|Project by KnotCurser||posted 05-01-2010 03:36 AM||2545 views||5 times favorited||12 comments|
Yes, this is a REAL, operating Model T! The owner is a Great Friend and Co-Worker of mine and Model T’s are his passion in life. He bought this one with the original heavy four-seat frame with roof and seats – must have weighed three hundred pounds.
His goal was to take this vehicle on the 100th Anniversary “Ocean to Ocean Race” Starting in New York and Ending in California. This was a grueling race in 1909 and was just as grueling last year! Takes a month and a half and a lot of money to pull it off in one of these things! For more info on this race, you can go here: http://oceantoocean.ning.com/
I was enthralled by his attempt as well and quickly volunteered for the primary woodwork on the car. At the time I had NO idea how much of a Model T is actually made of wood – it turns out most of the car!!!
He wanted to build from scratch a racing frame – all out of wood and the lighter the better. Oh yeah, to make things more tricky we had little to no money to spend on it and only a couple of months time! Doh!
I was able to make a few trades with some past clients of mine for VERY rough-cut red oak beams which I planed down to 2×4’s for the frame. I used chestnut for the floor pan and console. I stripped down the mahogany steering wheel, re-glued and refinished it. We constructed the shell from poplar and painted with a marine-grade paint to take the weather.
All this in approx. two month’s time!!!!
We got down the wire and actually finished the week before the race began – all he had left to do were the seats and the gas tank. All lights were green!
That’s where the story takes a bad turn – two days before the race the gas tank came back from the shop and leaked like a sieve. The guy that promised the seats never came through either. One bad thing after another happened and he never did get to go on the race. I felt really bad for him!
He made the best of it though and has now taken this marvel all over Maryland’s Eastern shore, Delaware, Virginia, Washington DC as well as a bunch of other get-togethers with a local group of Model T Enthusiasts.
I took a ride or two in this thing – it is FAST! With the really light body it has more power than you would imagine from such a small engine. To drive it though I think you have to have three hands and four feet – he does it very well I have to say.
Still running like a champ and all the wood is perfect!!!!
-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / www.rhoadesclan.com