Brass and Fast: 1914 Speedster

Model T 1914 front

The owner of this Model T Speedster, offered for sale here on craigslist, and located in Stratford, Connecticut, says that it was “treated to a complete $40,000 frame-off restoration.” The car started life as a T of unknown body type, and had long ago been converted to a farm truck by an earlier owner. Restoration work began in early 2009 and was completed at the end of 2009 by Ralf Hermann of Essex, Connecticut, Brassworks by Flowkooler and Snyders brass and wood steering.

Model T 1914 underside

According to the owner, the car remains in excellent overall cosmetic and mechanical condition.

Model T 1914 Side

Since being restored, the speedster has been driven very little but the owner says it still runs and drives “superbly.” Documentation of the restoration is available, including video.

Model T 1914 Motometer

The owner has also put this car up for sale on Hemmings.com, with a much longer description, and waxes poetic about speedsters in general and this speedster in particular. It is very true that early hot rodders found great joy in hopping up the abundant Model T’s of the day, and made them lighter by removing unnecessary body parts.

Model T 1914 guages

This 1914 example represents the end of the brass era, which makes it very attractive, especially compared to the more pedestrian and more frequently seen models like the 1924 roadster featured here on Barn Finds on December 24. The yellow paint job reminds us of more expensive speedsters like the famous Stutz Bearcat that the average Joe could not afford then or now. However, the $25,500 asking price for this car does seem rather steep and puts it out of range for most fans, not to mention our modern day unfamiliarity with the quirks of operating and maintaining a Model T of this vintage.

Model T 1914 interior

Still, the opportunity to own a fully restored, beautiful and fully drivable car that is over a century old might hold some appeal to someone with a large bucket of cash and a big garage. It is beautiful and fun to look at, and I imagine, a blast to drive.

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. randy

    Maybe he is seeing the writing on the wall, and wants to unload it before the Model T bottom falls out.

    What a beautiful car.

    These old Model T’s seem to be falling out of favor.

  2. Dolphin Member

    I don’t know much about these but I think they were all home- or garage-made and inspired by cars like the Mercer Raceabout (above), but smaller.

    I think randy is right. The market for these is small and getting smaller. It’s really a toy for sunny Sundays and doesn’t have much of a market unfortunately. Too many far more exciting cars out there.

  3. Cassidy

    nice looking! I love it!

  4. Mark S Member

    There falling out of faver is because the old guys that own them are dieing off and young guys don’t want them. five to ten years from now they will be lined in rows at Copart. Sad but true.

  5. David C

    I do like it but he would have been better off I think restoring it with a more traditional body. Although the earlier examples are more desirable they really aren’t any different from a later model “T” as far as the fun factor. These things are a little quirky but very simple to work on. You can pick up a fun Model T for under $10,000 and I’ve seen several recently that weren’t perfect for about $5,000. A friend of mine had a T pickup his dad bought him when we were in H.S. so he could tinker with it, learn, etc. It was a little beat up but it was a ton of fun! He got invited to every school event, parade, town hall meeting you name it, of course he had to bring the truck. Believe it or not it was a chick magnet! They all loved that old truck and everyone wanted a ride.

    • Francisco

      You mean my Model A pickup could be a chick magnet? I’d better splash on some more Hai Karate, and head out cruising. The chicks are back.

  6. brakeservo

    I don’t know that the market for these is completely dead – a few years ago when I lived in Washington State near Anacortes, there was a whole group of guys (much older than me and I’m in my ’60s) still building these things and driving them actively. I joined them for a run across Washington in late September in my little speedster and had a great time! Who knows, maybe I’ll buy one again sometime . . . but not for 25 large!

  7. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    Never know what to make of these. They started off as something similar in origin but differently bodied. Most of the Speedster parts will be repro, so exactly where is the originality and authenticity.
    Not to be rude, but that car could be duplicated for less than he’s asking, and that includes buying the car. There just isn’t that many expensive parts making up the whole. Hardest part would be finding an example of a good non-cracked block.
    Pretty sure I’ve seen this car in person, as the monocle windshield along with the gauge pack looks familiar, either at the Haddam or Old Lyme show in Connecticut, Essex is a couple of towns over.
    Again always liked these, but not sure where they fit authenticity wise when the body has been changed. Sort of like restoring a 2+2 E-Type and swapping the body tub with a roadster’s.

    • z1rider

      Ross,

      You’ve got it exactly right. This is what you do when the body (wood framed) rots or rusts away leaving a solid chassis. By the time that happened what was left was nearly worthless, and so little was invested in making it into a weekend toy.

      And yet, in England, when the same happened to your Rolls Royce, it would be rebodied as a “Shooting Brake” for use on your hunting excursions. An English friend once told me that the constant dampness there would lead to rust and wood rot, even on cars under a shelter in a shed. The only way to be sure a car is preserved is in a well sealed or climate controlled garage.

  8. Rex Rice

    I agree with Cassidy & Mark. Owning a car with no brakes on the front wheels, 2 speeds forward, a splash oiling system, no water pump and 20 hp limits your driving fun. Nostalgia is the driver here & those drivers are almost all gone. I’ve owned 4 of them; why am I still here?

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