Besides Model T's, I am also into other more "modern" cars---mostly 60 / 70's era cars, and more specifically Mopars. I placed an ad recently for a couple of parts I was looking for on my Dodge truck, that aren't exactly rare, but just ones that people don't often save if they part out vehicles. Quite frankly, I can fabricate what I need, I was just looking at time of labor vs. cost of parts and figured I could buy them cheaper than making them. What I was met with, as usual, were what I considered at "full retail" pricing for these parts. I do understand a seller can ask whatever they want, and some start high expecting to get knocked down. But sometimes they won't budge, in my opinion, you have to take in account what you really have. Do you want to hang onto it forever? Or do you want to move your "inventory". I don't expect it to be given away either, but I certainly do not own a HEMI Cuda nor do I expect to pay those prices.
Even brand new parts for muscle car era vehicles are significantly more than comparative/same Model T parts. Why is that? Laws of supply and demand as well as time (age) would seem to indicate that a Model T and parts should be worth way more than more modern cars (and the past recently seems to indicate that John Q Public also thinks that because it is "so old". Yet such is not the case---thankfully for us here with T's.
I know a lot of our repop parts for T's are made by people who do it more for the love of the hobby, as they don't make a ton of money off these items, especially if they have to sell to a dealer. But what happens when the Patterson's, Anderson's, Smiths, Chaffin's, and several others are gone. Will our beloved pipeline of "cheap" parts suddenly skyrocket for those of us that are 20 years and younger than these fellows?
For now, I will enjoy what is in all respects my "cheap" hobby of Model T's. The prices are for the most part reasonable to most (some brass era or early cars excluded though), and the people are much more friendly to deal with. My hats off to those that keep this hobby going and really make it accessible for almost anyone that has the interest. For without all of you, I certainly would not have as much T items around as I would have ever thought---yes, they seem to multiply as I have heard since the first day I was here ten plus years ago.
To paraphrase a few lines from a redneck TV show:
"Well boys, that's 500 dollars."
"We'll' give ya 250 and you can hold it"
"I'm holding it now....tomorrow the price is a 1000 bucks."
"Because you need it....I got it....it's the only one around."
I recently purchased a TT. I am amazed at how inexpensively one can get into the Model T hobby. And I am also amazed at the price of high end, desirable collector cars. But one can get a nice, drivable car for less than 10G. I think that is very inexpensive for a piece of history that one can drive and is nearly 100 years old.
And the cost of driving and routine maintenance seems to be fairly low. If one has a good car and takes care of it, a very inexpensive hobby.
But major repairs, if one does not do them themselves, look like they can be the killer. I had to search just to find a tire store that would change the tires. the cost of new tires, tubes, flaps, and labor was over $1200! Now those tires should last many years and I have the peace of mind of knowing I shouldn't have to deal with a blow out, but that is quite a few bills for four tires. What is the cost when I do have a major repair?
It looks like most owners do the majority of their mechanical work, a big savings AND a big part of the hobby.
Compared to many other hobbys, T's can be fairly inexpensive. I keep telling the Boss Lady I don't own a bass boat.
I've paid to have TT widow makers mounted, but the idea of paying somebody else to mount Model T tires rubs me the wrong way. Luckily I'm only 75 and not yet too feeble to do it.
As for major repair costs, they can be pretty high if you do none of the work yourself. But with so much good how-to information available it's often possible to do a lot of the project yourself and hire out the parts that take special skills, experience, or equipment.
And also we old Ford people in general and Model T people particularly are legendarily parsimonious. Vendors are well aware of this.
Well, I'm getting into pre 13 Harley Davidson (going to build a 1910)... and lets just say parts are.... what is a good word...
That said, still looking for a single orphan engine to put back on the road, 1910, 1911... found a 12 and 13 and both cost as much as my T!
So while I wait for the engine to appear I'll just drive and enjoy my T...
Uh Jim, are you saying we are closely related to Jack Benny?? That's a mighty big word you are using!
Oh, and for you youngsters out there, you can Google Jack Benny. You young people lead such sheltered lives. . . .
Yeah well, at least most of us "young" people don't drive Maxwells!
I think supply and demand will always hold true. When I buy MOPAR stuff I can always expect to pay big money for most parts especially if you want correct looking parts. I've only been in the Model T hobby for a few weeks and I'm pleasantly surprised at he prices. Then there is the availability issue. Try getting anything REPO for a 64 Imperial.
A classic Benny line:
Robber: Your money or your life!
Jack: I'm thinking it over!
Tightwads are no fun to live with, but they make great ancestors!
If a person wants to have a old car hobby Model T's are the way to go.
The parts and cars are pretty much available at affordable prices.
Whats great about T's is that it doesn't take a great deal of equipment to restore them and you can do it in your own garage. To me its kind of like working on or repairing a big go-kart.
I also have a 63 Ford Galaxie 2dr hardtop that is another 'hobby car'. The parts are higher and its a bigger and heavier car that's a little more diffulcult to work on since I'm not as young or agile as I use to be BUT I can still do a lot of the work. It just takes a little longer and more money than my T's.
Its to bad that there aren't shows that are dedicated to T's or A's.
And besides the classic car restoration shows on TV, which there happens to be quite a few, are making the classic car era more popular. The Fords, Chevs, and a few other GM products are the most popular.
RE: Jack Benny. I have the carburetor in for a rebuild that is from the Maxwell Jack used when he needed a Maxwell for publicity. It ran well for years but several years ago was sent to someone for rebuilding. It was expensive to have done and it leaked and never ran right. Now it is here for me to undo what they did and fix it. It is going to be expensive for a second time since I have some Undo to charge for.
This one has to be rebuilt because it is not like a T where you can find another one pretty easily. This one isn't made of unobtanium but it's made of damnhardtofindium.
Jack would not like that but it has to be done, I can't warranty someone else's work. I did that a few times before I figured a couple things out -- that being one of them.
Back to the shop. Hours to go. Hours to go.
I read in an old issue of the HCCA Gazette that Jack Benny never actually owned a Maxwell. He came close without knowing it one time, though.
Apparently Bill Harrah found an old Maxwell and had it restored in his shop to present to Jack as a surprise. A few days before the surprise was scheduled, Jack mentioned to Bill that he had never owned a Maxwell and never had a desire to own one.
Bill quickly cancelled the "surprise" and made other arrangements for the Maxwell.
I wonder who owns the Maxwell that "almost" was owned by Jack Benny?
Chad, I'm a closet Mopar guy. Part of the reason that I have taken up the model T hobby is the ridiculous price of Mopar parts.
If you don't have the cash nothing is cheap and when the list of parts you need is as long as your arm that's not cheap and that does not include my wish list.
Well said Pete. And don't try to tell me you shouldn't have gotten involved.
But it can be an inexpensive hobby.
Let's say you buy a T and get it good running shape for $10,000. That is doable, right?
Then how much would one expect routine maintenance to cost per year.
This can be an inexpensive hobby.
Now if you want to get serious about speed or originality, that might cost a little more...