I have an all original 1926 Fordor, complete with original upholstery, and original top, which I purchased and have had in the garage, untouched, since 2004. I recently posted a question regarding where I might find the original maroon striped upholstery and received a lot of helpful information.
I restored my first Model T in 1970 at the age of 16, puirchasing it as a rusted out, but complete hulk for my life savings of $600.00. It was a 1926 Coupe and, for the next two years, that car took up every spare minute and dollar I had and, at the end, provided me with the greatest thrill, of my young life up to that point, when, fueled by a make shift fuel tank consisting of a coffee can of gasoline, I started her up for the first time. I still have that car and, in 2004, came across an all original 1926 Fordor, which must have been garage kept for 80 years because it had the original top, original upholstery, the frame wood was perfect and hard as a rock, the joints were firm, the doors were square and closed easily, tighly and solidly and there was not a speck of rust on her or at the bottom of the doors and body like most original Model T's.
Since getting married in 2006, I have not had much time for my former hobbies and my wife had not really experienced the joys of a Model T as I had been re-restoring my first Model T when we got married and have not been able to get it back together because of other, more important projects, such as my regular job and maintaining rental properties and remodeling projects, so the only thing she has experienced is the clutter of parts all over the garage waiting to be put back where they belong, which, as you can imagine was an irritant to her.
To be honest, I had lost interest in the hobby and was ready to sell the Fordor because I knew what it took in time and expense to restore a Model T and swore I would never restore another one and could never imagine when I would ever be able to find the time to work on it and when I told my wife, she was all for it, so, one weekend, three weeks ago, I inflated the tires, took it down off the blocks, rolled it out of the garage and commenced to cleaning her up for the pending sale. I also cleaned out my garage and posted about twenty items of Model T parts, accessories and dignostic tools on ebay, that I had purchased for this Model T.
When a Model T is up on blocks, in a confined garage, surrounded by boxes, it is hard to see what it really looks like, and my wife had never seen a Model T from a distance on all four wheels, looking ready to drive, until the Fordor was rolled out into the sunshine and when she and my 16 year old stepson saw it for the first time out in the driveway, their reaction was surprising. she said "It's cute!" and he said "Wow! That's cool! I like it!". Hmmm! I continued cleaning and polishing and, as the dirt came off and the shine appeared it began looking "cuter and cuter" and "cooler and cooler" as the days went by.
Finally, having attained an almost showroom appearance, I was ready to post her on ebay, when, my wife asked "Are you sure you want to sell it?" and my son told his Mother: "I sure would like to learn how to work on an engine.", then asked, "If I got it running do you think I could drive it to school?" Hmmm. Role reversal here. At first we were all for selling the little Fordor, but in just over three weeks, my wife and son have fallen in love with the little T and, I must admit, while cleaning her up over the last few weeks, I have re-discovered the joy and satisfaction of working on a Model T that I remembered at 16 when the Model T project I had undertaken became all encompassing.
Now, to the relief of my wife and son, I have relented to their pressure and decided to keep it. My son has found all of my old Model T books and is reading all about the Model T in the hope of starting work on it with his friends (who also think it is cool), so as to get it running. I have prematurely ended about half of the auctions for parts and accessories, for this Fordor that I had posted on ebay in anticipation of the sale of the car, but am still selling about half of the Model T items I had posted that I feel someone else can use more than me.
I'm still busy with other, more important projects, but I have found myself with a renewed enthusiasm for the Model T in contemplation of watching my son get this car running like I did when I was his age and all of us going out for a ride as a family.
PS. I removed all of the originally plated parts and will be sending them off today to be nickel plated. I guess I've got the bug again. I'll keep you posted.
Glad you cleaned it up and your family discovered it was a keeper. Looks like you are about half way between the club in Tampa and the one in Winter Park (see: http://mtfca.com/MTclubs.htm ) Many find that the club meetings/tours are a great family event. And you would be amazed at how many younger folks are getting interested in the early cars.
Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.
Wow Jim, just like you I had a 26 Coupe in the garage and later out side (to my regret) for more than 6 years, until my brother said lets clean her up and get it going again, he then asked if I would teach him how to drive it and ended up driving in the Glendora Christmas Parade. Not a big one but there where about 10 "T" in total. He got so into the car that he then went out and picked up a 1919 touring just before Christmas, and we ended up taking part in a Tour through Pasadena, South Pasadena and San Marino just 2 day after Christmas there was a total of about 160 cars (all types pre 1928) even Jay Lenno showed up. We just booked another Tour in Burbank with the San Gabriel Club on the 24th of this month (my wife's birthday) and we are hoping to join the Club that day, the weather here in California is very nice now and we are having a great time with our wifes and kids. I hope you, your wife and the your kids continue to enjoy your "T".
Hay, Jim. To help spark your renewed interest, pack up your wife and son and maybe a couple of his friends and head on down to Flywheeler Park today, tomorrow or Saturday. It's located a few miles east of Fort Meade on the Avon Park Cut-off Road. Get there by 10:30 AM and you can see the car parade which will feature a bunch of Model T's. Go over to the village and visit Wild Willie's Used Up Car Lot and the Ford Garage (just behind Wild Willie's) and you'll see a whole slough of nice Model T's. Plus you'll see thousands of other neat old-timey things. Bob
There are a bunch of Model T's here in Florida!