Most of us have seen this famous Washington DC photo from about 1922.
Any theories on what happened? It doesn't look like the results of a collision.
Steve, my guess would be that the T just found out that his owner came into a financial windfall!!!!
One little details tells all.
My guess is it hit a street car at speed. The right (our left) wheel rim and fender both have kinks in them. The left fender front is disturbed. The wheels took all the shock squarely enough to bend the tie rod. wishbone and axle. The radiator and headlights did not make serious contact.
And a likely caption reads:
"Mondays. I just can't get going...."
I think the wishbone support socket failed letting the front end rotate
Seems the driver lost control and went up on the boardwalk. No real damage to radiator or lamps as a head on would do.
The axle likely dug into that boardwalk at an angle, bending the axle and buckling the wishbone under, climbing the boardwalk then the wheels splayed outward from the impact, and buckled wishbone. The driver's front fender is bent only at the upper edge, as the wheel ran up under it from the bending.
Passenger's front fender shows the impact of that small front tire at the edge of the apron. Probably more boardwalk damage back under that touring car.
Of course that impact upset the hood, the rain cover accessory on the cowl kept the hood from flying off.
Driver unhurt, he is walking away in the background to catch one of the trolley cars for a ride now.
(Message edited by Dan_Treace on June 15, 2016)
Note that the car has a rain bonnet on the cowl to keep the firewall and coils dry.
I'm with Richard Eagle; my opinion is that it bounced of a street car like a rubber ball.
There is a twig on the roof, looks like a tree fell on it square in the middle of the hood.
Why the two license plates?
Alan, I have a vague recollection that the two-plate issue has come up here before. One appears to be DC and the other (the neighboring state of) Maryland. Perhaps if you lived in Maryland and worked in DC, you needed two plates. Something like that, I think...
It definitely hit something hard and flat. Crank handle was pushed back into the license plate as well.
I was thinking pretty much what Dan said.
I bought that pic 25 or 30 yrs ago. It has received a lot of exposure.
Either the Boardwalk or something low to the ground caught the lower part of the car, probably the axle, and folded it under the car.
Makes me wonder if the crank handle caught the edge of the boardwalk.
I think the drag link broke at high speed and the car got caught up on that sidewalk and cause the front end to collapse. The wishbone still looks like its in place or the front end would had folded under the engine.
I think that the DC plate is for Taxi use.
Is it possible it collided with the car that is pulled up to the curb, causing it to hit the boardwalk at bad angle? The car at the curb appears to have damage to it's left front fender? I think Steve knows something he's not telling us YET!
I don't think that wooden platform was involved at all! I think Richard Eagle nailed it! The damage to the front end of the T looks like it hit something broad and flat, and what more likely than a street car. And because the accident no doubt caused quite a crowd of spectators, including a bunch of street car passengers that didn't need to be delayed, a dozen or so "volunteers" lifted the Model T up over the wooden platform to get it out of the way. And it couldn't be left on top of the platform as it would obstruct pedestrians, and if hanging off the platform on the street car side, it would still obstruct the nearest street car track, so, as long as they had ahold of the "T" with all of those impatient "volunteers", they just dropped it over on the far side of the platform where it would be most out of the way until a tow vehicle or whatever arrived. Also, I'll just bet that such an accident happened often enough that what I just described had become pretty normal procedure in such unfortunate but not too uncommon incidents. Just my thoughts,....FWIW,......harold
The wishbone looks to be over the axle and attached to some funky looking spring perches. Some kind of accessory that failed?
Perhaps one of the wheels got stuck in the gap between the train track rail and brick surrounding the rail? This could cause something in the front end to get damaged and or break? Maybe?
It also hit something hard enough dead center that it drove the crank through the license plates into the axle.
I let my wife drive! You think I would have learned my lesson.
This may be an example of the weakness of the early wishbone that Joe Galamb solved on the fishing trip with Henry Ford in 1914. The axle rotates under if you hit a pothole hard enough. The drag of sand or mud will apparently do it too if you are going fast enough.
They were driving fast and hit sand in a road on the fishing trip and Henry Ford hit his head when he was thrown from the car. Joe Galamb came up with a solution but said Henry wouldn't let him do it until he designed the Model A in 1927. Does anyone have a copy of that little story by Galamb?
I am very careful going over "speed bumps" with my '14 because of this design.
This one looks like he jumped up on the streetcar platform and caught the front axle on the edge and turned it under. Same result.
Ken in Texas
(Message edited by drkbp on June 15, 2016)
(Message edited by drkbp on June 15, 2016)
I don't know Ken,......I still don't think the platform was involved at all. Not only do I not see any broken boards,.....I don't see a single scratch on the platform. I guess we'll never know though, and I guess it really doesn't matter, right? Suffice to say, somebody just had a bad day I guess, and if he, or she, or they didn't "expire" that day, they're no doubt long gone by now, right?
Me thinks he came upon his mother in law quite unexpectedly .....
.......starting to think I'm loose'n it here, as I thought I saw where Ken Parker mentioned the wood platform again. So, I responded with a comment that really makes no sense now,....???
More Model T yoga.
I agree with Dan Treace
Just to show some detail. If you've ever run a T at 20mph into a low barricade, like that boardwalk you will just hit and jump up onto it.
Note the left rear wheel up on the boardwalk. The impact caused the hanging crank handle (no strap holding it up) so that dangling thing is bent in the direction of the hit too, bending it left and up.
Then immediately the front end took the impact, axle bending in, wishbone giving, taking the tie rod with it, then the wheels splayed too, crash!
Upset wheels bent the fender edges, as they flexed up with the impact, the front springs going with them, deflecting up from the impact too.
Lost control, at speed, say city road speed of 20 as you would have in high gear on a narrow street, tried to jump the curb. Only the curb was a boardwalk, tall enough to hang up and crumble the front end suspension. Splinters show at the passenger side of the axle as it came to halt in those thick sturdy wood planks.
I'm not so sure ... I think the mis-oriented headlight lenses had something to do with it.
You claim "One little detail tells all" What do you see that none of us can see? Are any of us even close? I picture you reading these guesses with a wry grin on your face! Please tell us what you think!
Dan, after reading your comment about the crank not being strapped, I keep thinking about the Magic Bullet scene from JFK.
"Back, and to the left. Back, and to the left. Back, and to the left. Back, and to the left..."
If Dan is right it is amazing that the driver didn't go through the windshield on initial impact. Even the steering wheel looks to be intact.
Since water pisses out of the radiator overflow, is that a female car getting ready to ----
I know what happened. It's obvious.
"The Boys" where here.
I have the feeling that I should remember this. I know it has been discussed before. Yet, somehow I don't remember the story behind it. One detail I do notice, however, is that the forward part of the left (driver's side) fender is torn completely off. Considering the general shape of the fender is fairly normal? That is an unusual detail. I do seem to recall that a streetcar was involved.
Do drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
I have been following along on this thread and seem to take the question a different direction than everyone else.
HOW this happened (to me) is more of a generalized question of how to ensure it doesn't happen again, based
on it has already happened, and after the price is paid to unf#@! the damage, we will want to correct any issues
that might lead to a reoccurrence of said events !
This leads me to consider how many Tuesday night meetings at The Ranch a guy might need to put the T back
in order, but also ask myself if I could have it done in time for the Montana 500 ?
But most importantly, was it operator error that led to this happening, and if so, what behavior mods can be put
in place to make sure it has the minimal chance of ever happening again ! Jumping curbs and trolley cars aside,
what could the operator do to avoid being in that situation in future ops ? THAT is the question of "HOW DID THIS
HAPPEN ?" as I see it.
Probably shades of what a T would look like with front brakes installed without a beefed up wish bone.
Better watch it. Everyone knows a T is a dethtrap unless it has front brakes and/or rear discs.
Dethtrap? Where's autocorrect when you need it?
Early top mounted wishbone didn't help, but I don't think that would have mattered much after the initial impact.
Steve, care to comment on the "one little details tells all"?
Don't know how it happened... but I do know what time it is!
Do I see a kink in the passenger side rim right around the 5:30 position?
Tim: That's what I was thinking.
Steve: I hope the clock ad posted above might be your cue! I (we) think it's "time" you will enlighten us to the "one little detail tells all"
The unusual feature here is the "twig" on the roof. Nice bend in that twig. It's the tie rod. Tie rod breaks/fails. The wheels toe out and steering is lost. The resulting contact with the platform/boardwalk does the rest. Driver tosses the rod onto the car and walks away in disgust.
Pete - I don't think that's the tie rod (or drag link). Looking at both ends of whatever that is, if it was a section of the tie rod, it would have had to have broken in two places which I don't really think is feasible. Also, whatever that is does not visibly depress the top material at all, so it is not nearly as heavy as a section of tie rod would be. Interesting observation though,......harold
Okay Steve,....enough already! What particular "little detail" are you looking at?
I must chime in once more, I like Pete's idea of broken steering link. I just looked closer at the item laying on the boardwalk. (out from the left front wheel) It does appear to have a clevis on the end. It also looks like the left tire is blown. Could have been the cause for the whole mess? Maybe?
You can see both ends of the tie rod still attached to the spindle arms. That thing on the boardwalk is too tiny to be anything from the front end. Looks more like the end of a parking brake rod.
Looks like the guy got up on the boardwalk, dropped the right wheel over the edge, dug the axle into the boards, bent the wishbone, causing the axle to fold back which also caused the wheels to splay out, collapsing the tie rod.
Either that OR, he had his headlight lenses rotated with the flutes horizontal, instead of vertical. You can't do that.
Jerry, Would that be the difference between "wide vision" or "narrow minded" I guess you can't have it both ways!
How about a misplaced manhole cover
I think Dan and others have nailed it.
The detail I had in mind is the damage to the platform, visible just in front of the axle. I bet there's a lot more damage damage hidden behind the axle. The axle hitting the platform is what disfigured the car. The unsolvable mystery is why the car had a couple of wheels up on the platform to begin with.