Hey guys, I'm back with something else...
So, I've been looking around my property again, and you know how people used to dump metal on property lines?
Found I think a touring body. Doors too. I THINK.
It's got the round rear, the same lines for the panel in the back, the doors look the same, even got a rotted wood plank in there.
My question is, is it worth getting it? There's a few bullet holes in the back panel, but it only is held in place by rivers so one could always easily replace it. The metal is solid, but it has been sitting out for the past 70 years or however long and has rust.
I didn't take a photo because I want to pull it out first. Gonna try to get it out now and see what it is.
Y not get photos before and after? It would be interesting.
I'm with Hal. Ugly photos as found will mean a lot more later.
I will, I was wondering if it is worth it but now that I think of it of course it is if it's free!! Haha
Now if only I could find a frame...
Will update soon.
Need lots more information to say what it is worth. Need to see what year it is? Hopefully, it is the '27 from your motor. Need to know how bad or decent the edges sitting on the ground for decades are. Some soils are very corrosive, some are not. If the body is nothing more than yard art (rusted beyond any decent repair)? It ain't worth much. On the far other end of the spectrum, a nice '27 T touring body could be worth as much as $2000 (not likely that much for one that has been sitting out for awhile). Certainly worth pulling out and checking it over. But yes, get a few "as found" photos first.
If it is good enough to hold together you might be able to use it! Leave the bullet holes and rust. We have a club member who has a rusted T but it runs well. At car shows and tours the crowds surround his car while the perfectly restored ones are just passed by!
Here's some quick photos. I got a few once it was out but I didn't get photos of it out. It seems to have another price that bolts on to the front... cowl? I saw another section really buried in the ground with a door... do touring bodies bolt together like that? The seat had a wood lined box under it. Or where the seat would have been...
It begins to look like someone in the dim dark past took a Model T apart to salvage some part, and scattered the removed parts where they lay.
This was not uncommon. There is an amazing variety of things, mostly vehicles of some kind, that people made out of no-longer-needed Model T's.
See the picture in Norman's post, just above. At first glance it looks like a sedan or Touring whose body was removed, and a makeshift seat and a rear box from a more modern truck were added. Someone needed a truck! And its rear end and wheels appear to be from a later model. Typical of what I described.
If you assume (and assume is the key word) that is what happened, you might start with the idea that someone wanted the frame & running gear - possibly to make a trailer, or it's anybody'd guess what else.
If it were me, I'd drag what I found out and pile it up somewhere convenient. Then I'd invest in a metal detector and comb the property, to see what else is there. I might even ask the neighbor's permission to comb his adjacent property, if you think that's appropriate.
Once you're relatively sure you have it all, a realistic assessment can be made. You'll know whether you're looking for a specific list of parts, or a whole car minus some specific parts.
Meanwhile, I'd build a motor mount at a convenient working height, or better yet buy one that will let you rotate the engine, and get the engine to a place where you can take it apart and see just what condition it's in.
There is virtually no part of a Model T you can't buy from the vendors. But, an engine that is severely damaged can reach the point of not worth the cost of repair. Only by opening it up and cleaning it out, can you begin to decide.
As you have already seen, there are tons of folks on this Forum who are happy and anxious to help you with advice, and in some cases with donated parts, and thousands of years' worth of accumulated experience.
The most helpful thing you can supply us, in order to help you, is good, clear pictures. And, as you progress through the project, those pictures will supply a lasting record of your efforts as well.
Thank you for your reply!
At the current condition, I don't see me being able to use the body. The rust is just too deep.
As for me getting a T, what I think I will do is pull out the engine, get it to turn over and sell it, save up some more and buy a decent complete touring or roundabout. It seems like it will cost more than it's worth to buy all the parts to get just a rolling chassis... then a body.... then paint it... etc. it would be fun but costly.
Thanks again guys for your replies! I'll still go back tomorrow and look a little more. I did see the side of another car body... suicide doors. Small though like T doors. Ring a bell of any specific ones? And so the body I did find is a T? They bolt together like that?
I looked at the linked photos. It appears to be a 1922 to 1925 touring car. Three panel touring tub with what appear to be holes the top brackets went through during those years. The door style and hinges were not used in '26/'27. The door hinges were changed early 1925 model year to even length, whereas these are the uneven length used for ten years prior. I didn't notice any pieces to say whether it would have been low cowl ('22ish through '23 model year), or high cowl ('24/'25).
So this body is not original to the '27 engine (if that is in fact what you have?).
No matter. Many model Ts, and for many reasons, have a mix of years of parts. The earlier body may also be a plus in another way. The '26/'27 bodies are mostly all steel (except for the fordor sedan). Left on the ground for many years, they mostly rust away beyond reasonable repair. The frameworks are not available as new replacements, and decent originals not already attached to a decent body are also difficult to find. The earlier bodies are wood framed. Most of them have long since rotted the wood to the point it needs to be replaced. Wood kits are available (if you can afford them). And building your own, even using scrounged good wood is not that difficult! (I have done it myself.) Sets of plans are available for a very reasonable price, or you may even be able to borrow a set from a local club member (I bought an old Harrah's set years ago for the earlier runabout body I restored. They won't help much for a touring car.) There are so many parts of those era bodies that completing what you have should not be difficult.
And few people would care if it had a '27 engine. Many earlier model Ts have later engines, so you would be in good company.
I've got a metal detector but there's literally so much trash metal there...
I did also see a windshield frame. Half of one... again will go back tomorrow and get photos.
Oh wait, just saw your reply.
So the earlier bodies bolted together after the doors like that?
I don't care about engine year right now...
How can I be positive it's a T? Or is it clear? Now that I look at other touring cars of the 20s, the only similar one would be a dodge.
Better yet, anyone got an early 20s touring? If so, can you measure the rear right door, width, height, and depth?
That would tell me pretty much for sure.
Wayne, looking at the diagram showing the wood and metal supports inside, I see how I found the rear "braces". I also found the cover to the tool box that I guess goes under the rear seat? And finally, found the seat springs for the back too... anyone know the dimensions so I can confirm?
Here is the picture. I think the body is upside down.
I have restored several cars from less!
Sometimes, it is the money (or lack thereof). Sometimes it is the challenge!
Where people really get into trouble starting from a real mess, is the notion that all missing and marginal parts MUST be replaced with the best parts available. A premium price is paid for those. Don't go crazy making it perfect. Just make it decent and usable. That can be done for cheap. And still be a really fun car later. That can be done either painted to look nice from a distance? Or left in its rust bucket attire. Many people consider those cars the most fun of all.
John, it is definitely a model T touring . As Wayne said it is probably a 23-25 touring. It is the style body that uses the "belt rail" wood around the top edge instead of the earlier "tack strip" type of wood. Some of the sheet metal actually looks useable. All the little brackets and hinges are useable and worth saving. If the little "T-iron" strip between the back panel and side panels are OK, they definatly are worth saving. The are scarce and hard to find. Keep looking and salvage what you can. Running cars have been built with less to start with ...
I've been looking at past before photos of other cars... wow the body I have looks pretty good compared to some.
I found a few photos of the early 20s bodies... you guys are spot on. Everything lines up, it is for sure a 22-25 touring.
Yes the T iron strip is usable.
From what I remember seeing, the back panel has a few bullet holes. I think my neighbor has a welder. That comes later on.
The front body section is all there but buried. It has rust holes, but not too too bad. I've got to dig it up. It can be save for sure. Luckily this stuff is square and angular so it should be easy to weld on patches.
As for cowl, no idea. Hopefully there is one somewhere... if not I'm guessing those are possible to find? It's got to be there...
Great work guys! I cannot believe my luck... find a T engine and find a body. These pieces of land are 2 hours a way. Engine found on property 1 and body found on property 2... what are the chances... literally .1%.
Will update tomorrow. Should have a few hours tomorrow to dig up stuff and will haul it back to my house later this week.
Found a guy in NY with lots of cheap frames and parts if needed and nobody local has what I need. But that comes later.
Bullet holes and surface rust are able to be dealt with. If there is a place you can take the metal and have it dipped and electrostaticly primed you can easily work with it. All of the wood is replaceable. The hardest thing to deal with is rusted panels that look like gauze, where the metal is rusted through and extremely thin. From the couple of pictures I saw it doesn't look that bad.
John, I understand your dilemma! You'd like a T, never really considered it as feasible until you lucked upon an engine etc...so now, what to do?...sell it and wait until circumstances are better and you can afford to buy a T...or sink a ton of money and time into getting the rest of it and restoring it all?...which WILL cost more in the long run. What a dilemma!
Now, with a bit more searching, the bits are finding YOU! Now, I believe in Karma, and know what the clear message is here. That T has been waiting since before you were born for you to come on the scene.
Some things are meant to be! DO IT!!
Do not worry about perfection- that is the trap that so many people fall into! Build what you've got and use it/enjoy it. It'll outlast you. So true.
Brian I know, this is amazing...
Before I found the body I was going to just sell the engine as a body sells for over $1000 on eBay and Craigslist with rust holes.... but now that I found one, all I need now is a frame! The frame can be easily dealt with. Who knows, maybe I'll find one? Lol
My plan is is to phosphoric acid the panels, and probably cut a square around each bullet hole and weld in a patch. Then do the same with the rust holes. Once the body is all patched, coat it with that special rust primer stuff that fills in the pits and primes it for paint, and paint it.
Fenders.... hopefully I can find some. Those seem to go for a lot.
Gary, surprisingly I don't think any of the metal is paper thing yet. I was able to rip out the whole back of the body by one side of it. Sure it flexed a little since the wood supports aren't there, but it ripped out of the ground easily without damaging the metal.
Will update with today's adventure.
My parents think I'm crazy. I'm gonna show them once I got a nice touring next year :P.
I figure what, spend $4k on a decent complete body with a frame that needs all new wood and paint so another few thousand sunk in, or buy a complete restored one for 10k plus... or use the free stuff I've got and sink $1000 in with other little parts.
Dug up some more stuff...
Found some sort of a fender piece, more body, license plates, and more,
Metal looks to be in pretty bad shape... but I've got to get it all together and see. No cowl yet . Found I think 3 of 4 doors... did the driver even have a door? From the metal I have it looks like there's just an outline in the metal.
Thinking if I find some fenders maybe I'll just do a speedster. If not, I will just sell.
How's it look to you guys?
Hi John looks like you dug up a Dodge Brothers, post 1917 from what I can see from the dashboard.
I don't have pictures of it that I can find, but I redid a touring that was just metal panels, no wood, complete with bullet holes... but none of the metal was rusted paper thin. I had it dipped and primed as I described, then spent 1 1/2 years of free time doing the wood work. It came out great and was a very solid car. So even if you don't use the metal you find it definitely is worth retrieving and salvaging. If you can arrest the rust situation and store it out of the weather that would be ideal.
Righto you are.
That fender actually goes below the radiator and holds the license plate... it's a 20sdodge.
Never mind guys, no body haha.
Might be cool to paint that thing and hang the license plate like it was.
Looks un repairable I'd say..? Gonna take the plates obviously, that fender thing... are doors interchangeable with a T?
I don't really want to start yet another post... so I'll ask my question here.
How much should I save up for a T in good condition, unrestored? I'm thinking 4K ish? I can't really check local Craigslist ads because there are none for unrestored ones. On eBay that seems to be the going price more or less.