Hello all. My name is Dan Gillmor and I am completely new to the world of model T cars. A good friend of mine has a 15 and over the course of the Aug long weekend he insisted that I learn to drive it. One trip down the back roads of Stettler, Alberta was all it took. He has several engines and assorted parts and following much socializing it was decided that I would attempt to construct a Depot Hack.
I am now spending time doing research for what I feel will be at least a 5 year project to get something on the road that is running. I registered for this forum about a week ago and spend most morning coffees reading articles - I just thought that it was time that i introduced myself.
Hi, Dan, and welcome to the Forum/hobby. It's always good to hear that someone else has been bitten by the Model T bug.
I would suggest, and I'm sure others will too, that for your first Model T you buy one which is driveable, rather than waiting 5 years to enjoy having a T. Don't worry about not having anything to work on; you'll be working on it for sure.
If you want to build another yourself (don't we all?), you can still be enjoying the first one while you're building another. There are some active T clubs in Alberta. I know it's a big place and the clubs might not be very near you, but it'll behoove you to get acquainted with those folks and take part in their activities. You don't have to have a T to join in the fun.
Once again, welcome. I think you're gonna' like this.
Welcome to the affliction...it can be a bunch of head-scratching at times but also a ton of fun.
Depot Hack built up from parts? I have several T's and the one that I have the most fun with is a 'put together' Hack.
Good luck and welcome again....
We love every new soul converted to Model T's and old cars in general since so many old friends are lost every year
The hobby is wide from those who does judged shows but rarely drives over to those who drives a lot and doesn't mind a few upgrades from strictly original to those with speedsters that aren't original at all except for a T block, frame and axles. Then there are those who spends most of the time in the garage and sells to buy a new object as soon as they're ready. Everyone loves to talk T's and comes to this board - if they have a computer.
I've gone the long way buying parts and building my T's piece by piece. Wouldn't have made it without the forum, takes a lot of commitment and time. But it doesn't take a big hunk of money up front, the costs are splitted up over years and that was the most important factor for me.
If I had the money and bought a drivable car from start then I would have had more fun while restoring the one I really wanted piece by piece.
Drivable cars are quite cheap compared to what a fully restored one really costs when everything is added up.
So buying a running car is recommended if you can, hacks are plentiful, but if you go ahead and build a hack piece by piece I'd just like to give some advice: Build the body as light as possible. Think especially about the roof parts since a top heavy Model T isn't fun when cornering and an overall heavy T isn't fun in steep hills. But every T is more fun than most (all?) modern cars
I've gone down both roads, and I agree with Mike and Roger that for your first T it's better to buy a runner. It costs more up front, but costs less in the long run. The economics of the Model T hobby dictate that building or restoring one usually costs more than it can be sold for. I'd rather let somebody else take the loss, and enjoy a car I can drive right away or with minor repairs. As Mike says, even with a complete, running T, you'll be working on it. These cars do tend to multiply, and the second one can be a DIY project while you enjoy using the first one.
Good luck with the Depot Hack, I agree with Mike if you get a drivable T to enjoy while you are building your Hack you have a better understanding of how everything works and one helps the other. When you own a T everywhere you park it it is a show and everywhere you drive it is a parade. So enjoy the affliction
Hi Dan, Welcome to the Hobby!
What the others said above is all good information. I'd like to add a recommendation that you join both National Model T Clubs. They are both good clubs and their magazines very worthwhile. I don't know if there is a local Model T Club Chapter in your area, but if there is, join it too. You'll learn a lot from all this and probably make new friends.
Dan, Some say it is an affliction, but I am afraid it is a virus you just can't shake. My wife wanted to down size and asked me which car I would sell. I paused for a while and said , neither. I could not sell the A and definitely could not sell the T. I would have to sell both and all the old collections of parts I have gathered. And then I could hang myself.
You will get lots of information, help, suggestions, ideas, and opinions here.
There are new people that know very little and everything and old people that know very little and everything.
It is fun trying to figure out who is who!
don't be afraid to ask questions because we all learn from them, but be ready for an interesting discussion if you bring up water pumps or oil.
Welcome to the affliction (It's a slogan around here)! _If you (or anyone else) would like a free copy of a handy-dandy, "First-Time Model T Buyer's Guide," just click on my name (above) and send me a private message with an e-mail address to which I can mail you the file. _It's in ordinary Microsoft Word format, so it should open easily.
Welcome to the world of Model Ts Dan. If you want plans to build a depot hack, there's several available on this web site. We'll help you with advice - some even good - parts and moral support. Hey Kevin, back in '88 my wife asked me to downsize too! I had 5 Model Ts then. I downsized the wife and got another in '93. Have 9 Model Ts now and a wonderful lady these last 22 years!
Hi Dan while I dont have much T driving experence we have had our T in the family for 70 years it has only been drivable about a month thanks to a lot of help on this forum. we have model As and a 36 ford.I have to say I have much more fun driving the T I stay on the back roads and take it easy. I think if you get a T you will never regret it. good luck!
Welcome to the forum and to a great hobby. As others have already shared, purchasing a drivable T in general is a lot more enjoyable sooner that starting with gathering parts. Sometimes budgets etc. prevent that, but if you can swing it -- I think you will have more fun in the long run.
Your friend may already be a member of a local Model T or old car club. But if you do not already know the location of one, please check out the local chapters at: http://www.mtfca.com/clubpages/chapters.htm and http://www.modelt.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5&Itemid=15
I would recommend learning more about them before jumping in to purchase a major project. Although if you are already a wood worker -- that will be an easier project for you. And you may want to consider do you want to build it as a Canadian or USA car or just one that runs and is fun.
Again, welcome aboard!
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Thanks all for the warm welcome.
I look forward to the learning curve.
In my day job I am a school teacher. I am also a volunteer firefighter and am the training officer for the local Air Cadet Squadron. Five years may be a bit of a stretch on getting this project done. Dollars dictate a build but the 15 that belongs to my friend may serve to satisfy the driving bug in the interim.
I was inspired to buy a Model T after spending the summer of '09 watching the on-the-road videos of Katie Fleming on YouTube. _She filmed fifty-four Model T Fords making their way across the country, en masse, from New York to Seattle. _It was inspiring and a heck of a lot of fun. _I'm going to post her videos here in order. _Oh, you're really going to enjoy this:
Thanks for the links Bob. I very much enjoyed watching the videos. I hope, someday to have photos or video of construction to share.
This is certainly motivating when you see what the the top end of this affliction.
Dan, we have a great MTFCA affiliated club here in Alberta. Check out The Foothills Model T Ford Club at www.foothillsmodeltfordclub.com.
We have an estimated 100 'afflicted' families and are here to assist all who choose to take on and enjoy our hobby. Feel free to contact any of the executive, for advice, or who'd be best to talk to you about your needs in assistance, parts, plans, etc..
Welcome aboard Dan! You will find both technical and moral support here in abundance!
You seem to be set on building one so Good Luck. I'm with the guys that say find a runner by the way. You'll learn from it, enjoy it and it'll always be sellable to finance your build should you decide to go that way so no $ lost.
Both of your jobs will fit well in the Model T world. Welcome aboard Dan.