Well the weather in Arkansas is getting cooler, and we are getting closer to Thanksgiving every day. The day after Thanksgiving is when I start back to work in the shop on the speedster project, . So its time for me to start the planning of the good days in the shop. So I have a dilemma. ??? What year do I call my car. ??? It is a speedster so it could be anything I choose. The main dating points I have are, low black radiator, low steel firewall, and I want a starter. That should put me in the 1919 to 1922ish time frame. Almost all my accessory speed goodies are also from that time frame. I have a bunch of "two valve cover starter engines" to chose from. So Im thinking that a 1919 may be my choice. And 1919 just sounds a lot older than 1920, or 1921, or 1922 . I have chosen not to use the 26-27 engines I have since most of my speed goodies are earlier. So I guess my main question is are there any engine defects on the 1919 engines that I may be forgetting in my old age. The engine will be a total rebuild, so the block is really the only issue. Arkansas is a bill of sale only state for antique vehicles, so titles are not a problem. The only part that bothers my dating scheme is the low steel firewall, it should be late 22 early 23ish time frame. I know all this is really trivial but I want the car to fit its "era" as close as I can get it. Ill try and do a better "speedster project update soon" I finally got the body back from the upholstery shop, so I can start taking pictures again ...
My inspiration photo, and the only photo I have found of a body like my car has.
Anything, so long as it's not 1923!
Hehehe! Cannot wait for your updates.
19 engines? Ooof. The dern blasted things are 98 years old. Arrgh.
That's the image you're trying to project here? Ugh.
Oh please, my tongue was firmly implanted in my cheek for the 3 that didn't get it...
Itching happily for more sir!
Is that gas tank anything specific? I want to replace my speedster tank with a larger round one but have not located anything yet. Thanks. I too am looking forward to your photo updates!
Dana, I had the gas tank custom made by the man who makes most of the repro Model T tanks sold by the vendors. He lives here in Arkansas about 2 hours from me. If you want his contact info send me a PM message and Ill find his info for you. Walter, I believe that 1923 model year cars are low radiator. So that would allow me to use a 1923 engine with the one piece valve cover. Is that what you were referring to as "Anything so long as its not 1923" or do you just have a dislike of 1923 year in general, . How is the Torpedo project coming along....?? have fun and be safe ...
Dana - Can't speak for Walter Higgins but '23 T brings to mind fiberglass and 350 Ch@#y engines. At least most of those don't use real T parts but . . .
I was being a little cryptic just for the fun of it. The correctly named gentleman from Washington state has it right:
https://www.ebay.com/sch/Cars-Trucks/6001/i.html?_sacat=6001&_sofindtype=21&_vxp =mtr&_dmpt=US_Cars_Trucks&fisc=c6001&Make=Ford&Model=-1&_yrl=1923&_yrh=1923&Tran smission=-1&_nkw=&_sadis=200&_fpos=&_fsct=&_sop=12&_ipg=50
Only one decent car on the whole list. If you make it a '23, every time you go to a show they're going to hand you back a windshield card with the word "bucket" on it.
Every once in awhile I make a bit of progress with my project. Thank you for asking. To put it into relative terms, let's just say I'm envious of the progress that you make with yours!
It is looking great. The shop and car have a '20's feel to them.
23 skidoo! (Take that any way you like.)
1919 is good. Your speedster's style is an earlier one, first available before 1917 (I think in 1915), and manufactured with many slight variations and sold by several companies including Ames. The style was likely still available in the early '20s, but somewhat outdated by then.
One other consideration, is that there were a lot of changes on Fords between 1919 and 1920. To make a proper 1919 could require quite a few slightly more rare and desirable parts. Front engine/spring mount, pinion spool, brake rods, ignition switch, are just a few off the top of my head. Of course, most people wouldn't care about that much detail. I went through some of those changes on one of my cars some years ago.
I am also surprised that you say you have only seen the one photo of a body like yours. Unless you are being particularly detail specific? On the internet, I have seen nearly a dozen very similar, including one particular car (painted white) used in a Harold Lloyd movie, which several views of the car show up from time to time. As I said, that basic style was marketed by several companies, and some details do vary. One detail, often cannot be seen in photos, is whether the seat is a full bench seat or divided bucket type. Most that can be identified in photos are the bench seat. But I have seen a couple that clearly were bucket type. The size of the gasoline tank also varies.
As for the engines? The 1919 through '25 seem to be the most robust. The earlier you go from there, the more weak areas they seem to have (although '17s and '18s seem to be pretty tough). And the '26/'27 blocks have some weaknesses prone to cracking around the valve areas.
I would go with 1919. And use a wooden firewall.
Really looking forward to more regular updates again!
OK, I did not think of the 23 T bucket association, but you guys are correct. So "23 it will not be". Wayne, I have seen lots of similar designs, as you mention. The white Harold Lloyd car is very similar. The photo above is the closest in design to mine that I have found so far. But it also has differences from mine. I mostly just use it as my inspiration photo. I may never know for sure who the original body maker was. I looked at my engines today and I have four 1919 engines to chose from. So I think it will be a 1919. Being a speedster, the little details really do not apply. But Im trying to keep all its parts to a 1919 to early 1920s era build time. My body originally had the remains of a wood firewall. But the low steel firewall was a direct fit replacement. The low steel firewall just worked out better. With the cooler weather, Im starting to get those "back to the shop" thoughts running thru my head ....
1919 is logical. Another thing to consider is people really weren't building speedsters out of brand new cars. If they started with a 1919 titled car, it was probably a wreck from the junk yard about 1924'ish and newer, as well as older, parts would have appeared on it even in the era.
That's a good point, Walter, and great justification for a '23 firewall on a '19 Speedster.
I also concur with Mike and Walter, If I was building one in the mid to late 20's I would have used a steel FW and the idea of a 1918-1919 works for me.
When you finish it I would title it as being 100 years old for fun. So if it was done next year 1918. The bad part of this is it gives you a time frame to complete and as we all know they never are "complete"
Looking good Donnie! Hey I have a set of disc wheels "exactly" like those in the old photo. Those are Buffalo disc demountable rim wheels. Great picture that shows what they looked like on a car. Mike
Do your Buffalo discs have 3 lug nuts, Mike ?
Steve, I think he is referring to the wheels in the original car photo. My wheels are Disteel Wheels with 3 lugs, I was not sure what the original photo wheels were that have 5 lugs . ??? Sounds like they may have been Buffalo disc wheels ???
The hub caps on that old photo seem to have a Buff on the face!
Think these may be Buffalo Discs
Got it ! Thanks guys !
Dan and Mike, well Il be, that is too cool. Never even knew there were Buffalo disc wheels ... Mike, can you post some photos of your wheels. ??? I would love to see them . Better yet, are they for sale . ?? probably not, but never hurts to ask .... have fun and be safe .........
Steve-30x3½ Buffalo discs are rim demountable and use the T rim that had no integral lugs- recall they are 1918 only or some such. The 21" use garden variety 21" split rims. Dan
So y'all got me squintin' at that darn picture for a while now... Anyone else get a feelin that those are stock, non demountable wheels hiding under some fancy lookin sheet metal covers?
It's hard to tell but...
-It appears that the front wheels are 30"x3".
-The 5 rear lugs look out of "time" with one another.
-The front lugs don't seem to contact the rim.
-At the bottom of the front wheel, it appears you can see the rounding of the felloe between the spokes.