Speaking about wives, today I was working on my '26 coupe and asked my wife to come help in the garage (BIG MISTAKE, remind me to never do that again). I needed her turn the steering wheel so I could see what was going on with the linkage. I'm having a problem with the steering wheel rolling over. That went ok, but then she start asking questions about why the driver seat was out of place and some scratch, chip paint on a fender. I said "let me fix the steering and adjust the bands so I can drive it and then I'll worry about paint scratches and seat alignments".
I didn't sleep in a Holiday Inn last night, but I just bought a Model T Ford Coupe
LOL on more occasions than I can remember I've needed an extra set of hands or someone to move something while I'm looking at it on the T - your example of the steering linkage is perfect. Her favorite (lol actually LEAST favorite) is when I get her to crank the engine over very slowly. "AGAIN?? Is it gonna break my arm? Why haven't you figured it out yet?"
She always talks really big, both when it's just me and her and especially in front of other folks "Yeah, I know he's really stumped when he finally breaks down and calls the expert to come look. Then I go out in the garage and fix it for him."
Inevitably though she gets bored or it's hot or it's cold or she was doing something else before I called her. So, she starts asking questions "Why is this rusty right here? When are you going to fix this? Is it supposed to make that noise?" until I'm shooing her out the garage "I don't need THAT kind of help, woman!" Hahaha, I'm pretty sure she does it on purpose cause she knows I'll send her back inside.
But, she likes riding in the T and supports my wildly expensive addiction and sometimes brings me snacks and drinks and her backside sure looks good when she sashays back in the house!!
You guys picked the wrong wives. I enjoy having mine in the shop, if for no other reason, someone to talk to. She's good about handing me tools and even does a fair amount of mechanic work herself. She is certainly not afraid to get dirty and doesn't think twice about hand cranking a Model T.
While doing upholstery you need that proverbial 3rd hand. Since I am in the sunshine state the wife said I could do the seat cushion in the house even covered the dining room table with an old comforter. but when it came time to do the back rest she asked why I couldn't do that in the house? I had to tell her the model "T" could not be parked in the living room like the Harley... when will I learn to keep my mouth shut?
That's funny right there! I've had a Harley in the kitchen before myself (Living room had carpet. Bad place to drip oil). Same wife too.
Mine grew up in a family of gear heads and doesn't really mind helping or pumping brakes but it's definitely not her thing.
Hal I know I'm as dumb or dumber than most guys but I just can't really carry on a conversation with my wife while working on the T. Unless I'm doing something like polishing brass I only have enough brain power to think about what is in front of me, or talk to her, but not both.
I can bring anything in the house I want or need to. She only gets annoyed when I take stuff from the kitchen to the garage: "Are those my kitchen scissors?!?" LOL, "Um. No? What are you talking about?" and then I throw a rag or something on top of them. "Is that towel from the kitchen too!?!?" HAHAHAHAHAHA "Huh? Look babe do you need something? I'm trying to do important man-work here." She's a good sport though.
I'm curious, Don't your wives ask you to help them with their Model Ts? It should be an even-steven arrangement.
My wife has managed to swipe two Ruckstell's and my Onaway steering wheel from me in the process of restoring her two cars. She might not do the wrench work, but she does all of our upholstery installs and has woke up one time with waffle marks on her face from falling asleep face down on the running board. She even puts up with an occasional white tire sitting in the shower.
Great thread. Like our cars, a wide "variety" of spouses (don't tell my wife I wrote "wide" and "spouse" in the same paragraph while talking about her ).
If my wife comes to our building (farm equipment/old car building), she's usually taking inventory. Invariably she finds something she hasn't noticed before and I have to explain how I've had it for years (hopefully I've discarded the UPS shipping receipt showing it arrived yesterday).
Of course, if it comes to her horses, I'm expected to help with fencing, feeding, etc. As for working on my cars, no way. I must admit she has been a trouper about owning cars worth more than our house, so I better not complain...........
Evidently opposites do attract each other
The thing that amazes me about wive helping out in the shop is their inability to see what the next thing is that must be done.
I once asked Sue to help me move a pile of 2x4's about 10 feet over and make a new pile. After every 2x4 was moved, she would stand there like she didn't know what to do next, and I would have to say "lets get the next one".
I got so frustrated I never asked her to to help in the shop again.
Now ... I'm wondering who was the smart one ...
My biggest complaint about my wife's mechanical abilities is she can't seem to comprehend fractional wrench sizes. I can ask for a 7/8 and she will say "I see a 7/16.....", like that might somehow suffice. She hasn't done that in many years, but I can still tell she doesn't know what she's looking for because she will be looking at wrenches that are WAY different in physical size as she is reading the size on them.
I get that too about taking stuff out to the shop from the house.
My wife likes to work in the shop.
She'll do the dirty work...cleaning and painting engine/chassis parts.
She'll hand sand a body for hours.
She washes them to get ready for a show.
I do get hassled about taking stuff from the house.
The "female" subject is one of endless potential. A favorite of mine involved an old boss, who was not exactly a great looking guy, but "made up for it" by being overly caustic and harsh. He DESPERATELY wanted a woman in his life, but had this constant love/hate thing going on because he thought they were so "stupid".
He had a favorite watering hole at a fancy restaurant ... calculatedly chosen to hopefully find a higher class of woman ...
One day he comes into work and in his typical ... "You're not going to believe this ..." tone, tells a few of us about a friendly exchange with this hot chick he met there.
How you doing ?
Great ! ... I am so excited. I just bought a new car !
Really ? What kind ?
A blue one !
Eleanor seems to love our "T" as much as I. Truly enjoys the ride in the "LADY EL". Trying to figure out where she got that name.
I get mild annoyed when "The Lady" takes a little extra to crank start using my armstrong starter and hear that I need to give it more kind words and a cup of coffee.
She delights in letting children sit in the T for photo ops. Says she knew the minute I first saw the T it would be coming home.
Mine cooks. I work on the car.
My wife only in recent times asks me to think before doing something that changes the quantity of 'T's that occupy the garage...before this year she just nodded and said 'that's nice' on anything dragged home.
She will ride in them...she will hold things when a third hand is needed...but to her my 'man cave' is my T's...a totally guy thing so she always leaves me alone when I putter on any of them.
The best story is one about an eye-roll...
She noticed one day that all but the tub of the 1925 Fordor was 'missing' and had been there as an assembled car not too many days earlier. 'Sell the chassis?' she asked and I made my first mistake 'No'. "Well, where is it?" and when my eyes looked up and over to a hatch door in the garage that gets into a high space over HER laundry room she added 'You didn't!' to which I nodded sheepishly. What a trooper though...she asked 'Will it all come crashing down on me some day?' and when I said plenty of support...she has never said a word since...or...is that maybe why I have been asked to think first before pulling my wallet out?
It wasn't a Model T, but it does involve my wife and a car.
I had just finished replacing the brake shoes and rebuilding a couple of wheel cylinders on the family car. I needed help bleeding air out of the system.
"Can you help me bleed the brakes ?"
"Sure. Will I get all dirty ?"
"Naw. All you have to do is sit in the drivers seat and press the pedal when I tell you to."
"OK, pump the pedal a few times and then push and hold until I tell you to let off the pedal."
So I loosen the bleeder screw, and nothing happens. No fluid, no hiss of air.
"OK, let off the pedal, then pump it a few more times and hold until I tell you to let off."
Again, I loosen the bleeder screw and nothing happens.
"After you pump the pedal and hold it, how far down does the pedal go ?"
"All the way to the floor."
After the third or fourth time I get out from under the car and check the master cylinder reservoir. It's full. Hasn't gone down a bit.
As I'm getting back under the car, she asks me, "Didn't you tell me once to never do this ?"
"Do what ?"
"Pump the pedal over and over."
"Why would I say that ?"
"I thought you said it would flood the engine."
That's why I like Model T's. No hydraulic brakes.
Joy is always willing to help but I seldom ask her. The fact she that she enjoys the cars and lets me do what I want with them is plenty for me. She's just a fun gal.
Rob, you beat me to it !!
My wife, I swear, has a photographic memory. As she squeaks past the racer and the roadster pickup in her wheelchair she can pick out things at her low vantage point that are either new, or have moved. We do a lot of traveling so she's in there 3 or 4 times a week. She can't remember day to day to take all her pills and remember her numerous medical appointments, but she can spot a package of gum in a darkened garage or notice a new wrench that I've bought. I made sure though to take her along when I bought a new, humungous air compressor. She rolls by it every time without giving it a second look - or the air tools sitting on top !!
Wouldn't want to be without my handy helper AND best friend! Chris.
With ya there Rob and Norman!
Speaking about wives, I'm very happy with the one I have. Pat enjoys going on all the car club meets/tours (we belong to CNHMTFC, Granite T'ers and PAL, Profile Automobile League here in New Hampshire). That is the reason I bought the '26 coupe (well that and I always wanted to become a doctor, but never had time to go to college). Pat will not ride in the '17, so when I went looking for another T, I always brought her along to make sure she could get into the car and ride with me.
+++ jpeg +++ 466342 +++ 1917 Model T Ford Canopy Express
Well for the first time today my wife finally tried to drive the speedster! LOL, I've asked her lots and lots of times if she wanted to learn to drive and she would respond positively but always chickened out if we were ever actually out at a parking lot in the T.
The whole episode was hysterical!!! We were in a big open, empty parking lot and we swapped seats. I had barely gotten in and first thing is she's pressing the low pedal and we're starting to go. Now, her car is a stick shift and she is great with it, no issues. So she just pushed the clutch in out of reflex. Which would be fine except she has this bewildered "What is happening?!?" look, so I said "Take your foot off the pedal." At which point we stopped rolling forward. "Okay, now, how about lemme tell you first?" LOL she laughed and said "It's all backwards!! I went to push the clutch in and we went!!!" So we went over working the throttle and pushing the pedal in to go and rolled around a while. It didn't take long and she wanted to go faster, so we started incorporating the spark advance. I could tell it was really tough (Just like the first several times I drove it) to keep everything straight in her mind about what to do. "Wow, you have to hold the pedal in the whole time to go slow?" So we roll around a lap or two more and out of nowhere she says "Alright!! I got this. Let's go out on the road!!" I said "Ok, but one quick test first, STOP THE CAR!!!" we were doing maybe 10 mph and it just blew her mind. Ya'll should have seen her face. She was pushing pedals and then taking her feet off pedals, working levers up and down and maybe 50 yards later she got her foot on the brake and we stopped. I then pushed the throttle up to idle and she said "Um, ok. Maybe not quite ready for the road yet" and we both laughed. She had fun and wants to work on driving more.
She then said as we were riding back to the house "Well gosh babe!! No wonder sometimes when we were first riding around in this I thought you were really intense. You are doing 500 things with your feet and hands and none of it is normal! And other than thinking you were too serious for the fun we were having I never noticed it in the way that you drove. It's really hard cause I wanted to drive it like my car." and I said "Yeah, when I was first learning to drive it was craziness." I don't think about any of it now, just get in and go, but the first probably month or two of driving sporadically I really had to make sure I got my brain switched over to T mode.
Anyway, know that's long but it super funny, she was a good sport about it and I laughed almost the whole time she was driving, both because she was smiling, having fun and because it was disconbobulating her so bad.
Seth, she now is addicted Have you started looking for her a suitable "T" yet... if you are not looking you may lose control of your speedster!
That's actually why we wanted to work on her driving. Last year she got to ride in a friend's 1915 wide track Touring car. She immediately fell in love and declared that she absolutely must have a '15 wide track touring so that whenever we toured she could have more people ride with her and they could all chat - which would be more fun for her and I'd be free to zip around act the fool in the speedster. I just crack up laughing when she talks about and tell her "Babe, I've only seen like 1 or maybe 2 wide tracks on the whole forum. I'll be doing really well to find you an actual '15 touring."
We are probably a couple years away from being anywhere near able to afford buying a T, either project or completed car. I've put some parts on mine but I only got it because my grandfather left it to me. The only problem is she's torn between getting a 1972 VW Super Beetle Convertible (which would be WAYYYYY cheaper than a T *hold thumbs*) and getting a T. She had the Beetle in high school and has always wanted another one. If I get the right job maybe one day we'll have both. =) Of course if THAT's the case then I'll have a TT wrecker and '67 fastback Mustang! We're going to need quite the stable to hold all of the steeds.
Haha I'll track down whomever has that Joe Gemsa engine that Mark Chaffin rebuilt and buy it from them. It'd be epic in a TT with a Warford and a Ruckstell.
my wife sez to drive a t is like milking a cow and doing the charlston at the same time
I am very fortunate. My wife is always happy to give me a hand when I need it. Even better, for 30+ years she has accepted the fact that cars sometimes follow me home
I am with you there Carl My wife likes to tell our friends that when we got married I gave her a choice cars or bars either way we would end up flat broke! Since at that time I was in the Navy and subject to moving at the whim of washington I still don't understand why she chose cars but she is happy and that's all that matters!
I was lucky as well. When Anja was a child in Holland, her parents had a 1928 Chrysler Touring that was the family vacation car for a number of years. Her dad had built a trailer for the car that was full of drawers and compartments for stowing luggage. At some point, he also had a 1931 Morris Minor. When I expressed interest in 1974 in buying the 1936 Austin Ten, it seemed perfectly normal to her. We went on several tours in the Austin with the Austin Ten Drivers Club. Then in 1977, we moved to the US and brought the Austin with us. Drove 6,500 miles from New York to St. Louis via North Carolina and Nova Scotia. Then in 1996, I really wanted to buy the T and again she was okay with it. She drove it once on private property at a Model T Club picnic, but decided that she was happier with me as driver and her as navigator.
I didn't keep track, but calculated roughly that we had put at least 14,000 miles on the T with trips (St Louis to Dearborn and back in 2003 and St Louis to Richmond and back in 2008) and tours (too many to count accurately). She was a great navigator for me, but since her instructions jumped back and forth between Dutch and English, not sure how effective she would have been for someone else....
Helping with maintenance was limited to the kind of things mentioned above where two widely separated pairs of hands are necessary, and to putting the top up and down.
In over 36 years my wife has never complained about any of my purchases.
I don't have a photo of her with the T's but found this one of her with my '65 Mustang.
I think I'll keep her.......
As usual Norm you hit the nail on the head. "Mine cooks. I work on the car". Wifey will rock a steering wheel or see if the rear lights are working but honestly she doesn't much care for a T. She rode with me in a T once.(I've had 3 of them). Held on for dear life and took a shower afterwards. Never asked for a ride again.
I did pick the right one, took 2 tries but I got a keeper.
She owns and operates 2 Subaru Stores, and has more mechanical knowledge that a fair share of her tech's.
We have a mutual pact regarding our cars, she collects loud and fast, a couple of Ferrari's, a Shelby Cobra, and a turbo Mercedes sports car. I on the other hand have early brass cars from 1908 thru 1912.
She makes the money and I spend it on our collection. She never questions what I spend on any of our cars, or when I buy new addition. She will help in the shop and often suggests different ways to accomplish the work, more often than not is spot on.
My job is to make sure everyone runs and is at the ready for her to drive whichever one she wants, and she can drive everyone with skill and ease.
She can drive the T's equally as well as the Ferrari's or Cobra. She was a bit hacked when I sold the Fronty single overhead cam 1 man sprint car. I taught her how to drive it and because it was loud and damn fast was quickly one of her favs
The Fronty only had a hand lever for the brakes on the rear wheels and the planetary transmission. She mastered the process and was quickly racing up and down the road in front of out house at very fast illegal speeds with a huge smile on her face.
As I said a real honest to god car girl and a keeper thru and thru.
That is what wives do. They start asking/telling you about other stuff when you are try to repair/replace the job that is in front of you. What I get is, while trying to lay down the new kitchen tile floor, "we need to replace that dishwasher and repaint the kitchen so it matches the floor better". Let's finish the job at hand first. Then tackle the other stuff.
Well, Brasscarguy and Rob Heyen are about the luckiest men I know.
I'm just sayin',
As Henny Youngman and Rodney Dangerfield used to say, "Take my wife . . . . Please"
Just saw this sticker today in the back window of a lady's car.
BLONDS TEASE ----- REDHEADS PLEASE
I couldn't tell what color she had died her hair, sorta readish blond I think.
Teresa hasn't had much interest in driving the T but has enjoyed every tour we've been on and is planning on the next one in Branson. She likes sightseeing and putting her feet up on the dash and relaxing as I drive. I hate heights and she has no problem being on the 3rd scaffold up painting the ceiling or sides of the cabin. I build the woodwork and she sands and stains/paints. When we were first married she didn't want to be skipper of our Hobie Cat but was the best crew I ever had. She watched the wind and suggested tactics while we raced them at regatta's. With my practice, she's done the lion's share of raising 4 great kids and has always been my partner. I couldn't praise or love her more!
Sorry, Willis, there is nothing I would take in trade for her. As stated, she's a keeper. I should also mention She gives me a paycheck each week, not for work but to stay away from her stores for another week. She never questions what I do with the money, so its a win win for me.
Where can I find a job like that ?