I don't know their reasoning, but I can imagine that the display in the Calico Ghost town area of the original berry stand and the model T just wasn't "interesting enough" and occupied "valuable area" Even back in the 1970s no one paid much attention to it (I did, I cranked the engine over, had good compression!) So, this iconic piece of the Knott's Berry Farm is now up for auction (three or so days left). It appears that some restoration work has been done to it recently. Now, granted, this isn't THE Model T that Cornelia Knott bought back then, but it is the one that Walter Knott bought in 1956 when he wanted to recreate their "place of origin" On the Calico Ghost Town grounds. This was back when you could walk right in, no admission charge!
History and Nostalgia usually isn't important to big corporations.
Here's the auction: https://comics.ha.com/itm/memorabilia/miscellaneous/walter-knott-s-model-t-ford- 1919-20-/a/7151-95002.s?ic3=ViewItem-Auction-Open-ThisAuction-120115
19.5 % Buyer's Premium ......
FJ..WOW! a 19.5% premium? Jeez Louise! The current bid on that car is $26K, so the buyer will pay over $31K for it! That's stupid as all get out. No one will give a hoot that it sat at Knotts getting all pawed over to justify that kind of money. Auction site says next minimum bid is to be $28K...what kind of bidding is that? So I can't bid $26,750 for it? Nuts. They can have it. Bet my '20 Runabout is as nice if not nicer than that car so maybe the current bidder will give me say, $24K for it? And no premium either!
I think people who have no Idea of the value are bidding and hoping the Provenance of the car will make up the difference.
G.R. I agree, but eventually they'll be in for a rude awakening.
People are bidding on memories. That's why we collect old things, to trigger memories of the way things were. It feels pretty good too.
Celebrity Provenance rarely adds any value to a car. Unless you have something truly special (Elvis' Caddy, James Dean's Porsche, etc). I doubt that anyone would care in the future that this car once was on display at Knott's farm.
Also that premium is a massive ripoff. Last auction I bought something at had a 6 percent premium and I felt bamboozled then!
Its not famous enough for that kind of money even without the outlandish 19.5% buyers preminum.
Most T folks probably have never heard of it.
It looks to be a pretty nice mostly original car in the 10-13.000 price range tops.
I remember as a kid seeing that car. It NEVER looked as good as that photo, and wasn't ever really out of the elements either. It appears to me that the car possibly isn't in the possession of Knott's Berry Farm any more, and is possibly owned by someone else?
The guy next door ?
Here is the main auction page:
@ https://comics.ha.com/c/auction-home.zx?saleNo=7151&ic=breadcrumb-comics-121913- interior
This is interesting ....
@ https://comics.ha.com/itm/memorabilia/merts-and-riddle-horse-drawn-hearse-c-late -1800s-early-1900s-/a/7151-95170.s?ic4=GalleryView-ShortDescription-071515
The listing calls it 1919/20.
Serial number corresponds to June 1918 which would make it a 1918 model year Ford.
Note that it does have a starter and demountable wheels which would have been added later.
I remember going to Knott's Berry Farm when I was younger and seeing this Model T many times. What really stands out in my mind, was the model rail road shop that was packed with pre-WWII standard and O gauge trains. There was something really special about the old Knott's Berry Farm.
I haven't seen the car. The last time I went to Knott's Berry Farm was in 1953 when I attended the National Boy Scout Jamboree. Ed
Speaking of Knott's Berry Farm memories, I remember waiting in line with my family for what seemed like hours for the famous "chicken dinner". Boy, those were probably the best chicken dinners I ever had. Fried chicken, mashed potatoes with white gravy, rhubarb, biscuits and rhubarb pie. Of course, the biscuits were served with the famous Knott's Berry Farm jellies. Even though this was decades ago, I remember it like it was yesterday and can still taste it in my mind. I wonder if the Chicken Dinner restaurant still exists at Knott's Berry Farm and if it still tastes the same?
Last Summer I went to the Benton County fairgrounds. I'm going back someday when they have the fair!
The ghost town was a way for people to kill time while they waited for their chicken. Many of the buildings were brought from the old silver mining town of Calico, east of Barstow. In those days Knotts' ghost town and Calico, which was being restored, were both free.
Mike, me, and Grandma with a couple of characters at Knott's, about 1949.
Well, it was back in '76 last time we went to have the chicken dinner. Had to ask for the Rhubarb, or you didn't get any! No extra charge though.
Ron, those jellies were my cousin's recipes, he worked for Mrs. Knott (you never called her "Cornelia!), and my Uncle Walter used to supply some of the chickens, and most of the eggs, but that ended when I was too small to remember--they developed the land around Uncle Walter's farm/orchard and then complained about the noise and smell, so he had to shut down the chicken part--but kept the orange orchard. We used to drive his two electric carts (for feeding the chickens and collecting the eggs) all over the orchard until the batteries ran down! So Knott's Berry had some real family connections for us. I remember going to his replica of Constitution Hall when it first opened; very impressive. I don't know if it's still there, complete with full size replica of the liberty bell (which they had to really work over to get the crack in it, as I recall). Somewhere in my stuff I have a mid-fifties Chicken Dinner House menu.
And yes, when the T was on display, it didn't look that nice! Is any of the old ghost town still there? There was a guy in jail who would call you by name (your parents would stay up front at the sheriff's office and tell them your name, but as a kid you never caught on!~ OK, at least I didn't! Lots of simple entertainment back then--although I remember the log plume ride; Uncle Walter took me on it and he had a great time, hollering all the way down the chute--me?? I was scared to death!! I'm not a roller-coaster rider! Besides, I was more interested in the steam train and the SF cable cars that took you from the parking lots to the town.(Both those experiences were a bit later on.
Walter Knott did preserve a lot of history there, especially the Rio Grande narrow gauge train stuff that likely would have just been scrapped back then.
I drove it out this morning for the auction preview. Many accurate comments above. This is the car that got me into Model T's.
What's the rest of the story? Why are they selling this icon that is so much a part of the place?
It's almost like if THF would sell the quadracycle.
If you go to the link, you can connect to the auction catalog. There are about 300 lots, all from Knott's Berry Farm. There is the Model T, horsedrawn vehicles, a narrow gauge (?) steam engine, lots of coin operated machines, lots of signs, posters, props, and lots of other objects that are all from Knott's Berry Farm Ghost and Mining towns. It looks like most of these items were removed and put into storage decades ago, probably as the park got "modernized" and changed ownership. I think it is great that these items will now be owned by collectors that can enjoy them as opposed to be forgotten about in a storage building. I'm going leave a bids on some of the signs and props. It would be great to have a few of these memories hanging in my building.
Ron, you nailed it.
And the chicken is still just as good as it was.
Ron, the chicken restaurant is still there. I took my kids to Knott's last February and the restaurant was closed for renovation. What a bummer! We were really looking forward to the chicken dinner after 8 hours of rides.
Left rear needs a little air. That should knock off about 10K.
10K + 19.5% no less ....
The auction catalog is worth a gander ....
Buyers premiums 15 to 25 percent are the norm these days. If you pay by credit card the auction company will pass on the credit card fee to you as well. If you buy on line, the online auction service charges the auction company a fee - 3 to 5 percent. This is also passed on to the buyer. Sales tax is added to the total sale price - your final bid plus buyers premium plus cc fee plus online fee if applicable. Ain't cheap buying at auction.
1925 registration says it was built 1918.
Wowee, that Aveling & Porter gas road roller is the sweetest! An Aveling way out west in the states??
Bring some steering chains.
I'm drooling after glancing at that Narrow Gauge Porter. Yum.
I was a personal friend of Walter Knott. This Model T is not the original car Walter owned. He had sold it many years ago. He purchased this car about 40 years ago. It has gone through much modification. When I first saw it , it had demountable wheels and a slanted windshield. It was a conglomeration of many years. It appears more correct now that they have worked it over. I sold them the correct windshield and many other new parts for it. Knott's will never be what it use to be. I remember when admission and parking were both free. I use to walk around Knott's with Mr Knott and my two suns. Walter loved trees and would tell us about all of his trees. Those were fun days. You could not find a finer gentleman than Walter Knott. He was responsible for my meeting both Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan. I even got Ronald Reagan's signature at one of the political rallies Walter took us to. He truly loved America and the old west and preserved as much of it as he could. Those are fond memories and those days will be missed. Glen
Neat memories. My Uncle Walter (Fluegge--if the last name means anything; my Cousin who worked in the jelly kitchen was Jim Dodson)was of similar ilk, although not born here. Yes, not the original T, but the one he bought around '56 to represent it, which is why I used quotes in the thread title.
Sad that those days are long gone, today's kids just wouldn't understand the entertainment we enjoyed there.
Seems to me I recall Panorama Pacific broadcasting from Knotts (live, of course). Red Rowe and George Wolf wore western duds, but I don't remember if Grant Holcomb did or not. And everyone who reads this is saying, "What? Who?"
My parents and I went out to CA. from here in NW Mo. in the mid 50's to visit relatives. I was just about 6 or 7 years old as I recall. We went to Disneyland (which was great) which had only been open for a couple of years or so and visited with family. I remember very well that someone mentioned going to Knott's Berry Farm. I had no idea what it was, I just thought it was some sort of a roadside produce stand type of thing or something. We didn't go, but if I would have had any idea what it was, I would have been a lot more vocal about going there! Dave
Thank you for posting your memories Mr. Chaffin.
I went through Knott's Berry Farm when I was in California about 15 years ago, but by then it seemed like any other amusement park.
Walter Knott and Ronald Reagan were of my grandfather's generation (I was privileged to have met Reagan) and to say they are sorely missed is and understatement. The world's just not the same, not as interesting, not as noble, not as quirky and fun as when they were in it.
My memories of Knotts Berry Farm are like Glens, but I only remember seeing Mr. Knott walking around his farm. What I really remember, is driving through miles of orange groves to get there.
Some additional interesting info. My dad was good friends with the truck driver that worked for Knotts and was sent into Death Valley with trucks to get wagon wheels and other items from ghost towns. He went to Bodie and loaded the trucks. After 2 days they were fully loaded and ready to leave when an old fellow that lived on the hill overlooking the town came down with his scatter gun and asked what they were doing. He explained about the park Knotts was building and the old fellow said not from my town. Put everything back. They had to put wagon wheels back on wagons and find the axle nuts. They then went to Panamint City as Shotgun Mary that guarded that town had passed away. They raided Panamint City then descended that steep road to the valley floor. As a young boy I remember the story well. We visited both Bodie and Panamint City in 1963 after hearing the story. Also saw Selden Seen Slim at Ballarat on that trip.
Knott's Berry Farm was purchased by a chain of amusement parks. Walter Knott used to let people walk around Ghost Town for free while they waited for a table. The thrust was to sell Chicken dinners. This new company has money on their minds and has upped prices. They used to have Senior prices for their meals but don't offer that that any more. They used to sell chicken and dumplings. One dumpling in the middle and a bunch of chicken with gravy on each side on an oval plate. Now they put a small portion of chicken and gravy in the center and a huge dumpling on each end to fill up the plate. Oh yes and it costs a lot more too. They used to serve cabbage and corn and now it's either cabbage or corn . . . . and so on.
A good friend of mine purchased the Pope Hartford that had been converted into an ore carrier and almost has it done. It is beautiful. He was commissioned by Knott's Berry Farm to modify a Model T Ford equipped with Creator's popcorn machinery. They wanted him to cut it down the center lengthwise to enlarge it for a better sales prop. So rather than messing up a valuable original machine he got some old Model T parts and built a larger, longer, and wider sales venue that better fit their needs and gave them the storage they needed as well as room for the sales people to walk around inside of it and sell the popcorn. So another one was saved by one of us.
Does this look like a record price for a black radiator T?
$37,045.00 including the premium.
I'll now duck and cover in case the forum explodes.
About 1969. I remember lots of people in the hobby freaking out because a really nice black radiator T sold for over $1500. That was about the time a 35-J Mercer broke the antique auto auction record for about $30,000.
Gone are those days.
What I'd like to know is what is the big deal about this car? Yes, Walter Knott did own it, but it is not the one he owned when they started Knotts Berry Farm. As I recall, they brought that car in around 1955 or so, when I was about 12 years old. It sat there in a somewhat covered shed that resembled the old berry stand. So it's just an old Model T, of little significance. Does that make it much more valuable than any other Model T? Time will tell.
I thought the Knott's Berry Farm was having an auction because they got themselves in a JAM!
Apparently at least two people thought it is worth more than the average model T.
I remember when I was a kid, they had that circle of wagons out on the corner and Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers would hold weekend concerts there around a real fire...can't do that anymore, now can you? And yes, like the park it was all free.
Nice looking car, might be tempted to offer 6K for it, might even go as high as 8K even without the Top...but 37K....OH HELLL NO! Somebody's got more money than sense.