Topless Lizzy: 1923 Ford Model T Roadster

Although the Model T first began production 109 years ago, these iconic American machines aren’t all that rare to see out in the wild. Model T’s are always worth a look, as each one has a story that is just as colorful (or black) as the next. This Model T has traveled through time nicely and appears to have been well maintained throughout its lifetime. Ready to putt down the road, this T has a buy it now price of $8,700. Check it out here on ebay out of Union Grove, Wisconsin.

Simplistic and reliable, the 4 cylinder engine appears to have been rebuilt at some point as the seller explains fresh gaskets can be seen on the engine. Unfortunately there is no documentation, or information as to when the engine was completed. Lightly dusty and dirty, the engine compartment looks “the part” with cloth wrapped wiring, and the buffer material for the engine covers.

Inside the interior is simple and black as Henry intended. All of the visible wood looks solid, and may have very well been replaced before. The paint on the dash is nice, and the steering wheel is clean almost inviting you for a drive. Seating in this T will pleasant as well, as the seat is in excellent condition, and appears well padded. The only part of the interior to really nitpick is the chipped paint on the pedals, and the mild surface rust that has developed.

Often bruised, and showing some signs of age, just looking at a Model T can give you an idea of its past. This T is very clean and straight with no visible damage or patina in sight. The fenders aren’t ripped, dinged, or rusted. Even the running boards appear rock solid. It is difficult to tell, but the paint seems clean, and could be a repaint from some point in time. The seller explains that newer tires are fitted to the rot free, and solid wooden spoke wheels. With no real history on the car, it is difficult to guess from the images if this car is as unrestored as the seller may think. If anything, it would appear that this Ford has been repaired along the way throughout its life, making for a clean and honest looking T. Although the Model T may not be the most excited car to drive, I feel that in this modern day and age, the T is really a “bucket list” car with loads of character and fun to offer. Plus there is no better way to do it than in a Roadster! Have you owned or driven one of these great American icons?

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Neal

    I was hoping to find a bunch of comments here!
    I took a ride in one belonging to a two-car collector (I think it was a model T or maybe a model A? As well as a tri-five Chevy) a bunch of years ago in Spearfish South Dakota. Had the bug ever since to ride in one again and/or own one someday.
    They seem very accessible as a collector car, both in terms of purchase price and in terms of workability. I’ve heard they are relatively easy to maintain and work on. Wonder if that’s true? Certainly seem like loads of fun to drive and enjoy.

    • mark

      The average person today would struggle to figure out how to drive a model T. No clutch and no gear shift lever either. All done with foot pedals.

      • Jug

        You are mistaken….there are three pedals–clutch,brake and reverse—the pedals on this car are not original style. There was no gas pedal….the speed was controlled by a lever on the right side of the steering column while the lever on the left side was for advancing and retarding the spark. The other incorrect set-up is the modern coil on the firewall. In it’s day the Model T had one coil for each cylinder and were mounted on the dashboard and were commonly referred to as Buzz Coils…

    • Brian Staff

      That is a good point you make Neal. They are relatively accessible, and many people have seen them and have experience with them. A hundred years of technology and the internet has certainly made parts and information more widely available. Maintenance seems reasonable enough, as it doesnt get much simpler than a Model T Ford. The only issue is learning to drive the unconventional pedal and throttle set up as mentioned by mark, and being able to live with a 45 mph maximum speed. I have seen where folks have added counter balancing to surpass the 45 MPH limit. I wish you luck in your search! I too long to own one, and missed one about 10 years ago that I keep kicking myself for!

    • Loco Mikado

      The bid price of $8700 is only twice what you could have bought a new one for in the value of money from 1923 to today. Nice looking T and I hope it finds a new caretaker that appreciates it.

  2. Neal

    I would love to have the opportunity to learn!

  3. Rex Rice

    I have owned 5 of them. My first, a 1925 touring, I bought from the original owner for $25 when I was 14 years old. The rest were ’26 and ’27 versions, coupes and 2 doors & one roadster P/U., the most I paid was $145. Two speeds forward unless there was a 2-speed rear end, then there were 4 speeds forward and 2 reverse. Certainly fun & challenging to drive.

    • Brian Staff

      Rex Rice, thank you for sharing this great photograph! I have met and spoke with many T owners and they are all enthusiastic and thrilled about these cars as if they are still brand new. Always a pleasure to hear someone else story behind a great automobile.

  4. Larry K

    J.M. Schneiders owned a 1913 Model T delivery. My father and I ( 12 yrs old I was) drove it in a parade in1983. By the time we got to the University of Waterloo I had to push it the rest of the way up the hill.

    • Fred W.

      The trick was to turn around and back up the hill, enabling the gas to flow from the tank.

      A few years ago I had a 1919 Chevrolet, which is just like a Model T but has conventional gearshift and clutch. Unfortunately I found it to not be very enjoyable to drive at all, but I’m sure these are the perfect car for someone.

      • Larry K

        Actually it had to do with slippage. The engine was still running.

  5. grant

    Haven’t owned or driven one (yet) but I love this. Almost a hundred years old and it still works.

  6. Rob S

    I am the new owner of a ’23 T that my dad couldn’t finish. Fresh wheels and engine. I will try to complete the resto (with a garden hose black paint job, just what ol Henry did back then)
    Would love to learn how to drive it!! ( a world apart from my 67 GT500)
    Preserve and protect, is what I say.

  7. JACKinNWPA Jack NW PA Member

    Brian, you nailed it! One is on my bucket list. I’d love to drive it 5 miles to work every day but comming home at 3AM might not be so fun. this looks like a fine one for the money but I bet as time goes on they may even go down more.

  8. lee packer

    Why would someone say. The average person today couldn’t drive one. They sold millions all over the world and I’ll bet you can’t find one that hasn’t been driven

  9. Jay E.

    This one looks very nice and appears to be a good value too. I’ve owned and rebuilt quite a few. 30 years ago they were fun to take out on the road, but even on back roads the world seems to be too impatient today. Everyone just drives too damn fast anymore. Everyone passes or cuts in front, even if you are doing 45, which is really too fast for the brakes they have.
    The only real learning moment is when you step on the clutch and find that all the way down is actually low and it won’t come to a stop until the engine dies because you are stomping on the brakes so hard. THEN you remember to let it up halfway for neutral. The only hard part is to unlearn what you know. I’ve put 12 year olds in mine who have no prior driving experience and they drive them perfectly around the ranch right from the start. They are easy to work on, and it is a good thing, because you will pretty much be fixing something all the time. I’m really glad I had them up until a couple of years ago, but the desire has passed.

  10. Randy Bitner

    My first car was a 1924 T, it was delivered into my back yard in pieces. I was 14 at the time. The man said, if you can put it back together it is yours. It had no body so I had to build a hack body for it. Sold it for $1000 in 1972 to pay college. This one had the :”Rare” distributor to replace the roller cup and the four coils. Single coil operation makes them much easier to work on. With that coil you can do more then 45mph. Only thing missing that I had on mine besides the distributor, was a water pump. Wish it was closer to Central PA. I still have my books and owners manual and depot hack blue prints.

  11. bob vlasic

    This car has a 1926-27 transmission in it. You can tell by the pedals, the earlier ones are all vertical and 26/27 had two horizontal and one vertical. It’s a better one as it has wider bands and they are easier to change as you often had to do. I owned a shop that specialized in mechanical restoration and had a young man come in and ask me if I could get his Great Great Grandfathers 1909 model T car running (that he bought new) and it had been stored for over 75 years. He also informed me that he wanted to drive it in his wedding in TWO WEEKS, So I worked long hours every day on it and got it ready in time but I also had to teach him to drive it !!! Yes I was invited to the wedding and I received a round of applause. Great Memory for me .

  12. Alan Robbins

    Brass cars are indeed a blast to drive and work on. But these are not cars you can drive in modern traffic, as modern traffic just didn’t exist when they were built.

    Everyone should own at least one.

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