Just a question. Did anyone ever get blown up in one of these. I just found out where the gas tank is located. LOL
My grandfather watched helplessly as three black men burned to death in an over-turned T touring back in the early thirties.
Pinned in, the doomed men begged for someone to shoot them before the car burst into flames(no one did.)
Doubtless they knew they were about to burn to death.
My guess is that the car was being run on "battery" and a coil was still firing after the roll over.
People of that day all knew the sound of a Ford spark coil firing. They would have seen/smelled the gas leaking.
Nobody in their right mind would approach a Model T under those circumstances.
It wouldn't be a question of "if" it would burst into flames but rather "when".
My grandfather had nightmares about the event up until the day he died.
If you are worried and about safety, a 80 to 100 year old Model T is not the car for you. Based on the number of Model T's made, the number still on the road and the almost total lack of more modern safety features, I would say it is the most dangerous and unsafe car on the road.
The things that make life worth living, to one degree or another, involve risk. People told me that skydiving was safe, but I never bought into the concept of bailing out of a perfectly good airplane that wasnít burning. Though Iím unshakable in my belief that skydiving isnít safe, Iím also of a firm suspicion that the thrill which accompanies the experience is at least comparable to the last part of a third, consecutive date with a Victoriaís Secret model.
I was a pilot for a lot of years and bought into the myth that flying small, propeller-driven airplanes is perfectly safe. But over those years, I accumulated five friends who lost their lives in the cockpit, so I now know thatís a crock (and with bare hands and fire in my eyes, Iíll strangle the next moron who tells me, ďWell, at least he died doing what he loved to doĒ).
But along with the risks came rewards. Iíve barrel-rolled and looped among the clouds, flew in a P-47 Thunderbolt, did wingovers and wifferdills in an AT-6, watched the ocean turn to gold in the sunset from the cockpit of my own Navion and experienced airborne wonders and freedoms I can scarcely describe. I managed the risks with a very conservative attitude and survived the experience with not one moment of regret.
Now, driving a brass-era car in modern traffic isnít the safest possible endeavor in which to be engaged, but as with other things, there are acceptable methods of managing the risk involved (and situational awareness tops that list). Sitting on ten-gallons of gasoline in a Model T canít be all that much worse than nestling the family jewels up against the fuel tank of a Harley-Davidson. Hey, people get away with it every day. You can decide to grab the bull by the horns and turn your life into a thrill-ride, or you can play it completely safe and sink into a clinical depression. Or, you can take the middle ground and season some reasonable risks with a dash of intelligence. If you never do reach for the brass ring, someday when you approach the finish line, youíre going to feel serious regrets.
Teddy Roosevelt was one of those guys who took great big bites out of life and lived it to the fullest. He once said, ďFar better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.Ē
I've never had the stomach for aerobatics, but I have over 700 hours in soaring gliders. I've flown along a wave cloud just before sunset, watching the shadow of my sailplane on the cloud, surrounded by a rainbow of color. I've been in a thermal, steeply banked, and looked to the left to find I was in perfect formation with an eagle off my wingtip, climbing in the same thermal. And I've had - eight times! - the high pucker factor of having to land in an unknown field when I just couldn't find any more lift. My wife, son, daughter, and stepson all have glider ratings. Yes, there are risks. Yes, I've had friends die doing it. There are also rewards. Manage the risks. Keep your head screwed on tight. You only live once. Go for it!
Gil Fitzhugh the Elder, Morristown, NJ
When you see a rainbow from a small plane it's a complete 360 degree circle, not an arc.
I just couldn't believe it the first time I saw it.
I would say that any vintage auto is going to be considered unsafe in some regards compared to a modern car and a roll-over accident only amplifies that risk. As Bob said above, being aware and managing that risk is what life is about.
If you look at current events in the Model T hobby, when was the last time you heard of a Model T bursting into flames. Considering some of the most current severe accidents that have happened, I still consider the T to be a reasonably safe car to drive.
Learn about your car, keep it in the best running condition you can and apply your best defensive driving skills. Do that and you will not only be fine safety wise, you will also have the time of your life.
Yeah, what everyone else said! 22yrs U.S.Navy loading bombs, missiles, rockets, bullets & and I STILL HAVE ALL 10 FINGERS AND TOES! I also am one of those people who "nestling the family jewels up against the fuel tank of a Harley-Davidson" and have been doing that since I was 14. I have also done some ICE RACING with 4" spikes in my motorcycle tires loads of fun at -20 F. Point is this if you don't manage risks what kind of stories are you going to tell your Grand Kids?
In 1970-71, I served my country as a door gunner/crew chief in CH47 Chinook helicopters in Viet Nam. Let me tell you, driving or riding in a Model T is not very high on my pucker factor. JMHO. Dave
The ideal life is not to arrive at the grave in pristine condition, but rather coming in sideways, sparks flying, screaming man that was one hell of a ride!!!!
Brian, I've told my friends basically the same thing, just in different words. No sense sitting around waiting for the grim reaper. Let's try to outrun him in our Model T's!!
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
Teddy Roosevelt 4/23/10
I ran on battery ,I have mercury tilt switch and if it goes over [the car goes on its side ]it cuts the power to the battery
Don't you know that mercury is very dangerous?
Actually other than the roll over as posted above, it is one of the safest places for a gas tank! It is right in the center of the car and much less likely to be damaged by a rear end collision. We all know the stories about the Pinto. That tank was in the rear and shared a common wall with the rear of the car.
Norm's right. And don't forget the Chebby pick-ups of some years ago that had the gas tank mounted on the outboard left side of the chassis. They didn't do too well in a broadside as I recall.
I have the same type of mercury "inertia" switch on my Racer - get yourself "out of sorts" and it clips the power to the fuel pump - Yea, I know a fuel pump on a T - big engine - big carburetor - needs lotsa gas !
There were a few hundred thousand other cars with the gas tank located like the Pinto's was.
The then popular Corolla was one.
On the T it is easy to make a vent tube off the top of the tank that extends down to below the frame. Then you can seal the filler cap's vent.
Better yet, on the under-seat tank, install a filler neck with a modern gas cap, the put a long vent tube on the top of the tank.
When John Morrison and his wife were rear-ended by a semi on 101 south of Salinas they came to a stop in a field, both passed out.
A lady stood near the car and asked if they were all right.
At that point John woke up and answered that he thought they were.
The lady said they were sitting over a large puddle of gasoline!
Then John noticed the coil buzzing so he reached down and shut it off.
The fuel line had been ripped from the tank. The tank was full when they were hit.
It was a 12 touring with a battery under the back seat because the mag went dead.
As someone pointed out here before, which is better, dying at 80-some odd, sitting in a wheelchair with an oxygen tube and slobber dripping off your chin, or at 70 losing it coming out of turn three and going over the wall with a stupid grin on you face like a ripple on a slop bucket? To me, driving a T Model is a pretty tame form of danger. In the South we call 'em T Models, I don't know why.
Probably to not confuse them with the A and B models.
David Stroud, were you one of those chopper jockeys flying in and out of Laos between Feb and April 1971. I was hauling small benign loads of av-gas, powder, willy peter, and a lot of H.E. Up and down Q.L.9. I spent a 3 day in-country R&R overlooking the air strip at Khe Sanh while the NVA hit it with 122's and mortars. My unit was dug in at L.Z. Vandergrift (Stud) during operation Dewey Canyon II, Lam Son 719. It was guys like you that were bringing the ARVN out every few minutes while they were being over-run in Laos. Mr Nixon called it Vietnamization. I'll never forget the Rockpile. I watched the Cobras working out over our heads after we'd been hit with RPG's, mortars and 51 caliber fire on our way from Quang Tri. I loved the guys in the Huey's and the Cobras.
Hmmm.....I had considered adding my little bit to this thread, but frankly, I'm still kinda' "hung up" between Bob Coiro's wingovers and wifferdills and Robert Hester's ripples on a slop bucket!
To give credit where credit is due, the "Grin on his face like a ripple on a slop bucket," is only one of the gems gleaned from conversations with Roy Fulton of Crossfield, Alberta, who could have a book written of his witticisms. At least a small book. He's also pushing 80 and building up another barnyard cruiser AKA race car.
There you go, Stan. That quote gets me to laughing every time I think about it. If Mr. Fulton writes a book I'd sure like to read it.
Herman and Freida ain't too shabby, either!
My God, do you realize that a large majority of the people under the age of 65 don't know what a slop bucket is? They might have seen chamber pots but I doubt if any slop buckets lasted Long enough to become "antiques" or "collectibles".
If my memory is correct, 1956 ford p/u's had the gas tank located behind the seat. The trunk floor in 65 & 66 Ford Mustangs was actually the top of the gas tank. No frame structure except for sheet metal.....numerous Mustang fires due to rear end collisions.
Years ago our neighbor had a '56 Ford Pick-up. We had a '60 then later a '68. All of them had the gas tank behind the seat.
32 up Ford PU and trucks had the gas tank under the seat. Not sure when that was changed. Heck even VW bugs had it under the hood in front only protected by the bumper (LOL) and spare tire.