Guys I've been offered a couple of T's, one Depot Hack and the other a Speedster. neither of these shapes are what I'm looking for but the asking prices are in my budget. I haven't seen them yet or talked to the actual direct seller, I've heard they are both about 1924. Obviously completely different rigs and the issue is I know nothing about either.
Depot hack - What should I look for above the running gear and what shape/size is the most user friendly and why.
Speedster - Are these all home made body styles or was there a factory outlet? Any advice on what to look for would be appreciated. I guess they are light and faster.
I would think it would depend on the actual condition of each respective vehicle which can only be determined by seeing each in person ...
What is your city - state ?
Perhaps there is a member close to you that can do an inspection ...
Thanks Jim but not possible as I'm in New Zealand. I'm happy to decide about buying using my own judgement however a bit of info about each type would be helpful. I guess you've seen heaps of different types when moving them around Jim
Most of the depot hacks are too tall to fit in the average 7 foot garage door. They need a strong engine, a Ruckstell and some kind of accessory brakes to be usable with a full load of people on board.
Speedsters and depot hacks sell for lower values because they are often tailored to the owner who built them. I sat in a depot hack that was for sale at Chickasha this year. I could not operate the pedals because the seat was positioned too far forward. It looked great though.
For either body style I would be most concerned with the mechanical condition. Has the engine / transmission / rear axle / radiator been rebuilt in the past 75 years? Or will you have to spend thousands of dollars on that?
Thanks Royce that's good info. I'm sure I can sort through the running gear aspect to a fair level. The Depot Hack is the least likely of the two unless the running gear is really sharp with history, I believe the Speedster was used more often, to be honest neither body styles turn me on although the Speedster would be fun up here as we have long hot summers. The only reason I'll be looking is the price but who knows I might really like one of them.
Buy both and send me the speedster ;)
You're apparently up in the air about both cars. It sounds like you're not too hot about either one and are looking for a definite body style. Is what you want really scarce in your area or maybe you haven't looked around? My point is don't jump at either one especially if their of questionable condition. I, like yourself am not partial to either one of these styles but if I had to choose it'd probably be the Speedster.
Speedsters are a lot of fun and not very common. However, they can be cold and very wet whenever it rains. If you want to take 2 people for a ride, Oh Well, you can only take one at a time.
Royce has some good answers about a hack. With a hack you also have storage, can take more than one person, and the top of your head does not get sunburned.
Who cares which one you choose, they're both Model T's and they're all fun. In my case I have to have a top, my bald head burns very badly and easily and hats just don't cut for me. I have to waste too much time staying in the shade at shows. Both cars have their respective followers and in my eyes all are deserving of my respect for each of their views. I built my hack to suit my wants and desires and don't care what other people think. I think life is too short to worry about other peoples decisions. Buy what you like and live your life, enjoy your purchase.
Personally, I want both eventually but I want a speedster first so my opinion is biased, but if you want neither but the price is right, which has the closest to stock body? Are the prices good enough that you can get one and play with it until you find a body or even whole car that you'd rather have? Could be a great way to get your foot in the door.
Good points, I wont really know until I get the exact asking price and then view them. I'm looking forward to it, 5 1/2 hrs drive to get there so best i take the trailer just in case.
Wes I agree I will be buying one if it turns me on, I wasn't looking for advice whether I should buy one , just what to consider that's different to the more common styles.
Kevin, I have a 1915 boat tail speedster and a 1917 shooting brake, both ground up restorations. The shooting brake gets far more use because it is much more user friendly. It has a roof and side curtains. It can seat 8.
The speedster has no top, room for two and goes like the clappers and stops if you plan ahead!
I like driving both, but if I share the ride, my passenger/s much prefer the shooting brake.
The choice is up to you, but keep in mind how you will be using it.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
Kevin, if your trailer is open.....at least you can transport either car home. If your trailer is enclosed and not extra tall.....possible only the speedster will fit.
If you have a family and no other model T's, the depot hack would be the most useful.
We plan on attending the 2016 model T rally in Australia that David Dare is working on....hope to see you there.
My choice would be the one with the best mechanicals wheels tires then fit and finish
Speedsters your in the sun/rain all day no shade but also hack can be heavier ride in a hilly area
Trailer is open so either will fit.
Les when is the Rally on and exactly where?
Alan, good points I'm leaning towards the speedster as it might be more fun, a different experience than my Coupe. I'll have to wait and see, thanks for all the advice Guys. I'll take some pics and let you all see what they were at some stage.
The Rally is called "Sea Mountains & Valleys Tour T-2016". The Rally is scheduled for Sep 24-Oct 2, 2016. Location is near Melbourne starting at Lardner Park - Warragul - Drouin.
Hosted by the Model T ford Club of Victoria inc.
Tour Website www.mtfvic2016.org.au
Tour Email email@example.com
Other than filling out our application and putting money down....This is all I know at this time....have never traveled to Australia before...not sure what to expect....Smile!
Good luck on your model T find.
You'll love it Les and Melbourne is a nice place and the people are great. I'll check the link out..
There is so much to say about speedsters. The building of what we commonly refer to today as "speedsters" has been going on since well before the first model T Ford. Model T Ford speedsters have been built in every calendar year from 1908 to the present. The first ones were built as test platforms for the development of the new model T. In 1909, Ford factory built two special bodied cars to enter the New York to Seattle race. In 1910, dealers across the nation (and overseas) were building specials for local exhibition. By 1911, everybody was getting into the act. People have not yet stopped building model T speedsters.
Speedsters have gone by many names over the years. Bugs, specials, cut-downs, torpedoes, are but a few of the more common names. They have been built to be fancy sports cars, wanna-be race cars, and even real racing cars by everyone from the farmer's kid to many major racing companies.
Several companies built ready-to-run cars, both standard fare and made-to-order. Many hundreds of companies offered everything from miscellaneous parts to full kits to build your own. One good count put the list of body suppliers alone at more than fifty. Probably hundreds of local specialty shops professionally built one or more. Thousands of individuals built their own home made body. They can be anything from very nice professionally built cars to real junk piles.
Because they have been built for so many years, becomes a problem. The first thing you have to do, if you are interested in getting or "building" a speedster, is decide what you want. And, what do you want from it. Not all speedsters are welcome everywhere. A race car from the 1930s or '40s may be an incredible piece of history in its own right. Certainly, such cars deserve to be restored, collected, preserved, shown and seen. But they will not be accepted on some Horseless Carriage Club (USA) or Veteran (British and relations) meets, tours, or rallies. Rules vary for different clubs and different meets.
A lot of the speedsters seen around the world these days are recent builds. That is neither good nor bad, right nor wrong. It is just a fact. Some are built to correctly represent a specific era. Many, I hesitate to say, are simply fun cars, but not era correct in any way.
Sadly, the main reason so few original speedsters are around anymore is that for too many years, the antique automobile hobby did not recognize them for the historic pieces they were. In the '50s and the '60s, hundreds, probably thousands, of surviving speedsters were "parted out" to provide pieces necessary to restore "real" antique cars. The sad thing is, that at that time, parts were easy to get. There was no need to part out the speedsters. Original speedster parts are still easy to find in the USA.
Many speedsters today are a serious mix of years, parts, and styles. Again, not really right or wrong. But may affect the car's acceptance in some places.
For me. My opinion, for myself. I want my speedster to be as "era correct" as I can afford to make it. I consider them to be antique automobiles and treat them as such. My 1919 boat-tail has very little that is not correct to the early '20s. My "mostly '13" speedster is done as a horseless carriage, mostly correct for 1913 (if I ever actually finish it, it is close to done).
My cars don't appeal to everybody. The engines are near stock. They have no modern modifications for speed or performance. But they are fast enough. And they are "era correct".
Other people prefer race cars in the style of the '30s. That is fine also. If that is what you want.
Other people prefer expensive racing heads or modern carburetors. Lots of people like those, I don't need them.
You need to figure out what it is YOU want, and as I say, what you want from it.
But speedsters are fun!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Well Wayne that must have taken you some time and I thank you so much as it really cleared up so many unknowns and concerns I had, Era correct is ideal but price is more important this time. The old guy that steered me in the direction to find these cars made a comment that the speedster was made up of bits and I got the impression he didn't approve however he also told me he has several T's himself and every one is stock standard. Impressive but implies he is obviously bias. The good news is I'm going to visit him later this week for a look around his stable. Then hopefully I will view the two for sale this Saturday IF I can nail down the actual seller. I will decide after I've viewed them.
Wayne - Talk about an "informative" post! Lots of good points and information there Wayne, and I can't help thinking that your post here could be the basis for a great article for the magazine!
One thing came to mind when I read your mention of some of the many names for speedsters,......the term "Gow Job". I had never heard that term before, and frankly, the only place I've run across that is in this forum. Only thing I've learned about that name from "Google", is that "Gow Job" is a sort of "historic" term seldom used anymore. I think it would be interesting to know how, when and where that term originated,....??? Wouldn't be surprised if it just might be a term that originated and was only used in some particular part of the country,....say, Southern California maybe? And what is GOW anyway,.....a person's name, or a three-letter acronym for something,...??? Not really important, but just kinda' interesting.
One other thing, and then I'll quit "rambling" here,....but Kevin,....I can't help thinking that if the price is right, and you can afford it, it wouldn't be a bad plan to buy both the depot hack "AND" the speedster! You know, one neat thing about these old Fords is that whatever they are worth, you certainly don't have to worry about their value ever depreciating! If you bought both, you could use them for however long you want, and probably "THEN" make a better decision of which one you want to keep if you only want to keep one. Of course, $$$ and the storage issue can be problems,...I realize that. But if you can overcome those issues, making the seller an offer for both vehicles could result in a "good buy" for you, and for the seller, there's the convenience of being "DONE" with the whole selling issue all at once,.....a pretty good "bargaining point"! Just a thought,....harold
Harold S, Like you, I have only heard the term "Gow Job" or "Go Job" in recent years. I also suspect that it may have been a colloquial term popular in only a few regional areas. I suspect that it may have become more popular because of eBay, where I have seen it many times. Usually, I seem to see it referring to things more along the "rat-rod" line more than speedsters. However, I have seen it for both.
And thank you for the compliment! I have said for many years that speedsters (especially era correct ones) are as much a part of automotive history as any Packard or Pierce Arrow.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Harold I have thought of buying both, Storage will be no problem only hurdle is access to the funds but who knows I'll try.
Great thread guys
Well progress has been made, I have first option on either Model T and viewing this Saturday. Both T's are the same price. I'll decide when I'm there which one is the best buy and which one will suit my needs the best. Unless there are both rubbish I'll be coming home loaded.
Well the Speedster come home with me plus parts i didn't know about including a boot load of spares in the car, several boxes of parts on the trailer, 2 cranks a set of axles attached to a diff head, few rims of different sizes and a few old tires. Haven't tried to start it yet just pushed it on and loaded all the bits. Will unload tomorrow, wash it down and see what I've purchased. Engine No is 637351 and is registered as a 1926, very sound in the body so it should be fun trying to get it running. Looking forward to going thru the boxes of parts, didn't have time when loading.
Cool speedster It's likely made in recent decades from mostly 1926/27 style parts.
Looks like the body build started with a 26/27 cowl and windshield.
I suppose the engine # started with a C? In that case it's a Canadian built march 1926 engine. (Otherwise it would be a december 1, 1914 USA engine) Only visible factory parts that's obviously not 26/27 are the fenders and the headlamp buckets. More close ups of the frame in the front and rear needed to see if it has a modified 26/27 frame or an earlier.
(Message edited by Roger K on June 14, 2015)
Not bad at all! A little fixing up and that could be a great and fun car.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Will wash it down and post some clear pics tomorrow if weather holds, Roger - yes a C in front of the engine number. Thanks Wayne. Hasn't been started for 3.5 yrs but stored inside. I'm hopeful it will go with a bit of tinkering, was a great runner when the old guy died and it was parked up but who knows. I'm sure he will be watching from above.
Do you suggest removing the sump and scrapping clean or just a oil change for this period?
Oh yeah I visited the guy with a collection on Thursday & WOW! 8 model T's, all first Registered in the Sth Island of NZ, was very impressive stable with lots of other brand cars in stock also, here is a 1915 Town Car, was originally a Taxi on the Sth Islands West coast before he restored it years ago.
3.5 years isn't much for a Model T, check what's in there when you open the petcocks to check the level. If it looks ok, (and since it's obviously a restored car) then I would test start it with the current oil and change once it's been warmed up.
More needed to get it to run is likely to check the gas and drain/refill with new or perhaps just fill with new gas..
Don't forget to check the oil level in the rear axle, fill the u-joint with several cups of grease, etc. before driving any distance.
Don't forget to check what's in the cooling system too - if it's empty, fill with water and check for leaks. When you've driven for a while and if it turns out to be trouble free, then fill with a distilled water/ antifreeze mix.
Check so the hand brake works an check the condition of the sector tooth and the pawl - having the hand brake suddenly go forward with a running engine isn't very pleasant..
Good advice Roger, Thanks
Nice looking car. You will have a lot of fun with it. I'm just guessing , but from the condition in the picture, I'll bet you won't have much trouble getting it running!
Check out the brakes and steering for safe operation.
Kevin - All good advice from Roger, and, you probably know this, but I'd add just one little detail to what Roger said. I learned this the hard way, but if the ol' girl doesn't start right up, you might pull the plugs and add a tablespoon or so of oil to each cylinder. Because you said that engine hasn't run for several years, that oil will tend to help the piston rings to seal better against those dry cylinder walls for considerably better initial compression. Good luck,....and, very nice car by the way,....harold
Roger K and Harold S give very good advice (always). Let me just add that at over three years, there is a fair chance just checking all the vitals and adding fresh gasoline (petrol) MAY allow the car to start up and run just fine. There is also a good chance that the petrol has evaporated out enough to become gummy and the carburetor (maybe fuel line and petrol tank also) may have to be thoroughly cleaned before it will run. For these reasons, when you begin working with the fuel system, WORK OUTSIDE! Gummy gas can cause the float valve to hang up and before you know it, a half a liter of petrol is running along the floor. Best be outside when that happens.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Harold I hadn't thought of that, I cranked it over a few times on Sat and its nice and tight, feels similar to my Coupe but could be worth a try.
Wayne I'm picking what you say might be the go. My friends 13 that he imported we found similar issue, It had a new carby & tank fitted last year and was collected in Nov for shipping. By the time we got to start it up a few weeks ago we had to remove the carby as it was blocked with gunk & I'm expecting after 3.5 yrs the same. I looked in the Depot Hacks fuel tank, looked empty until I stood on the running board and some thick goo dribbled over under the filler hole and it smells different to petrol, haven't looked into the Speedsters tank yet. Stuck float valve can be messy.
Speedster come up much better than I hoped after a wash, very pleased. Gas tank is dry and looks clean and fuel line is undone at sediment bowl so hopefully Carby is dry.
If it goes as well as it looks? You did great!
Yes I'm happy so far, all standard running gear which I'm pleased about. I'll check the carby, fresh fuel, battery & maybe jack the arse up and give it a crank.
Any chance the speedster will be on the Rally next year? Good looking.....I especially like the body and color.
That body looks like it's very well built. What's it made out of?
Thanks guys, Les do you mean the Rally in Australia? If so no I wouldn't be able to afford shipping a car over and back but would love to see it or even better be part of it somehow.
Tim the body is metal, the guys I purchased the car from said their Dad had spent 20K on it so I'm guessing a fair portion of that is getting the body made from scratch? Not sure but I will try for more info and let you know.
Research last night shows the body was just restored by the previous owner and not made from scratch. There is no wood in the shell except the rear flooring.
Took carby off and cleaned, swished out the fuel tank, cleaned out timer & done some rewiring. Tonight I jacked the rear up and fired her up. After a bit of tweaking she runs like a clock, no water leaks. Free starts most times and even hand cranked on Mag. Changed the engine oil after it was hot enough. The only issue is the 6v generator is not putting anything out and a rear end has connection that looks loose that I will look at.
Looking forward to a test drive tomorrow.....