Aw, Shucks! – Part 2: 1915 Ford Model T Panel Truck

We featured this truck here on Barn Finds in November of 2016. Back then it had a buy-it-now price of $50,000 and was located in Newport News, Virginia. The car is still in Virginia, and according to the current ad, it hasn’t been sold since 1915. It can currently be found here on eBay with a reduced buy-it-now price of $34,000. If it didn’t sell at $50,000 two years ago, will it sell now at a discount?

There are some amazing old graphics on the side of this truck! It says “MACKENTHUN & BACH / OYSTERS / SHUCKED IN BALTIMORE / 522 W LEXINGTON ST.” The truck reportedly still belongs to a relative of Henry Bach and was warehoused in 1921. It shows around 25,000 original miles and is said to run and drive great. The original wood body was removed when the running gear was rebuilt “using mostly original parts.”

There is some really cool documentation with the truck including photos of the truck in as-found condition. There are a ton of documents including the history of the car typed out. There are also some original parts that are displayed on a board.

I’m not sure why it didn’t sell in 2016? It appears there were no good offers made or the seller wouldn’t budge off the asking price back then. With a $16,000 price reduction, I have a feeling a deal may be put together this time around. What do you think? Many of our readers thought $50,000 was a bit rich back then…how about $34,000 now? Let us know.

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Comments

  1. canadainmarkseh Member

    I’d not be able to stop myself. I’d start with many details photos, followed by removing the body from the chassie in order to do a full restoration of the wood. Here’s where the pictures come in I’d then proceed to repaint it and and redo the script on the sides in every detail. It would look like the day it was first put into service back when it was new. For those of you that like the old crusty look the option would be to remove this body, replicate it in every way including paint and script, then mount the new body on the chassie. Then you could put the old Bodley away into storage for if you change your mind and want it back on the chassie. I just can’t seem to buy into the idea of keeping vintage cars and trucks looking old and ratty. I just think that they look so much better redone and all shined up.

    11
    • AMXBrian

      Building a new body while preserving the original makes a lot of sense. It’s only original once. If you repaint something you loose the history. The body paint, hand painted lettering, wood carving on all of that body were made in a time without the advantages we have today and the look is different.

      A fun way to preserve both would be to build a trailer with an enclosed plexiglas case for the body and tow it around with the chassis and new body that way you could show off the history and have a functional vehicle to compare it to.

      5
      • John

        It’s not the Sistine Chapel ceiling, it’s a cool old truck!

        4
      • Burger

        One of the most compelling reasons for me to have my truck is that it is A TRUCK ! Munch a fender ? Beat it back, hit it with some rattle can black, and get back to work ! If I scratch the paint on my old car, it is a massive and expensive fix.

        Many years ago, I was mid-restoration on a car we found in a barn. I was getting five figures deep and it was still a LONG way from done, and it occurred to me that my excitement of finding and seeing a car in as-found condition was always way better than the pleasure I got from having a car completely restored. And by extension, a warmed over original was also way more fun than a trailer queen, with all its fuss and worry of getting scratched or damaged.

        To put it more directly, a barn find trumps a trailer queen any day. That original “cream puff” (or even a beater) still going down the road, it vastly more cool than the over-restored row of cookie-cutter cars at a car show.
        When I was a kid, one still saw the occasional Model T going down the road. These were not some contrived, cutesy restoration, going-to-a-car-show scenes. These were Depression-era people driving a car that they felt was still perfectly good and not needing to be updated for a newer model.

        I try to capture that original use piece of the way back American street scene by just driving my cars. No shows, no clubs, no tours. Just an ancient chunk of steaming junk out there working. It is how I remember them. It’s how I best enjoy them. Polishing cool cars into over-restored pavement paperweights is not my idea of how best to do the old car scene.

        2
  2. Classic Steel

    Cut it in half one more time and we’re there.

    It’s cool and a nice unit but it’s old and drives in eco mode always at 20 mph.

    I like it but think we’re not there yet with much work to finish into a “Classic Steel” vehicle!

    6
  3. Howard A Member

    Who in their right mind eats those disgusting slimy oysters, much less a truck needed to deliver them. Get better results with a vintage paddy wagon, I’d think.

    5
    • Wrong Way

      I slurp down those oysters just as fast as they are shucked! Great with beer and hot sauce on a saltine cracker! I am almost 80 and can still fully play with the women! I contribute it all to those delicious raw oysters!

      14
      • Howard A Member

        Hmm, izatso?, And to think I have stomach problems and no women because I ate hamburgers all my life. Oysters, hey? Hmm, no thanks, I’m ok.

        2
  4. Jeff

    As a piece of history or art, this is cool. But as a vehicle, it’s nearly useless. I’m pretty useless when it comes to pricing historical artifacts and art, but this wouldn’t be worth $5k to me.

    4
  5. Matt Huff

    I don’t know about you all,but something smells fishy about this vehicle..!!
    I love-love-love the look of this,and would leave it exactly the same.
    This is real “patina”-,not that fake- aged- clear coated-vinyl wrap stuff..!
    A seafood restaurant needs this out front…with a server giving out
    free samples…from the back

    9
  6. Fred W

    I can see both sides. It would look amazing if restored and repainted by a pro (not many hand sign painters left, but my town has one and always has, which changes the look of the town). On the flip side, it’s a crying shame to paint over the original graphics. But they are so faded.

    5
  7. Jerry Long

    Some low gloss Tung Oil would likely do wonders for the wood and graphics.

    5
  8. robj Member

    Hard to imagine some high end seafood restaurant hasn’t “gobbled” this up.
    Especially one in my home town of Smalltimore…

    By the way, oysters are great! Eat em till you slosh.
    [Maybe it’s a Chesapeake Bay thing]

    robj

    5
  9. Dovi65

    The market for antique vehicles of this era is very thin, and wont improve anytime soon. This one is a great piece of automotive history, and deserving of restoration. That said, no mater what historical documentation is attached, even if Henry himself owned it, $34k is hopelessly optimistic. Ask $10k, settle for $7-$8k. This one is a novelty item, good for parades, shows, etc

    9
  10. Walter Wilcox

    I love the truck but not at that price. Looks more like a 5-8k vehicle. I would definitely restore the wood and give it a makeover. No real significance about the oyster company, not a rare model. All things considered it would be a nice Sunday driver.

    3
  11. CanuckCarGuy

    Very cool old truck, not sure what practical use it could have at that price…too expensive to use as a billboard, there’d be very little ROI I’m afraid. It really does need a loving home though, as a nod to how simple life used to be.

    3
  12. Del

    Still needs to come way down.

    Does NADA Guides go back this far ?

    2
  13. Karl

    Practical use??? I remember when people would ask me that question about some new 8 wheel drive 40k pound military truck I just bought, well that was a warehouse full of trucks ago! Like THIS truck if your buying it for a truly practical use, good for you and keep telling yourself that!!

    3
  14. BRAKTRCR

    My Dad had a 1921 Center Door Sedan, for the first 40 years of my life. Fully restored, we got only 5k for it, in 1990 and threw in a bunch of spares. The Center Door is fairly rare for a T, bit they are worth less and less every year. As cool as this old T is, I agree with the others 5 to 8k is about it.

    2
  15. lee packer

    At $2.00 a look in a tent it would take 17000 looks to wear out the tent and how old would you be

    1
  16. Bill McCoskey

    I’m pretty sure I saw this Ford thru a loose boarded up window, in north central area of Baltimore probably 40 years ago. The building was a ramshackle timber post construction with dirt floor, & corrugated roof & walls. Never did get inside the building. Some local kids told me about it.

    During summer months I used to go into the older neighborhoods of Baltimore & Washington DC, & ask the local kids where the really old cars were hidden — they often knew! With local kids help, I found a 1938 Cadillac V8 3-position convertible top limousine, 36 Cord Westchester sedan, 48 Jag 120 roadster with alloy body, 34 Packard Super-8 limousine, & many more. Most were not for sale, but every once in a while I was able to get an older, non-running car, for scrap value or less.

    About 30 years ago I Found a VERY RARE 1947 Packard Custom Super Clipper 2-door fastback, in the basement garage of the original owner’s home, it was located on North Dakota Ave in N.E. DC. She told me she was the first FEMALE black Doctor at Howard University Hospital, and had to have a white colleague buy the car for her at Packards of Washington because she was not allowed in the showroom! I bought it for $400, she wouldn’t take a Dollar more. How times have changed. The car is now fully restored and in Michigan.

    Sitting nearby this Ford T truck was another Ford truck body, a “C” cab with markings of the Heinz Dairy of Baltimore [not part of the H.J. Heinz Co.]. It was sitting on some blocks on the floor. When trying to get more info on the Ford T, I got rudely yelled at by an elderly lady who said she had turned down $100,000 for the oyster truck! About 20 years ago I again spotted the Heinz truck body, this time sitting in a barn near Westminster, MD, still not for sale. Sadly the barn was razed about 10 years ago to develop the farm, I’m told the truck body was still in the barn.

    6
  17. Burger

    With some “tech” worked into a rebuild or “warming” of the drivetrain, this T will go 35 all day and top out well over 50. For those who do not track it, the Montana 500 endurance race has run every year since 1961. Only bone stock Model T’s are allowed and winners are torn down at the end of each race to look for mods. These cars break 80mph and average road speeds are over 50mph for the three day run. Clearly, some people have no clue when they blow smoke about slow and useless. I use my flatbed all summer long, hauling anything from construction materials to firewood. It can carry over a ton of brick with ease, and with the Express Gears, will comfortably do 35-40.

    If people want to drive a Porsche or Jaguar, they should buy a Porsche or Jaguar. If they want a wonderful piece of rolling Americana, Model T’s are awesome. Cheap (as old cars go) to buy, easy to work on, and parts are cheap and just a phone call away (try that with any other old car) …. it’s an “acquired taste” for sure, but I hardly drive any of my other old cars since I bought my T.

    11
  18. Rex Rice

    Dialog from my youth: Hey dad! Mr. Shumann is asking $100 FOR HIS ’25 Model T. Can I buy it?
    Dad: “There isn’t a Model T on this earth that is worth more than $25.”
    Shortly after this, my dad passed away suddenly and I bought the T for a reduced price: $25.

    3
  19. Butchb

    How to establish a market value? Look to the wood panel T? idk..

  20. Kelvin

    Not 100% sure but this appears to be a Model T car chassis. T trucks had a worm gear rear end and heavier rear wheels. At least the one my Dad had was that way. His was a 1917. Maybe the difference in years?

    • Burger

      The “T truck”, or “TT” (for “Ton Truck”) was first available to the public in 1919, although a few were built for company use in 1918. Prior to that time, many trucks were built on the standard car chassis, like this one. Aftermarket kits were available to lengthen frames, chain drive, heavy springs, and bodies to suit any need. The carriage industry was still very present and ready to build for horse drawn or motorized. They did not care ! In fact, until 1923, Ford did not even offer the TT with a cab or bed.body of any sort. You bought a bare chassis – radiator, front fenders, hood, and cowl – and were expected to build your own.

      1

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