1927 Ford Model T: Restore Or Leave Original?

1927 Ford Model T

This is a quintessential barn find. A lot of these Model Ts were parked in 1927 when the Model A was introduced, which could explain why so many are still around. The T was already years behind every other car by the time Henry Ford finally relented and developed the A, which was much more advanced. A Model T would be fun to own, but you can’t really use it as a daily driver. They really are fun to drive, at least once you get the pedal arrangement sorted out. Remember, the brakes are the pedal on the right, where the gas pedal should be. The middle pedal is reverse. The left one is for selecting low or high gear. Simple, right? Above 35 mph they get a bit scary. Restoration would be pretty easy. There are lots of reasonably priced parts available and the car is very simple. You must consider, though, that you can purchase a nice Model T for what it would cost to purchase and restore this one. If the engine isn’t seized, and the wooden frame is OK, perhaps one could get it running, add windows and just drive it as it is? Can anyone say patina? This Model T is for sale in Clovis, CA (Fresno area) for $2950 and is listed here on craigslist.


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  1. MH

    Would be a great car to own. Leave original as possible. This car is a piece of history.

  2. roger

    If it is all there I would restore.
    Would hot rod it if it does not run ,etc,
    Front fenders ,hood,etc sure look great.
    Nice Car !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. DREW V.

    Resto or period Hot Rod.. Would be kewl to go all Commander Cody on it with a V-12 Lincoln Zephyr transplant, even though Hot Rod Lincoln was a 1930 Model A sitting on a shortened Lincoln chassis…

  4. Capt Doug

    No financial upside for even a moderate driver restoration BUT a tremendous amount of pride and personal satisfaction should be the ultimate result of the car hobbyist who takes on this project – every thing needed is readily available and the happy day you take your 1st ride will be definitely remembered for the rest of your life.

  5. jeff6599

    Where in the world did you get the idea that this car has a wooden frame. Before you look again, want to put some money on it?

    Like 1
    • jim s

      how about medal frame for car and wood frame for the body. there has to be some wood in the car or kingsford would have never been started.

  6. Ed P

    Is patina a new word for rust?

  7. Randy Bitner

    My first car was a 1924 T that my neighbor gave me when I was in 9th grade. He said if you can put it together it is yours. No body, but he dumped it in my back yard in pieces. It took me several years to rebuild engine and what little body was there. It kept me out of trouble, for in 9th grade it was 1966. I made it into a model T Hack, wood shop made many parts in high school even turned spokes.. I got it running and drove around in neighborhood until I got arrested for driving a car on the road without anything. (One block, I got caught,LOL.) Never live that one down, but I “HOT RODDED” it with a new distributor (1927 era) to replace the coils. I sold it to pay for my college tuition in 1972. $1000 then. I miss my first car.
    This one I would restore, the body parts are all in great shape from the pictures. If I was not 5000 miles away from Cal might consider it.
    I still have the original tools to adjust the bands, and ignition key.

  8. geomechs geomechs Member

    Something like this is definitely a candidate for a restoration. It’s beyond preservation which means full bore. It doesn’t have to be concours quality, just a nice job that can be driven and enjoyed.

  9. jeff6599

    Enjoy driving it? Ever own a T? They don’t go (very limited speeds), they don’t stop (very small brakes only on two rear wheels) so what do you do when a dog or child runs out into the residential streets you are limited to, they don’t handle (side loading a wood spoke wheel on a vehicle supported by buggy springs), you can’t take it out to lunch or dinner with the gang as the rest will be done by the time you get there. Yet they are adorable to look at. That’s why T prices are low and always will be.

    • The Walrus

      Plus they literally made millions of them. Sometimes millions in a single model year. Their abundance keeps prices low as well. Same thing with VW Beetles starting from around 1960.

      • Randy Bitner

        Most “T” were scrap metal for WWII so many did not make it past then why the public was so happy to have new cars right after the war. As far as stopping, you could not go very fast and you had a full view of things around you. I guess if you had to stop that fast you could hit the brake pedal that stopped the transmission and hit the reverse pedal also. It would stall the engine out but you were stopped. The back brake was a hand break for parking. The main brake was on the transmission.

      • grant

        Have you seen the prices for VW Beetles lately? Your argument is invalid….

  10. Glen

    I can’t explain it ( other than the fact I live in central-Ontario, Canada) but Model T’s and palm trees don’t mix for me. Anyway, I agree, windows and drive it.

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