The cost of Model T travel

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Steve Jelf
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The cost of Model T travel

Post by Steve Jelf » Sun Sep 22, 2019 5:09 pm

This was number crunching day. I've been going through receipts and figuring what I spent on my recent trip, and adding up miles in the atlas to see how far I went.

You might say what I spent most was time, a luxury enjoyed by elderly bachelors. I started on August 29 and got home on September 16. In those nineteen days I estimate that I drove about 2170 miles. The distance from home to Detroit was about 950 miles, and coming home about the same. My guess about mileage in various places would be 170 around the Detroit area, 25 in South Bend, and about 75 around the Springfield area. These are all educated guesses due to my defunct speedometer for most of the trip.


The biggest monetary expense was feeding and watering Lizzy. Fuel, water, and oil added up to $500.50. Model T mileage is not great, only 14-16 mpg where I was able to figure it, but I think 23¢ a mile is still pretty good.


Food was a much smaller expense on this trip than on previous excursions. This time I was determined not to come home weighing more than when I left, so I cut out restaurant dining. That was a big success. I was delighted when I got home and stepped on the scales and found that I had shed ten pounds. The money spent on food was also significantly less than last time. The receipts added up to $105.76. I did eat in a restaurant once, but lost the receipt. I think it was about $14. Generous friends fed the old man a couple of meals.


I've been camping since 1946 that I remember, and probably went before that but was too young to remember, and I rarely use a motel. I did stay in a Super Eight one night, but it cost more than $8. The bill for that was $78.73.


Sight-seeing costs (admission to museums, historical sites, etc.) came to about $55.


All of this goes to show that Model T travel doesn't have to cost thousands.


Yours truly, Johnny Dollar.
The inevitable often happens.
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Re: The cost of Model T travel

Post by DHort » Sun Sep 22, 2019 6:03 pm

Both nights that I camped were about $30 each, but that included hot showers. I am surprised your mileage is only 14-16mpg. You should get better with a Roadster.


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Re: The cost of Model T travel

Post by Burger in Spokane » Sun Sep 22, 2019 8:27 pm

Any thoughts from the audience on why Steve would only get 14-16 mpg ? That seems
like 30-50% less than typical. My TT, often hauling considerable weight loads, averages
19-22 mpg. That light little roadster oughta scoot along netter than a heavy old TT,
shouldn't it ?
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Re: The cost of Model T travel

Post by HalSched » Sun Sep 22, 2019 8:28 pm

Hi Steve, What was the approimate TOTAL cost? Just wondering. I always assumed arounf 20 MPG. Your trip was very interesting to follow and sounded like fun. (Your posts are always interesting.)


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Re: The cost of Model T travel

Post by Henry K. Lee » Sun Sep 22, 2019 8:35 pm

Steve has a lead foot! Reliving his youth!

LOL!

Hank

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Re: The cost of Model T travel

Post by Tim Rogers » Sun Sep 22, 2019 8:56 pm

Love the old Johnny Dollar shows- Bob Bailey was the best.
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Re: The cost of Model T travel

Post by noelchico » Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:00 pm

I thought he was having problems with the float level in the carb. that could cause his car to run richer, cutting power and fuel economy. Just guessing. Steve, maybe next trip throw in a second carb, like a rebuilt NH, in case you have a problem. I keep one under my seat. that way I've never had to use it! :D :D

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Re: The cost of Model T travel

Post by Steve Jelf » Sun Sep 22, 2019 11:02 pm

I was surprised at the low mileage too. Before this I've gotten around 20 mpg on trips. But on this one I happened to be running a G for the first time. Maybe I don't have the float set right. Going into Madison MO the car was running so badly that I parked in the shade, pulled off the carb, and reset it. The car ran a lot better after that but that doesn't necessarily mean I got it exactly right. It does have a shorter range of adjustment than the NH. You can't turn it very far in either direction before the engine starts to stumble.


What was the approximate TOTAL cost?

I figure the whole thing came to around $750-$800. The biggest part of that was the $500 for water, gas & oil, which is more than I spend at home, of course. But the $105.76 for food was less than I spend at home.
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Re: The cost of Model T travel

Post by springerpete » Mon Sep 23, 2019 3:16 pm

I think we should all send Steve a dollar to help finance another trip as long as he promises to report back to us. His pictures and journal are really great and easy to follow. I find many parts of his travel experiences are familiar to me although it was a 1940 Chevy sedan in 1946. So Steve, what's next ?

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Re: The cost of Model T travel

Post by George House » Mon Sep 23, 2019 5:37 pm

Shoot ..... I think “Model T travel” or driving Model T s doesn’t cost - it pays. It pays by clearing one’s head on back country roads or fueling the old male ego by driving a T thru a tourist destination and smilin for the cameras. It also pays me by living in nostalgia temporarily. I’ve been driving Model T s around Texas since ‘66 and just bought a $54 K pickup truck to pull a trailer up to western Indiana to drive a T through dozens of covered bridges. The motels will be nearly $500 and I’ll probably use 4 tanks (120 gallons) of diesel but will surely arrive home restored and refreshed....just sorry I won’t see uncle Jack.
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Re: The cost of Model T travel

Post by Original Smith » Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:37 pm

Different opinions. I'm only two years younger than Steve. I like a nice comfortable hotel room, and a good steak dinner twice a week. The cost is important, but not that important. I want to be happy and refreshed at the end of each day. To each his own.


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Re: The cost of Model T travel

Post by Dropacent » Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:18 pm

I’m with Larry, there. My wifey and I spend more on food in one day traveling than Steve did on the whole trip. I’d likely be healthier and skinnier if I traveled with Steve, though. But then his mileage would really suffer !

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Re: The cost of Model T travel

Post by Ruxstel24 » Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:46 pm

I could definitely tell you were back there Tim :lol:
Dropacent wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:18 pm
I’m with Larry, there. My wifey and I spend more on food in one day traveling than Steve did on the whole trip. I’d likely be healthier and skinnier if I traveled with Steve, though. But then his mileage would really suffer !


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Re: The cost of Model T travel

Post by will » Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:03 pm

As far as fuel mileage goes, Thats about what I get in my 19 touring for fuel mileage. Im running a NH carb and Z head. It depends on how far I pull down on the handle but 14 to 16 is about the best I can do.
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Re: The cost of Model T travel

Post by cudaman » Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:47 pm

Betsy, my 1924 cut off touring (now a pickup) gets about 15 - 18 mpg. I run a Kingston L4. The engine runs smoothly and the plugs don't foul, so the mixture must not be too far off. :)
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Re: The cost of Model T travel

Post by Ruxstel24 » Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:11 pm

24 touring, 3:1 gears, 8:1 head and a Stromberg OF...I generally get over 20mpg.


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Re: The cost of Model T travel

Post by Dropacent » Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:26 pm

Hey Dave, I represent that!


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Re: The cost of Model T travel

Post by StanHowe » Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:09 pm

I am also basically an old bachelor. We all live differently and this is not criticism in any way, shape or form of how Steve travels. But personally, I like a hot shower and a soft bed and a big steak and maybe a drink or two before I eat it. I would rather have a nice motel room now than a ten thousand dollar coffin for eternity. I make it. I spend it.

There will be a big estate auction and not even anybody to argue over who gets it when I tip over for good. But the coffin might have to have an extra handle on each end for an extra pall bearer. I'm not sure six old guys can carry me to the plant me site.

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Re: The cost of Model T travel

Post by Steve Jelf » Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:13 pm

So Steve, what's next?

Just a short one, sometime before the weather goes south. I want to take a couple of days to explore Santa Fe Trail sites up in Chase and Morris counties, and hunt up the place where my great grandfather first settled when he brought the family to Kansas after the Late Unpleasantness.

On the subject of food: I always hated being fat. Eventually I accepted the reality that having an overhanging gut was a matter of choice, so I chose to get rid of it. Not all my decisions have been smart, but that one was.
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Re: The cost of Model T travel

Post by DHort » Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:46 pm

Stan, I thought they were going to put your casket in a TT dump truck. Won't need the extra handle. And they are probably going to put a carb in each hand before they close the top.


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Re: The cost of Model T travel

Post by Joe Reid » Tue Sep 24, 2019 2:16 am

I would travel with Stan or Larry, camping involves a major motel/hotel chain. And dinner and a hot shower.

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Re: The cost of Model T travel

Post by TRDxB2 » Tue Sep 24, 2019 2:46 am

Out of curiosity I Google Mapped the cities mentioned in your travels. I don't expect that they are exact routes by close enough for us to appreciate the effort put into the journey.
To Michigan via Mulberry IN
Jelf.jpg
leg 2
Jelf1.jpg
leg 3
Jelf2.jpg
Back Home
Jelf3.jpg
Made it
Jelf4.jpg


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Re: The cost of Model T travel

Post by Burger in Spokane » Tue Sep 24, 2019 3:25 am

When traveling, I like to seek out the Mom-n-Pop motels, and finding good eats
is always a main priority. Fast food and chain motels are a no-go, period. Steve's
point about being overweight is a solid one that many Americans are getting away
from. Some people have the unfortunate genetic propensity to become a lard ass,
eating only grapes and broccoli, while others could live on ice cream and cheese-
-burgers and still be a rail. Life is not fair, that way. Steve, I respect your self-awareness
and discipline to overrule what you might want now, for what you want most. ... oh,
yeah, ... and your gracious sharing of your travels. It takes a fair amount of effort to
take the pix and notes and post it all in a journal like you have. Thanks. You made
my day with every update. 👍
More people are doing it today than ever before !

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Steve Jelf
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Re: The cost of Model T travel

Post by Steve Jelf » Tue Sep 24, 2019 9:57 am

Frank, that's mostly pretty close until the last one.

file-2.jpg
After Moberly it was Carrollton, Richmond, Excelsior Springs, Liberty, KCMO, Roeland Park, Olathe, Ottawa, Waverly, Burlington, Madison, Piedmont, Latham, Atlanta, Burden (almost), and home.
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Re: The cost of Model T travel

Post by revaz » Wed Sep 25, 2019 12:34 pm

On my recent O-2-O Cross country trip I covered 4,275 miles and used 190 gallons of gas. That calculates out to a bit over 22 MPG, In the Rockies, 7,000 - 8,200 feet above sea level, I was able to “lean out” my Holley NH straight thru carb and got 25-26 MPG!!! Of course this was mostly continuous, point-to-point driving, at between 35 - 40 MPH with a freshly rebuilt engine and I used “standard” gears. Just saying.........

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