Model T Perspective

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2015: Model T Perspective
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Killecut on Sunday, October 18, 2015 - 10:56 am:

The last Model T was produced 88 years ago. Fast forward to 2015, at any minute of the day, 24/7, someone in the world is either working on or driving a Model T. I doubt that could be said for any other vehicle. Today, I will be doing both on two different cars.
Later on, I'll be looking at a 23 Roadster that has been stored for the last 65-70 years. I'll post pictures later whether I buy it or not.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John C Codman on Sunday, October 18, 2015 - 11:48 am:

Probably true, but 88 years after the last VW Beetle was produced, I'll bet the same sort of thing will be said. The difference is that in 2091 the youngest T will be 164 years old, and someone will most likely still be driving one if the world as we know it is still around.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John McGinnis in San Jose area, CA. on Sunday, October 18, 2015 - 11:48 am:

To add to that...how many model Ts are being brought from the brink of death by restorers? All those parts being traded and bought at swap meets, classifieds, etc. presumably go to the building of a complete car that will see the road again. I have brought four from the junk into real, complete cars/trucks and I am working on two more. I sense that the model T population is growing every day.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John McGinnis in San Jose area, CA. on Monday, October 19, 2015 - 10:32 am:

This thread had the potential for interesting comments and perspectives. Where is everybody??


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Monday, October 19, 2015 - 10:51 am:

What mystifies me is that although the number of intact and running T's continually increases, as John C points out, so many of them just sit. There have to be at least a dozen T's in this county, but I never see any of them but mine out on the road. The only one I remember seeing in the past year was the mystery Fordor that drove by my house last month. I still don't know who that was.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harvey Cash - Winnemucca Nevada on Monday, October 19, 2015 - 10:52 am:

Then and now. They can be saved. Harvtt


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Henry Petrino in Modesto, CA on Monday, October 19, 2015 - 10:54 am:

John makes an interesting point. I wonder what a graph would look like that shows the number of running Model T's by year. I imagine from 1908 until 1927 it would show annual increases, and that by end of production there may have been (pure guess) 12,000,000 running.

The interesting part of the graph would come later. It seems reasonable to think that the number would decrease annually and really take a dive during WWII due to scrap metal drives. But sometime after the war the number bottomed out. Then guys like us started fixing, restoring, and assembling from parts lots of cars and trucks.

So, the graph would presumably bottom out maybe sometime in the 1950's or 1960's. Then, thanks to our efforts, it would show a slow but steady increase. It's probably not possible to get actual numbers for the 107 years the graph would cover, but it's an interesting thought.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Monday, October 19, 2015 - 11:06 am:

Extremely interesting. And totally impossible to get any where near an accurate #.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Dimock, Newfields NH, USA on Monday, October 19, 2015 - 12:46 pm:

I don't want to start a fight but !!

What criteria does one use to identify a T or VW?

Is a T with a Chebby motor a T?
Is a dune buggy a VW?
Is a speedster a T?
Is a Myers Manx a VW?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By G.R.Cheshire on Monday, October 19, 2015 - 12:59 pm:

Fred you forgot
Is a VW with a Corvair engine a VW
Is a VW with a motorcycle front end a VW


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Schedler, Sacramento on Monday, October 19, 2015 - 01:09 pm:

Is a 23 Model T with a 350 Chevy a 23 Model T?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Keith Gumbinger, Kenosha, WI on Monday, October 19, 2015 - 01:13 pm:

For Fred and G.R., I would venture a criteria for Model T's:

Does it have a Model T engine? Even if it has a Model A Crank and a Rajo or other head, and maybe even some other than a Model T transmission, if it had a Model T block, I would consider it a Model T.

Speedsters with a T engine, modified a bit or a lot? OK, yes it counts.

Street Rod with a Chebby Engine? No, absolutely not.

OK, Guys, I invite comment.

Keith


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George John Drobnock on Monday, October 19, 2015 - 01:55 pm:

How many of the Model T's in this discussion are not bitsas - cars titled as a given year but reconstructed from bits of old parts or old stock. How many are actually on the road with paper work that can be traced back to the original owner? I have read some of the tales stating the problems in registering a car with a DMV because the new owner does not have a title of ownership because it is a barn find and the seller does not have a title. Tales of the DMV not understanding the VIN is the number stamped on the motor and not the frame.

The question of actual number in existence and on the road is subjective if the majority of the cars rely on engine block numbers. This implies that the cars on the road and registered have not been rebuilt with a "new" motor or re-stamped short block.

Are there more 1923 roadsters on the road today than were actually produced at the factory?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Dimock, Newfields NH, USA on Monday, October 19, 2015 - 02:41 pm:

How about this?

If it
looks like a Model T
sounds like a model T
drives like a Model T
smells like a Model T
leaks like a Model T
has skinny tires like a Model T
and
has a crank -

It must be a Model T! :-)



But if it has a water pump or distributor it might not be a model T.
Sorry I could not hold back that last part! :-(


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Kelsey on Monday, October 19, 2015 - 03:35 pm:

This past weekend, my friend, who is painting my car, and I were having a similar conversation. Very rarely do we see any pre-1920 cars on tours or shows that are not Model Ts. I think that the parts are getting too hard to find and that, due to the age of the vehicles, they are either not safe to drive without new parts or the owners don't want to drive them because a breakdown means the car might not get fixed. I am sure that there will come a day when we won't see any Hupmobiles, Grahams, Maxwells, etc. on the road - we will see Model Ts, though.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George John Drobnock on Monday, October 19, 2015 - 03:51 pm:

Hershey Show Fall Meet program per class of vehicle this year listed 19 Model Ts (class 10A, 10B, and 11) largest number in class 10A and 10B the brass cars. Only 6 in class 11 ( T's 1917 to 1927). What appeared to be the most popular class are the Corvettes. Interesting between the parts vendors more Model A than T. This maybe a regional over view only?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John McGinnis in San Jose area, CA. on Monday, October 19, 2015 - 05:22 pm:

I sense that there is a lot selling/buying/trading of Ts and a lot of socializing and tours. But where is the real work being done to bring Ts back to life. So what if there are *bitsas* being assembled...better than sitting on a hoard of parts that serve no purpose and have no future.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John C Codman on Monday, October 19, 2015 - 05:43 pm:

To Fred - Perfect answer. I don't promise that I won't ever build a V8 T-bucket, but I do promise that it won't be Chevy-powered.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bruce Compton on Monday, October 19, 2015 - 07:14 pm:

Although I'm new to this forum, I'm not new to Model Ts. I started in 1976 with a 1920 Touring that had original paint and upholstery, did a '26 Speedster and a '15 Roadster before getting the '25 Coupe that I have now. The previous three all went away with my blessing as I drive my cars, but allways got frustrated trying to survive in today's traffic, however,each time bought another a few years later as I just can't go too long without one. I really don't know what the attraction is , but owning a piece of history and having something that demands constant tinkering sure plays a part. For someone like me that has to be fixin' something all the time, a T will always be the answer. As well as the car, there are all the related aspects of the hobby that add to the pleasure such as cruise nights,flea markets and most of all, the great people you get to know. This forum is a classic example of that. Thanks Dan for initiating this post, as a few years ago your cars motivated me to get back to Ts again. Cheers : Bruce


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron in Central Massachusetts on Monday, October 19, 2015 - 08:04 pm:

Absolutely agree with Keith in his criteria. I consider each of mine - from the power unit, to the saw rig and all the tractors in between - Model Ts (though I suspect there are many on here who would not, because they are homemade machines).

I also think John McGinnis is right on the mark with his comments about "bitsas." Dislike the term - disparaging. Real accomplishment to take a pile of parts and put them back on the road as a running vehicle. When you consider that every T started as a pile of parts at either Piquette or Highland Park, aren't they all "bitsas?"


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John McGinnis in San Jose area, CA. on Tuesday, October 20, 2015 - 03:41 pm:

"Real accomplishment to take a pile of parts and put them back on the road as a running vehicle. When you consider that every T started as a pile of parts at either Piquette or Highland Park, aren't they all "bitsas?"".
I think Ron's statement says it all. None of my Ts have parts that have ever seen each other before, except somewhere, sometime in a pile or bin in Detroit. What does it matter... who cares?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Tuesday, October 20, 2015 - 04:07 pm:

Who cares,The people who have done the research and work to make their T more than a pile of parts!! Years ago my grandson and i were walking back to the rv after watching a spark show and a woman gave us a ride in a golf cart.Seeing my MTFIC jacket she commented they also had a model T ford truck.When i asked where she lived i knew the truck as it has been sitting outside in the front yard for a least 40 years!! Yup,as she saw it,she has a model T so i guess it's all up to what you think?? Bud in Wheeler,Mi.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Tuesday, October 20, 2015 - 04:09 pm:

Who cares,The people who have done the research and work to make their T more than a pile of parts!! Years ago my grandson and i were walking back to the rv after watching a spark show and a woman gave us a ride in a golf cart.Seeing my MTFIC jacket she commented they also had a model T ford truck.When i asked where she lived i knew the truck as it has been sitting outside in the front yard for a least 40 years!! Yup,as she saw it,she has a model T so i guess it's all up to what you think?? Bud in Wheeler,Mi.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Burger in Spokane on Tuesday, October 20, 2015 - 04:49 pm:

I see the titled "Model T Perspective" more as a way of seeing the world through
the prism of a Model T windshield, .... slower, with more meaning and greater
connection to the places and roads one travels through and along and all that came
since the days when Model T's were new. It's an attitude, a paradigm of how we fit
into the world as we CHOOSE to see it.

Some people take directions by freeway exits. Other go by "the old water tank"
or schoolhouse. The Model T perspective is all about the journey with little concern
about the destination. Most folks today don't give two shats about the journey and
only care about how fast they can "get there".


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Marv Konrad (Green Bay's a suburb!) on Tuesday, October 20, 2015 - 05:09 pm:

-'Right on!', Burger, Bud and others-
Go to ANY car show, tour, cruise, etc. - How many do you see exactly the same? (Hint: "None!") Different folks have different ideas, don't they? I recognize myself to not being a 'purist', but I certainly respect those efforts! Finding a part to finish someone's piece of the puzzle allows that person to enjoy their vehicle even more.... If we're able to share someone's joy and personal pride without criticism, aren't we all further ahead??? The EMF's & Rickenbacker's, along with numerous others, all have their own story to be told. (All interesting, if we listen!!)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 11:45 am:

I enjoyed Johns comments. With the number of T's on the road today, and the number of people restoring them, why did Victor discontinue gasket sets, Goodyear, tires and tubes, Sears, Model T parts page, KW, coils? It makes NO sense! There are certainly more people driving T's today than in 1960 when all this stuff was still available.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Semprez-Templeton, CA on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 01:00 pm:

Larry you just struck a nerve with me. Modern accounting says that if 75% of your SKUs drive 95% of your profits, get rid of the losers. Review quarterly and adjust accordingly. Your shareholders will love you and your consumers are too stupid to notice the difference. It is this strategy that turned Sears into the profitable powerhouse it is today! :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 01:10 pm:

Please forgive my ignorance, what is an SKU? :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Walt Berdan, Bellevue, WA on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 01:18 pm:

Not sure of the exact term but basically it's the part number for the inventory.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Walt Berdan, Bellevue, WA on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 01:20 pm:

Looked it up - Stock Keeping Unit (or what I said above).


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Marv Konrad (Green Bay's a suburb!) on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 02:02 pm:

SKU ia a/k/a and displayed with what is known as 'the bar code' read by the electronic scanner. Dontcha miss that 'ca-ching' of the cash register????


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Semprez-Templeton, CA on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 02:18 pm:

What Walt said... A nice impersonal way of describing a given product in a reseller's inventory.

In the Sears business model, If a new brand of canned bean showed greater sales growth and margin than toilet paper (which has a flat growth curve and low margin) their "bean counters" (nice pun) would theoretically discontinue the toilet paper SKU. Consumers be damned!

Model T parts, unfortunately, exhibit flat growth and low margin to most corporate entities, hence, Victor, Goodyear etc. see no market for these products. Another reason we must show support for our Model T parts manufacturers and the Vendors who sell their products.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Travis Melnick -Waterford , Pa on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 02:47 pm:

I'm relatively new to the hobby but have been helping my dad gather parts for years so I have a little background in what most parts are ( figuratively ) I bought a 26 roadster pick up in 97 and had just started the restoration when I bought a 27 Tudor that had been off the road since 1952 , that being said , there aren't that many people left around that actually worked on these cars and still remember how in my area anyways , but I'm reading the service manual and asking questions here and muddling through what I can , I'm 44 and teaching my 9 and 11 year old sons what I can , they really enjoy the old fords and I gave a 1920 running gear and frame ( with a fiberglass body ) to my 18 year old to have of his own . We do need to support our parts vendors and also pass what we know , or are learning , on to the future care takers of our vehicles and hobby .


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John C Codman on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 04:45 pm:

Hi Travis - any relation to the late Bob Melnick of (first) Newton and later Bellingham, MA? He was the best welder that I have ever known.
To Jeff - mine was out today for it's last run before being put up for the winter. It's now in the barn under the staircase. The fuel tank will be drained, the instrument cluster (such as it is) removed, as will be the battery. The instrument cluster will be sent out for re-nickel plating this winter, and the replacement battery case will be replaced with the repaired original in the spring. My T is an unrestored survivor, and I intend to keep it as original as possible. Going to redo another wheel this spring. One per year - and they will have non-standard natural wood spokes.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Travis Melnick -Waterford , Pa on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 07:49 pm:

Hello john , not sure about my relatives on grampas side , I do know there were some out west ( Nebraska ) and some in New York State , suppose it's possible , but I don't know , sorry . My sedan is unrestored as well , my dad keeps pushing me to take her down and do a restoration , but I kind of like her the way she is for now , besides I've started working on the roadster pick up again for winter . Once it's done Maybe I will , just really like her the way she is ...


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Martin Vowell, Sylmar, CA on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 08:10 pm:

I certainly would like to be amongst the few who are driving their cars around. But mine at the moment is in pieces all of the garage floor. But I'm looking forward to getting her going again, hopefully before the rainy season (whatever that is) sets in. I miss driving...not necessarily the getting there, just the driving to part.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Pawelek Brookshire, Texas on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 08:54 pm:

Though many of us look fondly to the past in rebuilding our Model T's I believe the advent of the Internet has been the greatest modern invention in bringing more Model T's back on the road. The availability of parts on the Internet, information and social interaction discussing Model T's is astronomical.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 10:05 pm:

Travis -- There are 10 times as many restored Model T's as there are original ones. They are original only once. Once you mess with them, they are something else.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Travis Melnick -Waterford , Pa on Thursday, October 22, 2015 - 10:18 am:

Mike , I agree , we went to Hershey for the first time ( my dad has been there before ) and took dad with me , I was looking for an original door handle to replace the one that was junk on the Tudor ,an original bumper medallion and misc odds and ends , dash light etc.. Anyhow , my dad was like why not buy a new set of handles ? Those ones won't look good when you're done with the car . Id rather recycle original parts when I can and have them not stick out . I could not find an original rusty bumper medallion and bought a new one from Langs but now I'll have to make it look rusty because it doesn't look right on the front of the car . I did purchase an awesome dad light to fit the hole in my dash and was very happy with everything overall .


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Burger in Spokane on Thursday, October 22, 2015 - 11:27 am:

I'll take a nicely patinaed ANYTHING over something sparkly and new looking. Why would
anyone want something OLD and turn around and make it look new ?

Isn't that the same logic as putting a turd in the punchbowl ?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill Harper - Keene, NH on Thursday, October 22, 2015 - 12:08 pm:

"Isn't that the same logic as putting a turd in the punchbowl ?"

No.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dale Peterson College Place, WA on Thursday, October 22, 2015 - 12:40 pm:

I for one am glad that Sears and the other big boys got out of the T business. They are not interested in T's or the hobby, just in turning a dollar. Them being out of the way makes it easier for Lang's, Snyder's, Bob's and the others that care about us and our cars to exist!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Dimock, Newfields NH, USA on Thursday, October 22, 2015 - 12:59 pm:

I am happy that people make new things for the T.
Without them our hobby would get very expensive and die.

But although I enjoy looking a bright a shiny fully restored brass T, I like those that look like Ts looked in the olden days.

After all they were tools of convenience.

As for old vs new handles - if you cant find old you can always make new look old.

The goal is to use the vehicle!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Keith Gumbinger, Kenosha, WI on Thursday, October 22, 2015 - 01:01 pm:

Dale, You are right on. Supporting our vendors like Lang's, Bob's, Chaffins, Snyder's, etc. makes them better and stronger. That way they can continue to provide us with T parts, more T parts, and better T parts.

Keith


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By G.R.Cheshire on Thursday, October 22, 2015 - 01:08 pm:

I love the "T" hobby even though it seems like at some time or another the only thing we can agree on is we love out "T's" and for me, that is enough! :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Travis Melnick -Waterford , Pa on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 11:00 pm:

I have a probably dumb question , while looking through the forum , seeing lots of Awsome pictures of T s and parts at Hershey , we got there late Thursday morning but I didn't see half of the T parts there I'm sure , are there spots that are mostly T parts and cars ( like red , orange , chocolate field etc .. ) or are they just spread out all over the various flea market fields ? Looking forward to next year God willing and although We saw a lot of great things , I'd like to find more T parts there to check out . Thanks.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 12:12 am:

The short answer is no. There's no concentration of T parts. From R.V. Anderson at the east end of the red field, to the guys with trailers of used parts at the far west end of the orange field, they're scattered all over the place. Some guys will have nothing but T parts, but many will have a few T parts along with lots of other goods. I've found T stuff in every part of the place.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill Harper - Keene, NH on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 12:31 am:

"I've found T stuff in every part of the place."

One hundred seven years after it's debut and it is still the Universal Car!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Travis Melnick -Waterford , Pa on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 06:25 am:

Thanks,
Just wondered , I think next year I'll start at Red and work back to the car show area , oh , and get there Tuesday night !! Thanks again !!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Killecut on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 07:27 am:

At the end of the world "Last part standing will be a Model T part somewhere"!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Keith Gumbinger, Kenosha, WI on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 02:37 pm:

Travis, Speaking from experience, the best time to start at Hershey is about 8am on Tuesday. At that time you'll see people like Don Lang out hunting for bargains before everyone else gets there. All of the vendors are not set up yet then, but that's ok. Since the field isn't very crowded, you can go from space to space easily, and across rows too if you like.

Keith


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