Hello All!. It is a great day to be afflicted. LOL. I am pleased to say it us a balmy 32 degrees in Webster, NY!
As I continue on my newly begun journey of discovery, appreciation and outright love for the Ford Model T, I find myself continually at crossroads. Annie was purchased new by a family in the Adirondacks and enjoyed until 1940 when she was placed in barn storage until 1999 when she was purchased by well known antique car enthusiast/restorer/mechanic (and I am certain there are many other titles that would apply). He did little else to the car save free up some valves and replace the transmission bands. He (and many others) enjoyed the car until he allowed me to purchase her in Nov. 2013. After much thought and internal back and forth, I have decided to leave her all original and do nothing more than make her safe and reliable. As you can see from the picture, the top has a sun roof and moon roof which I am positive were not factory options. :-) I do not wish to replace or repair the top, I simply want to protect what is left of it from falling off (and potentially getting me ticketed for littering) while driving. I have seen the Top boots advertised, however, I feel putting a new shiny piece on the car will detract from the original look and feel currently present. I am open to ideas as to how to protect the tops "patina" while leaving it on the car (in the down position of course). If anyone has an old boot that is not perfect they would like to part with please let me know. Otherwise, I am very open to any and all sage advise.
Can you post some more pictures. Looks like a great find.
If you can find another deteriorated top, you could make it out if the remaining fabric.
Here are a few pictures I have been able to take. The first 2 are from the day I went to look at her. the last one was taken a couple of weeks ago. :-)
Ok, so the last picture did not upload properly. Here it is. :-)
Had me a little confused calling a top a boot.
I like that emergency brake "thing"
A white tire with black sidewalls as a spare, that's a new one for me
Great looking car, notice the correct 3 rivet 1916 front fenders. The rear fenders - how many rivets and where are they located? A picture would be nice.
You can have a boot made from distressed look vinyl. You can de-gloss vinyl with scotch brite pads etc.
Richard - He's not. He clearly stated in his post that he's looking for a top boot so that when his tattered top is in the down position that it doesn't take more abuse.
I think that distressed material is a great idea. You can probably beat it up so that the distressed part is more than in just the finish.
I have an original top boot that matches your top, but I believe it is for an 18-22. It doesn't have the flaps on the side that I believe a 15-16 has with common sense fasteners. It would definitely work, and would need some new straps to tie it down to the rear seat platform.
Safety glass in the windshield would be a good idea in my opinion.
The first two photos below are the original top boot from my dad's 1917 touring (July 1917, last month for the 1917 model year). It does not have flaps or common sense fasteners.
The second two photos are a top boot my father recently made using the original as the pattern. The only thing incorrect about it is the straps are naugahyde because he could not find correct cotton webbing when he made it.
If you decide to go with a new top boot:
Be aware that the top boots sold by the vendors are not correctly made, both in design and the manner in which they are fastened to the car. It's a shame because top boots are something that could very easily be correctly reproduced by using original examples as patterns.
If you want a correctly made top boot, I suggest contacting Mark and Sheri Cameron in Owatonna. If I recall correctly, they had a collection of original top boots and I believe they also studied the factory drawings. I know in the past that he and his wife made and sold accurate top boots.
Thanks everyone! I have been absent for a day or so. I like all the ideas and will investigate all. Erik, could you please give contact info for Mark and Sheri? Thanks also for the Pics! I intend to provide more pictures of the car once I am able to get her out in natural light and have just a bit more room. Royce, I will check and post more info later. Ted, I agree. Believe it or not I have had it looked at and it is indeed safety glass.
Thanks again all!
5894 Lemond Rd
Owatonna, MN 55060
Thanks Erik for posting those pictures. I agree with everything you say. I was able to find the correct woven cotton straps at a local war surplus store for the one I made for my '25, which didn't come with a boot from the factory. I also have two NOS roadster top boots for the '17-'22 era. I think Sheri has the correct woven cotton straps. I'll try to get a photo of the '13 top boot I'm working on soon.
Thanks to Larry for helping me resolve my top boot "crisis". :-)
Here are some additional pictures of the car as requested by some of you. I did the best I could considering the cramped quarters. I plan on taking a great many detailed pictures once the weather breaks. Royce, I have included a pic of the passenger side rear fender. The driver side is the same.
Is your horn a Bridgeport or a Heinze?
Some parts should be replaced for safety reasons and I would include the top in this list just to protect the rest of the interior from the elements as well as make the T attractive to the viewing public. Also, when driving the flapping remnants of the original top may be dangerous loud, distracting and annoying as they slap you and your passengers in the face while you are trying to drive.
Here is a great thread regarding "Griots" a superb product for preserving the original leather. www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/118802/133601.html. Jim Patrick
Looking at your first pic with the "man cave" sign, I'd be worried about that driver's side front spindle!!
Optical illusion--took me a minute to figure it out!
David, :-) I saw that and wondered if anyone would comment on it. I disassembled the front end to replace all the worn parts and had that wheel leaning against the fender. For what it is worth you were correct in your comment about worrying about it as that particular spindle set was the reason I decided to do so as it was in "almost" desperate need of replacement. LOL
I'm slow to understand but that [unmolested] mean on one ever fixed anything?? Nice barn find! Bud in Wheeler.
Jim, thank you for the comment and advise. I am not going to drive the with the top up as it (as you said) would be not only annoying but also dangerous. I am acquiring a top boot to protect what is left of it as well as make the car more presentable. I appreciate the link to the Griots discussion. I used neatsfoot oil growing up but will give thr griots a try.
As I understand it, the car has never been "restored" (painting, re-upholstered, etc). Only necessary mechanicals and due diligence. I do know the bands have been replaced and the bearings were updated on one of the front spindle/wheel assemblies. I am currently in the process of replacing bushings, spindles, fan belt, etc... Hopefully that fits the definition of "virtually unmolested". :-) And thank you! I was very lucky to have the opportunity to become her indentured servant! haha
I see there is a straight thru carb on it, that will give you a little more.
Great picture of the 1916 rear fender!!!! I saved it for future use.
Like anything reproduction, no one makes a correct 1916 anything. The rear fenders with four rivets are one of the items unique to 1916 model year. They are different from 1915 and they are different from the repros being made today.
Royce, Thank you. Once the weather breaks, I plan on backing her out of the garage and taking a series of pictures from top to bottom. I also plan on putting her on a lift and taking pictures of the underside. Once all of that is done, I will post them here. If there are any specific pictures anybody would like or feels would be useful, please let me know and I will be happy to take and post.