Just hauled home 1911 runabout

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BobP
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Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by BobP » Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:12 pm

I hauled this home yesterday. It sat for 50 years on blocks. A 1950s trade-in at a local Ford dealer. 1911 open runabout. I am looking for a few parts in similar condition and I am going to use it the way it is. I need a pair of 1911 E & J headlights, A complete horn and a few other things. Bob.
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Brent Teltow
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Re: Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by Brent Teltow » Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:15 pm

That is awesome!!


Dallas Landers
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Re: Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by Dallas Landers » Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:18 pm

Nice find! Congrats!!


Brent Teltow
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Re: Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by Brent Teltow » Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:39 pm

So was this car built at the Piquette Plant?


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Re: Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by BobP » Sun Nov 24, 2019 8:04 pm

pics
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John kuehn
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Re: Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by John kuehn » Sun Nov 24, 2019 8:10 pm

That’s a nice car! A typical T to be sure. Slow oil leaks on the clamshell differential and on the axle housing! Wouldn’t be a normal T if the leaks weren’t there. Is it black or a dark blue. Looks like it hasn’t been hurt a bit going by the pics.
Congratulations on a great find.

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Re: Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by KWTownsend » Sun Nov 24, 2019 9:02 pm

Engine pics? S/n?

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Re: Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by thom » Sun Nov 24, 2019 9:32 pm

Nice find. You might pay more for the headlights (and other things you need), than I paid for our complete '21 Touring! :D
Last edited by thom on Sun Nov 24, 2019 9:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by Walter Higgins » Sun Nov 24, 2019 9:34 pm

What a neat car and with all the hard to find parts. You can even tell it has the correct hand brake lever by how far it comes back toward the seat. Thank you for posting these!

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Re: Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by havnfun » Sun Nov 24, 2019 10:31 pm

Congratulations, that is an excellent find, should bring you a lifetime of enjoyment, wishing you a successful hunt for the missing parts.
Regards,
Joe Kowalczyk - 1923 Touring, 1913 Speedster, 1913 Runabout
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Re: Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by wayne sheldon » Mon Nov 25, 2019 2:05 am

Very nice! And one of my favorite of all factory Ts!

One line of advice though. If you plan on driving the car much AT ALL? Remove those front shock absorbers! They may have helped with the ride back in the day at speeds under 20 mph on rough roads with no traffic? However a flaw in the design (which cannot be corrected) makes them very dangerous on smooth roads at modern speeds. Under certain unpredictable conditions at speeds barely over 30 mph, the front end can break into a mechanical oscillation causing total loss of control. A couple Ts have been flipped doing so in the past decade.
The rear shocks probably cannot do this, and probably would be safe to use and fun to show off. But the fronts need to be put onto a display axle and hung on the garage wall. (Preferably with a note why they should not be used.)

Wonderful T ! I hope you enjoy it very much for many years!

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Post by FreighTer Jim » Mon Nov 25, 2019 3:05 am

Bob,

Stepping up and saving the building from the wrecking ball
did not go unnoticed in the Big Picture .... 😎

You are a Good Guy .... 👍

As Such - You Have Been Rewarded 😉

KD can probably help on parts needed.

Congrats Bob ... 🍀


FJ


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Re: Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by Banjoe » Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:56 am

What an amazing treasure, Bob. Congratulations on becoming the caretaker of this slice of history.
None of us is as smart as all of us.

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Re: Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by Jeff Perkins » Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:01 am

Quote Wayne Sheldon...” One line of advice though. If you plan on driving the car much AT ALL? Remove those front shock absorbers! ”
Bob, I had one “crack” on my ‘14 I bought from Mike S. a few years go. Yes, get rid of the fronts when you can. I have a pair of NOS early spring perches I will give to you the next time our paths cross.
1913 Model T Runabout, 1930 Model A Tudor, 1991 Mazda Miata


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Re: Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by Original Smith » Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:12 am

What a lucky guy. You have found a real treasure!

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Re: Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by RustyFords » Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:29 am

Wow....stunning.
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Re: Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by otrcman » Mon Nov 25, 2019 2:01 pm

A truly great car, Bob. So my question here is in no way meant as criticism.

Am I seeing a 15-16 coil box in one photo ? If so, that would indicate to me that your car remained in operation long enough to receive the later box. That's interesting in that my mostly original '12 had a 15-16 box as well. It would be reasonable to assume that an original coil had failed and the owner elected to update the entire box/coil set with a later and presumably more serviceable type.

If your coil box is indeed a 15-16, then you can pretty much date the time of the replacement. My reasoning is that, if the need arose by the '20's, then a more common 20's era box would have been installed.

Dick


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Re: Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by Kerry » Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:11 pm

Dick.
That coil box is not 15/16 or 14, I'm seeing more like a 17/25 box.


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Re: Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by ThreePedalTapDancer » Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:28 pm

I think see a 1914 coil box?
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Re: Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by Kerry » Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:36 pm

14 has a flat lid top and at the clip line.


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Re: Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by Mark Osterman » Mon Nov 25, 2019 5:04 pm

What a wonderful find. How did it survive well meaning restoration all these years?


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Re: Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by Colin Mavins » Mon Nov 25, 2019 6:49 pm

I'm going to guess the coil box upgrade was common a my original 1912 also had a 1915 coil box the original 12 box was under the back seat. The car was used as an every day driver till 1936. Cheers


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Re: Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by BobP » Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:57 pm

Hi, it is a 1914 coil box which will be changed in time. It is just sitting there unattached, makes it look a little more slanted. It also came with later black headlights, not installed. If you look close you might see some nickel hubcaps. I have only owned it a few hours and have not had time to make everything correct yet, the most noticeable things like the headlights and horn I want to get done first. I think the guy that owned it was looking for the parts but he died 40 years ago. I feel lucky just to get it. Thanks, Bob.


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Re: Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by Erik Johnson » Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:32 pm

RE: later coil boxes on early Model Ts

My dad has been in the antique car hobby since the late 1940s. He said there was a Ford dealership in Blue Earth, Minnesota that still had a substantial inventory of NOS Model T parts. He also said there were dozens of used wooden 1913 and earlier Model T coil boxes in their inventory. When the Ford coils and coil boxes were standardized in 1913, Ford dealers were encouraged to swap out the wooden coil boxes with the standard metal coil boxes and coils. The large inventory of pre-1914 wooden coil boxes was most likely a result of this.

On a similar note, my dad said that the same dealer had dozens of NOS carbide generators. These were probably early "take-offs" where the dealer sold the car owner a Prest-o-lite tank.

ALSO WORTH MENTIONING:

Bob,

If your car was sold new to a Minnesota resident, with the serial number in hand, you can look up the original owner and plate number in the 1911 motor vehicle register at the Minnesota Historical Society. This is really easy to do and, depending on how quickly you locate the registration, would take no more than an hour and a half of browsing the registrations. (I presume the 1911 plate 9035 displayed is not original to the car. You can also very easily and quickly look up that plate and see to whom it was registered.)

If you already do happen to know the name of the original owner, you can very easily look up the corresponding 1911 plate number.
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Re: Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by JEC » Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:02 pm

Is it possible to make the seat material (leather?) more pliable?
I would think that sitting on it in its current condition would destroy it.
If I were lucky enough to have it I wouldn't restore it but clean it up and drive it like it is.

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Re: Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by fbergski » Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:04 pm

Nice find, by looking at one of your pictures is it fair to say that factory 1911 firewalls were painted black?

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Re: Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by Roger Byrne » Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:06 pm

Congrats Bob on finding such a great car. I'll have to come over and compare notes with my not original, reproduction body version.
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Re: Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by Original Smith » Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:47 am

I own two 1913's that had later coilboxes installed at some point. I imagine the reason for doing this is it was easier to obtain standard coils, rather than try to find originals.

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Re: Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by RustyFords » Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:11 am

JEC wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:02 pm
Is it possible to make the seat material (leather?) more pliable?
I would think that sitting on it in its current condition would destroy it.
That's one of the very few downsides related to owning a car like this if you plan to drive it.

There's not much you can do to keep the old seat coverings intact. Once it reaches this age, even if it's been carefully preserved, it comes apart with repeated use. I've had a few thoroughly original cars (non Model T's) that I've tried to be delicate with and it's never worked out in the end. The seat always ends up ripping first where the driver sits down, then in other places.

I started planning for the demise of the interior with the last one and pulled off a good representative sample of the material to display in a shadow-box with the car, then went ahead and replaced the seat material.
1924 Touring


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Re: Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by Rich Bingham » Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:45 am

JEC wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:02 pm
Is it possible to make the seat material (leather?) more pliable? . . .
This would be a good opportunity for someone with knowledge and expertise restoring / conserving leather to offer some wisdom. Research-wise, methods for doing so would depend on the nature of the material used. Was it top grain ? Cowhide or other species ? Oak-tanned or chrome tanned ? How was it top-finished and dyed ?

The appearance of “crackle “ indicates the hide may be dried clear through. When that happens, leather is no longer supple and will shortly fracture and disintigrate with even careful moderate use. There are scores of products marketed to restore and preserve leather, none are compounded with this particular problem in mind, and some will do more harm than good.

It’s a dilemma, the owner certainly deserves to enjoy this well preserved example in its current state. It’s wonderful to see and we’re privileged to be able to share it.

I’ve had fair success resuscitating saddles 50-130 years old, but I’m shy of making suggestions as that’s a different breed of cat. Others may know better how to help.
Thank you for sharing this find ! :D
"Get a horse !"


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Re: Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by Erik Johnson » Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:10 pm

The seat back is obviously leather but the bottom seat cushion appears to me to be leatherette and from a later car.

I wouldn't get so hung up on whether or not a person should sit in that seat. Regardless of condition, the best thing to do is simply clean it. After cleaning, the a person can decide whether or not to treat the leather with their product of choice.


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Re: Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by Rich Bingham » Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:52 pm

Good observation Eric !! I believe you’re right. The seat cushion does look like old “leatherette”.
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Re: Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by Original Smith » Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:42 pm

I don't see how a '14 lid could be slanted?


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Re: Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by BobP » Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:54 pm

I am sure glad I have other things to do, The coil box is not attached to the car, it is sitting loose which makes it look more slanted, mystery solved.

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Re: Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by Kaiser » Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:24 am

About the seats, the leather of the bachrest looks in a bad state but with a good careful cleaning with sadlesoap followed by multiple applications of neatsfoot oil or a similar product just might be made pliable again to withstand sparing and careful use. The leatherette of the seat is another story, it can not be 'rejuvenated' it is a goner and will break as u use it.
If you would like to preserve the seats and backs as is, it maybe is an idea to take them out , store them and replace them with repros if you intend to drive the car more often.
When in trouble, do not fear, blame the second engineer ! 8-)
Leo van Stirum, Netherlands
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Re: Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by Jeff Perkins » Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:46 am

The best “oil” I have for restoring leather and softening leather in my cars is rendered bear fat. Really. A bottle was given to my F-I-L years ago by an Indian from Northern Minnesota. This is a native tradition from long ago. Gary in turn passed it along to me for my cars. I have used it often on any leather and it is the best. My supply is running low and I have no idea where to obtain more. I guess I gotta go hunting!
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Re: Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by Rich Bingham » Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:02 pm

Jeff, that’s great ! “B’ar grease” was pretty universally used by the old timers for everything from cooking, to hair oil, to oiling boots and harness !

Leather needs to retain a certain moisture content to remain viable. Oils help to soften leather and retain that moisture level, providing a certain amount of weather resistance. In my experience, saddle soap is only good for a “spit shine” on fairly clean leather in good condition. It seems counter-intuitive, but for dry leather that’s really dirty, a mild solution of “Dawn” dish soap works best. It won’t hurt to get it wet enough to soften if followed by a generous application of a good oil.

Neats foot oil (the real thing) gets its name, and comes from being rendered from the fat and ligaments of beef legs below the knee. It’s good stuff, but remains sort of greasy for a time. Please don’t use “neatsfoot COMPOUND” which is a petroleum product. Not good. Leather will absorb most any kind of oil, including motor oil but that doesn’t mean it’s good for it. Lately I’ve been very impressed with Feibing’s Saddle Oil, which appears to be largely lanolin based. It penetrates well, and doesn’t leave the surface greasy.

I can’t be certain of this, but from observation it seems to me that chrome tanned leathers are prone to “self destruct”. Once they have become bone dry, efforts to restore moisture and oils may make them pliable for a time, but it seems the structure of the hide has degraded to a point where its strength and integrity has been lost and the item loses its strength and falls apart with use. Possibly this is owing to the chemistry involved in the process. This doesn’t appear to have been the case with oak-tanned items of similar age and condition which generally respond well to treatment.

Disclaimer for the above: I’ve never had the opportunity to deal with leather upholstery as in the remarkable example posted here, I’ve only worked on saddles, harness and horse tackle from new to 130 years old.
"Get a horse !"


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Re: Just hauled home 1911 runabout

Post by Erik Johnson » Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:30 pm

I would never put neats foot oil on upholstery unless you never plan on sitting on it. The reason is that the neats foot oil it will do nothing but get on your clothing every time you sit in the car.

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