1924 Coupe Project

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MHSprecher
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1924 Coupe Project

Post by MHSprecher » Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:22 pm

I have started work in earnest on a 1924 Model T coupe I rescued from a garage in late 2018. The find was serendipitous as I was sitting at a traffic light near my house in my Model A roadster and a woman came up to me and said, "I have a car like that in my basement garage and I want to get rid of it." I got her phone number and paid her a visit. The car had been in the house when either she or her mother bought the house in 1964. It was so buried with junk when I first saw it, I was initially not sure what it was? Once I climbed over the car, I realized it was a 1920's Model T. I took a photo of the engine number and determined it was a 1924.

I had not been looking for a Model T, but this was such a chance discovery, I decided to see if I could purchase the car. Long story short, it took about two years to acquire the car. She got angry at my initial offer, but finally a family member called and asked if I still wanted to buy it? I immediately said, "yes"!

Once we agreed, I had some old car buddies join me and we excavated the car, put it on a trailer and got it to my garage where I didn't do much for about a year while I worked on other projects.

The car is in pretty good shape, but the passenger's side was disassembled to replace some wood and repair the rear quarter panel. The car came with a 1919 door which I was able to sell to someone in Colorado for their project.

The quarter panel that had been removed had significant rust up about 4" from the bottom. I found another back coupe body that I purchased as the panel on that body, while rusted, was much better than mine.

So far I have purchased a new trunk floor panel from Howe's, done a slight carb refurb and removed the gas tank to make sure the sediment bowl is clear. I also removed the old rims with tires and dismounted the very old tires. I have bought new tires, but need to find two rims. The spare was missing and one rim is missing part of a clamp where the rim splits. It has 21" wooden wheels that mount using Jaxon lugs.

The last few weeks I have been disassembling my spare coupe body so it takes up less space in the garage. I have listed my extra body parts for sale here and on other forums, as I don't need them taking up space in my garage and when they might be useful for some other restorer.

I hope to get the car running in the next few weeks.

I have some salvageable wood from the extra body. I plan to order the wood parts I need from Fordwood within the next few weeks.

In addition to trying to get it to run, I hope to start work on the body panel that needs repair. My intention is to do what I need to do to get it drivable and safe. I will only do the body work and wood replacement that it needs. I don't have a lot in the car so far, but there is quite a bit of work to do. This is my first Model T and most significant project I have undertaken. I will post progress, questions and photos as I go. I hope to post some "as found" photos as you have to see it to believe it.
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Re: 1924 Coupe Project

Post by John kuehn » Sat Jan 18, 2020 10:22 pm

It’s a 24 by the looks of it. I have one just like it. It looks like the passenger side wood body pillar that sits on the main body sill is either broken or rotted out. Could be the body sill is deteriorated and the rest of the body pillar dropped down. Go to Fordwood.com and take a look at the body wood structure of a 24 and you can get an idea of what the wood structure looks like. They make the wood pieces for your car BUT they are slow in replying if you email them.
If you have space you can remove the fenders and splash shields, Then you can put 2 saw horses under the car, raise up the body and then roll out the chassis and go through it to get it in driving shape, restore as best you can the body and put the body back on the chassis. That’s pretty much what I did with mine several years ago.
I would suggest looking at the wood body structure though. It will give you an idea of what you are up against if the wood is to far gone to repair. Good luck and take your time!


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MHSprecher
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Re: 1924 Coupe Project

Post by MHSprecher » Sun Jan 19, 2020 6:38 am

Thanks, John.

The wood is a mixed bag. Driver's side is good, doors are good on both sides. Most of the passenger side needs replacing although some may be able to be repaired. I have looked at the Fordwood site and I know what I need.

My plan was not to remove the body, if I can get away with it, but repair and replace with the body on. I know I have my work cut out for me. Easier to buy a better car. I may have the same money in it when I am done, but I am up for a project and would like to save this one if I can. Maybe I am crazy, but we old car guys are all crazy to one degree or another.

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Re: 1924 Coupe Project

Post by Rich Eagle » Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:21 am

What a great story. Thanks for sharing it with us. It is wonderful when nice things come to us from driving the old cars.
Those Coupes are delightful. A closed T has it's rewards.
It is perfect just the way it is. The broken plate glass shows how dangerous it is.
Best of Luck with it.
Rich
When did I do that?

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Re: 1924 Coupe Project

Post by John Warren » Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:38 am

Just want to encourage you!! It is great that you are doing this. The car looks very salvageable and there is nothing more satisfying to drive something that you have brought back from the dead. Thanks and keep us posted.
24-28 TA race car, 26 Canadian touring, 25 Roadster pickup, 14 Roadster, and 11AB Maxwell runabout
Keep it simple and keep a good junk pile if you want to invent something :P


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Re: 1924 Coupe Project

Post by John kuehn » Sun Jan 19, 2020 3:55 pm

Have to agree your 24 is a definite car to save! It’s great that it was kept out of the weather all these years and not in a partially covered shed or on somebody’s back 40 acres. T’s don’t last long in the elements with the wood body structure.

My Coupe is a late in the year 24 which means it has the 21” wood wheels which came out late in the year and on into 25. But it does have the wood framed doors also. Your 24 looks to be in that category of a transition car from one year to the next like mine.

Classic wood products in North Carolina also make T body kits for 24-25 Coupes but not individual pieces for those cars like Fordwood does. I ordered a Top kit from Classic wood products and it arrived within 2 weeks as I remember but the few individual wood pieces I ordered from Fordwood took a few months. Hopefully they will have gotten better by now but be prepared to wait just in case as others have. I did wind up making a few pieces from ash to replace some questionable ones in the trunk area. I’m glad I saved the old ones for a pattern!


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MHSprecher
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Re: 1924 Coupe Project

Post by MHSprecher » Sun Jan 19, 2020 4:58 pm

Fordwood sounds like Howe's. Order and hear nothing for months. I will probably make a few pieces myself, too. I want to get someone to assess a couple of pieces I have. Maybe they can be saved. I have enough to keep me busy in the meantime.

The interior is out of the car and is as you would expect a 96 year old interior to be, but I am hoping to salvage most of it.

The fun never stops! :lol:

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Re: 1924 Coupe Project

Post by Will_Vanderburg » Mon Jan 20, 2020 12:59 pm

You can buy an entire kit from Classic Wood Products in Greensboro, NC.

I don't know if they sell individual pieces of wood, but it won't hurt to ask. Also, when I did my touring, I contacted Fordwood and was told it would be a 9 month wait, and that was a long time ago. I have not heard anything but horror stories about them since (taking too long, never communicating, only building wood if they decide to, etc.)

I ordered a kit from Bob's Antique Auto, who carries the kits by Classic Wood and had it in in about two weeks.
William L Vanderburg

1925 Touring
1922 Center Door Sedan


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MHSprecher
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Re: 1924 Coupe Project

Post by MHSprecher » Mon Jan 20, 2020 4:56 pm

Will,

I appreciate your comments.

Fordwood is about $1,000 less than Classic Wood for the whole kit and I need less than the full wood kit. Of course, if you can't get it or it takes forever, that means something, too. I could wait a couple of months, however.

I took your suggestion and sent a message to Classic wood to see if they would sell less than the full kit. They got back to me almost immediately and said that they offer individual pieces, too. Good news. I am sending a note to Fordwood, too, just to see what they will say.
Last edited by MHSprecher on Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: 1924 Coupe Project

Post by John kuehn » Mon Jan 20, 2020 6:57 pm

That’s good news for T restorers that they will sell individual pieces! It would surely help if they would advertise that they would sell pieces upon request. If it was plainly advertised they would sell a lot more T wood. That’s a no brainer!
If Fordwood knew about that it might get them to move a little faster in their business. Competition can speed things up most of the time.


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Re: 1924 Coupe Project

Post by Dallas Landers » Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:36 pm

That is very good to know. I have a 24 coupe that I will be starting on this spring. Its a Texas car so no rot but you never know.

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Re: 1924 Coupe Project

Post by Mark Gregush » Mon Jan 20, 2020 8:28 pm

I think I read somewhere that Fordwood makes "runs" of parts. Meaning, when they get enough orders for say coupes, they make them in batches. (I could understand, making one set at time takes a lot of setup) The contact thing has been going on almost as long as they have been down south. Never had any contact with them when they were in Oregon. Mom and Pop retired and I think the son is running it now with maybe his wife, so really small outfit.
I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :shock:

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Re: 1924 Coupe Project

Post by John Codman » Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:23 am

As to the OP, it is almost universal that someone who has assumed ownership of a Model T without really knowing much about them, will price the vehicle well above what it is actually worth. When I made the initial offer on my '27 Touring car, the owner also became angry, A couple of weeks later he called me and we were able to agree on a more reasonable price.


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MHSprecher
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Re: 1924 Coupe Project

Post by MHSprecher » Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:23 pm

John, how true. In my case it took two years. I kept in touch with her via postcard and letter. She never did speak to me again, but had her son-in-law get in touch. She was totally irrational. At the end of the day, I probably gave her what it was worth. If the engine is okay, they I will have done well. If not, I will soon be under water on it. I did want to save it, however, as who knows what would have happened if I didn't buy it?

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Re: 1924 Coupe Project

Post by GugCoupe » Wed Jan 22, 2020 8:58 am

90_72947_photo8.JPG
Im interested will be doing a lot of wood on this one. Planning to make some myself, confidence in my carpentry skill is part of this first T owner's folly. It lives indoors now but I have heard the news here that it may too late...


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MHSprecher
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Re: 1924 Coupe Project

Post by MHSprecher » Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:34 pm

A friend from the Model A club (I have two of those) and I started to make a repair panel for the passenger side quarter panel. He has an English wheel and has some experience. I had assumed that it would be very difficult to make the panel, and it may well be, but we made amazing progress in about three hours of work. I don't have a pic of where we left off, but it is conceivable to me that we could finish it in a couple of sessions. How good it will be remains to be seen, but that will depend upon final finish. It seems doable to me.

My engine number indicates an April 1924 casting date, so maybe a May construction date? That doesn't seem like late 24 to me, but what do I know?


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Re: 1924 Coupe Project

Post by John kuehn » Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:03 pm

Supposedly Ford started using 21” wood wheels as an option in the 25 Model year according to the encyclopedia on the MFTCA website. My car has the 21” wood wheels on it but has wooden door frames which were used up into the mid to late 24 year. I consider it a transition car from one year to the next. It’s hard to pin down exactly what year these cars were sold in even though it may have a 24 engine serial no. My Grandfather bought the car I have in 1942 so what happened befor then as far as T parts are concerned is unknown.
After all the parts would interchange.


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Re: 1924 Coupe Project

Post by Joe Bell » Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:24 pm

Ron Buckley of Port Williams Nova Scotia made full size prints for these cars if you like cutting wood it is a cheap way to do it yourself, I know the prints have been copied and MTFCA has them, there is a copy right on the print, I do not know if he is still around, I hope so since he was a big help on my rewooding job.


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MHSprecher
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Re: 1924 Coupe Project

Post by MHSprecher » Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:10 pm

I would love to get some full sized prints for the wood. Some of it looks fairly easy to make, others not so much. I would love to know how to obtain a set of prints.


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Re: 1924 Coupe Project

Post by Joe Bell » Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:35 pm

I made templates over the prints with carbon paper so I would not ruin my originals and it was easy to do your own work, the two hardest pieces are the front two door pillar, you need to screw a straight board on the curved piece to router out your windshield area. The second hard one is the piece below the rear window, you need to run it through the 12in. table saw on an angle and keep raising the blade to get the big curve you need, unless you have one heck of a shaper bit to do it. One of the boys that use to work for Lang's was writing a book on the coupes and I know he has the prints also. I told Ron I would never copy these prints as long as he was a live.


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Re: 1924 Coupe Project

Post by Joe Bell » Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:37 pm

If you going to take on this project just remember some one out there always need a piece of wood, so when the saw is set up run four pieces at least and they will pay for your time and material. Just a thought for you!


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MHSprecher
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Re: 1924 Coupe Project

Post by MHSprecher » Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:23 am

Thanks, Joe. I found Ron Buckley's e-mail address and messaged him. Hopefully I will hear back. I hope to take a look at the wood in the coming weeks. My front pillar and middle pillar may be salvageable. The rest of the wood looks fairly straightforward. My curved piece at the bottom of the back window is okay, thankfully.


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MHSprecher
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Re: 1924 Coupe Project

Post by MHSprecher » Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:04 pm

I just heard back from Ron Buckley. Plans are still available at $110 a set.


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Re: 1924 Coupe Project

Post by Joe Bell » Sat Jan 25, 2020 9:02 am

If you decide to tear it all down to rebuild most of the wood, it will support itself better building from rear of car forward, I have done several and the first one I did was the opposite and did not work out well!


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Re: 1924 Coupe Project

Post by Joe Bell » Sat Jan 25, 2020 9:07 am

I am glad Ron is still alive and helpful! His plans where for a Canadian car so some of the wood is different so look to see if the piece you are working on is the same. If I remember the top wood was 2 inches longer on the side rails and the base was different thickness so it will change the overall length of some part. But if you have pieces gone like I did and nothing in between they where great to start with!! Thanks again Ron for making them!
Joe


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MHSprecher
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Re: 1924 Coupe Project

Post by MHSprecher » Sun Jan 26, 2020 7:50 pm

The last two weekends I have spent fabricating the lower passenger side quarter panel for my car. My car doesn't have a lot of rust through, but that panel was very bad and was taken off of the car. I wondered how to fix this, but a fellow Model A club member has an English wheel, stretcher/shrinker, welder and some experience, so we set to work. I have been amazed at how we have done! I worked about 5 hours today and three or four last weekend. I could not have done it on my own.

I have not welded since 1974 and from my welding job, it looks that way. I never really did any MIG welding in my prior welding career, so this was new to me.
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MHSprecher
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Re: 1924 Coupe Project

Post by MHSprecher » Sun Jan 26, 2020 7:52 pm

More panel fabrication pics
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MHSprecher
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Re: 1924 Coupe Project

Post by MHSprecher » Sun Jan 26, 2020 7:55 pm

One more pic.
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Re: 1924 Coupe Project

Post by tdump » Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:04 pm

I like that Model T in a 10 pound roll! About 35 bucks and you can fix just about ANYTHING.
If you can't help em, don't hinder em'


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MHSprecher
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Re: 1924 Coupe Project

Post by MHSprecher » Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:10 pm

I have kept at it over the last few weeks. I got the wood plans in the mail from Ron Buckley. I have barely looked at them. I have done some more work on the panel I am repairing. Last weekend I added another patch panel. A couple of weeks ago I removed the back panel so that I can repair the rust on that panel and figure out what wood I need to replace. A pending project is address any rust that might be in the gas tank. It looks good as far as I can see, but I can't see much. There was some rust rattling around inside. I will put some gravel or other material in side and rattle it around to see what comes loose.

I am having a great time with this. I especially like the body panel fabrication. Who knew I could do such a thing? My welding skills are improving, as well.
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