Hey T-ers, it's Charles back again...I've been lurking.
And decided that a model T, even if not my only car, ought to be a car i own. I like 'em.
On Craigslist today I found this poor old pile of tin vaguely shaped like a Model T, for a tempting price, but don't know if it's even worth trying to fix. How much do you think it would take to get it going? I don't mean purty, I mean running and driving. Pretty comes later.
This would be my first "old" car, and also my first car, period. Probably a lot of other folks' first cars back in the 1900s.
But anyway, this is a pretty dismal looking car but don't know what kind of hopes there were for it.
It's Stephen Heatherly again from the talking machine forum. It seems like most people who collect phonographs are also model t nuts. While the car certainly is very restorable the body is 1917-22 the turtle deck is 26/27. My stepfather and I have a 26 coupe and 25 touring car as well.
Charles, it's a bitser, and a bit sad at that. To make it presentable would mean hunting down quite a few bits.
Most of it looks mid 20's. The hood looks like an earlier low radiator job and does not suit. It started out as a touring car and has been chopped to take that turtledeck, which looks like a 26-7 deck off an improved roadster, so you have a lot of mismatching to correct.
The door looks to be a home made replacement, and not a well made one.
The rear axle is a large brake drum unit from a 26-7 model also.
I would suggest that there are far better starts to be had, but some have started with worse. You just need to be aware of what is on offer.
Best advice is to take an experienced T owner with you to check it out.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
I’d find a better one.
That’s an early cut-off Touring with a 26-27 roadster turtle deck
I figured it was a mess but can't afford nicer. Basically, I don't even own a car, so I figure, better to have to fix a car I'd love than endure a car I'd...well...just rather forget about.
The 20s turtledeck--scrap it. The axle--could I use it?
The rest of the car, I'd be curious if it could run, and for how much $$$. I have a guaranteed income of $5 a day and college-level classes, (Catholic seminary) but manage to indulge in old phonographs. I also wanted a Ford since I was eight and this looks like, sadly, the only one I could reasonably hope to own...
Not much of it left, but parts are out there.
Please give this some thought. If this is the type of Model T you really want then go for it. There have been a lot of T's brought back from much less but you have very little to work with.
I recommend that you find a good running car and have fun while fixing up what may or may not be needed. You will be a lot of $$$$ ahead.
As pointed out the body is a mix of years. Pass if it is not near free.
My favorite T is the 1926-1927 sedan or closed coupe--a civilized flivver, if you will.
This car is $1500 on Dallas craigslist and yeah, it looks like a wreck. There's a running 1926 for 8K but I don't have that kind of money.
As far as a running car maybe I'll wait a year or 2 and get a hold of one...
From what you guys are saying, "Lizzie" up there is probably due for a funeral service rather than an overhaul, and certainly not on my budget...
think long and hard about this one. I know it's cheap. I know you want it. It's obvious you're on a budget.
I will let you in on a universal truth in this hobby: The most expensive T you will EVER own is one that is cheap to buy.
My suggestion would be to try to get the engine and chassis in good safe working condition. You might need to buy one or more wheels. The right rear looks bad. The others should be checked out and perhaps new spokes installed. You will need a radiator. Once you get the mechanical parts working, you can take off the turtle deck and put some seats in the body and drive without the hood. If you use that body you will need a high hood and high radiator to make it fit correctly.
Then depending on how good you want the car to look, you can look for a good body. Since you are in Texas, you might want to visit Chickasa, OK this spring. They have a good swap meet there. You might find a better body, or you could either install a pickup bed or even construct one to fit behind the seat. It would be pretty hard to put a back seat on that cut off body, but it could be made into a pickup. Many people did just that, they cut off the back and made it into a truck.
Anyway, do a little at a time until you get it to where you want it.
If the guts are as bad as the body it's a serious money pit. Pass. For a grand or two more you can find something MUCH better. Decent T's in the two to three grand range turn up regularly on FB, CL, and other ad media. Something in that price range will still need work, but won't be as disastrously impoverishing as this one is likely to be. If you can make it up to Chickasha in March it wouldn't surprise me if you found something better there.
Charles, lots of great advice here. Save your money and buy something that needs less work. Still lots of good T's out there looking for a new home that you will be able to enjoy and most importantly, drive. Best of luck in your search.
Points taken. I'm avoiding this one.
RIP Ford touring car/roadster/THING...
If anyone sees a piece they can't live without the car's on the Dallas craigslist, located in Diana, TX.
Keep looking. Agree with the other posts.
That pile of pieces of a T would be hard to part out for half of that $1500.
Keep saving and go for one that can run with little work. A good project has engine that can turn over, a tired radiator, wheels and tires with air, and body that has good wood and isn't a rust away thing, and all four fenders that are mounted and with splash shields and running boards that are solid too.
Such a project can be had for $2-3K. Oh.....be sure it has transferable title or paperwork your state will recognize.
(Message edited by Dan_Treace on December 22, 2017)
Some of the cheapest "deals" I've come across in life, turned out to be the most expensive. Save up for a better one would be my suggestion.
You sound like the same person, who posted on this forum several months back,that You wanted advise on the feasibility of having a model t for Your first car and using it as a daily driver, if So, the advice you were given is still valid. Good luck
About a year ago, I bought my first T. In spite of the fact that it had been neglected in a barn for nearly 50 years, it was much more complete and in much better condition than the car shown above.
However, it still needed a lot of work to become a running driving car. After a year, I've made a ton of progress and still probably have another 6 months to go.
And I'm a person with a lot of mechanical experience and many old cars under my belt. Someone with less experience should probably buy something running.
If I were you, I'd look for a black car.....one that's been cobbled together would be cheaper, but you you can still get a cobbled together car that's cobbled together with pieces that belong together.
I have to admire your wanting to buy a Model T Ford. Not having owned or worked on one of these cars you should have someone who knows about a Model T go with you when looking at the car. A running car would start about $4000 to $5000 and go up. You can get this car running but it would not be dependable. It could be along walk home. If you rebuilt the engine and transmission it would be at least $1500. MOST IMPORTANT be sure you receive a clean title with the car. Check with your DMV they can tell you if the state you are buying the car from required titles for the year of the car. Some states may transfer title with a Bill Of Sale but check first. You may have to have the car transported to you check on that cost before you buy, it all adds up.
I meant to say if you rebuilt the engine and transmission YOURSELF it would be at lest $1500.
the advice given is all good ...BUT , for the right price you can take a similar or possibly this car and learn a lot and have fun ...you have to decide what works for your economy ...always an optimist ...gene French Merry Christmas
For a first car,naw.If I stumbled over this for about 300 bucks or so,I would buy figuring on it being a LONG term speedster project.
For perspective, my little truck (see profile) was had for under $2500 just three years ago and if I had known what I was doing I probably could have driven it home. The deals are out there.
What is wrong with you people? That car is pretty good for what it is. I started with much, much less! Hand to hand make the turtle deck from sheet metal. If you'd given me that car i would be thrilled.
"Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder"
IMO, its hard to imagine a worse choice as a first car and first project for a student with nearly zero income and (I assume) very little experience.
Kep...I don't think there's much wrong with us people.
It's not a good car. It's missing a ton of things. The wheels are unusable, the engine may be bad, the rear end probably needs to be torn apart, the wiring is probably shot, the two body types represented there don't even vageuely mate together and it has no interior.
For a novice, this is a disaster. One that will drain his pocketbook and leave him discouraged in the end....still without a car.
Plus....I don't think anyone is giving him the car. I believe he spotted it on Craigslist. If it was an outright gift, that would be another thing.
Want to know rule #1 in my book? "Don't jump at the first one you see 'cause there's plenty out there". You've been given some very sound advice so far and I believe most would give it a pass. Way too many mismatched parts. The body is the real killer for me. A cut off Touring. That turtle deck just won't work out in this case without some insane metal work. Honestly I'd go for a pickup bed before I tried to mate that deck and that's just the beginning. You can, and probably will, drop a few G's on the running gear as mentioned above. I believe it's every T owners dream to get away with $1500 on a re-build but it'd be the exception not the norm. Sorry but for a newbie this is a total pass.
Buy the best you can afford. It will be cheaper in the long run.
Anything a T needs will cost 3X as much to fix compared to buying a car with it done already.
Scott "nailed it perfectly" in his last sentence. Most of us have been there buying the cheap one and then stick a ton of money into it. Then comes a day when you want to sell it and can't get no where near what you paid for it. And somewhere along the line you'll get disgusted and quit the whole antique car thing. Fortunately I stayed with it because I was really "HOOKED". At 72 I still make a mistake once in a great while but stick with it cause it's a great hobby to be in.
Remember what Scott said in his last sentence and you'll be happy/greatful you did !!! Find one more complete and better condition, yes it will cost you alittle more but you'll be money ahead in the end. A lot of good advise here on the MTFCA Forum Charles, some have been in the hobby longer than you are old !!!
All good points. I want to be clear that I'm not trying to be negative. If this car was running and had decent wheels, the nasty body wouldn't phase me one bit.
I'd sell the 26-27 turtle deck to someone who needed it and convert the cutoff Touring into a pickup. That's always a cool look...and can be done for almost no money.
Charles, I am telling you some thing different. I started my first Model T when I was about 15. Just about the same condition as the one you show. I had no money but it gave me a project to tinker on. My advice would be that if you can buy this for not much more than five hundred dollars do it. This will keep you interested in T's. If you try to wait until you can buy something better, you may loose interest. Try to find others near you that may give you encouragement and possibly help you with cheap parts and knowledge. If you lived near me, I guarantee you could be driving this within a year and not spend over one thousand dollars. My first T was in 1997 and I now have rebuilt about 15 T,s and have now 6 of mine to keep.
There is someone to take advantage of someone else every day! My 15-16-17 year old son is looking for a 4WD pickup for $3,500 or LESS, we have looked at 10-12 trucks so far and THEY are the ones that passed the picture test! We have reviewed 40-50 online and are junk just looking at the pictures!!! The one truck that passed the pics test was a Ford Ranger and 3 inches of the frame was TOTALLY MISSING under the pass side!!! The seller tried to get my son interested in the radio and the LOUD muffler that was installed. After I got my sons attention I got him to lay down and pointed out the missing frame. we didn't buy the truck but he "maybe" would have if I wasn't there. I am a lurker and don't even have a Model T, because that was my dad's thing but if your a student then buy a Honda or Toyota and when you got that paid off then buy the above car because its perty much "LAWN ART!"
OOPS I don't work that fast. My first T was 1957 not 97.
Looks to me Charles F. Lost interest in that car and this thread on Dec. 22nd.
Good reading though.
MERRY CHRISTMAS FELLOW T'ers
My first T started as a pickup load of parts, a frame from behind a barn and a trip to a swap meet for more parts. Not a long time was needed to get it going... a bunch of money for the machine shop and a bit for it's new body (at the lumber yard).
It was a lot of fun and created a bit more pride when it was on the cover of Horsless Carriage Gazette.
If you have the desire and someone capable to help and guide you I think you should go for it. The rest of your life you will be amazing folks with your tale. What you have in that photo actually looks like a fairly easy one to get going as a fun car which is easily doable by a determined teen!
I hope you rethink and go for it!!! Keep sending us photos if you do it.
My first T on the day we brought it home. Cost me $300.
And below ... after finding some sheet metal and building a body out of ash based around an old wagon seat in the barn. I coated all the wood with a thin layer of bondo and sanded it smooth as a base for the paint. Did the seat upholstery myself. Drove it that way for about twenty years.
The worst advise I heard here is to buy a Toyota or Honda.
If you have a place to store it inside, it might be worth it for parts. Check to see if the engine turns over. To return that car to operable condition will cost more - much more-then it will to buy a better car. You will have $3,000 into it just for wheels, tires, a radiator, and a radiator shell. I agree with David Frost, the cheapest way to get a good car is to buy one.
If I were you and I wanted a T and I could afford that one I'd buy it because if you buy a hubcap then it's more of a T than you have now. You may have $30,000 in it by time you're done but that might be the only way you can do it. I wanted a T when I was 13 or 14 and I found a frame for $50 and bought it. I could've saved all the money that I've put in it and have 4 T's, but if I tried that I'd probably have none, instead I have 2, that I built the same way. Neither one are completely finished but that's my fault for not sticking to one but I like working on cars more than driving. Anyhow if you buy it and take it apart and do like I did, save up and buy a part here and there and you'll be driving before too long or even if you can't get all your money back if you decide to sell it then st least you had fun. Can go spend money at Disneyland and that money's gone. It really would depend on how much you like doing the restoration work because the labor you'll have to do. 25 years ago I paid $50 for s frame and a little later $175 for a chassis, no motor. I've got enough money in them to buy a fleet but I'd never have saved it. I've been to Six Flags and the fair and spent money over the years I'll never get back, I've got quadruple the money invested in my T than I could ever get back, but I don't want the money, I'm gonna be broke regardless but I can go jump in my T snd drive. Just my 2¢.
Don't worry, I haven't lost interest in the thread--just taking it all in. So here's what I've decided.
I'm going to pass. It's a tempting thought to bring it back but I don't have an indoor place to work on it.
I wanted a T since I was six. I'm 19 now. What I'm going to do, is do 7.5 more years of Catholic seminary formation like I'm doing. If I become a priest, then guess what, I'm just fine driving the old 1990s Toyotas (which are actually a lot of fun to drive, and really reliable) and using my automobile allowance to pick up a sweet old Model T.
A lot of generous guys on here with a lot of good advice--this is a cool forum, as cool as the Talking Machine Forum. In the meantime I'm going to keep fixing 1920s tech to use later in life, and reading about T's...
And when you're in South Carolina in about ten years and see a Catholic priest driving by in a Ford with both levers pegged--and a tore-up portable Victrola strapped to the running board--then that was me!
And--if someone sees a part they just have to have, there's the craigslist post--it's in Diana, Texas
Charles, just in case nobody said it yet, Merry Christmas.
Same to you!
I go back and read what I said and I want folks to understand,the car above does not scare me near as bad as the Price of the car.Like I said,300 bucks,I would be on it.yep,pickup or speedster. but it would take awhile,because I can't afford to pay out all the money for parts and labor some others can. I do most all my work and refurbish parts others have tossed.
I think this is start for T parts but not a car. If you get interested in T's parts will always be of interest. This is a collection of body parts thas's been pieced together. This pacticularr example is worth no more than 250.00.
The frame, rearend and engine is where the value is but not the remains of the sheet metal. You can find enough matching sheet metal parts better than these. They are worth something but not much.
Glad to hear you passed. That "car" would make you leave the priesthood, mumble dirty words and take up drinking. Merry Christmas.
I'm not saying that I am the brightest, but I started out with this at $300 bucks.
It all depends on how much you are willing to take on.
Looks like the rear lower rear body section of a 24-25 T Coupe. The price was abt right. The engine rear end and spare tire carrier is worth 300.00 by themselves.
Hypothetically speaking, what would the best bet be for Charles' T project above? Maybe try and trade all of the body and fenders for wheels' radiator, rad she'll, and whatever is missing from the lights then build a speedster from what's left?
I think Charles' best bet is to find his local MTFCA chapter and get to know the members.
Let them know what his intentions and limitations are.
Chances are, one of them, or maybe a few of them combined will have some stuff he can cobble together or maybe even something more complete. Then they'd probably help him out as he moves forward and get his pile running.
At the other end of the spectrum...
Just for some perspective, I still think the car in the first post was pretty snazzy and a great start.
I agree ...the car pictured in this posting looks like a mess, BUT , with care and some work could be a fun project ...while probably not a great value on the surface ...it could be fun and a great experience ...PS ...your posting on assembling a car from pieces is witness to what can be done ...my compliments ...always an optimist...gene french