For those who have read my other posts I recently bough a 1925 (Dalgety - Australian) Tourer. it arrived a week ago and I finally managed to get it going last night.
Anyway, I've just taken her for my first drive - and solo at that. WOW! What an adrenalin rush! Who needs high speeds?
My plan was to just drive 100 yards in low gear, turn around in a drive way to return home. I ended up going around the block, twice!
Why did I wait so long before buying a Model T?
You're right Mark. Who needs high speeds. They seem fast enough to me with the high altitude <grin>.
To me, that's one of the attractions of driving a T - you are fully alert, involved, and immersed in the driving experience, I never get tired of it!
So true! Had a couple of buddies stop by yesterday...Hard core Harley types... I gave them a short ride in the T. Both guys were smiling ear to ear when we got back. One said "I totally get your car, where can I get one?"
Mark, you said it well, and my biker friends understood what you so eloquently put into words!
Congrats Mark on your new T purchase, shes a beauty!. I totally understand how you feel, as a new T owner myself i went through the exact same emotions a little more than a Month ago. All i can tell you is that it only gets better . Once you have confidence that your T is safe and the best you can make it mechanically, you will be able to put those fears aside to concentrate on driving and really enjoying the T experience. Good luck and hope you get the same enjoyment out of your T that i have.
I agree. My first antique was a Model A. We totally restored it and drove it a fair amount. I had the hankering for a T. When I got it (A TT), I had intentions of restoring it. But it was so much fun to drive and attracted so much attention the way it is, I decided to leave it alone and enjoy it as is. When the Touring came along, we did the same thing. They are so much fun to drive, who wants to take the time to tear it all apart and restore it? We spend probably 90% of our antique time in one of the T's. The poor Model A just sits. It's pretty and it runs well, but it's just nowhere near the fun of a Model T. As for not needing to go fast, I enjoy taking the TT out for long rides on the back roads and it only does 20-25. Truly a lot of fun. It's hard for people to understand how that can be true, but once you get it, you get it. Kinda like Harley's.
I had my first drive in traffic this afternoon. I had to take the car to the mechanic for a "blue slip". This is a roadworthy certificate that is required in Australia when transferring vehicle registering.
The drive was a bit nerve-racking but at least I didn't hit anything. I felt like I didn't have enough arms when signalling turns and I'm still not sure that I'm adjusting the spark advance lever correctly. I guess practice makes perfect so I'd best spend more time driving!
Oh, and I definitely miss side view mirrors. I must get me some.
While it is not the 'best' way to do it, you certainly won't hurt anything if you just retard the spark for starting then advance it almost all the way and leave it there until shut down. You can drive this way until you are more familiar and more comfortable with the car. Once you have that mastered, then try playing around with the spark advance to wring that last bit of awesome performance from it.
When you get ready to take on spark adjustment, remember it helps to retard a little when shifting then advance as speed increases in high. It also helps sometimes to retard a little when going up a hill. Retard it and see if you notice a change. If it's a change for the better, leave it there until you speed up. If it seems to degrade performance, then put it back where it was. You either went too far or you didn't need to move it after all. These are subtle changes in performance that may not even be noticed by a newbie, what with all the excitement of driving a T the first few times. Then there are those who never learn (Or see the need) to do it.
PS: Above, when I said "a little", most of the time one 'node' when running on mag is enough. If you are on battery, then it will be a few notches. I'd say 1/4-1/3 of it's travel or so.
Mark, you need to shift to South Australia. None of that blue slip rubbish here!!!
Allan from down under.
Suggestion: One place that shows up the place for spark lever setting that works for me is this, get driving on a straight level road at a pretty good clip. Now run that spark lever up and down and listen and feel what happens to the engine. The retard is easy to notice, overly advanced is far more subtle, but it is there. More a sound than a feeling. For my car the optimal spot is about the mid point. All the way down is way to far in my T. We know you can over heat things by running to retarded, but running overly advanced is hard on the engine and can cause over heat as well, especially on a long high speed run.
Try it and see what you learn. I couldn't agree more that the T is the most fun car to drive I have ever experienced. The learning is all part of the fun. Enjoy.
Harley riders have a saying: "If I have to explain, you would not understand".
It is something about being organically connected with the driving experience and the world passing by. The smells, the sounds, the thickness of the air.
How can anyone be connected when they move through the world in an hermetically sealed box with a thumping stereo ?
But then again, U ain't b stokin u homeboyz wit out no fly whip, no wut om sain, Dog ?
Burger you said: "How can anyone be connected when they move through the world in an hermetically sealed box with a thumping stereo?".
Evidently by texting. Watch out Harley riders and Model T drivers!
Is there an app for connecting with the world around us ?
TEXTING! Reminds me of 4 kids I noticed sitting in a booth in a restaurant where I stopped for a bite to eat a few days ago. These four teen aged kids were all sitting there silently and "texting" each other! I realize that there are circumstances where texting is beneficial, but that sort of thing like what those kids were obviously enjoying,......well,.....I guess it must be my age,......I just don't "get it"!
Burger, The only app I've discovered so far is a Model T, And you don't even need a "smart phone" to use it!
Mark -I agree driving the T is a blast . Just be cautious when you are learning to drive it - You go through a stage where you fell everything is fine and you have it all mastered-Then you have to do an emergency stop and you instinctively do what you have always done -Plant you clutch foot and hit the brake pedal - Of course you are now in braked (of varying braking effectiveness) first gear. Caused me some hairy moments -I once missed a wall by about 1 inch -Karl
Teaching a friend to drive a T got me tire marks on my garage door. Low was winning the battle with the brake and I had to turn of the ignition to get it to stop. No permanent damage, just a lesson learned.
My dear ex's daughter decided she was unable to go on living without a celfone to remain in perpetual contact with "everyone" and began leaning on us to "provide".
Me, being Mr. Bummer, said ... "oh yeah, ... I have an idea. How about NO ?
Mom got the arm twist and caved in after about a year. The first month's text bill ? NINE HUNDRED DOLLARS AND CHANGE !!!!
That was the end of THAT game !
She later had a similar plan for getting me to buy her a new BMW ....
Karl, great words of wisdom. Trying to teach your brain to un-learn all the techniques that you have been using pre-T is the hardest part. As a new driver myself i made all the common mistakes, and learned from them because they usually scare you silly, or make you look that way. One thing i think i have done to mitigate this is to be very conscious of the way i use neutral in combination with the handbrake/gear selector. I have found that using it properly in various situations makes for a much less stressful drive. The first time i went to get gas i thought the hand lever was in neutral, and as i pulled up to the pump let my foot up and drove right past it. If i didn't need gas so bad i would have just kept on going.
I knew I had mastered my TT when I had to make a panic stop for a couple of puppies running across the street and didn't kill the engine. The windshield had the nose print of my poor chocolate lab on it. She didn't have any idea why I would have done that to her. It left two skid marks about 4' long on the pavement too. Maybe the brakes ain't as bad as some would make them out to be.
Hal, on my 26 it sure is easy to lock up the rear tires, then my stopping distance increases. I have yet to get the hang of making my foot use T brakes in anti-lock mode. I bet your lab still is the first one to jump in for a ride, even with the random emergent maneuver.
I decided that I was going to spend some time in the garage this afternoon practicing starting. Last time I drove Eliza I stopped to talk to my next door neighbour and had some real issues getting started again and when I did get her running she was running rough and I wasn't sure I was going to make it up the driveway.
I adjusted the mixture and what a difference! She runs so smooth now and starting is a breeze.
I'm starting to get the "hang" of driving now, I think. I drove around the block a couple of times and then decided to visit some friends who live around the corner. He teaches mechanics at TAFE (technical college). I was just coming out of the house from looking up their address when the turned up. They ended up becoming my first ever passengers and later in the afternoon I was also able to five my 84yo neighbour a ride too.
It just gets better and better. I really wonder why I waited so long to buy a Model T.
I taught two 10 year old grandkids to drive my T this summer.
Piece of cake!
They don't have to un-learn any habits from driving new cars.