Back in 2001 I was driving my T up a long grade and the person in front of me signaled right into the upcoming intersection. The changed their mind and turned back into traffic. I had to choose between hitting that car ... oncoming cars in the other lane .. or a hard left into the other side of the intersection. I turned hard and pulled on the throttle and the rear left wheel came off the ground ... and the car turned turtle. I ended up under the car between the seat riser and the dash board.... gas leaking on me until help arrived.
Here's a picture of my T after hauling it home after the accident ... which happened three blocks from my house.
Oh wow...you were one lucky hombre! Thank God you made it through OK. The car on the other hand....well, it does look repairable as everybody says. How's the car look now?
Thank you for sharing your experience. We are very thankful you made it ok.
If there was already a discussion or thread about the accident -- if you could point me that direction I'll see what other information I can learn. If it wasn't posted discussed before, could you please add a few addition details? If I have any of the following wrong – would you please correct it. From your description the car was a speedster. From the single photo it appears to be on a basically stock looking chassis rather than one that has been lowered etc. And it appears to have the stock engine and ignition.
Had the steering & front axle been rebuilt? Was it in relatively good shape – minimal play, about 5 1/2 degrees positive caster (see: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/40382.html ) spring shackles good etc?
A speedster would not normally be as top heavy as a coupe or even a touring – so I’m wondering if there was anything that added to the car flipping?
Again thank you for sharing and hopefully we can come up with items to check to help reduce the number of flipped Ts in the future.
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From the photo I would think your car has an below the axle wishbone at the time of the accident, am I seeing that correctly? Or did it have an above or double wishbone?
Note, I am not trying to cause panic. I believe Ts can be safely operated. 15 Million plus T (and TTs were in the count) were made. And most of the ones I have seen did not turn over. But advice like be sure to retard the spark before hand cranking, use bronze thrust washers in the car's rear axle can reduce the hazards of our hobby. So if I can learn some of the common factors in roll over accidents and then if I can reasonably influence any of them, I would like to put the odds more in my favor for my Ts not to turn over.
An era advertisement that indicates it happened sometimes back in the day also:
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The car was standard chassis, single wish bone and all the front axle elements rebuilt and in good order. I had just finished a valve job on the stock 1918 engine that morning and was giving it a test drive. Had it not been for the excellent performance of the engine I would not have been able to accelerate going uphill and then turning sharply to avoid oncoming traffic. But it was the combination of acceleration and the hard turn that rolled the car on the front right wheel .. destroying the fender, radiator, hood steering wheel and seat assembly.
At the time of the accident I did not have the windshield, rear fenders and deck insert on the car. Here is a picture of what it looked like after rebuilding. I lowered the seat riser and moved the tank to the back. The seat are from a 1910 ish Buick or similar car. Since this picture I have added a second spare tire and am currently recovering the seat frames with leather I gleaned from a sofa I found on the curb a few years ago.
This is the same car. I used to have a fold out 4x8' stage that fit into the deck for performing medicine shows at festivals. Google Dr. Bumstead's Celebrated Lenape Liquid Show and click on pictures to see how a model T Ford was used for selling snake oil. :-) This picture was taken at the Kutztown Folk Festival in Penna around 1989.
I am a fine art photographer who uses 19th century photographic processes. Here is an ambrotype [photographic image on dark glass] of the radiator I saved from the accident. The piece is titled "The Last Gasp" and was exhibited in Tokyo a year and a half ago. It's now in a collection over there.
For more about my photography see www.collodion.org or Google Mark Osterman George Eastman House International Museum of Photography, Rochester, NY
I love the antique photography and the studio, complete with skylight and head clamps. George Cornish, the local photographer here, was active from around 1900 until the forties. In the teens or twenties he had a new studio built. It's now a law office, but still has the south-facing skylight. I've always admired the beautiful lighting in Cornish's work.
Then there was Mike Disfarmer: http://www.disfarmer.com/
Thank you for the additional details about the car as well as about Dr Bumstead's Celebrated Lenape Liquid Show ( http://www.memoryelixir.com/lenapeliquid/history3.html ) Looks like you had a lot of fun with that.
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