Original Condition? 1924 Ford Model T Runabout

According to Wikipedia, the number of Model Ts produced in 1924 was a staggering 1,922,048 cars.  That figure is second to 1923 when Ford rolled more than two million Model Ts off its assembly lines!  To put things in perspective, the best selling vehicle in America in 2018 was the Ford F-Series pickup totaling 909,330 trucks [Fox News Network, LLC].  At the risk of boring you with even more facts and figures, the purchase price of a 1924 Model T Runabout was $265 which again according to Wikipedia, equates to just $3,874 in today’s dollars.  By comparison in 2018, the MSRP of a base model 2WD F-150 was in the ballpark of $27,000!  Available on Craigslist in Troy, New York is this presumed to be all-original 1924 Runabout.  With an asking price of $5,900 or best offer, this looks like a great car although the information provided in the ad is scant.

The seller describes the Model T as a barn find which is obviously what we’re all about here.  It’s too bad no photographs were taken of the car when it was discovered tucked away in an old barn covered in a thick layer of dust and pigeon excrement.  Well, maybe we can do without the excrement part but if you’re going to advertise a car as a barn find the general rule of thumb is to back up your claim with cool photographs showing it as such.  The Texas tag on the rear is a dead giveaway this is a flipper but that’s not a bad thing and provides a good explanation as to how the car has been preserved so well.  The seller reports no rust on the body or frame, only surface rust.  So let me get this straight, the car is rust free with the exception of some surface rust?  Sounds just like my buddy who is on a diet and claims he hasn’t eaten a single carb in two weeks…except for a bottle of beer or three each night!

I love the character of the wooden floor in the car’s trunk.  Would you leave the wood in this condition or attempt to restore it?  I guess that’s a question that applies to the entire car, not just the trunk.  It’s well known that from 1914 to 1925 Henry Ford stipulated customers “…can have a car painted any color so long as it is black.”  This Model T looks like it may still be wearing its original black paint although if it has been repainted that must have happened a long time ago.  The convertible top looks authentic to the car and although it’s in fairly rough condition, a lot of the material might be salvageable.  The seller fails to provide photos of the interior of the car (other than the trunk), which is unfortunate.  I can hear my fellow Barnfinds colleague, Scotty G. ranting about that!  Well don’t tell Scotty but the seller also didn’t post any pictures of the car’s motor!

The seller claims the car runs good but as mentioned, no photos are provided of the 2.9-liter motor.  Although the rear mount is still in place, the only thing I can find missing on this Model T is a spare wheel/tire.  There are many Barnfinds readers who are highly knowledgeable about these cars so it will be great to hear from them in the comments section.  The seller’s asking price of $5,900 OBO doesn’t seem unreasonable for this car and could be a good starting point for an entry-level Model T collector.  What do you think of this Tin Lizzie?

 

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Comments

  1. Jeff

    Decent car at a reasonable price. Shouldn’t last long

  2. david railsback

    Don’t restore it! How many of these unrestored cars are left? Leaving it as is, with basic mechanical needs taken care of is the way to go. The world doesn’t need yet another pristine Model T.

  3. Howard A Member

    2 comments? No interest anymore. Better have a trailer to haul it, as driving it today is out of the question. A guy in my town has one very similar. I saw him driving it once,,very, very slowly.

  4. Jay E.

    I like it, but second your comments Howard. Even if you fixed it up just enough to drive, it would be a very unsatisfying experience. Once you start down the road of trying to make the first part reliable enough for a short drive, it eventually becomes a full blown project. Ignition, brakes, cooling, fuel, engine, wheels, clutch, some kind of interior, the list is endless until you have ? A restored Model T. Which is sketchy to drive, even on a back road these days. 20 years ago a Model T was fun, todays distracted, impatient drivers make it scary. As a conversation piece it will probably bring half the asking price.

    • Randy B

      Actually you press the brake pedal, that locks up the transmission to make it stop. The bands will all have to be replaced. The emergency brake locks up the rear wheels. Four Coils or at least the points for the coils.
      I just love the fram plastic fuel line filter next to the exhaust pipe. Someone was not thinking. Someone said it, only worth half the asking price.

  5. Derek

    Big birthday in 5 years. Fine machine!

  6. roger

    I can see Laurel and Hardy in this now !

  7. Edsel

    I looked at the Cracklist ad and saw interior and engine photos.

    • Jay B Jay B Staff

      Looks like the seller added a couple of photos after the original ad was posted. Thanks!

  8. roger

    I can see Laurel and Hardy in this now

  9. Stevieg Member

    There is a guy that lives in Oconomwoc Wisconsin (a small suburb of Milwaukee) that actually has a couple of these & I hear that they are his daily drivers year ’round. I saw him once in one of these in the middle of winter. I asked the guy I was riding with (my old boss from the hearse dealership…he had a lake house in that community) what the neck the guy was doing with all the snow on the ground driving that old Lizzy. My boss drove me past the guys house. It was an old Victorian with a couple more in the driveway, not including the one I saw on the road. Walter, my old boss, told me the guy has no other vehicles lol. I might drive one in the summer, not the winter. I don’t need a/c, but I sure love my heat!

  10. Bob McK Member

    A friend of mine has a T which he purchased in 1953. The car has an interesting history. Very low miles and runs very well. He took me for a ride yesterday and taught me how to drive it. These are lots of fun. You just don’t drive them too fast. Several years ago he did drive his on a 600 mile round trip. I would love to buy his when he can no longer drive.

  11. Jim in FL

    Where I live, this wouldn’t be practical. Too much traffic and higher speed limits. But my in laws live in a small town in Cape Cod, and a family there owns one that was bought new and has stayed in the family. They bring it out of the garage for the Fourth of July parade, then daily drive it until September. It’s neat to see one of the kids, maybe 18 or so, get in at the coffee shop and drive away. I would like to think of one of these comes up near me, I would jump on it. Inexpensive way to get into the tinkering of prewar cars.

  12. robj

    Just noticed the auxiliary coil springs attached to the front and rear leaf springs.

    Interesting aftermarket pieces. The owner must have been a bit of a road racer and liked to corner. I guessing they might reduce body roll?

    robj

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