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Extricating Model T’s From The Gold Hills Of California


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I got the call a few weeks ago to move a couple of Model T’s from the hills outside

of Placerville to Southern California.

 

Placerville is in mountains off Hwy 50

on the way to Lake Tahoe.

 

The area where gold was discovered.

 

The daughter of a Model T Enthusiast was 
trying to get her Father’s cars down to her 
Mother so they could be closer.

 

The Father had passed less than a year ago 
so it was one more way to have a tangible 
reminder and a connection to him.

 

I get it - I have done this a few times.

 

But this would prove to be my biggest challenge to date extricating any vehicle

for transport.

 

The daughter sent me a couple images … 

 

The Model T Touring was in the 
attached garage of the house:

 

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The Model T Roadster Pick Up 
was in a detached barn:

 

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It seemed pretty straightforward enough.


Jim

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My experience hauling vehicles 
out of that area has taught me 
to go scout a pick up location
before I try to get my trailer
close or call out a rollback tow truck.

 

So I coordinated tentative pick up
with a tow company out of Placerville
and parked my trailer in their lot.

 

I drove out to the location in my
F-350 CC 2WD PSD Dually.

I took a video of the Model T 
that was in the barn:

 

The Placerville Barn


These are stills from that video:


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Jim

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Great video of the garage and truck.  Wonderful and sad at the same time.  Wonderful that the cars are going to a new place but sad that someones life is now being parsed out, probably some to end in the trash.  Coming for us all eventually.

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If you watch the video you'll see the engine is out of the roadster pickup.

Terry

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I saw a T engine on a bench (which is not so unusual  )in the video ...but did not in any way eqaute that engine as out of the assembled Model T..

Very rare (to me)to assemble an old car like that with motor and trans out, unless it is being sold ,so it looks better togther while offered.😱

P.S. if you look. The wishbone is attached to the bottom of the engine pan in the chassis and the crank is throught the lower radiator apron.

I don't think the bench motor is out of the R.P. but it's motor could be dead....?

 

Edited by Flivverking (see edit history)
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6 minutes ago, Flivverking said:

I saw a T engine on a bench (which is not so unusual  )in the video ...but did not in any way eqaute that engine as out of the assembled Model T..

Very rare (to me)to assemble an old car like that with motor and trans out, unless it is being sold ,so it looks better togther while offered.😱

 

 

one of the overhead shots clearly shows daylight under the firewall.  No idea why the engine may have been removed but if work on the transmission is necessary it's all gotta come out.  I'm sure Jim can confirm.

Terry

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Placerville is only 1800 feet elevation, not as high as I thought. Much more variety of trees there than you'd see higher up in the more rocky Sierras. It's not too far east of Folsom either, where a company I worked for is located.

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I'm not convinced nore does it matter...It's the pain meds.

 

The floor boards are  out...Long shots you see day light on left and right of a black space (motor) down the center under firewall... Day light is no engine pans on any side of a skinny motor.

Near the end of the vid.the pedals show in a cab steering wheel shot. Those are attachet to the transmission cover.."Hogs head". 

   

The engine and trans are one in Model T .they share the same oil pan that bolts directly to the frame. It comes out in one unit..You have to unbolt the steering post from the frame and pull it back out of the way pulling a motor..The front axle radius rods bolt to under the engine pan .The crank handle it connected to the engine pan and has to be removel to clear the radiator apron on a later T.

..on and  on along with sheet metal removal and not so easy at times radiator mount bolts and springs.

 

Seeing the excess of T parts around..the guy was a T man..The fact the family wants the T's closer because it was his thang proves that.It would be idiotic for them to move the unfinished, not gonna, anytime soon, run car from that envorment unless all the crap goes with it.(maybe it did,or they are gonna haul that T  back..?)

 

The T man would not be such a anal nut job to assemble the car  with a motor out  so ge can look at it,because he can't stand it apart. 

No experienced T man would. It's in his work shop. He's got the fridge the heat the stereo and works on junk..to much stuff to do then gawk.

 

The other T would take care of any itch to have an assemble car..and he probably would have driven and did drive it.It was at the house.

 

This is how my brain has warped with vintage cars..Help.!!!!..I need intervention before it's too late..

I'm drowning...

 

Ok. If I close my eyes....Yes..the engine is gone....I'm with you 100% on that .

.I made the whole thing up while waiting on a red traffic  light to stop blinking...

Now where is the delete button..?

I got it!  Dam! It's broken👹

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

 

.

.

 

 

Edited by Flivverking
To count my mis spells for a tophy. (see edit history)
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2nd look thru the video and your right, looks like everything is in place. Another pic shows the ft wishbone bolted up to the pan, so it's probably a runable vehicle. Lot's of good T parts in that building. 

Terry

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A lot of replies since I last visited.

 

I have stopped for the day - more accurate

to say the Los Angeles traffic has stopped 

me for the day.

 

The Model T Roadster Pickup in the barn

is the real deal - a 1926/27 Ford Factory

Pick Up.

 

The engine on the bench looks to be

the engine out of it.

 

The cylinder head & hogshead along

with other parts are in the bed of

the truck - the engine is too heavy

to lift by myself.

 

 

Jim

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This section of hand welded water sluice pipe bears testament back to the hydraulic washing of large areas of hillsides to extract gold.

 

It is right outside the barn.


 

Jim

 

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14 hours ago, plymouthcranbrook said:

Great video of the garage and truck.  Wonderful and sad at the same time.  Wonderful that the cars are going to a new place but sad that someones life is now being parsed out, probably some to end in the trash.  Coming for us all eventually.

My thoughts exactly. When I watched it I though about the guy that probably loved every item inside that shed.

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14 hours ago, Trulyvintage said:

the engine is too heavy

to lift by myself

Years ago I took a 13 T engine to Sandy McTavish for a rebuild. While we were talking his wife took the engine block out of my trunk herself and no she was not a large lady. I was embarrassed about that. 

When Sandy passed in 2014 the T world lost a major player in engine building. 

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This area is rich with history! Everywhere you look are reminders of the past two hundred years! And if one looks a bit deeper, one can see geologic history that goes back many millennia!

I have to be a bit careful with where I go from that. The past is also a reflection of the future.  And some of what I see in that reflection is not pretty. This area, to me, is quite thought provoking. A hundred and thirty years ago, the Grass Valley/Nevada City area was the second largest urban sprawl in all of California! Second only to the San Francisco/Oakland Bay area. The South S. F. bay area, San Jose up through Hayward? Was mostly just small farms. Los Angeles? A few old Spanish missions. Sacramento, the state's seat of government? Maybe about half of the business and housing of GV/NC.

Scattered around stores in our 'oldtown' are era photos from a hundred or more years ago. Among those, are numerous aerial photos (taken from balloon flights!) showing our familiar hills and streams, choked with surrounding buildings. Hundreds of industrial buildings, ore processing plants, foundries and machine shops that made huge mechanical parts for the ore stamping mills. Homes, literally thousands of them sprawled for miles! All the stores and shops necessary to provide for all the many thousands of workers and families that worked and lived here! The population here in 1900 was over three times what it is today. The GV/NC gold country made Nevada county one of the wealthiest counties in the country for half a century!

And something else in those aerial photos? Hardly a tree in sight for miles! They were nearly all cut down for lumber to build buildings and/or become firewood.

 

Today? Except for a few historic site state parks? Two significant oldtown downtowns (one in GV, the other in NC)? The two oldtown areas are where almost all the old homes are, most on very small lots. Very little remains of all those factories and urban sprawl. Hundreds of concrete foundations are scattered throughout the county. Most of them mostly disappearing into the ground and grass. 

Most people are born, grow up believing that this wonderful world was put here just for them! They believe that everything that exists for their comfort and pleasure today will be here forever for their children and grandchildren.

Yet, nearly ninety percent of what was here in 1900, was gone before 2000! If it weren't for the oldtown areas where people remained and maintained the old homes and stores or shop buildings? If not for the few state historic sites with huge hundred year old facilities? There would be almost NOTHING but a few concrete foundations left of the second largest and wealthiest area in the state! That in less than a hundred years.

There are more trees on my little one acre than can be counted in some of the era aerial photos of the whole town.

 

It can all disappear so fast.

What do you think will be left of our civilization a hundred years from now?

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Here is the engine

 

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A view from the stairs to the outside

 

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The Model T From The Stairs

 

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Jim

 

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So now to the Meat N’ Taters …

 

If you ever need a tow or flatbed service

in Placerville, California …..

 

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Native to the area - Matt arrived within

an hour of my call with the shortest 4WD

rollback in their fleet.

 

I don’t know exactly how he managed to 

maneuver his rollback ….

 

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But Matt did just a fantastic job 

backing up the road to the barn.

 

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Jim

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All four tires were flat.
The two rear tires had flat spots
and were disintegrating.
The steering wasn’t connected.
The wishbone was popped out of the socket.

 

But Matt got it loaded.

 

One down - one to go …..

 

Jim

 

 

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So …

 

Matt & I met at Extreme’s tow yard

to transfer the Model T from the barn.

 

Matt offered to try & get the wishbone that
was out of the socket back in - he did it
on the rollback 👍


88762DFA-7AED-4547-8604-954273DAC56B.jpeg.74adf176422a853bb17f1c21f0fef502.jpeg


Then we returned to load the

second Model T in the attached garage.

 

I told Matt to please not exceed 25 mph back to town to protect the top from being damaged - he did just that

 

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I went ahead of Matt to winch the Roadster 
Pick Up to the front of the trailer - it was a
pain in the @ss with four flat tires & disconnected  steering - the two rear tires had flat spots 🙄 

 

I had it to the front by the time Matt arrived
to transfer the second Model T into my trailer.

 

28CCCD79-5000-46ED-9804-46754478532E.jpeg.71ee8fe26dd5f4913234e395988ae5f9.jpeg

 

 

Jim

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Matt is a native to the area & has worked for Extreme for (13) years - he dated a gal on the single dirt track road we traveled to get to the homestead 😏

 

Without Matt & Extreme - those Model T’s
would still be sitting there.

 

Well ….

 

This family likes hills & there were more 
of them where these Model T’s were heading.

 

I had to get the Roadster Pick Up rolling 🤔

 

I made some calls & Bill Bennett of Visalia
offered to part with (3) of his mounted spares.

 

So I met him at his workplace Wednesday morning and got a two hour tour

( hoping I can return and take some

videos to share ) 🤞

 

I mounted two of Bill’s tires on the rear
while the Pick Up was still in the trailer.

 

 

Jim

 

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