Who teaches the apprentice?
Been noticing a number of individuals purchasing either at auction, estate sales, or off line a Model T in various stages of operation.
At one point the forum had a group of curmudgeons who discussed the T and its operation, and they were either raise with the Model T or had mentors teaching them how a Model T functioned. The were sharing trade secrets.
Those who are buying the T now, in some cases because it is "cool" or "awesome," have no idea why coils buzz or a transmission can move a car forward with a selection of three pedals.
Their mentors now are on line. Any comments as having a mentor on line or old school with a mentor down the block?
I grew up in The shade of a garage. My dad and his brother started a garage in a small town in Indiana. My grandpa was a blacksmith. So I was around cars and trucks all my life.
When I was 16 or 17 I owned my first model t and my girlfriend which later was my wife of 43 yrs used to work on my Model t instead of going on dates. She was my parts cleaner uper when overhauling the engine. She wasn't afraid to get her hands greasy.
Having gotten into the game at an advanced stage of maturity, what little I've learned has come mostly from books and online. The folks who have helped me by way of those media have been my mentors. It's a wonderful advantage afforded us humans that those who are no longer with us can still teach us. Floyd Clymer, Bruce McCalley, Murray Fahnestock, and many others are still our teachers, and so are many still living who are brought to us from far away over the internet.
Finding or being a mentor in person is determined by location and circumstance. I would love to have somebody come and receive my pearls of wisdom, or bestow the pearls on me, but so far no such persons have wandered into my shop. That's one reason I drive my T's a lot. I hope seeing them being driven will spark an interest, maybe in some young person who wants to learn about them, or in some older person who hasn't previously thought about it.
I first learned to start and drive a model T shortly after it was delivered 22 years ago.No internet,no friends with one,only what my dad 1906-1966 had told me long long ago.Bud.
That is one reason MTFCA membership is vital.
Local chapters have members willing & able to assist new Model T owners.
The lady I just dropped off a Model T to in Andover, NH will likely get good advice from Bill in Keene, NH who I recommended she contact.
I have done the same with other new Model T owners across the country I deliver cars to.
I was around model T's most of my life. My uncle would give us rides in various cars he had rebuilt, either around the section or in the local parades. It was not until I got that first T that I learned how to work on them. That was a combination of principles learned in HS shop class, the T Bible, Tinker'in Tips, and the Forum. Most of the work has been on my own with a little advise from Uncle Lavar and club members, but I have now completed three T's and am working on a fourth. Yet, most of all I enjoy driven 'em!
We residents of Spokanistan have the blessing of Tom Carnegie and the Antique Auto Ranch. In an
evil plot to build a business base, Tom and his scheming minions have an open house policy there at
the shop, where tools and facilities are made available, and mentoring is thrown about like manhole
covers. Any phase of Model T refurbishment intel and science can be found just by asking, be that
coil rebuilds to manifold straightening. Unless it's Montana 500 Speed Week !!! Then the place is a
ghost town !
I cannot express my gratitude enough for the guidance I have received from the Ranch people and
the other crazies that show up at the Tuesday evening workshops. Even the dimmest bulb could get
a great T education just by watching over the shoulders of those going about their varied projects on
any given visit. Parts are available, good advice, and many times you get shown how to do it. It is
the best possible environment to be mentored in an ancient science.
Thanks to all you guys. We are lucky to have such a great asset right here in our back yard.
I Inherited a 24 T coupe from my Grandfather in 1958. A few years later I had a guy drag home the 25 T 4door sedan he had bought for parts.
I was lucky enough to be around them most of my life and restored the 24. I was raised in the country around a 54 NAA Ford tractor and learned how to work on the tractor and various farm implements which gave me on hands experince working on older equipment and the T's.
The Ford Service manual helped a lot also. I bought it in the 60's and used it a lot!
George, My first comment to someone new is to use the 'online' to find someone 'down the block'. Nothing can compare to having a real life mentor to go over your new toy with you and physically point out all their own personal learning to you. Reading T stuff on the forum or anywhere else on line is just not the same as having someone actually work with you and show you. That is why the chapters and membership is so important. Never someone to far away.
I had a couple books to get me educated.
My dad said about his 30's Ford I NEVER had any brakes! I instructed my dad on machines.
My kids and my Grandchildren have me. Are they paying attention? Yes, to some extent! Does my son still remember HOW to drive our T? I sure hope so. I think so. Plus, I need to re-teach my daughters.
Ain't it a wonderment? (Taken from the movie The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid).
George, you raise a good point and I try with everyone I meet. Who's gonna pass it down the line?
The fella down the block is the best as he'll teach anything that needs learning.
Burger, that was the nicest thing you've ever said. :-)
Before I bought my T, I took the "Model T Basics & Driving Class" at the California Auto Museum in Sacramento.
I can't recommend this enough to anyone interested that doesn't have a handy Model T mentor available. It gave me the basics so that when I got my car I wasn't totally clueless.
Once I got it, I went back to the earliest post on this forum and read every single one of them! You all taught me what I needed to get my T running properly.
Thank You all.
But wait a minute you've got the clutch all the way to the floor and we are moving...is something wrong?
I guess I was greener than I thought on my first model "T" ride. So I give rides whenever I can.
I used books and two older gentlemen in Rhode Island - Gordon Berry and Carl Nagy. Taught me most of what I know.
I used the black manual to put mine back together from boxes. I didn't have a model T mentor. But I did have a very smart man that is very mechanical to help me when I got stuck. My Dad!
I've been working on cars since I was about 6 years old. Mostly flatheads with my Dad, then Small block Chevys with friends. I've been a machinist for well over 40 years. I was a mechanic in the military for a short stint. I've always had some form of auto to play with. Everything from '38 Ford pickup to '56 Chevy Nomad, to a couple muscle cars. Then about 8 years ago I fell in love with Model T's.
I read some of the information on this forum but seldom follow it. I don't know if I've ever asked anyone for assistance on here.
I read repair manuals, ask local club members and friends for information and have gotten a lot of instruction from Bill Stephan and Andy Loso. I seldom hear them contradict one another and have unlimited success with their advice.
I am one of the guys with no input from model T guys but the forum has helped me with many of the small problems that i have encountered. I read on here and learn something daily. I read on here for several years before i actually bout my first model T. I bought my 1st model A with no idea what made them tick. I did meet a guy who turned out to be a model A expert in our area and he taught me alot and it has been a blessing. The basic principles of all internal engines are the same, gas, fire and they run, delivery of all of the basics are much different with the model T. Tim
I learned some of the basic stuff from my grandfather who owned a Model T or two back in the day...along with a Stanley. I spent a year in a Tech School mechanics program, so I had some skills coming into it. I was fortunate enough to find a local enthusiast, Steve Boyd, who was understanding enough to shepherd me along in the hobby with his vast experience and love of the Model T Ford.
As to having mentors on-line, the internet is probably the best thing to happen to the Model T and first time owners.