I've made some great buys. A split rim spreader for $1. A luggage rack for $2. A New Day timer for $1. A 1926 tank for my RP project for $1. A balancer that costs over $1000 new for $90. But one of the best buys ever has to be Bruce McCalley's Model T Encyclopedia on disk. I specify the disk version because of all the extras it includes. (Parts books, owner's manuals, sales lit, etc., etc.)
Awesome is an overused word, but I think it applies here. One example: using the encyclopedia I've been able to figure out that the windshield on my 1915 has the right bottom half and the wrong upper half, while the spare I bought has the wrong bottom half and the right upper half.
Is everything you want to know in there? No. But the wealth of information it does include is impressive and wonderful.
Anybody who is working on a Model T and trying to get it right should have the encyclopedia, and should be grateful to Bruce and all the guys who helped him put it together.
Without disrespecting Bruce's efforts, I've always thought that my best Model T investment was the gas that I burned while driving it.
A wonderful resource and Bruce continued to update it so it has additional information that is not available in the printed books.
It also has some color photos. For example the unrestored 1912 torpedo roadster that was shown in black and white in the "Vintage Ford" and in Bruce's printed copy, is in color in the CDs.
There are 2 CDs. In addition to the "Model T Comprehensive Encyclopedia" (Over 1000 pages (ok that's from memory) they also include:
Model T Parts Book -- a compilation of all the available ones he could obtain for 1908-1927 and arranged so you can sort and see what was listed in which price list for which years etc.
Ford's First Six Years (Pre-T info)
Ford Owner's Manuals
Model T Yearly Catalogs
The Ford Shops (great info on 1914-1915 cars and how they were produced)
Ford Service (T-1 -- great help for how to do things on the car)
From the posting Sep 2016 at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/599638/675929.html?1474318966 John Cox shared:
The CD is available from Bruce's widow. She advertises it here in the classifieds.
Barbara McCalley,308 Cottingham Court, Allison Park, PA. 15101
$50.00 + $6.80 shipping.
It's not too early to put in your request with your favorite Santa....
Hap l9l5 cut off
Steve - I bought a universal joint for $5.00 at Chickasha. It was "flexed" to the extreme and stuck in that position which I guess the seller assumed was a big problem. I let it soak for awhile with Kroil penetrating oil and with the help of a large bench vice and very large Crescent wrench, easily managed to get it "unstuck"! With replacement U-joints selling for nearly $100.00, and good used ones commonly selling for about half of that, I'll buy a "stuck" one anytime,.... even for a whole lot more than the $5.00 I paid for this one! A U-joint with very little "play" in it is considered "a real find", and this one I have has absolutely no wear or "play" in it at all,....just like brand new!
I love swap meets,....especially Chickasha, and I'm hearing that Bakersfield is nearly as good,......harold
I have to agree with Eric Hylen. The gas I burn while driving is my best investment!
The CD's are awesome. There's so much more there than what's in the book. Also, if you want to order parts drawings from the Benson Ford Research Center, being able to find the drawing number you need and supply them with it saves you paying them for the research time. That alone justifies the price of the CD's many times over.
The deals are out there! Its all in being at the right place at the right time. I've also bought some almost NOS U-joints at Chickasha for less than 5.00 each. One was .50 cents! It was rusty and stuck. Got it home and put in a can of diesel and was greatly surprised how good it was. Must have been NOS and gotten wet. I use to hear all the good stuff goes in the parking lot before 10:00 the first day. Not so!
I get the best deals on the last day when most folks are already leaving or gone. I guess the best deal was a extra nice ring gear assembly for 3.00. Hardly worn at all. Opened it up later at home and the spider gears were pretty much new.
The best investment I made was in buying one and committing myself to the enjoyment it brings
to me in seeing it in the shop, driving it, and the smiles it puts on so many faces everywhere I take
it. I think even Bruce would agree that this is why he owned a T himself.
I care more about losing Bruce than I do the book. The book is a compilation of magazine articles, some pretty accurate, others not so much. Overall it is a great read, but you need to use other sources if accuracy is important to you.
The first time I spoke to Bruce I was asking him about the wild discrepancies in the 1912 section regarding dates and serial numbers. He had a "canned response" ready for me - which said a lot about Bruce as a person. He said something to the effect that he was a great editor, a pretty good writer, a pretty good photographer, but he did not consider himself an expert on Model T's.
New to the hobby. Purchased two donor vehicles and a LOT of parts from the usual vendors. The wisest investment I have made is the time I spend on this forum and absorb the knowledge of it's members.
The time, effort and expense I have saved by coming here first and then to my credit card is priceless.
Hope some day to pay it forward. Maybe start a Model T club in Georgia?
Having lived some 73 years and been in the automotive business for most of my adult life, I have bought and sold many 1000's of things over the years, some good some not so good.
I consider the best purchase off all was the $15.00's I spent for my marriage license. The young woman that came along with this investment of $15.00's has been a blessing and best of all my best friend, and unlike my model t's and all the stuff that goes with them, none of it keeps me as warm at night as she does.
My wife owns 2 Subaru Service Centers, and earns the money in our family. She provides the money to purchase model t's and our other cars , the parts we need, pays for my car barn, my machine shop, the light bill and the heat bill.
She pays for me to go to swap meets and gives me money to enjoy myself and buy what's needed for our cars. She has only one requirement, all cars must be at the ready at all times. All cars in the barn must run for county drives and tours.
So think about my return on that $15.00 investment guys. I could have bought the book or the cd but rather I put my money where I could get the highest return, my wife.
I have a friend who wants to know. Does she have a sister?
My best reward and investment in my Ts, has got to be the people I've met, this forum, Haggerty, and KGB in particular. Thanks to all of you.
I think I got a good deal when I bought my '21 Touring on Oct 15, this year. The body is in great shape, with no repairs ever, and no repairs needed. Both front fenders, the right rear fender, both aprons, both running boards, and the radiator shell are new steel parts. The engine has been rebuilt and not started yet. The tires, 30x3 fronts and 30x3 1/2 rears are new. The seats, including the springs are new. It came with a new top, not yet installed because it did not come with any top bows. It would cost over $3000.00 to buy the new parts that were included, not counting the engine rebuild.I sold some extra parts that came with the car, that were not for a '21 T, and have a little money to spend on parts. I've been blessed in the past by finding used parts at good prices so I hope to gather up the parts that I am missing and still be happy with the car.
Happy motoring to you and yourn.
I second that, Mr. Moore.