Hi to y’all. Been interested in things automotive since I was aware of my surroundings. Born in New Jersey in '46 and the family moved to So Cal in '51 via the Pennsylvania Turnpike and Route 66. Drove the same basic route myself when the wife and I were stationed at Fort Eustis, Va. and I got my orders for Nam in 1968. Loved the thought of what the trip must have been like back in the '20s. Been getting into the idea of living the dream at 35mph in a T and being retired I have the time to try it. Hoping to find a T or TT as a fun distraction in my “Golden” years. Meanwhile, I’m just hanging out here and learning about the fun.
Welcome aboard…lots of good information here, and thank you for your service.
If you haven’t bought a car yet, I would first suggest to see if there is a club chapter nearby. Secondly, I would by the most complete AND running car that suits your needs and likes. There is always something to do on these cars, your first one shouldn’t start as having to restore the entire thing. I speak from experience, and I am sure others will agree.
I would also look at features different years had which may sway you to buy a different year than you first intended. I know there are certian folks that only want to deal with “improved” T’s, which are the last two years of 1926-7. I myself prefer “black era” T’s which are the 1917-25 variety, and more specifically 1923-25. These are also typically cheaper cars to buy.
Most Model T’s will not be investments, they are more of labor of loves, that appreciate very little. So buying one at a proper price is also a consideration in that. I can tell you my insurance policy is worth more than my T, but it might only buy me a mediocre T as a replacement if something were to happen.
I bought what I could afford at the time, which was kind of a hodge podge of parts and most of the used beyond there usefulness. It did run so to speak, and drive too, but upon much further research, it could have actually hurt or injured me or someone else had I really jumped in and drove it as is. I wish I had someone to guide me before I jumped in, I did not do near enough research. But the adventure was and has been great, and I can not trade those experiences away ever.
Welcome! What Chad says is all true, I wish I had spent more on my first one- but then again it has been fun to bring it back to life, tweak it here and there, and drive the snot out of it over the past 25 years.
What part of California are you in? There is a Swapmeet coming up in Bakersfield next month, April 13 that will be loaded with Model T parts.
Look at Craigslist ads specifically for Model T Ford, years 1909 thru 1927 to give some idea of what is out there…and there is a lot! Prices for fairly complete Model T’s start at $2500 and go up from there. Get one with a title if at all possible.
Welcome to the Forum, lots of good info here.
Chad is correct.
For me, driving is the fun part. But working on your own car and learning how it works is fun too. Sometimes discouraging, but there are others here who can answer mechanical questions. Post pictures with your questions and you will find you have not run into anything others here haven’t dealt with in the past.
It is fairly easy to post pictures on this forum, and pictures are GOOD!
I have a T and a TT. My TT has 7:1 rear, a top speed of 15 mph. With a 5:1 rear a TT might go 25. With a 5:1 and a Warford with overdrive a TT can go 45, but you need auxiliary brakes to stop safely. I drive my TT on Sundays and between midnight and 4:00 a.m. because there is no traffic then.
My T is a speedster, no extra weight, 3:1 rear, Ruckstell, reground cam, Stromberg 81, Reeder head, 4 wheel disc brakes. It will run 60 and is my daily driver. Many people tell me it is not a T becasue of all the non t parts installed for speed or safety.
I encourage you to consider the traffic and road conditions in your area and decide what type of T you would enjoy the most. Flat land like Fort Eustis, hilly terrain, mountains, twisting back roads with blind curves, heavy suburban traffic, miles of subdivion roads with low speed limit, all these need consideration.
If you plan a cross country trip there are those here who can give you excellent advice, they have done it!
Thanks for all the tips and suggestions. Not ready to buy one yet as I have a few other projects to clear on my list, but I’m trying to learn enough about these relics that I’ll be able to hunt one down without going in blind. Looking for something that will run well and I can enjoy while working in the details. Not concerned about it looking pretty as having the mechanical parts in good enough condition that I won’t worry about taking it out for short trips while dealing with making it better. Understand the need for better brakes and some sort of overdrive to have reasonable road performance. I don’t mind going slow, we lived many years with a 40hp VW and restored a military Viet Nam era Dodge M37B1 that had a governed top speed of 57mph down hill or with luck on flat ground with a tailwind. On a good day it would run 35 on hills.
Had a 90hp Aeronca Champ for close to 25 years so I understand flying low and slow as it cruised at around 80 or 85mph. Looking forward to running places on back roads at 35 to 40 where you can see the countryside and smell the flowers. We’ve had our fun going fast in the car of my high school dreams ('64 Dodge Polara with a 440) and ready to go back to a simpler time.
Love old trucks so that’s where the interest in a TT comes from, but whatever we end up with will bring a smile to my face.
Spent the first 25 years of my working life as an aerospace machinist/tool and die maker and finished off my working life as a FAA licensed A&P Mechanic with my IA the last 10 or 12 years. Always been tinkering with things automotive along the way and though I have slowed down since I retired i still love playing with cars.