I just saw these photos and was wondering if anyone knows anything about this car. Who made it, TT or custom frame?
In A.J. Cronin's masterwork "Citadel" the dentist cuts his car in half and welds in an extension in the center to accommodate his large brood, just like this car. The fictional modified car broke in half when it was used (please no comments about dentists doing their own engineering!).
Terry, If my following of MTFCA people and activities from afar, serves me correct,that unique Model T belongs to MTFCA member and speedster legend, Ed Archer. I may be incorrect and like you would like to know the owner for sure. A very unique T. I notice the difference with a couple of extra passengers in my Touring. Cant imagine having 7 or 8 on board as well as all their luggage. Maybe it has a Warford and a Rajo??
The 1982 MTFCA National Tour was sponsored by the Santa Clara T Club. Not only did they run the speedster run as part of the tour that year they went to Marin County over the Golden Gate Bridge one day and to the Roaring Camp Railroad in the mountains near Big Basin Redwoods on another day. I had a break down in my speedster on the speedster run and couldn't continue on the tour in it. Ed and Karen Archer let me ride with their group of four or five in that 1921 extended touring. While we didn't do Lombard Street, that mostly stock touring had plenty of power in San Francisco and in the Big Basin mountains. Thanks Ed and Karen for many great memories from the 1982 tour in your 1921 extended Model T touring and I don't even think it cost me that dime to see San Francisco.
I know the car well! It did in fact belong to Ed Archer, who did most of the restoration. (I did help a little on it, but not much I am sorry to say.) And I have ridden in it a few times, as well as followed it on several tours. Including down through the central valley of Califunny to and from a Catalina Caper tour. (The big reason that I didn't help on it much, is that I was working to get my T ready for the Catalina tour, I just couldn't do both.)
Ed has cut back on his collection in the past few years and did sell that wonderful bus. I also do know the new owner, but I would not say that I am at liberty to give his name at this time. He does read the forum sometimes, and does post occasionally. So maybe he can chime in here if he wishes. By the way, he is also a long time model T crazy and excellent custodian of history. He does an excellent job of adjusting coils on his HCCT. Just don't show him a water pump on your T.
The sight-seeing bus has a custom lengthened frame and drive shaft, with a Warford. No significant strengthening of the frame that I am aware of. It is basically a stock engine which pulls it along nicely at about 40 to 45 mph. I believe the wheels are Atlas steel spoke wheels, an original era accessory for model Ts.
A cute side story. When Ed had begun the restoration, with the goal of taking it on the Catalina tour the following year (it was an incredible feat that he did it!), one of Ed's many longtime wonderful friends had stopped by to see the project. Somewhat concerned about the frame extension, and being an engineer for one of the largest construction companies in the world (at that time), the friend went back to his work and consulted some of his fellow engineers. A day or so later, he went back to Ed's shop shouting (in his thick accent) "Ed! Ed! You must stop this! You will be killed!" It seems a few of his fellow engineers had agreed with him and calculated that the extended Ford frame would suddenly collapse and result in a disaster. I don't think they factored in that vanadium steel.
It took some convincing, that care would be taken, the friend (another wonderful person that I have truly enjoyed knowing in this hobby) watched nervously as the car was completed, and driven many times. Forty-some years, and thousands of miles later, I don't think it is showing any signs of collapsing yet. But I haven't seen it in awhile. Gotta get out and visit some of my friends. It has been way too long.
By the way, I think I did hear that it was driven down Lombard Street at least once. I wasn't there to see it that time, but have been down Lombard a few times in other cars, including my own.
I know where it is.
It was one of the stars of the July/August 2007 VF cover photo.
So, did Ed do the modifications, or did he find this car "as is"?
For those not familiar with Lombard Street, here's the story:
David D, The story goes, that Ed went out on one of those usual pursuits of the untamed aquatic fowl, and found a small pile of model T stuff in very poor condition. Amongst the junk, was an unusual frame, and not much else usable. Just a few patterns to work from. The decision was made, that it was too unusual an item to not be restored, and since most of what was beyond repair, was simply modified model T parts. Returning the sight seeing bus to a complete (and nice!) vehicle was quite doable. And Ed did it!
We had seen a few original photos of similar cars, and there was one other similar survivor in the Pacific Northwest many years ago. Both cars had been featured in separate issues of the "Vintage Ford" about forty years ago. Unfortunately, I heard that the other survivor was destroyed in some sort of accident some years ago. I never heard any details. If that is true, I find it sad. This one I know was resurrected from a bad state. I can hardly imagine a wreckage of the other that could not have been resurrected also.
That is the story, and I am sticking with it!
"See San Francisco on a Dime" now may well be the only model T like it left in the world.