Good Morning All,
I am relatively new to the Model T platform and forum. However, I discovered a unique little 1925 Model T listed for sale as a "Torpedo Racer" ($6500). What exactly is a Torpedo Racer and is it just a fancy term to describe someone's project in modifying an old Model T?
The owner stated that the "Torpedo kit" was added on in the late 1920s/early 1930s. I am not convinced this is true and just want to make sure this was actually an option in those days.
I like anything old and unique and this certainly checks all those boxes. I am a younger guy (25) and know the model T community is generally older and more "wise" haha so I figured I'd see what you all think? Yea or nay? See craigslist link below
That's a speedster that could have been assembled anytime in the past 90 years.
Looks like it has a commercially made aftermarket body. If it is homemade, someone had some talent.
It looks like fun. Typically a two seater is a person's second Model T, because you can only share the fun with one other person at a time, and a top is a good thing to have on a hot sunny day.
If that car runs, stops and drives reliably it seems to be priced fairly.
It's my impression that racer is an appropriate term for the twenties, but that torpedo was used in the early years of motoring. Is that right, or am I yapping up the incorrect vegetation?
The more I look at these things, the more appealing they become. The
price seems right for what I see. I could not get that red paint off it fast
enough, and the discs would have to go, along with the tail section. And
it would get some high flying fenders to go with the heavy wood spoke
wheels I'd want on it. So maybe this isn't the best starting point for a fool
like me to work from. But if you like red and discs and that slippery torpedo
like tail end, this looks like a very ready-to-go assembly to have some fun
I old drive it as is.
As far as Model Ts go, I reserve Torpedo for the actual 1911 and 1912 model that Ford made. They are so unique, it is a shame to use their name in vain.
If it runs well, it should be a real fair deal. Somebody put some time and effort into a body even if the rest is relatively stock. It would be an amazing score if it was an original body from the 20's but that's highly unlikely. It's certainly worth a look if that type of T appeals to you.
As Erik mentioned, that body style would be referred to as a speedster.
Okay, thank you for the info. I will be stopping by to take a look this afternoon and will upload more pictures.
He said it was a kit put on in the late 20s/early 30s.
Jake, as Royce said above it seems like a reasonable price. If there is some speed equipment lurking under that hood, like an overhead valve setup, it's well worth the price in my opinion.
Google torpedo racer and you'll see that there were torpedoes before Henry Ford manufactured any.
I agree with Ed in California. If that car runs well and was located two towns over, I might do something that would make my bride very angry
Speedster is the most commonly accepted word today. And the history of speedsters is a whole area all its own. I have been playing with the silly things for over 45 years now, and argued often the model T speedsters are as much a part of automobile history as any Packard or Pierce Arrow.
Dozens of different words used to be used to refer to such cars. "Speedster" could have meant a car cut down to resemble a racing car? Or some high end manufacturers called their factory offerings speedster when referring to a four passenger sport touring car (Marmon and Hudson among others did). Torpedo was another common word for speedsters back in their day. Some other manufacturers built models called Torpedo touring, or variations of roadster. The only Ford official "Torpedo" was the semi-enclosed with front doors roadster in 1911 and '12. Like Tom S says, it seems a shame to muddy the waters using the term for speedsters, but many original era ads called bodies similar to yours that. I do sometimes refer to my 1919 boat-tail roadster as a "torpedo roadster".
I look forward to seeing more and better pictures of your car! I could not tell from the listing photo what the back end looks like. As others have said, it may or may not be an original era body. Doesn't really matter. The wheels look interesting. Are they discs over wood spoke wheels? Or solid steel discs?
They are fun cars, whether you try to keep them era correct, or do your own thing a bit. I try to keep mine era correct. But that is me.
Have fun! Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Howdy, I'm from Burkburnett originally, buy it. Good price. nice body!
From what I can see in the photo it is a nice car for the price, (depending on mechanical condition). It looks like a fun car for the price. The term "torpedo" when applied to speedsters is talking about bodies with a pointed tail section. There were many body manufacturers thru the years, and the "torpedo" was just one style. I have came to the opinion that the speedster body styles fall into three categories. This is a very "loose" interpretation at best .. The first is the "flat deck" style. Usually a flat deck, two bucket style seats, a gas tank and tool box located on the deck behind the seats. This is similar to a Stutz bearcat style body and usually during the brass era (pre1915-16) But this style continued on for years and is the basic style offered even today in the parts catalogs. Then type 2 was the "bucket body" style. This body has an enclosed seat area either with or without doors and a single bench type of seat. There are two basic styles of "bucket body" one may have a gas tank and tool box behind the body bucket on a flat deck, and the other could have some form of trunk or turtle deck with the gas tank in the trunk or exposed and inset into the trunk area. These started becoming into popular use in the late teens to the mid 20s. Then the third style is the "Torpedo" body. They first started to show up in general use during the early to mid 20s in various styles of tail sections, Then the long, pointed, "true torpedo" shape really caught on in the later 20s and even into the 30s era. I feel like the "true torpedo" shape was mostly used by the more professional "racers" of the day. But there is overlap of all styles thru the years. The only exception is a really pointed "Torpedo style" does not seem to have been used during the brass era. There may be one-offs, home builts, or small shop built versions of them. Remember that this is a very loose description of my personal thoughts on the subject. There will be overlap as to the styles because of the individual cars made at home could use "cues" from any or all of the basic styles. There are no hard set rules to "Speedsters" just have fun and be safe .... Donnie Brown ...
(Message edited by dobro1956 on December 03, 2016)
(Message edited by dobro1956 on December 03, 2016)
Gorgeous car, but those wheels need a new paint job.
The "New Star" and the A New Champion are the same artist's conception drawing. A common thing in early advertising. One does need to wonder if the two businesses were connected or not. Many years ago, when I had my previous torpedo roadster, I took one of those drawings, enlarged it, and plotted the dimensions using the 30 inch outside measure of the tires as a scale. There is nearly a foot and a half too much distance between the front and rear wheels. The stylized stretching of the car in the picture changes the overall look quite a lot. The real car probably looked a lot like the one I had. And a lot like the one I have now.
The Standard Torpedo Body also looks similar to my red car (minus the top and fenders). I don't know who built mine. I usually call it the "Not a Mercury" torpedo.
I have seen several original era photos of similar cars. Most of them cannot be positively identified. Most of the small manufacturers never put out nice brochures like Morton and Brett, Race-way, Faultless, and Mercury did. But I still like the cars myself.
Jake D, I look forward to seeing more and better pictures of yours! Hopefully, we can identify it. Regardless of that, Have a lot of fun with it!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Jake, how'd it look? Just found this thread...
Did you get a ride yet? Did it start, run, drive and stop?
Winner, winner, chicken dinner! I hate that saying...
Do you like it? Get it. I'd love to go beat it up for a few minutes just to see (after warming it up, of course). Reminds me of the last time I was in a snotty speedster, it left me breathless!
They look like covers over artillery demountables... Which would be cool. I sure could be wrong.
Just wonderin' the ad doesn't say it runs. Does it?
Any news Jake??