My grandfather keeps flipping back and forth on whether he's ready or not to let his roadster go. In the meantime I have been looking around at T's for sale (can' help it, I have it bad haha). Model T Haven has this 1915 (block date places it as Dec 1915 so 1916 Model year) Roadster for sale. What do you guys think? Motor on the outside doesn't look bad so if it's that's any indication of the inside it may just take some wiring and light mechanical work to get it running. Obviously the body will have to come off and be re-wooded and upholstered.
Yes, it's do-able, and since it's a '15, it would be worth the trouble. I wouldn't get my hopes too high on the chances that the engine is in good shape. They rarely are, a hundred years down the road. Plan on disassembly and a rebuild of the entire drive train. I saw lots of pics in the link but no price.
The body is from a later, black radiator car - note the notch in the cowl for the radiator support rod. It's also missing the molding around the trunk deck.
Go for it, it is in far better condition than my grandpa's 15
Agreed on the motor. My Idea of a light rehaul is remove the motor from the car. Total disassembally. Light honing/smoothing of cylinders with a beaded drill tool. New rings. Replace 2 piece valves with new one piece. Cut and clean up the valve seats. Disassemble and clean transmission up. Replace field coil (which I'm sure the wrapping is spent on) with new one. Recharge original magnets or replace with new ones. New head gasket and timer. New spark plugs. All new wiring harnesses. Rebuild carb. Thoroughly clean out inside of water jacket with watered down muriatic acid then rinse with pressure washer to blast it out. Vinegar down the radiator, let sit overnight and drain then drain repeatedly with spring water. Reassemble everything and give it a shot. Essentially clean everything up but use all the original motor parts (except the 2 piece valves, I simply do not trust them). All of these are doable and can be done on my own hopefully.
oh! is the body later? If that's the case then I would no longer be interested in it.
I doubt that the block is right either, casting date is incomplete and has the wider engine # pad as well, photo's are positioned so you can't get any view of the Ford script, if it's even there? after market block?
the cowl can be changes back to the proper one and the missing moulding can be had good place to start
No guts, no glory.
A lot more there and in better condition than what I started out with. Mine is approaching half way done.
There are a lot of correct '15 parts in there, but enough later stuff that I would suspect a put-together or later car back-changed. I didn't go looking for the price, but I think it would be worthwhile as long as the price is fair. I do also believe that the block is later (could be a '16, or '17/'18, but definitely later than either of my late'15/early'16 blocks
The windshield, brackets, and side-lamps appear early enough (mid '15 through most of '16), but the headlamp buckets appear to be later (adjusting screws on the side). I couldn't see some details I like to look for in the photos. I would be very interested in where or if the body side panel is seamed by the fake driver's door?
It also does appear that some of the body wood has been redone. How well was it done is an important question.
It would depend on how much it costs, and how much work you want to do on it. There are many cars for sale which have been restored because either the owner has lost interest, needs money, or has died or cannot drive anymore. The best car for the money is one which has already been restored, especially if it is an authentic restoration. However if you can get that car for two or three thousand, and like to work, and do most of the work yourself, it is doable. If the price is much higher than that, Probably pass on it.
If we removed all the 15's that were made from later bodies the horseless carriage tours would be sparse.
The asking price is 4800.00. probably can be got for a little less. ?? The price for anything brass era is steadily going up. From what I have seen selling at swap meets, e-bay, and just general sales, the price is not out of range. Model T Haven has tons and tons of parts. A car like this one may have been a fairly complete car, that had incorrect parts on it. Mark will a lot of the time, remove the wrong parts and add the correct stuff he has, back to the car. He will usually put parts on that are consistant to the condition of the car. He may have better parts that could be bought extra or maybe do some trading out for the better parts. He is in no way (in my opinion) trying to deceive or take advantage. I would ask lots of questions, try to get the best deal you can, and expect a car that needs total rebuild. Some of the wood you see may actually be original wood that was good enough to leave. The sills on some of his cars are just 2x4 lumber used to support the body for sale and for transport of the car. Not trying to hide anything, just needs done to present the car and also helps stop damage to the sheet metal. Most folks I know who have dealt with Mark (myself includes) have good things to say. I have heard of a few that were disappointed because they thought the car was ready to go and just needed minor work.. There will always be a few like that. In my personal opinion and 2 cents worth (probably overvalued) I would say if the car can be bought for anything less than 4000.00 it would be a very good project and a reasonable price for a brass car. With all that said, the best value will nearly always be, a complete running car that is from an estate or an unfinished but almost done project, that someone lost interest in. But the fun for a lot of folks is in doing it themselves. Have fun and be safe .... Donnie Brown ...
I wouldn't run away from that. You will have to replace most of the wood, I see quite a bit missing. Correct windshield brackets and frame, muffler ends' headlight rims are wrong, brass rings were phased out months before.
Neat thing about this '16 is that it qualifies for HCCA stuff! My '16 is a Dec 10, '15 car, a few days newer than that that one. AND you'd have one of the First Million!
Mark a fair guy he knows what it worth and yes mark biuld cars to sell as well as parts but my dealings with him he fair guy and he doese deal a bit
It make a nice car but not correct as stated
I will second what Donnie B and a few others have said about Mark. I have not had many dealings with him, but have always believed he was being honest and truthful beyond what I am used to with most people in the world. Several years ago, I needed something quickly, after several calls with nothing available elsewhere, I found he had what I needed. He was very clear about what it was, what its condition was and fair with the price and shipping. It was on my doorstep in two days. And exactly how he described it.
Mark may not give much away, gotta make a living somehow. But he has always been fair so far as I know. I have seen worse sell for more. Remember, Mark does need to make a living at this. And he saves a lot of model T parts, bits, and pieces from scrappers in the process.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Thanks for the responses. Is it definitely a 17 or later body though?
Matthew, Really tough to say unless there is some tell-tale detail that cannot be seen in the pictures. Even the notch in the cowl piece is not conclusive. The cowl could have been changed at any point in the past hundred years. Chances are that quite a few parts have been changed when someone was working on it some time back getting the car put back together. From what I can tell in the pictures, it is unlikely that the original manufacturer's plate would still be there. Some of them had a date code on them, and some did not. Some cars had the plate nailed onto the wood, some cars had the code branded into the wood. Either way, this car likely does not have it.
I am still trying to find out more about the body side panel. Early ones commonly were made in two pieces and seamed together along the back of the fake door. I have looked at a few later ones that were made in a single piece, but have not seen any information about when such a change was made? Or if it was a supplier difference? At least the side-panels in the pictures don't have holes in their sides for the top supports (which would be an indication it was a much later runabout body if it had the side holes).
Unfortunately, it is a sad fact that most of our cars lost their provenance over the past century. We can blame the great depression and WWII for much of that. There were much more important things to tend to than keeping the records straight for junky old cars.
Most of us have to accept our cars as they are, known history or not.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Later body, ribbed peddles are early 15. By the time this car is represented as, the peddles were smooth and the transmission covers were going to cast iron rather than aluminum. With these and other points brought up by others, does appear to be a pieced together car. To me this makes the price a little high. Nothing there that couldn't be changed to correct for date of the block.
None the less, it is a far better start to a restoration project than the September 16 roadster I am currently working on. It came in pieces, including the body panels, and the motor was frozen with rust through on the crank case.
But it only cost me $700.
I agree on the ribbed pedals, but not the hogshead. Look at pictures of engine 1,000,000, that's an aluminum hogshead on it. Yes, the change order predates that, but it took time for the new parts to get to the assembly line.
Looks like a good start to me.
I bought my car from Model T Haven. It was better than I expected. The frame on that car is painted, just like mine. Mark gives you a good deal as well as a car that has been examined with no hidden problems.
I bought a 16 roadster off ebay from Model T Haven. I should have known better, but I won the auction. I sent the $500 deposit and went after it. 450 miles each way. Took my open trailer for better gas milage. When I arrived, there it set. A total piece of junk. Thought about just letting Mark keep the deposit, turn around and go home empty handed. But I didn't.
Loaded it and before I got too far down the road, stopped to check the straps. I had lost the door.
Took the damn thing on home. My wife was pissed. When Christmas time came around, I hung lights on it in the front yard. Finally sold it to a guy that never did anything with it, other than tear it apart. Think the guy died with it still in a pile.
Don't buy anything like that without seeing it first. Lesson learned.
That's a lot of money for a pile of unrestored parts that have never run together. If you look carefully at the cars on the website, you'll see that Mark is very good at strategically applying a wash of flat black paint to items to make a recently thrown together chassis and random body parts look like a barn find.
If you buy this project for $4,800, you can expect to dump 3-500 hours and another $10,000 into it before you end up with a $12,000 car. You'd be time and money ahead to buy a complete, running car that needs some work.
What Richard said. Doesn't matter who is selling it you need to look at it and you need to know what you're looking at. I know, I know, "I did this and I bought that and it was great". It's not great for every one. There's plenty that's questionable here + is there a title? No title no sale in my book.
David, I was commenting on the hogsheads from my experience. My first T was a Touring with cast date of 11/23/15. It had a cast iron hogs head. Due to Henry's factory practices I concede that a December car could conceivably have an aluminum hogs head.
Does it come with a transferable title?
I bought a car from Model T Haven.But I went to see it first, .I would buy from him again.if he had what I wanted'
PM Royce in Dallas and have him assess whether the body is correct for a 15.
After all the comments on this "1915" - I would wish to say that this would be a project costing much more than what a real finished, mostly correct 1915-1916 can be purchased for. As it is, the price is way too high. It is for some one with plenty of $$ available and plenty of time. Someone willing to spend $15,000 for a car worth about that amount and "restored". A fun project, but expensive. A correct 1915 model year engine can run up to $5000 when complete. a nice plain block $1500. Go take a look and then decide.
Interesting that your T had the cast iron hogshead. My car was in so many pieces that I'm using the photo of 1,000,000 to justify my aluminum one (my car is only 28 engines before that one. Although I do have a very early iron one (looks just like the aluminum one with reinforcing ribs etc. that were later dropped. The iron one is in excellent shape, the aluminum one requires quite a bit of work, as most of them do. Hmmmmm.
Rumor says that iron hogsheads showed up as early as October of '15, while aluminum ones continued to appear at least as late as January '16 in the main plant (probably even later in branch plants). The production of car/engine 1,000,000 was a major event and heavily photographed (the appropriateness of the specific chosen engine aside). I have seen several photos of engine 1,000,000 from while it was on the assembly lines showing other engines surrounding it with clearly both iron and aluminum hogsheads in place.
It is more difficult to know just how cleanly the change was made between ribbed and smooth pedals. Numerous hogsheads have been seen with a mix of pedals, but there is really no way to know for sure that a pedal or two may or not have been changed at some point. I have seen a few aluminum hogsheads with smooth pedals, and a few iron ones with ribbed pedals. And maybe they could have been Canadian (Canada used ribbed pedals longer and later than the USA cars did)?
Like so many things model T, there is no simple answer. Or is there? Certainly, for a November or December '15 ('16 model) Ford, almost any combination (aluminum/iron/ribbed/smooth) could be right.
That is my opinion, based on a lot of trying to sort this detail out for myself.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
If it was a running car, could be be driven, had decent tires and wheels and the radiator would still cool, it could be the price would be close to being right and maybe higher.
Those are the things I would look closely for the price he wants.
If the mains are still good enough that would be a plus if you wanted to get the engine to run without spending a bunch for a complete going through.
Interesting, I wonder if any of the pictures would show a long enough production run that my engine might be in them??? Just 28 engines earlier!
The serial number stamp does not look original. The numbers are too small.
Matthew I am selling my grandfathers 15 roadster project If you are interested send me a pm
David D, Interesting idea, and one I have wondered about myself. Unfortunately, I no longer have access to the most of those photos I saw so many years ago. The private collector they belonged to died way too young almost 20 years ago. I do not know what became of his collection. He was a good friend of one of my best friends. I met him several times, but never really knew him well myself.
Most of the photos I saw connected with number 1,000,000 were close up enough to only show a half dozen or so other engines in the running assembly line in the same shot (mostly ones behind it). Often, there were other engines or parts of engines on the floor or benches also in the background. One can only speculate how far off the 1,000,000 they may have been.
Several of us sat around at my friend's dining room table one evening, all with magnifying glasses, staring at details in about a dozen photos showing engine 1,000,000. The angles favored for most of the photos would not show many transmission pedals whether they were ribbed or not. But about one out of four hogsheads we could tell were still aluminum. More than half were clearly iron.
I think you, David, have the closest to 1,000,000 serial number that I currently have ever heard still existing (and with its car yet!). I have a block only that is close, but not nearly that close. Casting date 12/3/15, serial number indicating a December 13 build.
A point germane to this thread. Both this block, and the one I am reworking for my '15 runabout (with a somewhat earlier date) have the smaller pad for the serial number. This one in spite of the fact it has a seven digit number on it.
The block shown in the photos of the OP runabout clearly looks to be a later size and style for the serial number embossment. The number stamping does not present itself quite like most original serial number stampings from those years. For one thing, it is too neatly done.
I do NOT know when Ford began changing the molds for the block to provide a larger number pad. I have a couple of '17 blocks that are clearly larger, and have seen many others.
Just more details to sort out.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
If my foot were better, I would go up to the storage garage and take a photo of my engine's serial number. I know when I first got it, I suspected the number was phoney, as they are all stamped at an angle--just like so many other original numbers I've seen!! So that was re-assuring. Now that you've brought it up, yes, the numbers are too upright and small.
Unless you've been around Ts a long time, think I'd shy away the more I look at the stuff. Check out what Spencer has to offer!!
Yeah, David D, you better rest up that foot! A great swap meet coming quick! I still don't know if I will get there or not (agin dag-nabbit) for family demands.
Once a year--family should understand!!!! heck, you'll only be gone for a few hours that morning--leave 6 AM, back by 11am, easy! Well, unless you have TWO pieces of pie. . . .
You don't even have to spend any money; just visit with us all! that's mainly why I'm going. However, if I find a nice turtle for Barney. . . WELL we'll see! (sea?)
My Linda has already been trying to talk me into going. I don't know if I can handle finding something I need and not being able to buy it right now. She might talk me into it.
It's a 1917 - 18 originally. You can see it has the metal door under the seat which was introduced late in calendar 1915. It has a notch in the cowl for a low hood black radiator support rod. The windshield has been changed to a 1915 - 16 type/
The block has had the month ground off, it probably was 3 12 15 originally since it has the longer pad to accommodate numbers over one million.
I think you can find a decent driver quality 1915 runabout for less than 10K if you look around for a bit. This one could be a fun driver and it could be made to be more convincing as a '15 or into a really nice '17 - 18.
Odd that Mark hasn't had something to say one way or another about this thread - does he monitor the forum?
I'm in the same boat re: finding something & not having any $$. This week was a 0 in income for me, next week looks a little better, but there's a family wedding to go to, so. . . .
So GO!!! Have fun visiting with everyone! Buy some small part you didn't even think about until you saw it--that's what I'm going to do! AND my Linda will be with me (she likes PIE too!).
Oh, and you might get inspired to do something on one of your cars!! Heavens to Murgitriod!! Exit stage right!!
Probably don't want to .