our old cars got to high for (really) any of us to be able to build up a serious car. It was OUR junk that started those guys. OUR PARTS cars at first! I was teaching these guys in Vocational education when this trend started in the 80's. They were taking stuff from our BACK rows and, God forbid, assembling it and driving it!!! Even the REAL hot rodders thought... UGH, How ugly!! And they were. BUT, they were out there having fun. Just like we were too in the 50's and 60's as young kids. I started with unraced jalopies which easily were turned into hot rods. I BUILD what the customer wants!!! I will NOT tear up a good body just to do a hot rod. Model T's were sold less bodies when NEW! People bought them and built delivery bodies, speedsters, and fire, telephone work vehicles all buildt on those new chassis. So don't get upset when seeing someone working on a car. I have had to grit my teeth and watch people in the Fla. shops take a repo 1910 touring body and hot rod it. That hurt because I wanted that body for my 1910 chassis I had in storage in pieces. I could not stop them from doing that. Offering to build them a hot rod-able body for the Hemming's purchased repo of an original. Same thing happened a FEW times with Ford T sedans and coupes. But thank goodness I am not into those T's. See there I just made some of you upset about those styles! I am NOT into Speedsters nor closed cars (to hard for me to work on). WOULD I DRIVE ONE and not tear it up? You BET! But don't ask me to do one cheaply for someone as I can't. I have 3 of those 22-25 roadster bodies in house at the present time but there is room for another good body here. I can build any speedster they want and in a short time. Please pass this on if you will or pm me. I have been on this forum for several years now. Wanting to be recognized as one of the gang. No I don't NEED that body and it would go on a correct car if I did get it for sure. But unlike you all I do build and have driven hot rods. I see nothing wrong with either if done in class and style. I did not like a Boyd Coddington car or a Barris original even though I have stood in both of their shops. I do not build cars for the great race every year either. They are no where near original!!! Again it is all a matter of (WHAT THE OWNER WANTS). I personally love to keep the car as original as I can. I have even gone so far as to have taken a fiberglass repo 1915 body from Calif Customs and put it on a restored a 1919 chassis using the correct door, dash, poop deck, seat risers and completely rewooding it to Mel's plans. It won a MTFCI junior FIRST place in Florida!!! I got in a lot of trouble then when someone blew the whistle on me (Don Lewis). They really liked what I had done with my car as it was really different to them. It wasn't a hot rod!! Wasn't a speedster either! I got to keep that trophy but had to promise not to compete with the car again with the International. It was that NICE! I felt bad as it was a nice car. I could not find any original bodies so I used the repo glass body. It was beautiful and I sold the car right after the show for a ridiculously low amount. $2,300.00 for the WHOLE finished running car as I was hurt by their comments. I built a '73 Corvette and a '69 Pacecar Camaro next and did WELL on BOTH of those cars. Sold both of those but at a profit. I touched no T's for a couple of years after that because of the after taste in my mouth. Took a while for the desire to come back for the T's and A's even though I had many in my storages waiting.
A.J. you're right! When I'm at a show with one of my "babies" you can bet if someone shows the least slightest interest in it, I'm "up there" ready to promote the car and the hobby. Last summer I've had several great talks with teenagers who are really interested in Model T's and A's so that's a good sign.