I am getting back into the hobby after a long hiatus. From the late 1970's through the early 1990's I drove Flivvers in daily service, generally preferring the comfort of the '26 and '27 coupes, for I was then a large fellow (6'3", 235#). Today I am not as tall, but am rather - wider -. (6'1", 300#). I was wondering whether I could yet comfortably drive a Flivver.
My current home is in rural Michigan, about 25 miles from the nearest interstate. My usual daily travels run to the county seat, six miles away down a 2 lane State Road, and weekly trips to the next county seat, 18 miles down a US highway, with occasional trips to a a major city which is 65 miles down a US highway. I have not driven a Flivver since the passing of the 55mph speed limit, and wonder whether this sort of travel would be even reasonably safe these days.
Of course I also own a couple of modern machines, a luxury which I did not have in the 1980's. Note that our county has a heavy Amish population, and their buggies are often seen on the local highways, but accidents (generally buggies rear-ended by inattentive, speeding drivers) are by no means rare
I have even considered buying a Model A but really have always preferred T's. Should I consider a T, or hold out for something a bit heavier, perhaps a Buick or a Chrysler? What would you folks suggest?
Bob, I live in Lagrange county Indiana. I feel pretty safe on roads around here with the heavy Amish population. There is always a chance of an accident even in new cars. Im going to drive the T every chance I get. You only go around this ride once so enjoy every minute.
Drive safe and often.
Well, the other question is will I comfortably fit in to a T at my current size. I cannot think of a better excuse to diet, but one must be realistic...
Bob, You might want to try a '26 - '27 Tudor Sedan. The front seats are buckets and they're mounted on wood floorboards. The seats can be moved back a little rather easily. I know someone who did just that. He's about 6'5" and probably north of 250, and it works good for him. It might work for you.
Even when I was younger and smaller I found the Tudor Sedan to be a bit less than perfectly comfortable. Of course there is always the "Fat Man" steering wheel.
Well I just worked on a 26 coupe for a guy he removed the package tray and the seat back 3+ inches gave a lot more leg room.
I would suggest find a T in your area and see about how you fit Inside
On the model A my 29 coupe had a lot smaller cab then my 30 had
Yes. I had my seat moved all of the way back in my last Flivver, and it was quite comfortable. Of course, in those days I didn't have quite the same, er, "presence".
Zooming in on Google Maps it appears to me that you have plenty of rural roads to use if traffic on US 12 is too intense. The route may be longer, but it will make you less of a target.
I can sympathize with the weight thing. I fought the battle of the bulge for decades until a few years ago. I finally got fed up, so to speak, with carrying around a forty pound spare tire, so I got rid of it.
Been there....got the t-shirt....didn't like it.
I'm down over 100 pounds from my heaviest. I got to where I couldn't fit in any of my antique cars and that was unacceptable.
Still have a good amount to lose, but I can fit in all my old iron now.
Want to loose weight? Without fail, the best diet is keeping both hands at least two feet from your face at all times!
I'm at a low to see how a taller fellow ever thought a '26 Coupe was comfortable. I'm 6'4" 295 lbs. I find that the older a T is, the more leg room it has. My preference is for my '14, but I do miss the spacious seating arrangement of my '22 Centerdoor. It had it all, leg, shoulder and head room. I owned a '27 Coupe for about two months. The car was cute, but I hated sitting so low with my knees in my chest.
A Model T could actually be an assist in the weight reduction. You ask, "how?"
This is how. Crank start and run around to advance the spark. Then climb up on the running board and thirdly, use your legs and feet to shift and brake the car and your hands to advance and retard the spark and accelerator. And steering without power assist. All these activities are forms of exercise.
Then there are also other things such as crawl under to check oil, lift hood to add oil and other chores essential to a good running Model T.
Yes I think it would be a wonderful thing to do. You might also try other years and models to find the one which is most comfortable for you. I wish you well and hopefully, enjoyment.
I noticed this is your first day for posting so welcome to the forum and welcome back to Model Ts.
Most of us over time tend to gain weight unless we make a conscious effort to keep it down. There are some exceptions – my Father-in-law could eat whatever he wanted and never seemed to have an issue with gaining weight. And while I could do that when I was a teenager – those days are long gone. And then some of us have other health issues that make exercising more difficult than it used to be etc. But overall – I would encourage you to discuss it with your doctor and figure out what is a reasonable target weight and work slowly but intentionally towards that. (Full disclosure: So far my New Year’s resolution to exercise more (ok – to start and keep exercising) is still valid. But when push comes to shove – it is very easy for me to think “I’ll put it off until this crisis is over….. At least that is what happened last year.)
In the meantime, If you don’t find an original bodied T that will work for you (I believe the earlier bodies tend to have more room) you have several reasonable alternatives. Many speedsters that have the 2-bucket seats or single bench style front seat and are open between the seat and the firewall can have the front seat moved further back. Normally that is easier to do as the body is being built. But depending on how the seat is mounted it can sometimes be moved back a little (also forward for anyone that is really short). Below is from Tom Rootlieb’s kit at: http://nebula.wsimg.com/b7aa41ba3c61d1f1f965b7e54652b235?AccessKeyId=8514493EDB42A0ECA4EC&disposition=0&alloworigin=1 and their kit is shown at http://www.rootlieb.com/speedster-kits.html . You can see that the seat could be positioned a little forward or aft. And of course If the kit was being built I suspect the seat could be set further aft (slant the gas tank – move the gas tank aft and etc.) You could contact Tom Rootlieb and ask about how far aft the seat can be put with the existing kit. And if it could be ordered for an extra tall/large person or not.
The open express trucks are similar – with an open space between the front seat and the dash. That is also true for the early open front Model T Runabouts and commercial roadsters (as well as the 1906-08 Model N, S, & R Runabouts). The seat is attached to a seat box or seat frame. And with some work most could be moved a little. That would NOT work well for a touring.
Moving the front seat further back would not work nearly as easily for any of the bodies that had a side panel. I.e. speedsters like the Mercury, Pasco, etc. Below is a photo of the type of speedster Donnie Brown is working on. (Thank you for posting that Donnie – from: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/506218/589889.html and there is a more current thread – I just have that one handy):
Additionally, instead of lower the steering column you can use a stock steering column height or even install wedges to raise rather than lower the steering column. And a smaller steering wheel (also adds room).
If I get caught up -- I'll post some thoughts on moving a 1909-1925 stock runabout, coupe or even speedster body such as the one Donnie has 2 or so inches further back.
Again, welcome to the forum. I’m sure you will find the right combination of T and clearance that will work for you.
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I am 6'3, 245 lbs. and own a '26 coupe, which I have had since 1970. With the seat adjusted all the way back, I am pretty comfortable in it.
The seat back is not-adjustable, as it hooks onto a stationary, non adjustable shelf behind the driver. The seat bench, which sits on a metal frame, is adjustable to and fro, several inches and as I said, I have mine set to the rear most setting.
If you are handy with tools, I'm sure you could devise a way to make a new, more narrow shelf onto which the seat back hangs in order to get a few more inches there and devise a way to allow more leg room by revising the seat frame so it goes back a little further but you are limited by the rear of the cab, so as suggested earlier, a '26 Tudor would be your best bet, since it is not limited by the cab so you can move the seat back as far as you need to. Jim Patrick
Thanks for the replies and advise.
When I was driving my coupe I had the seat cushion in the full back position, and had ripped the package shelf down to 5" in width, which allowed plenty of room for my then 6' 3" 230# frame.
My first car was a '19 coupe which I drove in college, and I found it a bit of a tight fit in those days. It certainly was tight compared to the '27.
I have found the Buick Six and the Franklin sedans and the Dodge Brothers touring car to be quite comfortable at my present girth. A Model A Ford Sport Coupe was very uncomfortable, as were the Model A Tudor and Fordor sedans. I know that one of the bigger machines could be made to be comfortable, but they are not Model T Ford cars, and I have always preferred the Flivvers. Guess I'll have to get out and try cars on for size.