Running Estate Find! 1926 Ford Model T Roadster

Have you ever considered how many of the 15M Ford Model T’s (1908-1927) that were assembled may still be in existence? The Ford Model T forum suggests maybe 200K, with 50K being registered and operating. It’s one of those objective/subjective calculations – you try to put some science behind the number but then you ultimately have to apply a little “Kentucky Windage” to your calculation. Whatever the number is, here’s a nice, original 1926 Roadster that actually runs! It’s claimed to be a barn find so let’s see what’s here. This Model T is located in Lombard, Illinois and is available, here on eBay for a current bid of $5,200, reserve not yet met.

When you think about the Model T’s statistics, it’s pretty amazing that there would still be running, driving examples. The oldest, the class of 1908, is 113 years old and the newest tips the scale at 94. Did Henry Ford ever imagine that his iconic creation would still be traversing America’s highways and byways a century later? Doubtful. Not much is said about this T’s history other than it was found, covered up, in the back of a building after the owner’s passing. It would seem that the seller purchased it from the previous owner’s estate.

I come across Model T’s all of the time and their condition spans the entire gambit from the ridiculous to the sublime. This roadster looks strong, original, and complete, mostly, as it’s missing its trunk lid – it would be interesting to know what happened to it. The seller claims that the body is in “great” condition as is the folding fabric top and the wooden wheels. Even the finish still shows as fair. A good bath would probably work wonders on this Model T’s overall appearance.

Under the hood is the typical “T” powerplant, a 20 HP, 177 CI, in-line, flathead four-cylinder unit. The seller adds, “ I did get the car started after putting in a new starter, starter switch and cable. I just poured the gas in and got it to fire up and run about a minute by playing with the carburetor”. The engine shows as original, except for the starter of course, and complete – it even has what looks like a leather fan belt.

There is no image of the instrument panel but if you’ll recall ever seeing one in a Model T, there’s not much to it. As for the single bench seat, here you go, dusty, split, and original. It’s of little consequence as the interior of one of these Ford roadsters is small and minimalist – it won’t take a lot of effort to make it presentable. There’s a partial glimpse of the floorboard provided and it appears to be sound.

OK, so now the question is, who’s the likely buyer? As is the case with so many older collectibles, the interest in century-old cars, unless it’s rare or exalted (real expensive), has waned and gone slack. That said, if it were something one was interested in, this example would be a good start, wouldn’t you agree?

P.S. Please excuse the images, they refused to copy and I had to “force” the issue.


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  1. Jay E. Member

    Someone fell in love with it, its already gone!

    Like 1
  2. Cobra Steve

    In this day and age of unnecessary electronic gimmicks, the Model T is a breath of fresh air! Just say “No!” to the latest fad of electric cars. LONG LIVE INTERNAL COMBUSTION!

    Like 6
  3. David

    In 1926 Models they would have had at least the option of an electric starter.
    And no, the electric car is not just a fad. They were outselling ICE cars until the Model T came along and now they will again, sadly. Thus, my license plate frame, “I’d rather be driving a real car”.

    Like 1
  4. dogwater

    Cobra is right on, the electric car is not the answer they are going to be unreliable and costly to replace the battery

    Like 1
  5. Cobra Steve

    Full disclosure–I failed to mention to y’all I am oilfield trash and proud of it!

    Like 3
  6. Johnny

    I support you Steve. I guess the conservatives never heard of the ice age. I,d like to have this Model T. They are really nice old cars. I hold they keep it original.

    Like 1
  7. Michael R Maupin

    Your real car is Already old and depreciated the day you bought it home and likely will not be around in twenty years ,let alone one hundred.Give me a car that’s American and made when cars were made of steel and a lot less complex. Hershey is still packed with people who have a strong interest in automotive history and that interest will never Fade.

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