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1923 Dodge speedster


carlisle1926
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I"ll say... I was just admiring the "lived in " look of your garage ( that door leaning against the wall needs to be cut down a LOT to fit in your speedster though!) and checking out your filing system for parts. You didn't tell us you were an artist as well. Great concept.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Oh my driveway certainly has the lived in look. I made a bit more progress this week. I started building the body. I have a lot more work to do on it, but at least the body is roughed in now. I also made my exhaust collector using an old 38" diameter oil storage tank that I cut down and shrank into a 7.5" diameter muffler. I made the exhaust outlet on the anvil.

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I have the shifter mechanism off of a 1926 American LaFrance fire truck. I have to shorten the handles, but it should work. I'll be using a top loader 4 speed transmission from a 1950's Chevrolet. I'm modelling the system after the way a 1950's American Lafrance 700 series cab forward truck shifts using linkages to a remote shifter. I'll probably be mounting the transmission soon and then I'll begin making the shifter parts.

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For those that have asked, there is the majority of a disassembled AT-6 Texan airplane in the backyard. The parts are extremely corroded. I'll be putting the plane back together as a display to hang up. I cut up old junk aircraft and make replica WWII nose art pieces using the debris from aircraft that are doomed to go to China to be melted down. It beats letting it go to the smelters.

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The entire purpose of this project is to prove a reliable, and most of all, a CHEAP speedster can still be built. I had several other options for much older engines, but when I looked into the rebuild expense and the lack of parts availability, the decision was easy. I paid $150 for this recently rebuilt 235 engine that was pulled from a truck that was being hot rodded. I just don't feel comfortable going any long distance from home at high speeds with a 1920's engine. That sort of thing is for those with much deeper pockets than I. I've spent about $1500 so far during this build. But, I sold many of the unwanted NEW parts that came with the 235 as well as many of the original parts off of the Dodge chassis. I've sold about $2500 in odds and ends. So far, so good with the cheap build idea. But, yes, a 235 looks like garbage in there compared to an old T-head engine or flat head.

Edited by carlisle1926 (see edit history)
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Carlisle 1926..... Don't ever offended by anyone! a 235 is a good safe choice for your budget, and best of all it ain't no SBC ! Their is some A$% Hole up in the General Discussion area that I think is directly picking on you. I think he is jealous be cause he has no creative artistic abillities. Back about 40 years ago in grade school we called jerks like that bullies.

Your project is very exiting and thank you for sharing it with us !

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Drive on brother , it's your build, ain't no right or wrong to it. Take that engine, clean it up, remove the hoses, wires, air cleaner etc, paint the whole thing Battleship Grey. Paint the alternator, manifolds, brackets, etc Black. It will look just fine.

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Carlisle 1926..... Don't ever offended by anyone! a 235 is a good safe choice for your budget, and best of all it ain't no SBC ! Their is some A$% Hole up in the General Discussion area that I think is directly picking on you. I think he is jealous be cause he has no creative artistic abillities. Back about 40 years ago in grade school we called jerks like that bullies.

Your project is very exiting and thank you for sharing it with us !

I'm not offended at all and I appreciate the input of every one. I think the 235 looks like garbage my self, but I will dude it up bit and try my best to disguise that its a 1950's engine.

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Drive on brother , it's your build, ain't no right or wrong to it. Take that engine, clean it up, remove the hoses, wires, air cleaner etc, paint the whole thing Battleship Grey. Paint the alternator, manifolds, brackets, etc Black. It will look just fine.

Right on, add some copper lines and cloth covered wiring to back date that 6 a few decades. I'm doing the same with my speedster and it's 8. A period speedster engine jsut isn't in the budget!

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Carlisle 1926... Their is some A$% Hole up in the General Discussion area that I think is directly picking on you. I think he is jealous be cause he has no creative artistic abillities... we called jerks like that bullies.

I would suggest that "picking on" is, at best, an exaggeration and very probably inaccurate. Wayne's initial and subsequent posts on that thread and others have been nothing but polite, well-reasoned and respectful. Clearly you don't share his viewpoint but there is no call for personal attacks.

Regarding the subject at hand, I can appreciate both sides of the spectrum and it is up to the builder or buyer to satisfy themselves. For my taste, nothing beats period-look components and finishes and I consider it a shame when an otherwise impressive build is marred — in my opinion — by modern doodads

My '24 T Speedster, for example, sports not a single bit of chrome and all brightwork is nickel-plated. There is only 12" of plastic-covered wire (under the floorboard and around the fuse-holder) and all the rest is fabric-coated. There is not a single zip-tie on the car — wherever one would be handy, I have used leather bootlace from the harness shop to fashion an effective and period correct wire-tie. I collect slot-head screws and machine bolts to use on cars like this wherever a fastener can be seen. The engine is '24 T, with several modern improvements, but externally period correct, using repro or original accessories and components. No distributor, alternator, and water pump. Full disclosure, I gritted my teeth and attached two modern bicycle LED tail lamps to the rear in view of our frequent highway and evening motoring.

Reliability? I imagine as good or better than Ts were in the day. Last year we put over 3,500 miles on the car including two 600 mile trips and one of 1,800.

So if this approach makes me, in your eyes, a jerk bully A$% Hole with no creative artistic abillities, no problem. Maybe Wayne and I can start a JBA Speedster Club.

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Amen... dunno where my posts are evaporating to today, but I'd like to focus on the wrenches instead of the BS. Paul raises a point that I've been thinking about as well... engine color combinations can go a long way to making a motor "look" old. Greys, some antique blues, greens, burgundies are very much out of place among modern power plants.

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I would suggest that "picking on" is, at best, an exaggeration and very probably inaccurate. Wayne's initial and subsequent posts on that thread and others have been nothing but polite, well-reasoned and respectful. Clearly you don't share his viewpoint but there is no call for personal attacks.

Regarding the subject at hand, I can appreciate both sides of the spectrum and it is up to the builder or buyer to satisfy themselves. For my taste, nothing beats period-look components and finishes and I consider it a shame when an otherwise impressive build is marred — in my opinion — by modern doodads

My '24 T Speedster, for example, sports not a single bit of chrome and all brightwork is nickel-plated. There is only 12" of plastic-covered wire (under the floorboard and around the fuse-holder) and all the rest is fabric-coated. There is not a single zip-tie on the car — wherever one would be handy, I have used leather bootlace from the harness shop to fashion an effective and period correct wire-tie. I collect slot-head screws and machine bolts to use on cars like this wherever a fastener can be seen. The engine is '24 T, with several modern improvements, but externally period correct, using repro or original accessories and components. No distributor, alternator, and water pump. Full disclosure, I gritted my teeth and attached two modern bicycle LED tail lamps to the rear in view of our frequent highway and evening motoring.

Reliability? I imagine as good or better than Ts were in the day. Last year we put over 3,500 miles on the car including two 600 mile trips and one of 1,800.

So if this approach makes me, in your eyes, a jerk bully A$% Hole with no creative artistic abillities, no problem. Maybe Wayne and I can start a JBA Speedster Club.

I love your Model T! It looks like a blast to drive. I've had several Model T's over the years, but never a T speedster.

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I love your Model T! It looks like a blast to drive. I've had several Model T's over the years, but never a T speedster.

Thanks, and yes it's a hoot on the road. No overdrive but the 3:1 rear end gives us a 48 mph cruising at 1,600 rpm. I built the car in 1992-93 with basically the same body you see here, then took the body off in 2003 to go drag racing. I liked it so much that way the body stayed off for six years until we staggered the seats, added foot pegs and put it back on for touring. The rear storage boxes got added last year — photos below show the built-in storage we added before our September run down to Washington.

I'm very taken with the proportions of your Dodge — love the long hood, waaay back cockpit, and the general proportions of everything... Many T speedsters, which are mostly what I see, have a generally dumpy look that is hard to avoid with that wheelbase, chassis height and hood length, particularly with a full-height windshield.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry to jump in so late here, but I know where you can buy two 1931 straight 8 320 engines coupled together to make a great drag racer.

It has already been modified to run both together with special racing pistons, rods, etc. You might have enough hood to make it fit!

It is called "The Sweet Sixteen" and is still for sale in N. California. Send me a PM if interested as I do not frequent this site.

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You mentioned that you had 2, 21" budd disc wheels when you started and then found a complete set. Are you planning on selling the other 21" budds?

I sold the 20" wheels that I had, but I'm keeping the 21" as spares, just in case any one of the other wheels is warped.

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  • 2 years later...

I don't look in here very often. I have owned a number of Dodge 4's but I prefer the later 1927-8 engines. The improved crankshaft makes them much smoother and safer at higher revs. There are lots of little tricks to improve the output of these engines. While the gearboxes are slow to change down you really only need to change out of top if you hit a wall. The last "Flying Four" was good for 70-75 mph and with a lot less weight to pull up the two wheel brakes were almost adequate.

 

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Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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