After reading the "Some Help For A Little Old Lady" thread from it's beginning to it's de facto ending, I wanted to write some sentiments about helping others get their T's running in general, and Marty's son in particular.
Marty's experience brought back my own experience some years ago in helping a woman get her for-sale T running, and my own requests for help with mine. I also watched my son Bailey, 21 at the time, bring back to life a '67 Mustang Convertible called a GTA 350 that lived across the street and was up for sale.
The enthusiasm and excitement Bailey felt, and I'm sure Marty's son felt, is the stuff that gives hope to the older generation, knowing that the younger one is going to be ok, and not made up exclusively of slothful, unmotivated, lazy, etc., takers.
I agree with Gary Tillstrom's comments about compensation, especially where essential strangers are the beneficiaries of help. A story I once read while still in school long ago went this way:
"A lady called a plumber to come fix her leaking faucet. He arrived on time, fixed the leak, and presented a bill for $10.00."
She asked, "What's the $10.00 for?"
The plumber replied, "I had to replace the washer."
The lady then said, "I can get that washer at the hardware store for $.15!".
Without a word, the plumber took the bill back from the lady and rewrote it:
"Washer $ .15"
"Knowing How To Install It $ 9.85"
"Total $ 10.00"
I enjoy helping others, I enjoy being part of resurrecting an old car and hearing it run again; I don't like getting taken advantage of, nor do I like seeing others getting taken advantage of, either.
In the future, if I am asked to help get an engine running in a car for sale, I will do so, but only if the helpee agrees to the following:
1. He buys all parts and material necessary.
2. If he sells the car within one year, he pays me 15% of the selling price.
3. If he doesn't sell the car at the end of a year, he pays me $50.00 for each hour put in.
Obviously, more scenarios would have be dealt with in the front end such as
1. What if, after you've given best efforts, you can't get the engine running, at all?
2. What if, after it does get running, the engine tosses a rod through the block?
3. Forum members, please add your scenarios here!
4. And here.
5. And here.
Marty's son, although disappointed (very understandably), has also been shown that money and friendship simply don't mix, unless terms and conditions are clearly spelled out, on paper, in advance.
Although I've not met Marty, nor talked with him on the phone, I believe his son's love for the Model T is not diminished, but perhaps even heightened due to his success in getting the car running; that's the best thing to remember as I end this post.
I agree Bill, strangers wanting help should be on the hook for $50 an hour. You're selling yourself short if you don't get it.
Advice is different, and usually free. Or showing someone how to start or drive one. Again, free.
The moment the tools come out, game changer. If they don't want to pay you, then they can learn it themselves. Friends are different, help is free as one day I'll need it. Do not feel guilty to ask said friend for a Coke or beer as payment. That is normal. You may not complain about the brand of said free beer, wrong temp however is fair to complain about.
A non-running car has infinitely less appeal to prospective buyers; there's just too much in the way of unknowns, and expense.
A running engine, to say nothing of a driveable car (or tractor, snowmobile, outboard engine, etc.), can create the difference between discouragement, and "I want it!" in a prospective buyer.
If it won't run, and I'm instrumental in getting it to run, I'm happy to have done the work for free,,,until the seller sells the car and benefits from my work. That's why I will do it for 15% of the sale price of the car.
My rule of thumb is that I won't allow anyone to profit off of my free labor unless its a family member/close friend/deserving person with my approval or a bona-fide charity/public service organization. It helps to keep the requests of folks trying to make a buck off of my hard work to a minimum. Everybody else pays the going rate, and I never hesitate to say "NO" if need be.
Kevin, spot on!