Hi all. As a newbie (couple of years now) to the forum I've noted this phrase. First, on an ebay video of a guy in New York who was selling a 1916 Touring about a year ago. (And somebody else bought "MY" car then.) He used the phrase that it was "set up for touring." And today, Scott Dyer, talking about the 1912 Touring for sale in Florida used the phrase again. Just what exactly does it mean? The addition of Ruckstell and Rocky Mountain accessories? Or grandma strapped to the roof? Cos that's how I tour. I have an offer on a 1915 Roadster on ebay right now, and I should have thought more about it-- as the ad says nothing about that aspect of it. Thanks!
What it boils down to, is buyer beware. You must do your homework, and be knowledgeable about the car you wish to buy. Example: Years ago I was looking for a specific Model T. I found what I was after, but the engine was frozen. Did it matter? No, not to me, because I know how to fix them. The point is, I got the car I wanted, the engine was secondary. Buy the way, I did unfreeze the engine eventually, and as far as I know it's still running today. I sold the car after a period of time. A few years later, I bought my current '13 roadster, with an engine that had supposedly been rebuilt. Did it matter?, no because I know how to fix them. I tore the engine down, and I'm glad I did, because nothing was done correctly. I redid it my way, the correct way, and the engine is running fine today, but never would have if I would have run it like it was. Do your homework, and read the Ford manual until you understand it, and you should be ok.
I think set up for touring is one of those elastic phrases like restored, barn fresh, and original that mean different things to different people. It could mean in top mechanical condition, or it could mean afflicted with all sorts of "upgrades".
Maybe Jerry is referring to a touring car as in a four place open car and a car set up for touring as in rebuild with cam, aluminum Pistons ect.
Set up for touring - an interesting phrase.
Some Ts are restored to look and drive the way they did when new. Now we all know that folks drove huge distances back in the day, but I think they were tougher than we are today. These cars are good for parades, hub tours with daily drives of 50 to 130 miles each day.
Other cars are set up to be daily drivers, usually auxiliary brakes, electric starters, electric lights, wire wheels, often with many modern bearings in the drive chain. The best of these "set up for touring" Ts are often seen in the Southern California T club, where they have tours with 150-200 miles every day, with different locations each night. They can be tough, I have been on several and usually need a vacation to recover.
Yes I know that there are known drives of 400+ miles back in the day, but as I mentioned earlier, they were tougher....
Set up for touring to me means all the add on stuff that people seem to feel they need to tour with their cars. I never thought it meant anything about the quality of what was done. Personally, I think a stock T is set up for touring just as it is. After all isn't that what they used to do with them originally. I would not tour with any T until I had gone through it to make sure things were as they were intended to be and I certainly would not rely on anyones representation that a car was tour ready without confirming that. I am not knocking the things that people do to their cars to make them "tour ready" but a lot of bells and whistles don't necessarily make a car reliable
Well, it makes me feel a little better that, based on what most of you (far more experienced owners) are saying, "set up for touring" is at best, a lose and flexible term. I'm going to take it to mean a car in relatively good mechanical shape... with a few cosmetic touches.
And P.S. How lucky for me, Tony, that I'm in the original founding club here in LA!
I've seen that phrase used quite a bit, and usually when folks use it they mean they've changed a lot of the original parts for modern "upgrades." Those cars usually have alternators and distributors, (not to mention water pumps), none of which are better (in my opinion) than the parts which came on the car.
My driver T is definitely "set up for touring" but it has none of those parts. I have improved brakes. I have a high-compression head and a TW timer but still run the original timer and coils setup, not a disturbutor. The phrase means nothing in itself; you'll need to dig deeper to determine what the seller means by it.
I'd rather hear that a car is tour proven, than set up for touring. Over the years, I've come to the conclusion that "set up for touring" typically means that the car has a 12v alternator, a distributor or a water pump and a bunch of other back yard modifications to make the car unreliable. These are the cars that hold up the tour proven cars when we're out having a nice run.
The cars that are mostly stock and well maintained just pile on the miles without any fuss. About the only time that I open the hood on my T while out on tour, is to share a snack from the manifold cooker.
Several years ago we had a discussion of what one should have in his T for a trip. At one end of the spectrum were a couple of people who listed only a credit card and a cell phone. At the other end were some who listed so much stuff, including shop tools, that it seemed they expected to do a complete engine overhaul by the side of the road. Opinions vary widely on what's required for touring.
Some years ago, I knew a fellow in the Horseless Carriage Club. Now, don't get me wrong, I liked and admired the man. He was a master machinist, welder, literally could make or repair almost anything he wanted to. He was a very nice, and good, person, who helped many club members repair and keep their early cars on the road.
His own car? He did everything to it, made everything better, tighter, stronger, and used modern bearings, safety hubs, brakes, etc etc etc you name it. A car he had for years (non-Ford)? I never did see it run. He eventually sold it and bought a model T as he got older because it would be easier to drive and work on. I saw it start out an a few tours. I never did see it complete even a short day tour. A few times, he got to the start-up point, and no further.
Yes, I liked him, I also felt sorry for him.
"Tour ready" and "set up for touring" along with "barn find" and "restored" mean many different things to many different people. Do not expect someone else's definition match yours. Get details. Buy something because it is what you want, or what you can afford. Then hope for the best.
Drive carefully, and do enjoy the trip! W2
A Model T is a collection of parts assembled into a whole. Being able to describe those parts - however eloquently - does not mean that the parts are assembled properly or safely. Buy the car, not the description. If you can't see the car in person find the local Model T club and arrange for a knowledgeable T person to inspect the car for you.
As Larry said - BUYER BEWARE!!!!
I like all the neat accessories - wish the photos were better, and more of them.
I would think that at least from Henry's standpoint, they were ALL set up for touring! I believe his ads even make some sort of mention of the masses now being able to afford trips on the "open road" in so many words. And why else would they call the "Touring" well, a Touring?!? My '15 Touring runs like a top, stops well, and would tour well with the best of those "set up for touring". Maybe that's why it's not unusual for us to put 60+ miles on it any given day just "touring around" aimlessly! JMHO
The "1915" Runabout that Royce posted the link to is actually a 1916 model year car, as many "15's" are. The engine was assembled on Nov. 29, 1915, a third of the way through the '16 model year.
Is that the one your offer is for, Jerry? If so, it looks like it'll make a good tour car for you. I didn't see any other '15 Runabouts currently on eBay.
Really doesn't say a thing on it's own does it? I'd think, as you listed, Ruxtell, RM brakes, ect. To the writer it might mean airing up the tires and topping off fluids. If that. Meanlingless without details.
Not to nit pick but if that's the same car, it doesn't say setup for touring it says "Tools, jack and spare parts for touring." To me that would mean, spare coil, bulbs, timer, inner tube(s) and maybe a carburetor in the trunk. The parts that one might expect to need on a tour and the tools to install them.
It is interesting to me that on the club tours the cars with original type equipment, or with such "improvements" as Anderson timer or New day timer and Rocky Mountain brakes usually make the entire tour without a problem. However, the more radical changes to such systems as ignition, transmission or other parts seem to be most likely to break down. And if the cars with the more standard equipment have a problem, someone else just might have a spare part to easily fix the problem.
These are some of the parts which seem to cause the most trouble. tru-fire ignition which is almost impossible to fix on a tour. Alternator on which the gear comes loose. Distributor which requires a trip to a parts store for parts, if one is lucky enough to find the right parts for it. Fuel filter in gas line which causes fuel starvation.
Another problem is with an engine altered for speed. The car will keep up with traffic and if it has improved brakes, can usually stop quickly if necessary, however, a weak point is in the original drivetrain. Broken axles, or sheared off pinion or even ring gears happen more often when the car has a big engine.
Anyway, the T just as it was made will run for many miles without a problem, and is easy to repair along the route if necessary.