Back On The Road: 1927 Ford Model T

Josh MortensenBy Josh Mortensen

The Model T isn’t the easiest car to drive on the street, the pedals arrangement can be a little confusing, they struggle to get out of their own way and they lack all the basic creature comforts people have come to expect in an automobile. Yet we find ourselves wanting this one so badly! Perhaps it’s because its a 90 year old barn find that is back on the road or maybe it’s the simplicity of the Model T, but whatever it is there is just something special about this Ford. Find it here on eBay in¬†Hopkinsville, Kentucky with a current bid of $2,150.

By the time this car was being built, Ford was already preparing to launch the Model A. The T had been a huge success, with close to 15 million built in a wide range of body styles, but Ford was ready to introduce something a bit more refined. This Touring sedan offered enough room to carry the whole family in relative comfort. It appears the convertible top is missing, so you may want to either find a replacement or simply avoid driving it on cloudy/rainy days.

The seller states that they found the car 3 years ago and after pulling it from the barn, all it took to get running was to replace the coil packs and some consumables. For the time, these cars were extremely well built, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that reviving it was fairly simple. And given just how many were built, finding parts is quite simple and there are even lots of performance bits still floating around. While it would be wrong to cut this one up to build a hot rod, it would be fun to install some period correct performance parts. With a performance head and a new exhaust system you could almost keep up with modern traffic around town, that is once you master driving it! So are we the only ones that think owning a Model T like this would be a blast?

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Comments

  1. RayT Member

    Have to argue with you, Josh. No “performance” — and for a T that’s relative at best — parts. At all. Drive and enjoy for what it is.

    I’ve always wanted one of these; if not this style then perhaps a two-seater. Space to garage it and budget have always stopped me. If not for those considerations, I’d be bidding, and would then practice (when nobody’s looking) until I had the pedals worked out.

    And, for once, this is a car I wouldn’t restore. I like the (wait for it!) patina!

    5+

    • Josh Mortensen Josh Mortensen Staff

      I would limit any performance parts to bolt on bits, given the originality anything that goes on it needs to come back off without damaging it. This won’t ever be a fast car and it really shouldn’t be, but a few extra horses would allow you to drive it on the street without fear of being run off the road.

      I would probably have it delivered to an empty parking lot, preferably at night when no one is around, to practice driving it. And then once I mastered the pedals, I would drive it whenever possible! And I agree with you 100% on the patina. It really needs to be preserved rather than restored, it’s just too cool as is!

      4+

  2. Dusty Stalz

    Tried to post a pic of the one my dad built in the 80s but can’t seem to. Oh well lol.

    1+

  3. Neal

    Someday!!

    Guess I’ll have to research the pedal arrangement and driving mods everyone keeps fearing and talking about with these. Unless someone wants to enlighten me and other readers not in the know with the mechanical controls.

    I wonder what the selling price will be? Wonder what it is worth?

    I’d want to keep it absolutely stock as shown.

    Heck, the speed limit here in Boston is only 25 MPH! Should be fine in traffic!

    Do these take regular gas?

    After looking at some other eBay listings, I have to say that even though I have long been a fan of hotrods, I prefer the stock look with the stock true wagon wheels.

    I might need to find someone nearby with one to befriend and visit with someday soon. Any leads in Boston?

    2+

    • Dusty Stalz

      YouTube how to drive a Model T. It’s very interesting. I’d like to try one day.

      1+

    • Andrew Tanner Staff

      I own one! There are 3 pedals, none of them do what you expect them to do/are located where you would assume. The throttle is a lever on the column and there is also a lever for timing adjustment while driving, which is a key part to keeping your T running properly. They do take regular gas, at least mine does!

      0

  4. Todd Zuercher

    The local Model T club had a ‘learn how to drive a Model T day’ at a local, almost-deserted shopping mall on a Saturday about 15 years ago. I went and took a spin. It’s not easy although I didn’t drive it a long distance (maybe a mile total). A lot of fun although I couldn’t ever see driving one on a public road these days unless you were in a very small town or out in the country.

    1+

  5. Fred W.

    I really like the weathered look for this one- exactly what they must have looked like as they took their owners west during the dust bowl, piled high with everything the family owned. A real piece of history and economical to buy, fix up and maintain. Located about 30 minutes from me.

    0

  6. Dan

    I don’t believe that is the factory correct tommy gun on the running board. It should be all black. Finding the matching numbers one will prove very difficult.

    1+

    • Gunsmith

      Correct, pictured is a current Auto Ordnance M1A1 semi auto carbine with 16.5 inch barrel, similar in appearance to the ones used mid WWII. Anyone can buy one as long as you do not live in a commie state.

      This T needs the first type Thompson Model 1921, select fire, and capable of utilizing the 50rd drum – royal blue with walnut grips/stock, nice ones are $50 grand and up. If it was made by Colt add 25 to 40 grand.

      0

  7. Todd Fitch Todd Fitch Staff

    I like it just as is (assuming safety items are fixed). Maybe you can re-assemble this link… h t t p : / / www .caranddriver. com / features / how-to-drive-a-ford-model-t

    0

  8. Rock On
  9. Ben T. Spanner

    I was told , (By a man who owned a junk yard, so it must be true;) that there was an assembly plant in Columbus, Ohio. Buyers could pick them up at the plant.

    At the end of the line was a very large individual who hand cranked the engine for its very first start. Sometimes the front of the car came off the ground. The new owner was instructed not to stop the engine until they got home as the rings and bearings were wearing in.

    0

  10. Jay E.

    I have owned, restored and driven several of these. It doesn’t mention if it has electric start, I suspect it does, being a ’27, but I don’t see a key. If not, just getting them running can be a challenge as adjusting the spark, mixture and then hand cranking can be tricky. Looks like it has add on rear brakes, a good thing. And newer spokes in the wheels. I like it a lot!
    The biggest problem is not the fault of the car, it is the other drivers on the road. Even if you are keeping up with the speed limit, you are constantly passed, double yellow, narrow road, curves, doesn’t seem to matter. It is though people consider you to be a bicycle or something. Also you will be constantly cut in front of by people pulling out in front of you so they won’t need to follow the old car. With no front brakes and marginal stopping power, even at 35 MPH, it was this dangerous behavior by other drivers that took the fun out of the drive and got me away from them. Anything under $5k would be a bargain for this one.

    8+

  11. Kevin W

    Final year for the Model T. Easily worth at least twice what the bidding has reached so far.

    0

  12. Randy Bitner

    If anyone buys this, I have original band adjusting tools.

    0

  13. PAPERBKWRITER

    I’ll bet this car would get a lot of looks at a car show. Seem like a very fair deal but I haven’t priced one so Its just a shot from the hip.

    0

  14. Steve Cota

    Actually back in the day when the auto industry was just getting off the ground and people were transitioning away from horse’s and Buggies, Model T’s were marketed as a car anyone could drive. the throttle was a lever on the steering wheel, There were no gears to shift and no clutch to slip, all you did was push the forward pedal down for low gear, and let the pedal all the way up for high. there was a separate pedal to push for reverse, (this was the only tricky part as you had to hold the forward pedal in the center position while you did so) and there was a separate brake pedal which was just a band in the transmission and did little to stop the car, as it just stopped the driveshaft from turning and on a slippery downhill, one wheel could lose traction and spin backward !. (the aftermarket Rocky Mountain Brakes added a band around the rear wheel hubs which actually acted on the wheels and provided stopping power in addition to the hand brake.)

    1+

  15. Bellingham Fred

    I love the composition of the 1st pic. In my opinion the best looking (artistically speaking) photo I have seen on this site.

    0

  16. Shane

    For those in the Pacific Northwest who want to learn to drive a Model T: the LeMay family collection has held several Model T Driver’s Ed courses. The museum maintains a collection of running and driving Model Ts, and the grounds are big enough (with private roads) to make it a great place to learn. I keep planning to attend one of these day-long courses, but my schedule never works. Check here for the calendar:

    https://www.lemaymarymount.org/lemay-events-calendar

    Looks like they had one last weekend! I was talking with a docent at the last Open House, and he said that these driving schools have been much more popular than they had expected.

    0

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