Guys what do you suggest I need to look for when inspecting a Depot hack beside the obvious normal Model T stuff. I guess the woodwork but is there any particular location that can be an issue?
Does the extra weight cause a different wear on suspension etc?
I can't test drive the Hack so the inspection will be as it sits.
If it has 3 rows of seats and therefore can probably hold 6 adults, check to see if it has enough spring leaves in the rear axle to support the weight.
We had a club member who didn't consider this (his Depot Hack is on a car chassis) and when 5 or 6 adults were in it, the car back end was so heavy that the car sagged way down and the rear fenders were sitting on top of the rear tires. He had to add two leaves to the rear spring to cure this.
Also, sit in the drivers seat and evaluate if the seat position allows enough room for comfort in relation to the steering wheel. There was a Depot Hack built by a quite slim guy (read: skinny), and the next buyer had a "prosperous" gut (read: fat), and he didn't fit in the drivers seat comfortably.
Depot Hacks are built in many different ways and what one person builds may not work out well for you.
Your mileage may vary.
And if originality means anything to you, stay away from one cut out of 3/4" birch plywood.
Keith makes an important point about driver fit and comfort.
Something to keep in the back of your mind as you look at hacks:
If the body has original wood AND there is a moderate overhang of the body beyond the rear crossmember of the chassis look carefully at the body subframe in the area adjacent to the rear crossmember as frequent heavy loads placed at the very rear of the body can stress the body subframe and result in cracks in the wooden rails.
A seldom encountered problem, but I do know of one such instance. The owner did use the car with the cracks but never put too much weight behind the front seat.
Good luck in your search and please keep us posted. Bill
Find one that is low enough to fit through your garage door.
There are a lot of post-WWII assembled DIY depot hacks that are ridiculously tall.
If I had to own a depot hack, I would prefer one with a commercially built, period body that was actually constructed in the 1910s or 1920s, not a 1950s-60s-70s reproduction or fantasy body.
I have al 1919 hack with an original Mifflinburg body and agree with everything said here.
I had to move the driver's seat back so I could get behind the steering wheel and cut about 2 inches out of the garage door header.
I currently do not have side curtains so it is not comfortable when it rains or is cold.
My rear seats are removable so I can use it to move lumber or a snowblower if needed.
Thanks Guys some good points. I have a high garage door so thats not an issue for me but might be for resale however by memory I don't thinks its super tall. Not sure how I will tell when the body was made, its how sound it is that concerns me more. The drivers position looks to have plenty of space but will confirm the legroom when viewing again.
Only 2 rows of seats in this one, will check the body subframe for cracks.
Keith are some of the Hacks not on a car chassis?
Kevin, I have seen at least one on a TT chassis, and it was really neat. It had 4 rows of seats.
On the other hand, how often do you need to haul 8 or 10 or 12 people / kids?
Kevin, I have an original Cantrell hack body that I bought for the hardware. It turned out that the body was too good to scrap so I have restored it. I found that the majority of wood rot occurred where the side panels met the floor. I had to replace the entire lower deck and the main stringers. That is where I would look very carefully.
I had a hack built on a 23 touring car chassis, in the late sixties when I was in college. I don't know that it had any modifications to the springs, but I never counted the leaves. It was only a two seater, but it would haul two girls on the front seat beside me; three on the back seat; three sitting in the cargo space in the rear (sitting backward);and two standing on each running board. Never had a spring problem. It was a Syverson body as I recall.
I hope it was the Hack that attracted all those women lol.
Keith I dont intend to haul that many but it sounds an interesting set up.
Thanks Val I will inspect those areas.
I agree with make sure the body proportions look good. Not too tall not too short. Does the windshield look right? Looked at pictures of a 1914 that with the original 1914 type windshield, there was a huge gap between the bottom of the top and the top of the windshield and a large over hang to the front, just didn't look right. The top looked like it was floating in space above the rest of the car. As stated, check the wood structure.
When I first built mine (Baltic birch plywood sides ) I had to do some changes, was too long and too tall compared to the width. Looks better after I took the saw to it!
How tall and how well the body is made and how rage body sit to you at the wheel pasted alot of good decent cars all because the sit to wrong for me
Just a thought guys has anybody made the roof & supports removable to allow swapping from Depot hack to a "Open express" similar to "Robert Broughs" shown in this thread?
I'll chime in.
I always felt that Depot Hacks looked top heavy (they were) and had proportions all wrong (maybe, maybe not) and for years thought of designing my own when retirement rolled around (still not fully retired).
Then one day I saw a Hack that was designed and built by John Sieger down Missouri way and just knew I had to have one of them or one just like it...
About 2" lower than most...about 6" shorter than most...not as 'fat' at the hood former as most of the others...and to answer the other Kevin question above...without too much work can be a regular Hack or could be an open express (the way John uses his bolts it appears he builds up more like an open express...then adds the stanchions and roof??)
As to have to have one? Yeah...got one a few years back and love it. John had this one at Chickasaw as a body only. I haven't gotten around to mounting out side curtains for it...frankly, don't see the need other than when it gets wet...you had better be ready to dry it with towels as standing water and the oak have a slight disagreement...but part of that may be me. No heavy varnish finish for me...it gets done up in a home brew beeswax and lemon oil twice a year (oi-vey!)
Like Fred, I am going to get around to making the back seat removable...just haven't done it yet...too busy over thinking how to have a slide in dovetail wood 'key' to keep it in place safely or spend but 30 seconds on getting it in and out.
About re-springing a chassis for it?? That's a tough one. The chassis that went under it was a bit of a Johnny Cash...yet was built up with the 10 leaf rear spring and if I wore fake teeth, I think my plate would break! Someday I'm going to pull a leaf just to see if it rides softer...
George it does sit nice a bit lower. Can you tell me the height overall i.e. The lowest height it can travel under. Thanks
From the back seat roof edge to the floor is 76-1/2".
George (& Kevin) - My '27 is a bit different. It's built on a '27 chassis and utilizes the original '27 cowl and windshield. I like it because the original factory '27 windshield posts do not cause the usual "blind spot" that the usual wider depot hack wooden windshield posts cause,....plus, I just sorta' like the look of it. Southern California "T" guys might recognize my depot hack because it was owned by the late Pete Cosner of the Long Beach Model T Club. I bought it from Petes daughter Karen, and of my five Model "T's, it is still by far my favorite.
Oh, and by the way, it seems to be a bit lower as measuring it like you measured yours George, it is 72-1/2" from back edge of roof to pavement. A bit lower than most I think if height is an issue Kevin,....shown in my profile if you click on my name,....FWIW,......harold
Actually George, in looking closer at the two photos you posted, your wooden windshield posts are much narrower than most depot hack bodies,....that body does look to be very nicely designed and built,.....harold
When looking for a Depot Hack, I was concerned about the looks and design. Mine has a unique design where it has side glass in front. This keep the wind to a minimum on cold days.
Thanks for the complement Harold...
As I sort of mentioned, I'm not sure exactly where John Sieger takes his nips and tucks, but the end result tends to look more 'comfy' and less boxy...
On the other hand, one of my other favorites of all time is a cutoff Model T touring, that has been converted into a 'shooting brake' as it is called over Oceana way.
When we begin talking about hacks I get a bit confused between bodies that have original wood, bodies where much of the wood has been replaced, and reproduction bodies.
When a reproduction is done it can be true to an original design, interpretation of an original design, or anything you want.
Sometimes the "anything you want" can turn out to be a truly ugly and unsafe vehicle.
I am lucky - my hack has a Mifflinburg Country Club\Suburban body that was refinished in the mid 50's and has most of the original wood.
The proportions are what they did in 1919.
There are times that the height is a bother but it is what it is!
You can see what I did to the garage door just over the van.