What do onlookers most enjoy about our Ts?
Three pedals, but no "gas pedal"
No drivers door
Wood spoke wheels
A "stick" for a gas level gauge
A buggy heater in the floor
The wide flat fan belt
The waterpump being aftermarket
No oil pressure gauge
No temperature gauge
No distributer(at least on ours )
Only 20 HP
Can you still get tires for that thing?
That it is 102 years old. A city policeman followed me for 2 miles before he finally pulled me over. He told me my brake light didn't work. I told him there was no brake light. He asked me where the speedometer was. "There is no speedometer." He gave up after learning there was no gas pedal. I love my car!
I really get a kick out of car guys' observations of my T. I get comments like "it has transverse leaf springs - like a Corvette!" Yep, just like a 'vette, haha.
It also has one coil for each spark plug triggered by a timer operated by a sort of cam position sensor similar to new cars. The transmission is dual clutch in a sense, like a brand new sports car but for different reasons.
Ya turn the switch ON and it starts all by itself. Kinda like the moderns but way different. :-)
Ya can tell nice ladies "He likes you!" when he'll do it and you're both crammed in the seat. :-)
THEN ya switch to MAG!
Ya can touch a lot of knees when making "adjustments"... I like that.
edit: Not meant to sound pervy. "Gotta adjust the carb."
The young neighbors thinking my old piles are cool and they haul their little kids out to see...
Classmates (53 year olds) swooning over an old pile and then me trying to remain humble! I struggled with that.
They start quicker than our moderns. I like that.
(Message edited by Duey_C on January 09, 2018)
(Message edited by Duey_C on January 09, 2018)
When at a car show, I will dig out some calcium carbide & water, and
proceed to show the folks some "real" delay shutoff lights. Their
reaction makes me feel like I finally found my "calling". Teacher I
never was but maybe I are now.
For an original car, no water pump, no oil pump, no fuel pump. That baffles some. Most people understand splash oiling and gravity flow fuel, but thermosyphon cooling.....now THERE's a teachable moment.
I started a similar question on my threat last spring. Basically I wanted interesting facts to keep car viewers interested.
At shows I sometimes stand on the front floor boards with a crowd around listening to the oration and other times I walk around the car with people following while I point out interesting facts and tell stories or personal experience; sometimes 'forum contributor' experience.
I don't know how to find the exact thread but it is here somewhere.
I carry a spare brake band to show people what stops the car and shifts the gears.
I give rides - that's always a crowd pleaser!!!!!!!!!
Hummm...followed by the police? Pulled over and questioned about the car. Asked about why no brake light, no led lights, no smog control, one foot brake. No gas pedal?
"Well officer, the truth is it is a kit car from the factory." "I guess you would call it a factory bitsa..."
Kids questions are always the greatest:
Where's the radio? No radio!
How come the wheels look funny?
Did you actually drive it here?
Can you drive it on the street? without an airbag?
Honk the horn again!
The gas is in your lap! or
Your sitting on the gas (depending on T).
and of course the ever popular adult question, "Could this be the car my grandfather had?, His was similar only it was green, and the emblem on the radiator was different...
Did you drive it here?
I had to. I'm not strong enough to carry it.
Yes, I hear that question, too. My customary response is that "Yes, I did drive it hear as it is too hard for me to push and steer at the same time".
Related to the question, "Did you drive it here?"
I know I'll get crap for this but, because my car is unrestored, some folks think that they can aggressively man-handle and abuse it.
I got tired of it.
I forgot to mention the hand operated windshield wiper.
I saw a sign, on a high dollar street rod that said "this is a car show, not a petting zoo. KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF THE CARS"
I think I will put one on mine that says "Feel free to touch and rub on this car all you want. It needs polishing."
My favorite is when people point to the speedometer set up on the passengers side front wheel and ask it itís the main drive for the car!
The second thing is when I get out from work at the Museum and people are sitting it the car, thinking that itís a static exhibit. I tell them itís my car and that I drive it nearly every day to work ... and they donít believe me. I ask them politely to get out of the car so that I can drive home. Even after I start the car ... they think Iím giving a demonstration!
That's a big engine to only produce 20 hp!
How about my lawn mower has more horse power
Mark, when I see those speedometer gears at a car show I like to ask the owner why the front wheel drive is only on one wheel. Sometimes they realize I'm kidding.
"Excuse me but how many cranks does it take to go a mile?"
Just the old one holding the steering wheel.
Best one I've heard was when we were filling up with gas on a tour near Lynchburg,TN and a husband and wife came up and started asking my friend Ricky questions about his beautiful Brass Touring car. Along came the usual question, "How fast does it go?"
Ricky's reply, "I don't know. It starts shaking so bad that I've never found out!"
When I get asked "how fast will it go" I usually say about 70. Strategic pause-------------- "when I have to trailer it"
I completely agree with you! I also like the, " it's not a petting zoo" sign. Very clever!
The "hood" is really a hood. The "rims" are really just the rims. The "hub caps" are really just on the hubs. The spokes are really wood (or wire).
The runabout is a "one door" The touring is a "three door"
When I park somewhere.
"You can't dump that here, you'll have to get it towed"
"Why tow it if I could drive it home?"
And then the look on their face as it slowly dawns on them that it drives...
I love it!
When mine looked like this I used to drive to the store on backroads. My (ex-)wife and I came out to the car and a lady said,"is that the only thing y'all have to drive?"
Iím not sure if it is a neat thing but driving in peak hour traffic with the radiator boiling over seemed to entertain onlookers. I think they were expecting the car to blow up.
Someone on here once said they used their T truck to carry some things to the scrap yard. On stopping off on the way for gas, someone said Where are you going? He said To the scrap yard. They said How are you gonna get home?
I don't remember who that was and I don't know if they were serious, but I found that hilarious.
I get people that offer to trade what they are driving for the T. Of course I decline. If they aren't driving a Ford I add they are driving the wrong brand and they don't last this long. There response is usually "that's for sure"
how many miles per gallon
At the gas station one time a guy remarked that it was a neat idea to put an extra gas tank under the seat..
Somebody once said, "Wherever I drive becomes a parade; wherever I stop becomes a show." -It's true. -Doesn't matter whether it's McDonalds for lunch or the local park to relax with a book. -People just love the car and gather like iron filings around a magnet. -The thing that seems to intrigue spectators the most is crank-starting. -Unfortunately, I can't demonstrate acetylene lighting because my car is a '15 and so, has electric headlamps, but I can give rides to those who are the most interested and they sure do seem to appreciate it. -I think my favorite show of the year is the closing day of Vacation Bible School at the local church, which involves, among other festivities, a lot of great barbeque food and giving families rides all day long across the church property. -Let the good times roll!
Bob I believe it was Ralph Ricks who coined that phrase.
Cops stopped me once and asked me if this was my "only means of transportation?" I said no, I also have a horse.
Most people at car shows ask me if I ever drive it. The rest say my grandpa or great owned one but by the end of the conversation I not sure if grandpa owned a Model A or a 55 Chevy but it was black.lol
I've been asked many times, "Is that a replica?"
No battery, no starter, everything electric runs off the flywheel, just like a lawn mower motor. THAT gets a smile - yep, really, no battery, the car runs on AC, just like house current.
The gas pedal is that lever under the wheel, and the pedals are the gearshift. Cars nowdays have a vacuum advance on the distributor - back then they had to do it by hand, and that's what the other lever is for.
And about that time, the people go "Wow... I could never drive it". I tell them it's simpler than driving a stick shift. And when you show them - or teach them - they get hooked.
One question I always get - "Why isn't it worth more?", I usually tell them people want to go faster than 20 MPH, and have things like a heater and windows and a starter... and be able to have someone else work on it.
It's definitely easier to drive an antique stick shift car than the Model T! Just ask someone that's done both. I have driven many antique cars and can attest that stick is much easier. That may differ from your experience but, if you haven't driven an antique stick then you really can't comment!
People are surprised they aren't worth more. I explain they made over 15 million of them and the survival rate is short of fantastic because of the high quality. There are just to many around to be rare and expensive.
When someone sees the three pedals and I explain how they work, they often say something like: "I could never drive that. It's too complicated!" My response is: "Henry made 15 million of these contraptions. There have probably been 50 million people who learned how to drive one. And you know what? I'll bet you're smarter than SOME of them!" Gets 'em every time!
Willis, I've driven several stick shift antiques, and I find the T much easier. I have a 1912 Buick, an AACA senior award winner. I've put several thousand miles on it. The transmission is very good, and the gears are well-spaced. (They have to be, since the engine is smaller than a T and the car weighs half again as much.) But the linkage is as awkward a beast as I've ever had to wrestle with.
In my opinion, the hardest thing about driving a T is UNlearning what you already know. There is the impulse to put that clutch all the way to the floor when you want to stop. Not a good idea in a T. Take a 12 year old that's never driven anything and teach them to drive a T. Think they'd pick it up that quick if they were 18 and had already learned to drive a modern stick? Take that same 12 year old and teach him to drive a stick, modern or antique. Think they'll get it as quick as a T?
I have T's and an A. I wouldn't characterize one any harder to drive than the other. I have always been mechanically inclined so when I shift either of them, it's not some procedure that I've memorized. It's more an understanding of what's happening under the hood and floorboards. It's not like I have to shift into neutral, count to whatever, then let out into high, or make spark and gas adjustments because someone told me I ought to. Same with double clutching a non-synchronized manual. If you understand what's going on inside there, it's lots easier than just doing it because.
A lot of the time, I myself marvel at things concerning the Model T Fordóand here I live with one!
Here's a motor vehicle; a car that sits in the garage all winter long because the conditions outside the big roll-top door are so darned harsh. -That kind of thinking would have provoked a contemptuous laugh back in the day when driving this Tin Lizzie was considered a luxury compared to dealing with horses and wagons. -No heater, no windows, no windshield wipers, no nuthin'. -In fact, back in the heyday of the Model T, mostly no roads.
Winters were just as bad back then, but these cars still had to get the job done. -It was that or the oat-burner whose stall needed to be shoveled out every day, but getting caught in the rain was as much fun in the Model T as it was with that same horse.
I look up from my cable TV and out the window as the winter streets are plowed of snow and then salted. -And I get in my Chevy Cruze and hit the heater/defroster, switch on the heating elements in the rear window, listen to the satellite radio and use the windshield washer and wipers to clear away the salt. -And once the car finishes melting itself out, I can operate the electric windows and adjust the electric side mirrors. -The spare tire and jack are somewhere in the bottom of the trunk; I've never seen either, but I know they're back there. -And I'll probably never see them, let alone need them, same as my previous modern car.
For us, a horseless carriage is a toy to be played with on only the most beautiful, sunny summer days; a curiosity that would be no fun at all if we needed it to perform the kind of work for which it was actually designed. -We've got it so easy.
Interesting comment on not being able to drive a car with three peddles.
Thank goodness we have computers to solve that problem.
Say any one one to trade their three peddle car for a motocycle with left hand throttle, right hand shift level, and a left hand foot clutch?
No, I don't want to trade, but I'd sure like to have one.
No trade intended, but to show that some early vehicles (as late as 1940's) requires your full attention. I wonder how driving the described Indian, or even the car with three peddles, hand throttle, and manual choke would affect using the smart-phone?
I have driven Model A's and many other antique stick cars and trucks before I drove my first T.
There are only two things about a T that are not hard to do, but hard to remember to do if one is used to driving a stick: 1. Remember always when slowing or stopping to push up the throttle lever. 2. Put the clutch only half way down. Everything else is easy to learn and those two are easy to do, just need to remember to do so.
ďNice Car mister. Did you buy it NewĒ? Then I put on my dour face and say Iím 67 years old and the car is 104. People donít seem to be embarrassed by being stupid anymore.
I wonder how many in the Indian (Or do we have to call it Native American, now?) community "Upgrade" their bikes to have more modern controls (Right hand throttle, left hand clutch and foot shifter)? Just think, you could enter it into car shows and tell them they can't deduct points, it was done for "Safety".
I'm not in the "Indian" community, but I have a 1943 HD WLA with the right hand throttle, right hand foot brake, left hand hand-brake, left hand spark advance, foot clutch, and suicide shifter. I took the local motorcycle course which was all on modern bikes which are completely different. Talk about having to mentally switch gears between new and old. Some parallels to Model T to modern sticks comparison.
Lots of folks over the years have modified the bikes to more of a modern layout, but I removed all that and took it back to way it was during the war when those bikes were called the Liberator.
At shows most folks are perplexed by the older layout, just like the Model T. Also eliciting comment is the extensive tool kit the Army gave the drivers who had to fix them themselves while somebody was shooting at them, again just like the Model T (well, without the people shooting at them so much).
went to a car show and got there early and parked. ever one else lined up about a car length behind me. A guy running the show came to me and ask, if I get a tractor can I pull you back in line. I said no and turned the key on and got a free start and backed it into line. You should have seen the look on his face, he just stood there and shook his head.
"I tell them it's simpler than driving a stick shift."
Susanne, don't forget that many of the people you say that to haven't a clue how to drive a stick shift!
"Bob I believe it was Ralph Ricks who coined that phrase."
Greg, yes, it was Ralph. He said it here quite often.
You are right, kids learn fast. I taught my niece to drive my 14, when she was 7, as she was tall for her age and could reach the pedals. This pic is of her getting ready to drive my 1920 TT in a local parade.
She was nine at this time.
Dan - You're right,....kids certainly do learn fast! But I also think another factor is involved. Young kids that have not learned to drive yet, and certainly have not learned to drive any type of "stick shift" yet, only have to "learn", and they have nothing to "un-learn"! I think that even with adults, actually, maybe ESPECIALLY adults have a hard time adapting to Model T pedals because they have trouble grasping the use of the clutch pedal especially, which is why I've always thought it should have been more properly referred to as "the high-low pedal!
Great photo Dan,....kids and "T" make a "FUN" combination,.....harold
People, usually men, that know a little, or sometimes a lot, about cars other than Ts find it interesting that GM turbo 400 trans parts can be used in model T transmissions.
People ask me where my spare tire is. I have non-demountable wheels so I carry no spare. They are impressed, or underwhelmed when I tell them that I carry a spare tube, tire irons, and a pump under the back seat of my '21 touring.
The dumbest thing that anyone has said to me so far is "friends" have looked it over and said that my car would make a good ratrod or streetrod. Ain't gonna happen in my lifetime.
Another thing some find strange is that there are no front brakes and that the rear shoes had no lining on them. I have an original unlined shoe and a lined aftermarket shoe handy for showing and telling.
It was Erik Barrett that stopped for gas on the way to the DUMP in his TT with a load of trash.
A guy asked him where he was going. When Erik told him, ďthe dumpĒ, the guy asked him how he was gonna get home.
Iíve had little kids in Oakland, CA come up to me and say,Ēthat car can fly canít itĒ.
I always tell them the truth and that Chity Chity bang bang was just a movie for fun.
Since I bought my Ď26 new (was born in Ď37) it runs on charcoal, I have to have parts and tires custom made, I donít take it to car shows anymore. I see too many people that know me and know after seeing my T know Iím filthy rich in order to afford that car.
Thatís how I became so rich. I showed my T at car shows!?
I found out at the History Park car show a couple months ago that the auxiliary transmission in the rear of a Ď25 T was a Ford gearbox made by Ford so people would stop buying so many Ruckstel rear ends and Warfords.
The guy was dead serious. Since he was young and bigger than me I didnít say anything.