I was talking to a young friend the other day about Model T's....he was quite surprised when I explained that there where 15,000,000 of them manufactured and if fact at one time in the 20's apparently over half of all the cars on the road where model T's.
He asked how many survived,....I have heard that as an estimate about 2% of a given model will survive. That would be 300,000...I am sure that is a tad high??
Any one care to suggest?
Shooting from the hip, I'd say no less than six.
Let's say 2% is a valid estimate and assume that at least two thirds are in the USA. That's 200,000. Of course some states will have more than others, but let's average them over the fifty states. That's 4000 per state. The next level is the county. I'll use a couple of examples I happen to know. Oklahoma has 77 counties, so their average would be 52 model T's per county. Kansas has 105 counties, for an average of 38. In Cowley County, where I live, the population is only about 36,000. Counting running or complete cars, I can think of at least a dozen in this county, and I'm sure there are others I don't know about. Not 38, but half that many is a reasonable guess. So 2% may indeed be a little high, but I think the actual number is probably closer to that than to 1%.
Most went to the same place old airplanes go to in the end...
In the Netherlands [Holland] there are ad least 300 Model T's
I have seen the survival rate listed to be 1.3%. If you are stating that of the 15m produced and a survival rate of 200,000 at 2% - how many roadsters, touring, coupes (including pillar-less, town cars and others have survived with in the 15M?
How many touring have survived? Coupes? Roadsters?
On a related note, just how many T's could be assembled from the numerous parts hoards being held by T enthusiasts scattered far and wide. I'm amazed at how many farm wagons based on T frames show up on craigslist from time to time.
I think I read in 1923, 68% of the cars on the road were Fords.
I expect several thousand could be assembled from parts. A lot would probably be Johnny Cash cars, as so many are today, and most would probably be a mixture of old and new parts.
Well for srarters I have two 26 roadsters! Well thats a start!
It does amaze me that so many survive after scrap drives of WWII. Cant imagine buying them for 25 to fifty dollars or less as Ive been told.
Those were much larger dollars,but when trying to find a actual number do we use running cars or piles of parts? Bud.
Many did not go to scrap during WWII because they could get gas ration for them. They didn't make any new cars for civilian service during that time and when the war was over, you needed to get on a waiting list for a new car. So when new cars became plentiful, the Model T's were all over 20 years old and at that time the Model T clubs began. In fact I personally knew Walt Rosenthal in the late 1950's and remember going on a tour with the Model T club and Model A club from San Fernando to Lake Isabella. We went right up highway 99 which is now called the "Grapevine" to Bakersfield and then to the lake.
When we marvel at $25 to $50 for a used car, we should remember what people were paid. My uncle taught welding and blacksmithing at Chilocco. In 1949 his annual salary was $1600. The superintendent, who had a doctorate, earned $3000. In 1940 my dad, working as a still operator at the Pathfinder refinery, made $735. My first paying regular job was working for a lawn mowing service on Saturdays when I was fourteen. For twelve hours I was paid $3. Yes, a real hamburger with everything on it was 25¢, and candy bars were a nickel or a dime, but the money didn't come easy.
So, if the consensus is that 2 percent is a decent estimate, you could then break down the production numbers per model year and come up with a number of each year that "survived".
I'm no math expert, but common sense tells me that the older the model year, the percentage that survied today is leass than the most recent model years. So the earlier T's would be a smaller percentage than the 2 percent.
Again, if 300,000 T's of all models were produced in 1915, than a rough estimate is that mine is one of 6,000 "survivors". Makes an interesting talking point.
I think that the amount that went to the war effort was different in each community,depending on the war drives. and in the rust belt a lot of cars just went away with mother natures help. 2 percent may be high in the northern states, just a guess.. JD
Also, production numbers were smaller in the early years. My Dec '15 ('16 model) is one of the first million; so that's 1 million for 6 years, and 14 million for the remaining 12 years. Since the brass era cars were considered "old fashioned" I expect fewer of them survived at first. A bit later (late '30s, I would guess) they were easily recognized as "pioneer" cars and were probably saved more than the black era T's; although they were still Ts and not as desirable as, say, a Packard, etc.
They went away for many reasons other than scrap. A friend of mine gave me a winshield frame for late teens or early 20s open T. It had been in the milk house for years. I asked how he came by this. He said it was his grandparents farm and his dad told of two Ts that sat at the back of the farm with some old farm machinery. Grandma threw a fit about all that junk sitting around made the place look bad. So grandpa dug a hole on the edge of a swamp and buried it all.
I grew up in the late 1930's, 1940's and early 1950's. I remember seeing very few brass cars, growing up. But by 1929 when the, "great depression" started, not many people could afford a new car. The 1930's model year cars were fewer than those beforehand. Then when the war began, people were able to find good paying jobs working for defense contractors. But they were not building civilian vehicles. The later model cars which were sold before the war actually had "OPA" ceiling prices to keep down inflation. Most used cars were sold at the ceiling price. The later Model T's and Model A's were unusual in that they survived the depression and the war while still being used. That is the reason so many survived. I'm sure that the cars which were scrapped were those which were not running or were worn out at the time and those which still ran were kept in operation until the new models came out. My dad had orders in for several models of new cars after the war and the first one he could buy was a 1948 Nash. The Nash was not the most popular car and probably why it was available.
It's probably already figured into the 2 percent average, but I can imagine that the numbers are also skewed by urban and rural locations. If it was a farm or country auto and it died, it got pushed to the family farm and sat until the depression forced the Doodlebug or speedster use of them. In the city, when they did, there was no space to store them, so they went to the junk yard, bone yard or the smelter.
I have noticed looking for early license plates, that many exist for PA, MA and other northeast states, but are much rarer for the south and the plains states.
There is a story behind every survivor, unfortunately many of these have been lost to history. One strange story is the cab for my 25 TT. It was stored in a hay barn. It had hay up to the windows when I bought it. The farmer removed it from the truck and planned to put it in a hedge row so he would have a dry place to go to if it started to rain while working the fields. Fortunately he never got around to it and it survived in very good condition.
Of the 474 1958 DeSoto Fireflite convertibles built, six are confirmed to
survive - way lower than the typical 1%. I have been fascinated by the
survival process/es as ling as I have been into old stuff ... what makes
some people hang onto things and others just see it is trash and away
it goes ?
Cheap cars tend to survive in numbers because many were built. Expensive
cars tend to survive because they were seen as special by a few. My car
was a corporate owned car, used for some promo function ... car shows
or executive use. It got wrecked and sold to the first non-corp owner in
1960. He must have thought it was pretty special, because he stuck it away
in his garage and buried it under a couple tons of stacked newspapers and
boxes when he quit driving it in 1968. And there is sat until being "discovered"
by a DeSoto fan in 1983 ... surviving past the deepest lows of disdain for
50's cars and getting into caring hands to be restored.
I have seen 1000's of such cases and every one is a different twist of some
person's nostalgic interest or just being too lazy to haul it off.
Tough call. Interesting read though. Don't think any realistic "average" number is possible. Agree with Robert B. Storage, no matter how bad, has to be the main factor in survival. I've found about 5 total in my relatively suburban area. Maybe a 50 mile radius. In every case storage that didn't interfere with anything else was always the case. Out building, extra large garage, ect. Cleaning out for a move and old age or death of the owner is what brought these cars to light.
Burger, a friend from Spokane once asked me why the soils in Australia are so red. The answer we provided may give you a clue to the low survival rates of your Desoto. They are red due to the contribution made by rusty Chrysler products. We took a sample for him on one trip to the US, and it even had the remains of a diecast penta star still extant.
Allan from down under.
For argument only:
""Of the 474 1958 DeSoto Fireflite convertibles built, six are confirmed to survive - way lower than the typical 1%. ""
Using the fuzzy math, 6/474 x 100 equals 1.265%. is about the right number to have survived. As I mentioned earlier the generally accepted percentage for rate of survival is 1.3%
If 474 Convertibles produced in 1958 is multiplied by 1.3%, the survival rate is 6.162. Rounded off 6 have survived.
My car was on a estate from new in 15 until 1984 when the last owner bought it at the estate sale. He drove it till his passing in 95, then it sat in his garage unti I bought it from his widow this past December. I guess it survived due to that fact it was bought for a second home. I have witnessed this first hand with a car in my home town. It was a early sixties Buick Invcta with 8900 on the odometer, this car was given to my friend who is the Electrian for the estate.He was told if he wanted it to get it out before the weekend , this is when the madam would return from NYC, he gladly complied with the request.
Any body know how many Tuckers were made and how many survived?
A quick web search says that 51 were made and 47 remain.
The AACA museum in Hershey, PA has at least three complete tuckers, plus a bare chassis and a spare engine on display.
I knew it was about even as far as being manufactured and surviving is concerned.
Tuckers probably have the highest percentage survival rate of any car made.
Below is a 35mm slide taken by my father on October 5 or 6, 1957 in St. Cloud, MN at a two-day meet of the Minnesota Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America.
The Tucker was owned by Bill Lund of Minneapolis (he actually owned two Tuckers).
Note Miller Motors Edsel dealer in the background.
George, you are correct. I had my mind on something else as I wrote that.
Of the other models made that year, surviving ratios were 700/22, 519/14,
I guess my bigger point was HOW it just happened to get past the odds to
be saved. I am sure much nicer cars were junked "just cuz". The fickle finger
of fate ...
Out of the perhaps 15,5 million T's made worldwide, about 14,5 millions were sold in the USA and only about a million in all of the rest of the world. Thus maybe there have been more than 100,000 survivors in USA, but only about 10,000 in the whole rest of the world - no wonder some have been sold overseas to T-starved countries in later years.
The Swedish Model T Club was organized in 1955 and has kept records of all the T's that has been discovered here, they know about 800 left out of the approximately 50,000 sold. Many of the survivors have been assembled from cars that were taken apart already by the early 30's, with the engine used as a treshing engine etc, thus the higher than 1% survival rate. (We do have Sture Lundin who have made quite a lot of new black era bodies, too - if the body was left outside when the car was scrapped during the 30's, then not much was left in our climate by the 60's and 70's, when most parts were recovered by enthusiasts..)
(Message edited by Roger K on February 05, 2017)
About 30 less than there were last week. Someone dumped 30 of them because they thought nobody wanted them. Amazingly enough, people think if you want one you'll know about and get it if you want it. I'm not psychic so i didn't know they were being thrown out.
I've got a spade Kep, which way?
100,000 Ts in the USA would mean an average of 2000 per state. Maybe 2000 in CA, but certainly not in Alaska and Hawaii. I'm guessing states like Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska are a long way short of 2000 cars. We're talking complete and assembled cars not engines and chassis stacked in barn.
My guess is under 100,000 complete assembled cars worldwide, so well under 1%.
Ed in California: Did you post that picture to see if Burger would jump in his DeSoto and try to find it?
I'm very interested in Ed's scrapyard photo.
It appears to be in the UK.
You can see TTs and a Morris Bullnose. Also a Vauxhall towards the left side.
XX and YX registrations were issued from about 1925, so I think this is certainly at least 1935, and maybe later.
Most of the planes look like 1920s, but there is a wing to the left of S1238 which looks much more modern, so it could be 1940.
I thought at first that the roundels were French with blue in the centre, and a red ring at the outside, but I think that red appears black on b/w photos, and they are British aircraft with a red centre and blue ring.
I have found a record which says that S1238 was a Hawker Horsley, a wooden biplane bomber of the late 1920s, and the wing shape looks right.
These would have been scrapped in the mid-1930s.
Ed, do you have the photo with better resolution?
It's Sykes Scrapyard, Milton Street, Peterborough
It's been discussed here before: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/506218/589165.html?1448613989
This is what happened to the surplus army jeeps after WWII. Unless Bubba got ahold of one and kept it on the farm or ranch.
Nice to know I got the aircraft right!
Not one of the more famous types - but it was Hawker's last wooden product.
What would we do without the internet?
I didn't find the link you gave though.
No sorry, heres a link to the location