Model T Touring
1911 Ford Model T Touring
1911 Ford Model T Touring
Henry Ford wasn't the inventor of the modern automobile. That would be German engineer Karl Benz. But the Model T, which first rolled out of Ford's Detroit factory in the late summer of 1908, revolutionized transportation. The “Tin Lizzie” was the first affordable horseless carriage, the one that middle-class families could save up for. The first Model T cost $850 but, by the time it went off the market in 1927, Ford's efficient assembly-line production had knocked the price down to $260. Over 15 million Model T Fords were sold, a record that stood until the Volkswagen Beetle finally passed it in the 1970s. Part of the enduring myth of the Model T is that all of them were black. “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants,” Ford described his policy in his 1922 book My Life and Work, “so long as it is black.” It's true that the Ford Motor Company turned black paint into a science, using 30 different types of black paint for different parts of the car's exterior. But when the Model T first came on the market, customers could get almost any common color… except for black!
Fire up the Wayback machine Sherman, it's time for a trip back to 1911 to explore early motoring in a Ford Model T. Restored by the founder of the HCCA in 1955, this tin lizzie has been to the Redwood Forest, to Hearst Castle, and even participated in the early Pebble Beach tours. When our consignor purchased it through the HCCA it was in fine cosmetic condition but needed mechanical attention. One thing led to another, and all of the mechanical systems have been rebuilt better than new, making a fun and reliable touring car. Shiny brass, rust free steel and a clean interior make up this wonderful historic example, isn't it time you took a tour too?
Well polished brass leads the way for the front of this T. New brass bezel reproduction headlights flank the shiny radiator shell with its Ford script showing proudly and sans front bumper with the front suspension is exposed for all to see. Curving black front fenders roll above the front tires with wood spoked wheels and slip downward to a brass step plate embellished running boards before swooping back up to squared off utilitarian fenders which hover above the rear wheels and help keep road dirt at bay. A center hinged twin cowled hood in a dark blue steel leads back to the near vertical brass trimmed original Rands 2-piece windshield which is supported by a nicely stained wooden dash as well as angled support bars running forward. Original well polished side lamps look right at home just below the windshield as well as the ooga horn in brass on the front fender. The carriage-esque body tub in correct deep dark blue, (it's so dark of a hue it borders on black), with its left side running board mounted polished brass carbide generator presents in splendid form although it is not hooked up. Bringing up the tail end is a single polished original tail lamp. Overall, the gaps are well minded, and the paint is deep and reflective.
Very simply appointed with a black leather bench seat and back stretching from door to door both front and rear and a large wood steering wheel fronting the original simplistic dash all in wood. These seats have recovered lower cushions and the original uppers. The dash front is restored correctly in cherry and has a litany of badges and plaques from the various tours completed in this car's history. The coil box on the dash has been expertly restored and the added speedometer is in a nice polished finish and works correctly. The door panels, only on the rear, are the original utilitarian black vinyl with some buttoning for embellishments and floors, under the front black vinyl mat and rear carpet and mat are wood and are rot free. A fold out hinged windshield is noted for airflow and the underside of the vinyl roof, and its support bows, are well done.
The consignor stated original 177ci inline 4-cylinder engine graces the engine bay and has had the full book of rebuild and upgrade parts thrown at it to ensure it remains bulletproof. Working from the bottom up, the oil pan has been straightened and had a new crank bushing installed. The block itself has been fully checked out, had new babbitts installed, and had lifter galley drains machined in. A later year larger oil pipe has been installed and 2 internal oil pipes have been added to assist with oil delivery for hill climbing. A Bill Dubats bulletproof crankshaft was installed along with rebuilt rods with no oil groove but 3 holes drilled and topping it all off are new aluminum pistons. A Stipe 280 camshaft with a new bronze timing gear has been installed as well as new lifters and cam bearings. New adjustable single lock lifters help to actuate the stainless-steel valves and the original machined true cylinder head tops things off. A rebuilt Holley NH 1bbl carburetor is on to deliver much better than stock performance and a rebuilt magneto lights the fire. A ring gear is on the flywheel if one would ever want to add electric start and a fully rebuilt 2 speed planetary transmission sends power back to the fully rebuilt Ruckstell rear axle.
Amazingly no real rust and just a bit of surface rust here and there, but it's very difficult to find. Wood is solid, the frame is showing no rust and is structurally sound. Transverse leaf spring suspension is seen all around and are correct taper springs. New shackles, bushings front and rear and a NOS 1911 front wishbone is seen as are 30-inch wood spoked wheels. AC auxiliary brakes are on to supplement the transmission and emergency brakes and function better than the well-known Rocky Mountain brake upgrade.
This isn't your father's Oldsmobile, or Cadillac, or anything like it. Driving a T is an experience in and of itself and this writer will be the first to admit it takes a whole different level of skill and fine motor coordination. With the help of a YouTube tutorial and my diligent and patient partner in crime I was able to start and even move this tourer without too much trouble. On our test track it handled well for its design and exhibited adequate acceleration. Stopping however, with the rear only mechanical drums must be planned in advance. All in all, not a bad experience for my 3rd time wheeling a T
All in all, a solid showing for this well restored and upgraded T Tourer. A nice body, simple interior, and archaic suspension all got us to where we are with automobiles today. Sherman, how about a quick stopover in Indiana so we can watch Ray Harroun and Cyrus Patschke beat out Ralph Mulford for the win at the Brickyard.
Classic Auto Mall is a 336,000-square foot classic and special interest automobile showroom, featuring over 650 vehicles for sale with showroom space for up to 1,000 vehicles. Also, a 400 vehicle barn find collection is on display.
This vehicle is located in our showroom in Morgantown, Pennsylvania, conveniently located just 1-hour west of Philadelphia on the I-76 Pennsylvania Turnpike. The website is www.classicautomall.com and our phone number is (888) 227-0914. Please contact us anytime for more information or to come see the vehicle in person.
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