I'm interested in others opinion as to what is the rarest Model T out there?
My sarcastic answer would be a 1916 that looks like a 1916
Early Town Cars, Landaulets, and Delivery bodies that are genuine originals would have to be at the top of the list, as well as the 15-18 Coupelets and 15-16 Center-Doors. Specific variations of year, body manufacturer, etc would make it difficult to say any one specific type is "rarest"
Not long ago, I had the pleasure of looking at model T #220, which is a fully documented (never messed with) 2-pedal/lever touring. The car is fully restored, but retains all the original 2-pedal configuration and was never changed or modified. Certainly a car worth being put on this list.
I would also guess a real-fully documented '09 Landaulet and coupe would also quite rare.
I hear you can count the number of 2-pedal/2-lever cars on the fingers of one hand.
Probably the rarest would be No.1 if its even still around. But I would think that would be debatable!
The 1913 Coupe would be rare. They made 1.
I think the rarest would be the one that doesn't need some work done on it. 😊
A rare Model T would be one that leaks no oil at all.
Henry, that's it. Can you imagine what that would be like? Wow!
Les, Car no 220 is not an original car. It is a bunch of pieces. True all pieces are early but they are not all original to the car. The car was purchased by Ben Snyder of Riverside, California. The rear seat was missing and the car was similar to a roadster when purchased. I have a picture. Ben had an original rear seat and used it in the restoration. He replaced some original parts to the car like the front axle and steering column. I know because I saw the car when he bought it and I now own the original front axle ad steering column from 220. The car was restored for Ben by Al Vivian in San Bernardino, California. Both gentlemen have since passed. Truly a beautiful car and very representative of a 2 lever even if it was assembled from pieces.
A doctor's coupe must be awfully rare. Everybody talks about them but nobody's actually seen one.
There is one know original Ford ambulance
Rare means it didn't sell well.
Rare means it is on E-Bay...
I know the man Ben Snyder bought number 220 from and his story is pretty much the same as what Glen Chaffin told.
With after-market speedster bodies, special order trucks, and etc, there are thousands of "only one like it model T Fords". I would be tempted to restrict such a discussion to "factory issued" bodies, and original ones at that. Even there, there is a lot of gray area. Just how much original body does it take to call it an original body?
My first thought would maybe be the 1910 coupe. They were only built for about a year. I have heard (but cannot confirm) that only one true, restored original exists (maybe someone that knows them better than I can say for certain). There are a couple very high quality copies (one not finished is currently for sale, I wish I could afford it), and maybe one or two partial original bodies.
The 1912 Ford factory delivery wagon is another very rare one if you only count the very few original bodies. Lots of decent copies around however.
Harry Johnson many years ago had a beautiful 1912 (?) Ford T four-door sedan. It was an original after-market high quality body. I believe I heard it was one of two known to still exist. But then again, it was an after-market body.
The "pillar-less" coupes of 1917 and '18 are another tough one. At one time, it was generally accepted that only two remained in existence. But then a few more were found. Then it was noticed that they are not all alike. There are at least three major variations. The most common of which probably has less than ten survivors. One variation may have only two or less surviving. Ake's coupe also has a variation in the roof and belt lines that make it the only one like it known to exist, although it is similar to the more common type.
Desirability is I think more important than rarity by itself. The two factors together paint a more complete picture. Those two things together, in my opinion, would put any well restored from original two-lever touring at the top of the list for model T Fords.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Commercial bodies are rare then and now. You can find lots of 70's cars to restore that are in good shape but you won't find many 70's panel trucks or other commercial vehicles because they get really rough service and are then discarded.
I have in pieces a fairly complete late 1912 Delivery car that I have traced all the way to the original owners who is deceased but his grandson sent me picture of the "truck" as they called it. I have talked with all owners in between and verified its history. The car was restored in 1948 but only the running gear was screwed with and the body not touched. It came with an original receipt for license plates from Fall River MA from 1924 and the plates cost $10. The man on the registration was the step son of the original buyer. The step son and the original buyer had a Pork Pie business which the step son inherited. It was sold later and the step son's wife eventually sold the car to the owner of the Stone Bridge Inn in Providence RI which is now gone. That man actually was acting on behalf of another man who owned a laundry and he was the man who had it restored in 1948. That restoration was an abomination but just to the running gear. Goofy aftermarket fenders and even goofier headlight forks but the motor listed for it from day one is still with the thing along with remnants of its one piece dash. It is a knock down version and was a late August 1912 ship date. The body has been painted white with a brush and then maroon with a roller but is amazingly complete and only a few round rod braces added to keep it together. Nothing that seriously hurts its original appearance. I believe it to be the only REAL delivery car totally together that is in existence. The body was removed from the frame so that the owner could get the thing into his garage since DC's are 84" tall at their peak. He then decided to restore it and took the motor apart but the block is in good shape as are the rest of the motor pieces. It had a later rear end added and the rear end was more or less late black era but springs and other parts are correct for 1912. I think the rear end only may be what they changed. A lot of it came in a box but the body was together. The man who owned it was not in the hobby and really had no interest in it other than wanting to see it not get destroyed since he inherited it from his dad. I am still in touch with the grandson of the original owner. The picture of this DC he sent me was from their family album and he said he remembered playing in the truck when it was in the barn. The address on the 1924 registration was his home address and he still lives there. It is a rare find to get something after so many years of looking but then to find and verify its complete history is even more unusual. Right now it is in storage because it came to me at a time when it was very inconvenient. Seems that is the way these things always show up - just at the wrong time.
Is there ever a GOOD time?.......
I don't remember ever buying anything I wanted that another "gotta have it" turned up within a week or two.......
Rarity is fleeting. The rarest Model T is one that can be documented as having two owners, with a documented history from original dealer, family history, and still operable today in the 21st Century. Knowing the history of a vehicle accurately is more rare than the vehicle itself.
Wasn't there an old commercial ad for a Doctor's Coupe posted a while ago?
My Grandpa bought this TT new in Seattle in 1924. Was the "family" grocery delivery rig and is still used for occasional trips & local parades.
I'd say that was rare today !
To be rare there has to be at least one, because if it were less than one , there would be none. So the rarest Model T would be a model year where they only made one. The 1913 coupe is the only one I know of that meets the criteria of only one made in a year. It gets my vote....
I will vote for any T that is still in the family that purchased it new
I am with John Regan on this one. But there is a little bit more to the story as I understand it.
When I first met John in the mid-90's he was working on the research for the Delivery Car. He found most of the parts drawing for the body, and had also found the remnants of an original Delivery Car body, so he had almost all of the hardware, and that hardware was used when he built his Delivery Car body. His restored 1912 Delivery Car is an extremely well researched and authentic reproduction of an original Delivery Car body.
At that time John really had no choice but to build a new body based upon his research and the parts he had been able to gather. He made every effort find an original Delivery Car, but Bruce McCalley and I agreed with John that given the light construction of Delivery car bodies, and the rough service that they experienced, it was highly unlikely that anything more than shards of delivery cars still survived.
Then a miracle happened. A real, previously unknown Delivery Car became available on the market. John did his homework, went to see the car, and as he says in his story, found that while the chassis had been messed with, the body itself was an intact original. At this time, this is the only surviving example of an authentic Delivery Car.
Could there be more, certainly it is possible, but but its existence is unknown. That makes John's car the only known surviving example of this unique car.
I want to add that I have the highest regard for John's beautify restored Delivery Car. It was painstakingly restored, using as many original pieces as John could locate. It is the only authentic Delivery Car that I have ever seen. I do need to make the pilgrimage to see the sole surviving original Delivery Car that John now has, and which he writes about above.
All I need is more time...
Trent Boggess - momentarily in Grand Rapids, MI.
Earlier I mentioned the 1913 Coupe and Tony voted for it as well but, did it survive? I've never heard one way or the other. If it exists, then it is the rarest because they only made one but, if it was scrapped 80 years ago, it becomes a zero. (If the metal went to Japan it might have literally become a Zero ) In this case, John's Delivery Car would still hold top spot.
Here are a couple of threads where John's delivery was discussed with pictures:
Another candidate for rarest Model T would be any T that for some reason never was used and survived in good condition until now..
Slim chance that would have happened, but there are a few close candidates and rumours..
The 15 millionth T at the Henry Ford is a good candidate, though it's been repainted and that ruins it IMHO.
The Rip Van Winkle car, a minnesotan swedish-american bachelor farmer's '17 Touring is another, though it's been stored badly for 15 years and isn't as nice as you would like to see an unused car in the b&w pictures in Bruce's book. Anyone who has good color pictures of the car?
There have been rumours about still crated cars selling at auctions in later years but often rumors are just rumors - more info would be interesting
This UK car would be fun to know more about if any of the info over the picture is correct.. But it's so shiny so it must have been repainted
Might as well get in this. My vote goes to the two Model T or Laundaulet (their spelling, not mine)reported sold on the 1908 Ford Motor Company fiscal year report. The report covered cars sold october 1, 1907 through September 30, 1908.
Two of these pre-Ts actually show on the October 1907 monthly sales report, making them 1907 Ts (or something between NRS and T). The entries say "Laundaulet......1" and "Runabout.....1"
Let's review ... rarity based on the serial number ??? While the first or last T made would have
notoriety for being the first or last out the door, they would be no more unique than every other
serial number that came in between.
Dick, a Doctor in Iowa has a doctor's coup. He even mounted a big medical bag on the running board. Unfortunately he had a bad stroke a few years ago and is unable to enjoy his collection of cars. But is progressing.
So what's more rare, the 1913 coupe (if it still existed) or the delivery car? In the case of the coupe, there only ever was one so it started off rare but if it were still with us the survival rate would be 100%. On the other hand, delivery cars were once common but now only one remains. Something to consider when thinking about ranking the rarity of something.
All that aside, the truth is my T is among the rarest because of the fifteen million made this is the only one that's mine!
1909 two pedal, two lever, #326 at the Seal Cove Auto Museum.