Built In The Fifties: 1923 Ford Hot Rod!

Jesse MortensenBy Jesse Mortensen

A fiberglass t-bucket may be the cheapest route into hot rod ownership, but metal bodied machines just can’t be beat. Something built back in the day would be even better. Cars like that don’t come along very often though so you can just guess how excited we were to stumbled upon this Model T. The seller claims that it was hot rodded in the mid to late fifties shortly before it was parked in a barn. Find it here on eBay where the auction ends shortly!

It’s probably safe to assume that this racer was actually raced at some point. The seller mentions that they haven’t been able to find any proof, but there is a lot here that would make you think that it saw a drag strip or two. This wasn’t just your average weekend cruiser. That’s a Red Ram 241 Hemi engine with an Offenhauser intake and three Strombergs sitting on top! Power ran to the back through a Lincoln transmission and ’40 Ford rear end.

In the cockpit you there’s a whole array of gauges and switches. Someone obviously wanted to keep track of all the vitals. There are some parts stuffed inside and there are multiple boxes of spares. Supposedly, the car was retired in the sixties and went into a barn until it was purchased in 1970.  The new owner had big dreams of getting it back on the road, but it ended up just sitting in their garage until the current seller found it.

This thing has an awesome look and we hope the next owner keeps it as original as possible. It’s going to take some work to put it all back together, but you’ll have one cool machine when you’re done. Heck, if you were really quick about it, you might even be able to take it to the upcoming California Hot Rod Reunion. The car’s history may be unknown, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t start creating your own!

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Comments

  1. Sam Sharp

    The 241 on the engine stand is making me really nervous. Small block Hemis without the heads weigh about the same as a SBC does. The heads are about 75 pounds each. I had my 315 D-500 Hemi try to collapse a new engine stand. Fortunately I had a strap around the crank snout. Call me overly cautious. I borrowed a cherry picker from a diesel shop to stab the D500 and cast iron torqueflite into my MoPar.

    This rod speaks volumns about our rodding history. I hope the next owner has a lot of enjoyment with it. I also hope that the rod comes with a flight manual for the workings of the cockpit.

    11+
  2. geomechs

    Like Sam says, that’s one heavy motor to drop into that frame. I’d be inclined to sell the hemi and prep a flathead (525 lbs. fully dressed) to drop in. I’m sure that the Hemi would drop–literally! But that’s a nice period hot rod, a classic in its own right. That’s the way they built them back then….

    5+
    • Jeff

      I agree. A flattie is what really belongs in that engine bay. Jesse knows how I feel about that.

      1+
      • steve baker

        I love flatheads, but the “drop right in” part is the kicker. A junkyard hemi could be had dirt cheap, and even with the cool intake/carbs, (looks like cheaper 48’s, not 97’s?), cost a lot less than a built Flathead of comparable horsepower.

        Remember, in those days money was the major issue in building a hot rod.

        6+
  3. tugdoc

    How cool is this a true pre rat rod!

    2+
  4. Sam Sharp

    Back in ’62 ( oh no. I’ve become what we used to make fun of as kids.. An old geezer at the junk yard telling us how it was done ‘ wayyy back in ’23- then he’d laugh so hard we thought he’d cough up a lung) there were a lot of big engines stuffed into early frames. That begat the use of ’32 frames which begat boxed ’32 frame rails. Where’s Tex Smith when you need him?

    4+
  5. Todd Fitch Todd Fitch Staff

    Man, I love this raw, home-built hot rod. I’d advocate going through it for safety -related items, rubbing the grime off the gauges with a grubby thumb, and laying down two black streaks every time I left a stop-light, which is probably why I shouldn’t have it.

    11+
  6. Michael

    If I had the space and time it would be mine. I love the Hemi in there. That car must have been the one to beat in town. You can’t beat real nostalgia like that.

    5+
  7. Troy S.

    A real piece of hot rodding history. Looks like it could be a real handful if it got outta shape!

    2+
  8. Jay E.

    It ended at $13,100.00, but does not say sold, so I assume it didn’t hit reserve. At that price it seems like it would have been a bargain, but ebay has away of showing what the market will pay. Nice project if I were 10 years younger.

    2+
  9. whmracer99

    Relisted with starting bid at $27K. Pictures make me wonder if that motor was ever actually in that frame.

    1+
  10. Blake Young

    I can’t see 27 K in parts. And I love old hot rods. I thought the $13 K was on the high side of the market, but still within reality. This is not a clean it up and make it safe type of project. Everything will have to be gone through to make sure it’s anywhere close to safe enough to use. It does have the look, but it’s not a couple of weekends worth of work to make it a runner. I agree that the motor might never have been in there. I do see an adapter and maybe a pressure plate in the boxes, but are they the right ones? I think they found this thing in Aunt Sue’s garage and are banking on the popularity of old hot rods. I could collect this stuff with time and plenty of swap meets for way less than what it got bid to in the first auction.

    1+
  11. carbuzzard Member

    The claim that hotrodding didn’t start until the ’50s is bunkum. They were hotrodding the Model T almost from the beginning, and you could even get 16-valve heads for the T engine if you had the bucks. Roadster bodies…and even paper patterns for you to take to your local tinsmith to cut out for you were available in the Model T hotrod magazines of the 20s. But I digress.

    1+
  12. Nick

    27k for a T project? Anyone who has built a old hot rod knows the devil is in the details.

    0
  13. TradmodelA

    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/1926-ford-modified-roadster-project-for-sale.1068358/

    If youre after an old school T project, Id rather go after something like this , I know its got no hemi or race cred but at 1/6 the cost, I think you’d be in a better standing once you’re done even if you did add those tasty parts to the build.

    0
    • Blake Young

      That’s a much better start. Too bad it’s sold.

      0

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