In a few weeks i will have owned my first Model T for 6 months and compared to most here, that's a very short time to say the least. The thing that i find most fascinating is that unlike all my other cars that i own, i cant stop thinking about the T and all the things i can do to improve it and make it the best that i can possibly make it. I have been a car guy all my life and still own muscle cars with turbos and massive horsepower with heated seats for your tushy and every luxury known to man, but with all that said, i still get the most satisfaction and still get the butterflies every time i get behind the wheel of my 25. Am i alone here?
I think most of us are like you. There is something different and endearing about the Model T that newer cars don't have.
You are not alone at all John. It won't be long before you have another T, and then another. Once that bug bites you, you live with the sting!
All that high horsepower can be fun, but you'll never use it and it will just get you in trouble if you do use it. It's also very expensive, and the cars are barely drivable in city traffic.
A Model T putters along at 35mph, and suddenly you begin to see things that you never noticed before. Everyone smiles, waves, and honks, and if you're in an open car, everyone is your friend at the stoplights, everyone talks to you. Of course, you can't resist smiling either. Ear to ear!
Thomas and Jeff, you are both correct. Sometimes just slowing life down to a nice pace gives you a new perspective of life,..i prefer the 35-40 mile an hour way of life. God knows we could use it now.
I think it’s a matter of the virtuous purity of simplicity, the greater demand for skill on the part of the practitioner and the challenge of developing those skills. -It’s the difference between sailing and power-boating. -It’s the difference between a musician who relies on a battalion of electronic effects-pedals and a genuine jazz-man who can do amazing things with an acoustic instrument.
Operating a brass-era car in modern traffic is definitely a challenge; in fact, it’s challenging to the point of being… well, a bit risky. -Hey, these cars are demanding of skill and are—as the old adage goes—terribly unforgiving of carelessness, incapacity or neglect. -With the responsible (and successful) management of such risk comes a feeling of accomplishment—you’ve slain the dragon.
Unlike the drivers of vehicles whose computerized gadgets and digital gizmos are beyond the comprehension of mere mortals, we antiquers become intimately familiar with the very guts of the beast and rediscover arcane skills of maintenance that might confound the kids working at the local service station. -In my experience, there’s no shortage of mechanics who will not trust themselves to work on a century-old car—so the only other choice for the owner is to learn how to do it himself. -Fortunately, we belong to a brotherhood wherein camaraderie, knowledge, experience and the occasional, priceless helping hand go with the territory. -Other people… well, they just don’t get it.
I have owned my 27 for just over a month and am so stoked to have a part of history. I talked with my grandma today and found that she was born may 10th 1927. Her and my car are the same age and possibly could have been born in the same month. Awesome! I shall name her Bobbi.
Love to see all the new owners here..keep it going!..
When you [improve] everything [you] think is needed will you still have a model T?? Bud.
I have sort-of understood this for almost 40 years. But, I still cannot really understand it. And I certainly cannot truly explain it. However, there is another side to all early automobiles. And more than any other car, especially model T Fords.
They connect their caretakers to history. Their history, your history, my history. More than any other historic passion, they connect you to all the other historic passions. You begin to understand how people lived, how they felt, and how hard they worked to make the world we know today. I know many model T people. Most of them are passionate about other antiques, eras, whether a hundred years ago, or several thousand years ago, or maybe just a few decades. They are passionate about certain musics, cultures, even religions other than their own. They are more connected to everything in their lives, and their past, than most other people I have ever known.
I don't know just how a model T can do that. But they sure seem to.
My favorite, personal, saying is;
The greatest, single generational leap, both technologically and sociologically, in all of human history, was the roughly thirty years from the mid 1890s until the mid 1920s. How half the people in the world lived, changed more in those thirty years than in any hundred years before, or so far, since.
You can argue forever, the first and last years for that leap. You can argue that most of those changes required a hundred or more years of development before they took hold. But you cannot seriously argue against the fact that before 1900, MOST people in the world had never even seen an electric lamp. Light at night was by burning something, and disastrous fires were a common side effect. Most people did not live in cities. Relatively few people worked in factories. Nearly ALL music was live performance, as were plays. Most people worked seven days a week, six of them were very long days. While phonographs did exist before then, again, their influence was limited.
By 1925, much of the world had electric light. Phonographs and radios were quite common. People worked less hours, lived more comfortably, and had entertainment available at their whim. 1925 is much more like today, than it is like 1890.
The change in those three decades was huge! The automobile was both a cause, and a result, of that change. The model T more so than any other car. As such, it is the perfect icon of that "single generational leap".
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
John,this is not unusual. I have a Model A, early Ford V8s 50s Fords and Mercs and a HI PO Mustang I bought new.While I love them all ,I like the Ts the most. They do grow, Im up to eight, five drivable and another one close to being done. Favorite body style touring, favorite year 24. The only improvement I have done is to make them climb hills better.
John, very happy that you have joined the Model T family. I like you and all the rest on this blog I am fascinated with my Model Ts (I'm also in love with steam trains & steam engines, hit & miss gas engines and most everything that went on during the Model T run). My first is a 1917 Model T Canopy Express Delivery which I added everything that I could think of (nothing is to good for our Model Ts). However I just got a 1926 Model T coupe and felt that I just wanted to keep it the way Henry Ford made it (just like Ken said, in the end it's a Model T Ford).
John, it is not unusual but I think it may be more universal than we imagine, My neighbor's kid just turned 16 and got his right of passage in his name (drivers license) I said this calls for a celebration so I offered to teach him to drive any one of my old cars he chose. To his dads surprise he wanted to learn how to drive the "T" because no one else in school had ever driven one. He is a good kid but now is wanting to take his date to the JR/SR prom in the pick-up long way off yet but ... I think he is hooked!
John, Jeff Hood hit the nail on the head, exactly what I've said before, almost word for word! Especially about getting another...my bet is you will too. I'd have more if I had the room and the money. Some day.
Ford built the Model T for the masses. In other words for the majority of the American people.
Its remains that way today for people who love the car that put America as a whole on wheels.
Ford antique cars are and will remain the most popular for old car enthusists.
There are more parts available for Model T's both used and new reproduction.
To be sure there are other old cars that are popular but not like the Model T.
I agree that a T owner ,whether a purest or a tinkerer, fits this feeling if they admit it or not. Having a great day with your T.
I am wondering if anyone else feels the similarity of driving experience to that of a childhood bicycle learning experience or that of an adult-sized go-kart ? The peculiar sense of freedom, flying, the wind in your face ... you are experiencing movement on a much more organic scale than the television experience of riding in a closed up, climate controlled car.
I see T's in two lights .... one is the above described driving experience, the other is the indescribable "magic" spell a vehicle like this has on those people susceptible to such connectivity. That is, a connectivity to history, to "the old ways", to deeper thinking, to just being a little more in touch with the world around them. And by presenting such a magic spell, those people come out of the woodwork to perhaps share their experiences and history from a place the modern world drives us to, where we aren't connected and little value is placed on the nostalgic.
Another way to look at it is it filters out the brain dead and reveals the gems we might not otherwise know are around us had we not brought out the T to work its magic.
I thought that driving my Model T was the ultimate stress reliever. The 30-35 mph cruising speed, the tick of the coils, wind in the face, no radio or heater, spartan vehicle feeling forced me to slow my mind down and enjoy the scenery. Scenic roads that I'd enjoyed traveling for years while riding my motorcycle suddenly unveiled new wonders due to the slower pace. The T showed me a level of relaxation that nearly replaced my interest in riding motorcycles. Life in the slow lane seemed perfect... Then, I bought an '08 Maxwell.
It turns out that the T definitely has competition for my attention. Life in the "even slower" lane ads more time to watch the scenery, and with its drip oiler mounted to the dash, the car is slightly more primitive that the Model T. It gives even more of that visceral, man working with his machine experience.
Don't get me wrong, I'm always gonna love my Model Ts, but I'm realizing that any primitive car can give you that "are you sure this is really legal?" feeling.
I love what you said about the coils Eric! To me its the heartbeat of a T.
We just have to remember that when our T's were built life really was a little bit slower and brakes were a little different.
Lets drive safe and have fun.
Yeah, my Maxwell is part Model T. As an '08, it's old enough that it originally came with a constant loss; battery, coil and timer ignition system. The original Splitdorf coil has been replaced with a pair of T coils. When I drive it, I still hear that familiar tick coming from the dash mounted coil box. Maybe, that pat of the reason I'm so taken with the new purchase that my wife insists is our anniversary present to each other.