I am not trying to start a war but was thinking about the car that would be the most desirable Model T of all. I am not thinking of the most valuable, just the most desirable all around. This is purely subjective opinion here. I have my own opinion which I'll share in a few day but wanted to hear the thoughts out there. I'm using drivability, parts availability, comfort and space when I am thinking about the question. We'll see.
The two on my profile are my "pets". I need to re-do the pic, as at the time I still hadn't put the carbide generator back on the '13. Woops! Pete the '12 is just plain FUN and is a real head turner, Clarabelle the '13 is just a sweet quiet running gal! The only T I had that was quieter running was my '15 and I sold it! The nice thing about tourings of course is you can share the fun with others at the same time. We take friends out in ours frequently. They love it.
For style, my favorite is 1915. Beyond that, desirability depends on how the car is mostly used. For trips, a touring is most practical. If you inhabit a cold place, a closed car is good. If you're a doc making house calls, of course it has to be a coupe.
I like the looks of the 1915 cars the best. I also like the usability of my 1925 roadster pick up. Always something for it to do. The '25 has rakish windscreen, electric start, a wiper, and massive easy parts availability. 5/1 steering and 21 inch wheels with varnished spokes as original.
My favorite is often the one I am looking at unless it's the one I am driving. They all are pretty wonderful and the forum has opened my eyes to many I otherwise might not have appreciated.
I just can't pick one. I might have chosen a brass one but the black era and improved era have many nice features.
It has to be my 24 Roadster pickup.
Desirable: because it is mine.
Drivability: because I just get in it and go.
Parts availability: I've never had a problem getting what I need.
Comfort: I am so comfortable when I am driving it.
Space: I can haul a lot in that wooden bed on the back.
Just saying..(Very Big Smile) MY Two Pennys worth.
P.S. but a good thread you started.
I have two and had a 3rd, all very different and which is best depends on the weather, my mood, who wants to ride with me and where I'm going. The stock 26 coupe is great for inclement weather (hot, cold, or wet), the black touring I had first was the most versatile and great for company or general touring, the speedster will get my blood flowing and is the most spirited while still great for extended touring. If I could only have one it would be the speedster (with good rain gear, I live in the NW).
While I love 'em all, my ownership interest is restricted to pre-1916. Why? Because I live where there is wonderful multi-day touring with the Horseless Carriage Club, and their tours are for pre-'16 cars.
Now, WHICH pre-'16s? I have two favorites, a late '11 (or very early '12), and a '14. Both touring cars, since I love giving rides.
The '11 has an improved rear end, closed valve (cleaner) engine, step-sided body, open front, TONS of brass, lots of striping, and it's not black. Just a gorgeous brass-era car with most of the bugs worked out.
The '14 is classic Model T black, has enough brass to be pretty without requiring hours of work, still has gas lights and that lovely wooden dashboard, and is iconic: it's the first T to be built wholly by Henry's moving assembly line, which changed how we all live.
At the moment, I have only the '14. But I have three highly varied and totally different Brand X brass cars to go with it, so I'm a happy camper.
A touring wins hands down for a parade unless...you live in New Orleans and want to use it for Mardi Gras, in which case you'll want a Model TT hack to hold the people and "throws". Speed is not an issue.
My driving experience/ownership has only been with one version, my 1927 Tudor. For me, it is the best version of the T. There are several things that I like about it compared to older versions that I have ridden in (those include brass era open cars and black era open cars). I live on the west side of Washington, which gets a lot of rain, and the area that I live in has quite a few hills. I like the Tudor because I can carry the whole family in it and it is enclosed, thus keeping us dry from the rain and somewhat warm in the winter. I like the improved car because the gas tank is above the cowl, so it doesn't starve for fuel going up the hills and it has larger brake drums, allowing for better braking in traffic. I also appreciated the fact that it has an all-metal body, which made the restoration much less expensive - I didn't have to buy new wood, except for the top. If and when the opportunity arises, I told my wife yesterday that I would like to get a late model pick-up. Who knows when that will happen.
They are all my favorite. I couldn't pick just one but if I had to 13 touring or 14 touring. My family has a lot to choose from so I guess I'm lucky.
My 27 Roadster Montana 500 car. The fastest,most exciting,stable T I have driven.
To me the most desirable would be one of the prototype Model Ts that were shown at the 1908 Paris auto show. Unfortunately, none of them survived.
I wanted a Touring and I have one, a 1921. Now I want a center door sedan.
I like the 1909 Touring for beauty, style, and the fact that they are different from the later cars. For driving, I like my 1911 Torpedo. The brass era cars seem better performers to drive than the later T's.
'27 Touring. Ruxtell. RM Brakes. Wire wheels. 50 Lbs. compression in all 4. Wood bands. Red or Green.
1914 is my favorite year of Model T, and Touring is my favorite body style. Gil F. Now owns my former ‘14, it is a great car and the only car in my life I regret selling. I now have a ‘12 Touring, and would gladly trade it for another nice 1914. The ‘24-27 Tudor. Is is my other favorite model T body style.....owning one of each ‘14 and a later Tudor would be perfect!
Interesting thoughts, all. This thread was more of a general conversation starter and I like where it is headed.
As far as general public is concerned as bad as it sounds a brass (gas lights), the more brass the better speedster. It need not be correct and the entire running gear could be 26/27 so long as it has a "brass" look.
The first few 1912 Tourings were built with wooden, 1911 stepped bodies. -These cars had all the charm of the earliest Model T Fords, but by then, most of the bugs had been worked out and the enclosed-valve engines were in use. -These early 1912's still had the acetylene headlamps, diamond-tufted leather upholstery, open front seating and those lovely, looong, brass windshield braces that ran all the way down to the bottom of the radiator. -They came in color (Midnight Blue, I think) and had pin-striping. -They came equipped with Mr. Magoo rubber-bulb horns and brass speedometers. -In fact, they still had more brass than you could shake a bottle of Brasso at. -They had all the cool, drool-inducing features except for louvers in the hood—and why the flying moose-ears did they have to wait till 1915 to put louvers in the flippin' hood? -Oh, well.
Coming in second is the '14 Touring. -There must have been a reason Ford Motor Company chose this model-year to represent the whole Model T run when they built the T100. -I think it had something to do with coinciding (at least approximately) with the time of the $5 day, the moving assembly line and Ford's Sociological Department. -The "Peace Ship" was still a year in the future, but hey, close enough without having to lose the diamond-tufted backrests, cherrywood dashboard and that super-cool acetylene generator. -Oh, and any color as long as it's black. -For purely historical reasons, this was the definitive Flivver.
Then there's the '15. -Oh, if ever there was a bastard son in the Tin-Lizzie lineage, this was it. -This was a mutated, brass-bearing compromise between the old and the new. -It had electric headlamps, BUT they were trimmed in brass. -It had the new-style, cylindrical cowl and tail-lanterns, BUT they were trimmed with brass. -The upholstery had the new, parallel-tufted seat-backs, BUT the seat bottoms were still diamond-tufted. -They had "wrap-around" rear fenders, BUT they were uncrowned and flat. -And though the '15 still had that magnificent brass radiator, it featured the all-new, swoopy, stamped steel cowling which more nicely balanced out the design with the illusion of a longer hood—at least a nice little consolation in exchange for that sweet cherrywood dashboard. -And that hood had louvers, which anybody with any sense knows looks better than a hood without louvers. -As Model T Fords go, the '15 had good ergonomics and decent foot-space for the driver among the lever and pedals (Not so with some of the subsequent all-black, steel cars). -And finally; because the Horseless Carriage Club of America declared for all the world that 1915 was the close of The Brass-Era, this model-year would become, by a wide margin, the least expensive admission ticket to that exclusive club. -Never mind that the early 1916 Ford was all but identical to the 1915 model; it had been banished by official proclamation of the HCCA and its capricious preference for a nice, round number. -Considering the world-changing influence of Ford's Model T, this decision was a mistake. -The dividing line should instead have occurred after 1916, coinciding with the last brass Ford Flivver.
Anyway, that's my two cents on the subject.
Favorite brass 14 touring, favorite black and all time favorite 24 touring, favorite closed 25 coupe.
Personally, I love them all.
I've had the opportunity to drive numerous Model T cars. I like the modern styling of the '26 Runabout but my favorite is my '16 Touring. The early cars are lighter and are more fun to drive.
One problem with the '26-27 models is that too many people mistake them for Model A cars particularly if they have wire wheels and the headlamp crossbar.
When it's raining, windows are hard to beat though.
I like the touring cars and never considered any other body style. The top is wide enough so that you usually don't get wet, it will hold four people, and is the best body style for a parade (holds four with great visibility). Besides, our dog likes the back seat.
Mine! either the 27 RPU or the 25 Touring.Mainly because they belong to me and my Wife likes! They are both like me not show winners but do produce a fair amount of smiles.
I've always had a fondness for black-radiator touring cars, especially from the slant-windshield era. My upcoming '23 fits right in with that.
Hey Bob! My '16 touring was "made" on Dec 10, 1915, so it qualifies for HCCA!! Heh, heh, heh!
The guy who had it before me was (this was in 1961) making it "correct" by buying brass headlight rings, lamp tops, etc. Fortunately for me, I did some research and put a stop to that foolishness!!! I'm proud of my authentic '16! Now if I just had time & $$$ to finish it. . . .
Oh, and it's one of the first Million Ts too!
I like any true survivor that only enjoyed mechanical service.
I like panel TT trucks for the looks.
If I had to choose a favorite it would be a C-Cab Wrecker with original paint and lettering.
I have never met a stock Model T that I have not liked!
I would think the 'best' T from a cost of entry and ease of ownership standpoint would probably be a cut off touring in the 1920-1925 range. There you'll find the highest production numbers so original parts will be easiest to come by, you get the convenience of electrification, and by being cut down from how Henry made it there will be a lower perceived dollar value. There's also some utility in having a pickup box and because it's wood it will only be rare and expensive if trees go extinct.
From a personal point of view, I absolutely love my cut off 26 and I really can't put my finger on exactly why. At some point I'd like a brass car, my favourite there being '13 and '14 roadsters. I wonder if you could rig a rumble seat on one to take friends out sometimes? If I were to pick a closed car, I'd like a centre door since a small HO scale model of one I saw as a kid is what I think started me towards wanting a T in the first place.
My favorite is the '12 Torpedo I've hadnearly 45 years and since it's the only one I have ever owned. I really would like to have a brass touring to be able to enjoy the T experience with others. The Torpedo really only has room for about 1 3/4 people without any hand bags.
But like Bill Mullins, I driven Garrett Greens Improved Roadster on the Montana 500 several times and that car is like driving a dream. Big rolling fenders, you sit low looking out at the huge wide hood with the short rounded trunk behind and it drives smooth as silk!!
My top speed in that car during the race was 72 coming back down from Butte!
I think every T drives a little different and its a real learning experience to be able to drive different ones.
I like all Model T's! My tastes do tend to go towards commercial vehicles. I've only owned one car in my life, it was a 23 touring. Everything else, new and old has always been a truck. If I had a choice, I'd go for a 25 roadster pick up. But lately I'm thinking I'd like to try a TT. To me brass T's are nice to look at, but I'd rather own a "basic black" model.
A slanted or square topped windshield opened a little gives GOOD ventilation without the wind swatting me in the face. :-)
I agree with Gene. They are all different and every T is a new and unique experience. As for the most desirable I am breaking no new ground. For me the most desirable T would be an 11 open Runabout but that's a car that will have to wait until my kids are out of the house. Until then either a 13 or 14 touring, with a slight nod to the 13 because 1. I own one and 2 you can get it in a color. From a perspective of being easy to use, its hard to beat a 26-7 Touring. I'm fortunate to have one of those too. If I were to assemble a car the prototype 08 would be an intriguing car to duplicate, even if you could not make it 100% correct.
I cant take any credit for choosing its been in our family longer then me but I feel very lucky we have a 16 touring it has a brass radd and to me a nice simple functional style without any needless frills like a starter or genn!