Years ago (1977) I went on a camping, ghost town trip with three friends in Nevada. It was a lot more open in those days. We were chugging along a road between abandoned towns when I spotted some sheet metal in the sage brush. This called for immediate investigation and it turned out to be two 20's T front fenders! Not a bullet hole in either, no kinks and most of the original paint intact. I was trying to figure a way to lash them to the top of my camper when my friends started talking me out of it. After ten minutes of arguing, I finally caved and left them there.....never to grace the model T I was building at home, 200 miles away. I've regretted it ever since.
Anyone else have a similar experience?
They would had came home with me
Came upon this relic near an abandoned railway siding at Kelton Utah in Nov 2008.
I identified it at the time as a Model T fender, but looking at the photo again, not so sure. A zoomed-in closeup follows if anyone wants a better look.
I'm betting (cautiously) that even Kiwi Kep might leave this one behind.
Just remembered another one, and it's fairly local.
I worked as a repairman for the local phone company...the perfect job for poking around some of the old ranches. I saw a Ruckstel that was once used as a trailer axle, sinking in the mud by a barn. I asked about it at the time and was told they intended to use it again....someday. I think I'll take a drive out there this weekend and see if it's still there.
My dad bought this land in 1969. There has been 2 rear T fenders laying out about 50 feet off the hwy since way before then.
They are still there as they are to crumbly to weld or use anything of.EXCEPT, back in 2005 when I was putting the left front fender on my TT,I needed 1 of those bolts to go on the bracket. I went out there with a couple tools,removed the bolt from 1 of them,cleaned it up and put it on the truck.. I found out the folks that lived in the house beside of us had a T and I have 2 of the old steel fellows from 2 wheels from the T and a bent up hubcap that I found as a kid sitting on the fireplace mantel.
54-55 years ago Rich Eagle and I and other friends went on "hunting trips" about every week. On one outing we explored an abandoned ranch-stead and mined it pretty extensively for Model T rust. Mostly we were "picky" at that time, only taking stuff we needed for our projects. On this place there was a small log structure with a sod roof - in it was a buggy in very good shape, but the roof had sagged to the point of just touching the back of the seat. I've always regretted not saving that buggy.
11 or so, bicycle aged, no basket to carry parts ;-), rock pile, doors and tin just over the hill from the neighbors.
I wonder if the door I grabbed is still in his dad's shed?
A school mate's birthday party just a bit later, another rock pile and no way to get the stuff home.
Ya know, boys outdoors, wandering/exploring, electric fences, Garder snakes and the last boy in the chain. Zap Zap Zap from the fencer.
By the time I had a car, all gone.
Shoot, Just remembered I left some '26 Dodge Brothers fenders after they fell off the trailer.
The rest of the tin stayed on the farm after I moved off. Buried now I'm sure.
Not proud of that teenaged muck-up nor the letting go of the '67 Coupe De Ville some years later.
The 10 dollar model A frame/axles. Didn't have the ten bucks.
Let a White truck lay that my son and his buddy found.
George, if you go, let us know.
1980 when I found my 1925 Indiana Truck in the loft of a barn I went back and got anything that looked like it might be for a car or truck. I found this tarnished brass thing and didn't know what it was or what it did. Never saw one before and could not decide it was a car part so left it behind. Went back years later and it was gone after I found out it was a carbide generator from a 1912 T touring car that had been torn apart. I now need one for the 12 touring I have and this one was near perfect. Bet it went to the scrap yard.
I've had a couple of find it and leave it experiences over the years. I found a 28 or 29 A phaeton body resting down a bank on the roadside and brought two of the doors home. I never did go back with a shovel and get the rest. I went with some friends who dug up old bottles and found a pair of T running boards still connected together by the braces. There were some fenders lying close by, which I never went back for. I failed to retrieve a decent 28 or 29 A tudor sedan body found in the woods. Someone had cut the back panel out of the body, like they were going to convert it to a sedan delivery. A friend of mine bought an old house that was built in the late 20s that had a trash dump on the property. We noticed the front of a T fender sticking out of the ground. We dug it up and the 3 or 4 inches that had been above ground was rusty but the buried part was solid, with shiny black paint still on it.
Scrap metal prices went crazy here a couple of years ago, bringing $17.00 per 100 pounds and maybe more, so a lot of scrappers dug out everything that they could find. I know where a lot of old cars and trucks disappeared from. People had a lot of yard art stolen.
I once got into trouble for NOT leaving parts where they laid.
We were in Peterborough in South Australia's dry north, picking our way through the remains of a 1922 tourer, with the owner's knowledge and permission. The whole car was slowly sinking under wind blown dust and peppercorn tree litter, but the dry climate had preserved it well. A couple of hours into the project, the owner came out to inspect our progress, and while there pointed out a Moore transmission and tailshaft and shift mechanism under a trailer next to the tree. It had been in the car when it was 'parked', but had been removed for some reason.
We dug up all we could and then scrambled in under the trailer and hauled the transmission out too, well pleased with the results of our efforts.
A week or so later I got a phone call. The fellow was quite put out that we had picked up the transmission, which we had thought he had meant us to take, having shown us where it lay. So I asked him what was the best way to get it back the 200 miles we had hauled it home. I don't think that was the reaction he was expecting, as he went quite quiet for a bit. I could almost hear him thinking down the line. In the end, he said we might as well keep it, as he had no use for it. I have never found another in 55 years of messing with T's.
Allan from down under.
Around here, there are no large expanses of land that isn't owned by somebody. I can't imagine finding a T anywhere near here that doesn't belong to someone. A few years back, a coworker told me about one at an old farmhouse under a shed. No one has lived there for decades. He said he remembers that T sitting under that shed when he was a kid. Over the years, he has seen it continue to decay. I went out there myself. It's a black era Touring car. The wheels have rotted and it has sank into the sand. Someone has removed the head and set it off to the side. He said that head is sitting in the same place it was when he was a kid. There's probably a good bit of good parts on it, even some of the sheet metal is probably still good. However, I wasn't comfortable being there on someone else's property and left after about 5 minutes of satisfying my curiosity, not having touched a thing.
My coworker told me a few weeks later, that he had taken his kids out there. He's a little braver than I am. They ventured inside the abandoned house, and found what he thought was a meth lab. They didn't stick around very long either.
This made me think... What causes a person to enjoy shooting an old car full of holes? It takes very little to entertain some folks.
When I 15 years old, in 1974, I was helping my dad work on antique cars. Finding used parts in the Missouri Ozarks was no problem then. Junked out Model T seemed to be everywhere. If we needed a fender or door, we always knew where one was. We just went out the woods and picked it up. If we need engine parts, wheels, or axles, there were several salvage yards that still had Model T parts. I knew farmers who had barns full of stuff like that for very low prices. One problem I do remember is that we rarely ran across any brass era parts. There were not many cars in that area before the 1920s. Most of the old cars there were the used black radiator era Model T that were brought down from the cities. Now things have changed. All the old sheet metal was carried off long ago or it has rusted away.
A few years ago the electric utility installed some conduit and manholes down the main street of our town, Alpine, Ca. In the process of trenching, they found some auto parts buried under the road. One thing they found was half of a 26 T rear axle housing. Those parts are now on display at our history museum!
I remember Dad telling me years ago about a earth dam that was built, they used old car parts as fill. He also talked about the Model A rear end they packed out of the woods.
I have packed stuff out of farm fields but only after asking. Any more, I would let it lie and go back to where it came from, the earth. Unless it really was worth something. I can hear that little voice calling me now? Mark save me!
In the desert near Beatty, Nevada.
In the late '40's, and even up until the '70's in some parts, I had reason to be all over the Rockies and Northern Plains. I would be out in the more isolated parts, and it seemed like you never got out of sight of an old abandoned vehicle. They, and their attached parts, were there for the taking. I know I could have quit my job, and made a lot more money scrapping up these and the parts, but there really wasn't the market for this stuff back then. Along about the mid '70's or thereabouts, somebody wised up to this, and one could commonly see the automobile transports out in the middle of nowhere, loading these old cars up. Far as I know, no money ever changed hands, there was no one out there to say Yay or Nay. That stuff is all pretty well gone now except for some way back in the back of some of the bigger ranches.
Bob, That fender could possibly be useable with a little body work. The poor lizard would need to find a new home!
Jeez, in NE the thing would have been disintegrated years ago...
One time I walked 3 hours into the sand dunes for a spindle, and 3 hours out.
How did you know the spindle was there Kep?
It was calling out to him... --grins--
Back to the original question - no doubt something I found abandoned in the middle of nowhere would come back. I figure it was put there in front of me to be discovered and brought back, not to let it disintegrate into a pile of unidentifiable iron oxide.
Anyone that has traveled highway 66 in the 50's would be able to tell stories of the vehicles that were abandoned and lay rusting all along the route. Many of them were still there even into the 1980's where parts were almost landmarks. I am not sure what happened to all of the rusted remains but the ones I took pictures of are no longer there, but I have the pictures. This is a great thread.
Yeah, used to be that way up here in rural northern California. Abandoned vehicles......mostly model A's and forties era....were shoved into the brush along the main county road to our property. It all disappeared with the state's junk car clean up in the early sixties.
Living in rural Nv. Since 89 have found and seen many things. Piles of cars disapeared a few years ago by the metal scrapers. My big finds were cowel and front doors of a 25 Marmon. Also found an Auburn dash without another car part within a mile. Lots of model a parts. All gone now.
In 2008 I bought a Model T (car chassis) plumber’s truck from a fellow in Albuquerque. He had a 27 touring body and he gave it to me. I brought it home and ‘let it lie’. Six years later along comes my grandson, Cole, who couldn’t ‘let it lie’. He started restoration in 2014 and is almost finished now! It’s mostly stock except for homemade floating axles, Ruckstell, Rocky Mountains, and a Fronty engine.
1966 I bought a 47 Ford wagon from a co-worker for $15.oo. It was rough but restoreable with mostly decent wood. I spent the day removing all the wheels repairing the flats. I had an old u-haul tow bar to tow it home with. When I went to hook it up the clamps wouldn't go small enough to clamp to the bumpers. I got pissed and left it. Later someone flipped it on it's side and cut the front axle out for a stock car.
In the Adirondack Mts. I have found and stripped any good parts off T body's, no good sheet metal.
I bought this 24 body from a guy that dug it out of a field in Kansas. The second picture is after I restored it.
I was giving a ride to Karolyn Grimes, who played the part of Zuzu from the Chrismas movie "It's A Wonderful Life".