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SOLD: 1915 Model T Ford Speedster with Original Kuempel Red-I-Kut Boattail Body. Rare and Authentic with Great History


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SOLD 2/4/2021

 

1915 Kuempel Red-I-Kut Model T Ford Speedster.

 

This is a great and authentic Model T speedster with a known history and has had only four owners since it was built in St. Louis in the 1920s. From my research, this may be the only surviving original Kuempel boat tail speedster body in existence.

 

This speedster was built by Francis A. Mesker in the early 1920’s using a body kit supplied by the Kuempel Hardware Company of Guttenberg, Iowa. The Mesker Family operated one of the largest architectural metal foundries in the Midwest and were prominent society members in St. Louis. This car was kept by the Mesker family till the 1980’s when it was donated to the St. Louis Museum of Transportation. The museum owned the speedster until 2005 when they sold the car at auction to a well-known St. Louis collector who owned it until last year.

 

This car has many period modifications and accessories including the original Kuempel Red-I-Kut two-man speedster body with its matching hood, radiator, radiator shell and full frame skirting. The chassis has rare Rajo “self steering" spindles, lowered (underslung) front and rear end assemblies using original pieces which I believe are Morton and Brett, and four, matching 30 x 3 1/2" House wire wheels.

 

The build of this car closely resembles the 1920s Secrets of Speed article by Murray Fahnestock ( Model T Speed Secrets: The Fast Ford Handbook pages 122-128) which discusses building a car with the Red-I-Kut body kit.

 

Like most Model T speedsters, the Ford chassis components are a variety of years. It has a 1915 block with the casting date of 7-14-15 and an engine number of 851802. It has a clear and current title and is titled as a 1915 Ford. The engine is stock, although when I had the lower cover off, I discovered it has a counterbalanced crank shaft.

 

This is a mostly original car that I do not believe has been disassembled since it was first built in the 1920s. At some point, the museum repainted it its current red color, but the insides of the body appear to be in original black paint. The inner wood structure is mostly original. The body is rock solid and tight. There are no rust or pitting issues on the body sheet metal or chassis components.

 

During the past year, the car has been mechanically freshened including new wiring, cables, 12 volt battery, fuel system cleaning, a rebuilt Holley "straight thru" carburetor, replaced timer, radiator cleaned and checked, (does not overheat or leak), rebuilt and rewired headlamps and tail lamp, new front end bushings, etc etc. It starts instantly without any fussing and when warm gives lots of "free starts". The engine seems to run well with no objectionable noises or problems. The transmission shifts smoothly and quietly. Tires are old Ward Riversides but very serviceable with good tread and hold air just fine. The desirable House wire wheels are very nice. It has the original, extended removable hand crank and a wrench for the wire wheels.

 

This is neat and rare car that could be used for a variety of events including HCCA tours or vintage racing. Authentic, period-built Model T speedsters are few and far between and those that exist are rarely offered for sale.

 

The price is 22,500.00 but would consider realistic full or partial trades for another Model T, a Model A or other pre-WWII automobile. I have over 100 detailed photos I can mail to seriously interested parties and would be glad to show anyone the car. It is located near Detroit, MI.

 

Please call 734-730-4274 or email directly at: motoringicons@hotmail.com for additional information and to schedule a viewing. Thank you.

 

 

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Edited by motoringicons (see edit history)
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  • motoringicons changed the title to For Sale: 1915 Model T Ford Speedster with Original Kuempel Red-I-Kut Boattail Body. Rare and Authentic with Great History

Yes, it has the standard Ford planetary transmission which shifts extremely smooth and is quieter than most Model T transmissions. The brakes are standard Model T but stop the car well since it is light weight. If I was going to seriously tour with this car, I would add accessory Rocky Mountain or other period outside brakes.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

The same thing that was said about my '26 Touring applies here. There are a lot of speedsters,  some good ones and only a handful of great ones. This is one of the great speedsters and is one in the true upper echelons. I wish I had space and money for it.  I'd own it tomorrow if I did...and I would drive the wheels off it!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Jan- As the ad says, it is a stock 1915 Model T engine with a counterbalanced crankshaft. Of course, Model T speed parts are available-both original and reproduction- and could be easily bolted on. As they say in racing: How fast you want to go = how much you want to spend.

 

In its stock form-because of its lightweight body-it is plenty fast. If I was to keep this car, I would probably find a period, Bosch style magneto drive assembly and  larger, accessory carburetor like an updraft Winfield or Zenith. 

 

Eric- Thanks for the nice comments. You are right regarding this car and your former 1926 touring.

 

Since I just got another early speedster with a larger,  318 CID engine, I am a bit more motivated to sell this car. I will certainly listen to reasonable offers as one can only have so many red speedsters. 

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  • motoringicons changed the title to For Sale: PRICE REDUCED: 1915 Model T Ford Speedster with Original Kuempel Red-I-Kut Boattail Body. Rare and Authentic with Great History
  • 3 weeks later...
  • motoringicons changed the title to SOLD: 1915 Model T Ford Speedster with Original Kuempel Red-I-Kut Boattail Body. Rare and Authentic with Great History

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