To bring the speedster project up to date, I thought I would see how many photos I could add to one post. A few of these have been posted before, but most have not. I have them in somewhat of a order of build. I also have a few period photos that are my "inspiration photos" showing what I am trying to build. Most are familiar with the build (and may be sick of it by now) For the others, I am trying to build it as a 'original patina finish" type of car. It will remain unpainted. I have collected parts for this build for about 25 to 30 years. The original body was the last item I needed, and I found it at Chickasha in 2014.
My inspiration photos
The Chickasha original body
Starting the build
Coming along nicely.
I am stunned, gobsmacked, and in awe of your talents and dedication. I am looking at your photographs and just shaking my head from side to side in disbelief. You are indeed a master.
One Hell of a job! Nice photo documentary too, thanks for sharing.
Looking good! Very nice work, indeed!
You may need to share some pictures of the highwheeler also.
Thank you for the update.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Donnie, I am in awe!!! Great job! Dave
"THANK YOU" for posting all these pics, Donnie.
I've gained quite a lot of ideas from them and I'm sure I'll be referring back to this thread over and over again into the future.
This thread is a treasure, most of us never take the time to document fabrication.
Very impressive. I also like your "paint thinner can" parts bins in the background.
NICE WORK----THANKS for POSTING
Awesome pictures! I wonder if there is any limit to the number of pics in a single post?
Donnie, is the frame boxed or are there wood blocks inside the frame at the location where the radius rod supports are clamped to the frame?
Hey Donnie, you are "one hell-of-a craftsman" absolutely loved your documentation, never have enough "C" clamps !! When completed this speedster is going to be PRICELESS.......
What Bill Harper said X2!
Great photos and nice work Donnie.
Mark, There are a pair of wooden blocks that fit inside the frame where the "common sense" radius rods attach to the frame. There is a "dimple" in the wood block to fit over a frame rivet that keeps the block from moving. As to the limit of pictures. I think I have reached it. They uploaded real fast till about 100 pics. Then I started noticing it took a little longer to upload. About 125 photos it was noticeably slower. At 150 pics it was real slow. I had 156 photos to load, but I chose three of the last ones to not load so I have 153 pics as the limit. Smaller size pictures should allow more, but then they do not "view" as well. I am at the stage of replacing all the temporary bolts with "aged" bolts and screws. Then Ill move on to finishing out the dash and windshield area. Then the body should be ready to send to the upholstery shop... Ill mount it on a temporary frame for the ride to the upholstery shop. While it is gone I have to finish the frame and replace the rear cross member with a 3 inch drop cross member. That is the reason for the large hole in the trunk floor. The cross member will stick up into the trunk quite a bit. So there will be very little trunk space after I build a cover/hump in the trunk floor. The chassis should move along fairly quick. But assembling the body and making all new wood with just a few pieces for patterns, wear marks from the original wood, and existing bolts for wood thickness references, was a chore. But it was fun ... have fun and be safe ... Donnie Brown ...
That first picture is what it looks like when I start to restore a Model T
Very nice!!! How many C clamps do you own?
Donnie, all I can say is "WOW". You have the patience of Job and unbelievable talent. Can't wait to see it on a tour.
You make it look too easy! We know it ain't!
Donald, I have more than 150 c-clamps and bar clamps. I have had every one of them in use and had to make clamps from notched 2X4s and wood wedges to finish up something. I buy them every time I see some cheap. You can never have enough clamps...
What a wonderful selection of pictures. The car is truly a work of art. It reminds me of building my speedster many years ago. Thanks for taking the time to photograph it and share it here.
Really, really nice, Donnie! Your ability as a craftsman is to be envied.
I've never seen a coilbox & lid like that one before. Could you please tell is what it's from?
Keith, The coil box is a stock model T coil box. The lid is hand formed from a section of model T running board with the Ford script. I will be running a DU-4 magneto so I will not have coils. The coil box is to use as a "glove/storage box"
WOW!!! That is some amazing work you are doing.
Do you plan to coat the body with any finish like linseed oil to protect it, especially in the rusted areas?
Thank You for keeping up the progress pics, I don't think to many here are sick of seeing this project.
Nice work Donnie, very impressive craftsmanship! How many hours do you think you have invested already?
Chad, Ill probably do a little paint touch up on the chassis. Mostly just an almost transparent "color blend" Then Ill do a thin linseed oil treatment of the whole chassis. The body will be left pretty much as-is. Most of guys with the patina finish hot rods, just take some steel wool and WD-40 as a surface treatment similar to a "wax job" on a good paint job. This car will probably never set out again, so it will not really rust anymore. I treated all the metal that is hidden behind wood panels or wood structure with POR-15. You can see the POR-15 in the pictures of the area behind where the seat upholstery will go and the inside of the rear deck top skin as I was fitting it to the trunk lid area. It should never rust out in the next couple lifetimes, if it is some what taken care of .. Wayne, Here a couple photos of the High Wheeler for you. It is a 1908 Reliable Dayton runabout. I probably will regret it later, but I am getting it ready to take to Chickasha to sell. I need to thin down the hoard some... It is the only know 1908 left. There are 9 know Reliable Daytons in the world, with five 1907s, one 1908, and three 1909s.
Mike V. I do not have a clue on the hours. I would guess a way/whole/awful/bunch of them. . This is the second "work season" for the project. My work season is from the day after Thanksgiving till Chickasha. Then it's back to the "family" projects. It would have been a lot easier to make the car as a full restoration and good paint and body work. It is just so hard to keep the patina looking good, and resist the urge to just throw the parts in the glass bead cabinet. Thanks for all the comments and encouragement from everyone ....
The pictures are wonderful now I understand why my efforts ended in frustration, you have to support both sides when bending the metal.... I give you permission to add more pictures in Speedster Project Part 2!
Thanks again for all the pictures, see you at Chickasha.
Donnie your photo essay is beyond Jelfian.
(Is that a word?)
Looks great Donnie. I have been anxiously waiting for winter to come so we can see more of your speedster project updates!
I am amazed at the many,many hours of work that you have put in so far. great job!
Great work Donnie! Did you make your own 11/16's bolts for the front axle? , I know they are hard to find. KGB
Great work on the fabrication, Donnie. I saw that body when you first bought it at Chickasha, and I'll admit I thought it was junk. Kudos to you for making an actual car from it! I'll be anxious to see it on some of our club tours.
KGB I bought the bolts from the man who makes the repro Laurel brackets. They are made from ubobtanium and are very hard to find. Mike, They say "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" I thought it was a "real beauty" when I saw it sitting on the trailer in Chickasha.
Very inspiring Donnie! keep up the great work!
well done and thanks for your taking the time to share.
Hi Model "T"eer's. (Bumped to 1917) This is where it all started.
View the photo before the oxy torch photo and you will see my "Reliable" in the corner. ..Take care
SHOW OFF! ;) WOW - Very impressive! Thanks Donnie for taking the time to document your incredible work and share it with us. I am truly impressed.
Yes, Neil Martin ended up with my Reliable Dayton, after seeing the car in the background of some photos in this thread. I hated to sell it after having it for over 20 years, but Ill never get them all finished. But the sale allowed for me to buy a nice enclosed car hauler trailer for my Model Ts, and also get all the speed goodies for this speedster project, like the Rajo 4 valve head. Ive been collecting parts for this speedster project almost 30 years. and I hope to have it almost finished this winter. But the Reliable Dayton did go to a good home and hope to see some videos of it running and driving soon. Neil, I have not seen any updates from you in awhile on your progress ... Ill be posting some of this winters progress on the speedster, in a update soon ... stay tuned in ..... The saga continues .. have fun and be safe Donnie Brown .......
That is a piece of work. Thank you for taking the time to post pics of the project step by step. I would love to see it in person.
Drive safe and often
I have been waiting for you to post more pictures of the C Camp Special.
I think this has been the second most interesting post in the 17 plus years I have been following this forum.
Thanks VERY MUCH for the fine post and pictures.
That should be "C Clamp Special"
I like that form/design for T speedster
I can't wait to see it finished.
AWESOMENESS!!!! WELL DONE!!!
Thanks Donnie, every picture was a big help to me in doing my speedster project.
Utter fulfillment! I particularly love the "Smokey Stover" comment labels!
Wonderful thread, in so many ways. Great speedster, good work tutorials, (love the Reliable Dayton!!), a lot of us like to cheer on our friends getting another T back on the road!
One minor thing, however? (maybe two?)
The thread has gotten so large that some of us are having trouble loading it to catch up on. My internet connection options are limited where I live. The "supposedly DSL" connection I have takes long enough that I almost have to conscientiously click on it, and walk away before I can bump the mouse pad and return a couple minutes later. If I more than breath upon the mouse pad, my computer can drop a data packet, and then take several minutes before it can load the bottom of the thread for me to read it.
I do enjoy following Donnie's build threads and updates.
I also hope that Neil Martin will grace us with updates on the Reliable Dayton! I have always liked the high-wheel automobiles.
OT, or not.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Fantastic Build so far!!!
That's quite a work of art! Usually, I don't go for non-stock cars, but you are really doing a lot of work on that one. It actually looks beautiful!
That's quite a work of art! Usually, I don't go for non-stock cars, but you are really doing a lot of work on that one. It actually looks beautiful! I notice you charred some wood with a torch. Where does that wood go?
Norman, Since I am trying for a "patina look" and saving all the original patina I can. I need the wood to look at least like it is old also. By burning out the soft grain, and then using a soft wire brush to clean the soot/ashes from the wood. It gives me a good start for the aged, old wood look. So every piece of wood was burnt before I did any finish treatment to the wood. I could also have sandblasted the soft grain out, but burning it is way faster. And it needed to be black anyway. I am really surprised that this thread re-surfaced a year after I started it, and was somehow moved from 2016 to 2017 ... Thanks for all the interest and comments. I will be doing a 2017 speedster update thread a little later.
(Message edited by dobro1956 on January 03, 2017)
If you look at the picture of the two kids with the speedster without the rear wheel you will see that it has a one-piece body.
The trunk and fuel tank area are not separate from the passenger area.
The side of the body is one piece from fire wall to trunk lid area.
Aaron, I never noticed that before. Its funny how a person can be looking at something and not see the obvious...
Hmmm... might have to find a 'junk' Gleaner combine to 'harvest' some galvanized sheeting... ;)
Thank you for the treasure trove of pictures. And awesome fab work. I'm very jealous.
Great work Donnie. The time it takes to make those bucks and pattern pieces is often overlooked by those who have not done such work.
You are absolutely right about never having enough clamps, be they bar clamps or C clamps.
Here is another divergence in our English language. Your C clamps would be useless without the threaded piece, which turns them into G clamps!
Allan from down under.
Looking great, I just had a question though. With all the work going into the body why did you not drop and finish the chasis first?
Chadwick, The body is the most time consuming part of the build. So it was my main focus. The chassis is somewhat basic work. But there are things that have to happen at the same time. Things like moving the hand brake outside the body, installing and dropping the steering column and lowering brackets. Test fitting of the "common sense" radius rods to make sure the body sills clear, installing a mock up engine for firewall placement, ect. So chassis and body really proceeds along together. Right now the body is basically done and waiting its turn at the upholstery shop. So I have been working on the final details of the chassis. Then when the body comes back Ill be ready to drop it onto the chassis, for final bolt up, and final install of correct bolts, as well as patina touch up and preservation. I will not be able to re build the engine this year. But the speedster should be finished waiting for her engine next fall. I hope to get a new update together soon as to this years work ... Thanks for all the interest and help everyone has given .... have fun and be safe Donnie Brown ....
Absolutely beautiful work and really excellent pictures!!
Having done a fair bit of speedster work I have mostly used a Z frame in the rear. Constructing the body typically gets matched up to and mounted on top of the rear crossmember. Typically my order would be seat placement, steering, fuel, and cowl. Of course I've never started with a body shell. Right now I'm starting work on a project I've been collecting pieces on for a long time. It isn't quite a speedster or raceabout, more like a tourabout. If I build/design it right I should be able to unbolt the seats/top and turn it into a speedster.
You are a man of many, many talents! A great combination of the ability to see the concept and take it all the way through the many skill sets to execute it so expertly. It is sure to be a People's Choice Prize Winner for years to come!
If you do the body work before lowering the chassis you can leave the car on the floor inroll-around form and still slide under it on a creeper.
The last one I did was so low I had to jack it up and set it on stands to get under it.
Also at standard height you don't have to bend over so much.
This is one of the most interesting threads since I started reading this website in '99.
Certainly the most interesting for me.