Might be fun for us to post pictures of our first model T Fords in "as found" condition. Here was mine; found in a yard behind a one room school house in Newtown, Pennsylvania. My father helped me drag it home to the farm where I took it completely apart in June and got it running by August. I drove it around the farm as a very fast go cart and then took the engine apart again and rebuilt it. By the next year I had built a body and found enough sheet metal to assemble a nice little runabout.
Below: as it looked when we brought it home. Cost $300. Note the solid rubber tires.
The same chassis after a year of work. I made the body from ash coated with a thin coat of Bondo and painted dark green. Used an old carriage seat and did the tufting myself. A year later I built a folding stage on the back to use for traveling medicine shows.
Ok, I'll bite. This is my first T as purchased for $75 in 1964 with Rich Bingham and myself.
One year later it had been "Perfectly Restored" as only a mother could describe it.
These photos were previously posted on a similar thread in late 2016:
I hope to see more great photos and stories here.
I got this 20 in about 1957 with a junk touring body on it, as a kid I had no money to do much except play with it. It took me until 1964 to finally put a roadster body on it
My current T is also my first - Betsy, my 1924 cut-off touring car. A shop had nearly finished the restoration for the previous owner back in 2008, but the work stopped for some reason and the owner decided to sell the car to me in 2013. I installed the interior, top, a Ruckstell, and AC rear brakes and now drive the car locally on a regular basis.
This is my first T as found!
I met my neighbor when I bought my second house in 2000. He showed me his garage and I was bitten by the "T" bug and every chance I got I would try to talk him out of one of his T's but they were his babies and he didn't sell them too often. He had bought this one at an estate sale in unknown condition because he wanted the original rocky's that were on it. After he got the brakes off he offered it to me and said the history of the car was "IFFY" at best. He taught me how to drive it and a few days later after tinkeren and replacing the "lawnmower" carb with an L-4 I went to his house and said something like every time I drove the car I would hear wooden wind chimes! He got a concerned look on his face and it was determined that the drivers rear wheel all 12 spokes were loose so he helped me fix it (wouldn't let me drive it til we did) there were other things "wrong" but I love "SaraJane" BTW when people ask me where I found it I tell them in my neighbor's garage.
This is Tilly, who we brought home in February. This is her being loaded after buying her from my aunt.
And this is her in her new home awaiting a mechanical refurbishment.
Here's mine the day I brought it home:
Since that pic I've pulled much of the engine apart for inspection and rebuild, relined the transmission bands, rebuilt the rear axle and brakes, installed trail lights, and built a new box. Still not quite road-ready yet, seems there's always two more jobs to do.
first Model T
I was very, very blessed. -Getting a brass antique car was something I had decided to do as a kid in second grade, but it was one of those back-burner things that just seem to simmer forever on the stove of vague aspirations. -Dad had gotten me started down the brass-car road, but then things like earning a living, fixing up a house and raising a family took precedence. -Getting a Model T was one of those things you always plan to do someday, but... well, you know how that goes.
Then, in the summer of 2009, I accidentally cyber-surfed my way to Katie Fleming's "Katie Across the Nation" YouTube videos of the huge caravan of Model T Fords that participated in a trans-continental trek from New York to Seattle. -Wow! -Suddenly, the bug bit deep and shook me hard. -I found the MTFCA forum and started doing the due diligence of buyer's research and was blessed to make the acquaintance of a Model T expert in the next town over from mine and we had a nice lunch at Robke's Country Inn, where he put me wise to what to look for in a Tin Lizzie.
Thus armed, I put an ad in the MTFCA classified, specifying my interest in the purchase of a 1914 or '15 Touring and within two days, I was in touch with the gentleman from whom I would buy a the car.
The seller happened to be the president of a Model T club chapter and had forty years of experience as a Model T mechanic. -He had a very nice collection of Flivvers, a couple of which were top-shelf prize winners, and was selling his daily-driver to make room for a new restoration project. -He was presently in the middle of going through the drive train and overhauling all the mechanicals therein with aluminum pistons, fresh kevlar bands, bronze thrust washers, etc., so needing nothing to be done to it, this would be the perfect newbie's car.
But it gets better. -Once having committed to buying his car, we entered into a separate deal whereby he'd make a number of modifications and we shook hands on it. -Those mods included a high-compression head, increased-flow manifold, a change-over from the overhand front wishbone to the safer underhand type, a change-over from 4:1 to 5:1 steering, the installation of a complete 12-volt electrical system including a self-starter. -He did these things for a brotherly low price and then trailered the car a few hundred miles from Albany, NY to my Long Island home—for the cost of tolls and gas.
Still not done. -The car already had a heavy-duty oval-tube radiator core, an NH carburetor, Rocky Mountain brakes, freshly overhauled coils, a wonderfully loud, hand-operated ahoogah horn and safety glass. -I really did hit the jackpot.
I can't say the car has been trouble-free because it's just the nature of these machines to need a lot of tinkering, adjusting, lubing, tire-changing and so forth, but this forum taught me most of what I needed to learn and then there was a couple of awfully nice guys who visited and spent a good deal of time fixing a couple of problems I couldn't have handled myself. -Very blessed, indeed.
24 TT, 1968
one year later, 1969
I sold it a few months later to start restoring my 21 touring.
I was told about this TT sitting in a barn across the line in Idaho by a guy I work with. Went to look at it and bought it on the spot. Great old truck.
This is Henry in 2014. Since getting him, I've taken apart and re-assembled every part on him I can think of. Now I just need to finish up the rear axle.
Here is a picture of my first T purchased when I was54 years of age. Back when I was a young man in the 1940's and 1950's I wanted a T but my dad thought I should do better with an A. My dad and uncles had told me how the pedals worked and I used to practice shifting from low to high in the A using the hand throttle. Then about 40 years later I got my first T. The day I bought it was the first time I drove a T, but I still remembered what they had taught me. I drove it all the way home, about 30 miles. The headlights were missing lenses and the low band slipped. My son would get out and push me and then jump on the running board while I went in high. Finally the last few miles were uphill and I ran every stop sign along the way, but I got home.
Wayne Ringgenberg of Waynes Automotive in Everton Missouri fired up my interest in model T Fords while doing the babitt in my Model A Ford.
While visiting him one day a local guy brought in a 1925 pickup that he had just bought up in Iowa.
That's what I want I thought and I finally found one after moving to Tucson Arizona
WOW, you guys all started out on a much larger scale than I did!
Dale, you are right. I remember building those before I got the real thing. Still have them around here somewhere.
In the first picture you posted - you and the ‘24-‘25 touring w/o rear passenger seat - do I discern an exceedingly rare 1914 notreproducedanymore compound curve splash apron??
Hi George. I would suspect it is an illusion. Although I would not have known one at the time those splash aprons had all the markings of typical '17-'15 aprons. They probably came with the '25 car. Any I purchased back then would have been recognized by the nice fellow we bought parts from.
Thanks for the comment.
I loved those "stock" or modified models that AMT made.
Here is my first "real" car in 1976:
Still have it!
: ^ )
I hadn't thought of our plastic models!
My first is my 25 dark blue Coupe. I stole the wheels and wire axles from the yellow 31 Cabriolet.
Gosh I was hard on those toys during moves/storage.
Can you say Bitsa? I think I've posted a pic of the start of my first T before.
The gas tank and frame were the only parts that knew each other already.
Nowadays he ain't pretty but he's still a handsome little bugger to me. :-)
This belonged to my grandfather. When I was a boy, we'd go out in his garage and "work" on it. We didn't get very far, because the before photo is the way that it looked when he gave it to my folks and I in 1998. I enjoyed restoring it with my father's help. The box is a period original that I found and restored. It's on the car because Grampa always dreamed of having a pickup box on the car. The lettering is my grandfather's name and home town in memory of him.
Our 1923 Aussie Ute in 1965.
John Page. Australia
Looking at the starting points of a lot of these cars I think I have been lucky with my acquisitions,at least they have been mostly complete!
My first a 23 T
Here is my first T. 1946. I still own it.
Here's my first Model t, as brought home April 1971. Had to beg one of the local stock car racers to bring it home.
That's a great photo Darel.
I thought I'd had my 54 Ford high school car a long time (1986) but compared to some of you guys, I'm a piker.
Here is what Miss T looked like when I purchased her in Portland Oregon in Sept 2017. Picture makes her look a LOT better then she actually looked
This is what she looks like after six months of repairs, including stripping down to bare metal and finished with new paint
Darel J. didn't say if he was the driver, or the kid on the running board. About 1948 our neighbor gave me a Model T roadster, about a 23, it disappeared one day while I was at school. Dave in Bellingham,WA
I'm new to Model T's.
Here's my car just after purchase in December 2017.
I had no idea of all the wonderful and hidden mechanical surprises that were awaiting me (lol).
My first was a 1926 RP project about 1990. That was back in the film era, and I don't know where I have the pictures. It's still scattered in the barn waiting for me to get to it. My second was this 1924 TT project I bought in 2007. It's also on the waiting list.
When I retired in 2000, I decided I needed a hobby. My grandfather, a mechanic, had told me years before that we were going to buy a Model T or Model A (I didn't know the difference then) so he could teach me how to work on cars, but he passed away before we ever got the chance.
So, I decided to buy an A with a rumble seat! But when I found out how expensive they were, someone told me to look at T's instead.
I found a '26 roadster advertised by an 86 y/o man who was selling his collection and bought it. Afterwards, he told me he had been told it had been owned by the Earp family and driven by Wyatt Earp, but had no real proof so didn't say anything until after I bought it.
I continued to search the archives, DMV, etc but never really found anything. Eventually I sold it to Alex Alongi (who used to post here until he passed) so I could buy a brass T. Sold it the same way to him. . . .didn't say anything about the possible Earp connection until AFTER he purchased it. We both continued to research it until we found the sales records at Colton Ford in Colton, CA and at the Wyatt Earp museum in Colton. After Alex passed, his family sold it and we don't know where it is now.
Coincidentally, sometime later we were going thru my Mom's pictures from her childhood and found a picture of my great grandfather (he founded Baker, CA in the early 1920's--134' thermometer on the way to Las Vegas) standing next to Wyatt Earp and what appears to be the same car (Wyatt used to drive the car in the Mojave Desert when he went prospecting and occasionally stopped in Baker).
Wish I had it now!
this is my first Model T in 1968 after a trip to the lake.
Picture 1 Dads first T June 1960 driven home, picture 2 same car 1964, picture 3 My first T 2016
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Here is a picture of my T in 2010 where I picked it up from my Dad. You can see the after picture in my profile.
Do you suppose your first T ended up in Florida? See the picture posted above posted by G.R. Cheshire. It looks identical to yours.
1981 - 1984
G.R.Cheshire's seems to be the actual "Phoenix Brown" like your car. Mine was really a little more yellow than it shows in the picture. I heard a rumor that one of the Judds (Imperial Beach?) may have bought it, but haven't gotten an answer from them, or Alex's daughter.
My first T was my dad’s second, so I have a hand me down
This is me (in the hat)with my first T, less than a year old (circa spring 1966). Then circa 1971-72. Then at 17 on my first attempt at a paint job around 1982, painted it maroon from black. And I still have the car today.
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We paid $1600 for it in 1963 with a three speed Warford and a Ruckstell and all the bells a whistles for parades. It is now in a Museum. A real 1912 Pie wagon made up to be a Paddy Wagon. Not a 1915 C cab this one was earlier. I later painted the body gray and black and made a "Shore Patrol" sign for it so we could use it in parades more.
Here's mine. Me (In the hat) with my first T, circa '65-'66. Working on the frame with a friend about 11-12 years old.My first attempt at a paint job at 17 ('82-'83). an still have it today, 52 years later.
March, 1973; I'm driving.
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Bill, tiff files won't post. Gotta be jpg.
This was my 1st T. A Model T go kart ( 1960s )
Couldn't afford a REAL one.
So, now I can afford my 1ST REAL Model T.
Its a 1924 Coupe. Only the 3rd owner.
In 2005 I found mine, a 1926 touring. it took me 3 days to get it out of the barn.
Inherited my 1925 coupe from my dad who inherited it from his father-in-law (my grandfather). I have a registration for it in my grandfather's name from 1935 so it has been in the family a while. I played in it as a kid, put the red primer on it while in college, and am finally getting serious as a retiree. I've had it a long time, but it still isn't on the road (yes a little embarrassed) but getting close--maybe this summer.
Our '21 Touring where we found it in Pigeon Forge TN in September 2016.
The fenders and splash aprons were new. The hood former was obviously not '21 so I sold it. The new interior and top was included. The engine and trans were already rebuilt and the tires were new.
My first T, '25 cut down touring. 1964.
A serious teen in his high school ride!
And the '24 touring, acquired out of a barn, 1977, still running today along with me too
Both sets of Grandparents raised me, Mama's people never learned to drive, my paternal Grandfather did. We had several of those like Messrs. Osterman and Sims in a pile at the Barn. I knew the spark and gas levers and the cranking routine from helping my Grandpa start one. One day my Grandma and I were sitting on the front porch, one of the strip downs we used to haul feed and mineral to the cattle was sitting there, and she told me to go drive it. I did, around and around in a circle, she hollered and said go out in the pasture, and I did, been driving ever since, I was 8 or 10 years old, had to stand up to drive it and step on the pedals. I had an 8,000 acre pasture to practice in, down side was that I then had to haul feed and mineral block.
My first T was a '27 Touring which was a put-together car. I bought it for $500 in 1971. No pics, sorry.
26 'tudor. Ca. 1970 or 1971. Barn find. Early in restoration. Madison, WI while in graduate school.
Our 1st one is in my profile pic. Took us a while to, come around
My 1917 Sambuca, Canopy Express Delivery I was doing an appraisal on this, 1925 touring and a '36 Packard for a estate settlement in Alstead, New Hampshire. It was love a first sight, even my wife wanted me to buy ( I paid more than what I appraised it for), still it was a great purchase.
I bought my first car, 23 Model T Pickup for $15 in 1943 from the father of one of my Hi school buddies. During the war we were able to get "War Emergency" Drivers License at 14 YO. His dad had a dairy and didn't need it any more, and said drive over to the gas tank and filler up. I didn't take any pictures of it because I was busy being me.
I got a T (Truck) gas sticker for it which allowed more gas to be purchased.
A rancher in Arizona gave me the bones. It took about 3 years to get it together. I purchased and drove a 26 touring and a 25 pu project before I was able to drive this one.
A farmer was going to make a hay wagon out of this one so I found him a frame and wheels and he let me retrieve this car from a rock pile. I was 12 or 13 (in 1944 or 45 ) and I still have it.. I'm the second owner. I was 15 or16 in this picture. The gun was a borrowed 308 with an octagon barrel and there was a Doe season that year. That was the only time I ever went deer hunting.