I've been playing with Model T's and other vintage cars and trucks for many, many years. I have a small fortune invested in my 19 making it perfect over the years. I'm starting to get up in years and it's getting harder for me to drive it. I took a ride in a nice 55 Caddy yesterday the ride was very nice. She rode so nice I thought I could take a nap going down the road. Today I told the wife of the idea of selling. After she picked her jaw off the floor she asked, Are you sure? I told her, Maybe I'm not sure but I'm thinking about. I'm going to give myself another month to make a decision, But it may be time for me to step down and let someone else enjoy her. Not one of my kids are interested in it so there's no one to leave it to. Heck, If I got rid of all the parts and engines I've collected over the years I'd have another shed use. So the question is, When does a person know it's time to sit back and watch.
For me, it will either be when the Lord takes me or I am unable to waddle to the shop and beat on something with a hammer.
Only you can know when it's time, and you need to be truthful with yourself. It is often an agonizing decision. But some clues are, having a hard time driving, hard time seeing and hard time reacting when driving. If you are having issues with these, it may be time. If another vehicle will make things easier for you for a while, it may be a filler for awhile. What ever you do, please please please remember that as you get older, you must be more careful as you can not react as fast and these days, that is almost a necessity.
By the way, how old are you? My grandmother drove until she was 92--but she should have stopped in here late eighties in my opinion. Everyone is different though.
Be safe out there.
Thinking the same thing with my touring! When it becomes more work then fun its time for some one younger to have the fun.
Well, I hate to hear of anybody giving up their T. But, Will, I've always felt that when the time comes to ask if it's the time to give it up, then it's time. I went through that with boating. After 50 years of it, I starting asking the same question. Now I have 4 Model T's and a Model A. Glad I asked myself that question.
Maybe the answer is to sit back and watch someone young get into the hobby with you as a mentor. It's a shame there's not someone who has taken interest in your car or knowledge because that seems like the perfect answer.
I know plenty of older guys who became unable to drive their Ts safely anymore. Some made the decision to sell and get something easier on the legs. Others chose to put their Ts in the garage, never to be driven again. The choice is yours to make. It is all about what will bring you joy in your remaining days. You can still be in the T clubs even without a T. Think about what is truly important, and do whats best for you and yours.
I have been thinking the same thing. I have 3 T's and considering selling I or 2 of them and doing some more work on the 63 Ford Galaxie hardtop I recently bought.
I saw it advertised, looked at it and bought it.
It runs and drives good, straight body and etc.
Its a car I grew up with in high school and one I can go most anywhere at 60-70 mph.
My 24 Coupe has been in the family since 1942 and I just cant get rid of it.
The other 2 I put a lot of sweat and time doing frame up restorations on them over several years so its kind of hard to sell them BUT I like the Muscle era cars in the 60's and would like to make it really nice. What to do!!!??? I don't have a lot of money to spend and the Galaxie would be really nice. I'm not getting any younger and its time to make a decision.
I think Dan B nailed the answer. Maybe you can get someone interested that can be a real buyer for YOUR car and teach them about the car and hobby.
You never know who may be interested. I was a die hard muscle car guy and at 32 years old, decided I had enough one day. 10 years in with T's and I am loving it. I will do it as long as I can and hopefully there will still be someone interested I can pass them too when I give it up.
When you are too old and in such poor health you can't drive anymore. Otherwise, don't sell. You will regret it later!
I'm 67 and have been around T's since inheriting my Grandfathers 24 Coupe in 1958. Hopefully my 2 daughters and son-in-laws will be interested in the T's one day.
I have a friend who built up a 66 Mustang for his son during his high school years and gave it to him for a present when he graduated.
He drove it for about a year and came home one day driving an almost new Silverado PU. Makes you wonder.
Many hobbies as well as careers face similar questions. I don’t know of any 65 year old pro-football players on the starting line up this year. And with general aviation it is not uncommon for someone to trade their higher performance aircraft in for a slower and less complex model as they grow older. About 9 years ago, one of our local Model T guys sold his really nice 1912 touring, he donated his books etc. to our local T club and then he continued to drive his 1930-ish(?) Model A Ford. Why? With his arthritis it was just too uncomfortable for him to drive the T over 10 minutes or so. And in my own case, right now I cannot get in and out of my Model T speedster. My knee is acting up and I’ve started therapy. I should be ok again soon, but right now it is too difficult to get in and out of. But there are other parts of the hobby that do not require as robust and active a body. One reason I like the research on the T’s is I can do that without climbing into and out of the T. So I should be able to do research for a long time. And of course looking ahead the AARP folks talk about purchasing a house that we can age in gracefully. I plan to apply that to my Ts also. While not original, when I have the 1915 engine rebuilt I plan to have it fitted with a later hogs head, magneto ring, gear on the fly wheel etc. so I can add a starter if I want to at a later date. And while some folks correctly share that a well tuned T will start easily with the hand crank – my own experience has been it starts even easier with an electric starter.
Remember you can always sell your T (ok – maybe not if the world market collapses etc) but normally you can sell it. But once it is sold it often will cost you more to obtain a similar car if you change your mind. And for some of us, our Ts have a lot of sentimental value. I have so many good memories of my Dad and me and our T. [See: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/10844.html
for a glimpse of one of those memories.] Even if I couldn’t drive it – I wouldn’t sell Blackie. My wonderful wife could always take me for a ride in the T etc. And if the kids are not interested – perhaps the grandkids might become interested? And if none of them – then maybe I should start a group for mentoring kids?
As others have said, you need to determine what is best for you. But I would encourage you to be slow to sell it, quick to drive it, and to find a group for support. High, my name is Hap and I’m a Model T’er…. Of course I’m thinking of a group to help you enjoy your T more…. I also think that a gel seat cushion and some other minor modifications could help our T’s ride more comfortably. And yes, at some point it will be time to hang up the car keys – for the T and even the modern car. But we don’t need to rush that one.
Hap l9l5 cut off
The good thing for T fans is they made 15 million of them and finding another
is never a problem, unless you are a T snob and only a 1909 will do.
I've been into finned 50's cars since the days when driving one labeled you a
social outcast and pathetic loser. I still love them, but damn ... they've become
stupidly expensive and even more expensive to restore. The Model T is the cheapest
antique car I have ever owned. Parts are absurdly easy to find, and the fun level
is off the charts, compared to anything else I own.
I have come to refer to my muscle cars as "man magnets", because they attract
every blowhard dipweed on the planet, just foaming at the mouth to tell me "all the
facts. I have never been into men, especially the chest pounder types. Still love
the cars, but the fun of taking them out has gone away. The finned cars get a mixed
crowd. The T puts a smile on just about everyone's face that sees it, and most people
who want to chat me up have a great story about their grandparents or "back on the farm".
Definitely the best "bang" for the buck, in that way.
A good friend of mine no longer drives his T. He contents himself with his '38 Ford Phaeton which he believes is one of six or seven left. The '38 is easier to drive, but the biggie is that it is much easier to get in and out of. He was a submariner in WW2.
I did sorta about 1 years ago life hit me hard divorce and all but hey now I got a great tt prodject going and it done more for me then anything even gotten me in touch with a lot Ole friends remember one thing I learned you can sell your car but don't loose site of the friends you made along the way like I did great folks in this hobby
So the question is, When does a person know it's time to sit back and watch.
Answer: When the enjoyment of the activity has gone.
Especially when you find something more interesting, more relaxing, more "fun" to do.
My ideas of "fun" have changed over the years - sounds like yours has also.
So start with getting rid of all the excess you claim to have. You'll still have the car to mess around with and it'll actually look like you're doing something. When you've got enough room and $ look for your 50's or whatever mobile and get it. Enjoy 'em both. My last T was bought from an old timer who needed a cinder block on the floor to get to the running board. He hadn't thought about selling until I approached him. Tough no relative wants it but I'm betting that happens more often than not and their selling it off after you're gone only results in you not getting to enjoy the resulting $.
While it may be sad that you feel the need to give up your T, you are not really giving up if you switch to a Cadillac or something else. You will remain an active car hobbyist which is a lot better than giving up completely. Age changes things, do what you must.
Lets face it, most of the treasures we own and love will at some point be passed to someone else. In essence, we are custodians of living history for future generations to marvel at relics from the dawn of the automotive age. Same goes for other antiques. Once you are done enjoying it, the most important task is to find it a good home where it can be preserved and cherished as much as you have. That way it can go on amazing children and adults for years to come after we have exited the scene.
It's not an age problem but more of a no local support and health. Most do not know that I have been disabled most of my life from having both feet frozen early in life and now diabetes, Walking any distance is a real problem for me and even though Iv kept it well hidden over the years it's becoming problematic, Every step is a new experience. Now my back is giving me very serious issues. Like I mentioned, Next month I'm going to make a decision then I'll go from there.
About 15 years of driving my T we bought an MGB and joined the local MG club.
It is so much less hassle to jump in the B and go.
There are nice people in the MG club too.
I only miss the people that were in the T club when we quit going on T stuff.
I still like to read, see, talk about and work on model T Fords, but I just can't get excited about going on a tour in the T anymore.
I say Will should just buy a fifties Cadillac or similar car that makes life easier for him and learn new things about the car and meet new people that have similar interests in his type of car.
But...we will still be looking for his posts on this site.
Aaron does the MGB make a bigger oil spot than the T?
I wonder what kind of modifications/ adaptations were done to Model T's to accommodate the large number of veterans who were severely wounded in WWI? Might find some ways to keep driving the Model T there.
I don't know about Aaron but '52 MG rivals my '15 touring as far as the size of the oil spots...ha
I will keep my black smith built roadster pickup because all most anything goes with what it was. I made a new oak box it looked like lipstick on a pig. So the original was repaired and put back on. The tattered old leather doctors bag is perfect for the battery on the running board. Disc rear brakes will be used, Folks have said they did not know Ford used discs on my 22.
Another love other then my bride is garage sales. I often pick up a few bucks in retirement from them and the 16 fits much better into the rest of life with a box to carry stuff in.
12 volt? no magnets? wrong lights? Toyota seat? Dizzy? I bet the Toyota seat and twist key ignition alone is light years easier to deal with then vintage parts at 72 years young. 99 percent of folks now will not know the difference or care if it has a starter. A few will want to hand crank it and they can as long as I set the spark advance. Think I will machine a wood sign to hang on the tail gate saying A HUNDRED YEAR OLD FORD is all I can afford! Having fun with what ever you drive is what happiness is!
James: my MGB does not leak.
None will leak if you don't block of the crankcase breather and change oil once in a while.
The hollering about MG leaks is done by people who think it's classy to run down the cars.
The T series(TC, TD, TF) even the MGA were know to leak but the B had seals like an American engine.
My MG has absolutely NO oil leaks. I park places where that would not be tolerated.
The early cars were another story.
I am almost finished with a 2 year total restoration of a MG TD.
It has no rear main seal, no front transmission seal and a felt ring to control the oil gushing out the rear of the transmission.
I did one before this one that I spent 3 or 4 hundred dollars of the customer's money to have the block and crank modified to use a Chevy rear main seal. That engine has not leaked a drop, but of course if the car ever went down a real steep hill the transmission might.
MG's also had the first intermittent wiper system caused by the Lucas wiring I was told.
I just stumbled upon this news story. Here's a guy who won't let age stop him.
If I get to the point when my son doesn't want my T or nobody wants to buy it, I'll give it away.
If something major were to go wrong with my car, it would have to sit as I had to retire on disability at age 46. I was born with spina bifida and club feet. Both ankles are pinned and if I ever broke them I'd have to learn to walk all over again. Although I lived a full life, I did a lot of crap physically I should not have.
I feel your pain.
If I know anything I know this much about myself:
If I start thinking about selling a car or buying one........I've already made up my mind.
Don't let anyone talk you in or out of anything.
If you just leave in in your garage ...someone down the road will get to experience a "barn find" someday in the future. ;o)
I actually gave up recreational flying and entered the T hobby for reasons of ease and age. The T is in my barn 80 feet from my house; the airplane is 35 miles away. I can do most of the the work on the T myself - the FAA limits what I can do on the airplane. Anyone want to buy a Piper Comanche cheap?
Been out on disability 3 years and am 61 years old. Back and shoulders are shot. I'm good for 2-3 hours a day and my wife lets me split that between "honey-do's" and the old cars.
I lay on cardboard to stay off the concrete and my floor jack and jack stands simplify many things. "Hydraulics" are my friend. Still want a chain hoist and I borrow the neighbor's "cherry picker" any time I want to pull an engine. In fact, he likes to store it here because he is "storage challenged".
I can still get in and out and drive without too much difficulty although driving the Model A causes cramps.
Giving up the hobby is a personal choice and (for me) a damned difficult one to make.
I don't wish to hear any of this! I've been in this hobby since I was 14, and am not going to quit! I'm 72 now, and I know I'm slowing down, but this is what keeps me alive. I'm going to stay with it forever. As I write this, I'm at Hershey, and am returning to California with fewer part that I ever have. But it was still fun, and that's what it's all about.
It's your car - sell it.
The '55 Caddy is a fine car. Like all old cars it will require constant tinkering in direct relation to its complexity. I have a couple of muscle cars, they require a lot more work per hour of enjoyment than a Model T. You will find that a '55 Caddy is an expensive and time consuming object to own, with none of the support group that a Model T has.
Best wishes, I would prefer you stick with the Model T. It is low maintenance and high reward.
I'm 70 now and tonight i cranked the T and we did a long parade. Unless it's free every start is a crank start but i still wish my wife would let me paint it red!! Bud in Wheeler,Mi.
If Aarons MLB doesn't leak it must be out of oil all the ones I know of do
Paint it RED ?
Burger,Too much Stroh's Beer long ago.I like the look of a red brass car.Bud in Wheeler,Mi.
Sounds like you need an '09, Bud.
That woulden't be me Mike,as i don't do a very good job of care ing for my 14.Bud in Wheeler,Mi.