So tell me why I should buy a model T?

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BrooklynBeer
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So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by BrooklynBeer » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:58 pm

Earliest vehicle I have ever owned was my 40 ford 2 ton truck. Have a garage with a few cars like a 46 dodge, 49 buick, 65 plymouth, etc. Never driven model T. So tell me why I should buy a model T and what makes them so enjoyable?


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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by noelchico » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:17 pm

I get more smiles per mile in my T than in any other vehicle. Also, the folks on this forum, and on tours, are helpful and fun to be with. Parts are relatively cheap compared to more modern vehicles, and they are easy to work on. No, they aren't a great cold weather car with no heater, and there's no air conditioner either. They can't do interstates unless significantly altered, but can keep up reasonably well in town driving. Like a sailboat, once you're in one, you are where you want to be.

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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by Steve Jelf » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:26 am

Some like 'em, some don't. Those who do generally enjoy going back in time to a hundred years ago, rolling along at a leisurely pace enjoying the great outdoors. Even if your T is a coupe or a sedan, somehow you feel closer to the outdoors than you do in a modern car. Practical considerations are the wealth of information and the ready availability of so many parts. The generally lower cost than other antique cars is nice too. For an aesthetic view, I'll refer you to E.B. White:

http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG74.html
The inevitable often happens.
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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by DHort » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:33 am

With a T everybody likes your car. People ask questions, they are thrilled if you tell them to get in the driver seat and I will take you picture, the kids love them especially if you give them a ride ( and sometimes that is just around the gas station), showing someone how to crank the engine to start it, and I could go on and on. You get your hands dirty. You have a sense of accomplishment when you get something to work. There are a ton of guys and gals on this forum that will help you out if you have a problem. You learn to live life in the slow lane and how to stop and smell the roses. You see things on the side of the road that you would never see in a modern car because you are going to fast. You don't worry about when you are going to get there. You just say to yourself, I will get there eventually - why be in such a rush. ....

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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by Duey_C » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:46 am

Chris, I wanted a T yet didn't know why, since I was very young. The body lines I suppose.
My very first drive down The Hill here? I was hooked. The damn things are alive!
Each different.
They "move" with the terrain, show themselves as they are, as different characters. As if individuals in a sea of T's. Still to this day.
Alive. 1st ride scared me to heck and back. The damn thing moved and flexed as IF my babble were true.
Wake a few. Take them out. They'll show you. My bones showed me. Well, the '24 Runabout that lives here showed me.
Those body lines are still beautiful yet that's not the thing.
For me.
Since I lost my mind mind, I feel more liberated


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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by Mark Osterman » Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:09 am

All of the above and one more thing for me. When I drive a model T (which I do nearly every day) I am fully engaged with what I’m doing. Living “in the moment” is difficult in these times with the stresses of work and ... the news regardless of what fence you’re on. When I’m in the T the world and its problems are in a different place.


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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by BrooklynBeer » Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:48 am

Thank you everyone. I will keep looking and learning. Just what would be a few important factors looking into say a 25-27 open car ?


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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by ericmac » Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:23 am

I agree with the above and would add, try to sit in as many years and bodystyles as you can. I have long legs and wear a 13 shoe. That eliminated all of the 17-25 open cars for me, though I have friends who feel those are the most comfortable variation. So far the most comfortable T I have driven was a '26 Runabout. Most T guys are more than happy to give you a test sit or drive. The test fitting is a fun part of the hobby....actually, it is all fun. Good luck!
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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by Joe Voller » Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:58 am

I don't know why but i had to have one, I have never rode in one, have other old cars 29 A, 43 ford GPW, 61 comet. now I have two that need to be restored and a shed full of parts. It must be that ford fever. no known cure and if I buy any more it will be terminal.

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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by Kaiser » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:12 am

Chris, there is no sensible reason why you should, but believe me you will,
Asking the question is a sure sign that some T allready infected your brain !
It will only be a matter of time now before the first T will find a home on your driveway, and the next one and the next...
You'll see, there is no way back now for you, and more bad news; it can't be cured.
As they say "Welcome to the affliction !"
On the up side, this forum is like the AA, everyone here knows what is happening with you, we all sympathise and will help if you need someone to assist you with anything T or TT related or even OT :lol:
When in trouble, do not fear, blame the second engineer ! 8-)
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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by It's Bill » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:59 am

I wanted one because my dad learned to drive on one. He was born in 1907. It is an experience like no other, more fun than any other car I have owned! If you can crank start and drive one of these little cars, you have really accomplished something special. Plus, if you are interested in engineering, these cars are endlessly fascinating. The problem is they are like potato chips, hard to quit with just one! Join the club brother, you will be glad you did. Cheers, Bill

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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by Steve Jelf » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:08 am

One part of Model T driving I enjoy is the public reaction. Wherever you go, you are your own parade. Wherever you stop, you are your own car show.

IMG_7408 copy.JPG
Folks like to take pictures of their kids sitting in a T.
The inevitable often happens.
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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by MWalker » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:13 am

Chris -- My advice is to find a local Model T club near you (there are several in TX) and attend a few meetings. You don't need to have a T to visit with and get to know the folks there, and that will help you to locate the T you want. Ride in someone's back seat (or shotgun) on a tour or two with them, so you can learn about differences in the body styles and features. You might be able to talk one of the members out of a "spare" car he has. While it's the cars which bring us together, it's really the people who make being part of the Model T Community something special.
Last edited by MWalker on Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by Russ T Fender » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:16 am

I got one to expand the tour groups I could drive with. It was the only pre 1915 car I could afford at the time and it made a great reliable vehicle for touring with the HCCA. It also made it possible to tour with the numerous Model T groups. But, be careful! I have one 2 cylinder car to tour with that group, one 40hp car to tour with the big boys and one car for the nickel group but I wound up with eight Model T's. You just can't have one!


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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by MWalker » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:28 am

Chris -- You asked about important factors to look for. The best thing to look for is a car which was built or rebuilt by someone with a lot of Model T experience and who drives his cars on tours a lot. Buying a T which runs is not enough. There is a world of difference between a T which "runs" and one which is tour-worthy and dependable. While you might enjoy working on vehicles, it's important to be able to drive your "new" car right away, rather than having to rebuild it before being able to use it. These cars are a hundred or so years old, and if someone knowledgeable about Model T's hasn't rebuilt it recently, you'll have to in order for it to be dependable. It's no fun driving a T which "runs" but breaks down before it gets you home. It's worth the money to buy one which is already dependable, because it'll be cheaper in the long run.


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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by John_manuel » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:33 am

Several years ago I saw Jay Leno driving a T on TV. He said of all his many vehicles, the T was one of his favorites. I thought, now here is a true gear head whose options are virtually unlimited and he likes a T, I will have to see what this is about. Well, I bought a little coupe, then a canopy express, then another and now it is a roadster with a pick up bed. I have a lot of fun with a T, whether working on it, driving in the neighbor hood, meeting other old car guys for breakfast or some time just sitting in it and smiling to myself. When you are out in a T people of all ages and all walks of life will approach you cheerfully and ask questions----if that doesn't appeal to you, prepare to be frequently annoyed!!!


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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by John kuehn » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:38 am

If I were you the first thing I would do is to find a T club or a local T owner and ask the owner if he would let you drive his T. Go to a location where there isn’t much traffic or distractions.
If it’s a stock T you will soon learn the limitations of a T. They are fun to drive and in less congested areas where there aren’t many things to worry about.
It’s the other drivers that’s the worry.
Just don’t get caught in 4 or 5:00 afternoon traffic. You will soon find out how much folks will like you and and your neat old slow car!
I live out in the country and have decent black top roads to drive and have fun on with my 3 Model T’s. I get smiles from drivers flying by me at 60-70 mph when I’m running around 30-35 mph!
Good luck and have fun!


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In the moment

Post by FreighTer Jim » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:31 am

Why buy a Model T ?

Last week I delivered the first of three cars to a gentleman who is moving from St. Louis, Missouri
to Whitefish, Montana .....

1966 Oldsmobile 442 Convertible
Triple Black - Tri Power
One of Six

80097017-C6F9-4C4D-813A-573DE8BF25B7.jpeg

Before I dropped off - I arranged for him to meet Dave Cooley in nearby Kalispell - we toured Dave’s collection
and had lunch.

Then Dave took Wayne ( my customer ) for a ride in
a Model T ...... ;)


C059A41F-30A2-4F95-8A39-EA00564D819B.jpeg

Now .....

Wayne wants a Model T ...,, :idea:

Driving a Model T requires you be present - in the moment - interacting as one with the car - no distractions.

It is very cathartic ..... ;)


An added bonus is The Model T Family.



FJ


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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by Norman Kling » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:57 am

I am going to start with a negative! If you don't want a T, don't buy one. If you want to make it into a "hot rod" , look for one which has already been altered. Don't destroy a mostly stock car.

Now the positives. I know from experience how to buy a T. First one I got was parked on the street with a for sale sign on it. I thought these cars were quite rare because I didn't see them on the street every day. So I bought the first one I saw for sale. This was a mistake. The low band was so worn out I had to get my son to push me until I could get into high. So first thing I had to do was replace the bands. Anyway that was only the first thing. What I though was an "Orange Peel" paint job turned to be paint over rust pits. And several other problems arose. After a couple years I finally got it "Tour worthy"

The second one I bought was a retirement project. A complete basket case which took about 10 years to restore. I was retired when I bought it, but a week later went back to work for 15 more years, so my T work was only done in spare time.

The third one I got from an estate sale. It had been restored about 30 years before, but even it had some problems to overcome, but much less than the other two.

Having said all of the above, If I knew then what I know today, I would have joined the club first, got to know the members and taken along someone knowledgeable when I looked at a car for sale. Also members usually know where to get a good car.

These cars are 100 years old, and so even the good ones have problems from time to time, but they are very fun to drive if you aren't in a hurry.
Norm


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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by sweet23 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:06 pm

Whoever dies with the most stuff wins!!!!!

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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by Charlie B in N.J. » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:21 pm

You know, if you really want to find out before you buy, you should get involved with someone that has one. It's the only way I can think of to really find out if the T is for you. The car is in it's own world if you will and is not like any thing else out there. It's different to drive and really requires you to think about what you're going to do next as far as stopping, turning, ect. Try it first is the best advice I can give.
Forget everything you thought you knew.


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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by Hal » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:31 pm

You say a '25 to '27. There is a big difference beginning in '26. They are a lot more like a Model A. Most notably, the fuel tank is in the cowl rather than under the seat. These fuel tanks are hard to remove and are not reproduced. Not a problem if yours isn't rusty and doesn't leak.

The advice about buying a tour ready car is good advice, if you are all about touring. If showing or authenticity are your thing, then look a "tour ready" car over closely. Lot's of "tour ready" cars have all sorts of "improvements" that you may not like if you want one true to it's year. Distributors, alternators, pumps (Fuel, water, and oil), Oil filters, hydraulic brakes, disc brakes, front brakes, that sort of thing. Again, if that's your bag, then no problem, but if it's NOT your bag, beware, as there are a lot of cars out there with these sorts of modifications that will have to be UN-done if you want it closer to how it was originally.

Lastly, how mechanically inclined are you? That's a rhetorical question...... You don't HAVE to be mechanically inclined to own a T, but it sure ain't a gonna hurt. Generally, they do require more and more frequent maintenance than newer cars. Understanding spark advance and carburetor mixture, when and how to properly adjust them, and that sort of thing while not REQUIRED, will enhance your experience.

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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by Ruxstel24 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:23 pm

Top 5 :D

5) You enjoy smelling like gear lube and exhaust fumes.
4) You have a need to have permanent black stuff under your fingernails.
3) You believe "brakes are for sissies".
2) You're not concerned with spending more time and money than you'll ever see in return.
1) You have at least one screw loose.
:P :lol: :lol:

But I have more fun with my T than any other vehicle I have ever driven. Including my Harley, and many many new stuff working for dealerships for 30 years.
Lots of waves and horn toots and questions, nearly every time someone new sees it !! :D


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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by Mike Royster » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:17 pm

Well, if you get a T you better be a friendly type person. Everybody waves, they hang out their windows to take pictures, the Google Earth guy stopped me and of course I gave him a ride. I have a 1916 Runabout and have enjoyed every minute in it. It is extremely reliable and so much fun to drive. As others have said there is a freedom in driving a 100 year old car as life in the slow lane. I have other cars, I have owned other cars, this is my go to car. If you come to NC I'll make you a believer!


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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by Tom Hicks » Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:00 pm

First, buy one as a fun investment, not as a financial investment. Model T's are a hobby, and although some make money with them, most people will not. Sorta like Golf or a boast, some people make money at it, but basically one is spending money to have fun.


Second, they are not for everyone. Do you want one to show, or tour,or restore, or just knock around in occasionally, or as a daily driver, etc.


Third, most people do the basic mechanical work themselves, and enjoy it. Do you have the space, tools, knowledge, or the ability and desire to learn.

Personally I own two basic types of T's. One is a speedster, like a big go kart with modifications like 4 wheel hydraulic disc brakes and LED lighting for safety. With a 3:1 rear she will run over 60, but I tend to hold it under 55 unless i get in a pack to traffic running faster. For safety, I feel that it is important to run with the speed of traffic. It requires that the driver pay a LOT of attention to other vehicles, plan ahead, and drive with the same caution as one drives a motorcycle. But NO helmut is required, wind in the face and go! It is a lightweight open car that is FUN ! But not everyone likes them.


The other type is the TT truck. I have 5:1 rears and Rucksells on both of them. They will run 45mph, but I generally keep them between 25 and 35. Braking is a bit ponderous, so they have to be driven sort of like a concrete truck. But they are FUN too wind in the face. I often drive in the bike lane, avoid rush hour, and pull over often to allow faster cars to pass. And a lot of night driving between midnight and 4:00 a.m.


So for me, driving them regularly to whereever I need to go is a big draw. That requires that they be in good mechanical shape, so I have learned what I am capable of doing as a shade tree mechanic and when to hire someone who really knows what they are doing.


Driving anywhere, even the grocery store, can take a longer time that anticipated due to questons in the parking lot. I always try to be friendly and answer all questions the best I can, I see it as part of the hobby.


If you like people and like old cars T's are a good choice. There are a lot of them out there, prices are reasonable for antique cars, most parts are available, and here are a lot of people on this Forum to help you out when you have a question.
Technology, the solution to all of our problems... and the cause of most of them.


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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by baltrusch » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:14 am

I echo all of the above. The greatest part for me, which I learned years ago, is that the engine responds to your inputs, that is mixture, spark advance, etc. When drivers today sense an issue, they may miss-diagnose what is going on as they have no control - all is automatic. With a Model T, if it seems to miss or not perform, you can make the adjustments and see the effect immediately.

I am not a car show type, but we are seeing more country driving on the roads the cars were designed for. This is also safer as you don't obstruct traffic. For this, you may not want a perfectly restored Ford as most owners won't drive them like that. Also, the advantage of the 26-27 cars (except for the Fordor) is that the bodies are steel framed, instead of wood, and are much stronger and easier to deal with. They have a better transmission brake as well as better rear wheel brakes. If you get a runabout or a touring, you get a left driver's door that the earlier cars did not have.

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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by TRDxB2 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:42 am

Only advice is to identify what you intend to do with the T. That will help determine the year, model, condition and funding. So if you want: a daily driver, buy a good restored one; a tinker toy, when that runs; a speedster, someone else's incomplete project; intend to do a restoration , you will spend more money on it you'll ever get back once its finished.

My primary purpose for buying a "T" was to build and work on it, driving it is only secondary. I have always had at least one car that I was modifying, aesthetically and/or mechanically, mostly with aftermarket items. The "T" is a Speedster project where I hope to learn many things from (suspensions, camber/caster settings, differential rebuilding, metalworking, fabrication, etc). It has and will continue to present many new challenges, things I never did before.


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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by TeveS-Nor Cal » Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:12 pm

SO MANY MODEL T'S------SO LITTLE TIME !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by Marty Bufalini » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:43 pm

Let me put it this way: I've been collecting cars of all sorts for over 50 years. A Model T collector friend of mine would come back from T tours and just talk glowingly of all the fun. Now, keep in mind that I have disdained Model Ts all those years saying they are too common and too easy to restore.

Well, I bit and bought a 1914 touring a few years ago.

Now, one of my biggest regrets is not getting one decades ago. I have never had soooooo much fun with an antique car and the people associated with it.

There is something about a T that is like no other car. It drives and handles differently. Each one has a personality of its own.

It's also a major piece of global history. Only T drivers can claim to drive the Car of the Century -- if not of all history; the car that literally changed the world forever.

And we are one of the few that can enjoy and immerse ourselves in that as the rest of the world looks on in envy and smiles as we drive by.

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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by Jugster » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:56 pm

What is it about people who have an affinity for doing things the old-fashioned way? They'll write with a fountain pen instead of a ball-point, pop their own corn in a cast-iron skillet, or fish with a lightweight fly-rod rather than the kind of hefty pole and hi-test line that'll virtually guarantee going home with a plastic bag chock full of the slimy little denizens. Why do it the hard way?

(And here comes the Marlin Perkins/Mutual of Omaha switcheroo...)

Operating a Model T Ford in modern traffic is definitely a challenge; in fact, it’s challenging to the point of being… well, a bit risky. Hey, these cars are demanding of skill, and are, as the old adage goes, terribly unforgiving of carelessness, incapacity or neglect. But with the responsible (and successful) management of such risk comes a grand feeling of accomplishment. You’ve slain the dragon. That feels good.

Unlike the drivers of vehicles whose computerized gadgets and digital gizmos are beyond the comprehension of a solitary individual, we Brass-Era antiquers become intimately familiar with the very guts of the beast and rediscover arcane skills of maintenance that might confound the kids working at the local service station. In my experience, it's difficult to find a mechanic who will trust himself to work on a century-old car, so, for an owner, the only other choice is to learn how to do it him/herself and in the process, he drips sweat into his eyes, skins his knuckles, and gets an axle-grease shampoo.

So, why do it? I think it’s a matter of the virtuous purity of simplicity, the greater demand for skill on the part of the practitioner and the challenge of developing those skills. Sure, these old Tin Lizzies are slow as the last day of school before summer and they handle like a double-decker bus, but the overload of pure, unadulterated history is a palpable experience. It's not LIKE stepping back in time; it IS stepping back in time: Oh, you feel every imperfection in the pavement through the wooden steering wheel; you hear the flippity-flap of the canvas top that becomes your aural speedometer. Your gut goes light and giddy as you open the throttle for the mad dash down-hill which gathers the momentum needed for the following up-hill, and the old car will speak volumes of important information to you through every groan and creak, for you understand what each means.

Doing things the hard way, the old-fashioned way, the Model T Ford way, is the difference between power-boating and sailing with the wind in the canvas. It's the difference between taking your date to a restaurant and cooking her up an Italian meal featuring sauce you made from the tomatoes and basil you grew in your own backyard. It’s the difference between a musician who relies on a battalion of electronic effects-pedals and a genuine jazz-man who can do amazing things with a simple acoustic instrument.

Now, here's the easiest way in:
The '15 Ford is absolutely wonderful because it is the least expensive genuine Brass-Era horseless carriage of all. Bar none. Period. For between 16 and 19-grand, most any average Joe (or Josephine) with an average bank account—and a garage—can afford to get in on the fun. Heck, I once saw a beautifully restored '15 Ford Touring go for 10-grand! The car will never lose any of its value, in fact, it should slowly (very slowly) appreciate—and should you ever feel the need to sell, you can always get the entirety of your investment back—which means you had a whole lot of fun essentially for free. Now, ain't that a kick in the brass?
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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by otrcman » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:49 pm

This thread has been a real treat to read. I didn't need to be sold on ownership of a Model T; it's just hearing you guys wax poetic is a great experience. I already knew that you weren't just a bunch of greasy knuckle draggers, but this thread has demonstrated what genuine deep thinkers you really are.

Dick Fischer

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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by Jugster » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:28 pm

Dick,

My friend, Steve Jelf, who has tons of hands-on experience with Model T Fords, maintains an amazing website with lots of Model T information on it. In particular, the following items are very useful to someone considering the purchase of their first Model T.

http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG98.html

http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG99.html

http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG101.html

http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG79.html

http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG80.html

And this is the vehicle page to Steve's website:

http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG52.html



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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by Hal » Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:42 am

Well put, Jugster. Well put.

I used to work on everything with an impact or air ratchet. Nowadays, I find myself with a regular old ratchet or even a box end wrench. Why is that?

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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by GJScholz » Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:08 pm

I'm so sorry. I'm going to be a buzz kill.

I've read all these, and they seem to be a bunch of great benefits to owning a Model T.
But these benefits are not YOUR reasons for owning a Model T.

If you have to ask yourself why you would want to own a Model T, then I'd suggest getting something different.
If you have the passion, or the bug, or the drive, and you just have to have one, no matter what anyone else says, THEN you've already GOT a T.

Otherwise I'd recommend whatever car gives you that passion or bug or drive.
You won't truly be happy if you are second guessing yourself.
By asking others WHY, I think you are showing that you don't know your WHY.

Go find YOUR why.

I hope I got my point out there, clearly enough.
G
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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by Tom Hicks » Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:51 pm

I think asking "why ?" is a good start.

When I decided to buy I only knew that T's and A's had parts readily available and were supposedly easy to work on. A non-running TT was locally available on Craig's List and I wanted something to work on for therapy as I was getting better from a mysterious disease. The TT fit the bill.


There are a lot of reasons for owning a T, and asking others "why?" is a good question before taking the plunge.


I had to go to the bank this morning. It was raining hard so I could not take one of my T's or TTs. A modern car got me there, dry, safe, etc. , but no fun. My main reason for driving a T, it is FUN. That is not why I bought one in the first place...
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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by JimKelsey » Sat Jun 08, 2019 2:20 am

I personally like the uniqueness compared to other early automobiles, as well as that I am driving a piece of history. Compared to other monikers, they are easy to get parts for and there is a plethora of experience and manuals to assist even the basic mechanic. I am currently restoring my late father's 1917 Overland (which was the 3rd largest U.S. automaker that year) and #1 no reproduction parts are made; #2 only owners who collect my particular model have parts and those owners are few and far between; #3 no repair manuals exist; #4 the engine was manufactured by Continental and the earliest records that Continental has on file anymore date no earlier than the 1930s.

I bought my first and only Model T thirteen years ago and have no regrets. It is a challenge to drive in heavy traffic, especially on hills; otherwise, as already stated, if you are on your game and keep up with the maintenance, it is very enjoyable to drive.

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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by Mark Gregush » Sat Jun 08, 2019 9:46 am

While there have been some good post here, I am with gjscholz on this one. There are two basic reasons to own one; A you want one or B you fell into one. You need to follow your heart, not what others suggest or tell you. These are not jump in and drive cars, they need attention, even for just a drive.
I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :roll:

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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by Rich Bingham » Sat Jun 08, 2019 10:32 am

Maybe you shouldn't. Greg and Mark make good points. First, make sure you are well enough acquainted with the beast to be certain you really like them well enough to adopt one. Given the number of posts on this forum by folks who are one way or another striving to make their Model T into "something else", it's plain they won't make everyone "happy" the way ol' Hank turned them out. Fun for some, not for all.
"Get a horse !"


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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by Scott_Conger » Sat Jun 08, 2019 2:00 pm

Rich

Amen!
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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by Mark Gregush » Sat Jun 08, 2019 10:10 pm

That's why there were and are catalogs full of neat stuff to add to your car. :D
I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :roll:

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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by Burger in Spokane » Sat Jun 08, 2019 10:49 pm

I hate freeways. I hate strip malls. I hate miles of stop lights and traffic and stunt drivers
and everything else that comes with the vinyl siding culture. I live for this:
hwy27.jpg
For me, the T was a natural, other than 7:1 gears made covering distances a long discussion.
But a bit of work and that annoyance was overcome.

I think cars, like the places we choose to live, should reflect who we are and what we like to
do in life. I used to live in that place described at the top of my post, so I left and went somewhere
that suited my life interests.

T's are nothing more than adult-size go-karts, and resultantly, don't do a lot of things people
today expect of cars. But they are a trip, and a lot of fun to drive. One sort of "falls" into another
world when they drive one, especially in places like my photo. If that floats your boat, it's probably
a good fit. As a guy who owns a lot of different cars, some are more fun or better suited to different
people. I like my old TT truck better than any of my other vehicles for driving, working on, and just
the general "ambiance" it brings to everything around it. It is as much an experience as it is a car.
More people are doing it today than ever before !


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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by BrooklynBeer » Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:31 pm

Thanks everyone for sharing your personal experiences with a model T. I guess I should have given a little bit more of a background of myself and why I asked the question like I did. For myself, American history is not just something that is read in a book but should be experienced. Every day I am surrounded by it as i have collected it in form or the other. It started with my grandfather and continued with my parents. Old cars has always been part of that. Some of my fondest memories are driving in the family 67 International pick up and Pop Pops 49 Buick. There has always been an old car in the family as well as the history that goes with it. The stories and the memories that surround the good times with it. Besides taking a break from "life" for a time while serving in the military I have always worked on cars of some age in some way. Right now in my garage I have a 46 Dodge, a 49 Road Master, a 65 Fury III convertible, and my high school car, a 1980 Z28. They are all part of my history. My uncle when getting home after surviving numerous kamikaze attacks bought a 46 Dodge as his first car, Pop Pop had his 49 and now so do I, I came home from the hospital in a 65 Fury, and the 80 Z28 speaks of some of the greatest times in my life. I am still looking for a nice 67 International. So why a model T? As far as I can tell, the only connections with a model T are on my Mom's side in the working class town of Oil City, PA. She was pretty sure her Grandfather owned one or two. That has had me thinking about one for a couple years now and with her recent passing it has become even more of just a passing thought. By asking the question I did I wanted to find out if I was the only person who looked at things in the way I do. A car just isn't a car to people like me. In so many ways it is a time machine for our memories and to the people that came before us. I have been a caretaker for a house full of history since I can remember and think I would enjoy doing the same with a Model T as well.


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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by Dallas Landers » Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:06 pm

Christopher, Im sorry to inform you but you have it bad. Everybody here suffers from the same affliction. Old things of all sorts from cameras to trains. All the reasons above and then some are valid. Being a caretaker of all things old from days gone by so the next generation has them to enjoy as we do and not forget where we come from. I think a T would fit you nicely.

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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by VowellArt » Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:17 pm

I agree with what everybody here has said and with E.B.White as well. There is something very arcane about Model T the way she moves even when you explain the drive trains functions, it's lubricating system, cooling system and fuel system, leaves everyone you talk to mystified as to why this machine actually runs. You see there is no water pump (no pressure, it is a thermalsyphon system), no fuel pump and no oil pump (no oil pressure, it is a splash system) and also if you've got a stock Model T, no distributor either (coils and timer). The coils sit on the firewall in a box on the older cars and on the engine on the 26-27's, and the timer tells them when to fire and it knows this because it is running on the camshaft (pretty simple eh?). Also Model T has something really mystical inside the transmission, bolted onto the rear of the engine and screwed onto the flywheel...the Magneto. You start the car on the battery and then switch it over to the magneto. Most of us understand how to set up this part of our cars from the mechanical side of things, but to really understand how this thing works is left to the Wire Twisters and Propeller Heads and their arcane apparatus, who can supply you gaboons of charts, diagrams and graphs as to the whys and wherefores that this thing works the way it does. And to top it all off, Henry Ford capitalized on the device even further beside having it power his engine...the magnets "V" shape, also is key in splashing oil all over the inside of the engine and transmission. And if you've got a magneto post with the tube addition it runs an outside oil tube down to the #1 bearing, so you don't have that problem that Mr. White was talking about in his story.

My car is a 1922 Touring, not a convertible, even though it has much in common with one in that they both have fold down tops, but that's where the similarities end. Convertible is really the short name for Convertible Sedan. They both have a top that folds down, however all sedans have glass side windows, a Touring doesn't! The only glass window in a Touring is its windshield and it even folds down and on the later cars opens. But tourings are just what the word says they are, a car for enjoying the open road and taking in all the sights and fresh (sometime too bloody fresh, like around animal farms and stock yards) air. You're not separated from your surroundings, but part of it as you travel. And even though we don't have all those fancy gauges and indicator lights, we know everything that is happening in our cars as we're driving along, you hear the engine, the drive train, you know when something is amiss and you can stop and check it out. Usually it is something simple and easily fixed and sometimes it take a bit of expertise and you may have to find fellow members of the club along your road. And each and everyone of them will help you with whatever they can and if they aren't sure, they know somebody who will. That's probably the key selling factor right there, there are more Model T Fords on the road and in this country than any other antique car and in just about every state in America you're going to find at least one chapter of the MTFCA with folks that will jump at the chance to help a fellow Model T'er out.

Almost everybody has told you about how when they go someplace it is an instant car show, that really is true, the first question you're most likely to get is "how fast can it go" followed by (if they didn't see you drive it in), "does it run?" Also you're likely to get (especially if you've come from across town) "you live where? And you drove here...in this?" But folks just love seeing these cars, because by today's standards, they're rather odd looking, they're about as aerodynamic as a brick and slower than a 1949 VW bug, but these two seemingly deficiencies work in the T's favor, they're way more nimble than modern cars, they can turn completely around in a 10 foot space and can climb over most obstacles that would thwart modern cars, T's have great ground clearance, so climbing under the car to change the oil is a breeze (you don't even need to use a jack). And small rivers? 2 to 3 feet of water, not a problem, a Model T can traverse that easily.

Every Halloween I put my car in the driveway and put a 5ft plastic skeleton ("Mr. Bones") in the front seat behind the wheel.

Model T.jpg
Hang some spooky garland and put in a couple of strings of battery led lights and invite everyone who comes by (young or old) to sit in the car and have their picture taken, whilst I pass out candy to everybody (including the parents) and wish them Happy New Year (don't ask why) which makes them laugh whilst equally looking puzzled. It's always the biggest hit on the block and even out does the more extravagant and costly displays in the neighborhood, nothing can beat a Model T for showing off.

I also dress her up for Christmas too and drive around town a bit.
Reindeer2.jpg
Makes a rather good looking reindeer don't ya think? ;)

Silliness aside, there is one thing that to me describes Model T, something I always say "Fun never quits!" And it never really does even when you're having problems with one, it's just a different kind of fun. 8-)
Fun never quits!


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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by BrooklynBeer » Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:58 am

More then anything else I am enjoying the stories of people and their cars. I do have one issue that could keep me from owning a model T and that is I live on a hill. Not a massive steep grade (that starts just past my driveway) but it is a long gradual hill (They named the road after the 5200 acre ranch across the street, Hutcheson Hill Road) which is 1/2 a mile down hill and then 1/4 mile up to my house. The half mile stretch is a continuous grade. Some ranch pull offs along the way that I could always pull off into quickly to allow fuel back into the gravity fed line if need be. Now remember that 1/2 mile down is going to be a 1/2 mile up when leaving. Hence why I was leaning towards a later model with a cowl fuel tank as opposed to an under seat tank. Unless there is a simple fix to this problem for people who lived on hills. Vacuum reserve tank? back up electric fuel pump? I am not looking forward to backing up this hill every time I want to leave the house for the 4 mile ride to town :)

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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by NHUSA » Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:11 am

Real men drive Model T’s.
They are not ego sleds like most of the other vehicles.
As many have said you don’t just get in one and go —-
you have to actually drive it, think ahead (way ahead), and adjust things as you travel.
NH - Where I live - not the carburetor ! :lol:


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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by Tom Hicks » Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:22 am

BrooklynBeer wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:58 am
Hence why I was leaning towards a later model with a cowl fuel tank as opposed to an under seat tank. Unless there is a simple fix to this problem for people who lived on hills. Vacuum reserve tank? back up electric fuel pump? I am not looking forward to backing up this hill every time I want to leave the house for the 4 mile ride to town :)
Backing up a hill is dangerous. Around here you could get cited for reckless driving. It is just not a good plan.

Just put a fuel pump on it for safety's sake and let the purists scream. So put on a fuel filter to protect your carburetor too, you already have them wailing!
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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by Hal » Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:50 am

The old story of T's not being able to climb hills going forward is way overblown. Can you get so low on fuel that it starves on a steep hill? Yes, it's possible, but you have to be fairly low on fuel and it has to be a pretty steep hill. Don't let that part worry you or dictate what year car to buy. Just fill up when there's 3" on the stick rather than waiting until there's only 1" on the stick. Or carry some gas on the running board and don't worry how much you got. I carry 2-1/2 gallons in a can in the bed of my TT and have only had to use it once. I always pour it in first when refueling and then fill it back up when pumping gas. That way, that fuel is always fresh.


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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by MWalker » Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:33 am

I second Hal's suggestion, just keep plenty of gas in the tank. Then you won't need to worry about climbing your hill, and you won't need a fuel pump or filter. Keep some gas on hand at your shop, and fill 'er up before you drive.


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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by Scott_Conger » Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:51 am

Going up a hill is all about flow coefficient (Cv) and head pressure at the tank

A tank with 3+ gallons of gas, a properly routed fuel line, and a carb float valve with the CORRECT orifice size will generally take you up any hill that low band can hold on (some year enclosed cars with aft-mounted tanks may require 4 gallons, but most cars on the road today are not enclosed).

I am not aware of any of the well known suppliers presently sell such a valve. If you are running an NH carb, you must find and refurbish an original Holley NH valve or purchase a purpose-made modern valve from the guy who makes them.
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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by Allen Banks » Mon Jun 10, 2019 2:41 pm

10F2EA5E-D698-4652-80FD-C371BA1A59BD.jpeg
10F2EA5E-D698-4652-80FD-C371BA1A59BD.jpeg (57.32 KiB) Viewed 2388 times


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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by BrooklynBeer » Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:39 pm

Topping off gas around is common to all my cars to avoid condensation so that would be an easy routine to get in to. Question. Going to do some research tonight on this but maybe someone can save me some time on something Scott just said. What exactly is an NH carb and and a Holley NH carb? And what is this modification we are talking about? Differences between the two? Concerning orifice sizes. Are these not based on on things like heat, humidity, relative sea level you normally drive in? How does the orifice size affect hill climbing ? And I would like to hear from people about any modifications they might have done on say a 1917 model to deal with heat. Texas can get hot even starting in May. I can be somewhat of a purist in outward appearance. But I also believe in modifications for safety and overall mechanical reliability.

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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by VowellArt » Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:04 pm

NH and Holley NH are the same carburetor. Holley made several NH's models, a Side Drain, Center Drain, Straight through and the Holley Vaporizer which is really a Holley NH with a vaporizing unit on top. Some people swear by them, me I've never liked the Holley carb, I prefer my old Kingston L-4, to any Holley. Now if you want to start talking carburetors for Model T, you're looking at a subject that has well over 200 "better ideas" in a carburetor, some of them are one hit wonder variety and some of them are legitimate decent carburetors that really do what they promise (and you'd be opening a can of worms mentioning it here, because everybody has their favorites). But the problem with Model T is not that so much the engine holding her back as it is that, like the VW bug, she's under carburterated. Put a bigger venturi carburetor on her, such as an updraft U&J, Stromberg OF and hold on. You can go to the Gallery here and look at the isometrics of these carburetors (except the Stromberg OF...it's on my "to do" list).

There is an art to driving a Model T, that isn't with any other car, because the faster you get that old girl going, you're going to have to have a better way also to get her to stop. Remember the transmission is running oil yes? The brake on a stock Model T is part of the transmission, so it also is running in oil as well, so you can't just stromp on the brake and think that'll stop her...because it wont. Two things are likely to happen, one you wont stop at your intended place and two you'll burn out the brake band on the transmission. I think folks have mentioned already about "planning their stops" that's because Model T once going good on the flat (say 40-45 mph and in Texas you guys got a lot of good long runs out there), takes a bit of time to get her to stop as well, so the best idea is to back off the throttle and use the engines compression to slow her speed...if you've got the time that is, which is why we say plan your stops. I start braking a good half city block before I need to, just to be sure I make I stop at that light up ahead (and also when coming to intersections, there are always mindless jerks who may or may not cut you off, then it's panic time any 2 pedals will stall the engine, but don't make a habit of that, it's hard on the transmission) so it is best to be prepared.

The other thing about Model T is that since it is an experience to drive one it is also a comparatively safe car to leave your keys in the ignition, I don't, but that's because I don't have another set than fear of somebody making off with my car. Model T doesn't drive like modern cars, you've read that already, what I'm not sure anybody has mentioned yet is "3 pedals on the floor and not one of them the gas" thing. In fact if some DID try and steal it, they'd be pushing on the Brake pedal trying to get it to go, but then there is no "gas pedal", there is a throttle on the right side of the steering column and on the left is the spark advance. The pedal far to the left is Hi/Low (push down for Lo and let up for Hi) pedal and the middle one is Reverse.
Controls.jpg
This is my car before I had interior and seats (I made my own seat covers), I was showing a friend on FB the controls to be mindful of when driving a Model T (it was the plan to let her drive my car for her birthday), I think I scared her, because she only wanted to ride in the car and not drive it (which she was very hot on before).

There is another solution to your problem "living in the hills", I myself live in the foothills above the SFV (San Fernando Valley) in the Northeastern end, horse county and brother you want to talk about heat? It routinely gets to 104º in the shade here every summer and last summer it got to 115º with a humidity of 19%, the humidity has been climbing steadily every year for the past 20 or so (folks say it is all the swimming pools and trees), the relative humidity is around 19% last year and will probably go up this summer to 20%. My T is a fairly stock Model T...I say fairly because I'm running 3:1 in the rear and have a 1914 Low head (higher compression). But anyway, what I'm jabbering about is the Ruckstell Rear Axle. It is a 2 speed rear axle for Model T and Model TT, which gives you one speed lower than HI and one higher than LOW, which means in Ruckstell Hi you could be cruising up the foothills in your area at something faster than what a stock Model T can. A friend of mine (George Clipner) has one on his 26 touring, and he cruised up the hills here doing about 30 to 35 mph, my car could do it at around 15 to 20, but then I have just the stock Model T rear axle too.

As to the gas situation, I'm running a Kingston L-4 and it seems to be a fairly efficient carburetor (there are those who would disagree) but on average my car gets 21.7 Mpg and I don't have too much trouble climbing the long grades here with just 4 gals. in the tank. When it gets below that my only trip is downhill to a gas station before I try coming back up these hill around here. There are things called "Boyco Cans" that sit on your running boards, that you're supposed to put gas, water and oil in, but then you could just fill them all with gas and not worry too much about running out. The cans on my car are from some much larger car than a Ford, so they hold 2 gals of gas and water and 2 quarts of oil, but I put gas in all of them. There is also something called a "hill tank" that is usually somewhere on your firewall or suspended from the radiator support rod, that holds a gallon of gas (it's an old time accessory), that has a ball check valve that when the grade get steep, the ball rolls back and shuts off the under the seat tank and opens the accessory tank, so the carb, never runs dry...I don't have one of these either, but it does sound like a good idea, hmm, maybe I'll make one someday.
Fun never quits!


Hal
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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by Hal » Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:36 am

Christopher,

The 'orifice' mentioned above is not the carburetor jet. They were referring to the float valve. A lot (Most?) reproductions available, while they will screw into the same hole, are smaller inside than the original and therefore restrict the flow rate of gas into the carburetor bowl. I think someone is making a good repro. Hopefully someone will say who or at least where they are available.

As for brakes, I'm not sure I buy the brake band running in oil being the reason T's don't stop well. Yeah, the brake band runs in oil, but mine at least, are capable of locking and skidding the wheels. Not that you would want to, but the fact that I can kinda sours me on the theory of an oily brake won't lock the drum. I seldom use my brake at all except at the last few seconds to bring it to a full stop. If I find myself having to actually use the brake to slow the car, I am usually embarrassed that I had not planned better. Of course, this is in normal driving, not an emergency situation where all that planning is out the window.

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Rich Eagle
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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by Rich Eagle » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:34 am

I don't tell people they should buy a Model T anymore. It turns out that they are not for everyone. We have a couple dozen in our area and few are driven anymore. Too slow, poor in traffic, hard to keep running... the list goes on. I have helped keep some of these in running condition but it's hard to know what has or hasn't been done to them and I am not very intuitive. I have kept 5 out of my 6 running most of the time.
However, most on the Forum here will tell you that few things in life are as much fun or exciting as a Model T. If you have the inclination to do the maintenance and purchase or put one together it can be very rewarding. Hundreds of us cannot keep from having and enjoying them.
Anyone who is not sure if they would like one might be better off without. Spend some time with the folks that have them and see if the enthusiasm rubs off.
Best Wishes.
Rich
When did I do that?

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ironhorse
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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by ironhorse » Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:41 am

1. Do you like to tinker with things?
2. Do you like the attention that something unusual garners in any parking lot?
3. Do you like to answer questions, especially those asked by young children?
4. Do you like to see things as they were back in the day?
5. Do you like to demonstrate how old technology is better than new?

If you answered yes to all of the above get a model T, if not take the test again in a few months to see if anything changed. :shock:
Do it right or do it over,your choice. Drive like everyone is out to get you!


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BrooklynBeer
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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by BrooklynBeer » Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:19 pm

Well you about nailed who I am with your questions !


john_aldrich
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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by john_aldrich » Tue Jun 11, 2019 1:01 pm

Be careful. Model T's are addicting. They are worse than Lay's potato chips.

You can't have just one!

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DLodge
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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by DLodge » Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:05 pm

Of all the reasons I have seen posted here, I have not seen the one I was told very early on in my Model T experience:
"Driving a Model T is the most fun you can have with clothes on." :D


Rich Bingham
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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by Rich Bingham » Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:42 pm

:shock: just think how much fun you could have driving your Model T nekkid !! :o
"Get a horse !"

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DLodge
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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by DLodge » Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:58 pm

Rich Bingham wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:42 pm
:shock: just think how much fun you could have driving your Model T nekkid !!
Would depend on who was riding shotgun, I suspect.... :D


John Codman
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Re: So tell me why I should buy a model T?

Post by John Codman » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:51 am

The only reason that you should become involved with any hobby is because you want to. I would suggest asking the question "do I really want to own an old, slow car?" If the answer is yes, then ask yourself "How much time and money can I afford?" If the answer to time is a significant amount, you at least can consider an old car. If the answer to time is a significant amount but the answer to money is not much, the T is a good bet. If the answer to time and money is plenty of each, then you should purchase the old car that you really have a craving for. Practically any car of Model T vintage will cost more to purchase and maintain, and access to parts will be more difficult. You also probably don't have a local Durant club, but the chances of finding a local T club are good.

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