1923 Model T Ford Convertible Skids off Road, Killing Couple
MANHEIM, Pa. — Apr 13, 2015, 3:01 PM ET
A 1923 Model T Ford convertible skidded off the roadway and flipped over, killing a couple, police said Monday.
Ralph Cramer, 70, and his wife, 59-year-old Lynn, of Mount Joy, died of traumatic injuries in the wreck Sunday night.
Manheim Borough Police Chief Joseph Stauffer said the vehicle had been rebuilt or restored and contained new elements, possibly including a new engine, wheels and upholstery.
"You could tell it was an attempt to make it similar, but it still had unique characteristics," Stauffer said.
He said the Model T had seatbelts, but investigators have not determined whether they were worn. The top was down at the time of the crash.
Stauffer said there is evidence the vehicle started to skid at a slight left turn, then went off the road and hit an embankment near a barn before it went airborne and flipped over.
Be interesting to see a picture of that "1923 Model T Ford convertible." I don't recall my '24 Touring ever "...starting to skid at a slight left turn."
My TT tends to skid out of control when speeds get above 11 mph.
Methinks there is a lot more to this story than is being relayed here.
Possibly a T-Bucket street rod since all T-Buckets are "1923."
I just looked at 5-6 sources of the story in hopes of learning something but they all had the same description.
One had a picture of a 1911 touring Car without fenders doing some type of off road rally in England.
We will have to wait for the Sensationalists to focus on something else before we get the real story
I think you're probably correct about it being a "T Bucket". "...new elements, new engine, wheels upholstery..."
We'll see. Sad no matter what the car was exactly, but we need to know more, if it was a real T maybe there are some lessons to be learned.
There's more to THIS story.
A quote from the Police Chief: "Police Chief Joseph Stauffer says the vehicle had been rebuilt or restored, with new elements."
This will be more info to consider as we each decide how we want to use our cars. Things do happen.
I tried e-mailing the reporter who write the story to ask more about why he described the car as a 1923 Model T. This was his response:
"Hi mr. Lodge. No photo was available and police described it as model t, but it certainly could be what you said. Thanks, ryan robinson"
The Mannheim Borough Police don't seem to have an e-mail address and I don't do phone well with my hearing aids.
I just called Manheim Borough Police Department and the gent I talked to said he couldn't give me any information because the investigation was on going. He gave me a number for the officer who was doing the investigation but said it could take a while before the info would be available
Quote from the Lancaster Online newspaper:
""It was a bucket roadster," Forney said. "It had no doors, you had to crawl in it, and was a two-seater."
It was just one of several antique "street" cars that Ralph restored, she said.
This sort of thing really scares me.
Even though it was likely a hot rod or "bucket T" Roadster with barely any original 1923 parts, the media, the public and the politicians just see "1923 Model T Ford" and how dangerous these old cars are.
Statistically we as a group suffer an insignificantly small number of accidents (which is why old car insurance is pretty cheap), but all it will take is one accident and some legislator or loud-mouthed activist to demand that old cars not be allowed on the roads. They will do it be requiring that all vehicles on the "people's roads" be equipped with air bags, ABS, seat belts, GPS monitoring devices, and pass environmental and other performance requirements.
I've been afraid of this happening for the 40 years that I've been into old cars. In our modern America with all the freedoms we have already lost, I'm amazed it hasn't happened yet.
We just need to be aware of this sort of thing, make damned sure our cars are as safe and sound as possible, driven carefully and responsibly, and be courteous and friendly with the public.
And for gosh sake exercise your right to vote. It's one of the few protections that exist to keep the fanatic hysteria from affecting good people.
If it was a bucket (which seems highly likely)why don't we call it what it was..."A poorly engineered Kit car" sad to see this happen to any car but if it has a SBC it aint a ford!
G.R, the reporter who wrote the original story answered my e-mail by saying that the information on what the car was ("1923 Model T Ford") came from the police. That suggests that, like so many other T-buckets, it was probably registered (based on the title of the car that formed the basis of it) as a 1923 Model T Ford. Easy way to get historic plates and to avoid those pesky inspections.
I wonder how we know that it was "poorly engineered"?
Chuck; I have ridden in a number of "T-Buckets", with just the driver they are hard to control at highway + speeds With the preference on many to have the "Bicycle" tires in the front and say on a gravel road you can lose steering control in a heartbeat. Thus my comment on engineering. I won't even start on weight distribution!
From what I have observed during life's journey is that "the Squeaky Wheel" gets the most grease...i.e. all these SPECIAL INTEREST groups (and, please, put your "favorite" name in there) seem to whine, complain, badger, make noise, whatever, until they "get their way" - i.e. "perks", handouts, "help", whatever.
Scott D makes a good point...so many of these fatal accidents have the phrase Model T in the write up, and yet when one looks at the wreckage, it is not any Model that we are accustomed to.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/201329963569 for example.
Perhaps it is time for us - as a Group - an organization - both the MTFCI AS WELL AS the MTFCA working together to get our State legislatures to re-write their licensing and registration definitions to prohibit the use of Model T (and maybe engage the MAFCA to work on it also) on ANY vehicle registration that has an engine capable of generating more than - let's say 40 hp.
Scott is correct - I fear - that the Insurance underwriters ensconced in their offices will lump all Model T claims together and when devising a premium for that group we 20 hp owners will be paying for the Rat Rods.
For the good of the hobby, there has to be a way to stop these overpowered vehicles from bearing the nomenclature Model T.
Be careful what you are asking and wish for. A new cure may be"worse than the perception." Granted the news said a 1923 Model T Ford. It could well have been a motorcycle or airplane or boat. Lets not over react. This will run it's course.
I have a friend not far from there. Nothing new really, but here's what he sent to me about it:
I wanted to tell you about a accident that happened up here in a neighboring town on Sunday evening. It was in the paper and the headlines read that a couple was killed in a 1923 Model T going home from a restaurant. (The place is actually better known as a bar room then a diner. ) He was 70 and his wife 59. The car flipped over after losing control going around a curve. The article written came across how a vehicle that old isn't safe, didn't have seat belts originally and all that crap. Well, I figured out what wasn't being said in the paper and learned I was right. Now it turns out that it was a Hot Rod T-Bucket and he was getting on it, or something broke, or both. The paper didn't say that though! He built it himself and who knows what actually took place. But what burned me was the paper gave the impression that these old cars (original) shouldn't be on the roads at all, because they weren't meant for today's highways. I really believe that some people today think that a Model T actually looked like a T-Bucket and came with a 350 Chevy when new.
Just goes to show we aren't the only ones worried about it.
O.K., who among us is going to take up the job of writing to the editor of that newspaper and asking that they print a correction as to the nature of that car?
From the picture I saw, it looks to have Buick finned brake drums and standard tires, not "bicycle tires", not that it means anything especially if he was on it and it got away from him just like a kid letting a new Honda get away from him.
I do beg to differ in that all buckets are 23s. Mine was registered as a 16. They are not a toy and people who have them in most cases know that. Most are very very overpowered mine had about 600 hp and probably didn't weigh more than 1500 lbs.. Like any other car they require respect in and what they can do. I know one guy that has a pretty stock T except for the engine has been modified some and he drives it full throttle and he claims over 60 miles an hour. I for one will stay out of it at that speed.
If I may introduce to the discussion the concept of a 1923 Model T Ford in Pennsylvania. See form entry:
By definition what is a 1923 Model T Ford in Pennsylvania?
I believe by definition WE are the "special interests" so be careful what you wish for. The paper does a service by publishing the news, they can't always get it perfect, but we are aware of this story by virtue of the news some. Let's not poke ourselves in the eye just yet.
DMV in California does not register these cars as Model T's, the title says Ford. I don't know if any other states do it differently. It was called a model T by the news reports.
Making our horsepower figures the DMV's business would be a nightmare. You think smog tests suck, wait till you need a yearly dyno test and the cost of all that. Too much power? $$$$$$ fines. How about getting a ticket in your speedster because it has a Rajo and a pair of Stromberg carbs? Off to the dyno again. Bring your money. Who gets to decide which model of car is legal with how much power?
The best thing we can do is build and drive our cars safely, and hope the rodders do the same.
We I go to car shows and people ask me about them, I tell them there's nothing Model T about them. And that's good enough for me.
Anybody with common sense knows they aren't Model T's.