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Street Legal Model T Racer

The term “street legal” can be defined depending on your local jurisdiction. In some places, this 1923 Model T Ford Track Roadster can be driven anywhere any other car can go. In other places, it will still require modifications to not garner any unwanted attention from law enforcement. The headlights, taillights, and seat belts might be enough, but in some cases, you may need fenders or other additions. This car can be found here on Craigslist with an asking price of $22,500. Located just west of Seattle in Hansville, Washington, this looks like a fun car. Let’s check out more and thanks to Rocco B. for the tip on this one!

The engine is a new build from Manta Motors. The powerplant is a 1991 Oldsmobile Quad W41 rated at 190 horsepower. It is topped by a Hutton intake and dual 45 DCOE Weber carbs. Other goodies include a Borg Warner 5-speed, hooked to a narrowed Ford 9″ rear end with 4.11 gears.

The interior features bomber-style bucket seats with five-point harnesses. The cockpit appears pretty small, but it appears the steering wheel is detachable, which helps with getting the driver in and out I’m sure.

The gauges are AutoMeter Pro Comps and the hand-made dash is a simple race car design. No radio, no HVAC, no creature comforts, just the sound of the headers.

The wheels are vintage magnesium Halibrands wrapped in Firestone from a 1970’s sprint car. Overall, this looks like a fun car that would be a blast to drive on the street or the track. What do you think? Based on your knowledge, would this car be “street legal” as it sits where you live?


  1. MitchRoss Member

    Would it pass tech inspection for a track day? I want this .

    Like 3
  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    Nice build. Do wonder if the front suspension is a single bar or swing axle set up. A good underside shot would help draw some interest from those who would be in the market for a rig like this. Personally, I’d want more roll cage protection if I was going to hit the track with this one. Picture shows a frontal hit on a 2,000 lb jersey barrier at 70mph. Moved the barrier back 4 inches.Left spindle shown 7″ back from normal location. Without the two front roll bar tubes it would have been into the driver’s legs (me).

    Like 6
    • Rallye Member

      Sounds like you were ok.
      Is “2,000 lb jersey barrier ” the proper name for the concrete wall sections like I backed into in the Kink at Road America?
      I didn’t move any but shook the catch fence for a long way.
      First practice I lifted a bit for a bugeye and Porche dove to the inside of me.

      • bobhess bobhess Member

        Same concrete Rallye, except mine was at turn 16 at Sebring. Started off on oil and ended up in concrete. They have tires along that section of wall now. Ambulance lady got excited when finding my blood pressure at 160. Told her I was real happy just having blood pressure.

        Like 1
    • Rallye Member

      First thing my wife said “Right rear is much better than left front!”.

      I told the rescue people 87 times who I was, where I was and that I was ok, so I just ran to the passenger seat of the rollback. When we got to the paddock was when I got to see how severe the damage was. That was what hurt me.

  3. Rw

    Wow a quad 4.

    Like 5
    • Walter

      That’s what I like about this. Not a SBC or LS or even a V8. A hot rod with an unusual and unorthodox drivetrain is really cool, at least in my book. If I ever have time and money synch up this is similar to how I would build one. Gotta be a bit different.

      Like 8
      • bobhess bobhess Member

        Agree Walter. Don’t have to drive it to appreciate that good looking engine.

        Like 4
  4. Sam Huron

    is quad 4 a good engine?

  5. Evan

    It doesn’t depend on where you live, it depends on how it’s titled. If it’s titled as a 1923 vehicle, it only needs to meet the standards of 1923. Which I think means 2 headlights, one tail light, and a horn.

    Like 8
  6. Mark

    Would need mudguards & an engineers certificate where I live.

    Like 2
  7. Dex Thompson

    Is a quad 4 a good engine?

    Like 2
  8. David Scully

    The California I left seven years ago would require windshield wipers and turn signals as a minimal for registration – I no longer know what, if any, smog certification might be required, it would probably be whatever pink slip was used to register the car in Washington state (no road plate shown). If the new owner only goes to cars ‘n coffee and local car shows, most local police now show a much higher tolerance level for ‘hobby’ drivers than in years past if you don’t squirrel around – and watch out for flying debris of all sorts (front and rear) from unfendered tires.

    Nicely done car – wheels alone are worth a bunch – wouldn’t trust the tires for too many miles…

    Like 2
  9. Howie

    This would be fun to drive, not too pricey.

    Like 1
  10. Kenn

    Would need fenders for sure, maybe bumpers too in Michigan.

  11. Tom G

    I had a Quad 4 for in a small Buick and that engine doesn’t look the same to me?? It was a fast car for the engine size.

  12. Joe Haska

    This looks to be a very nice,the pieces are worth way more, than the asking price. The problem is most people don’t understand the build and why it is done in the old race car theme. Roadsres like this (looked like this) were raced in the late 40’s and early fifties mostly on dirt. They were most likely replaced by sprint cars. I rember seeing them race as a little kid and I just thought they were the coolest cars. The start of the T Bucket rage ,was in the mid fifties and obviously influenced by these early track roadsters. If I owned this car and someone called it a T Bucket ,they might have a fibht on their hands. This is a COOL build.

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