Jump to content

FOR SALE: 1914 Model T barn find

Recommended Posts


So we pulled this Model T out of a barn where it had been sitting since before I was born (that's 43 years for those of you following along at home). We had David Heinrichs of Heinrichs Vintage Car Shop get it up and running, and run it does! I spent a long afternoon going over it, since the owner says it's a 1913, the inspection sticker from sometime in the '60s says 1912, but all my research says that it is one of the very first 1914 Ts built. It has its original engine, which was built in October of 1913, but the black paint under the ancient green repaint, the rounded doors, the one-piece fenders, and other details strongly suggest 1914 features. So I'm calling it a 1914, and one of the very first off the line after the model year change.

Aside from the paint, it is 100% original and all indications are that it has very low mileage. There's no rust or rot, and while the paint isn't pretty, it has an ancient patina that may not justify a restoration, I don't know. It is quite solid, the doors fit nicely, and it feels rugged, not fragile. The brass fittings are all there save for the cowl lamps, which were lost years ago. You'll note that one of the headlights is a different color, which is due to the fact that the owner had it displayed on a shelf in his office while the rest of the car was in storage. Again, it all has a nice period look to it, so polishing may not be the right choice, but I'm not sure how to make them match. It also includes a horn and kerosene-fired taillight. The original acetylene tank is still on the running board.

The interior strongly suggests that this car has very few miles. The leather upholstery is certainly presentable, even at 99 years old. Details that suggest low mileage include sharp "teeth" on the spark and throttle levers, almost no wear on the pedals, and sharp corners on the wooden sills in the rear seat area. It also includes the original top, original door panels, and leather straps holding it all together. The rubber mats are probably not original.

After a full service, the engine starts and runs well. I've gotten quite good at starting the T, and I can see the appeal of these rugged little cars. It has been retrofitted with a water pump system, which was a popular modification, but otherwise remains stock. We went through the ignition system, cleaned the fuel system, and flushed all the fluids, and it runs quite well. The transmission shifts properly and it goes about its business the way a T should. The original radiator has a slight seeping leak down low where it has been rubbing on a support brace, but it's easy to keep it topped off and it doesn't overheat. The tires are probably 50 or 60 years old, with Firestone Non-Skids up front and when was the last time you saw a set of those?

A neat survivor that's complete and intact and fully functional. Restore or preserve, we'll leave that for the next owner, but if you're looking for a brass Model T, this one has a lot going for it. Asking $19,900 and we're always open to reasonable offers. Thanks for looking!













Edited by Matt Harwood
SOLD! (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of the best things about this forum is that people with real expertise live here, too. I've heard from several members who know more about Model Ts than I do (which is not particularly difficult to do), and they've filled in a few more blanks on this car.

1. The windshield is from a 1912 T, and is arguably a better design for touring. The 1913-1914 pieces apparently tend to not do their job as well, especially when folded, and blast the occupants with air. Headlights may also be from a 1912.

2. The top is not original. It's ancient, but not 1914 ancient. It has a hole in it anyway, so replacement might be due if you're going to tour with the car. We have the leather straps that go with it and they're in good shape.

3. The acetylene tank is not original, the car had an acetylene generator, which most folks apparently replaced anyway.

4. The coil box is from a later car, which I knew since we replaced the original one with the unit that's on there now. The original box (which is included with the car) had no coils in it, and as a one-year-only design, the coils are practically unobtainable, which is why we installed a later coil box to get it running. I suspect that the coils, being so rare and valuable, were stolen while the car was in storage, along with the cowl lamps. But the original wooden coil box comes with the car:


Anyway, I thought it was important to properly represent the car. It's not entirely original, but it seems that someone upgraded it along the way to the right pieces to make it a more reliable, comfortable tour vehicle, perhaps in the '50s or '60s when touring in Ts was quite popular. The combination of parts now on the car seems to be the desirable setup for cars that are going to see actual use instead of for show purposes.

Thanks for the feedback!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The picture of the side is better than a motor number - the block was cast on 9-26-13 making his October dating above very reasonable. Too many other things wrong to be a HPOF car and T's are pretty common. At lease Matt is being very honest about the condition unlike many other sellers. Good luck with the sale.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...