I wonder why Model T people feel so strongly about making any changes to Model T's that are driven. Like good brakes, turn signals, seat belts and of course the unthinkable a roll bar or roll cage?
I can see not making changes if it's only going to be trailer towed or set in a museum. And why deduct points at a show that the cars may or may not be driven there that have made safety upgrades?
Charles, In the Model T Ford Club International Judging, NO points are deducted for safety upgrades.
For Model T's that are driven regularly (like for tours, giving rides to friends and family, going on ice cream runs, etc.), safety upgrades are virtually a necessity & that's why people feel so strongly about them.
Of course, trailer queens and museum cars aren't in this catagory.
I hope this helps to answer your questions.
To each his own, but the day that I honestly feel I need a roll cage for my T (and brother that's a new one on me), I will have ceased being a Model T hobbiest and will sell them all.
The reason I was thinking roll bar was that seems to be an important safety feature along with seat belts, since these T's seem to turn over so often.
My new upgraded Model T with all of the safety features one would want. It does however keep the original color. Please take this in jest.
My neighbor flipped a Ford Explorer somewhere around 1994 and her husband has said to me ever since that Ford Explorers are dangerous -they're top heavy and prone to roll overs. Well, I'm on my 3rd Explorer and haven't flipped one yet. I suppose if one were to drive a Model T like it was a Maseratti a roll cage might be a judicious choice but if driven with a good understanding of it's engineering and components, a Model T drive can be the most fun you can have with your pants on. I just drove 8 miles down a country road in the '26 roadster this morning to get a haircut and had a most marvelous drive.
I like a Model T which looks like a Model T, sounds like a Model T. I don't care if it has an aftermarket timer, but do not prefer a distributor. However, if the owner wants a distributor, it's his/her choice. Turn signals are OK and seat belts. They are at the option of the owner and might be good safety features. I also like Rocky Mountain brakes, but disk are OK if the owner likes them better. I also think auxiliary transmission is a good thing to have in mountain areas or when driving in slow traffic. Period correct speedsters are also OK.
There is another group of people who take a Model T body and put it on a modern chassis with modern drivetrain. That is fine for those who like to do such things, but I don't think they belong in the same group with the Model T clubs. They belong with "modified" groups. I have no problem with these either but they need to be in their own clubs.
Doug, just hope you don't need to use the air bag, it could kill you!
Pat, I think there are several. Like having loaded weapons aimed at you from all directions.
There's no doubt a roll bar and seat belts would help save you in a flip. Ever see a T with a roll bar? Me neither. Not sure I'd ever consider it either. To make a point about shows I'm reminded of a recent post concerning what you can and can't do if living in a development with rules. If you can't abide by the rules don't live there. If "safeting up" your T would cost points in a show you don't show your car or accept the rules as written. It's the attitude in this country today. "It's not my fault I'm wrong it's yours". I wouldn't bother arguing with people about how much safer my car is than some one elses. It couldn't pay because they wouldn't care. If it's wrong in their book it's wrong period. Their not driving it. You are.
The Model T is a machine designed over a hundred years ago with technology of it's time. If you feel that the car is unsafe and want to modify it to meet today's safety standards, not accept it's limitations and drive it accordingly and accept the risks associated, I think that you are in the wrong hobby. What you do with your car is your business, so is how you drive it. I accept driving my T as it was designed, with all it's faults, limitations and risks. I like how it takes me back to a time where life was different and simple. Some people like the idea of doing or owning something without accepting that this might not be what they ultimately are comfortable with and make changes to their cars. It's been my experience that these people eventually leave the hobby and find something else, usually going through the same process again and again.
Some people will disagree with me, I don't care, I like my T as it was made and accept it's inherent flaws and quirky nature. The risks are there in all aspects of life, it is what you are prepared to accept and make.
As it was so it shall be, correctly driven at the original intended speeds is all the preparation required to enjoy a well maintained Model T safely. If you don't like your T the way it was built buy a Model A don't ruin a perfectly safe & reliable gem of motoring history.Model T's have foibles that's part of the fascination, driving with the foibles is merely a delight of owning one. It's almost sixty years since my Dad bought our 1912 & it remains as HF built it. Enjoy we do. Doug