HOW MANY Ts STILL EXIST? STLL ON THE ROAD?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2017: HOW MANY Ts STILL EXIST? STLL ON THE ROAD?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John V. Dow on Thursday, December 07, 2017 - 09:47 am:

I'm working on a Model T exhibit at the Kansas City Automotive Museum scheduled for February. Along with displaying a number of actual vehicles we are preparing visual aids featuring loads of Model T facts, figures, photos and general trivia. Missing so far is an estimate of how many Ts still exist and/or still on the road. I would appreciate your input on the topic. Thank you very much--you guys are the best!!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Treace, North FL on Thursday, December 07, 2017 - 09:54 am:

Did this a while back, anyone's guess, here's mine :-)

How many Model T Fords Still Exist Today?

Anyone's guess....... Dan Treace 2012



Many authoritative sources claim only 1%-2% of a model year car will survive after 35 years.

So if you use that rule, then maybe up to 300,000 Model T Fords have survived after 35 years,.... and now 80 years later maybe only 200,000 are somewhere intact and complete or maybe in parts, or in parts and pieces, located in barns, yards, garages, fields, ditches, river beds, haystacks.....

How many still on the road [i.e. licensed and registered] in the USA today would be a guess, probably less than 50,000.

The only data is old historical from Stern's book, 'Tin Lizzie', he quoted the insurance stat firm of RL Polk survey of 1948 found 49,869 Model T's registered on the road in the 48 US states.

One would have to compile the listings of all 50 US DMV records for licensed and registered Model Tís, I did that in FL, and got a print out from the state of over 5,000 Fords for the years 1909 to 1927. But a lot of them were '1923' roadsters with modern VIN numbers, or Ďstreet rodsí ...so coming up with a valid number is tough.

Extrapolated from FL data, with population of 15.5mil, found that 1 registered "Model T Ford" for each 30,000 persons. But FL is a state with income for car hobby, other states may not have the same amount of antique Fords per capita.

So, USA population is 309mil.....one T for say each 50,000 capita would make it 60,000 licensed and registered Model T's out there.... a bit more than in 1948 perhaps!

By Tom Rootlieb on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 06:47 pm:
[Mfg. of replacement Ford T sheet metal parts] We have never kept track of numbers. Our company is 40 yrs. old this year and we can somewhat guess by recollection. The number of employees has varied from 3 to 18. My guess is that we have sold 3 to 4 thousand dropped- axles and sold 4 to 5 thousand Model T speedster kits. Some years ago we were looking at similar data and we realized that we had put a new hood and 4 new fenders on a minimum of 40,000 cars. At the same time we put our best guess on how many cars survived, intact and in pieces at 200,000. While that number may seem big, it's only a 1.3% survival rate. So we have at least another 100 yrs. of work to do. Back in 1973, when I was 24 and we were just starting out, my father and I were talking one day and he told me not to count too much on this business, because in 10 years there wouldn't be any old cars left out there and we would both be looking for a job. I'll be 65 on my next birthday.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By G.R.Cheshire (La Florida!) on Thursday, December 07, 2017 - 09:57 am:

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/708324/734263.html
http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/708324/736999.html
http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/708324/744295.html
Here are some interesting links from this forum


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Thursday, December 07, 2017 - 10:44 am:

However many there are running and registered, the number is growing. At this point few if any are being junked, while every year more are being resurrected from storage or put together from parts.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John V. Dow on Thursday, December 07, 2017 - 11:11 am:

Good point Steve


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith, Lomita, California on Thursday, December 07, 2017 - 11:20 am:

You can add one to the list! I built a 1925 factory pickup a few years ago, using all original parts. A lot of the parts were NOS.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rich Bingham, Blackfoot, Idaho on Thursday, December 07, 2017 - 11:21 am:

Steve beat me to that observation. Besides, there's a fair difference between "Ts still on the road" and the number of survivors. While bits and pieces are still in danger of being scrapped, I rather doubt whole cars are going to the "crusher". It's a tantalizing thought, wondering how many are still whole, or becoming whole again, but I doubt we'll ever know for sure. It's likely possible to learn how many are licensed here and abroad though, if anyone has the time and wherewithal to find it out !


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Darryl Bobzin on Thursday, December 07, 2017 - 11:30 am:

There are at least a couple people buying, and dismantling several t's per year, to sell the parts on e-bay. I am not sure how many complete cars we lose every year to this practice, I would guess around 10 or so. These guys buy cars at estate sales to part out.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rich Bingham, Blackfoot, Idaho on Thursday, December 07, 2017 - 11:38 am:

Darryl, that's disturbing indeed. I had no idea this was going on. A pox on them !


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George John Drobnock on Thursday, December 07, 2017 - 12:19 pm:

But is a bits-a built T considered a survivor?

Rebuilding a T and having it titled begs the following questions:

1. Is a brass era reconstruction from flea market parts and a black radiator radiator engine a proper era T?

2. Are you calling a 1922 fiberglass titled T with a modern engine a Model T Survivor?

They may be viewed a a Model T and included in the numbers of Model T surviving but the numbers are going to be skewed.


For the purpose of the exhibit - take the number of Model Ts manufactured (use a reliable source) and multiply by the accepted survival rate of 2 to 3 percent. For an analysis from 2016 of longevityhttps://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/809952 of modern cars see


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rich Bingham, Blackfoot, Idaho on Thursday, December 07, 2017 - 01:08 pm:

George, if you're not careful, those questions you raise will have you branded as a "purist" or even worse, a "brass snob" !
; )


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Vern (Vieux Carre) on Thursday, December 07, 2017 - 01:57 pm:

Last year, our T got it's first title that I know of and added to the number of existing T's. It did not however yet get a license plate registration. So, I don't know if it counts, certainly not on the road yet.

Yes, T's are dismantled but mine could not be without donor parts, since some new reproduction pieces are not available.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron in Central Massachusetts on Thursday, December 07, 2017 - 02:27 pm:

The "bitsa" argument cracks me up every time it gets trundled out on this Forum - it implies that every T which came off the assembly line was an individually hand-crafted, custom-made product - with all the specialized fitting and matching that goes along with custom-made products. Every T is a "bitsa" - mass-produced parts were randomly selected from piles and assembled into cars through a structured process. Here's the assembly of a "bitsa" axle:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6ZdjL4XwR8

A "legitimate" car is not determined by whether all the parts were assembled on the same day, from the same piles. Were that the case, the moment you drove your '22 Ford into an authorized Ford agency to get a crumpled driver's side front fender replaced in 1925, your car was no longer "legitimate."

Any guy who takes a pile of "flea market" parts and assembles something that can be titled and registered, has built a legitimate car. He has done exactly what was done on the floors at Piquette or the lines at Highland Park.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Rogers - South of the Adirondacks on Thursday, December 07, 2017 - 02:32 pm:


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By kep on Thursday, December 07, 2017 - 02:38 pm:

Not enough still on the road. i see tonnes of good parts being thrown away while i have to make do with stuff you guys wouldn't even consider.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron in Central Massachusetts on Thursday, December 07, 2017 - 02:53 pm:

Just offering "thoughts to entertain" which may be "contrary" to many held by others on here.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Thursday, December 07, 2017 - 03:35 pm:

Aye, there's the rub. Completeness and authenticity are a continuum. Where do you draw the line on what's really a Model T?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Adrian Whiteman, New Zealand on Thursday, December 07, 2017 - 03:39 pm:

Well Kep, that's probably because our olds threw away all the good stuff long ago...

OR they just kept reusing it over and over until its all we have left now.

Given the Kiwi 'make do' culture I think the second is more likely to be true.

:-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Cascisa - Poulsbo, Washington on Thursday, December 07, 2017 - 04:42 pm:

There is an inordinate number of 1923 Model T Roadsters out there.

Of course they have 350 Chevys etc., etc., etc.

But, they are Model T's because they say so.

<grin>

Be_Zero_Be


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Peter Kable - Kiama NSW OZ on Thursday, December 07, 2017 - 05:12 pm:

I think you would find there are a lot more Model T Fords that survive than the quoted 1% -2%. Maybe for other brands or models but not the model T.

In its day there Ford had a survival rate far exceeding other makes. This was often quoted in newspapers.

First because of the easy replacement and availability of Parts

Second because of the quality of the materials used.

Third because of it's ability to work far better than virtually any other make under adverse conditions.

This article from the first world war says it all.
RR for Fords


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John P. Steele on Thursday, December 07, 2017 - 05:40 pm:

I thought there were 300,000 1915 Model T's alone on the road.:-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Deichmann, Blistrup, Denmark on Thursday, December 07, 2017 - 06:29 pm:

In the danish motor register we have 256 Fords with 1. registration between Jan. 1 1909 and Aug. 31. 1927. Of these 193 is licensed and assumed drivable.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George John Drobnock on Thursday, December 07, 2017 - 06:29 pm:

Yes the first 15 Million Ford Ts were bits-a vehicles- built from the parts ordered into the factory and parts pulled at random from the bins lying around to construct the first 15 million. But the the later 15 Million - after the T production was stopped - are the true bits-a cars I am referring too. Constructed from the bins at flea markets.

There is nothing unusual about this. But the concern is found in reassembling a vehicle from parts of a previous factory assembled car. Where a 1923 coupe may be a clone of itself.

Who knows there may be a statistical method to show that with modern bits-a construction the survival rate of a Model T may be more like 5 to 6%. And not 2 to 3%.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Vern (Vieux Carre) on Thursday, December 07, 2017 - 06:40 pm:

John, to actually answer your question you might could ask Ford.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dick Lodge - St Louis MO on Thursday, December 07, 2017 - 06:46 pm:

John, I first started participating in this forum back in the late 1990s. This question came up then and has come up many times through the years. The most accurate answer seems to be that no one knows and there is no way of knowing. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Killecut on Thursday, December 07, 2017 - 06:53 pm:

Larry, your pickup looks assume. You have a few hours in that.
At the end of time there will still be parts of T's around.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron in Central Massachusetts on Thursday, December 07, 2017 - 07:41 pm:

I donít understand what difference it makes - whether the T was assembled out of parts in 1923 at Highland Park or assembled out of used parts 90 years later?? Itís still a Model T - a running, driving Model T, back on the road instead of instead of sitting in a hundred buckets and on 20 tarps at 30 swap meets.

Letís say you want to build a chimney. You buy red bricks from 3 different sources to get the amount you need. You assemble them according to the blueprint you have. When youíre done, you donít have 3 piles of bricks - you have a chimney. Does it really matter where and when you bought all the individual bricks?

The entire bitsa vs. ďreal TĒ debate is so pointless- they are all bitsas. The guy building the front axle in that video above is no different than someone on this Forum building a front axle out of a collection of parts theyíve accumulated over time at various swap meets. Zero difference. The truly obnoxious aspect of this pointless debate is when someone chooses to minimize the achievement of putting another T back on the road by saying ďoh, thatís a bitsaĒ - as though it is any less a Model T than one assembled from buckets of parts 90 years ago. Happens all the time on this place and Iíve seen it countless times in the 15+ years Iíve been on here.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ted Dumas on Thursday, December 07, 2017 - 08:28 pm:

My number based on good authority, SWAG. Is 200,000.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Treace, North FL on Thursday, December 07, 2017 - 09:16 pm:

It's in print here on Wikipedia :-) If you believe all on the internet... ha

In 1949, more than twenty years after the end of production, 200,000 Model Ts were registered in the United States.[62] In 2008, it was estimated that about 50,000 to 60,000 Ford Model Ts remain roadworthy.[63]


{62} Sedgwick 1972, pp. 50Ė51.

{63} Brooke, Lindsay (2008). Ford Model T: The Car that Put the World on Wheels. MBI Publishing Company. p. 188. ISBN 9780760327289.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Darryl Bobzin on Thursday, December 07, 2017 - 09:59 pm:

I think the easiest way to count up the Ts is for everyone to post how many Ts they own. I will start. I have 3, a rolling chassis, and 1 bare frame. We should be up to a couple hundred in no time.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Noel D. Chicoine, MD, Pierre, SD on Thursday, December 07, 2017 - 10:23 pm:

I've got 3 running and licenced. There are at least 6 in the area with a population of 20K.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Thursday, December 07, 2017 - 11:32 pm:

In my limited getting out in the world, but many years in the hobby, I have personally known more than a hundred people that owned model Ts. MOST of them had more than one, many had several, and a few had a dozen or more. I did even meet Edward Towe some years ago. He may have had close to if not more than a hundred, and I personally saw less than half of them, probably twenty to thirty of his model Ts. I have been to meets and tours all over the state of Califunny, but very little out of this state. One major tour I saw, had more than a hundred Ts in attendance. I have been on Endurance Runs with more than sixty speedsters, plus a dozen or more regular Ts.
I figure, that in my lifetime (so far), I have seen probably about a thousand model T Fords with my own eyes.
I cannot, in any way, believe that I have seen even one tenth of the Ts in Califunny. Yet, if I have? That would put the number in Califunny alone at about ten thousand. I know a lot of the cars I have seen over the years, are not currently registered in this state. Many were in private collections, and had not been driven in many years.
Based upon what I myself have seen. I would fully expect that there are more than twenty (maybe thirty) thousand model Ts in Califunny alone.
If one in ten model Ts in the world is in Califunny. There would have to be two hundred thousand model Ts in the world.
One person's observation, and a little simple math. I wouldn't be surprised if there were a half million model Ts in the world in a full range of conditions from basket case (like my project piles) to gleaming award winning restorations.
Pure speculation. When you get into exponential math, numbers grow fast.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Hjortnaes, Men Falls, WI on Friday, December 08, 2017 - 12:08 am:

Wayne, how many have we lost in the last few days in Califunny?

Bob?, in northern Minnesota is no longer posting parts. Is he OK? Still parting out T's?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Nevada Bob Middleton on Friday, December 08, 2017 - 12:12 am:

Know of atleast 19 being enjoyed thats doing my small part.
But mi.lions be my guess


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Friday, December 08, 2017 - 01:35 am:

Dave H, I have been wondering that myself. Not a lot of damage assessments on the current fires yet. Although they are going to be bad. The several fires a month or two ago were known to have destroyed a few model Ts. But I haven't heard a firm number. Our local newspaper this morning reported that the insurance claims filed so far for the recent past fires have gone over nine billion dollars. Those numbers will climb much higher yet.
I suspect that the single factor most responsible for lowering the number of surviving model Ts is fires. I hate to think how many are lost each year on average. Not just because of the lost model Ts, but that each one represents someone's major losses due to a fire. Most fires could, and should, have been prevented.
It also saddens me that more effort is not made to salvage some things from such fires. I do understand the need to go in and clean up the mess, toxic ash, and other things. In major fires especially, areas need to be made safe for many people, residents and work crews alike, to get in and begin the tasks of rebuilding. But it would be nice if somehow things of historic value could be given a chance to be salvaged. About half the model Ts I have restored over the years were no better than something that had gone through a fire.
The few people parting out Ts for profit I don;t think are doing as much harm.

Oh well. Back to the fun of speculating how many are still around!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Friday, December 08, 2017 - 07:31 am:

We have few fires here in fly over country but the rule of thumb for anything in a barn fire is if the tires are still there it's salvage able?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ed Baudoux Grayling Michigan on Friday, December 08, 2017 - 07:41 am:

Darryl Bobzin brought up the cars that are parted out and sold on Ebay. At first, it seemed a shame to me. Then I started buying parts from them. I for one, am glad that they are doing this. It brings a few entertaining thoughts to my head. First, where else could I have sourced a nice clean plated brass radiator shell for my Fordor, without going to Hershey? Second, I am more than a little jealous that these guys have found a way to profit from the old car bug. Third, they must have some fantastic Improved Fords, since they see so many great parts!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Darryl Bobzin on Friday, December 08, 2017 - 09:41 am:

Ed, I have bought from the them as well. Yes it bugs me to see complete cars sold for parts, but the truth is the cost to restore anything but an early T makes no sense from a cost return standpoint. Having said that, I have a 25 I am going to restore. I don't car about the resale value at the other end. If turning these few cars into parts will keep several others on the road, I guess it is helping the hobby. Still hate to see it though.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George John Drobnock on Friday, December 08, 2017 - 09:47 am:

No concerns about the bits-a cars produced after 1927. Ok

Number of Model T's out there 200,000. Ok

Titled as a Model T. OK

Titled as a 1927 roadster. Yep a roadster and with bits-a T parts. OK.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ed Baudoux Grayling Michigan on Friday, December 08, 2017 - 09:55 am:

My 4th point is: How may T's are put back on the road, as a result of cars being parted and sold on Ebay? My guess is that the sacrifice of a few dozen Improved Fords is worthwhile, because it helps finish stalled restorations.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron in Central Massachusetts on Friday, December 08, 2017 - 10:14 am:

Recently (within the last 6 months or so), described by an individual (not the owner) on here as a "bitsa":


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron in Central Massachusetts on Friday, December 08, 2017 - 10:21 am:

This really must be a "Model T thing." I've been around Model As for 45 years now and have NEVER heard the term "bitsa" used by anyone to describe a Model A assembled out of parts. It's simply referred to as a "Model A." Seems to be the T community that has this hang up because it's the only group I've heard use the term as a means of classifying a vehicle as a legitimate car.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rodney Aspenson on Saturday, December 09, 2017 - 08:56 pm:

I drive a 1915 Roadster Pickup, the only one I can think of right off hand in Crawford county Wisconsin...


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