After 3 Model T's I thought I would try a Model A but didn't get the same "smiles per mile" so I'm looking at a 26 touring this evening. The car is supposed to be a low mileage car which was "restored" (painted?) in 1956 and has mostly been on display or dry storage since then. It is said to run drive and stop well but won't start or idle on mag but will run on mag at speed. The tank and radiator have been cleaned, carb rebuilt and flat tires aired up. Other than that I can't be sure of any thing else. I hope to jack up the back wheels to check for lateral movement, pull the inspection plate to check the drums and bands and drive the car this evening. If that magneto has been untouched for 90 years is that a concern? I don't go far or fast in these cars. What should I be concerned about in buying such a car? Babbitt thrust washers of course. Oh, head has been pulled and valves tended to. Doesn't run hot. Clear title with matching engine #. Thanks for any advice or suggestions. John
crankshaft end play.
Check the brakes. If you have Rocky Mtn. brakes, be sure that the transmission brake is also working and the parking brake is working. Rocky brakes do a wonderful job when you are going forward, but will not work very well in reverse. If you kill the engine going uphill, you need to be able to keep the car from rolling backward. Also if you lose anything between the universal joint and the rear wheels you need lined parking brakes to stop going backward.
Most of the other things will be proven by the test of time and driving. You might also replace the tires. The tread might be great on 1956 tires, but the rubber will be brittle and crack easily.
When the head was off, did you notice 2 piece valves. A low mile car normally would have them, if so they need to be changed out. Clean the mag post, timer, and have coils tuned up with points and condensers. How many volts does mag put out at idle and at speed??
I guess it all boils down to the price. Its a plus if it doesn't get hot. If it still has the original mag ring, babbitt thrust washers and old tires those things may be a bargaining tool to use in determining a price if you plan to drive it regularly. If the engine is still fairly quiet after warming it up and accelerating it that will give you and idea of its condition.
How is the upholstery condition, any body repairs and wheel condition.
Cars that are in the described condition usually show up between 7-12,000 depending on locale and how bad you want it.
LISTEN! when you drive it for the first time listen to the engine / transmission / rear end for any unusual noises since you obviously have "T" experience also be prepared to open up the rear end once you get it home most in that time frame would not have had bronze thrust washers in them and unless someone can show where they were installed replace them at the first opportunity. Others may differ with my opinion
Thanks for the responses. I have yet to see the car so I was just asking for things to look for. I'm sure tires, safety glass and thrust washers will be forthcoming expenses. Top and upholstery are said to be good. Hope to get a good look and test drive tonight.