Has anyone been watching the one currently offered on ebay? I'm still new to the T world and still developing my critical eye, but this one seems to be a real "beaut'." I'm just curious if there are any opinions out there of what a specimen in this condition might actually go for.
Here's the auction you may have in mind: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ford-Model-T-Touring-Car-1915-FORD-MODEL-T-TOURING-CAR-/ 231271510959
It looks very nice but it's unlikely anyone bites with a $25,500 starting bid for a '15 T. Earlier T's may sell for much higher prices, but early 1909-12 cars are rare and even harder to find the correct parts for.
The seller may well have $25K invested in the car if he hasn't done almost all the work himself - but supply and demand dictates the market for model T's too, current demand is lower than the supply so it's rare to get back what you put into a full restoration of a Model T.
According to the auction text, this car has an engine # indicating it's a '16. As so many '16 T's it has been backdated to a '15 with more brass.
The forked electric headlamps was a feature on canadian 1915 T's but not on US made. The lack of a drivers front door indicates this is a US made car, so the forked headlamps is another feature to make it look older or more like prototype '15 pictures from the autumn of 1914.
Would take a few dollars to make it correct, just at a glance I see square felloe wheels and a high head!
Body has several 1917 or later features. One is in this picture.
It's gorgeous and appears to have mostly the right parts. As Royce noted, it has some 1917 & later features, like the coil box switch and the steering column. I don't like some of the things that have been done to it, but it's a great looking car. BUT, as Roger pointed out, it's very unlikely to sell for the asking price.
The car is very pretty and looks to be a shoe in for AACA recognition. But, as pointed out by Royce, Frank, and Roger, it is not a correct restoration. In the circles of purists, that will affect its value. I doubt that it will make its opening bid on eBay. But, at Barrett Jackson, it would probably bring $60K. I think a realistic value would be $16-$20K. It is a very nice car.
The louvered hood is a 1916 feature. Weren't the 1915's hoods smooth sided and aluminum?
Wow. -Minor incorrect details aside, that's a show car in mint condition, not a driver. -Worth, of course, is whatever a single, motivated buyer is willing to pay, but to this know-nothing newbie's mind, something that lovely has to change hands at a price north of $20,000.
Would I buy it? -No. -There are guys who collect & show flawless trailer-queens and there are a few guys affluent enough to drive the pristine show cars and have them "refreshed" on an ongoing basis, but I'm of neither type. -Like what I suspect is the majority, I'm not wealthy enough to play with perfect cars and I'd be afraid to drive this one because the paint would get chipped and the restoration would begin to unravel with use.
For someone like me, who likes driving around the neighborhood in a brass horseless-carriage, but is stuck with a limited, retirement budget, the only option is a Model T of 1914-1916 vintage and it would have to be equipped for frequent driving—meaning I would need Rocky Mountain brakes along with brake-lights, turn-signals, a self-starter and an electrical system to dependably power that stuff. -This beautiful show car has none of that, so to a heavy-use grunge like me, it would be the wrong car to buy.
Tom -- The '15 hoods were aluminum with louvers. The 16's were steel with louvers. Pre-15's were aluminum without louvers.
Steve -- I thought Royce was alluding to the half-moon cutout in the cowl above the coil box. That's a sure sign of a '17 or later body.
Thank you for the input guys, it's helping me to learn much as I really get into this. Eric, that's quite a price difference from $16 all the way up to $60. I know you can't answer for him but logic would dictate that the seller would go that route, no?
that half moon cut out looks bigger than most like it was cut by someone. the windshield is riveted but that was done clear up sometime in 17. I have a few cowls with the cut out and I think they are all the same size and smaller than the picture.
Any way I don't hunk you can date the car only by the cut out.
That is still one nice car and you could put it in my garage anyway. I do think judging from prices in Colorado it is way over priced.
I have seen this car in person a couple of years ago, I do not know the owner. I was sitting at a stop light in town when the car drove through the intersection. I followed the guy to his house introduced myself as the President of our local Model T Club and invited the guy to join us. He said that he was not interested in driving the car on tours and therefor was not interested in joining our club. I looked over his car and he did a wonderful job. It looks as good in person as it does in the photographs. It is a very smooth and quiet running machine.
Ken Cheney did the inspection for the DMV so that it could be titled as a 1915 Ford. He and I are the only designated (by Nebraska DMV) representatives in the state to inspect and verify Model T's needing a title. We have to re-new our designation every year.
Is that a 4 dip pan?
It is a 4 dip pan.
It is a FOUR DIP Pan which I would have wanted or replaced if it was a three dip pan.
I think it is a 3 dip pan, you can clearly see 2 nuts in front of the 4th dip. I can blow it up on my phone and it is easier to see that it is a 3 dip.
Because buyers are noted for grossly over paying at Barrett Jackson auctions, the auctioneers have the luxury of being very selective about which cars go across the block. As I understand it, there are a lot of politics in play. They typically have a Model T or two at each sale. They are clearly there for the novelty of it and the sellers come out pretty good when some guy that just lost out on the $300K muscle car that he really wanted, decides to pick up a cute little Model T at the bargain price of $50 K.
This thread is a perfect example of why it can be painful to sell a Model T. This seller has listed a very nice Model T for sale and has been pretty honest in his description of the car. Of course, he has a few time period inconsistencies in his restoration, but it's not like it's got Pinto motor in it. We sit here and armchair quarterback his efforts and rip apart every little detail. Very, very few Model Ts are restored to be exactly as they left the factory. What gives us the right to be the Model T police and shred very car that's listed for sale?
The eye of the beholder. I don't see any shredding. Most of us who have noted the inconsistencies have also noted that it's a beautiful and desirable car. If I had the time, space, and money, I'd be in the bidding. But I sure wouldn't be bidding the asking price. In the current market that's more than most people will pay. That's not a criticism of the car. It's just an observation of current prices.
Eric, and your little rant helps the initial thread of Jerry to still develop his critical eye! how?
Eric, I agree with you completely and I was the owner I would be pissed.
One day all of you may need to sell one of your T's and I'm sure you would not like a bunch of no bidding persons giving you their opinions.
Eric, there you are so there you go. Not to worry though you're still my hero! I'm headed North tomorrow with my '26 but I hope you guys have a really great tour. God bless
I agree with you.
All Jerry Brancato was asking for was AN ESTIMATE of the value of the car NOT 16 criticisms of the car. Go back and read the first post. He was asking what the car would go for!!!!!
I do have to say that, slow learner that I am, and from the limited "academic" reading that I've done so far, it seems that, as Eric says, there are very few really authentic down to the nut and bolt the-way-it-came-off-the-assembly line T's around. In fact, it doesn't seem that there were very few authentic T's around even when they were first being made. My grandfather swept the floors outside Henry Ford's office and he said he once heard Mr. Ford say: "What, we've got some left over parts from last year? Well, just put 'em into this year's until we run out. In a hundred years, who'll care!" Okay so maybe he didn't really say that... or did he? But I think the consensus here is that you're all right: it IS a beautiful car even if if it's not perfect. The man obviously poured a lot of love and care and attention to detail into it (even if he didn't want to join the club! What?!)I mean, look at the woodwork alone-- soaking the wheels for two weeks in linseed oil!-- and at this point now I almost feel obligated to buy it from him. Except I won't pay that outrageous price! Just kidding. I'm really in the market for a '15 Runabout. My heart is solidly in the brass area, and I'd like that to be my (hopefully) first entre into proud T ownership! Thanks to you all and I hope I didn't stir up a tempest here. Have a great 4th everyone and crank 'em up for the parades!
OK -- Here's the original post:
"Has anyone been watching the one currently offered on ebay? I'm still new to the T world and still developing my critical eye, but this one seems to be a real "beaut'." I'm just curious if there are any opinions out there of what a specimen in this condition might actually go for."
Jerry is asking for our estimate of the car's value, but he also says, "I'm still new to the T world and still developing my critical eye..."
That sounds to me as if he's also asking for opinions about the car itself. Several folks here advised him about what is correct and what is incorrect about this car, including the fact that it is listed as a 1915 model year car, when it is actually a '16.
If I had been the person who made the original post, I would welcome comments such as have been made here, so I could "develop my critical eye" by learning what is correct and what is not on this particular example.
I don't see any "shredding" or undue criticism of the car, just facts about what is and what is not correct on it. It is a beautiful car, as many of the "shredders" have noted. Parts of it are not correct; many hard-to-find parts are correct. I think the car has gotten a fair assessment as to its condition and correctness. Its "value" is a matter of conjecture and remains to be seen.
Just to be clear, my last post was a response to Dave's post, not to Jerry's, which was posted at about the same time.
Thanks Mike. The comments so far have been tremendously helpful. To a newbie like myself, until I get more research under my belt (and I have just started buying the books) I would not have known, for instance, that the forked headlights were a Canadian feature. So I am beyond thankful for all your insights.
Mike, after reading your comments and Eric's I went back and reread the whole thing. Jerry asked for opinions. He got them. Did anybody ridicule the car or say it's a bad one? No. On the contrary, along with the comments noting inconsistencies, there were also phrases like: "I looked over his car and he did a wonderful job." "...it's a beautiful and desirable car." "It is a very nice car." "The car is very pretty and looks to be a shoe in for AACA recognition." "Minor incorrect details aside, that's a show car in mint condition..." "That is still one nice car and you could put it in my garage anyway."
I've had folks on the forum point out "incorrect" things on my cars, and it doesn't bother me a bit. In some cases I didn't know they were incorrect and was glad to have the information so I could correct them. In other cases I knew they were incorrect and planned to change them. And in some cases I knew they were incorrect and preferred them that way. None of those observations induced any anguish on my part.
In this particular instance, after rereading, I still don't see any shredding, and I still think it's a gorgeous car.
I think it is a 1917 - 18 model year car that has been lovingly brassified and restored to a very high degree. You could either enjoy it as is, or fix all the non - 1915 details, or return it to its original black radiator 1917 - 18 status.
If you buy it then it would be your car to do with as you please.
Classic I've said it before and I'll say it again: ground up restore a Model T for a fun project then just try to get back what you put into it. Good luck pal. It's nice but it ain't worth 25 G's.
I've never been able to sell one for as much as I had in it, not including anything for the hundreds of hours of labor I had invested.
Gotta remember, it's worth what a guy who wants a nice car is willing (or able) to pay. That said, another thought is, if this car can fetch $25K, then maybe the next one in similar shape can fetch more than the $20K that a guy thought it only could, and so on. Then, just maybe, all the cars values will bump up a bit on the market too. While many say they'd never expect to get more than they got in it, deep down inside, we'd all like to "profit" just a wee bit when it comes time to part with our beloved cars. Right?
I bought a '15 in very similar condition to this one for less than that, but what with all the surprise repairs that popped up, I'm real close to that amount already. And when the time comes to part with her, I sure do plan on getting that much back out of it.
Sure we would all like to get paid for our efforts bringing those cars back from wrecks or parts. But unfortunately they're not in style with the tastes of most young car enthusiasts - and too many of the old enthusiasts who loves T's are leaving us.
I should have added something about my take on eBay and auction psychology in my first post - it's always easier to get any bid at all on an item if you have a lower starting bid than these type of items usually sell for. You may have a reserve price so it won't sell for a giveaway price, but it's always easier for an interested buyer (who may actually pay the high price you want) to bid if someone else already have made a bid before. Elementary group psychology, few wants to take the first step. After someone starts bidding, then another phenomena may set in - the auction fever when two buyers wants the same object & the end price may go way over the usual market price. But someone has to start.
If the reserve price or buy it now price you set is too high, then ebay has another useful feature - "make an offer". You can then accept or refuse the offers you get - and may get a better feeling for the actual market value without any research beforehand
Here's the way I've seen it. Personal experience talkin' here. You can't buy a T from a T guy whose done some work at a decent price mostly because of what's being said here. I've been through 3. One was an estate sale where I damn near stole the car. The other 2 where from old timers who had the cars for years and age caught up with them. Both at VERY decent prices. God knows what they originally spent on them. Of course I became that same T guy selling a car to T guys and turned a nice profit on each sale with minimum work. Let me put it this way: I bought at 4 figures and sold at 5 figures each time so I know folks will pay for a good car. Now as to the vehicle in question: nice work/ nice car BUT it doesn't appear to be what it's listed as. This is a problem to me. It seems a lot of the really old T's have been re-worked ('modernized") quite a bit and rely on what the paper work says as to age. The problem with that is there's the Forum where these changes can be pointed out like never before. This can greatly effect the price. Did he restore what he bought as he bought it or did he, as Royce suggests, dress up a newer model year car with some fancy paper work thrown in?
I've never sold a car, except to a salvage yard. I expect my T's to go in an auction after I croak. At that point I won't care what they bring, and whatever it is will be gravy for my brother.
As Jerry said up front, he is "new to the T world." With that said, he was asking for help in evaluating this car. Numerous times in the past, when someone new to the T hobby has asked for help in evaluating a particular car, they have been told by members of this Forum to seek out someone in their area who is familiar with Ts to help them determine the value / authenticity of the car. Why is that? So they won't buy a car that is either overpriced, poorly restored, non-authentic, etc. How is this any different except Jerry asked for help "on-line" rather than "in-person"? Forum members are giving the same advice on-line as they would if they had accompanied Jerry in person to look at this car.
This is a nice car, but in my opinion overpriced. I don't see any harm in giving honest feedback to respond to his original question. I would appreciate honest feedback if I was in the same situation.
First -- I think the comments have been very civil -- thanks guys!
Second – as previously mentioned it appears the body is not a 1915-16. As mentioned before because of the half moon cut out (that appeared with the black radiator cars - and that one looks about the same to me as others I recall seeing). The metal end caps on the arm rests (that appeared very late in the 1916 model year and would not have been on a very early 1916. We cannot see the door latches -- and they would add to the data. I would suggest checking the right front floor board rise for a possible body number and date. The Beaudett, Wilson, and a few others put the year and month the body was produced there.
Note is was very common in the 1950s to toss the 1915-16 body that needed rewooding and replacing it with a 1917-1920ish body that had good wood. After all many folks thought they were the same (not quite right about that) and they would fit fine (they were correct about that). My Dad originally purchased our 1918 for the body and top to be used on our 1915 cut off. But the 1918 was too nice to take apart so he kept both of them.
Now is the chassis the 1915 early 1916? I haven't seen enough to tell. But is the rear axle drain plug offset?
Again, beautiful car. If someone is looking for a beautiful car -- that could be the one (ok still probably over priced).
If they are looking for a 1915 Model T Ford -- with most of the correct parts -- probably not the car for them.
If they are looking for a Model T Ford to take on HCCA tours -- it will work fine – it has a brass radiator and is titled as a 1915.
Hap l9l5 cut off
Isn't the coil box switch correct? If it isn't, what is correct? It looks right to me...
I thought the later '16's and onward just had a black switch cover.
My Canadian '15 has a similar switch only, all the address info is Canadian.
Darren, the switches are very similar.
The 1915 switch has a hard rubber case like this.
This is the later switch. It's in a steel case. I think you're right about it being plain black with BAT, MAG, and the other markings stamped in the steel. This one has a repro plate on it that covers the stamped markings.
The '16 used the rubber case, but the cover plate changed from brass to blued steel.
The coil box is 1918 or later. The coil box has the metal divider / support that was introduced some time in 1918 I think. You can see it in this picture, red arrow:
For comparison sake here is a picture of the coil box in my '15 SN 733122:
Sorry guys, I think I could've chosen my words more carefully. "Shred" was a little excessive. What I meant to note was that even when we're seemingly being polite about it, we tend to get into a contest of nitpicking every little detail of any for sale car that is discussed here on this forum. Recently, one of our most respected members posted an ad for an original, '19 Touring. He was rewarded with an argument over whether it's really a '19 and if the charging system was a later addition to the car. In this thread, there has been some question whether the 3 dip oil pan that is clearly shown in the photos is in fact, a 3 dip pan. To sellers, we must really seem like a bunch of annoying nitpickers.
As I've stated on a previous thread, I have three cars for sale from my father's estate right now and I won't post them here because I don't want to subject my father's pride and joy to the nitpicking that they'll receive here. The fact that his '12 had been updated with a '15 coil box in the name of reliability, never bothered him and it will be disclosed to the buyer. I don't need to put the car up here for a lengthy discussion of whether or not the front fender irons with the integral top hold down eyelets are correct for Jan of '12.
Sorry for the thread drift. I'll get down off my soapbox enjoy a morning drive in my '14, despite the fact that (as one member of the Model T police pointed out to me years ago) it's got an incorrectly placed Murphy fastener on the body.
Thanks so much guys for the coil box/info!
Eric - You are right, it is a 1917 or later three dip pan with the wide nose.
Looks narrow to me or am I missing something? Still a very nice car.