I've been seeing a lot of t's being sold due to time consumption or lost of interest. My question to you all is this, what do you do to keep your interest/spark in T's strong? Like most things in our lives, it takes passion and commitment to keep things burning. One thing I never want to do is not make time for my cars, or lose interest. So what are your thoughts? What do you to keep this hobby alive in your own life?
My opinion is that if I have to force myself to keep interest it's stopped being a hobby and has become a job. Sometimes I put the pastime aside for a while and follow some other interest before coming back to it, sometimes I move on entirely.
I have a bunch of plastic model kits gathering dust, and a kayak and a unicycle halfheartedly for sale to prove it.
one mistake I have seen that often results in a loss of interest is a car that requires too much work or hard to find parts ( money) ...it serves most hobbyist to have a good running and driving car that can be enjoyed and also membership with local car clubs and the related tours and other events ...also family involvement ! always an optimist ...gene french
I enjoy the surprise/satisfaction when I make some repair or adjustment and it works. I enjoy going for an after-dinner cruise in the country, or giving rides, or having folks pose in the car and have their pictures taken. I enjoy visiting with Model T folks at Hershey, Chickasha, Richmond, etc. I enjoy driving a T to club functions. I enjoy shooting Model T photos in picturesque settings, and making videos. So far, all that keeps up my interest.
You mean besides the pure joy of rattling up and down the road in my little time machine?
Well let's see, one big help is this forum. Reading about the adventures and misadventures people around the country and around the world are having with their own T Models.
I'm a member of a Model T club which meets once a month for a tour, a meeting and lunch. One member has a tee shirt which says "All we do is drive around and eat stuff".
I have the privilege of writing an article about these gatherings each month for our newsletter.
This is just a few of the reasons I stay enthused. And when your T rewards you with a free start, well boy howdy, that's just icing on the cake
I wish I had that luxury Steve. All I get to drive around is a bunch of Chinese people wondering what part of the 1950s is my car from, or what kind of jeep is it.
Ugh, I hear you Derrick. Just keep spouting what you know about your model T. Keep telling them what it is.
I was saddened when my class-mates called my 18 a 19. I told them several times...
This forum is a great help for me, to keep me interested. Too damned ADD, I am.
I "lose it" every year about this time of year as I have other shXX coming up. I have come to terms with that. I think.
I've told my kids "Talk to me in October." in the past. :-) They're pretty good about it.
I lost interest in my 24 for 15 years. Plus a couple other really cool pieces. I hope I never do that again.
I haven't had the 18 out in a week or so. It has electric start and all! Easy-peasey.
For me Derrick, I tell myself "Fall is coming.". I like fall...and spring. That's when this brain is most interested.
I hear you Duey! I can't wait for fall either. Summers in California isn't model t weather. I am by no means losing interest. I just started thinking about the question. I'm 29 now so I hope to be driving my cars for many years to come.
Derrick is ed ju mikating the masses. Keep up the good work D'Artagnan
George n L.O.,Missourah
I've been trying to wrap my head around clubs. But I have to argue that clubs aren't for everyone. From my own experience, I have found that enjoying these cars and knowing a few good people who know these cars is all I really need. Truth be told it's been hard to connect with the clubs on a personal level because of the age difference. I'm sure I'm often seen as the young noobie to most men in this hobby. That's not defeating but there is a cultural gap there. I maybe relying on the expectation that clubs do their best to reach out to younger guys and make them feel included, but it may be far fetched to assume that. However, there are Great guys like Jeff Hood and Bill Harris in my club whom have extended their warmth and kindness to me. I'm all for clubs and the effort they make to preserve these historical cars, but the challenge is if young guys can't necessarily fit in, what are alternative ways to still feel included and keep the interest going?
Derrick, my sons have the same feelings. Like you they need to help recruit younger people into the clubs. Then you wouldn't feel like you don't fit in. Trust me when I tell you the older fellas enjoy being around the youngsters and share their knowledge of these wonderful cars.
What keeps me enthusiastic? why days like this:
For me it's more therapy, mental and physical. I have a brain disease that limits my driving a vehicle but I love working on them. I try to do about an hour or two every day. Some days I have to redo everything I did the day before because I was in what I call brain fog. The redo days are the hardest to push through but I know one day the car will be finished and that will be the true joy. (To me finished means: safe, reliable, and preserved for the future generation)
Basically, working on the Model T's is my relaxation. I have a driver that needs some minor attention from time to time and a project that gets attention when time and funds are available. I like that fact that unlike the other projects I have around the "estate" here, I can put it down and walk away, then come back when I get the urge. I just don't let anything with the Model T's get me too wound up. While I enjoy them, I don't let my life revolve around them. I view them as a pleasant distraction for the other demands of life.
I've shared elsewhere that I have to drive an old vehicle (My wife gets to drive the modern one.) Once I got the 1950 pickup going, I sold my modern truck. When I get the T going, it will fit right in, taking it places, or it taking me places. I intended from the beginning to make them a "driver", without worry if people touched them. I don't mind "needing" to work on one of them.
Four years ago, the engine blew up in our modern car and my wife and I pulled an engine from a junkyard, tore it down, rebuilt it, with it still running strong today. My spouse is still glad that we put the time in it and rescued it. So, the other part of keeping interest, is the family factor.
Always having a project in the shop to work on and having the next tour planned is what keeps me keen. Having my son keen to work and tour with me is added motivation. Almost forgot, Model T people involved with this forum are great the World over!
A drive to the beach or just to get gas is all that I need to keep me satisfied that this hobby of mine is worthwhile. I always meet new people and when I get invited to show my car at an elementary school or see someone taking a video when I am driving down the road makes me SMILE, that is what it is all about for me.
I stay motivated by doing two things: !) driving my antique car and 2) working on them
My plan for thy 24 Touring was to get it running and driving (even if poorly) and then make it better over time. Things didn't work out that way. So now I'm saving my $$ to have the engine gone through by a pro. In the meantime, I'm working on all the other small bits that need improvement.
And...I have two other antiques that I drive as much as my demanding schedule allows.
I can not explain my affliction with the Model T but i remember
as a kid being excited every time my Dad would get the T out for a local club event. I joined the car club at 9 years of age and now I'm 64.
I just love seeing them in the road, driving my two and as Chairman if the local model t Section organise events.
There is nothing like taking your T for a drive on a quite country road and envy Steve Jelf in his photo.
Alan in Western Australia
Derrick, I started in the Model T club when I was in my late 20's also (1978)...and every time I went to the meeting (which was twice as I recall) they were talking about bloody steam cars...not once did they even mention the Model T Ford. This was mainly because the president of the SFV club was restoring a 1929 Stanley Steam Limo and he was soooo enthusiastic about his progress each month that he monopolized the meetings with a slideshow of that progress. While it was quite interesting, it wasn't what I was into, it wasn't about the Model T Ford. So like you, I quit going. Besides I made my Model T contacts already anyway...Ed Tate (my neighbor who had a 21 touring), Dave Wheeler (his friend, who had a 22 Centerdoor) Chris Essgard (Billy Poobah, who had more cars disassembled and all the parts for them in that barn of his than he knew what to do with. He also went to Long Beach's meetings even though he lived in the SFV...road his 10 speed bicycle out there every meeting and then road back to Reseda in the Valley, that evening), Don Bell (who had 14 that he had a Rajo in and loved to see if he could pop pinion gear in the rear end if he jumped on it), Bill Raider (who made something but I can't remember what now, maybe he just sold parts, I remember buying engine paint from him once...for my Model A, that ugly Ford green), Floyd Clymer (who had a publishing co. in LA, who I got a lot of books from, when he and my dad weren't jabbering about motorcycles).
But you're right basically clubs are a group of old guys who like old cars, with a smattering of young'ns in there too, who also love the old cars but aren't sure why...yet...which is basically where you're at now. You like their style, you like their look and you also realize they're unique and fun to drive...but you haven't come to appreciate the simplicity of the car yet and just how durable it really is...meaning you can't break it no matter what you do trying to fix it (I've fixed mine with bubble gum and bailing wire once...worked until I got home...double bubble...best gum and my favorite )...So take the plunge, try fixing the car yourself (you'll learn a hell of a lot more than watching somebody fix it for you...if you get into trouble, there are plenty or helping hands to be had and lots of advice to read through here on this forum. Believe me, you can't break it, as long as the crank shaft is turning and the pistons are going up and down and not swapping cylinders each time...I'd say you're ok. I know what your fear is with your touring, you think you burnt a valve right? Don't think so. I ran too well.
These cars aren't complicated Derrick. They've got a wheel in each corner, a spring on each end, a motor up front and only one nut behind the wheel...you...and you're in total control of how well the car runs and or performs.
I love driving my car, I used to take it everywhere I went, didn't even think of the miles someplace was from me, just hop in the car, consult a map (the pre GPS device), gas up the car and go. But with the legal stuff not settled as of yet, I'm stuck here where I live and can only drive around here...but I'm working on that legal stuff (insurance and licensing) then the open road will be mine again, because my car was built for distance travel, not puttering around a housing park.
Derrick, it's not just Chinese people in Rosemead. I've had Anglos here in Redneckistan call my roadster a truck and ask if it's a 32.
Did I mention visiting at swap meets? [Barrett, Vowell, Pang, Jelf, Clipner]
At the risk of repeating some pics from previous threads, recent and not so recent, here's just a small example of what keeps me interested in my Ts.
And helping young guys with their T.
Last but not least, we can't forget giving those who actually grew up with these cars another ride in one!
What keeps me interested is simply staying active in it. Drive them, go on tours, join a club, make friends, be involved. Like anything, without use, care & feeding, it will die on the vine. Hobbies are no different.
I hate to quote Mark Cuban, from Shark Tank, but he once said, "Your successes will follow your efforts". Just depends on where you put your efforts.
The problem that most new folks face is that they bought a car needing lots of work, that they are not familiar with doing. They see only the frustrating side with no sense of pay-off. My very best advise to a new guy/gal is, BUY SOMETHING THAT RUNS & DRIVES, even if it ain't pretty. Work on it later! (unless it's safety related)
I have several hobbies. Model T's, other antique cars, antique radios, wind-up phonographs, model steam engines, and several other lesser things. I am not 100% interested in all of them all of the time. Right now, I don't care a lot about antique radios. About 7 months ago I was crazy about them. Right now, I'm excited about phonographs again. Why? Because I recently bought one that needed saving and put some work into it to put it back right.
Bottom line, don't get discouraged if you're not totally into a hobby all of the time. Life pulls us in other directions, as we all know. While we're pointed in those other directions it's nice to know there's something we can go back to when things settle down again. I know of lots of folks who sold their T based on a momentary loss of interest, then regretted it.
Your unease with clubs and the age gap is interesting. The older guys probably feel exactly the same as you do. I find it best to ignore the age gap and just be yourself. Your openness will put the older guys at ease and they'll come around. I will guarantee you this, except for maybe the odd curmudgeon, every one of those old guys is 100% happy to see a young guy get involved. They just don't yet have the comfort level to span the age gap, but I'll also guarantee that they wish they had. Help them out, be yourself. What you DO have in common is Model T's and that's a great start. If you can manage the age gap between yourself and the Model T Ford, the old guys will be a cinch!
I'm like Jerry: Drive them, fix them, belong to clubs, make friends (we have them, all across the USA), go on tours (local, regional, & national, we do them all & have been touring since 1974) and have fun! Oh, lest I forget, we often stop for ice cream!!!
We have 4 T's and they all serve a different purpose. '26 Roadster Pickup with Ruckstell, turn signals, etc. for tours. '14 Touring, a driver, not pristine, for giving rides and for use in gaslight parades, etc. '27 Fordor for those cool spring and fall events - keeps us warm! And '25 TT C Cab with Express box, for our club TT tours and farm type events. Plus I also load it up with parts when I vend at swap meets, it works good! And, we use them all for cruise - ins, usually 1 to 2 a week in the warm season.
We have fun, and don't forget reading this Forum every day and going for ice cream!
But Keith, what about ice cream?
Yes Ice cream.
Old School. -If it's a part of you, it'll stay a part of you. -And if not, it doesn't matter.
What is it about people who have an affinity for doing things the old-fashioned way? -They'll write with a fountain pen instead of a ball-point, pop their own corn in a cast-iron skillet or fish with a lightweight fly-rod rather than the kind of hefty pole and hi-test line that'll virtually guarantee going home with a plastic bag chock full of the slimy little denizens. -Why do it the hard way?
Operating a Model T Ford in modern traffic is definitely a challenge; in fact, itís challenging to the point of beingÖ well, a bit risky. -Hey, these cars are demanding of skill, and are, as the old adage goes, terribly unforgiving of carelessness, incapacity or neglect. -But with the responsible (and successful) management of such risk comes a grand feeling of accomplishmentóyouíve slain the dragon. -That feels good.
Unlike the drivers of vehicles whose computerized gadgets and digital gizmos are beyond the comprehension of a solitary individual, we antiquers become intimately familiar with the very guts of the beast and rediscover arcane skills of maintenance that might confound the kids working at the local service station. -In my experience, it's difficult to find a mechanic who will trust himself to work on a century-old Ford, so for an owner, the only other choice is to learn how to do it him/herself and in the process, he drips sweat into his eyes, skins his knuckles, and gets an axle-grease shampoo.
So, why do it? -I think itís a matter of the virtuous purity of simplicity, the greater demand for skill on the part of the practitioner and the challenge of developing those skills. -Sure, these old cars are slow as the last day of work before a summer vacation and they handle like a double-decker bus, but the overload of pure, unadulterated history is a palpable experience. -It's not like stepping back in time; it is stepping back in time: You'll feel every imperfection in the pavement through the wooden steering wheel; you'll hear the flippity-flap of the canvas top that becomes your aural speedometer. -Your gut will go light and feel giddy as you open the throttle for the mad dash down-hill which gathers the momentum needed for the following up-hill, and the old car will speak volumes of important information to you through every groan and creak, for you'll understand what each means.
Doing things the hard way, the old-fashioned way, is the difference between power-boating and sailing with the wind in the canvas. -It's the difference between taking your date to a restaurant and cooking her up an Italian meal featuring sauce you made from the tomatoes and basil you grew in your own backyard. -Itís the difference between a musician who relies on a battalion of electronic effects-pedals and a genuine jazz-man who can do amazing things with a simple acoustic instrument.
Oh, well; you either get it or you don't.
Gratification is what maintains interest, and there are a gazillion ways Model Ts can be gratifying. Obligation causes stress, and stress kills interest. Whatever you do that's T related, keep it fun !!
o Hearing it start after doing some work.
o Hearing it run as it moves down the road.
o Having a couple teenagers at the local cruise-in spend time around my car rather than the Tesla next to it.
o My daughter wanting a ride when she's home from Vet school - in her vintage-look clothes.
o The Winter Tour in Florida.
o I'm sure I could come up with more...
I think it's in my genes to like anything mechanical, from cars to motorcycles to steam engines to space ships to airplanes. As I get older I still enjoy "working" on them, my only gripe is my shop is not equipped properly and I struggle to do certain tasks. My current house is small and has a small two car garage, unfortunately in California if you want to go bigger the price tag for that move goes up exponentially.
Jerry, What flavor are you serving this afternoon? If it's a good one, I'll be right over...
By the way, did I mention that I like ice cream?
Owned 18 model Ts over the past 30 years
Most times i had sell one to buy another one
Lack room or funds life events made me get in out of the hobby.
Interest always been there resources not so much.
Think this is common things get tight for what ever the reason toys first to go
Hearing "that noise" of running...
By all means join and be active in a T club that drives their T's. The highlight of my last tour which was the Michigan Jamboree. There I met a young mad who was 17 years old and I enjoyed helping me to get his generator set to a reasonable amount of charge reduced from his generator destruction setting of constant 20 amps!! He had bought the thing with his own money and was driving it on the tour. He will get lots of help by simplying forgetting what WE look like and pretending to see us at our emotional age of 17 since fully grown up adults don't play with 100 year old cars. Growing old is mandatory while growing up is optional. I am 73 and raced small block Chevy's in the later 1950's and took up high tech electronics as a design engineer. My T is my one big shriek against technology. If your T does not automatically pull to the right as you pass an ice cream stand then there is something wrong with it. You get out of something what you put into it. I have been active in various aspects of the clubs I belong too from being a member first and eventually a big shot ha ha. My best friend in the hobby was a young man named Jimmy Walker who has a memorial trophy named after him. It can only be won by a person 19 years of age or younger and all they have to do is drive half the mileage of any one day's tours on the MTFCI annual tour in July. Now THAT is a large tour with 250+ cars on it. Lot's of young folks there.
I like to change my hobby every so often. I've done Ford A's, T's, Classic F100's, raced motorcycles, restored antique gas engines and tractors, 4x4 off road among other things. It keeps things fresh and fun and keeps me from collecting too much junk. Why keep Model T parts when I'm building a F100? But the funny thing is, I always eventually wind up back with a Model T...
Opine all you want but the fact is I've been lucky twice in finding 2 of those disinterested older guys and got a hell of a buy both times on Touring cars. One I actually drove home. Best T buys I ever made except for my first one which was an estate sale. Should have been arrested because I stole that car.
I agree with all of the sentiment expressed here. I particularly enjoyed Bob Coiro's eloquent description of why he loves the cars. I too love driving them and love the tinkering/restoration process but sometimes I just like to get out a chair, open a beer (especially a good porter, a period correct brew) and sit back looking at them. There are times when i can do that for a very long while.
D'Artagnan, What they all say. Stay the course and you will thrive.
The Three Muska Trs Moto "All for one and one for all !!"
What keeps me interested? I don't know other than I just love old things. I spent 32 years looking for parts and working on my 25 Indiana just to see what it looked like when it left the factory and what it was like to drive it. It is now the end of the 37th year and it is still not 100% done but I did take it to a local event last weekend and spent the day talking to people who had never seen or even heard of the truck. Last time it was out was over 4 years ago. Now my interest in it is stronger and the model T's my wife and I have also keep us interested every time we drive them or just look at them.
Sometimes it helps to walk away for a short time and then come back and discover the cars/trucks all over again.
Eric, I know the feeling. Someone discarded an old lawn chair which I found to be extremely comfortable so I placed it in my garage.
A little gray stray cat with white feet decided I should be her caretaker. Some evenings after dinner the worn out old man goes out to the garage, sits in his trashy chair and Bootsie hops up and purrs enthusiastically while I enjoy the company of the little black roadster. For a little while all is right with the world.
Eric and John, I thought I was the only one who did that; glad to know I have company.
I agree with all.. don't be in a rush, when it stops being fun, it is okay to take a break. My car was maybe 80% there when I brought it home...closer to 90% now. $$$$ is always a factor, sometimes my mind just isn't in the right place.. I do enjoy my alone time with ol' Elmer, sometimes I play my dads big band records (I know.. to new)and sit in the back seat with one of my original Zane Grey novels (some of them ARE as old as the car !) sip a cold glass of sweet tea and enjoy the atmosphere...Key to success is to enjoy it any way it makes YOU happy and just like the cars, Don't be in a hurry!
Oh oh, been there too. The dog close by, that darned goofy cat on my lap (a mouse killing machine!), a T close by and me just loving it all.
Worse with a buddy there. :-) I made him start and drive the 24 Crappy-Lizzhe last week! He loved it.
Eh Hem. What I really wanted to say Derrick was that I had asked the ol' lady if she wanted to go for a ride in the new car (18) a good while back.
"I'm not gonna go for a ride until you have a top on it and blah blah blah..." XXXX XXXX. :-/
A couple of weeks ago, she comes out to the shop and I'm innocently putzing with the Holley G carb one evening at the bench and she lips off out of the blue "Why don't you ask me to go for a ride?"
"Emm, because you told me you wouldn't ride in it until it had a top and it was painted." Plain and simple truths.
Then she got really mad and left.
Think the late George Carlin right now. "That'll get ya some model T anxiety my friend!" My quote, not George's. :-)
Its best to have more than one hobby. I have 3 T's. I'm also a ham radio operator and have several tube radios. Years ago I sold a 56 Ford I bought to restore and later sold it. After wishing over and over that I should have kept it I bought a 63 Ford Galaxie that I'm currently working on.
I still play guitar after playing many years in a classic rock band.
It's best if your spouse is supportive, if not enthusiastic. Friction over the T or a hobby causes stress.
When I get done restoring my '13 runabout, I have a '17 coupelet to start on. I don't think I'll ever run out of things to do, not to mention all the tours I go on.
I have puzzled over this question. I can't make myself interested. Neither can I make myself stop. I am sure there are better interests for me but they don't tug at my coveralls like the old cars hobby does.
We try to get young folks interested. You can't make that happen. All you can do is Show the cars to folks and hope the fire will be lit from within. It is people who can't stop that keep the thing going.
It is possible to discourage those with the interest by pointing out their mistakes or wrong preferences. We are all "Oddballs" and don't always accept those at the other end of the spectrum.
On the other hand we have many who encourage each other at make it easy to enjoy our pursuits.
I like to think we have some young "lurkers" who can take things they like from this forum and have fun with it.
I can relate to many of the above postings. Back in the 1950ís I had a T, an A, a B and four V8ís. I got drafted in 1957 and after I got back home I lost interest in them until 1988 when I bought my í22 roadster from an old farmer in Luling, Texas. Now this has grown to 2 Tís, 2 Aís and 2 pre-war V8ís. At age 82 I am happy to still have these interests but repairs seem to take a lot more time these days. Driving and working on these cars though has been great therapy.
Very cool thoughts from all of you! I like to think with a T comes imagination. Imagining where it can be driven, who will be taken in a ride next, where it can be parked, dressing up while driving, or just taking the family out in some backroad somewhere. To each their own, but imagine nonetheless. Having these cars is one thing, but a creative mind to share then and feel it's full potential is in the eye of the beholder. It seems as though these cars fufill the creative mind in all of us reimagine what once was, and what still is.
And don't forget the PATINA !!
Rust is a must George.
Hehehe! I looked at your profile pic earlier today! Hadn't looked in awhile.
When the heck did you get the touring? :-) Cool.
Hey, how do you like that handy cool air windshield on the 23?
The 24's windshield here is way better at providing fresh air compared to the new 18.
The 24: Cool out? Close the windshield. Nice. Hot out? Open it some. Ahhh.
The 18: Meh. It's windy. Got used to the 24...
Both of mine are topless still... But the 24 is easier on the eyes. Hah! Wind, that is.
I just love the old stuff and the thrill of driving, riding them. Also learning how they work and working on them myself has brought me much satisfaction. I like the clubs, but except for the model T garage. I well usually be off by myself on a weekend morning. The old stuff interest me like almost nothing modern doe's. Also- a lot of the stuff I used to do - the body is not up to it anymore :-)and my model T's have proven to be so dependable, and parts cheap enough, that helps to keep me interested :-)