MTFCA, I just joined the club today because I have inherited a 1922 Model T School Bus that my Grandfather used in parades years ago. After much deliberation, I have decided to have the bus restored, so that we can carry on the tradition my grandfather started. I do not have the time to make it a personal project and would like some input on companies or individuals who do this for a living. Any information would be helpful.
Thanks, Rusty in Louisiana
Looks good I think I would get it running and leave it the way it is, you will enjoy it a lot more with out spending 15k
I would love to help and we are qualified to do so
problem is, is 2,000 miles in the way. Is there any
boat yard people nearby, they can make that look
like a steel body. We do machine work for local
wooden boat works and do this every day..sam
I too am about 2,000 miles away, but I agree with Robert. I'd go through it mechanically and do what's necessary to make the body work and arrest further deterioration making an effort to keep it looking as it does now. People like restored old vehicles. They go nuts over those that look like your bus!
Incidentally, it looks like a TT (Ton Truck) chassis. You should confirm if it is and as you look into your "restoration", be sure to accommodate the differences between it and a regular Model T. It has a heavier and longer chassis and a completely different rear end. As you learn more about your bus, this forum can be a useful resource!
Good Luck!!! Post more pictures. We love'm!!!
I agree, Do what you have to do to get her running and leave it like it is. That bus is very rare.
If that is a TT, school would be out for the summer before the kids got there. Dan
Make it go mechanically,and leave it alone as you can't go back once restored. To me it is now one of a kind. Restoration could possibly make it look like another one. I really like the way it looks now! I am jealous!
Yes, the giant brake drums and heavy rear wheels say it's a TT. It also appears to have the short TT running boards with some car running boards added behind them. The plywood suggests to me that the body may be a relatively modern thing built in the last fifty years.
I agree that the best approach at the start would be to make it mechanically sound and think long and hard before undertaking a full restoration. One reason is the high cost of hiring out a job like that. I know it's unlikely that you'd want to sell your grandpa's truck, so getting your money back isn't a question. Still, a full restoration would be a real money pit. Another reason to resist the urge is that many people find the rustic antique look every bit as interesting as a restored appearance. In fact, many people prefer it for a truck like this.
I agree that more pictures are in order. Showing a lot of details can help to identify what you have. The 1922 date may be right, but don't bet on it. It's very common for these vehicles to be registered under the wrong year, and seeing the serial number (left side of the engine, above the water inlet) and details of the parts is useful in sorting all that out.
Wheelbase has been lengthened. Maybe with an auxiliary trans.
Where are you in Louisiana?
Bill, his profile says that he is in Sulphur....
That is a pretty fun project and one that will be a real compliment to your grandfathers work, examining the photo seems the bus is made of plywood sides and top based on the paint checking.
The top section is flat and windshield panel strongly suggests a replica body that your grandfather built to mimic old school buses based on the TT chassis.
The lengthened chassis features welded together car body splash aprons and running boards, that wasn't typical of commercial available bodies made in the '20s for the TT chassis.
Regardless, fun to rebuild the motor and trans and check the chassis, repair of any wood damage and repaint. He even had the '1926 Model T' lettering painted on the rear of the panels. Petty neat IMO.
I think the clubs magazine ran an article or picture on a restored school bus, the bus body being made specific for school us, but haven't checked the index for which issue. The Blue Bird brand of bus bodies got started in GA with Model T chassis!
Here is one period body that could be used as a bus.
Dan Hatch...LOL!...it sure looks like a TT judging by the fat spokes on the rear end. I plan on making some kind of banner for my TT firetruck that'll say something like we'll clean up the ashes when we get there...or something similar!
Russ, just roll on a coat of School Bus Chrome (that's what the yellow is actually called), paint up the black stuff real nice and enjoy! That way it'll look fairly decent, yet "fairly used"...or as others call it, it'll have "patina"!
I only see 4 lugs for the demountable rims on the back wheels... I suspect it may be a large drum 26-27 car axle with 21" balloon tires.
Rusty -- Our Arkansas Tin Lizzies club has our Spring Tour based in Nachitoches, LA next month. It will be April 24-26, with everyone arriving on the 23rd. Perhaps you'd like to join us. You don't need to bring a running T to participate -- there are always empty back seats which you can use to enjoy the tour. This would be a great way for you to "get your feet wet" if you are new to Model T's.
Info about the tour, including the name, address, and phone number of the host hotel, are on our website at www.ArkansasTinLizzies.com. I hope to see you there!