Tin Lizzie: 1924 Ford Model T Carport Find

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I find it hard to believe that a good running example of something as iconic as a Ford Model T can be listed here on eBay with a buy-it-now of only $5,500. It’s located in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

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I’m guessing it’s been stored under the car port right in the back of this picture. I realize this isn’t usable as a classic in the normal sense of the word; driving a Model T is pretty much reserved for parades, shows and in-town weekend jaunts. In this case, it’s been used to advertise the seller’s business, but they are closing the shop down and moving, so it’s time for the car to find a new owner. Which has me wondering; I’m no tax expert by any means, but is there a way to list owning a classic car and using it to publicize your business as a advertising expense? If any of you know the answer, please tell us in the comments.

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You can see from this picture how absolutely simple the T’s front suspension and steering mechanism is. The seller says it runs well but could use a good polishing up. I like the wooden “artillery” wheels, but I wonder how you keep them true? Can you adjust them in some way like a wire wheel?

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The interior looks like the rest of the car; a solid driver that could stand to be polished up a little. The Model T Ford Club of America decal depicts a club that appears to be thriving and has it’s own museum, so if you think it’s too late to get into these early cars (remember, this is over 90 years old!) it’s not! I understand they are quite entertaining to drive; if you bought this one and picked it up in person I’d ask for a tutorial. The owner says it needs a driver’s side perch bracket but that they have one included with the sale. The top is said to be new, but could use some cleaning. The owner rates it a 3 on the Old Cars Weekly price guide scale. They also suggest replacing the tires soon.

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The 177 cubic inch four-cylinder Model T engine features thermosyphon cooling and a gravity feed fuel system to the carburetor. 20 horsepower is all it made, but it outlasted the Model T itself, being produced until 1941 for various other applications. I like the idea of a vehicle this simple! Any of you young whippersnappers out there interested in this Tin Lizzie?

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Comments

  1. Mark E

    Well, that didn’t last long! Unless you’ve had experience with one, it will be very challenging just to start it up and drive it onto the trailer… ^_^

    • Marty Wilke Marty Member

      That was a great price.

      Yes, moving it would be a challenge for the uninitiated. For those who don’t know, the Model T has three pedals on the floor, and none of them do what you might expect.

      As I understand it, the left pedal shifts the transmission, it’s not the clutch, but the actual gear selector. Down is low, up is high gear. Neutral is with that pedal in the middle position.

      The center pedal shifts the transmission in or out of reverse.

      The pedal on the right is the brake. The throttle is operated only with a lever on the right side of the steering column, there is no gas pedal on the floor. The lever on the left side of the steering column is the spark advance. I guess you learn to adjust that by “feel” once you’ve started the engine.

      A rod under the radiator operates the choke. And then there is making sure the transmission is not in gear before operating the hand crank, in order to keep from being run over by your own car!

      Sounds like fun. I can’t wait to drive one!

      • z1rider

        Hi Marty, your description of the function of the pedals comes very close. Allow me to clarify just a bit.

        The Model T has three bands in the transmission with three corresponding drums. Those are low, reverse and a brake drum which is internal to the transmission. It also has one multiplate clutch. The left pedal as you state gives low (1st) by gradually stepping down all the way which just clamps and holds (stops from turning) one of the drums in the transmission. Halfway up is neutral. All the way up engages the multiplate clutch I mentioned previously. That multiplate clutch connects the transmission input shaft directly to the output shaft for direct drive or “high” speed. The middle pedal as you stated is for reverse. To back up you hold the left pedal halfway (neutral) and step down progressively on the reverse pedal. Both the low drum and reverse drum engage the 3 planet gears which rotate on shafts pressed into the flywheel. The brake drum engages the output shaft which means the braking effect only acts on the rear wheels.

        Confusing? Yes, but an old timer once told me that if you forget which pedal is which, step on any two and you’ll stop, with no damage to the engine or transmission. From my experience it becomes second nature fairly quickly.

  2. 64 bonneville

    Mark E a model t in any sort of condition is almost a give away at the $5500 asking price, surprised lasted that long. as far as advertising, the IRS has specific rules, but you can do it as an example look at commercial vehicles like plumbing or electrical businesses.

  3. joeinthousandoaks

    Looked like a pretty nice original car. That design was the basis for all the fiberglass T-bucket street rods running around. This particular configuration is known as the turtle deck T.

  4. Scotty G

    One car that might give a car thief second thoughts, at least if he/she were trying to drive it away.
    As a business owner I would think that using a classic vehicle as “advertising” would be entirely possible. (thanks for the great idea!)..

  5. Jeffstag

    The wood wheels don’t really get out of true unless you do something really terrible to them. At that point, barring heroic efforts, you just have to find replacements

    • brakeservo

      Car is so slow you’ll probably never notice out of round wheels unless it’s pretty severe!

  6. randy

    I too find it astoundingly cheap. If he did not sell it to someone in the Model T club, there’s going to be some hurt feelings on this sale. “Family First” and all.

  7. z1rider

    The part of the spokes which are retained in the hub are very precisely shaped, almost as if machined so that they fit together in the hub nice and tight. Then the they are clamped to the hub with a stout round plate and six bolts. There is a lot of surface area in contact with the hub and that plate and so they are very strong and stable. The optimal wood for the spokes is supposedly hickory. Oak is considered too brittle.

    Over time though they would loosen, especially in dry areas. Some would make a trip through a creek to swell the spokes, temporarily at least.

    If you look at old midget sprint cars they repurposed those hubs for those little halibrand mag wheels which used 6 lug studs in place of the bolts and used the same holes for the studs.

  8. David Frank David Member

    Most model Ts don’t sell for very much these days. Here’s one I guess I should write up. Lots of Model As and Ts were restored in the 19502 and 1960s and when the owners passed on, the next generation just doesn’t care. This T is from the last year, 1927, and was restored and upgraded some time ago. It has wire wheels and an electric starter, for example. The problem is, the head gasket leaked while it sat and now the engine is stuck. They want $8000 for it, but I don’t thik they’ll get close to that.

    http://www.camcarsales.com/1927_Ford_Model%20T_Sacramento_CA_260376833.veh

    • randy

      That’s a nice one! Too bad they are from a forgotten era.

  9. Rob

    @Jamie.. re is there a way to list owning a classic car and using it to publicize your business as an advertising expense?.. Yep, and here’s a great example: Truly Nolan Pest Control had/has been doing it for decades all over the US, tho now, most are his ‘mouse cars’. But at one time, cars like this were parked at gas stations, etc for his advertising in every city he had offices in, and definitely were a business tax write-off.

  10. Rex Kahrs Member

    C’mon guys! Slam it and drop in a SBC? It’s a new thing…T-drifting.

    • randy

      I am starting to understand how you came by your name, it would most likely end up as “tilted T” or Tumbled T’s. It would sure be fun to watch you try though!

    • grant

      Nooooo!!! It’s a nice car, leave it be…

  11. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    Thanks for all the advertising advice, folks, I figured the great community we have here would know 😀

  12. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    Thanks for all you guys know about these wheels! So cool to have experts!

  13. Fred

    Couple of years ago I had a Chevrolet 490, which looks identical to a “T” but has a conventional transmission. Bought it online from the R & M Hershey auction. Out of a couple hundred cars, at $8500 it was the cheapest. Sold it two years later for $7500.

    • grant

      That’s a beautiful car, Fred.

  14. Marty Wilke Marty Member

    Fans of this car may also want to check out the 1920 Harold Lloyd silent film “Get Out and Get Under”. It has some impressive stunt work.

    Here it is on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1-kR7o34cA

  15. MountainMan

    At motorcycle shop I worked at in NC we had a few old cars in addition to the bikes. A caddilac limo that had belonged to a president, a 34 Ford very and a T. I would start it in the morning and move it out front and then it came back inside at closing time. Its been a few years ago and I don’t remember the controls and procedures exactly butit was defiantly different. We also and the motorcycle “big”that was built on the discovery channel show with the same name. It was just about as hard to get use to driving as the T. These cars are surprisingly inexpensive for how old they are but there were lots and lots of them manufactured

  16. Graham Lloyd

    Even gear head should own a T somewhere along in their life. It doesn’t take long to master the controls, and you can’t beat the smiles per mile.

    Other than the usual advice of having a T expert from the local club help you when you look for one, is find a nicely restored or original one. Lots of them around and unless it’s a brass car, they are relatively cheap. Get one with electric start. Cranking gets real old, real quick. And if looking at a closed car, check your garage door height. My 20 Centredoor is 2 inches shorter than my 7′ garage door. They are pretty tall.

  17. rogerowen

    Very cheap indeed! As for reliability? I was part of a 3 man team sharing a 874 mile journey from Lands End to John O’groats (the entire length of the UK) in a 1923 ‘T’. The only real problem we encountered was when we assailed a long steep hill – the oil supply to the front of the crankshaft was lost causing some wear / noise / loss of power. The roadside fix was to file a bit off the front bearing cap to close the gap and an hour later we were off again. My job was mainly to film the journey, but had the privilege to drive the ‘T’ on the last leg and across the finish line.

    Lovely car to drive once you get used to the controls.

  18. Marty Wilke Marty Member

    Graham, I’d love to see more photos of your center-door T.

  19. Fossil

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