I'm interested in other members confidence in their cars, If you had the time, money and desire would you drive coast to coast in your T and if so what would you do to it before you set off and along the way?
Constantine need to call in here.
I am driving my T from Iowa to Alaska and back again this summer...a 2 month trip and almost 7,000 miles. I have rebuilt the engine, running with a Ruxtel, disc brakes and safety hubs. If everything on a T is tended to and minded on a daily basis I am confident it can be done.
Brian — PM sent.
I supose a big question is what kind of driving are you thinking of doing. Surface streets you will face many many stop signs/lights. If you go the other route and have a T that will run at speed then thats an entirely different set of problems. Yes, I would drive coast to coast when I finish my T. I would outfit it so that I could carry more fuel, ensure the gearing was adequate. I would carry enough water and oil to completly refill. Spare parts including Magneto, bands, fan, etc. A full tool kit with basic repair tools (bailing wire duct tape etc). I just did a cross country trip and must say there is a lot of open road out there. I would most likely look for some cup holder or other ways to make the long stretches more comfortable.
The longest trip I took was to and from Glacier Park. It was probably 2,000 miles including the MTFCA tour there. This was in an early touring without spare tires. We had our 2 1/2 year old grandchild in a car seat. That is long enough for me. It was wonderful but a trip to breakfast is just right also.
Enjoy your journey.
Montana 500 guy's run their "T's" very hard and they hold up well, so normal driving with a reliable "T" should be no problem.
What about Dean Yoder? How many miles does he travel pulling a trailer? Scott
Coast to coast is less interesting to me than a trip to a specific place, like Brian's Alaska trip. After all, I would first have to get to a coast.
I do intend to make some long interstate trips when I have my touring ready. Until then I'll use the roadster for short jaunts of a few hundred miles.
In past "What to Take" discussions, some have listed so much stuff you'd think they intend to rebuild the engine and transmission by the side of the road. Others advocate just a phone and a credit card. I would definitely take the running board gas cans and a tool box with all the basics. Those cans are a godsend when you run out five miles from the next filling station. VOE
I drove my T 10,000 miles on one trip. Went from Spokane to Portland, Oregon, then to Portland, Maine, then back to Spokane, through all 48 of the lower states, in a stock 1926 coupe. Drove pretty close to full throttle all of the way with no major mechanical incidences.
Scott, the answer is zero. I think Dean decided the trailer was too cumbersome.
He now travels in this rig, seen at Chickasha.
This was at Hershey last October.
Mechanically, I would think my car (26 Touring) could make at least a few thousand miles easily without issues until the tires wore out. It has been rebuilt correctly and with a eye to quality and dependability. Driver comfort is another issue entirely. Personally, I limit myself to 50-60 miles a trip. Any more becomes extremely uncomfortable for me.
It has always been my intent with the TT to take long, backwater road trips.
My T knowledge is growing, but FAR from extensive. I rely on many with much
more experience to help me build the truck to be as reliable as possible. I
would still like to feel more confident in troubleshooting.
With a TT, a big fuel can, extra oil, and water are just a few more things in the
back, to go with the compliment of tools. I am looking now for a 20' rear wheel
rim to mount up a spare on. Already have a spare for the front. The Pelican case
I took all over AFG with my bed gear and another with clothing about rounds out
the takealong stuff.
If I had a better engine and if my back, neck and "leg/ankle" would hold up, maybe a longer trip would be fun but for now I will keep it under 200 miles round trip.
I would like to do a 3 "seas" tour (Pacific Arctic Atlantic). Maybe next year.
Obviously a first class engine and running gear. New tires and a couple of spare inner tubes. Accessory brakes.
And really important; a comfortable seating arrangement for me!!!
I feel kind of wimpy. Although I drive my T often my trips are typically around 20 miles at a time. Mostly around town. I am looking forward to making a trip to Santa Clarita, 45 miles away.
If your car has been sorted out, its no problem going an easy 200 miles in a day. My wife and I have been all around the country such as Gettysburg, the Mac Bridge in the UP, Trail Ridge Road, Kanab Utah, Creede, CO, Bryce Canyon, Daytona Beach, Grand Canyon, and Key West, FL to name a few. Best tour always seems like the last one.
TOM CARNEGIE,MAY I ASK DO YOU HAVE OUT SIDE OILER ROD DIPPERS? OR IS SHE RUNNIN G BAREFOOT.IT MAKES MY HEART SKIP A BEAT WHEN I HEAR NOPE SHE IS AS BORN..GREG.
Richard G. She has an outside oil line and dippers. Also aluminum pistons. It has a stock head and a reground cam. Basically it is stock as per the rules of the Montana 500.
Kevin, I see you're in NZ. I somewhere have a postcard given to me by an older old car friend in Australia when he heard about my trip to Moscow. He received it from a guy he once met. Postcard was printed by that guy to mark the end of a trip he did and showed the map of the world with the route he took. Trip was done in the 1980s or 1990s before the internet. He went from London to Europe then to North Africa, crossed the Sahara then all the way down to Capetown. From there he shipped the car to Perth then drove across Australia then shipped again to home(?) in NZ; but wait it gets better. Postcard also showed an image of the car; I cannot be sure but it looked to me like a TT with a large camper type living area on the back. Truly amazing stuff considering Africa would have had much worse conditions than today. Many of the places he went via can no longer be visited without a huge risk due to jihadists or war; the world was a much safer place in some ways during the Cold War.
Back to your question "How far would you drive your T?" For many people the limiting factor is themselves rather than the car or more precisely their "worldview" of Model Ts. For those of us who see old cars as a "Passport to Adventure", the limit is only imagination, time and money.
Just like the "Speedster Freak" subculture in the T hobby, the "Overlander" subculture crowd see the Model T in a different way to most. You either get it or you don't.
It was very interesting following Tom's adventures on MySpace. I seem to remember all Tom had to do was weld up the manifold once and maybe install a MC tube on the way.
Steve Hughes drove from Lincoln to San Diego.
Kirk, good memory! I had air leaking from between the valve core and rubber on three of my tubes. I had three spares under the seat, so that worked out. I over-tightened my exhaust nut and broke my manifold. I made it home after I brazed it up along the way.
Thanks guys some great comments and stories, its very tempting.....
you may remember meeting me in Perth W.A on the first leg of your trip you came to our house on your way to Freemantle and we did a few small jobs on your car . With regards to the post card you posted about ,if I am correct I think it was one of mine . I did that trip in 1994/95 and had cards made up to send to people along the way .They were in black and white with a list of countries listed around the edge . The main picture was of the vehicle with myself and co driver standing along side . if it is me please let me know and i will try to post some picture of the original trip
Regards Nicky Bailey
Between Telluride and Ouray, CO.
1916 Touring, with aluminum pistons, high compression head, Stipe 280 cam, Ruckstel with Ford 4-1 rear axle gears. Also used a larger diameter gas line to increase fuel flow to the carburetor. On steep hills would change to a gas tank cap fitted with an inner tube valve stem in order to pressurize the gas tank two (2) pounds.
At the beginning of the trail from Telluride was a warning sign: "4 Wheel Drive High Clearance Vehicles Only". One out of two ain't bad.
Hey Nicky! Of course I remember you...I've only let two guys ever drive my T and you're won of them.
I'm fairly sure I emailed you at the time but once again congratulations on finishing the Paris to Peking in 2013! Not only did you make it through that slug-fest you also defeated many far more modern vehicles.
For those who don't know Nicky, see:
Nicky, where the Peking to Paris and Melbourne to Moscow routes crossed paths in Voronezh, Russia my friend Sasha had his photo taken next to your car...small world. Sasha is an old car guy who has a GAZ 67B WW2 "Ivan-Willys" jeep (powered by Russian made 4cyl. Ford B copy). I stayed at Sasha's house; great guy.
I remember you said you drove a T in Africa once but is the postcard I'm thinking of about your trip??? Small world again. Guess it must be, but I may have the details mixed up. Guy who gave it to me was Richard Unkles in Melbourne, a veteran/vintage FIAT guy. Yes, tell us please all about that trip and the Peking to Paris...I'm sure all the guys here would love to hear the details and see photos.
(Message edited by m2m on May 01, 2017)
I just now got mine legal and I go farther and farther. I'm too much a worry wart to go far in any vehicle. I bought some good tires for my 2004 Cavalier, filled up with gas and was ready to go to Chickasha. I got worried and didn't go. I've been over 1500 trouble free miles since. Chickasha is a 600 mile round trip. I've probably driven my T hundreds of miles, probably more than 1000 on back roads in 20+ years but I never go far. I've got dependable vehicles now, but I've had plenty that never seemed to get me to where I was going, wouldn't start when I wanted to leave or didn't quite make it back. I was going to drive my T to the family reunion this year and they moved it. It's been 25 miles away for my 38 years, this year it will be 70 miles. I probably will just ride with my mother.
Only driven model T solo across Nevada
I have never been more than about 200 miles in a day but had no problems. Had to work the next day. Tim
Cory 70 miles is only a 2 hour drive in a model T.
Don't let fear of a brake down deprive of the fun.
My longest drive was from Enid, Oklahoma to Minden, Nebraska. Two short days going up and one longer day coming home. Ed
I hesitate to follow Dean on a thread about long-distance driving, but here goes. I drove my '15 Touring (solo) from Fayetteville, AR to Richmond, IN for the Centennial and back, and drove on the day tours while there. That trip was 1,800 miles in all. Longest day was 375 miles, coming back across IN and IL. I could have driven farther that day, but I was nearing St. Louis and didn't want to get into that traffic at that time of day. That was in the summer of '08, and that fall I drove the car to Vicksburg, MS for our club's fall tour, 1,200 miles. Including other tours and everyday driving, about 3,500 miles total for the year. (That's about 1/3 of Dean's yearly average.)
In 1993 the
Oklahoma Special T's hosted a week long tour to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Cherokee Strip Land Run. One of our participants drove his model T from Florida to North Carolina, where he met a friend. They then drove their cars from N.C. to Oklahoma. After a week of touring they headed out for Alaska, and drove as far on the Alaska Highway as it was possible to go. They then turned around and drove back to N,C. and Florida. I heard that shortly after returning to Florida, the participant died of cancer, Ed
Worry wart .... yeah, ... I get that. But honestly, what is the worst thing
that can happen (at least in the parts of the world not gripped by war or the
threat of terrorism) ? .... a roadside fix ? A tow into town ? A bus ride home
and a long haul home for the T (if you really blow the poor thing up) ?
The most memorable adventures I have had are the ones where things did
NOT go according to plan. The smooth stuff you never remember.
After Afghanistan, any worries about "trouble" along the way seem pretty
easy to handle and I tell myself to get my head squared away and just do it.
I guess it takes a shift in paradigm for some .... if a smooth and uneventful
trip is the benchmark of a good trip, then the stress of something going wrong
might keep a person from going at all. If the adventure and mishaps are all
wrapped up as the desired experience of "the trip" (as opposed to the destination),
then it is all a good time, no matter what happens.
Some people live as if they are dying. Others live as if they are already dead.
I think driving your T long distances is an ever evolving adventure. When i first got my T, not only was i concerned about my driving ability, but also about how mechanically sound it was. At first i just drove around the same 2 mile block, at least 40 times. After i was convinced it wouldn't break down, I ventured further and further till you don't even think or worry about it anymore. The trick to owning a T is to be comfortable in the toughness of your car, and to just enjoy the ride.
A Model T in as new condition can easily drive coast to coast and more without any problems as Brian Scott McNamara says, as long as you do the daily maintenance, check oil, water and fuel before you set off.
After shipping our Model T to the USA my wife and I did 10,000 plus miles across the USA and back in 2008 and 2011.
My Kamper only has a high compression head, dippers and a Model A crank, Rocky Mountain brakes and Moore gearbox.
No extra oil line, no water pump, and after a failure of a modern ignition system, commutator and Anderson timer.
Biggest problem will be tires, especially if you get tubes with the faulty valve stems. I had two leaky stems, and two blow outs, one was a nail the other just a tube, but the tire was trashed with a split bead.
I had no spare tire only tubes. It took an extra day to have a new tire sent as the closest supply was in Calgary, and I was in British Columbia 250 plus miles away.
No point taking too many spares, what ever may break will be something you don't have. Only basic tools in a small tool box.
The last thing I wanted to do was have to work on the car in a motel car park. Small things that did go wrong on a few days were easily fixed on the road.
Ran out of fuel once due to strong headwinds and the local sheriff picked me up and delivered me back with a can of gas.
You will never have to worry about getting help, probably the opposite, if you stop anywhere people will immediately stop to check you and the car out.
We regularly did 200 miles in a day and sometimes 300 plus depending on where we were. As we did 40 MPH most of the time 6 hours driving saw us cover over 200 miles easily and in summer the days were light up until late at night meaning we had lots of time to stop and look at things.
Fortunately the Kamper is very comfortable having wide seats and back rests with spring steel leaf supports. I never have problems no matter how long the day.
Back in their day owners often bought Model T's hopped in them and drove thousands of miles on poor or non existant roads trouble free, it is so much less a problem today.
If you have a Model T you should have a long trip on your bucket list.
This is the route we took, the red line is 2008 the green 2011. The Kamper was left in the MTFCA museum in Centreville IN between trips.
I forgot to mention a far better effort by members of our local club who drove around Australia in 2008 a lot further than my effort and for a lot of the trip in areas which have virtually no services.
They had some troubles but in the main finished intact,
thanks for replying. Are you able to post the postcard here to confirm it is the same trip ?In the meantime I will be at my Parents house during the week where my Africa file is stored, dig out some articles and Photographs and try to post here. we have one trip planned this year ,driving from Malin head to Mizen head here in Ireland in one day .(aprox 400 miles)It is a challenge set up by an unknown person posing as Gordon Bennett Junior from the Original races back in 1900s. we will only find out on the start line who has organised the event . I shall e driving the Peking TO Paris car for this one .
Good info Peter
Nicky, I'm not in Australia so I don't have the postcard with me. From memory (and I have not seen the card in years) the list of countries around the edge were handwritten, and the T (or TT) in the picture had a camper or large storage box on the rear. Does that sound correct?
Okay, goodluck with Malin head to Mizen. Look forward to hearing more about P to P and the postcard trip.
My longest trek has been 750 miles overall. On another trip I have a one day leg of 183 miles. I remember when I drove 2-3 miles each way and thought I had conquered the world. You will get there.
Hey Brian, Give us some more details of your upcoming Alaska trip.
The longest single day trip that I know about was Beckie Bell and her father who drove 420 miles on the first day of their trip to San Francisco in the 1920s. Her dad was tough, started about 4am and stopped about 9pm. My longest day trip was In Baja when we did 220 miles. It really wasn't too bad but hardly a holiday. A run of 100-150 miles is quite comfortable and leaves a little time for sight seeing. Most of the tours that Lee Chase use to put on for the SC club were that kind of mileage. Again he use to allow a down day every four or five days to allow time for work and holiday pleasures.
I am confident my T will take me anywhere I want to go as long as I have the time. I have averaged 1000 miles a month for the last 3 months and have deliberately sort out difficult roads to test the T. It has performed admirably and with no breakdowns, just 2 flat tyres. Most of this touring has been done with other T's and they have been just as reliable.Mine is all stock 1916 as henry made it.
Here's our plans for this summer's trip to Alaska. Two of us our driving our 26-27 p/u. Leaving central Iowa June 1 and heading to Fairbanks. We are planning to arrive in Fairbanks June 24. (Our wives will fly in and join us on June 25). We have a week of tourist stuff planned, then the wives fly home and we retrace our steps back to Iowa. My buddy Lee is pulling a 1920 era pop-up camper that we will sleep in. I put a cover on my p/u bed that looks alot like what Dean Yoder now uses. Trip looks like about 3,500 one way. Close to 7,000 round trip.
My goal this summer is to make it out of the subdivision. We drive it daily through our neighborhood, but still waiting on insurance and registration before braving an actual road.
We have a parade lined up for Memorial Day. 2 blocks and all downhill.
I'm learning to crawl before I walk.
Brian, sounds like a great trip. Is it possible to keep off major highways with fast moving traffic in northern Canada and Alaska?
Constantine...I'll let you know when we get back. It is our plan to use county and state roads only. We are hoping to avoid big city traffic and will use the shoulders and turnouts when necessary on heavy traffic roads. It all about the journey!
I have never made a cross country trip in one of my Model T's ,but it's on my bucket list.If you worry about having a major breakdown & how to get your car back home, a simple solution is rent a small U-haul truck the T M model & an auto transport trailer.These can be found most anywhere in U S & Canada. That is if you can't fix it on the road.
Plan on driving my speedster coast to coast next June. Getting some guys together for a cannon ball run. 16 hours a day only. That way us old guys can compete. Can split the 16 hours a day up any way you want.
16 hours a day? I'd split that into two days.
I ask my T "How far will you take us?" . Some days it's 70-80 miles other days it's about 2 miles.
16 hour of driving in one day is toooooo much. 500 miles
I have done that twice. The older I get the shorter my driving day gets. My moving average speed is 35 MPH.
My goal of 350 miles is changing.
I use a GPS to document my travels,average speed,distance,and track.
Day after tomorrow I'm driving my '26 roadster aaaal the waaaay from Niederwald TX to a restored WW I aerodrome in Kingsbury TX. They're having a WW I warbird 'fly in' then. Will even have a red Fokker triwing plane there with iron crosses. Last year I even saw our Forum Friend Tony Marino there. It's about a 35 beautiful Texas rural miles away so I'm taking a change of socks and toothbrush....
Brian, okay look forward to hearing a report from you or a dispatch from the frontline. Watch out for grizzlies and moose. Driving in Africa I had next to me in the front of the car a sharpened broomstick ready for any critter; until it fell out somewhere along the way...