While teaching my Grand Daughter how to drive a T I noticed something unusual. SaraJane rarely gives me a free start which until now I have attributed to the motor being close to worn out, but the occasional free start always gets me strange looks when I thank SaraJane. While showing my Grand Daughter how to start the car using the hand crank Zoe got 3 free starts in a row and several at later points in the day. I think SaraJane has chosen her next caretaker, or I'm getting the cold shoulder.
T answer your question - Absolutely.
If anyone disagrees they lack sensitivity.
My T talks to me whenever I am near it.
If I go in the garage and do not touch a fender or the body it whimpers.
When I touch it I get a big smile.
It loves to be worked on - so much that it always finds something for me to do.
When I work on her sister, the Model A, she giggles as long as I have touched her first.
If I work on a modern she laughs and seems to say, "You will never last as long as I have."
Mister Ed talked to Wilbur Post, but only when they were alone together. He clammed up whenever anybody else was around.
My runabout will usually start right up on the first pull. But when people are watching, it sometimes gets stubborn. At times like that I call it Mister Ed.
Never attribute human emotions to cars; they hate that.
My free starts come from older, low compression engines. Newer, tighter rebuilds not so much
My first T was poorly tuned. I would crank til I had to sit and rest. Sometimes it would give a "chuff" while I rested. I believe it was teasing me.
They certainly take on their own personalities as time goes on.
Maybe they are just extensions of our own warped twisted personalities.
I think my T didn't like my wife. Something would always happen when I would want to take my wife for a Model T ride. Rear tire explode, fuel line plug up, or just flat refuse to start. With just me in the car, I could run for hours with no problems. I think the farthest I ever got with my wife in the car was across my backyard and over to the driveway gate. Decided to keep the wife and sell the T.
Haunted Model T Snowmobile
Interesting post. A few weeks back I was telling my eleven year old daughter that "Carl" my 11 touring was sensitive so don't talk about him. She's said Dad you're weird cars aren't alive. But I refuted and said yes they have a personalities just like people. To this day she thinks I'm nuts.
yes, they have personalities. Alive? Hmmm. . .
Do I talk to my cars? Well. . . . .
I refuse to answer on the grounds it will incriminate me!
Steam Locomotive are that way too. . . .
Betsy gave me a scare a couple of mornings ago. I gave her a couple of priming pulls, turned the key, nothing - just as I was grabbing the crank handle, she free started! Scared me good, I think she was toying with me.
My Liz was supposed to arrive just after noon last Halloween. (is that suggestive ?) Transport guy called a couple of times with progress as he encountered several delays on the road. Finally, he arrived in the dark after ten PM, and rolled Liz into the road. He asked if I knew how to drive it - I told him I figured so, but it had been a while (like 50 years ?) I set her up to run, and got a free start ! Cramping around to get her into the back shop for the night, I killed the motor, being 'way out of practice to drive a T, but dang ! She gave me another free start. I reckoned she really must like me. She's been sweet and cooperative ever since, but no more free starts since that first night.
talking about free starts, My 26 would free start within a minute of shut down for over a dozen times, until I took off the vaporizer and put on an NH. Now it's rare with it. The 20 Roadster we recently purchased had a recent overhaul and near new bearings and good compression will start with it's original NH numerous times. I cannot shut it off and show people how to crank start it unless I turn the crank first or start on magneto. My 23 touring with a Z head and recent overhaul rarely gave a free start until I put an OF Stromberg on it, and now it does it frequently. ???
I get more free starts than not. Even cold. I can pull the crank just rite and get one every time.
Are T's really alive? Mine are.... Just like a horse -- leave the spark lever advanced and hand crank my T and it will kick you. They will sing for you also (see "Do You Believe coils sing different songs? Mine do." at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/10844.html )
And it really isn't strange for someone to talk to a car. Just about everyone I know says all sorts of four letter words etc. towards the old as well as their modern car when it is acting up or performing poorly.
E. B. White's "Farewell, My Lovely!" does a great job of communicating how Ts are -- or at least the one's I have. It has been posted before but for anyone who hasn't seen it, it is a good read about our Ts. Published in the "New Yorker" magazine in 1936. Please see: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1936/05/16/farewell-my-lovely
Hap l9l5 cut off
If they aren't alive, I have some serious mental issues.
Remember they can see with their eyes too...
Maybe they're channeling... I had a winky face here but backspaced that out.
But what I really want to ask is do they learn?
Crappy's '19 engine ('24 Runabout) had the 3 cover plates on it when I bought it about 20 years ago and it cranks readily. It's all I've known until last summer.
Lucky's '26 engine ('25 TT) has a bad starter and cranks readily with a vaporizer. 3 pulls.
The '23 engine in the '18 Tin Cup only wants to be a tail-twisted. Granted, it is tight upstairs with a loose bottom end...
Hap, I love that story from E.B. White. I even printed it out from one of the posts.
Alive as your imagination. Or assigning human traits to your dog or cat. Have fun with it because once you believe it grows.
Man without imagination cannot understand funny pages!
OTOH, Thanks to Disney putting human thinking to all sorts of animals, we now have lots of folks who won't eat anything that had a face. Nothing against vegetarians, but it makes preparing Holiday meals complicated!
Well I can tell you that Carl is alive, o dark thirty drive to work - 1/2 turn prime and turn to bat and vroom Carl comes to life. He wants to get on the road more then I do.
First T I ever looked to buy was in Tulsa. Mike Bender rode over with me to the manís house. After I primed the cold engine a few turns early that Saturday morning, Mike turned the battery switch and the í15 started right up. Mike asked the owner if that ever happened, since his eyes were as big as saucers. ďHardly ever, but never cold, everĒ he replied. Even though I explained to the gentleman that the car obviously liked me, that supposition failed to impress him during negotiations. He didnít strike me as the sentimental type. But Iíll always believe that old Touring wanted to go home with me.
So, did it go home with you Jeff? Don't leave us hanging!
No, the owner and I experienced an insurmountable financial impasse I'm afraid.
Maybe not alive but they have their ways after this many years. They for sure need the right kind of talking to like a Model A after 75 or 100 years. Tim
I would imagine that the car was disappointed.
Part of my morning routine is to let my two dogs out.
While they're doing their thing, I go into the shop and visit my old cars and pat each one on the fender. If I neglect this small task, they almost always have some minor ailment that needs fixing the next time I drive them.
My wife says this is a sign of OCD. She may be right. If it is, I don't want a cure.
OCD Old Car Disease?
Many of us have it.
The only fix is to get another one.
Judging from the responses here I have self diagnosed as normal, I am the only psychiatrist I can afford!
My '24 Touring (whom we named Lizzie) definitely has a soul. If the misses and I aren't doing well together, that car will not run right. If things are going well between us, I'll get rewarded with free starts and a great running car.
One time, she sat for a month. We were going to take her out for the weekend, but I decided to get her started a few days before. She started right up and ran fine. A few days later, the misses and I had a big argument in the morning. Lo and behold, she wouldn't run for anything. Clogged fuel line.
We were driving down the road, and I saw a Model A on a trailer parked across the street. I commented that it was a nice looking car, and that it had red wheels, like Lizzie. She obviously didn't like that. Not a moment later, I saw another A driving along coming the other way. I tried to give him a friendly Klaxon honk, but the horn wouldn't work for anything. A few minutes later, some bikers waved at us, so I tried to give them a honk. Horn worked fine She didn't like me ogling that Model A!
One night I got upset and treated the car totally wrong. Well, she shocked the s*** out of me, so much so that I flinched so hard I hit one of the spark plugs and broke the porcelain. That car has never bit me that hard!
Lizzie loves attention. If you crank start her for a crowd of people, she'll give you the smoothest, sweetest sounded idle you've ever heard. She loves having her picture taken!
One time, we took her to a car show, and I saw a very nice Model A hotrod with a flathead V8 in it. Later, after the show, we stumbled across that hot rod broken down and being pushed into a gas station. Lizzie puttered along in such a way she almost sounded like she was snickering.
I could go on