Today I had lunch with a retired Engineer I used to do work for. He is 87 now. He had mentioned that his Father had been a Model T mechanic. Today he recalled that his Father had built a Model T "Bug". "Just a seat and a tool box was all the body it had." His job was in Arco, ID and his girl friend lived in Jeorme, ID. That is just over 100 miles on today's roads. The roads back then had stretches of sand and getting stuck was part of the trip. On weekends the father would drive over leaving Friday night and sleeping halfway over in a friends hay loft.
These two are not that car but were given to me by another Engineer friend. I imagine the word Bug and several other terms were used more than "Speedster" in those days.
And the remains of yet another "Bug".
Those photos could really give you the "bug" to build a T. In the top two photos the tub of the bug looks a lot like Donnie Browns
"Bug" was one of the most common names used for speedsters way back when. It was also used for doodle-bug tractors, which does confuse things a bit. As regional colloquialisms, in many different areas, doodle-bug was commonly used for either tractors or speedsters. Nothing quite like a common language to confuse things.
Way back when I was a young one getting into this hobby, I loved talking with people that had built speedsters back when the model T could still be bought as a new car. Many of the people I spoke with used the term "bug" for their car.
Years ago, I started making a list of different terms used for speedsters. Unfortunately, I lost it somewhere. I guess I need to try to find it or remake it.
As for that picture Richard E posted of the rusty body? That is one I would love to have and restore! (If I didn't have more projects that need done now than I can likely do.)
I had a cousin born in 1920.
He had model T Fords, as did his father and mine.
He even drove model T Fords to high school.
About 10 years ago I asked him about speedsters.
He said he never knew of one anywhere in the are where we lived in Wisconsin.
He said he never heard the term bug or speedster used on a model T.
Since it was farming country and a place where the winter weather was nasty it could be that few speedsters were built in that area.
I have heard many "Bug" stories and enjoy hearing them told. There have been some inquiries about the rusty one above. That picture is 25 years old or so and the body has disappeared. We have seen the remains of a few but usually too far gone except for patterns. Jay and others find lots of pictures and the old advertisements show what a popular item they were. I had my share of fun in 2 of them and am lucky to have survived.