Disclosure: This site may receive compensation when you click on some links and make purchases.

Raise The Roof: 1925 Ford Speedster

1925 Ford Model T Speedster

It didn’t take long after the automobile became mainstream for thrill seekers to find ways to get more speed out of their cars, the easiest way was to get rid of as much extra weight as possible. But once you had removed everything, finding more performance got a bit more technical. Many Model T racers resorted to swapping the 4 cylinder out for something bigger and better, but if you were on a budget, that wasn’t always an option. That left installing speed parts as the best option and there was a plethora to pick from. One option I hadn’t ever heard of until spotting this ’25 Model T Speedster here on eBay was the Roof Conversion!

1925 Ford Model T Roof Head

There’s a lot of science that goes into making an engine more powerful, but we can simplify it into a few common techniques. Engine capacities can be increase, compression can be increased or both can be done at the same time. While those options might add the most potential, they also require taking the engine apart and can get pricey. So that leaves bolting on parts that improve air and fuel flow. You could bolt on a new carb or exhaust system, but if your cylinder head won’t let more air in or out, you needed to either modify it or replace it. And that’s where Roof came into play!

Roof Head Ad
Image Courtesy of theoldmotor.com

Robert M Roof developed his own Model T performance head, starting with a 4 valve, then an 8 valve and eventually even a 16 valve! Installing one was quite simple, just remove your old head and drop your new Roof head on and you were good to go. It was a little more complicated than that, but not much. You didn’t need to change any other parts, but if you had a bigger carb or other upgrades ready to install, you were ready to get the most from your other parts! This Speedster is equipped with the 8 valve head, plus all kinds of other upgrades that should make it go faster.

1925 Ford Model T In Storage

I love prewar racers like this. They aren’t fast by today’s standard, this one has been clocked at a top speed of just 70 miles per hour, but the simplicity and lack of safety equipment makes any speed feel fast! This one would be a blast to zip around in and would garner all kinds of attention at events. It was found in a storage unit, where it had been parked for 30 years. It has great patina and looks rust free!

1925 Ford Speedster

I’d love to have this in my garage, it would be fun to drive and tinker with! It isn’t something your going to want to drive everyday, but with a top speed of 70, you should be able to keep up with modern traffic around town. Just think of all the smiles you’ll get out of it!


  1. GeeBee

    Wonder if there has been any upgrade to the brakes?

    Like 0
  2. CrazyGeorge GPT

    GeeBee makes a valid point… It’ll do 70, but try and stop it… Model T’s use planetary transmissions. There’s 3 pedals … Low high and reverse… You brake by applying the low band and reverse band at the same time… They also have an “emergency” brake that is a band type setup on the rear hubs… Basically , you stop by locking up the rear wheels. There are no front brakes !
    I want to see thee look on someone’s face when they lock em’ up at 70 while riding on a buckboard with skinny tires… Still, I wouldn’t mind owning this vehicle .. She’s the bees knees ! 23 skidoo , razzmatazz !!! Oh you kid !

    Like 0
  3. MG'zer

    What about the rims? Think the wood spokes can stand any more speed? Great find

    Like 0
  4. Willis

    That is awesome really good find.

    Like 0
  5. crazydave

    If you are ever accused of having done something vile & nasty, AND you want to use an “insanity” defense, just show up driving this…..

    Like 0
  6. Mark S

    Very cool but basically just a toy, it’s like owning a fire truck fun on parade day but otherwise not to useful. I thought driving a side car motorcycle was out there but this would be down right dangerous at higher speeds. I guess there would sure be an adrenaline rush with owning this. As for the build quality and the engine mods. They make this a true time capsule, it’s nice to see that it is a runner and not just a static display piece.

    Like 0
  7. Somer

    Saw one of these set ups at TROG. There were 1000 of those engines built. They originally built two cars but there was no interest . However , everyone wanted the head so they they built them for sale.

    Like 0
  8. Doug Towsley

    THE NW Vintage car & motorcycle museum here in Oregon runs a Speedster program working with at risk kids in local schools. See: http://nwcarandcycle.com/ Its a mentoring and educational program where area kids come in and learn all sorts of things such as project planning, budgeting, tool usage and mechanical and fabrication skills.
    I am told that in all our years of this program that EVERY kid graduated High school (Some of the schools involved have 50% drop out rates) and not only that EVERY kid I am told has gone on to a trade school or college.
    This done with ALL Volunteers and donations. We get parts and vehicles donated and all members are volunteers. “Education is our purpose” You can read more details on our webpage for the Speedster program.
    See: http://nwcarandcycle.com/html/speedster_program.html

    If you agree, perhaps consider becoming a museum member or perhaps a donation?

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.