Fred Houston's racer

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2017: Fred Houston's racer
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 02:03 pm:

It ain't cheap, but it's a swell car.

https://www.hemmings.com/classifieds/cars-for-sale/ford/model-t/2032845.html#&gid=1&pid=1

The Houstons provided the Pietenpol Model T airplane that's in the museum at Richmond.



Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Adam Doleshal on Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 02:26 pm:

Seems to be priced fair.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ed in California on Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 02:32 pm:

Oh boy...I would love to own that....


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ed in California on Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 02:37 pm:

If thatís too expensive, you can have a body made to order here.
https://www.westcoastmetalshaping.com/laurel-body-pictures


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ed Archer Hayward, CA. on Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 06:26 pm:

FYI guys, Adam is right. That's a real fair price for something as correct as that is.

Ed aka #4


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 06:30 pm:

Fred told me years ago that it was the only original Laurel speedster known to have survived. Given its rarity, the price isn't bad. And he did a great job of rebuilding it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 07:23 pm:

Thank you Ed! I have seen a few model T speedster/race cars sell in that price range. I agree with other comments that it seems high? But there are only a few top of the line that are worth near that range. And this one, is one of them.
Anybody with the money, can throw lots of dollars at a project, do it wrong, and wind up with an over-priced pile of parts worth a fraction of what they spent. But one done this well, and as era correctly as this one is? Hard to beat.
Not all speedsters are alike.
This car is in the Speedster/Racer Hall of Fame as one of the best surviving restored speedsters. A very small club indeed.

I do think a correction may be needed in the listing about that "Perfecto two speed overdrive".


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Joseph A. Stearns on Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 07:51 pm:

Ed Archer, This is a picture of my speedster that I sent you a private message about1915 Speedster


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chadwick Azevedo on Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 08:30 pm:

For an original it seems to be priced very fair considering the engine. Although I wonder, wasn't the perfecto like a ruxtel and a direct/low and not an overdrive?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 08:53 pm:

Chadwick A, Yes. The Ruckstell was the improved version, the Perfecto came out about a year or two earlier. I don't know the exact year. I really should buy Glen Chaffin's book.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Andy Clary on Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 11:59 pm:

I think it is a great deal. I only wish I was in a position to acquire this car.

Andy


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Monday, November 20, 2017 - 07:17 am:

Just to clarify -- I was reminded by another Forum member that the only original Laurel part of this car is the body, not the whole car. This agrees with what Fred told me. In my previous post, it sounded as if I meant the whole car was original, but that's not the case. Fred researched Laurel's speedsters extensively and built the rest of the car according to the pictures and information he found, so most of it other than the body is actually a replica, not a restored original car. Sorry if I misled anyone.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Andy Clary on Monday, November 20, 2017 - 09:52 am:

Like other speedsters of the era, the body was sold and then accessories were added. So it may not be the original set up but it is correct. If I could park this next to my Mercury I would be very happy. I like all speedsters but there is something to be said for the originals.

Andy


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan McEachern on Monday, November 20, 2017 - 10:10 am:

The only other Laurel speedster I know of was owned by John Devick up in the Pacific Northwest. I wonder what ever happened to that car? No doubt, Fred's car is a fantastic restoration. What else would you expect from a fantastic guy?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Penserini - Sacramento Calif on Monday, November 20, 2017 - 11:35 am:

Fred Houston bought the Laurel body from Jarvis Erickson. If I remember right John DeVick made patterns of the body when Jarvis had it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Tomaso - Longbranch,WA on Monday, November 20, 2017 - 11:48 am:

I understand John's son still has it stashed away up here, somewhere !


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Tomaso - Longbranch,WA on Monday, November 20, 2017 - 12:10 pm:

Another "copy" of the Laurel Racer was built up by Dave Johnson up this way for Ron Kipling - the #46 car - Fronty powered !


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Tomaso - Longbranch,WA on Monday, November 20, 2017 - 12:30 pm:

The #46 car is still in the Greater Seattle Tacoma area owned by a friend of mine. Mike Bender built me up a Scat Crank short block for it recently.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem S.E. Michigan on Monday, November 20, 2017 - 01:48 pm:

Not a bad price. This car is done with excellent attention to detail and authenticity. Workmanship is top notch.

I see it's offered by Fred's son. I hate to ask, but have I missed some news about Fred?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Monday, November 20, 2017 - 05:27 pm:

Several companies that manufactured and marketed speedster and racer parts and accessories, also offered turn-key cars, ready-built, or custom order, and ready to drive. Laurel and Frontenac are probably the two best known for doing that. However, they sold many many times as many bodies and racing heads or engines as they ever did completed cars. Most Laurel and Frontenac bodied cars were individually built using other parts and accessories available at the same time. So, such a car, with a restored original (even mostly original) body, with appropriate era accessorization can still be a correct car. Properly noting that a car has been largely reassembled from correct parts is the right thing to do. And, it should affect the value some. It is extremely doubtful that any complete, intact, original Laurel company build exists anywhere. As such, this one is probably the best of the best for Laurel at least.
Consider this. The 1914 factory built Peogeot racing car, that Lindley Bothwell had owned for many years, restored from an intact original with significant history, just sold at auction for over seven million dollars! In the early race car collecting world today, it is one of the very best of all the best of everything.
In the model T racing and speedster world, era correct cars, I know of a few (less than eight, with a few other maybes I don't know enough about), that I would consider to be among the very best. I have rarely seen this car myself, but I have known and heard about it for many years. For model T speedsters? I think it is one of the best.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill on Monday, November 20, 2017 - 08:18 pm:

The 16V Roof head on this car came from Wingham Ontario. When cleaning out the basement of the Frigidair dealership in that town this unique looking head was spotted. Because of its unique look it was set aside from the scrap pile. Originally thought it was for a Model A. Regardless, it went through a number of hands, the Barrie ON swap meet and finally ending up running on Fredís car.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ed in California on Monday, November 20, 2017 - 08:37 pm:

Why is it being sold, I remember he really put his heart and soul into it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Robert A Weitzel on Monday, November 20, 2017 - 10:57 pm:

Off the subject. But wasn't that Chris Egsgaard's Pietenpole model t airplane at one time


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kevin Matthiesen on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 01:50 am:

Bill: The 16 valve Roof in the Laurel bodied car is called a type Model A Roof head. This is the first type of Roof 16 valve head, it uses all of the Model T valve ports in the block as part of the intake system. Maybe that is why someone thought it was for a Model A.
Robert: Yes the airplane was Chris Egsgaard's, there was a Vintage Ford story on it a while back but I don't remember the issue number.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron Mc Willie on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 10:25 am:

Yes, this is certainly a great speedster and worth every dime of the asking price. Fred certainly knows how to build Model Ts and someone will get a very special car.

All of Fred's Model Ts were well built cars. I wonder if Fred's other cars have been sold?

To re-iterate what Jerry asked: "I see it's offered by Fred's son. I hate to ask, but have I missed some news about Fred?"

Is Fred still with us?

Fred and I used to communicate on a regular basis but I have not kept in touch with him in a few years.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Bender Tulsa Oklahoma on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 11:26 am:

Fred is still with us however his mind is failing.

A terrible thing to happen to anyone but it hurts me very much as he was my mentor. The knowledge he gained from his first Model T in 1953 (I think) was always share with anyone.

My last visit with Fred, I donít think he knew me. Went through this with my Mother and know the signs to well.

At that visit I show him pictures of the racer I restored/built and this was always one of the things Fred loved, speedster and speed equipment. He would talk for hours, give you the history and some times more information then you could take. He never got into a discussion, it was just pictures.

Yes he still with us but I miss him dearly.

Fred and his wife are both still in the family home and it is the goal of their children to keep them there. God bless the Houston family.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Tomaso - Longbranch,WA on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 11:46 am:

Thanks for the information, Mike - talked with Fred on several occasions !


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron Mc Willie on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 11:46 am:

Mike- Thank you so much for giving us this update. It is certainly sad when someone's mind begins to fail. Fred has always been a cornerstone to the Model T hobby and the MTFCA. I know many people in this club have benefitted from his knowledge and generosity. My thoughts and best wishes go to the Houston family during this difficult time.

It would be fun and memorable to post some pictures of Fred and his various Model Ts and/or pictures of Fred and Lavina on tour. I might have some of his red Ames/Fronty speedster from a National Tour awhile back. That was a neat car as well.

Thank you again for updating us.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill Houston on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 01:49 pm:

Mike is correct regarding my father's health and our goal. So much knowledge is gone. Also selling his 1921 Ames Speedster, 1914 Runabout and enclosed trailer.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Tomaso - Longbranch,WA on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 03:19 pm:

Sorry to hear this, Bill - we've had my Mom in a "memory-care" facility for over three years now - healthy 88 y.o. but she doesn't know/remember much anymore - my sympathy goes out to your family !


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Keith Gumbinger, Kenosha, WI on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 03:53 pm:

Bill and Mike, Thank you for the update. I'm sorry for this also and will keep Fred in my prayers.

Keith


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem S.E. Michigan on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 04:09 pm:

Bill,

The few times I was able to speak with your dad, I found him to be a true gentleman. I'm so sorry for his current troubles.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 04:21 pm:

So difficult to deal with things like this. My sympathies to his whole family. I have been through this with several people, both with friends (one of my model T mentors about twelve years ago), and several family. I never got to more than barely meet Fred Houston, but knew several people that knew him well. Always heard good things about him.
Thanks to those that asked, and gave, updated information on his condition. I know it is difficult. I hope selling the cars is the right decision and what the family wants.
Our thoughts are with you all.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Warwick Landy Traralgon Australia on Wednesday, November 22, 2017 - 01:14 am:

Thanks Mike and Bill for the Update. Family is everything. I am so pleased to hear you are doing everything to ensure they are able to stay at home together in a place that is familiar to them. I have always admired Fred's magnificent T's and anybody who finds themselves owning one will have one special T.


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