Project for Vision: 1923 Ford Model T Touring


The Model T is a familiar sight to lots of folks, although seldom seen outside museums and parades these days. This one was built from donated parts.  The Sacramento Model T club puts on clinics they call the “Awful Waffle T Clinics” to learn about the mechanics of the Model T. They begin their sessions with a waffle breakfast and then dig into Model T repair. A few years ago (perhaps after too many waffles) they decided to build a Model T from donated parts to benefit the Northern California Lions Sight Association. This beautiful finished product is the result. It will be sold at the California Automobile Museum and the money will be donated to the Lions Club. This Model T is not absolutely correct because it was built from parts from several different years.  A volunteer drove it about 20 miles to the museum and his only concern was the cold breeze. It’s a good thing this is California and not up in the cold country where Scotty lives! It starts right up and drives great, at least for a Model T. As with all Ts beginning in 1915, an electric starter was available and it makes this one easy to start.

Everything has been replaced or rebuilt. The floorboards are in the back seat, thus the daylight through the floor. The three pedals don’t do what you are used to. On the far left, push in for low gear, out for high, the center push in for reverse, out for forward and on the right, well, that’s the brakes. One good thing about the arrangement is that if a driver becomes confused or panicked, pushing in on any or all of the pedals will at least slow you down and not hurt anything.

And here is the back seat and the floorboards are on the seat waiting to be reinstalled. The upholstery is all new.

Here’s what it took to build those nice new wheels.

They are going to ask $14,000 for this Model T. Prices for these have fallen, of course, but I wonder what this one might sell for. There were millions of Model Ts built and there are a lot of them left. They are not much fun as a daily driver except perhaps by a really devoted Model T enthusiast. Hopefully, there’s someone out there looking for a really nice T and perhaps sympathetic to the Lions’ effort to help people with their vision. Give the museum a call if you have an extra $14,000 you don’t know what else to do with.


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  1. RayT Member

    $14,000 and it’s not even a numbers-matching car????

    Oh, do I wish I could! Sadly, I know exactly what I’d do with the $14K I don’t have. But I certainly the Lions score big from this lovely T!

    • RayT Member

      By the way: could whomever is in charge of the site please add the “edit” function for comments made on “Early Access” entries? I know we can do that on regular features, but the lack makes some of us — like me, for example — cringe when we see a typing/thought error go out irretrievably!

      I don’t “certainly the Lions” rake in the money from this sale, but I sure HOPE they do!

      Thanks in advance for fixing this!

  2. SAM61

    Very nice. I wish it were a raffle…I’d spend $50.00 on tickets.

    The Gilmore Museum has day long clinics on learning to drive a Model T. There is a Model T museum in Richmond, IN with unique items.

  3. Fred w.

    I had a restored 1919 Chevrolet 490 for a couple of years. It looks identical to a Model T but has a conventional drive system. Not a fun experience for me: Doors swung open on corners, freaking out my wife, very heavy steering despite the light weight, top speed only 35 or so, making it impractical for anything but excursions around the neighborhood. Ownership takes a special person.

  4. David

    Wow, it does look a little like a T! The doors shouldn’t open on corners. That would likely be a problem with the wooden body frame. The local model T folks Drive theirs at highway speeds and do Tours with theirs to towns nearby. Folks really enjoy our Model T classes at the museum.

  5. bob trevan

    1915 -Ford introduced the starter motor –RUBBISH—1918-19 is correct

  6. hank

    I remember the 1990 Spring Charlotte Autofair. Probably 75 T’s there. Couple of years ago, about 12. I’d LOVE one.

  7. Rex Rice

    I owned 4 Ts before I was 18. Terrible cars for a teenager! The flimsy engines blew up too easily. Self starters didn’t work with dead batteries but hand cranking always worked. I paid between $25 and $140 for them; too much.

  8. Rob S.

    I was gifted a ’23 from my father. Not sure what makes them tick but should be fun to learn.

  9. Doc

    The top and upholstery in that car are absolutely atrocious. The first time that car sits in the sun for a few minutes, that top is going to sag like crazy.

    As a Model T owner (3x over), I see a lot of bad restorations at shows and such, and this one is really pushing it– just about everything is incorrect or poorly put together. There just isn’t $14,000 there.

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