My sister sent me a picture of this sign.
Is the last sentence in the first paragraph true or possible? Was the oil actually used for fuel?
It wouldn't surprise me one bit if you could run a T on that stuff. It'll run on just about anything flammable. Especially if you had one of those carbs designed to start on gas and then swap to kerosene. Kerosene today is probably as or more refined a product than the gasoline they were running when Ts were new. So kerosene back then was probably about like driving with 30 weight for fuel (just kidding, but I do suspect there is a big difference.)
Relatives years ago would tap off the "casing head gasoline" from wells to mix with regular pump gasoline. Didn't run great but was free! Not that far away on Signal Hill.
It is interesting to learn about the history where I grew up, which is about 10 miles to south of Placerita Canyon. As a boy, I don't remember the smell. But I do remember 2 Signal gas stations on Chatsworth St.
Great book from the early 50's titled "Henry's wonderful Model T." The author who was a kid-Ford salesman describes driving his T sales car home one night on a farmer's kerosene because he forgot to check his fuel level before leaving the shop. I'd say it's possible.
It wasn't just kerosene or gasoline either. Here's a guy claiming the Model T was the first flex fuel car. Apparently, back in the day, alcohol had a higher octane than gasoline depending on the cook.
Any of you guys ever burn alcohol in you Model T? It appears the government will grant permission to brew 10,000 or less proof-gallons a year without harassment from the revenue men.
David Blume, the fellow in the video, doesn't know what he's talking about.
It's nice to make up stories about what may sound logical but is not real history as it actually occurred.
By the way, there is nothing so special about a Model T Ford that wouldn't apply to an overwhelming majority of non-Ford automobiles during that era, i.e., the ability to adjust the ignition timing and the air/fuel mixture.
>>>Any of you guys ever burn alcohol in you Model T?<<<
Hi Eric - Got it! I'll put you in the "No" column.
Anyone else? If you've ever used Ethanol in your antique machines I'd be interested in hearing your stories - good, bad or indifferent.
I didn't type that you couldn't burn alcohol in a Model T.
David Blume is a revisionist historian who makes up historical facts as they pertain the Model T Ford. Inferring that Model T Fords were designed from the factory to run on alcohol is pure baloney.
Read the Youtube comments authored by Stashorama:
If you want to read forum threads about alcohol as fuel, it has been beaten to death many times over and there is no reason to rehash it from scratch.
PS: note that cars - Fords and non-Fords alike - with carburetors with cork floats sealed with shellac would not have been good candidates to run on alcohol. Alcohol is the solvent in shellac. That in and of itself negates any implication that early automobiles were designed from the factory to run on alcohol.
Also, the only mention of alcohol in the Model T Ford owners manual is for use as anti-freeze in the radiator. Gasoline is the only specified fuel in the manual.
Agree. It wasn't designed as a flex fuel vehicle. That doesn't mean it won't work either.
A number of years ago, the British History Channel arranged to film me driving my '26 Touring for their "How it Works" series.
We wound-up driving through El Dorado Park in Long Beach. I picked the location because the crew wanted an "Open area with a lot of trees and no traffic" but they had no idea where to find those conditions in that area.
On the way to the location, a few of the crew members rode along with me in the car. While we were driving, they interviewed me and asked me questions pertaining to the "fact" that Henry Ford designed the Model T to run on ethanol.
I chose not to play along with the fabrication and when questioned on the Model T\ethanol subject, I answered truthfully and told them that I had no knowledge about the subject of Henry Ford having Model T designed to run on ethanol. I did tell them that I knew that some people had used a gasoline\kerosene mix when the T was a contemporary car. I also told them that the quality of gasoline during the Model T era was so poor, that gasoline was just a bit better than mineral spirits.
This was all on film, including driving into the ARCO station and filling up the tank (which I paid for).
The end result was footage of my kids and I riding in my car with voice-over narration extolling the facts of how the Model T was designed by Henry Ford to run on ethanol, less any audio of me saying that the Model T\ethanol connection was basically bunk.
Spent an entire day with them and they bought my kids and I dinner at the local barbecue joint.
>>>If you want to read forum threads about alcohol as fuel, it has been beaten to death many times over and there is no reason to rehash it from scratch.<<<
Well, when you think about it, we're talking about 100 year old cars here. I imagine everything has been discussed before.
But thanks for the links, Erik. I've been enjoying my reading assignment.