Just wondering how many Model T's are currently being restored. Are they being restored for the first time, and how many are being re-restored?
Pics below are from my 24 restoration. This is a first time restoration of a derelict car. The body was dug out of a field in Kansas, but had no rust out. It will see you on tour next year (if the grandson doesn't hold me up anymore than he does now)
new Stutzman wheels, when you run out of pristine storage garage in the garage, the wife has to move over
Good question that we would all like the answer to, but just like questions such as, how many remaining Model T's are there in existence, without the diligent cooperation of Model T owners around the world to provide the essential information necessary to come up with an accurate Model T census, the answers to such questions are virtually impossible to ascertain.
Years ago on this forum, I advocated a Model T registration plan to try and have Model T owners register their Model T's, using this site, so as to try and determine answers to to these types of questions, but so many fears surfaced regarding providing names and addresses and the information necessary to identify the owners, how many T's they own, the engine numbers and their location, that it never got off the ground, so with such underlying fears, and privacy concerns of so many T owners, the answers will never be known. Jim Patrick
One thing I'm pretty sure of is that the number of Model T's on the road is growing, year by year.
'Im restoring a 1912 Torpedo and a 1912 Touring, so that's two being restored.....
You might have to define 'Being restored".
Sometime these projects are put on the back burner for years.
Does being restored also mean getting it running?
Restored from the remains of a mostly complete car or one that is cobbled together from a collection of correct parts would be my question.
I have 3 T's. The 24 Coupe I have was a complete car that took me around 3 years to restore.
The other 2 were put together from a collection of parts that I collected over a 30 plus years.
The 1919 Runabout and 21 Touring are 95% correct as far as being 'correct' is concerned.
I have a feeling that over half of the T's that are around today were assembled from parts or what was left 'out on the back forty' and restored.
I think the question should be, engine serial numbers, and how much car is attached to it? This is not a look what I have, but rather, knowing which serial numbers are still in existence and their relative condition. JMHO Wes
I am restoring a '13 chassis and an original Cantrel Hack body. I am also building a speedster
Somehow I've managed to end up with three '26 Model Ts that will eventually be restored and driven. My son also traded me a '28 Sport Coupe in exchange for a down payment on his house. I hope he misses that car and buys it back before he gets it back as an inheritance.
I am especially proud of the '26 roadster since I bought it from a hot rodder before he did any irreversible damage. I am currently alternating between working on that car and painting the body on my wife's Fordor.
My dad and I are restoring two 1915 Model T's.
We have one that is nearly complete but in very rough condition. The second is just a chassis, engine and wheels, but it has been mostly restored already and is in pretty good condition.
We are starting with taking the body off the first car and using it on the second chassis. We are hoping to make that one close to stock. Once we finish that, we would like to make a depot hack with the remaining chassis.
Here is our project log with pictures: http://modelt.wikia.com/
And here is a picture of the first car as it looked when we obtained it:
I have a 24 restored in the sixties that needs to be freshened. I have a 25 in waiting to become a speedster.
Guy next door is putting the finishing touches on a TT speedster project I started.
Another friend working on a 20? dump truck, 23 touring, 25 hack.
Nice start Dan. Going to be a sweet ride for sure. Will it be ready for the 4th parades?
I'm re-restoring a '13 runabout that got a half ass restoration back in '40s with the most awful paint scheme you ever saw! I'm doing it one piece at a time, so I can drive it while I re-restore it.
My car is being restored for the first time I am trying to get it done for this fall
When do you actually STOP restoring a T???
There is a point when you are done with a restoration and from there it is a matter of maintaining the restoration. At some point in the future, if the restoration is not maintained, depending upon the quality of the underlying surface the preparation of the body and the quality of the paint, the restoration may begin to deteriorate at which time a re-restoration may be necessary, but if the restoration was done properly and you keep up with maintaining the restoration by driving the car, washing an waxing the finish and keeping it up mechanically the original restoration, should last a lifetime. Jim Patrick
1919 Restored in the 50's, stored for 64 years and now being driven.
I guess "being restored" could mean a project that takes a few months or one that dribbles along for years, and varying from complete at the beginning to assembled from parts. That covers a lot of territory and includes a lot of T's and TT's. My 24 TT project and 26 RP project would be among them.
"Guy next door is putting the finishing touches on a TT speedster project I started"
TT speedster project....do tell
First to Dan's question...I have a 12 Touring coming together hopefully for the latter part of this year. Now as to the "original versus made up" car question...I don't really care because Bruce's Black Book has made it practical for a made-up car to look and perform as well as an original. Since many restored T's are the beneficiaries of reproduction and/or replaced parts, it's very difficult to determine the provenance of well built projects that were not carefully documented. As much as I love the 2 levers, I think it unlikely that more than a couple of these were original 2 lever cars. That doesn't matter to me. Anybody who saw Don Black's 2 lever repro from decades ago, will agree that no, it's not an original, but what a sweet looking machine. Great job Don...wish I knew where this car is today.
Thousands of Model Ts are being "restored" - "rebuilt" - cleaned up, etc. Since this is a forum for those who own and/or enjoy early Fords, it is logical that many of the posts deal with restoration work on Model T Fords. I would also assume, guessing from the number of in-work Model T fords that are found owned by non club members, that there are thousands of such Model Ts "out there." From the posts here, there are thousands of Model T Fords being "created" from parts and incomplete Ts. There are few Ts being destroyed, so the number of useable or "showable " grows daily.
nI have personally seen two "2 lever" model T Fords that were seemingly original. There are also 7 or 8 additional ones that appear to be mostly made up of original parts. The Los Angeles museum has a complete engine of a two lever T. If all the best parts laying around for two lever Ts, were made into running authentic Ts, the total would be about 15 or so. I also would not be surprise if an unknown mostly or complete 2 lever T shows up at a sale or estate auction. Back in the 1950s, a local man whom I would trust said that in northern Minnesota he saw a saw rig (not for sale) that contained a two lever engine. Where is it today? Who knows?
Fred, I love your car. I hope ours turns out as nice.
I just "restored" my 26 roadster yesterday. The paint was scratched on the right front and rear fender and runningboard. I touched it up. Does that count as "restoration"?
I have another T on which I will "restore" the engine this summer. I plan to have it bored and sleeved back to standard size and install new pistons and camshaft.
I had one which came to me as a pile of rusty parts all disassembled. I "restored" the entire car.
You see Model T's come in all conditions. Some would call the first example a paint "touch up" or a "detailing" The second would be call an engine rebuild. And the third would be a "restoration"
Another thing is would you use all original parts and restore them, or use reproduction parts. Some people would call use of reproduction parts, "modification".
Some people use an original chassis and all new body parts. Others find good original body parts.
The paint is no longer available, so all re-paint jobs would be "modifications"
Anyway, people are always working on their T's. Whether or not it is called restoration depends on one's definition of restoration.
I was going to say the same thing that Jim Patrick said. Since there is no reliable way to determine how many T's are in existence; the number under any stage of restoration is, likewise, impossible. You might as well be asking how many fire ants are there in the world.
This thread has turned out to be pretty amusing. My interest was to find out how many of us on the forum are restoring a T. No way was I trying to determine how many T's in existence are being restored. I would assume everyone would know that would be an impossibility. The other thing I find funny is the cobbled together phrase. Whats cobbled? Is a T pieced together from original Ford parts cobbled? If so, Ford cobbled together over fifteen million, as they were all put together from piles of parts. Is a restoration that features only the original body, repro fenders, aprons, running boards, and hood, etc... cobbled together?
In the case of my 24: the body somehow survived. The chassis was a sedan cut down to use as a farm truck, it also survived. I have NOS boards, aprons, three fenders, and a lot of NOS pieces to restore it. Again, is this cobbled? It's nice to start with an original car. The 1924 Touring is my favorite T of all time. I looked for years for an excellent original, but was unable to find one. During that search, I found my early original 13 Touring. I came across this 24 body and decided as I couldn't find what I wanted, I would do my own restoration.
Bottom line no matter how you do it, you only have to please yourself.
Tyrone, by the fourth ?, I don't think so. I think I'm just going to miss it. LOL
I'm half-restoring a 26. Near as I can tell it's had a restoration and a hokey freshening up at some time in the past.
Just finished my '25 Shaw Conversion that was saved from the scrapper. Working on two '27s - one a straight doodlebug and one a T/IHC mower hybrid (built sometime in the 30s). Shaw made her show debut last weekend and I received invites to three other shows this summer (one as far away as PA). Am sure a lot of people don't consider my girls "real" Ts, but I do - and so do the folks at tractor shows (who absolutely love having a doodlebug or conversion tractor on the field to break up the monotony of Big Green and Red Power). So - two (and maintaining a third one).
I paid $2500 for a 1927 pickup and put $9,000 into it. Every man NEEDS a truck! And, it is a working one. Took my lawnmower to the "doctor" today.
Perhaps there are more in existence than anybody realizes. We can compare documented sources with our own experience and formulate a reasonable figure.
Any figures before WWII are meaningless because of the scrap metal drives.
After the war we get this:
In Clymer’s book “Henry’s Wonderful Model T” he remarks that in 1949, more than 200,000 T’s were registered in the USA.
There are always more in existence than are registered.
There are always more in existence than are being restored.
The Model T and its parts have increased dramatically in value since 1949.
I myself had at one time enough parts to assemble a dozen Model Ts. I sorted the parts and sold them each as a package deal to restorers.
Pristine, untouched, unrestored Model Ts are still being found.
Perhaps the major cause of irreversible destruction of Model T Fords is street rodders.
Even the street rodders prefer Model As and its successors to Ts. Say that you have a 1934 Ford coupe and the street rodders will drool all over you.
The typical farm Model T was chopped in the 1930s to use as a farm wagon and taken out of circulation as far as registration and taxing and titles were concerned. They escaped the scrap metal drives because they were away from the cities and far apart. Then the engine was taken out to run a sawmill when what was left of the body fell apart.
A great many Ts have been reconstituted from piles of parts. Some have even made a business of this.
I personally have owned about 400 cars, the vast majority of which were not recorded anywhere.
Time and experience over the last seventy years suggest to me that a figure as high as 300,000 Model Ts in existence is not impossible and may perhaps be higher.
The original question was "How many Model Ts are being restored?"
The answer is, "All of them, sooner or later."
You're right. You can never really finish a Model T restoration. But, you can stop working on it and drive it on tours, while you work on your next Model T restoration.
I'm partially restoring (more like-fixing) a 1922 centerdoor. Engine/chassis has been gone through, nice original upholstery (couple small mouse holes to stitch shut)-replace headliner and paint (only because previous owner decided to strip most of the still very presentable original paint off. I don't plan to take it any further unless I have to.
John, I couldn't help laughing when I read your comment that some T's have been assembled from parts!!! Haven't they all? I know what you mean though.
My 1912 van is assembled from correct parts from all over. So is my 1915 speedster as are most speedsters. Also my 1917 shooting brake and 1920 buckboard. It does not mean they are not real cars representative of the era, just that they do not have the same history. Much of the fun I have with them is in the search for correct parts and the subsequent restoration. Activities and meeting other T people are the bonus at the end.
Allan from down under.
Here is my 1911 project...
She's getting closer. I still need to buff out the paint and pinstripe!
: ^ )
This is what I started with, a '26 found under some pine trees. Chassis completely broken down and rebuilt, rebuilt front end, rebuilt wheels and the diff is at present being cleaned and made ready for rebuilding to give me a rolling chassis.
Keith, is that black or midnight blue?
If you can't tell... I got the color right!
It's midnight blue.
: ^ )