Well like most model t guy's. I've been bitten by the t bug, one car soon after became two, now with two I'm looking at car 3. But my sights are on an 1908 which is far out of my reach. So I've been gathering parts from the brass era years to see what I can put together, what year of a rolling chassis can I use to put on the early years fenders on that will fit. Or were all t frames t the same
For what it's worth, I used '14 sheet metal on a much later frame when I built my speedster. I removed the stamped running board brackets and supports and replaced them with forged ones and also removed the battery frame. Since the rear cross member on the later frames extends out further from the frame I also cut it back to the shorter length. Essentially the frames are very similar and with a little tinkering can be used. A lot depends on the year you are looking to copy however because the very early cars do not have a cross member that extend beyond the frame rails to support the body. Instead they have a forging that is attached to the frame to support the body and the rear fender brackets. Those brackets are reproduced so I guess you could modify a later frame to use them as well
I built several using Pre 18 chassis
To the average person it looks legit and doesn't brake the bank
It just depends upon what you want? And this is the question many people need to ask themselves when they are getting into (or moving up in) the hobby. All old cars are not alike. A lot of different clubs and tours have different requirements. Some are very strict, many are "anything that looks close is close enough", most are somewhere between. I know of a Horseless Carriage group that has several Shay Model A "Ford"s that regularly participate in their club tours. That is about as far from a real Horseless Carriage as one can get. But the club has a lot of fun.
Really, putting together a car that looks like a '09/10 T using a lot of available reproduction pieces along with late '10s and '20s chassis parts is not a bad thing. It can be done to look really nice (or just so-so). The car can be driven, look great going down the road, be fun in parades, and even look right in scenic photographs. But it can never really be the real thing. There are a lot of people in the hobby that will hate your car (not an over-statement), and they may never like you. A lot of clubs and activities will accept the car and you, but some will not.
The closer to correct looking you get the car? The better it will be accepted. You may begin to realize that a lot of us cannot afford the cars we would really like to have. And you may be better off to put together a marginally right '14 or '15 T rather than a totally incorrect (but prettier) '09 or '10. Nothing should be claimed as an "'08 build" unless it really was built in '08, and is mostly correct as an '08 build. Nearly every part on an '08 build T is unique to the first year of model T production. Nearly a hundred parts changed in just the first few months of production. If a car is going to be claimed as a "(specific year)-build", at least some of that car needs to have been from that year, more than just a general appearance.
1912 is the last of the earlier appearing style of model T Fords, and probably the cheapest of the earlier style Ts to be able to put together. You can probably put together a fairly decent '15 for about half what it would cost to put together a good '12.
Regardless, have fun!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
RVB, I agree with Wayne 99%. If you build an '09 or '10 make it as close to and respectable as possible. I built my '09 using a '20 engine and '13-'14 chassis parts. I built the body only after some careful research. There are those who frown on this and they have every right to. My rational is that all the parts could be re-purposed or the car upgraded if I find those parts. The trade off is that while mine is worth way less than a quarter what the real thing is, I can drive it, insure it and enjoy it more than I would dare a pristine original. Most people don't know the difference and can enjoy seeing it and riding in it. Bottom line is it is your business what you do and you should enjoy it. Most folks that do know the difference have been complimentary or quiet about mine. There will some that won't be.
Well, I'll continue gathering parts, thanks to all your input, very positive.. which keeps me going..
I bought a chassis, I think the guy told me it was a 1925, for $50 in 1992 or 3. The first engine I found was a 1914 so that's what I went with. The only parts I have from my chassis are the frame and the rear axle internals. It is I'd say 90% 1814. Most people don't know that my steering column is incorrect or that the frame has too many holes. I bought new wood and bought original sheet metal. Build an early style as best you can, replace when you can the later parts with older parts, the you can do like me and get another frame. You can use all the later parts you replaced on the earlier car on the other frame. That's how I ended up with a 1921 car also.
Ford made his stuff and also Dodge Bros as well as others! Go ahead with your DREAM! The 08, and the 09&10 are very similar. Yes there are differences. Even in 08 there were two different runs of the T. Just don't call it an 08. I had to laugh at a show I was at once. My 14 was judged a Junior first place. I made it from parts. Of course they were all correct parts but it did not come down the assy line as a "built" car. They were FROM 1914 Fords but I assembled them in my shop. It was a CORRECT car. But the fella next to my car was garnering MORE attention than my car! He was also telling everyone it was a "real" early 1904 Oldsmobile!!! It was an Author Godfree built 1/2 scale car with a Briggs engine in it!!! Made in the late 1950's I think.
The later you make your T the easier it is to get them correct. The 10 will be easier and LOOK the same as the 08. There ARE real differences in the 08 bodies that you can see! Also the engine IS unobtainable!!!
I have many cars in house. One is a 1966 SS 396 Chevelle. It was a real SS 4 speed car that went down the assy line!!! BUT... the engine block was surely blown up along the way. And gone when I got it. Transmission was of a different year. The front fenders were rusted and dented up. Frame had front damage. Upholstery was really in bad shape. Floor boards were rotted through. Quarters were replaced by me. I was asked the other day if my car was a clone???
What do you think?
It WAS raced all thru the 80's. Hole cut thru the SS hood for a tunnel ram. So today it has a new gas tank, New SS hood. fenders from a 4 door Malabu. Correct 396 date code correct. Correct date code 4 speed. All new body panels, new floor pan, ETC.
SO guys is it a clone????????
That is a beautiful car.
Thanks Mike. We have enjoyed it very much. I see your '10 and '12 in your profile. You must be pleased to have the two of them.
Recommend you look at the 1909 Mother-in-law "clone/replica/etc" roadster that Dan Treace put together for the 2003 Model T centennial. There are photos and information at:
But for the same amount of work you can probably have a nice more original Model T but a later year. And of course there were the two 1909 Racers that don't require fenders etc.:
The key point is enjoy whatever you create but do what you can to ensure that it won't be mistakenly advertised as an all original after the second or third owner. Titling the car the year of the engine would be one way to help reduce the chances of that (you can't totally prevent it -- but you can make it easier for folks to know what it really is.)
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Thanks Hap for posting those links to Dans project. I was trying to think who it was that built that car. I remember seeing it at the Centennial and thinking what a lovely recreation of an early model car.With the reproduction brass and body parts available now it is definatley an option to build an earlier looking car with later model parts. Dans car was a lovely example of that and at no time did he trey to pass it off as something original and correct. If I was after an early looking brass car ,that is what I would do.Good luck with your project RVB and keep us posted as the build progresses.
Certainly there is nothing wrong in building a reasonable looking replica of a 1908, however it can get difficult when the time comes to sell. If it is advertised as a 1908, then it might be considered fraud.
This was highlighted recently when a respected MTFCA member was selling a 1909 which was later found to have a modified 1914 motor with lead added and bits ground off to make the 14 motor look like a 09. He pulled the selling of the car and parted it out. But somewhere along the way someone had advertised it and someone bought it as the earlier model... That, in my humble opinion, was FRAUD by the seller....
(Message edited by Tony_bowker on March 21, 2016)
Your concern is specifically why I mentioned above "The key point is enjoy whatever you create but do what you can to ensure that it won't be mistakenly advertised as an all original after the second or third owner. Titling the car the year of the engine would be one way to help reduce the chances of that (you can't totally prevent it -- but you can make it easier for folks to know what it really is.)
I think whoever built a car would clearly know it was a replica/faux/ etc. But when (not if) they die, the next person may or may not know the history of the car. For example if my wife and I were hit by a buss -- no one would really know the history of our cars. The kids know they were in their grandfather's garage and that they are fun to drive. But they wouldn't really know what parts were with the car since they were acquired in the 1950s and which ones were changed out in the 1970s or later. And my 4 owner 1931 Model A Town Sedan -- the engine number matches the title and the frame. The same number is listed for it on a 1950s or 40s California registration. But it has a 1932 Model B engine. The original Model A engine is rebuilt and in the shed with the same engine number. Probably like some of you, I also need to write down a lot more details to give to the kids etc. And putting a copy of a short history of the car somewhere in the car would probably be helpful also.
Note I believe this was one reason why Mr Syverson chose not to make an exact replica of one of the early wooden bodies offered by the many after market body makers. He did not want it to be confused with an original. (For information on his bodies that are still out there please see the posting at:
But as long as you as are upfront about what the car is -- you can have fun with your replica Model T or replica Cobra (still a Ford but slightly after the T).
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Those are valid concerns. A good thing to do is to take lots of pictures during the project showing how different parts were fabricated. We put ours in a book that we carry in the car and many folks like to see the work involved. Another problem we had was getting it titled. We had to buy a bond based on the value. It was difficult to get it appraised for the little it was actually worth. They wanted the bond to be on what an authentic one was valued at.
Lots of things to consider. We see a lot of wild and strange things done with these old cars and we will see more. I like to tour with other old cars so I try to keep mine the least offensive that I can. If we deviate to far from what is correct, we do a disservice to those who have spent much time and money making and keeping these cars authentic. On the other hand, any time you can spend working on cars is a good thing. We all have to decide what we enjoy and what we can afford. I'm glad you brought this to the forum and hope some of these comments are helpful.
Main thing is have fun. I remember 1 fellow I over heard telling someone that he was being held back on his project car because he could not find NOS bolts for the running boards! Duh, use some bolts, drive the car and when you find THE bolts that suit your fancy,swap them.
If I was going to do a 08, I would do the research and make it a 2 lever car. That would catch peoples attention that are into T's for sure.
In my humble opinion you're gonna put together a "put together" car. No matter what you do, it's gonna be a put together car, so it will never be as valuable as a genuine car, original, restored or otherwise.
So stop worrying about details and build what suits you. If it turns out to be a 1909 T with a starter and electric lights, so what? As long as it will bolt together and you're happy, that's all that matters. It sounds like you're doing this for your own pleasure, not for profit. Keep that in mind as you proceed. The final car value will never be what you spend anyhow.