I was surfing and just came across this on the AACA forum. I thought it might have some discussion here too.
With the general exception to adding modern safety modifications, I don't see this group having this issue.
Some of us appreciate a well done hot rod others don't, but you don't see them popping up here. We, as a group tend to stick with period correct mods.
It is sad when a group dedicated to restoration and preservation turns, however I don't have all the information either.
I joined the Model T Ford Club, International, and
support MTFCA events when I can. I like the fact that both clubs encourage the hot rodders (read T-Buckets) to join other clubs. I personally feel that those of us who have Speedsters and Racers are harking back to the day when Henry drove ol 999. Please understand, I have no anamonasity
to hotrodders, but feel they belong elsewhere.
I think there was a recent write up in the Horseless Carriage that was along the same lines. Of course what was meant by "modified" is lost to us reading the above because we are not members of VCCA. So crying wolf because there might be rat rods and full blown hot rods allowed is not even part of the information presented.
Many of our Model T's and A's are modified from original with carburetors band linings pistons valves Ruckstell's overdrives heads outside brakes etc. Even the Model A's have added a touring class to their judging line up that allows as I understand some mods.
With a Model T specific club, there is a defined year cut-off for the car... MTFCA and MTFCI clearly allow modified cars with speedsters, commercial bodies, overdrives, overhead conversions, rockie mountain brakes, etc but most of these visible modifications we see on tours were common, available, or at least possible in 1927.
VCCA club membership spans several decades, so "period" modifications are not the same period for all members. A "period" modification for a '28 Chevy is far different than some of the "period" modifications that occurred on a '69 Camaro.
I can see where this puts the club in a bit of a tough spot when allowing modifications. Especially for modifications that were done by dealers when the cars were brand new (Yenko, Nickey, Baldwin/Motion, etc)
Let's take 10 steps back from this issue and examine the paradigm in which "we" see old cars.
I am not sure where this all began, but who's brilliant idea was it to base the hobby around a car show and initiate
judging and prizes ? Because this is where it all goes wrong.
Own your car, drive your car, enjoy your car, spend your time and money restoring your car and seeking out the
companionship of other like-minded fools .... isn't that the most basic form of old car appreciation and pleasure ?
So, how did it get turned into a competition with rules and politics and all the other BS ? But more importantly to
ask, why do we accept this paradigm of what our hobby is supposed to look like ? After all, that is the only thing
WE really have any power over.
I liken the problem to what we referred to in high school as a "Dudefest". Some guys really knew how to throw a party. Others just invited all the guys they knew over and it was nothing but a bunch of dudes hanging out, talking
about the same old crap over and over and over again.
We all get choices here, and my choice after years and years of club membership and eating that some old ***** sandwich paradigm of what someone else thinks is "fun" is to shun the rigid conformity and do my own thing. We
all know who the cool guys are. We also know a ***** when we see one. Why do we let the ***** dictate to the rest of us how to function as a hobby ?
This seems like a no brainer to me.
(Message edited by adminchris on December 08, 2014)
I like the "period correct" caveat for the MTFCA and was afraid the distributor would disqualify me.
I think the mods "allowed" are reasonable, especially if they concern safety. The first thing I did was put a brake switch and two filament bulb in!
Accessory carbs, high intake manifolds, etc were all done back in the day. If it was OK then it should be OK today.
There is a philosophy behind judging antique cars, and I have done a little judging for the MTFCI. There is also a philosophy behind the MTFCA's decision not to judge.
Both Model T clubs are interested in the preservation and authentic restoration of the Model T, but their approaches are very different. The MTFCI has spent considerable time and money creating a set of standards intended to specify what an original, brand new Model T should look like. To their credit, they do their best to spread that information, and by competitive judging they hope to encourage owners to bring their cars up to as close to the standards as they can. The standards rule out major modification, wrong paint colors, and such. However, the problem for the past 20 years has been that it is difficult to keep the standards up with the research that has been done on the Model T and what an authentically restore Model T should look like. Then too, some myths about the Model T die hard (my personal pet peeve is that engines were never paints or were painted in Cast Blast).
Competition also has its drawbacks. Owners (and judges) sometimes become over enthusiastic when restoring their cars. I suspect they lose some perspectives. This occurs when the car has a flawless paint job, or when the fenders are absolutely perfect, as well as perfect upholstery or tops. Many of the restorers are very fine craftsmen and they would like their cars brought up to their professional standards. And they sometimes do go too far. I have judged cars where the radiator peacock has been polished to such a high luster that I could shave in it. Ford could never have build and sold Model Ts for $450 if time had been taken to highly polish the petcocks. Good judges know this and do not allow it to affect their evaluation of the car.
The MTFCA conscientiously decided not to follow that path, choosing instead to focus on research on the Model T, examining original cars, and publishing the findings in the Vintage Ford. The Model T Encyclopedia, which many of us have contributed to, is found elsewhere on the MTFCA web site. At this time it is the most uptodate information on what Model Ts looked like when they left the factory. In restoring my own cars I have consulted past issues of the Vintage Ford, and the encyclopedia. When those were not sufficient, I have an option that few other Model T owners have - I can go back into the stacks at the Benson Ford and dig through the engineering documents collection.
A very good friend of mine, who also has about the same access as I do, once remarked that he probably spent as much time researching the features of his cars at The Benson Ford as he did actually restoring the car. His cars have done very well in MTFCI judging competitions. That is actually the truth. He has also remarked that when some one asks him about the features of an early vs. a late car, he has to respond "early in the morning or late in the day", which is also not far from the truth. The changes sometimes came that fast. And one other thing, I have observed that it takes about as much time to write a major article about the Model T as it does to authentically restore a car from the ground up. In either case, I has to be a labor of love.
But I digress...
If this really escalates in to a major battle it'll probably split the club into mods and orig vehicles which I think might be the only answer. All depends on how rabid each side is. I think it's pretty clear here that a radically modified T isn't a T any more. Most resto-mod T's, while not exactly unwelcome, are referred to as exactly that. Modified and not a t any more. Puts 'em off and they disappear.
Your logic makes perfect sense until applied to the hoy pelloy of non-thinking car people, who mindlessly gravitate to
"I have a car, therefore I buy into all this car show function" nonsense that so many people do.
I agree that research and knowing what is "correct" and having those resources available is awesome. But when it becomes
a dog and pony show where people compete for most awesomely restored car, the whole point is lost and it is more about
the competition than it is about just enjoying one's car. Or spelled out more specifically, one can enjoy their car for the
organic experience of wrenching and driving and putting smiles on the faces of those who see your car going down the
road, OR it can become all about the car being a TOOL in which the owner uses it to draw "big shot" points amongst a
similarly minded "Look at ME !" crowd.
I am of the former group, and have no use at all for the latter group, regardless of the kind of car involved. I don't like arrogance
and I don't think it does ANY hobby any good. I mean, who thinks that chest pounding puffery is a good idea besides the chest
My whole point is the draw focus on motivations and perhaps cause people to think about WHY they are into what they are into,
rather than just mindlessly follow an established paradigm "because it us there".
In theory, acknowledgment (and/or judging) can be a good thing for promoting authenticity when standards are set. It's in the
application of human nature TO this process that it goes sideways.
That is a sad state of affairs.
Why join and modify a club when there are clubs already in place to fulfill your needs?
With 8000 members, I would think the next election for board members will fix this issue for them. There is no reason to shun or hate others for their interest, it just seems like a slap in the face to a stock style car club to waltz in and change the rules..
Mtfca and the other club have a set of rules and they should be adhered to. If someone has a ratrod or hotrod, they need to look at other clubs to join. Not 1 set up for stock or period correct cars.
Heck for that matter, I own a 77 Impala chevy wagon. I think I will join a vintage corvette club and see if I have any luck changing the rules. Hey my car may have passed 1 of their vet's in the factory parking lot!
Rattty rods are just that, rodent things. Far too many so called rodders are giving all of us a bad face running antique plates on their creations. Most of the stuff I have seen is unsafe at nearly any speed, not practical and a thing that looses its desire just as soon as a given color or modification is out of vogue. I was guilty of putting a v8 in a model A back in the 50s and a Olds in a 40 Ford. Both vehicles would handel like a sports car on a mountain road and were not painted easter egg colors. Both of those same vehicles are back to original configuration today.
The clubs that are more preoccupied with membership numbers than staying true to the reason they were organized seem to be in the majority these days. I don't know if it's an attempt to be politically correct by not excluding anyone or if it is a desire to grow the ranks so they will have a full coffer but I am tired of it either way.
I got into antique automobiles because I was interested in history. I was interested in the sociological aspects of history. I was interested in the technological advances of that history. And I was interested in how they coincided. The automobile was both a cause and an effect of that history. It became a natural passion for me.
When I work to preserve an antique automobile, I am preserving a piece of someone else's dream. I am preserving a piece of how they lived their lives. If I do not care enough to remember others from the past? Why should anyone in the future care about or remember me?
When a car is completely remade into something it never was, it is similar to rewriting history. While I can appreciate hotrods, and admire their history and the continuation of an American pastime (that of building hotrods itself is a part of our history). I am greatly saddened by the fact that way, way, too many people I have talked to over the years do NOT understand that a hotrod IS NOT the same thing as a well restored or preserved car!
What I do hate about the VCCA situation (yes, hate is a strong word, but I mean it). I hate the arrogance too many people have to not want what you have, but they want to take it over and destroy it so you cannot have it even though there are very good other options for them to have what they do want.
Sadly, that is also a part of what is well on its way to destroying this once great nation. Arrogance, greed, and dirty politics, along with not understanding history.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
It gets complicated in the musclecar era with some of the cars most highly sought-after by collectors which were modified by the dealers that sold them new. Also many rare cars with known race history are restored to their as-raced appearance rather than factory delivered.