I have to get this off my chest. I sure hope my friend never sees this.
A couple years back I got this brain storm of making a TT speedster. I was wanting a Mercer looking speedster. A year of buying parts and figuring out how to extend the drive line and the placements of seats, gas tank, trunk. I hopped up the engine with pop-up pistons, bigger hardened valves,touring cam, porting work etc. Got it to a rolling chassis.
The chance to buy another car came along so sold my TT project. Sold it to my buddy. He is about done with the car in "His Vision" and I have to say it makes me cry inside to see what it is/has become.
When I build a car, I research the heck out of what I want it to be and with what parts I should and should not use (period). My buddy? Is a mix bag of stuff. Parts from 80's chevys, phillip screws, pop rivits, radio dials.
I feel bad for posting this but I guess I'm looking for someone to feel sorry for me. To see through my eyes something that could have been a truely unique creation. I still help him in putting "his" car together and still encurrage him in his adventure, but I cry inside. I know a speedster is in the image of it builder, but...
I will never do that again.
So what is your story?
I can relate to what you're feeling. I, 1996, on a whim, I sold my 1926 Coupe for $8000.00 to a neighbor from Maine that wintered in my neighborhood. I bought for $600.00 in 1970 when I was 16 and spent every dime I made bagging groceries after school and every spare minute I had from 1970 to 1972 doing a complete restoration to her. Almost immediately I regretted selling her but it was too late. It was especially bad in March of 1997 as he left for Maine, pulling my baby down the street and out of my life forever. It was like selling a member of the family.
A couple of years later, my neighbor put his house up for sale and I lost contact with him. In mid 2001, on another, whim I called him to see how he was and was told by his wife that he passed away of blood cancer in 2001. She then told me she was getting ready to sell my T and asked me if I would like to buy it. Trying not to act too excited, I said "yes I would". She asked me how much I would be willing to pay and I told her I would pay her the same thing he bought it for. $8,000.00. She agreed so I made arrangements to drive up to Maine to pick it up and haul it back to Florida on a U-Haul trailer.
I was lucky that I got a second chance to get my T back and doubly lucky that he took very good care of her and even had a new professionally applied Imron paint job applied so that it looked even better than when I sold it to him. He even entered it in several car shows in the New England area and won. The only thing he did was change it from a 6 volt system to a 12 volt system, which I immediately changed back when I got it home.
Contact your friend and see if he will sell it back. Money talks and It never hurts to ask.
I understand being emotionally tied to a T because they can be more than a bunch of parts - especially if you have a history or you sacrificed time and money for it.
Every time someone asks me if I am willing to sell the 19 T that belonged to my dad I reply with "Yep. One dollar more than the highest offer."
It is a family heirloom and I can not think about parting with it.
When it came to my home my mom said that I had to promise not to sell it until after she died.
Now that she is gone I still can't think about selling it but wonder what will happen to it when I am dead.
I hope one of the girls learns to care about it as much as I do!
I really do understand what you're saying however, I think it boils down to this, if your friend is happy with the end product, then I would be happy for him.
I agree with Jerry, If he is happy, be happy for him. Its his now, but I also understand what you are saying and how you feel. I sold a car once that I always regretted selling but knew I had to. It was not a T but a 1933 Plymouth 5 window coupe. It was the very first antique car I had. I got it when I was 14 years old. By the time I was 16 I had it running and had a flathead ford V8 in it with three deuces 3/4 race cam ect ( I hear the moans and crys of anguish from the purists) But remember I was still a teenager. I was the John Millner (of American Graffite) in my area at the time. After I got married I had to sell it to pay medical bills and feed the family. Speed on thru my life and Im retired now. I told the wife that I wanted to find another 33 Plymouth. So the search began. I finally found one about 30 miles from where the man lived who had bought mine. It was high priced but we went and looked anyway. When they opened the door of the barn there was my original 33. It had sold 5 times since I had sold it. Someone had installed a crappy job rear coil over setup and destroyed a nice Fatman Mustang 2 setup but other than that it was my car. It has never been driven since I sold it. It was always being worked on. So I bought it back. It cost me 11 times what I sold it for 30 years before. But I have it back. I have replaced the rear end with a correct leaf spring setup and have re-installed a correct "tube" straight axle. So do not give up on you old dream for the TT speedster, it may get to come back "home".
I can share in this thread. My grandfather assembled my T from a hodgepodge of parts back in the 60s and 70s. He put every piece together by hand and painted it with a brush before I was ever even born. In 1987 (I was 6 years old) he sold the T because by Granny's health was not good and he never got the T out anymore. Deep down I think he was sad because he loved the car and talked about it often. I lost him in 2008 he was 93. It took me until 2012 to find that car, but I found it one state over in Alabama. It had gone through 6 different owners. I drove 6 hours to go see it, we walked up to the large barn outside the mans house. He rolled up the door and there sat my granddads model T. I have to admit I cried, I was very close to him and it was so special to see it 28 years later unmolested. It cost me a mint to get it back, but I left with it that day and don't regret a single dime I had to pay to get it. At some point it becomes more than a car, a family member, but for me when I drive the car, work on the car, or go look at the car it brings back memories of my grandfather and my love for him, and that my friends is priceless.
Thanks for sharing that. Good for you. The older I get, the more I appreciate and value people like yourself, to whom family, history & loved ones mean more than anything you can measure in dollars.
I am lucky to have my granddad's T, and my dad's. I don't how much I would pay to get either one back if I had to, but it would be a lot.
In 1997 I started building my first Depot hack from the ground up. I researched and studied, drew many sketches until I came up with the design I liked. I bought a 1925 rolling chassis at the Tontitown Arkansas swap meet that had been (restored). Brought it home and completely restored it like it should have been done in the first place. New spokes, new tires and tubes, NOS sheet metal.Just as all of the body work was in primer and the Hack body was on and varnished my world crashed. My mom found out she had cancer. By Christmas 1998 she had passed away. I had lost interest in everything else in my life so I purged all three of my Model T's. I never even had a second thought about then until three or four years ago. I have located the Depot Hack. It sits in the lobby of the Green Granite Inn in North Conway New Hampshire. A far distance from the little town in Arkansas where it was built. I have regained my passion for Model T's and have once again collected three of my own. Here is a picture of the Depot Hack as it sits in the comfortable lobby.
Greg -- At least it has a comfortable home.
I inherited my Grandfathers 24 Coupe in 1958. After finally restoring it around 4 years ago I wish now I would have kept the pretty much complete 25 fordor sedan he had for a parts car.
I sold it because the wood in my mind was going to be to much for me to handle.
I later restored a 1919 Runabout and am just now finishing up a 21 Touring.
I rewooded both of them from kits and saw a few years ago where Fordwood makes the sedan kits now.
I now wish I would have kept the 25 Fordor. I now have the time and money to buy the wood kit now.
Rob, I agree with you that at some point, it is no longer a car. My 33 Plymouth is a tie back to my youth, Every time I work on it, look at it, or show it to someone, I remember the fun I had with it. I can remember the times with my cousin Ronnie who passed away a few years ago, driving and crusing the "drag" in town. The races with the neighboring towns rivals, Illegal but fun at the time. The times my dad helped me learn some racing secrets. He used to race in the Tulsa Ok. area in the late 40s and 50s. All my early learning about cars was on the 33. Later on when I was about 17 or 18 it was the "cool" car to impress the girls with. Then when I was about 19 I found out about "nitros". I bought one of the first kits from Accell when they first came out. They had just started selling kits to the general public. The instructions were very vague. It came with "blank" orafice for the throttle plates. The instructions only said "drill a small hole and enlarge till the desired boost is achieved" My Ace hardware store had a very small drill I believe a 1/64 inch. That looked small to me. So with everything buttoned up and ready for the first test. I pulled out onto the road in front of Mom and Dads house. Dad was watching from the porch. I kicked her down and it was one giant leap and ??????. Just a big "pow" When I got out to see what was wrong, I saw oil coming out from under the car. I had blown the pistons and oil pan out the bottom and onto the highway. Dad had walked out to see what was wrong. He looked under the car and all he said was " that ain't right" and walked back to the porch while I gathered up my pieces and parts. Seems that the holes were supposed to be in the thousandths. I contacted Accell and I could here the guy on the phone say to someone. "hey, guys, we have another one. After the problems with us newbies they would sell the kit with a form to fill out with your desired boost and what you had did to the engine, They would then send you a set of orfice for your car. When I received mine I could barely see the sun thru the hole. They told me I had boosted my poor old engine about 10,000 percent. But to this day I can still see my Dads face when he looked under the car. So to me the price I had to give to get it back does not mean a thing.