I do not own a T yet and have a very definite vision of the car I want to build or restore. I also want to respect a cars history. Is it considered wrong to strip an original paint T to bare metal and repaint it? Is there any acceptable instance where this is ok to do...like if there are real issues with the original paint and it can't be salvaged? I just do not like the all black look...but that was the color predominantly used...and mostly what I am finding unless it's a car that is rusted and needs a full restoration.
Oh man, this is going to be quite the thread.
In my opinion, there are a very small number of unaltered and unrestored original cars that are so well preserved they serve as examples for historians. Leave those ones alone. Outside that, you paid for it so do what makes you happy.
Any dealer in the day would have repainted your car for a price. There is also pin-striping on the body and the wood wheels. Unless you are trying to build a 1000 point "Trailer Queen" I would say it's your car and most people would not mind if it is done tastefully (read don't paint it purple with yellow and red polka dots). If it is a true "Rip Van Winkle" barn find with paint that could be made to look decent then I wouldn't otherwise as I said above it's your car! Some may disagree and that is fine by me.
Definitely want to be period correct...just not an all black car. :^)
The black era for Fords was 1914-1925. Before and after those years they came in other colors. Obviously if you paint a Model T from 1914 through 1925 some other color it will differ from original.
It's generally considered wrong to strip and repaint a very well-preserved original car. But those are uncommon. Most have already been repainted sometime in last hundred years even if they may not look it.
Here' some information from the encyclopedia on paints and colors for various years:
Here's a guy who went so far as to reproduce the original black gilsonite chemistry!
Model T's are probably the cheapest collector car out there right now. Car values are highly dependent on nostalgia value, and most folks that grew up with them are gone now. If you account for dollar decline vs inflation you'll see that black T's are still selling for the same thing they did 20 years ago...with dollar value dropping that equates to cheaper now than then...good news for those that are nutty for them! Not so good for investment purposes unless you go to early brass cars...
Whether you spend $5000 or $10,000 a new owner can easily put another $1000 into it to make it safe, or "their car", or...you name it.
It would be your car and if you want to paint it a different color than it came, that's your choice. My belief is that if it originally was a "black car" and you change the color, you will cut your potential buyers to 10% of what it would have had (there are almost always lots of cars to chose from), and no matter how well done, the paint job would add little to no value to the car. If it was a 26-27 Improved Ford, the impact would not be so great, but still would be significant.
So, if you really intend to keep it, paint it to please yourself. If you see yourself falling out of love with it any time soon, plan on taking a beating on the cost of the paint, and having a reduced buyer base.
In any event, good luck with your search, and it is smart to ask questions
To repaint a car you need to strip it to bare metal--then shoot it with epoxy primer, then with red oxide. Now fill the dents and low places---sand/block until you have a flat and good surface for your top-coat. We like acrylic enamel (your choice of color). Base/clear works but leaves a "too Shinny" finish for old model Ts. Find a complete and running, rust free car for your repaint, Good luck--Paul
If you want to be period correct and also not have a black car, the answer is 26-27 or 1909-1913, whichever your budget and your tastes determine.
Well I am looking for a 26 or 27 touring....so still keeping with correct available colors and options.
Do with it what you wish. It's yours, but know that if you decide to sell it later on, others may not have the same appreciation for what you've done. Still others may. I'm one of those dreaded purists. I would not even entertain the idea of buying a black era car that wasn't black. Some people wouldn't care. I'm the same with the list of 'upgrades' I see a lot of folks giving when they go to sell one. To them, it reads like a lot of plusses. To me, it reads like a list of stuff I'm gonna have to 'fix' or 'undo' after I buy it.
I think the years you're considering are more forgiving with non-standard colors. You might try looking at Model A colors and see if any of those suit you...again, staying as close to period colors will give the best resale options and price. Also, Steve Jelf has shown what colors the 26-27 might have come in and a couple of them are pretty stunning when well done.
Again, best of luck
here is a 26 color
A speedster can be of color, for any year...just sayin
For the record..I would never molest a really nice original paint car. I just like the look of the Midnight blue with black fenders and matching spoke wheels or finished wood spokes.
If it's the orig' paint, don't repaint it.
If it's been repainted & repaired many times, you can repaint it, it'd been repainted already.
Frankly I think the only people that would worry about in not being factory color are fewer and fewer every year. If it is panted some godly awful clown colors yes that might, but I sure would not worry if it was red yellow or one of many other colors if tastefully done. In fact I personally I might like it even more if it was.
I expect sometime in the fairly near future, a new generation of "purists" will fret over making sure they choose the exact original shade of bright red, as by then, common knowledge that "All Model Ts were painted red." will be based on the predominating color on the majority of surviving model T's regardless of the year of manufacture. Historians will point to a quote from Henry Ford himself, stating, "The customer may have a car in any color he wants, so long as it's red."
Guys building speedsters will consider themselves highly individualistic, daring mavericks by painting their cars black, gunmetal blue, dove gray and varying shades of dark blue and green. Indeed, they will be unique standouts on tours and in car shows.
Another option to consider -- purchase one that has already been painted a color you like.
And if you really want an authentic color and you want a touring car -- you would want the 1927 and not the 1926 touring. See: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/1926.htm where Bruce documents:
1926 COLORS: All cars were painted black, with black fenders, initially. Closed cars were then offered in colors: green for the Tudor and Coupe, and Maroon for the Fordor. Other options offered later in 1926, perhaps for the “1927” models.
1927 COLORS: All cars had black fenders. Various body color options, ultimately on all models. Black no longer available except on special order.
The MTFCI Judging Guidelines 7th edition lists Gun Metal Blue and Phoenix Brown as the two colors for the Touring and Roadster.
Note the Australian Model T cars offered colors over a much larger time frame.
Hap l9l5 cut off
In talks now with someone with a 26 TT that was previously painted..not original. But is mechanically sound. That is what I'm looking for. I appreciate all the advice. I feel more comfortable buying aT knowing this club exists.
you should know that a TT has a worm drive rear end and the vast majority of them will not go much faster than 20MPH due to their gearing. You will be hard pressed to tour with anyone unless it has a high speed ring/pinion. T Trucks are a bit of a different animal...
Those that have 'em love 'em and many make them do easy work. The folks that tour, make an investment into rear end gearing plus often times an auxilliary transmission with an overdrive, so as to make some speed.
Something to know before plopping down $$
I have a 14 and painted the body blue and the fenders, running boards and splash shields black. I figured the hardest part of painting is the prep, shooting paint is easy. Painting insides of fenders etc is best accomplished with them off but you can only see the outside of the body. I figure if I need the body black in the future with the body work done, all I'd have to do is scuff the body, tape it off and paint it. A weekend project and then if the rest looks bad I could put another coat on top since the undersides are black already. That might be a lot more trouble on a newer model though. As far as modifications go, you can always repaint, but un-chopping a top would be a problem.
A Model T is a personal thing.
We all feel differently about many aspects of the Model T.
In common, we all feel good about the pleasure the Model T brings to us and those around us.
Here is my Model T :
Here is one My wife wishes I had :
You never used to be older.
A lovely color that is. Plum or violet?
I see. Sort of between iris and periwinkle with just a touch of amethyst.
Bob, your red '15 looks lovely. Whoever painted it had some excellent restraint on exactly what parts to do in red.
This is the original paint scheme that was on the car when I bought it.
I drove it for over 15 years before I restored it.
I had to paint it the original colors or I would be a stranger in my own T community.
You never used to be older.
Paint is a period accessory.
I'm glad you brought that up, Lester. It's so true !
However, if one wishes to play the "period correct" card, then at least the color choices should be true to the range of pigments which were available as practical coatings in the era.
Although it's mostly impractical to use the same paint formulations today that were common in the era, using modern coatings opens availability to colors that didn't exist for auto paints even forty years ago.
Very few Model Ts were repainted during their using lives. Two reasons; the modest price of the vehicles meant they were by and large purchased by folks who either did not have extra income to "waste" on the price of a repaint simply to gratify a whim, or they were far too frugal to do so. Second, as the factory paint was very durable, in general it lasted very well through the five to seven years a Model T served its first owner. Most re-paints on Ts occurred when they were resurrected by youngsters, who most often used house-paint, or after WWII when the earlier ones had some interest as relics for fledgling "antique car" enthusiasts.
While it might affect value some I think it is more an issue of what you want. I am sure any Ford dealer would gladly paint a new T any color the purchaser wanted for a fee. Most manufacturers in the early years, even the higher priced ones, offered their cars in just one or two colors. Of course the higher priced cars could be had in any color the customer requested for an additional price. Unless you are looking to have the car judged I would paint it any color that pleased me. I am the third owner of a '12 Touring that was restored by the second owner from an original complete car. Today that car would not have been restored but the second owner wanted a green car and new upholstery so he went at it. It's the wrong color but who cares.
Rich - You make a good point,.....(.....several in fact). One point you made is the 5 to 7 year average period of ownership by the original owner. In fact, from history that I have read, when the Model A came out (whether justified or not) a lot of Model T owners then considered their Model T a piece of junk! How many times have we all heard stories like,....during the depression, if you wanted a Model T that didn't take much to get it running, all you had to do was to walk out into a field and get one! Boy! How THAT's changed, huh?
Agree 100% with the first answer. Other than an original car do whatever makes you happy. Model Ts world wide by the 20s were literally painted in what ever color the buyer wanted in Australia and other countries outside the US. Be happy and enjoy our wonderful hobby.
One comment is to not get burdened with correctness. My cars were each judged once. One was marked down for a 1925 horn button instead of a 26. I didn't care then or now.