Brooklyn Beer

So tell me why.....

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I should buy a model T ?  Never driven one, oldest vehicle I have ever owned is a 1940 Ford 2 ton truck.  The oddities of starting / driving / shifting is one thing I find amazing.  Magneto and Battery, limited braking, etc.   But the 4 door touring just seems to grab me.

 

So tell me why I should buy one ?

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Because the are inexpensive and parts are mostly available. They are a fun step back in time and  you will learn something new. Enough?

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While you might like the idea of a 4 door Touring T the reality is you might be disappointed.

I would bet money you'd would wind up getting in and out from the passenger side anyway.

It might sound clumsy but really isn't and is whole lot easier than navigating the brake lever.

There isn't much room between the brake lever and seat which makes getting in and out from the driver side very difficult unless you wear size 4 shoes....... 🙄

I moved the driver seat back one hole in my '27 Tudor and, with my long legs, it's still a pain getting myself in....... 😬

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Thank you.  It would just be another "around town" driver in the garage to go with everything else.  Been bite by the "I think I want a 100 year old car" bug so an occasional grocery store run or 8 mile round trip to the hardware store jaunt is going to be about it. Being in TX we get a much extended driving season so an open touring is where my eye seems to be leading me.  Going to be adding 2 cars this year with one being a Franklin.  The model T seems to give the best bang for the buck in the 100 year old range.  So if I decide to buy a 1920 and before T, in a touring model, what should I look for ? Is the Ruxstal rear that important?  Rocky Mountain brakes seem like a must.  I see many changed over to distributor. They come across as a motor that will run forever.  

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I suggest you ask this question on the Model T Ford Club of America website.  You'll probably be inundated with Texas Model T owners wanting to teach you all about them.  I can only tell you, they're an absolute hoot!

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Because everyone you pass will smile and everyone who passes you will give thumbs up. Because you will learn to enjoy the journey. Because  happiness is a Model T.

12tr64.jpg

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So what year model T gives the best bang for the buck ?  After struggling all morning and succeeding in getting a new fluid drive unit into my 46 Dodge, and doing it solo, I am sure there is nothing I can't do with a T !

Edited by Brooklyn Beer (see edit history)

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Having had 3 "UNimproved" T's there's a reason my '27 Tudor is the keeper.

It's a tad lower to the ground, has vastly superior transmission and services brakes and has an improved crankshaft as well.

The body is all steel except for the roof which is a major plus.

And the best reason is they're just fun to drive and nearly everyone LOVES to see them...... 😁

Just a few days ago I had my '27 out and stopped at the local lumberyard.

There were some vacationers in for some plumbing stuff and a lady complemented me on my "spectacular" old car.

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Why buy a T? Let’s see........I have owned and driven all of the BEST pre war stuff on the planet.........ALL OF IT, in the parking spaces behind me are ALL the automotive legends from the American continent ......all of them. I have a 15 T that’s all original, unrestored, and I enjoy it just as much as the Model J I took to lunch on Saturday morning. If you don’t understand and appreciate a T, you just don’t understand the old car hobby.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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If "best bang for the buck" means cheapest, then it will probably be something in the twenties.  But if it means best value, it could be a 1916 -  a brass T that's not officially HCCA eligible, but likely cheaper than earlier brass Ts.

 

Peter (not a T guy)

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Ben, I appreciate your exceptionally kind words.  I have had quite a lot of interest in the car but nobody has jumped in to buy it. I do know the market is soft but it will go eventually. 

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I've had (youngest to oldest) '21, '15, '14, and '13 Ts.  I also have a National-first-prize-winning 1912 Buick.  And some other early toys, but they're not relevant to this discussion.  

 

The Buick is the entry level Model 35.  It can cruise more comfortably at a higher speed than a T.  40 mph is easy, where it feels strained in a stock T.  With an intermediate gear, it can climb better than a T, despite having a slightly smaller engine and 50% more weight.  It doesn't have to be shifted often, which is a blessing, because the gearshift is an abomination before the Lord and all the saints.  It's not the ratios, which are ideal, but the mechanism for going from my hand to the gearbox, which is beyond unspeakably vile.

 

A T, on the other hand, is a constant delight.  When I'm driving a T, I'm constantly thankful that my grin doesn't go any further around my face, because if it did, the top of my skull would fall off.  And I've taught lots of people - 16-year-old kids, young women, senior citizens, you name it - to drive a T. A few years ago, at a New England Brass and Gas tour, there was an afternoon ladies' driving school for Model T's.  The granddaughter of a longtime club member asked it I'd give her a lesson; she was the only one of Grandpa's kids or grandkids who had ever shown an interest, and Grandpa had her along as a navigator - she'd never driven an antique.  I took her through the basics, and her judgment seemed good, so we moved on to parallel parking, and starting on a hill.  She was doing well, and not scaring me, so I said:  "Tell Grandpa that tomorrow he gets another navigator.  You're coming with me, and I'm going to navigate."  The next day she drove my T 94 miles on Massachusetts roads.  We were three happy people: her, me, and grateful Grandpa.

 

I'm into touring, not showing, and almost all my activity is with the Horseless Carriage Club.  With very few exceptions, that means my car has to have been built before 1916.  If it were not for that limitation, I would have owned ericmac's car for about 3 months now.  I can't imagine you'll ever find a better one.  And, if you're willing to dedicate the time, you can drive that car without devaluing it.

Pete Ratledge has an '11 T that's just as nice as ericmac's.  He restored it about 20 years ago.   it's won the Stynoski like ericmac's, it's won AACA grand national senior, and enough preservation awards to line the walls of a modest NY apartment.  He drives it everywhere, including dirt roads in the rain, and the car looks as good now as it did when he rested it.  It takes a ton of work, but it can be done.

 

Buy a T!!!

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