"Barn Find" is an abused term but this Runabout is the definition of one. Stored amongst tons of stuff in a barn on a 4 generation dairy farm in Southern NY State. Been a lot of work and fun...
Wow, awesome. Looks like fun. Someday I'm gonna give that kind of resto a stab. Gonna keep it as a runabout, or turn it into a pickup? I'd do a pickup.
Gonna be a pickup...
Hope the patina cops don't give you too much trouble...
Patina is fine on a fairly well-preserved original, especially if it's brass era or rare. But for a common 23-25 roadster in that kind of rough shape, I wouldn't shed a tear over doing it ground-up.
I'm into patina as well. My mostly original 25 coupe from CA is a fine example but this Runabout is too far gone.
I've heard the whole patina thing repeatedly but I just don't like the rust look. I'm with Steve. It's nothing special T-wise, (except of course it's YOUR T), so a ground up and conversion to a pick-up is exactly what I'd do too. Nice work so far.
Tim your T definitely fits the description of a barn find. Its not a car that was fixed up before and left for a few years and then "found".
Looks like it was a T that was used as a T and then was set aside in its original used condition and then just set for many years.
Neat find and good to find it inside and not on the outside and rusted away.
My mostly original and unmolested 25 coupe from Southern California with awesome patina.
IMO, the patina champion is Otis:
There's no doubt that Otis sets the bar high in the patina category.
For a "black era" Model "T", I really like the pickup idea. I think a really interesting part of Model "T" history is the fact that so many runabouts and cut-off" touring cars were "home-made" into "pickups", partly because they made a more "handy" and useful vehicle for the farmer, and partly because during the gasoline rationing days of WW2, a pickup was considered a "farm vehicle" which then afforded the owner a very nice advantage in the resulting much more favorable gas rationing classification. I also think that there were many Model "T's that would otherwise be left abandoned out in the "south 40" to rust away, except that many of those were drug back out of the pasture for "farm use" during WW2,.....FWIW,......harold
Hmmmm,....one more "thought" and then I'll "shut-up",.....promise!
I was just wondering how often the home-made pickup was just used to obtain the extra gasoline allotment, and the additional gasoline was then maybe transferred into more modern passenger automobiles back out on the farm,...??? Hmmmm,.....those sly ol' devils, huh?
When I saw the photo of Otis above, being out of the Model T world for a few years, I thought of Bud Scudder and his barn finds. I just recently found out of Bud's passing, what a shock, his old touring he found in a barn had a hole in the left front fender from the leak in the barn roof dripping down on it.That touring had the patina. Sadly written. Sam
Harold S, It is easy to be cynical. I was born that way. And, I am sure that I look at a lot of things in a jaded way through the lens of my own family history. My mother's family were farmers before and during WWII. They had about 100 acres of peaches. Any soldier that got sick of canned peaches probably had a few from my family's ranch during their tour. My mother's family also ran an aircraft spotting station on their property. People knew the war was coming whether they wanted it or not. My grandmother was trained before Pearl Harbor was attacked and the building set up near their driveway. They were mobilized within hours of the attack. Although the station was usually manned by a member of the military from that day onward, the whole family was trained in the procedures. ALL aircraft, seen or heard, civilian or military HAD to be reported to the tracking station in Fresno, 24 hours every day until 1945 when the radar tracking system became reliable. There were many of these stations throughout the coastal states.
Between the farm, and the station, my family could get as much gasoline as they wanted. They wasted NONE of it. Everybody they knew was involved in "the effort". Very few people tried to cheat the system. Not for gasoline, not for groceries. Most people of the day wouldn't tolerate anyone they knew of doing so.
People being people, I am sure a lot of people did cheat the system, even then. But nothing like would be done today.
Tim R, I like your views on barn finds and restorations. I hate the way the term "barn find" has been perverted into anything that has sat in a garage for more than two years, restored or not. Like all language, that term should MEAN something.
While I have long believed that too many cars being restored should have been preserved as original, I also always believed that there is an invisible line beyond which a car should be restored. I like seeing your coupe being kept the way it is. And I look forward to seeing the finished project of your barn-find runabout.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Thanks Wayne. "Original" and "Restored" are terms often misused as well. I get a kick out of an ad for an antique auto that reads "All original. New paint and interior with updated ignition".
Tim R, Oh, yeah. A couple other of my favorites.
I like, stop the rust, a good coat of paint, I hope 50 to 75 years from now someone won't mind if there are parts form many different models, shees, even the newest replacements will be 50 to 75 years old, do you really think it matters much. Patina's great for a hundred percent original car as a show piece. I like the work of taking it apart and putting it back together again so it will last many many more years.My coupe has been thorough a lot of hands, some were not kind but it's still here after 91 years, I'm glad for that, original? good luck with that!
My Touring is a survivor, but has been repainted the original color. much of the upholstery has been redone. I don't think that one repaint and some soft trim work every 70 years or so goes outside of routine maintenance. I still call my T "original".
Good point John. Maybe the term "Maintained Original" should be a term used in the hobby?
There's also the ad; "All Original 1913 T with 1926 T motor, new upholstery, Alternator, Electronic ignition. . ."
Um, huh??? I suppose since it hasn't had a 283 Chevy engine dropped in it, that it's "original." in the ad writer's thinking.
Now from a museum standpoint, I suppose a car that has never been repainted, etc. would be a "Conserved Original" (IMHO, That's a Survivor class) Mechanical work to keep it running could be overlooked, especially if it isn't visible. A car that has been repainted, upholstery changed out (as opposed to maybe only one section of the seat, or an arm rest repaired) would be a "Maintained Original" And then you get into the various levels of restoration.
OK, a question; you find an unaltered, untouched car, still looking good, but the wood structure has dry-rot (or termites!); if you carefully replace the wood without changing the body finish, is it still an "untouched" survivor (conservation class in my previous paragraph)? In museum parlance, you have conserved the artifact, although you did have to replace pieces with "in kind" materials. This is something that conservators do, at times.
Hmm, this is certainly thread drift, and maybe worthy of its own thread. But right now I'm off to see my Mom for Mother's day weekend. Happy Mothers' Day to those who qualify!
I am puzzeled by the "barns" shown in these barn finds ...is Colorado , Wyoming, Nebraska and Montana the only place where old barns had dirt floors and when moving things around this time of year you are mindful of rattle snakes ? just curious ! always an optimist ...gene french
Good question! I think if the wood is replaced then it can't be called "Untouched" but can be considered "Original". It's the claim of "Original" when it has been repainted and "Updated" that is completely wrong. That's the way I look at it anyway...
what goes on on a farm stays on the farm.
And the livestock aint talkin'
Both of the words "original", and "restored", must have additional clarifying or qualifying language to have any real meaning. Check out the word "restored" in a good, proper (complete? unabridged?) dictionary. It can mean anything from minor work to major modification, to "restore" the car to any previous condition. It does NOT necessarily mean to any particular time of factory completion unless you specify it as such. Sadly, it CAN mean it was not drivable with rotted tires on it, so you changed the wheels, axles, engine, cherry red paint, and "restored" it to a drivable car (a previous condition of drivable).
"Original" has similar issues. An "original" car can be "restored", and therefore be a "restored original". But an original what? And "restored" to what? Certainly, there is a point where a car is not truly "original". But it can be restored back to "like original". I try to be open and up-front about my "spring '15" runabout. I tell people that it is NOT an intact original. It is an original February '15 body on an assembled mostly early '15 chassis, and now a late '15 (technically early '16 model year) motor. It will not be show quality in any aspect when I am done with it. But if I live long enough to finish it to my satisfaction, it will be more correct than most so-called '15s.
So. Both of those words, "restored", and "original", mean basically nothing without some clarifying words to guide them. I like "conserved original". I hope things like "conservation" and "preservation" class gain traction and staying power in the hobby and elsewhere. I certainly hope those do not go down the path of "barn find".
Those are, and have for a long time been, my opinions. I think they are "educated" opinions, because I have read the dictionaries. The big ones.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
What type of paint are you using to paint the chassis with? I have a similar project and I am just about at the point of blasting and painting the frame. Curious what you are using.
Michael- I brushed on red Rustoleum primer followed by brushed on semi-gloss Rustoleum. I've used it before and it's a great product. Same product in a rattle can for the smaller parts.