That Biblical observation certainly applies to us Model T aficionados. Reading other discussions, I smile when I see folks who advocate complete originality admit to using something which violates that rule. Purity is a goal ardently pursued by some, but seldom if ever reached. Maybe a hundred percent correct Model T has been achieved as a museum piece, but I doubt that any T that's driven falls into that category.
If you're new to the hobby and want to be as original and correct as possible, good for you. That's a worthy and admirable goal. But if your 1920 touring has Timkens instead of ball bearings, or a Gates fan belt instead of leather, or a Fun Projects pinion bearing, I don't think you need to feel guilty about it.
Amen. If it doesn't show it doesn't count. In my book any way. We should be glad the stuff is out there for use if you feel the need.
May you that have not sinned, cast the first water pump!
I am with Charlie in this respect. I have a Fun Fun Projects pinion bearing and voltage regulator on my car, as well as aluminum pistons, stainless steel Chevy valves and Turbo 400 clutch discs and have added a few zerks for convenience. I try to make my car as close to period correct as possible, but some modern improvements just make sense to me. Also, if a person wishes to drive in today's traffic, safety becomes an issue, ie. side mirrors, turn signals, external brakes, etc. I do not fault a person for that.
Is there any point to this? It's your car. Do what you like. I reserve the right to do what I like. Get out your wrenches. Have fun. Drive.
Steve you better be careful quoting the Bible. You might find yourself with nails through your hands and feet.
You bring up an interesting point about originality. Those who are "into" muscle cars can decode VINs and know exactly what was on some cars. Not so with our model Ts. Take my '21 Touring for example. I'm told it probably didn't originally have the starter and generator that's on it. It has oil lamps and non-demountable rims.
I hate seeing how some Ts were treated in years gone by, when they were worth very little. Tractor conversions, woodsaw modifications, and probably worst of all clown cars. I know a lot of touring to truck conversions were to fill a need.
Another thing is restorable cars being broken up for parts. I know we need parts to fix ours and owners can do as they wish with their cars.
It is your car, and therefore "your right" as Royce said. The truth is, there are some things we just have to do to them to keep them road-worthy and safe. But in the interest of history, and the preservation of the early automobile, I am concerned when I hear of un-restored cars being restored nowadays. There was one of each in both the recent issues of the Horseless Carriage Gazette and Model T times. While I understand that the owner of the 13 T shown in the MTFCI Times is just pondering the notion, the car in the Gazette didn't survive. The Gazette had a 4 page spread of an early Cadillac that was restored, showing only one picture of the restored engine, but 4 pages of the un-restored car before the work began. I looked at those photographs of that beautiful antique piece of history and was sickened that it was "destroyed". Just my 2 cents.
Opinions are like navels, most everybody has them and most stink , I'm told. But, another thing that makes me sad is seeing Ts , and other cars, made into "streetrods" or worse,"ratrods", yuck! I see some with tops chopped and body mods that ruin otherwise useable bodies.That's what fiberglass bodies are for. Just my opinion. Happy motoring to you and yourn.
"It's your car"...you all know what people like me are saying- This Is a Sin
If you want to preserve someone else's unrestored car - buy it!
I live to feel guilt and shame. I have not slept in 40 years for lying awake
with all the internal torment. How can I go on, knowing I don't have the
full agreement and support of all these people I do not know ?
I have Mark... and I'm always looking!!
I bet Larry is having a nervous breakdown about now.
Gosh, you mean air conditioning wasn't a dealer option in 1925? I think it was. I've seen some! It must be so.
It's not a question of purity or originality.
What gets me are the forum topics like "I'm running 12 volts but the bendix is slamming into the ring grear" or "I want to keep my water pump but it leaks and the car over heats" and etc.
We are not "Purists" We are merely folks who understand that the OE components and engineering are proven to be the best and you are asking for trouble when you attempt to cobble it up or attempt to repair a cobbled up modification.
And Henry wept.
Some parts are made of UN-obtainium,That means make it yourself / find an original part that isn't broken as bad / or make something work! If that's what you have to do to enjoy your car then do it, as long as you try to convey what the car was like when new or as it would have been modified back in the day (Speedsters / racers / etc) it's all good
Yes, Robert, Henry wept all the way to the bank!
Ed: recovery is possible.
"If you have sinned in any of these ways, you are guilty. "
But aren't some T's turned into an abomination?
I thought I would ask.
That red thing sure was!
Yes, I have sinned, but not much with the Model T. I've confined my sinning to other vices. No sense spreading yourself too thin. Do one thing, do it well.
When I took the plunge and put my want ad in the MTFCA classifieds, I asked for a '14 or '15 Touring, having learned that there was a definite, graduating price hierarchy among brass Model T Fords that didn't exist among the steel cars. _I therefore knew I couldn't afford anything prior to the 1914 model year. _I also learned in time that there were some unspoken rules that everybody seemed to know; like it's okay to drill on a '13 or '14 to mount a tool box on the running-board and you can put Rocky Mountain Brakes on them, too—and heck, with a '15, you're even permitted to strip out the kerosene lanterns and electrify them with blinking turn signals, but everyone knows that the mention of performing such surgery on a '09, '10, 11 or '12 would induce apoplectic seizures across the Model T Forum—and well it should!
It’s generally accepted, for instance, that a Bosch distributor ignition system will require only token maintenance and perform as at least as reliably and well as a stock, buzz-coil and timer—if that happens to be the experience you’re after.
But as it happens, I don’t venture too far from home, so I can afford to go with less than gravity-dependable systems and in exchange for that, I get a somewhat more authentic experience. _As Grandpa once said, “You give a little bit of this to get a little bit of that.” _At car shows, I enjoy demonstrating the original ignition system and the response I get from a genuine enthusiast when I unsnap the box, haul out an ancient-looking buzz-coil and place it in his hands, makes it worth the extra maintenance (and when I announce that I’m going to hand-crank the engine, the reaction I get is as though I’d just promised to conjure a genie from a lamp).
It’s true that we’re the temporary custodians of some significant historical artifacts and their “moral worth” is greater if we keep them fairly close to stock. _But there are so darn many Model T Fords that we can feel assured that there will be no shortage of originals to serve as historical references. _Were we, on the other hand, talking about rarities like brass-era Pierce Arrows, Packards and Locomobiles, perhaps it’d be a better practice of citizenship to take a more orthodox, philosophical point of view regarding originality. _But with a Tin Lizzy, I’d guess we have at least as much wiggle room as we do wheel wobble.
Forgive me gentlemen, for I have sinned and it's gonna happen again. :-)
Speaking of sinners, you know what happens to a guy who "passes gas" in church?
His sits in his own pew.
Man who run in front of car get tired.
Man who run behind car get exhausted.
Couldn't help it David, yours and my two all go together in my brain.
David 55 years ago the neighbor Pete Yoder and i were standing while the congregation prayed and the most horrible stink dropped on us! Pete said,[smells like someone sort of eased one out!! Everyone is praying and Pete and i are laughing!! Even all these years,i'm sure it was Pete!! Bud who often get's the walking farts!
Actually many of us are just following in the footsteps of Henry Ford.
On the back page of the Dec 15, 1909 "Ford Times" they encourage owners to purchase an extra body so they can have a closed car for winter and an open car for other times of the year. Paragraph extracted from that page is shown below:
And the complete advertisement:
Note that it is documented that Henry Ford himself upgraded and modified his Ts. On page 482 of Bruce McCalley's "Model T Ford" it has car #3131 Manufactured on May 14, 1909 as a Green Roadster with a body supplied by Wilson Carriage Company. It has a note that says, "Henry Ford's personal car. Converted to a Coupe on Oct 27, 1909,then to a chassis only on Nov 1, 1910."
Below is a photo of Henry Ford's personal coupe used 1920 to 1931 (information ref: Inside Henry Ford's Garage - Mr. Ford's Model T. Originally posted at: http://www.henryfordestate.org/mfmodelt.htm but that link no longer brings up the information or photo of his coupe.)
It was modified for Henry Ford with a nickel radiator shell and headlamp rims (from the same ref http://www.henryfordestate.org/mfmodelt.htm - I have a copy of that saved), 1926 style wire wheels, and probably some other items but I cannot find other photos at the moment. The photo below of his coupe is from page 11 of the Mar-Apr 1970 "Vintage Ford" and used by permission to promote our club and hobby.
As others have said, its your car. But I would also like to add we are all stewards. If everyone adopted a throwaway approach which with many modern electronics is just taken for granted then there could be a real shortage of Model Ts in a generation or so.
Hap l9l5 cut off
It's a balancing act. Somewhere on these boards you can probably find the actual number of accessories and "improved" after-market replacement parts that were invented for the Model T during its years of production. if I recall correctly, the number is over 2400 items. Each one was intended to correct what the inventors found to be a deficiency in Henry's design. Many were silly or superfluous.
I don't think the Model T owner exists who isn't trying to improve his car in some way. The difference between the "purist" and those across the table from them, is the "purist's" perception that the "ideal" Model T is one that is as near to being what it was when it left the Ford plant, as opposed to those who are (perhaps unwittingly) trying to make a Model T into something entirely different from what it is.
Between these two "poles" you can find an infinite variety in the number and degree of modifications. One thing the Model T has always been; it's a very pliable base for trying and adapting new ideas.
I am an unabashed hot rodder. I have built many different cars with many different engines, transmissions, and other stuff. My current tow vehicle is an '82 Chevy C-10 powered by a 1966 Buick V8 bored to 431 cu. in. It has forged aluminum 10:1 pistons, and makes about 340 hp. The front suspension has been redone, and a major weight-reduction program is in place. I use it to tow the trailer that contains my bone-stock 1927 T touring. I'll not condemn hot rodders (I have been a member of the PUSH RODS auto club from Waltham, MA) since 1961. Antique automobiles and hot rods are not mutually exclusive.