Hello guys, Im looking at purchasing a 1925 Model T sedan. I told the current owner I wasn't in the market for a T but it caught my eye. Now I know absolutely nothing about Model T's. The car has a Datsun drive train in it and I don't know if that is a good or bad thing? The car looks nice and clean to me but you guys tell me. I'm going to upload a couple pix of the car and would you guys please tell me what you think and what you think its worth. Thanks in advance!
Without pictures, not much can be said as the vehicle is way modified from the Ford Model T, 4 cyl, planetary 3 pedal trans and flywheel magneto and trembler coil ignition. Value is likely less than a typical Model T with authentic drive line.
The vehicle is now a custom, and won't be easy to insure with antique car insurance with modified power train. Plus, you will have to have mechanical Datsun engine knowledge to keep that vehicle running.
Let me know if you guys are able to view the pix from the links. The uploaded wasnt allowing me to upload directly
Appreciate the input Dan!
Absolutely beautiful car. That modern running gear should really add enjoyment too your Model T experience. The quality of the build is apparent and it's obvious you'd never be faced with a lot of work necessary to maintain and keep a Model T up and running. You won't have to change bands in the transmission and assuming those wood wheels are sound you should be able to lead the pack on the Model T Club tours. It certainly appears to be a sound investment.
For Sale: one eyed, three legged, lop-eared, castrated, 16 year old, flea bit dog. Answers to the name "Lucky".
That body seems nice, wood bodied 4 doors are good if the wood frame is nice, this one appears good. Typical '25 Fordor would be in range of $8k-$10k or so.
But this one is highly modified, won't be able to participate in Nat'l club functions, as the drive train is modern. Most states won't register it as antique car either. Insurance would be for custom street rod.
That said, this nice Fordor could be brought back to antique status and value as a Ford Model T with a complete replacement T power plant, ignition system, steering column and front end work, floorboard fab, and other items, provided the frame wasn't welded to much or cut or chopped to fit in that Datsun motor. For about $5k-$7k extra, owner doing much of the work. Maybe less if you can sell that Datsun motor.
Wow thats good to here. I read that some people had a problem with anything that wasn't the original drive train. I thought the car was beautiful but rather be safe than sorry. What would you guys value the vehicle at?
Thank you for that valuable info. Never thought about not being able to participate in certain events
I would be concerned about what has been done to the chassis in terms of brakes, steering, and suspension.
It could be a fun car if the modifications were well designed, or it could be a dangerous mess if the builder didn't understand the basics of engineering and design.
You would have a hard time participating with a group though, as its styling doesn't fit in well with the street-rod crowd, and the drivetrain would make you an outcast in the Model T clubs.
Before you buy it I'd suggest you find a Model T with Model T running gear to look over. Listen to it, smell the smells of a T, feel the vibration of a T running, in general experience a T. Then, if this one still looks good to you, go ahead and buy it.
There are lots of folks out there who don't know the difference (or don't care) between a T and a car like this one. There are others who wouldn't even consider it a Model T, but a Datsun with a Model T body. I'm not being critical, just attempting to be informative. You should do more homework before you make such a purchase.
You have modern high speed power and 2 wheel brakes. Not a safe combination. If you like it and want to buy the car then have at it, It's not my cup of tea.
Sorry to say that you are looking at a street rod not a model T and you will not be having a "Model T experience" with it.
A major part of the T experience is dealing with the transmission, gas on the column, adjusting your own advance, and the special sound made by a T motor.
Some people may disagree but in my opinion it may look like a T on the outside but it is not.
Thanks for all this invaluable info!
K. -- What makes Model T's special to all of us here has been removed from that car. What we appreciate is the Model T's unique place in history (It's the car which put the world on wheels), its oddball transmission, electrical system, quirky controls, and the experience of driving a 90-100-year-old automobile. Surely no one who was alive when model T's were new expected them to be around 100 years later. Driving a "real" Model T is an experience very unlike driving a modern car, and that's what we like about it. We all have modern cars too, but I don't think anyone here doesn't believe the T's are more fun to drive.
Street rodders put modern running gear into an old car to get the convenience of driving a modern car while the car still looks mostly like an old one. That is exactly what you are looking at in this car. All the "Model T-ness" is gone from that car, other than the body. If that is what you're after, go for it. A lot of street rodders would be bored to tears with a real Model T, since they "don't go fast enough."
"Model T Fords -- Half the speed, twice the fun!" That's how we see it.
As was suggested above, you might want to spend some time getting to know what Model T's are all about before you decide to buy. You might come to appreciate the things we all appreciate about real Model T's and decide you'd like to have one.
Or maybe you won't. If you prefer to have a car that looks cool from 40 feet away but is something else underneath, you might prefer the one you're now considering. It's your decision, of course. Do you want a Model T or a street rod? They are very different.
Thank you guys so much for helping me decide which way to go with this purchase. Like I said earlier I wasn't even considering a T, but when I saw this one I thought it would be cool to buy and participate in local car shows. I will continue to think about which way I go but you guys have definitely enlighten me a great deal!BTW I think I'll continue to keep my eyes open.
Nice looking car and could be fun to play with. It isn't going to fit with either camp, the Model T folks or the street rodders. In the Model T world it would be bringing a dog to a horse show and in the street rodders group it would be bringing a moped to a Harley show.
A model T chassis and running gear wouldn't cost too much to bring it back correctly but then add on the rebuild. At least it wasn't completely ruined by cutting the top down or off.
It is not a valuable street rod and an almost ruined Model T. A buyer should take it apart and make it either one or the other.
If I wanted a Datsun I would buy one and if I wanted a Model T that is what I would buy but what you have there is neither and I agree that it might be fun to play with for a while but it is not a good investment. Someone spent a tremendous amount of time and, I expect, a lot of money on that car and it looks great but it's neither fish nor fowl!
So what do you guys think as far as appraisal?
8 would be okay, 10 pushing it. Looks like a fun car for someone who doesn't want to deal with the antique power train that operates like nothing they have ever driven. That idea is appalling to some here on this forum, but such people exist and this car fits the bill perfectly. It will move along well I bet, but here is the problem with that. You still have only rear brakes and skinny tires. Also, this car is precariously top heavy. Drive it with these limitations in mind. A full inspection of safety issues on all modifications is a must. Also, that car had better have safety glass or I would not get in it. Check with your local club for their rules for modified cars. Our club has a number of modified cars that sometimes tour with us. We let the individuals putting on the tour make any restrictions they want.
Ok cool thanks for the advice!
K. Walton: Your words; I told the current owner I wasn't in the market for a "T" bit it caught my eye.
Nice car butttttttt; If I wanted a "T" I would look for a full breed "T". If I wanted a Datsun I would buy a Datsun. I have two "T'S" one is a 1917 Depot Hack and the other is a 1919 Black Touring. I would like to build a Speedster, do not really have the room to work and store an extra car.
Anything I said was just MHOPINION>
Definitely appreciate it Bill!
If i had my druther's,i'd druther not! I think if one looks a little longer you can find the real thing at a better price?Bud.
A car like this has possibilities. It's the kind of vehicle of which Disney would probably love to have a fleet in the theme-parks. It would make a unique sight-seeing taxicab in touristy towns like St. Augustine—assuming the legalities and insurance details didn't become issues. The appearance of a Model T Ford is a powerful people magnet and half of those people will be of the opposite sex, so it's a great ice-breaker (There is no better wingman than a Model T). A genuine Model T Ford is a maintenance-intensive work in progress that never ends and I suppose that's part of why ownership is considered an activity, a hobby; so if you're not mechanically inclined, this might be a fun toy to own.
Having said that, it's important that you understand how the crankcase of the Model T's engine was attached to the front axle by a "wishbone" which was a stabilizing influence such that without it, the car would be uncontrollable. In fact, without it, the whole front axle would fold backwards beneath the car. That means it's important that the front end of the car in question be firmly and solidly braced. Such a structural and dynamic redesign had better have been executed by somebody with professional credentials.
From the photos, I notice a lot of surface rust under the car and on the frame, which suggests a significant period of inactivity. Were that the case, I'd want to know why nobody wanted to drive the car for so long. I'd also ask how many miles were put on the car after the major modifications.
This kind of car would not be my cup of tea, nor the beverage of choice of most folks on this forum, but that doesn't mean it's not the right machine for somebody. Just, for Heaven's sake, make sure it's a safe and stable driver before laying down your cash.
Great info Bob! Even though I might look past this one, this is all info I can use should I decide to purchase a T in the future. Again thank you!
There are some really rusty parts in the pictures, as if it was driven a lot in snow / salted roads. For sure there is not much there that I would call Model T related. The car would cost a lot to bring back. The folks on this forum might appreciate it more:
You can find good presentable Model T Fordor sedans for 10 - 15 thousand dollars that need nothing except a driver.
Great! Thank you!
The photos of the rusty frame/springs is not the same car as the T.
That is no longer a Model T
To bad this was done to a pretty decent Model T.
To each his own I guess.
If money is no object? Buy it, use it, give it away.
If money is an issue at all? You need to be concerned about what can you sell it for later? Antique automobiles are a hobby, and for many of us, a passion. Do not expect to get everything you have put into any car back when you sell it later. Yet, still, you should be a little concerned about how much of it you can get back later.
Cars like that (I have seen dozens of them over the years) do not fit into any popular market. As others have eloquently said, it is no longer really a model T Ford. People that want a model T Ford are not generally gong to pay much for it. Selling it as a body that can be replaced onto a model T chassis won't get nearly half what a similar real model T would get.
Real hotrodders do not want it. To much like getting a go-cart. Again, some might consider buying it for the body only.
There are people that want something just like that. They have no passion or even caring about the real thing (either antique or rod). It is cute. It appeals to their short attention span, and they want it. This week.
However, that is a very limited, small, market. Buying things that are not appealing to others is bad business.
Even buying a model T (or any other antique) painted a wrong color limits its future resale potential. Wrong year parts and even little things affect the potential buyers market.
Another serious problem. And this is an issue in most of the antiques and rods hobbies. But it is a bigger issue with crossover vehicles like this. It has been mentioned above, but needs to be considered more yet. And that is safety. People that build things like this rarely have any sort of engineering background. They made it faster! They made it heavier! And they made changes to the chassis and suspension convincing themselves that it is safer! But is it? Most people that build things like this are clueless. Everything they did is suspect.
If you do not have a solid engineering background? Have someone that does look it over before you buy it.
K W, (nice model T initials by the way), I hope to soon welcome you into the real world of model T Fords! The single most influential car in all automotive history.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
K. It will be a hundred times harder to sell than a real one, it won't provide the same era satisfaction, you will get a far different reaction from people who talk to you and you will miss out the oiling, tinkering in the garage and asking for advice and always learning.
You will probably be tempted to drive too fast for the wheels,tyres & handling.
I agree with the advice above and find a club member or two and experience a standard T. Crank start it, listen to it idling at a few hundred revs. You may then get a sign.
My advice is NO, not for a first T but it's only my opinion.
Its a good looker and it might have the opposite effect and steer you into wanting a standard one.
What ever you do come back on this thread and tell us.
I absolutely will let you guys know what I decide to do. I can tell you, out of all the forums Ive been to I got the warmest welcome from you guys. Again I really appreciate you guys pointing me in the right direction. While I have extensive experience in other types of cars (mainly 1/4 mile track cars and German vehicles) I knew the T would be a totally different animal so that's why I reached out and I'm glad I did. Again your help has been invaluable!
That is not a Model T frame or suspension. Parallel leaf rear and torsion bar front suspensions and frame appear to be Datsun pickup truck with T body mounted on it. However some of the pictures show different tires and wheels (not T wood spoke) and the front view of the car looks like a T axle with no front brakes. The pictures don't seem to match.
There were only a few pix of the T. Those other frame pix are from a Tahoe
As you say, a T is a totally different animal. And this car you're looking at, is a totally different animal from a T. I just happens to look like one. Just depends what you like. A real Model T demands a bit of specialized knowledge and skill run, drive & maintain. Nothing too extensive that can't be learned. This car would cater to someone with a more modern skillset.
The other thing is, as others have pointed out, you would now have ability to drive that car WAY beyond what the chassis is meant to withstand. Unless you drove it much like a real T, it could be very dangerous, no matter how well it's built.
And, if you decide you don't like it, it will be a hard sell to find a buyer I think.
A car like this is great for someone much like the market the Shay replica Model As were meant for. Someone who wants the look and style of an antique car, but without the maintenance and dedication that comes with antique car ownership.
It is more like a kit or replica than a hot-rod, it just happens to be built using an original body.
The resale market I would assume to be very soft for something like this, but to the right kind of buyer, it could be exactly what they're looking for. Finding that guy might be difficult though.
If the price is right, perform a rescue. Hershey is only a couple of weeks away and I assume we'll all be tripping over Model T chassis everywhere. Other than the firewall and dash, the body appears to be unmolested. Swapping a body onto another chassis can be done in a matter of a few hours. There aren't many Fordors out there in comparison to the rest of the Ts and they were expensive vehicles.
The street rodders have been taking from our hobby for years. We can take our cars back from them.
(Message edited by tmiller6 on September 23, 2015)
That is a really well-done street rod. It is a model T in name only. It doesn't look to me that there is much of that car outside of the body that is model T. This is not intended to be either negative or positive - I like street rods and own one. When I go to a hot rod show I take my hot rod. When I go to an antique car show I take my T.