Why are so many people hung up on originality on a Model T, The accessory business for the automobile industry really got it's start with the Model T. If it was perfect without faults right out of the box none of this replacement/accessory business would have taken place. Would Western Auto and the like ever existed? My 1912 Open Express has a lot of 1912 parts with it but I tell people it was assembled with parts from the "chicken coop" and it was done almost 50 years ago. To add safety items such as a fuse and safety glass only made since unless you plan on parking you car in a museum. I wonder why the insurance companies have not made these mandatory just for the sake of keeping claims in check. My 1920 Touring car has a number of little doodads added since it left the factory, all of these seem to be accepted yet none when I acquired the car were added for safety except the safety glass in the windshield. I am not touting misrepresentation of the cars we collect like all the 23T bucket street rods etc. or the 1915 T's with a '26 powertrain and later non accessory demountable wheels. But each to his own especially when it was a result of his own DIME as long as he is honest when it comes time move his pride and joy on to a new home!
George, there is a current thread running with the same questions. Hope this link works. You may want to check it out and comment there as well.
I was in AACA before getting into Model T's. Perhaps that is where my purist attitude came from. In AACA, the car is judged against the way it left the factory. Even dealer options are a potential deduction.
Turn it around. Why are so many people hellbent on modifying their car? Why is being a purist wrong, but modify away to your heart's content isn't?
I think Hal has a great point!
Myself, I think an "as built" car is great, as is one with PERIOD accessories, and then there is the "survivor" car that has had stuff done to it throughout it's original service life that also tells the story of that car.
I have a friend with a very authentic '17 roadster, with Firestone demountable wheels--which were available at that time, and the wheels are bright red, which is how they came. Great, authentic car, IMHO, although not quite how it left the factory, but possibly how it left the dealership!
Some may call me wishy-washy; well, maybe, but maybe not. . .
Hal, I don't think it's so much being a purist is wrong. It's all about how you want to enjoy the hobby. It seems to be the purists are the ones who are vocal about originality not the other way around. Solely from observation it appears non purists don't comment on originality until they are under the microscope (comments) of those who prefer originality. I do believe a T should have a T based engine. Not being argumentative here.
Guess all those "Original air in the tires" remarks are just a figment of my imagination.
When we are passionate about what we like and what we do it is natural to point out our differences. We form our opinions from what we see. This forum serves to show how any of us choose to approach things. I have found many different ways to enjoy cars and believe that however we do things it is time well spent.
Bottom line is if you don't do it the way you like you are doing it wrong. If others enjoy it that is nice. Human nature will bring others to differ. There will always be discussions on this forum and elsewhere on what is right or wrong. We see this in politics, religions at the school board and everywhere else.
As time goes by we will see younger folks take care of these cars. Many of us will cringe to see how they do things. Ahh, if we could only go back to the 60's. This Forum can certainly provide some good guidance on authenticity for those who choose that. Pointing out what may have been correct is not always a mandate that it has to be that way. (or is it?)
Enjoy it and stir the pot if you can. If it bothers you read the post about the guy with the broken brake rod instead.
Why all the fuss over all the fuss???
I realize that I take things way to serious so I shouldn't get started here, but I'll try to keep it short. This hobby began as a restoration of historic motor vehicles/old cars,trucks etc. hobby. Please look up the definition in Mr. Websters big old book, the definition of "Restore". I for one, don't have a problem with people "doing their own thing" but then don't get upset when you hear some adverse comments and or your car get's refused entry into an event meant for historic vehicles. I had a friend that several years ago was building a very authentic looking 1914 Speedster and among other things was going to install a late 1930s Ford V-8 transmission. I talked against it and told him that it's possible that at some point he might not be accepted in some event that he wanted to participate in. He continued on as he wanted and a few years later became very upset when the HCCA had enough "back bone" to refuse it for participation in their National Tour. Bottom line; Do your own thing but recognize that you may be stepping into a different car hobby. Some of us are serious in the original concept of this hobby and spend much time, effort and dollars adhering to it, and I think technically, by definition, we're doing the right thing.
Ed aka #4
I am 65 years of age .I got my first Model T when I was in Hight school. I bought my first Model T Ford book from J C Whitney when I was in junior Hight. It was Henry's Wonderful Model T ,I still have it and look at once in a awhile . I just looked around the room and I count six tall book cases . I truly love studying the history of the Ford and his cars . It is fun for me to get a car and then research it so that I am able to know what needs to be done to get it like it was when it left the factory . I am not trying to impress anyone ,its just fun to do so . I do not tell anyone there car is not right or wrong . I do have friends that ask for help with identifying what they have . If I know I tell them . I like to drive my cars so it does not bother me to put a 1920 straight through N/H carb on my other wise correct 1911 Torpedo . I take pride and fun in knowing and trying to get my cars as close to factory specs as possible. I have built a school bus on a 1926 TT chassis and two cabs and beds on TT 's and a T depot hack from pictures in books . So I can enjoy T's and TT's that come from the some one's imagination as well.
I enjoy my 25 Tudor much like Mr Goble enjoys his 1911 Torpedo. It's just fun to get it as close to what it was like when new. It's clean and painted underneath and shiny black on top. I like fussing with the little things too like using the correct bolts and nuts, as well as larger components. When possible I will restore a part or look for an original piece rather then alter something, again just part of the fun. I only drive in fair weather because I don't want to get water in areas where it can do harm, but I do drive it otherwise. I'm not sure I've met a "T Snob" yet, all of the T enthusiasts I've met so far are nice and helpful.
Somebody once said, “Variety is the spice of life,” and I’m sort of in agreement with that. -Sometimes I’m in the mood for a five-star restaurant and a $90 dry-aged, inch-thick steak and sniff-the-cork wine, served on linen tablecloths by solicitous waiters and waitresses (which I can afford maybe once every two years), and sometimes, what I’m really craving is a snappy Nathan’s hot dog with the works and a cold brewski. -Depending on the mood and occasion, one is no substitute for the other. - And that’s sort of the way I feel about antique cars. -I enjoy drooling over the AACA, trophy-winning trailer queens, but certainly not to the exclusion of inflicting a little reasonable wear & tear on my humble daily-driver.
The market sort of settles the issue as far as which philosophy is worth more in terms of dollars, and the cars which consistently bring in the highest prices at the more dignified, upscale auctions are those fresh out of “nuts & bolts” rotisserie restoration which gets the car to look exactly as it did on the day it left the factory’s assembly line.
Unrestored originality generally sells for cheaper and of course, it has an unpretentious charm of its own. -Certainly, the cars which have some patina, a little scuffed upholstery and wear on the pedals—and have no more than been routinely maintained with genuine, new-old-stock parts—have wonderful stories to tell and a “hang-the-expense” restoration erases all of that precious history. -While the auction bidders give the occasional nod to this line of reasoning, nevertheless, the big bucks will always go to the ’63, Split-Windshield Corvette that looks and smells exactly like a brand new car.
Some makes and models really do lend themselves to the million-dollar makeovers and it would be rare to see a Duesenberg or Cord shown in less than pristine condition. -But that’s certainly not true of the humble Model T Ford. -Her charm is in her stalwart heart, however held together with bailing wire and duct tape, and her story is that of the common man who struggled against the adversity of a robber-baron age, held his family together as they hung on by their fingernails and scraped by through Dustbowl and Depression—and to whom the thought of hiring a chauffer would have been to laugh. -That stuff was reserved for the Packards and Locomobiles.
But really, wouldn’t it be nice to own a 1911 Pierce-Arrow? -Darn right it would! -But you know what? -I think it’d still be more fun to drive a Flivver and not worry about scratching the steering wheel with my Timex.
Make that a Bulova.
The words most often stated are "Fun", and then "Enjoy". Though everyone has a 'belly-button', we know there are both 'innies & outies'. (Or, different attitudes regarding Model T's???) Still doesn't mean we can't respect our opposites! Life gets too short when we can't (or won't) allow ourselves or others to have the 'Enjoyment of Fun'... We know who they are.
Take Care; Behave; "Don't Shoot!" (and)
Well said Marv, well said.
Well there was the discussion about the "Barn Find." It appears that this discussion can be the beginning of a discussion about the "Garage Queens." "Garage queens are the standard by which all others are judged. We as a community truly do need these perfect examples against which we can base our restorations and repairs. Without these pristine specimens, we would be slaves to ancient manuals and rotting books." (https://petrolicious.com/articles/in-defense-of-the-garage-queen)
I found this to be an interesting thread. I do fully appreciate original and correct Model T Fords but I have also been able to see it from a different point of view. I bought my first Model T which was basically a basket case remains of a 1921-1922 touring for $650 when I was 20 years old still going to college and working for $4.50 an hour back in about 1997. I had always wanted an old car but didn't have much money to play with at the time. An older fellow had this car in his barn and wanted it out of there. So my dad and I went and picked it up and I paid for it with the money I have saved from working and managed to get the car running. The back half of the body was missing but another guy had that half I bought for $15. It had the wrong wheels on it but I bought an old trailer at an auction with a good set of 4 demountable wood wheels and decent tires on it for $50. Some other parts I picked up here and there, found some rear fenders and straightened them up at an auction for a few bucks so basically had a running driving Model T for around $1,000. Granted it was an assembled car and probably not 100% correct either but what fun I had driving it in parades and alot of other people enjoyed it as well. The reality of this story is that if someone had discouraged me and said if you aren't doing a concourse restoration don't bother I would have given up on it and it may have been scrapped and never saved. Some people who love old cars and Model T's may not be able to afford $1,500 for the correct year carburetor or several thousand for a new body for example but they still have fun with the car and still are preserving a bit of history. I know when I was in my early 20's I had a couple people pick apart the car wondering if it was correct or not and commented it wasn't a professional paint job and I don't think that does much to encourage younger people or those with modest means getting into the hobby. To each his own and do the best you can with the resources you have. I certainly want to see as many historic cars saved as much as possible but the reality is not everyone can afford a $25,000 restoration either but they still enjoy being a part of the hobby and shouldn't be excluded depending on the size of their checkbook. Let's all enjoy the hobby the best we can and keep those Model T's on the road!
I just try to keep the appearance and function of my vehicles as close to "period" as possible and still have them be as reliable a driver as possible. When given the choice of "stock" or "safe and reliable", I'll choose the second option. Many of the choices I've made for the vehicle aren't visible (Scat crank,etc), but some are (TW timer, Prus head, ball bearing fan hub, air filter instead of heat pipe, dual tail/stop lights among others). When I order side curtains for it this winter, I'm going to have the larger windows installed. I don't care if they are not totally "period", I want greater visibility than the original pattern. I'll leave the garage queens and relics to those who have the passion for them, and thank them for their preservation of history.
Model T's are a reflection of the people that own them.
Yes Larry, those with a modicum of common sense who want a safe T to tool around in.