In another post Bob Coiro asked, "...might purists of a slightly more liberal bent see natural-wood spokes as being acceptable on an earlier car?" Rather than inflict drift, I'll comment here.
I see purism as a spectrum, like other human conditions. At one end would be the guy who insists on originality down to the nuts and bolts, has original plate glass windows, makes his own colored body varnish and Gilsonite engine wash, and puts NOS air in his tires. At the other end is the creative soul who drops in a Chebby 350 and Pinto steering and installs purple crushed velour upholstery and a bathtub with gold faucets. At various points along that spectrum you'll find folks willing to accept different degrees of modification. Some guys will put an alternator, a distributor, and twelve volt conversion, sealed beam headlights, four wheel disk brakes, and other innovations all on the same car. Some will use one or two of those and not others. And some will refuse all of the above in favor of going as stock as they can manage. But I'll bet even the guys who insist on an original style sleeve and pinion bearing all replace babbitt thrust washers with bronze. Nobody is 100% pure.
My position on the spectrum is toward purity. I want my wood wheels black, even though natural finish became a dealer option in 1925, because most were black. My demountable rims are galvanized, not painted. I'm not putting an alternator on a car that came from the factory with its own built-in alternator, and a six volt system works fine for me. The Ford ignition coil setup is fine, so no distributor here. But how pure am I? I'll use a New Day timer, and neoprene rear axle seals, and a Fun Projects pinion bearing, and a VR and fuse. I guess I'm around 90%.
Steve, i too consider myself one of those "dreaded purists", i just love the idea of having my car looking as close as it did the day it rolled out the factory door. On the other hand though i realize that there is something even more important than my own feelings, the safety for me and my passengers. I added R/M's and blinkers and brake lights. It probably brought my purist rating down to about 75%, but i can live with that.
I like a car that looks like a Model T, drives like a Model T.
In order to be a complete "purist" one would need 100 year old tires, oil, and gasoline. None of these are available today. Even the type paint used in those days is not available anymore.
I have seen some nice old cars with the "patina" on the outside, but do not like to sit on mildewed and rat infested upholstery. I don't like to risk getting cut by shards of plate glass.
In modern traffic and in hills, I like the Rocky Mountain brakes. If I had a speedster or other modification which would go faster than the original T, I think perhaps, hydrolic 4 wheel brakes.
Anyway I like the Model T powertrain even if it is modified. Anything else is just not a Model T. As we know the bodies varied over the years, but the suspension and drivetrain remained almost identical over the 19 year period, so that's really what makes it a Model T.
I am also leaning toward purist, to the point that I usually wear clothing made in 1918 while driving, although I have one neoprene and one felt rear axle seal, that would be because I got tired of looking for the second new seal when I was putting my axle together, now it is finished and the new seal is setting on the bench where I put it.
My attraction is the aesthetic presentation of a Model T era car. The out-of-place visual of something that appears
to have fallen through a time warp. So, I guess this translates into a period-correct appearing vehicle that may or may
not have updates that do not alter the vehicle's period correct appearance. My interest extends to context as much as
the vehicle. Car shows and parades are a no-go. I want to see the old dogs out there being used as they were seen in
1923 or 42. That contrived and cutesy stuff ain't for me. Show me a load of wood or hay that needs moving !
I think the general consensus of this board is keep it as Model T as possible--no matter what the vehicle ends up being (Speedster, Tractor, Truck conversion, etc). That I would say fits about 75-80% here--including me.
I want it to represent what a Model T is, and period accessories I am fine with. Lets face it, a lot of people bought accessories back then, tires wore out and were replaced as did plugs, wires, timers and more. But as long as it remains at heart a model T with its proper major parts. I am OK with it. Correct or incorrect nuts and bolts do not bother me so much, but I do try and keep true to appearances with square nuts, slotted screws and such.
My Canadian pickup is a hodge podge of parts, A touring car that was cut off. To me, it is original--from the time period, because real things like that happened back then. I get a kick out of telling/educating and showing people that fact, because they don't know. But I fully understand it is not original in restoration terms.
My Doodlebug/Tractor I feel the same way. Real model T's got cut up to make various projects. I am happy to be a part of preserving things like this, perhaps modifying them slightly more to make them better and/or safer--but still representing the original premise.
To me, when I see a super shiny black era Model T, I think over restored. Maybe that is what the person/caretaker wanted, but to me it does not represent a true Model T from the ages--I highly doubt they were that shiny off the line. Earlier brass cars I am more tolerable at over restored as it just seems to flow better with the whole vehicle. A couple of my biggest pet peeves is full 12 volt conversions, and disk brake conversions on anything but speedsters. Those two things alone do not represent a true Model T IMO.
But these are only my opinions, to each their own.
I'm with you all the way Steve at 90%. I have plate glass, bronze thrust washers, neoprene axle seals, modern pinion bearing, Anderson timer and halogen headlight bulbs. I drive my car all the time and 100% just isn't possible. I'm purist enough though that I'm actually slightly ashamed that I have the modern pinion bearing. The stock setup looked complex and troublesome in diagrams. Once I took it apart, I realized it looked like a good setup and I might have used stock parts instead. The main thing is, I am pretty much running Henry's original car and it totally looks that way. I would never consider natural wood spokes.
Actually Chad, those black era Ts weren't that shiny, they were shinier! They put today's cars and most of the restorations to shame.
I'm trying to have components that would have existed in 1923-30 for the model T. Aftermarket or stock. As it is a speedster built from parts if I find a 28 chevy trim piece that makes my life easier then I'll use it. It will still be a T at heart, Frame, transmission with three pedals, 4 cyl sidevalve with a stock rear end a buzz coils...
Would I like an original? yep, would I keep it that way, yep. I have not been dealt those cards.
Dave, I did not know that fact. That one inside the showroom would probably put most cars at a car show to shame. Thank You for the enlightenment.
But, I still hold to the fact that to me, a real Model T is one that has done its time. Those shiny restorations just do not do it for me as beautiful as they are. I hold nothing against that, just not what gets my motor running.
Burger, I agree 100% with you
Where can I get NOS air?
I too am for "improvements" that don't show. New style seals, Fun Projects coil box liner kit, ect. There are only two places I step off the purist platform. Paint and natural spokes. I don't care for what some call patina. Rust in English. Not knocking you understand I just like my cars to look good and that means paint and I obviously like varnished wood too.
How about NOS gas and oil?________________
Chad, I hear ya. I used to think Ts were dull finished, nearly everyone does as they would quickly deteriorate. For that reason, I accept the finish either way. I do get a kick out of it though when some old timer comes up to me and says "nice looking car but they never made them shiny like that". I show them those photos and it leaves them speechless.
This has become a dual topic thread. Is that OK?
I'm amazed at the quality of finish (at least from the distance that the period photos were taken) that Ford was able to achieve with the paint and application technology of the day.
If some of our modern day suppliers were born back when the "T" was new and came up with their designs and marketed them then, would this be a matter of debate now or accepted as "Period Correct" and used without question?. It's up to you what you do, I like to use period correct parts as much as I can and keep with the essence of the car as it was designed, however, some times it makes more sense to use a part that makes the car safer and more reliable than the period part. Most modern replacements are made to look the part or is hidden away where it cannot be seen. Major changes to the design of the car is not what I would do, I like the way the car is and have fun with a machine that is archaic and a challenge. I know and accept the inherent risk and limitations of the car. If I wanted these modern upgrades,I would get a car that was designed and built with them. How you go about your repair is your business and what you accept as risk is yours too. Whatever you decide, have fun with your car and don't take yourself too seriously, life is too short to get all pissy about silly things.
I don't yet know where I stand on the T purity scale but I have to say I sure do appreciate the fact that the T crowd is okay with cut off tourings. I've been called all sorts of names from various 'purists' from outside the T field when they hear what I have and that I intend to keep it that way.
I think ya'll spend too much time worrying about what the other guy is doing or thinks. I like my Model T's. One has an alternator and a twelve volt system. Another has bronze thrusts in the rearend. As a matter of fact all three do. I threw my water pumps away because they're designed to leak. In one car I run non-detergent oil and I burn detergent in the other two. I have brakelights on one of them and no lights on the other two. I can't afford an etimer so I don't put them on my cars. If I could afford one I'd probably put gas in the tank instead. Totally restored cars with shiny paint don't always appeal to me. A lot of times they simply mean a lot of people have too much non-essential income. However I really appreciate people who spend the time and money on their Model T's to get them where they like theming their own. I don't care what color your wheel spokes are. If I'm going to be in a tour with you, I hope your car is safe enough to keep from killing you or me. If your car breaks down I'll be disappointed but I'll do what I can to help. One thing I really enjoy is driving down these back country county roads around here and waving back at people when they wave to me. Honking my horn when I see someone outside in the yard. Taking my big goofy dog for rides every chance I get and answering a lot of questions about Model T's when someone asks them. To me there's no such thing as "period correct" because as long as the car can be made to go down the road the period when it's correct is now! I'd even take a Model T with a V8 flathead in it. I think they look like fun. I also think anyone who thinks their Model T with an overhead valve V8 engine, fiberglass body, 9" Ford rearend, T-5 GM transmission is a Model T has some identity issues.
" The Only Pure Model T is YOUR Model T. Harv
In view of all the accidents on tours, using the pre-1920 wishbone unreinforced is stupid.
Ah, the Model T, one of the most modified cars almost from day one from the past! Back then and even now. Don't care if yours has a distributor, disk brakes, water pump etc. As long as it's safe to drive and have fun with, go for it! When I was much younger it would have been "That's not right!", I hope I have gone past that and for the most part I have.
Sorry RD,Had i know how dumb it was i would have not provided taxi service for you in the 14!! Bud.
As for purity I don't think there are any virgin Model T's that have not been molested after leaving the factory.
My 22 touring isn't period correct, I like brass waaaay too much. Oh nothing like headlight or side light bezels nothing like that, but the occasional screw, acorn nut a robe rail or even my original windshield frame liner (I buffed all the nickel off for the brass) and I don't even mind polishing it. I know it's supposed to have nickel, but I think the brass breaks up all that black right well. As far as wheels go, I like my spokes natural looking and I'm a 6 volt system, not 12 or 8, my tires haven't been made since the 50's, I do have a distributor though (I am planing on going back to coils and timer someday) but I know that my car will go any direction I point her in with no problem whatsoever...she looks like a Model T, she sounds like a Model T, she runs a wee bit better than most Model T's, but I think for a drivers car she's every bit as much a Model T for as any trailer queen, only she'll get wherever she has to go under her own power (I'm too cheap for trailer ).
my 15 touring was good enough to win 1st at Hershey then with the addition of grease, oil, and gas drove the Hershey Hangover tour. I felt confident then and every other time I drive it. That car is probably as safe as the day it was first sold. Running at T speed on mag with cast iron pistons and stopping with NOS Scandinavian cotton bands, I don't think my front axle will collapse. Speedsters with hydraulic brakes and overhead valve engines probably need an "other than stock pre 15" front axle and wishbone. The way I deal with my own internal purist struggle is to have multiple T's. Some are like they left the factory, some have major variations--like my closed cab pickup built from several different years of T (with A wheels). I like my cars to satisfy me!
The story of the Model T Ford might include a chapter on adaptability. - This would be more true of the Car of the Century than it would be for anything produced by Peerless, Packard or Pierce-Arrow. - The Tin Lizzie just lent itself to improvisation—to the point where certain individual oddballs made their way, consistently, into the history books. - You've seen these photos a thousand times...
Before the 1916 Thomas Edison Tin Lizzie was retired, it was re-tired by Harvey Firestone with balloon tires (which, had it not happened in 1924, would give some purists apoplexy).
And every book about the Model T has a shot of Rev. Branford Clarke's 1922 Ford Chapel, which featured an organ and folding steeple.
Usually on the same page as the rolling chapel is the road-going bale of hay.
The Fountainhead Museum, in Alaska, is known for the fidelity of their restorations, so who could criticize their snow-mobiling Flivver?
And by the way, no Tin Lizzie ever came out of Mr. Ford's factory with the familiar, wooden Depot Hack body we all know and love.
When it comes to the issue of purism and originality, the Model T Ford has earned an extra margin of wiggle-room.
Would I be considered a purist? Back in the 70's I wanted to stay original in as many ways as possible. I kept the spoke wheels but widened them to 12". I now have a 26 coupe with wood wheels and am going to leave them as they are. so don't panic. Bob
Picture didn't upload
As far as T's having a deep dark shiny finish they did when they came off the show room floor. But being shiner or having a better paint job than what we paint them today? I don't think so.
The paint that was used didn't hold up to the elements as long and for the most part people just didn't keep them washed and cleaned up to the point that we do now.
After several years of use the paint would dull out due to the elements. The prep work and paint quality wouldn't hold up over time like our modern paints that's used today.
It would be interesting if there were color photo graphs of Model T's in their heyday and coming off the assembly line.
I think the one thing that irks me most about some "purists" is the fact that they often mill around somebody's pride and joy at a car show, taking delight in grumbling within earshot of the owner about everything thats not "correct" to the car rolling off the assembly line.
I don't mind modernizing some things that don't show, as long as they don't change the way a major system operates.
Modern pinion bearings? Bronze thrust washers? A bearing is a bearing is a bearing. They turn and support a load. If there's a modern bearing that can be used to replace an original that is no longer available, then I have no problem using that. I would shy away from the needle thrusts in the rear end. I just don't believe you would ever notice any frictional savings and the thought of some of those tiny rollers coming loose and getting into other bearings and gears doesn't give me a warm fuzzy feeling. Use 'em if you like. I don't dislike them from a purist standpoint. I just think they are not needed and could do more harm than good.
Aluminum pistons? I don't have a problem with them. It's hard to find cast iron pistons in oversized sizes. I also tend to believe those that say the lighter aluminum pistons are better on your crankshaft.
I have no problem with black tires on a driver. They last so much longer and are so much cheaper, I fully understand why few would be willing to use whites on a driver.
Safety glass? No problem. It's safer and one would have to look very close to tell the difference.
These sort of things don't bother me at all. I have made these type modifications on my own vehicles. Now, modifications that change the way a major system operates are another story.
Thermosyphon is such a neat and interesting phenomenon, I would not want to use a water pump and mess that up.
I won't go into detail on how a T ignition system works. But for those who don't know, it works differently on mag than on battery and the mag is not just an alternative power supply for the coils. The mag is actually the timing device that fires the coils. The timer is just a switch that is a "permissive" that allows this to happen. Distributors and E-Timers remove this feature. Other timers, such as the Anderson, New Day, and TW, while physically different, work the same as the Ford roller timer and allow the mag to function as power supply AND timing device. So while I do not like the E-Timer or distributors, I am OK with other timers that allow the mag to function as it did originally. Now, before anyone says the mag can be used to charge a battery and let the battery run the E-timer, yada yada yada, you either don't understand how the system operates or else you want to perpetuate another E-Timer debate. SO DON'T! That is not why I made this post!
I don't care for auxiliary transmissions or really even Ruckstells. To me, they take away from the two speed planetary.
These last three things are things that change the way a major system operates. That is where my opposition to them comes from.
One more thing that I have not mentioned is the FP Voltage regulator. I have one on my TT and my Model A. One could draw a lot of similarities between this and an E-Timer. Why is it OK and not an E-Timer? Good question. All I can say is that the charging system is not a major system and wasn't even included for the first ten years. Am I a hypocrite? Feel free to decide for yourself.
One last thing and I'll shut up. The comments about NOS air, oil and fuel and original type paint that isn't even available anymore are pretty childish.
My cut-off touring (now a pickup) has some significant deviations from stock (no magneto, Truefire ignition, 6V negative ground one-wire alternator, a newer ball-bearing fan pulley, black powder-coated rims).
I replaced the ball-bearing fan pulley setup with a very nice original unit from T-bay and am slowly working my way through the car replacing incorrect fasteners.
I am also slowly gathering the parts to bring the car closer to stock (a fresh Ron Patterson generator with a Fun Projects regulator, a freshly rebuilt magneto coil, a set of flywheel magnets and all the attachment hardware). I also plan to obtain a set of five freshly hot-dipped galvanized Kelsey 88 rims to go with the newly re-spoked Kelsey felloe wood wheels that I built earlier this year.
For now, the car runs great as it is and I'm having a blast with it, so installation of the original parts will have to wait until the drivetrain has to come apart for some other reason. I'm just having too much fun with the car now to tear into it.
No, I will not be selling the aftermarket parts when they are eventually removed, I will be keeping them as spares, sorry.
(Message edited by Cudaman on December 24, 2014)
(Message edited by Cudaman on December 24, 2014)
Ed you are 100% correct about the self appointed T experts that frequent old car shows.
A lot of those guys will tell you 'their mechanic or body man' does great original work.
I appreciate the guys that do the majority of restoration work themselves for themselves and not try to please some 'experts that have the work done and only drive their cars and unload them at the car shows.
They are not all that way but there is more than you think.
When my T is restored it will be functional and as pretty as the parts end up to be.
If Henry Ford knew how much time was spent fussing over "purism", he would have a fit!
Again...we are all still having fun right!
I know I am.
You can't really criticize someone with a T truck, depot hack or whatever because Ford also made the Model T Chassis. They certainly didn't build those so we can drive around seated on the gas tank and I have yet to see one like that. That depot hack you see may have been built from a Chassis or a chopped up Touring Car. You just don't know. If that vehicle is stock from the windshield forward with stock mechanicals, I think we can call it factory correct.
Here are my two girls.
But then I'm from California, and my early years were something like the movie "American Graffiti".
I'm sorry for being childish. Just a lame attempt at humor for emphasis.
A work in progress, I call the (farmers friend), I'd say 65% pure but 100% pure to me. Merry Christmas to all Harv.
Way to go Mr. Jelf, Every class has a trouble maker
That wasn't pointed at you, as it was obvious from the context, there was no offense intended. That is not the case in a lot of other instances with some other folks.
I have two black T's that are as pure as I could make them. Last year on a tour a fellow pointed out that my Yellow Speedster was totally not authentic. I told him it had been that way since before his Mustang was built. I have a "09" with many later parts that I can drive places I wouldn't take a pristine original '09. Now-days I am enjoying rusty finishes and dull paint. After 52 years of playing with old cars I have found a lot of ways to enjoy old cars. I still maintain that if you don't build them the way you want to you are doing it wrong.
Some of us need to be told how we should do it. Others need to point out what others are doing wrong. The bottom line is to enjoy it and keep at it.
Harvey I love your name for your T. Farmers friend is great! I have enough parts to build another complete chassis which would be a 25 since that's what the good block I have is.
I have 3 T's I restored and almost swore I WOULDNT build another but your farmers friend may have changed my mind!
"... Some of us need to be told how we should do it. Others need to point out what others are doing wrong. The bottom line is to enjoy it and keep at it."
Point A is a mystery to me. Sure, I need a lot of guidance on things I am unfamiliar with. I ask a LOT of question.
Just ask Tom or Mike or Rick !!!
Point B is where I go sideways, as Point A covers this and eliminates any reason for the existence of Point B. Yet
humanity never seems to run short on its supply of annoying worms who seem to get their life's meaning in telling
others how they are failing to meet the "standards" set by the DB Committee. Where are the crazy mall and school
shooters when you need them ???
Point C is sometimes impinged upon by those actively practicing Point B.
Burg, Not sure if the "crazy mall - school shooters" was an appropriate remark for this forum, guess you weren't close to one of those unfortunate incidents.
I believe I understand Richards comments and don't mind discussions and comments about my car when people are looking at. I rather like to hear opinions and comments cause it's really interesting to me what others think. I probably have pretty "thick skin" and feel good about what I've done to my car but also do like others comments cause I've heard some really good ideas that I used on my car.
On my '12 Torpedo I believe I have a responsibility to maintain a certain outward correctness when it's viewed by the public. I drive my car a lot of miles on tours so any modern upgrades to the inside of the engine is very important.
An interesting thing I have found myself struggling with it that Gear Shifter on the Warford... When I'm explaining the T's two speed shifting pedals, ignition system, lack of oil, water, fuel pump and of course no generator or starter always have to then explain the Period Correct aftermarket tranny which leads into the many aftermarket parts made for the T's.
Is it OK that I'm ashamed of that gear shifter and don't want to shift when driving next to someone for fear of what they might think?
Thanks John, glad you might be inspired by my Farmers Friend. It's been fun to build. I look forward to seeing yours if you build it. Harv.
Reality being what it is, crazy mall and school shooters are part of our lives these days. I spent three years in a
combat zone and saw more than my share of gore. If it really came down to it, I'd rather see crazy shooter guy go
after a holier-than-thou know-it-all than some little kids or moviegoers who never said or did a thing to provoke
someone. Our current world of detached feel-gooders thinks they can spout their "charm" anywhere they please,
to anyone, asked for or not. I suspect such was not the case in 1880 in Arizona. A basic uncertainty about the
weapons status and temperment of the person we are talking smack on might have a way of self-correcting the issue.
I've read all of these comments, some favorable to the purist's way of thinking and some not so much. I think the question is being asked wrong. A purist is an unimaginative individual who only sees the machine as Henry built it and not as the hopes and dreams of the people who owned, traveled and used them made it.
What Henry Ford did was design and build a product that he could sell to the masses. And once those folks had their very own vehicle able to go wherever and transport whatever they dreamed of moving. Then came the inspiration of how to move it using this new machine. To say that the car took on the personality of the people who own it, would be an understatement.
Even though Henry didn't approve of many accessories to his car design, we all know that just about everyone came up with new and improved devices that made it perform better as a car such as carburetors, distributors, body styles, etc. to haul bigger loads, go places that cars couldn't, do farm chores, run saw mills and at the end of the day, carry everybody home.
Yes, Ford designed it and built it, but it was the people who bought it that gave it the character to make the car into the legend we all know today in all it's fun, wonderful and sometimes crazy variations...one thing that is indisputable is that they're all Model T Fords.
Well said, Martin.
Martin, i think everyone here is well aware of all the modifications that were made back than, and continue to this very day to personalize their T to suit their own needs, especially trucks. I think there is more than enough room on this forum to respect both sides of the argument without resorting to the name calling. I personally believe that you should do whatever you want with your T, its yours and you should do whatever you want with it that makes you happy. Maybe that same respect should be shown to the people here who don't want to change their T, and do indeed like it the way Henry made it.
The contention that original finishes aren't available just means nobody has worked hard enough at it.
Your pardon John Noonan, I guess I should've said it thusly;
The purist is an imaginative individual trying to maintain the machine as Henry built it, in a world that isn't anything at all as it was when Henry built them.
I have nothing against "purist's", some of my friends are purist's (now doesn't that sound like a cliche?). I like looking at those cars as much as anyone else. They look so bloody perfect that you almost don't dare breathe in their general vicinity for fear of marring their perfection, yes I like those cars too, but I could never own one, I'd have out on the road before the polishing cloth could hit the floor . I also like seeing an old rather rusty looking car that ambles down the road under it's own power with all the dignity her years have earned her too.
Plain truth, I like the Model T Ford, and I like the people who own, run and maintain the Model T Ford and whilst I can appreciate the various gyrations folks go through to make them as completely original as possible, it's just not very practical for me.
To all of you purist's out there, I didn't mean to sound like I was "name calling" or to offend your ideas. You folks and I aren't that much different really, you're just a wee bit more fussy about the certain aspects of the Model T than I am.
I wish you all a very Joyous Christmas, now get out there and drive that Model T!
I think some of you think "purists" are the ones with trailer queens. While I am sure there are plenty who fit that category, there are plenty of "purists" who drive the heck out of their cars which may have never been restored or are older restorations. My TT has been painted sometime in its past. Probably multiple times. I rebuilt the engine. However, the left fender is rusted away where it is supposed to attach to the running board. There is plenty of rust in various places. My wife's '18 Touring was probably "restored" back in the 60's. Not very well, but they did paint it and re-do the upholstery and put on a new top. All need to be re-done again. But for the most part it is pretty correct. Neither are trailer queens, although they both occasionally ride on an open trailer. Neither are show cars, although they both go to shows. Both get driven regularly, and sometimes in inclimate weather. There are things that need to be done to both of them, but I've gotten to the point where driving them is more fun than working on them, so those things go undone. But I do consider myself a "Purist", even though a lot of you guys have given the word a negative connotation.
I like my Ts as nearly original as possible. However I do have aluminum pistons, stainless steel valves, and hardened valve seats in all three of them. To me the joy Is in the restoration. I guess each person has to decide for himself what gives him more joy and satisfaction in the hobby. Merry Christmas and happy T'ing to all!
I assume we are talking about the cars, and not the owners!
I tend to think of "Purists" as the negative definition, preferring to use a name like "guru" for those that really
know their subject matter and are available when information is needed, whereas a "Purist" is the snooty know-
it-all who freely hands out "the news" for purposes of playing "Mr. Bigshot".
I was "spoken to" by our moderator about using a term I favor that might rhyme with "deuce bag" that seems
the perfect fit for that personality type, but will refrain from using it, as I said I would not.
So, we are forced back into a situation where our meaning must be defined at each turn of the discussion.
I truly appreciate hardcore historians and those resources we can call upon to find out what was what. The
problem comes up when certain personality types choose to use the premise to play holier-than-thou.
Well, I don't feel I meet your definition of "Purist", but I will never claim to be a guru, either. What I am is someone who likes to keep his cars pretty much as they were made. At a car show, I enjoy showing interested parties how the T works, especially the things about a T that make it different from other cars. Hard to do that with a distributor, alternator, water pump, and Warford.
You guys need to quit focusing on the negative and pay more attention to the positive. I am not a fan of car shows, but my sister talked me into taking the ambulance to a street fair and car show in her city on the other side of the state. I was next to a hot rod that had a lot of attention from the people who like that sort of thing, and there were a few negative comments from those people about my ugly machine. I ignored them and did not bother commenting on the ugly color of the hot rod, because I was too busy talking to the grandson of the first Medal of Honor winner from the State of Idaho.
As far as experts and purists, we have those here too, one of the local purists looked at my ambulance and said that it should not have an aooga horn. I explained to him it was a Klaxon and that is what the used. He then went on to tell me that I should put a Ruxtel and water pump on it.
When it comes to doing it right, I try to be as pure as possible, to the point of building a second ambulance because after photographing the first as the same angle and distance as period photo, I have found about 4 errors of 3/4 to 1 inch in the replicas. There is nothing wrong with trying to get everything back to exactly as it was on your own car, but when you start to tell others how theirs should be, that is when they just need to stop listening.
Ed in California - agree with you COMPLETELY and have posted at length on the topic before. I don't have the "purist" problem - all my gals are doodlebugs or conversion tractors. "Pure" is whatever a farmer/logger used when building any of mine. That being said, I only use period-correct items in my restorations. I get the "that's not a real T - that's a doodlebug" species at shows (funny, I have As as well and NEVER hear that from A guys). I consider all my girls "real Ts" and apparently, the folks at Lang's does as well - my '25 Shaw Conversion is "Miss December" in their new 2015 calendar. The "that's not a real T" crowd can chew on that for 31 days next December.
Purists are purists, non-purists are non-purists, and jerks are jerks. As few of the latter as we have on this forum, it's amazing to me the former is debated so much. Neither crowd has a monopoly on being a jerk and, when a jerk does surface, they should be skimmed off the top like dross and discarded with the hope they will go away.
Of all of my purist friends, I don't know any who behave as the negative description given in the posts above. Of those "self-anointed" purists I've met that do, if you talk to them for awhile, you usually find out that most of their knowledge is incorrect, anyway. A street rodder who comes up to one of my Lincolns and tells me it needs a set of Cragars and a pair of headers is no less obnoxious.
Gustaf, Walter ...
You cite all the reasons I have no use for car shows. It is like putting out bait for
the DB's (jerks) ... and boy, do they come !!!!
I never knew the Dodge brothers were considered jerks.
Burger - FWIW, They may come, but for me, it's much more about showing my car and talking with the vast majority of people who are interested in it rather than about having to deal with (at least for me so far) the small minority of of "experts" who will point out your "errors" for you. For me, it's far more gratifying than annoying. So far, my experience at shows or cruise-ins has been very positive. And my car (speedster) is certainly not factory-correct. JMHO.
I'm with you Dave.
When I take the TT to a car show, a lot of times I will take my HHCT with me and I most always take my display transmission. I pull the side boards off the back end of the truck and display these items where folks can see and touch them. The best show I ever went to was on the campus of Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Most of the spectators were students and faculty. The truck was real hit. Being a Mechanical Engineer, I really enjoyed answering the questions I got from this group of engineering students.
That is what car shows are all about for me. I don't care about the plastic trophies. As a matter of fact, one time, I was so caught up in talking cars with this one guy and his son, that I blew off the awards deal and never walked up there to see if I won.
Like most threads on this Forum, this is fascinating!
I will jump in for only one reason: I think I started this by suggesting that a fellow who was asking about paint for his spokes, think about finishing them Natural. I said that the majority of "WOW" comments I get are about my Natural spokes. Don't know why.
Now, as to the "Purists." I certainly don't know as much about the history of Model T's as many of you do, but I do remember that somewhere on this Forum, it was stated that they could be ordered with Natural spokes. I don't remember whether it was a Factory option or a Dealer option, but either way, there were certainly a bunch of original Model T's driving around in the day, with Natural spokes. To me, that legitimizes my natural spokes.
As to the "jerks" who make comments at car shows: I have a slightly different take on it. I assume that someone who states or asks something about why my car has such-and-such, or goes on about how he drove his from here to there as a teenager, or rehearses the old "any color so long as it's black," is not so much denigrating my car, as he is re-living old memories. Some of those memories are precious to those who are old enough to have them. I respect that.
On the other hand, I have developed a story or two of my own. I use them when that kind of memory trip gets a little too 'in my face.'
My main one, which I have told on this Forum before, has to do with the "any color" story. If someone uses that to puff himself up to me, I tell my story, which I am happy to confess right here and now, is made up from many facts and non-facts. What I say is:
Well, Model T's were actually available in other colors. Mostly the enclosed cars, which cost more than the Touring cars, which mine is. The colors were mostly dark, like Maroon, Dark Green, Dark Blue, etc., and often came with pinstripes very much like modern cars. The problem is, the paint on a Model T is Gilsonite, which is made from coal tar, and was flowed on to the bodies with a garden hose, then baked. When they mixed coloring agents into the Gilsonite, it looked fine for a while, but then the coal tar absorbed the coloring agents over time - faster in the heat of the sun - and the cars turned black. That's how the legend came about that "you could have any...."
This is a two-edged sword. On one hand, it stops the blowhard in his tracks. On the other, it leaves him some room to have been correct. We usually part friends.
One more thing, which is purely personal: If you look back along this thread at pictures of Model T's, you will see 6 cars with black wood spokes. You will see 6 cars with Natural wood spokes. You will see 3 with brightly-colored wire spokes. You'll also see one abortion, but it has yellow spokes. So, to those who say that Natural wood spokes are somehow incorrect, I say, "Nyaaa!"
And, by the way, I'll say again what I said at the beginning of the post that I think started all this: "It's your car, and you can do what you want."
I've been doing car shows with different vehicles for about 10 years. The first two years I would register and wait and hold my breath at the end of the show to collect my trophy. And out of about 25 shows I brought home 22 1st place or best in show trophies. But that was with a very nice very expensive show truck I had spent three years and every spare dollar building. I always thought it was a big deal to carry that trophy back to the car and have people see it. Now and for the last several shows I show up in my ragged looking old Model T's. Pay the entry fee if there is one and put on the ID card for the windshield that the car is there "For Display Only". Shows are fun now! I'm never uptight because someone might jump up on the running board, or touch the glass or come close to one of my cars in any threatening way. I really enjoy talking about my car and I ignore the wannabe experts that are always ready to critique the validity of some part of my car. These experts are usually jerks anyway. Then when the time comes to walk up and see who won the trophies I go up and watch and congratulate the winners. To me, that's the way to enjoy a car show. Especially if the foods good. I like Hal's attitude about purists. But I would add, if someone sees something on any of my cars and points out its not correct, and I don't know them, I've become very good at ignoring them. And if I do know them I might respond by telling them to piss off or I might just stand and discuss at length the what, why, how, where and when of their concerns. It's all dynamic and none of it is worth losing sleep over.
I did the car show scene for years before it occurred to me it was a bunch of hooey. Just drive
your vehicle and you'll find all the interested parties to discuss it with you could ever want. The
competitive attitudes, the plastic trophies, the know-it-all spewforths .... you get none of that.
... and frankly, I don't have whole days or weekends to toss away just "hanging out". I have
places to build, sewers to dig, roads to grade. The T will be part of a real life demonstration for
You know, Burger? I really don't want to perpetuate any sort of argument here, but sometimes, you come across just as guilty as the ones you accuse.
Re-read your post above. You don't like car shows, so you tell everyone else that they should just drive their cars and not go to car shows either. What if someone happens to like car shows? What if their car shows are not dominated by these know it all spewforths that seem to dominate the shows in your area? What if they do have the time to spend a whole day or weekend "just hanging out" relaxing and enjoying the camaraderie of others with like interests? Is it OK for them to go to car shows if that is how they choose to enjoy the hobby?
So who is it that is telling other people what they should do with their car? Perhaps, you didn't intend to come across that way? I would guess you probably did not. Any chance these all too common (in your area) know it all spewforths might have just been, in their minds at least, offering constructive criticism, and did not intend to come across the way you took it?
Not picking a fight. Just presenting some points to ponder.
I usually don't attend car shows and when I do it is to support a good cause like a fund raiser for a church group or nursing home. I could care less what people think about me or my car. I'm there to support the cause. I have had some great discussions with folks who want to learn and I just smile at the critics. I try to be "Period Correct" but I drive my cars and they get dirty and have stone chips, muddy foot prints on the running boards and mats, and bugs stuck to the radiator. But the BEST thing I like about my cars is the "Smiles per Mile" I get when driving. Not only from those who wave and smile at me but my "Happy Time" behind the wheel!
Steve Jelf I bet you make a fantastic soup because you sure know how to stir the pot!
I always enjoy your posts Steve
I feel in a small way that we have a duty to spend the time and take our cars to shows. I haven't run into any smart jerks as some but a lot of interested people that want to learn about our cars.
My purpose attending shows is to educate people about the Model T. We have found several new club members during different gatherings and who knows maybe some new buyers.
Just took my car out tonight to fill up with gas for tomorrow and someone yelled at me "Cool Car"!... I thought to my self I've never heard that when driving my cool modern.
You raise a good point. I said what I did as a suggestion to those who do not think outside the car show paradigm ...
which I think is 90% of all car people. It would take more words than I can type here to explain my take on the car
scene, but to overly generalize, most only see old cars as part of a contrived scenario of stereotype images they want
to play along with, as opposed to just using the car as a grocery gitter or in my case, a truck to haul lumber, hay, rusty
metal things, etc.
It's only a suggestion to think outside the box, as I spent 20+ years in the car scene and all it was about was cruise-ins
and static car shows and it never occurred to me in that time that the best times were had just out using the car as it was
intended to be used. You find lots of genuinely interested people to educate about them, if that's your bag, but not so
much the self-appointed poobahs of "facts" as they know them.
As for if those comments might have been misunderstood examples of constructive criticism, you be the judge:
"You know, you should just junk this thing and get a nice ...."
"I don't know why you'd waste your time on something like this"
"That would make a nice parts car for my .... "
Gene, i agree 100%..although i have not had my car that long it seems that everywhere i park my car turns into a show and tell. I went to my local mom and pop auto parts store that i have used for at least 25 years, and when i came out all the mechanics were outside hovering around the car with wide eyes wanting to know every detail of the car...showing the beauty and ingenuity of these amazing cars should never be a hassle, and i will never view it that way.
Harvey, Your truck is beautiful.I love things to be original,but functional. I have put in modern seals to slow oil leaks, new scat crank, stainless valves,hardened seats new rods w/dippers,aluminum high compression pistons, nylon cam rear w/7.5 deg advance. I use standard coils w/ timer, but no magneto (1926). Of course brass thrust washers in the rear axle. Everything looks ok but is built to be used. I never throw anything away. Almost any T that is pulled out of a barn with a little work will run and drive, but to use it, it will need lots of work. I belong to the Las Vegas Model T club. We meet for a breakfast run every Saturday. I live in Henderson, I my run is a minimum of 50 miles and has been up to a 150 miles. Steve , I love your posts and guidance. Thanks for all you do for us guys.
Hey Guys... All the posts are 'right on!' Along with my 2 T's, I've built a '34 street rod to take to ISCA/Autorama shows, and have even drag-raced Gran Sport Buicks at the strip. The most fun and enjoyment was always in 'the drive'. Why don't we ever see 2 vehicles exactly the same at any car show??? Because we all have our own ideas of 'what' something should be! That is the beauty of an auto hobby... Independent Individualism! 'Like what you like, or just keep lookin!' For me, I've grown to really appreciate the 'early iron' even more....
I have always felt that no matter where you are, at car shows, on a car tour or just out for a little drive you will run into assholes from time to time. Ignore them , play games with them but don't let them get to you! I do shows that benefit some good cause and I tour as often as I can afford but mostly I drive my T's as much as I can. I don't give a tinkers damn for what other people say or think, I'm having fun and enjoying my cars. By the way, for what it is worth, I am what I consider to be a "practical purist". I like my cars the way Henry built them but do what I have to do in order to keep them on the road safely and reliably. I'd rather let a bunch of kids sit in my car and let their imagination run wild than worry about a 100 point paint job or the fact that the head on one of the bolts Isn't as high as the originals.