When I was in high school an old gentleman neighbor had a Model T Coupe stored in his back yard. It was covered with a tarp and had gunny sacks over the tires to protect them from the sun. I asked him if he wanted to sell it but the asking price of $75.00 was out of a reasonable possibility for me at the time. It is funny how things like this influence ones interest for the long term. I often wished that I had been able to buy the car, but then, what value would a high school kid give such a thing? I probably would not have been able to take proper care of it. I hope it went to a better home than I would have been able to provide.
The fun and satisfaction I recently got from restoring a 1930 Model A Ford renewed my interest in Model T Fords so I started a search for one to rebuild while I was still working on restoring my 1940 Diamond T truck. Luckily enough, two Model T cars were soon listed on an auction bill to be sold at an estate auction not far from home. With two to choose from I had to go. At the sale, I had given up bidding on the one I wanted and tuned away to let the car go to my competitor bidder. Just then a fellow sidled up to me and suggested that I should bid again, “I’ll bet you get it”. So I did bid again and got it! Only later did it occur to me that I had obviously been bidding against a shill and his accomplice. Oh well, I didn’t pay a lot more than I had intended to anyway and I did get the car.
In the meantime, I finished the Diamond T truck while the Model T stood gathering dust in the barn. Alas, another project also appeared on the horizon, a 1955 Caterpillar Front end loader which shares the only heated shop space I have. Some juggling has to take place. Right now the Cat sits outside covered with a tarp waiting for spring while the Model T enjoys the heated space and my attention.
An enjoyable essay about the Model T by E.B. White was published in the May 16th, 1936 New Yorker Magazine.