As an addition to the discussion on the future of the Model T, Steven Rossi wrote a rather long piece (4 pages) in the current Antique Automobile (March/April 2017) on comments at a event he attended.
"Walking down an isle of entries at a local antique car met, I (Rossi) heard it again from a couple of show-goers who were just ahead of me. "Yeah, but its only a Model T. Let's move on to the more important stuff."
What can be more important than a Model T?
Some people just don't get it,,,,,what a way to have to go through life.
These same people if asked "did Henry Ford ever build anything other than ground transportation?" would answer no.
....FYI... Ductile vanadium is commercially available. Commercial vanadium metal, of about 95% purity, costs about $20/lb. Vanadium (99.9%) costs about $100/oz.
This is what is used to construct a Model T.
So .... a 2000 lb Model T is worth...$40,000.00...
But it was a Red Model T. If everyone liked Model T's as much as I do I couldn't afford one. We all have our likes and dislikes and wonder why everyone doesn't see things the same way. Or is it just me?
If you have to explain it, they won't understand it!!!! Smile and wave boys, smile and wave!!!! MG
George, I feel your pain. Not T, but another "it's only" story.
Three or four years ago, after completing the New London to New Brighton run, our K touring car was sitting among all the participants. An older gentleman and his son were walking among the cars and the son became excited when he saw our K. He said to his dad as they walked along side the car, "is that a Thomas Flyer?" As they came around the front, they saw the logo on the radiator and the father said "no, it's only a Ford....."
Their bodies have not been found.............
"Familiarity breeds contempt. . ."
Many on this forum would turn their nose at my other hobby cars just as my friends in the Chevelle and autocross clubs don't share my enthusiasm for these old slow Fords.
There's not a decade from 1900s-present that didn't produce at least one car I hope to own. Others are more narrow minded and unwilling to show any appreciation for something that doesn't fit their narrow view of the perfect car.
Derek, my hat's off to you. You are a true lover of automobiles. I'd prefer to think for those of us with a single focus, it may have less to do with narrow-mindedness than a lack of time, energy and resources. Kinda like having a herd of horses - not enough time to keep a ride on all of 'em.
I usually get "What the heck is an Imperial?" with one of my other cars. The nice thing is showing up at a car show and being the only one there with one.
I know how y'all feel, people ask , What else do you own? I tell them '57 Chevy....most o-o-o-o and a-a-a-....then i tell them..its a model 6100, that's a short wheel base 2 Ton w/ a 5 cu.yd dump bed....always disappointment follows, what are you gonna do? ha ha ha
In a town of only 900 residents that sports 2 Pierce Arrows, about 9 Caddy's including a V/16 a LaSalle a Stutz & several Packard's I have to put up with the "It's only a Ford" continually but at least we can offer 11 Model T's into the mix but it is still a battle that we will eventually win.
I own a TT, not because I like Fords (I don't), or that I am particularly
enamored with Model T's. Rather, it is what the Model T represents as
part of steam era Americana AND they are so plentiful that a parts net-
-work exists to support a car from this era that I want to drive all the time.
I would not attempt such an endeavor with a same era White, Hug, or FWD.
The attraction to a TT is a personal fit to my farm roots and chosen cons-
-truction career. I don't know that I would ever consider owning a car.
It just doesn't interest me.
I think almost any old American car is cool, but as Rich wrote above,
I only have so much space, time, and money to throw at "toys", I have
to be selective. Combined with being easily bored by the same old, same
old, I can appreciate common cars, but have zero interest in looking at
them or discussing them. I certainly have no interest in owning a 55-57
Chevy, even though most Americans think they were the only fin era cars
built and get all misty eyed thinking about them. It is similar to the way
people are bored with Model T's. But if I see a 56 Caribbean somewhere,
I am all over it !
I'll bet anyone saying "It is just a Model T" really isn't IN TO twenties era
cars and thusly has an attitude of "if you've seen one, you've seen them all".
In a way, I can understand this. But I still enjoy the hell out of it when I
see a Model T or 57 Chevy going down the road. Personally, this car hobby
that goes on in MY garage is about what I like. I don't give a damn what
anyone else has to say about the cars I like.
Huh. When I go to the local car meets, my pitted patina runabout draws a crowd as it is the oldest car there. The crowd grows when it's time to leave as they hope I give them a hand crank demonstration. Sorry has starter. Just another model t huh
One of the really fun things about my TT is all the smiles and thumbs-up
it gets EVERYWHERE it goes. Even if it is just a Model T, it creates a lot
of joy for many.
Guess I'm somewhat narrow minded. I can tote that if I have to. It's not that I don't appreciate other marques or year models, but say I am at Hershey. I literally pass rows and rows of cars to get to the ones I want to see. I like the T's and the A's, the motorcycles, the commercial vehicles and especially like the HPOF cars. Then I might look at some 30's-40's stuff and the classics. I will seldom take the time to walk down a row of 50's to 80's era cars. With a few exceptions, they don't interest me. If that makes me narrow minded, so be it.
I recently entered my '23 Touring in a local car show-fund raiser. There were many, many, Mustangs, Camaros, 55-57 Chevys, Hot Rods, Rat Rods, British restorations, one Model A and my "T". Which car drew the biggest crowds?? You guessed it!! 'Love my "Gracie".
A couple of years ago I attended an invitation-only car event. (The only reason I was invited was because the sponsor is a high school classmate of my wife and me.)
I delivered the T the day prior and, once off the trailer, I asked my friend where he wanted it parked. "Oh, just push it inside in any open slot in the line of cars."
So I did. When I stepped back to ensure that the T was well centered between the surrounding cars, I realized that I had a Duesenberg SJ dual cowl phaeton on my left and a 16 cylinder Cadillac (again a dual cowl phaeton) on my right. But I was too hot and tired to move the lowly '12 Touring to a more respectful neighborhood.
The next day on arrival I checked to see if my car had been moved to a more suitable location. But, no, there it was still between the Duesey and the Cad.
I watched through the day and observed that 80% of the people were looking at the Ford, with their backs turned disrespectfully to the two fine automobiles on either side.
I wanted to get a picture, but was afraid to identify myself with my car for fear that one of the other two owners would put out a hit on me.
A few years ago, I took my three year old nephew to the "Minneapolis Messaround," a small annual car show strictly for pre-1960 traditional hot rods and customized cars.
Many of the cars had well-worn unrestored bodies, were rusty or ratty or painted with flat black, brown or gray primer, etc.
When we got there, my little nephew angrily proclaimed, "I thought you said we were going to a car show. This is just JUNK!"
A couple of years ago I brought my 27 Roadster to a local car show. Lots of muscle cars but mine was the only T. I talked myself out explaining the car to various people .
30 years ago at a AACA National meet I answered several "experts" regarding "what type Model T my car was" by informing them that the DB hubcaps clearly identified this a 1917 Dusen - burg (sp) touring car ...their interest spiked and I believe a full roll of film was used from every possible angle ...just need the right answer ...always an optimist...gene french
There are countless stories over the years of cars winning best of show, or people's choice awards, etc. simply because of it being a Model T.
I do not think this is anything to worry about.
I have been into old cars for years, needed transportation, yes I walked past a lot of model 'T's' unless it was a 'street-rod' well now I'm older and slower and I'm just finishing my first model 'T', You have to feel the history of not just FORD but of the country, only in America, we can't return but we should remember!
I remember reading in one of the two club magazines probably 25 or 30 years ago about a fellow that had his T at some kind of old car gathering. I don't know if it was a show, cruise-in or tour, but a guy walked up to his T with a young boy in tow. The owner was talking to someone and wasn't paying close attention to them until he heard some disturbing noises. He turned around and the boy was gleefully climbing up on one of the front fenders and sliding down. When the owner protested (loudly no doubt) to the father, he said "what's the big deal? It's just an old car!" Some people just need a gardian to go with them through life. Dave
This is a constant subject of resigned humor at my house and work place.
After a lifetime of frustration over this very subject, it occurred to me that
the problem was with ME. Or, at least MY expectation that people are all
the same ... you know, that whole line of BS about "all men being created
equal" ? Yeah, that.
Some people are really sharp and perhaps interesting. Others are eccentric
and weird. While others still, are dumber than a box of rocks, socially "all
wrong", or just waiting for the right mishap to change their position on the
food chain from consumer to no longer in the game.
I find it all quite amusing today. It is the best comedy show going, if you
choose to see it as one.
David S, I had that happen to one of my cars years ago. Except that I politely told the dad that "on MY car, it was alright. However a lot of car owners wouldn't be so nice about it." After chatting for a bit, he said he understood, but didn't at first. I also invited the kid to sit inside for a couple minutes while I talked with the dad.
Burger, You are SO right.
Hal, I wouldn't call that being narrow minded. It's only those who have to cut down and insult or complain about anything different that I have a problem with.
What you describe is being focused, which is not a bad thing at all!
David, I had it happen at the grocery store. Waiting on my wife a kid of about 6 or 7 came out with his mother. He ran to my 41 chevy coupe with the window down jumped up and grabbed the door and put both feet on the door trying to pull himself up. I let mom know she had better get him off my car before I did. She didnt seem to be as concerned as I was. That was about 20 years ago. The T is a little different. If that same kid came up to the T and did that I would just smile and be happy he noticed it. If I had a $5000 paint job and was into perfection may be different. Times are different. If I had pulled a stunt like that as a kid, I wouldnt have been able to sit down for a week and the lesson on respect would have happened right in the parking lot. I can still see the marks from the lads feet on the coupe but its only a good story now not the worst thing to ever happen.
Derek's comment about focus is spot on. I was about 8-10 years old when
I noticed that my friends had multiples of many things I just had one of.
It was a matter of parental money. Their parents had more and seemed
to think buying more toys and stuff brought more happiness for their kids.
Not sure exactly how my parents thought about this, but they often imparted
upon us kids that they did not own the electric company, and that we should
be happy to have what we did, and other frugal'gratefulisms. The bought us
no first car (or any other car, for that matter), and made it clear that if we wanted
something, we'd have to work to make our own money and buy it ourselves.
This wisdom was not appreciated by us until many years later, and for some
it never comes. I have a step kid that still hates me for telling her I would never
deprive her of the personal accomplishment of buying that new BMW she
wanted in high school. Maybe someday she'll see the light ?
I still own my first car. I still own my second car ! I still have the skateboard
I busted my hump to get, and the Schwinn Stingray bicycle I saved $81.91
to buy with 1971 dollars on a ten-year-old's earning potential. I still have
the stuffed animal I had as an baby. At a high school reunion, exactly NONE
of my friends still had any of this stuff. It was all disposable and had no focused
meaning. They sure were shocked to see me drive up in my old car we had
all wrenched on in auto shop together and lamented their NOT having that
My worst character flaw is "distraction" ..... "oh look, a squirrel !" Taking on
too much has always been my downbringing, and staying focused, or as I like
say "self-disciplined" always gets me through a jam. The cars are no different.
I might turn up my nose and gesture with the puking face at a Corvair or
59 Ford, but honestly, seeing either one going down the road makes my day.
I am glad somebody else likes them, even if they aren't the car for me in my
self-imposed focus zone.
Are you and I related? My first car is still with me and my 2nd bike came from the scrap yard one part at a time. I wanted a 10 speed and had to build it myself and gave it to my Mom because I grew too tall for it when I grew up and she has it. My Schwinn was under the tree Christmas morning when I was 6 so it was a gift but it is still with me and someday my grandson may ride it if he shows he can take care of it. Stuffed animal, mine is in the closet because I know its old and never seen another like it. I also know better than to set foot on my skate board at this age.
Dan B, I have one of those stories. After I first restored our 14 touring I took it to a local car show and won Mayors choice. I talked to the mayor after the show and he told me he did not even want to go to the show and have to pick a car out of all the entries there. He said when he walked in the gate he spotted our T and said to himself that this was going to be easy. He was a parts man at a Ford Dealership and liked Model T's and of course our's was the best car there,well at least I want to think so.
Some people are just ignorant! I was in the gas station filling up my '26 when a person in the next row asked if it was a '45. When I told him it was a 1926 he acted as though he didn't even know automobiles were around that long ago! And a '26 is one of the newer T's!!! In fact, he didn't even know that there were no domestic cars made in '45!!!
Norm, I'll see your "stupid" and raise you this !
I was on a road trip in my 58 DeSoto and developed a shake in the driveline.
I found a shop to get it up on a lift to replace the U-joint.
So, the car is up in the air at eye level, the license plate that reads "NO CHEV"
staring right back at these two guys (who were old enough to have bought the
car new) and one turns to the other one and goes into a learning lecture to his
buddy about this "gorgeous 1957 Chevy being the defining high mark in GM
design and history".
You can lead that horse to water, but you can't make him fish !
Hmm, give a man a fish and he eats for a day, Teach a man to fish and he'll smell funny the rest of his days.
My dad told me, "You can lead a horse to Drink, but you can't make him Water."
Build a man a fire, and he will be warm for a night. Set a man on fire, and he will be warm for the rest of his life.
Now this is the kind of wisdom I come to this site for !
A round of raisin pie for everyone !
What made me interested in Model T s years ago before I every bought the first on was that they are such a big part of the industrial revolution or at least a part of it and automotive history. When I take my stock model A s to a show people ask questions and take pics but if I take a T people will ask a million questions about how the tyranny work. I always answer hoping they might catch the bug. It seems most people at shows are surprised that you can drive them on the road. I always tell them if I couldn't drive them I wouldn't want them!! Tim
Well Burger I guess that is 1 thing we have in common. I drove my first car to my 30th class reunion. There was 1 other guy there that was driving the camero he had then.
I would have to say my car interest are more varied than most here. I would love to have a 69 Fleetwood or a 59 Lincoln 4 door. But they are both hard to find nowadays.
I hope if I live long enough to get it finished enough to drive,that my 47 Pontiac will be basically my daily driver for short trips to town and such. I am so sick of late model #&## junk.
But if you are lucky enough you may hear this one day. I was out in the "T" to get fuel and a couple slabs of ribs when I pulled up to a stop light the new dodge in the next lane had broken down and the guy's wife was giving him the You just had to buy this P.O.S. speech and turning to see me and my wife exclaimed that car is over 50 years old and runs better than this thing!