Tag: automobiles

Ford Model T’s and the Springfield Arch

This was emailed to me recently, regarding the Springfield Arch in Springfield, Oregon…

The Arch in the photo was destroyed in 1927 and for the past two or three years I’ve been designing and building a scale model of a proposed new Springfield Arch, which features our town’s official symbol, The McKenzie River driftboat.  The long term game plan is to have a parade of tin lizzies pass through the new Arch as an inauguration. We’d invite any and all car clubs in the country to participate. Our community also has a yearly car rally which attracts 50’s and 60’s muscle cars, which might make a nice mix).  The completed 1:12 scale model recently went on display at Springfield City Hall. The tin lizzie I used in the display is the ONLY 1:12 scale model “Model T Ford” that I could find on the internet. Here are the images of Model-T Fords through the original Springfield Arch, in Springfield, Oregon. The photos are circa 1920. The Arch was destroyed by a flood in 1927. 

The gent keeping an eye on the model is a member of the Arch committee and editor/publisher of a newspaper, McKenzie River Reflections, serving the McKenzie River valley.

The original Springfield Arch…


The Story of my Ford Model T

This video tells the story of how I came to own a Ford Model T…

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/modeltford/

The Story of my Ford Model T

My car is a 1925 Ford Model T Open Tourer, built at Henry Ford’s Highland Park Plant, in Detroit, Michigan, USA. It never strayed far from the factory, its previous home, Ann Arbor, Michigan, just 60km away. From new, it’s had just three owners, myself being the third.

I’ve had a passion for vintage and veteran cars ever since I was a little tacker, and I always had a dream that, some day, I might have one of my own.

It all started in 1994, at age 7, while living in Albany, WA, where the former Extravaganza motor museum; once home to one of the most famous veteran cars in history, a 1904 Darracq called “Genevieve” famous for its appearance in the 1953 movie Genevieve. From that point, I was hooked on old cars, and as a boy, built countless models from Lego.

Later in 2009, I was living in Burnie, Tasmania, and even though the “Wonders of Wynyard” motor museum was only a few kilometres away, ironically, I never went there! The museum is home to the equal oldest Ford vehicle in the world – a 1903 Ford Model A.

So I wanted to own a vintage car, and I thought what better car to own than one of the most significant cars in history; the Ford Model T. It was the world’s first car to be mass produced on an assembly line. The Model T has the second highest production number of any car in history, with just over 15 million of them built in its 19 year production run, between 1908 and 1927. It’s only been surpassed by the Volkswagen Beetle, with 21 million produced.

My family and I moved to NSW in 2010. In January of 2011, I decided I wanted to buy a Model T. I scoured the Internet, hoping I might be able to buy one in Australia, but none were within my budget, the lowest priced car I found, was $45,000 – that was never going to happen! So I resorted to looking in America, and finally found the car, that would ultimately become my own.

I imported the car, with the help of my father. He imports all kinds of products from overseas, so I have to thank him for his assistance in importing my car. It took 8 months, almost $6,000 in freight charges and import fees, and much anticipation, from when I expressed an interest in the car, to when it actually arrived on Australian soil.

Almost every part on the car is original, with the exception of the seat upholstery, and of course, the tyres. Even the 89 year-old, 20 horsepower engine is original and still running as smoothly as ever.

The car underwent a partial restoration in 1966, and was garaged ever since. I had the roof restored in Taree by a very skilled upholsterer, Graham from Taree Upholsterers. A local tyre fitter, whom to my surprise had antique equipment in the workshop, was able to replace the perished inner-tube on the spare wheel. I’ve replaced the 4 coil boxes, so now the engine runs as it should.

There’s obviously no formal training available these days to teach anyone how to drive such a historic museum piece, so I learned via videos on YouTube, uploaded by fellow Model T enthusiasts.

The controls of the Model T are nothing like a modern car. There are three pedals on the floor – none of which are the accelerator! There’s the clutch, the reverse pedal, and the brake. The handbrake lever not only operates the parking brake, it doubles up as the gear lever – which is very amusing to modern mechanics when you try and explain it to them! The Model T has just 2 forward gears, plus reverse; and has a top speed of about 70km/h (45mph). I’ve been clocked at 60km/h, but mostly only drive around 40-50km/h.

By the time the car arrived, I felt confident I would be able to drive her, after I got the car started for the first time, my Tin Lizzie performed almost perfectly, although the fuel was running extremely rich at first, which caused her to blow lots of smoke! With some assistance from a fellow Model T owner and friend from Sydney, I soon had the engine running to original spec.

Since the car arrived in August last year, I’ve had to do little maintenance. The Model T was heralded as one of the most reliable cars in history. However, for safety reasons, I’ve added a set of auxiliary brakes. The reason for this, the original brakes are not attached to the wheels, as with a modern car – they are attached to the transmission, and have cotton linings. While I had every faith in the T’s ability to stop, it wouldn’t hurt to have an extra insurance policy!



Ford Model T with new Champion X spark plugs…

My new Champion X spark plugs are now installed in my 1925 Ford Model T – what a boost in performance! Beats the heck out of my old Champion 25’s….

Thankyou very much to Mark Carley for recommending the Champion X’s to me – Investment well made I say  —

Took the T out for a spin this morning with the new plugs in, and she now pulls much better up hills, and goes a little faster too…

 

Champion X Spark Plugs, Ford Model T

Champion X Spark Plugs, Ford Model T



Ford Model T: Putting the World on Wheels

Putting the World on Wheels

In simple terms, the Model T changed the world. It was a powerful car with a possible speed of 45 mph. It could run 25 miles on a gallon of gasoline. It carried a 20-horsepower, side-valve four-cylinder engine and two-speed planetary transmission on a 100-inch wheelbase. Important to the long-term success of the Model T was Childe Harold Wills’ experimentation with the properties of vanadium steel, which resulted in the lightness and durability that was an important trademark of the Model T.

Mass Production Begins

In October 1913, mass production of the Model T began at Ford’s Highland Park, Michigan, Assembly Plant. Henry Ford had previously organized men and components to enhance Model T production, but the moving assembly line quickly improved chassis assembly speed from 12 hours and eight minutes to one hour and 33 minutes.

In 1914, Ford produced 308,162 cars, more than all other automakers combined. It was also in 1914 that the Model T, in the interest of streamlining production, was no longer available in red, blue, green or grey; it was now available in “any color so long as it is black.” Mass production did, however, allow for flexibility in the price tag. Introduced at $825 (for the Runabout), the Model T’s price dipped as low as $260 in October 1924.

Changing Times

Few things other than the price tag ever changed on the Model T: Electric lights were introduced in 1915, the radiator shell went from brass to black in 1916, and in 1919 an electric starter became an option on the closed cars. These would be the only modifications until the mid-1920s, when Henry Ford gave in to pressures to modernize the car and began experimenting with a series of changes.

End of an Era

The changes, though, were not enough to keep the Model T competitive, and Henry Ford finally decided it was time to cease production. After producing more than 15 million Model T’s, the assembly line stopped in May 1927. Five months later, on October 27, Ford Motor Company entered a new era as the first Model A rolled off the line at the Rouge Assembly Plant in Dearborn, Michigan.

Global Recognition

As the 20th century drew to a close, the Model T’s global significance was formally recognized and honoured. An international jury of automotive journalists and other experts elected the Ford Model T as the winner of the coveted Car of the Century award. The Ford Model T was selected for the significant innovation it represented in its day, as well as its design and its impact on both the auto industry and society itself.

As of 2008, 100 years after Ford Motor Company’s Model T changed the world by making personal transportation affordable, the Tin Lizzie is still regarded as a major influence in human history.



Vintage Engines and Tractors at Toowoomba Ag Show

As well as having an interest in the Ford Model T, I also like old engines and tractors — in this video, I was at the Heritage Bank Ag Show in Toowoomba, QLD, where I encountered a collection of stationary hit and miss engines, a miniature ride-on gasoline powered traction engine, and a collection of vintage tractors.



Ford Model T – Troubleshooting – Fault finding when your Lizzie is having a bad day!

The following list basically outlines some troubles you may experience at some point, and where to look for them…

ENGINE FAILS TO START

1. Gas mixture too lean.
2. Water in gasoline.
3. Vibrators adjusted too close.
4. Water or congealed oil in commutator.
5. Magneto contact point (in trans. cover) obstructed with foreign matter.
6. Gasoline supply shut off.
7. Carburetor frozen (in zero weather).
8. Water frozen in gasoline tank sediment bulb.
9. Coil switch off.

ENGINE LACKS POWER—RUNS IRREGULARLY 

At Low Speeds

1. Poor compression—account leaky valves.
2. Gas mixture too rich or too lean.
3. Spark plugs dirty.
4. Coil vibrator improperly adjusted.
5. Air leak in intake manifold.
6. Weak exhaust, valve spring.
7. Too great clearance between valve stem and push rod.
8. Too close gap between spark plug points.

At High Speeds.

1. Commutator contact imperfect.
2. Weak valve spring.
3. Too much gap in spark plug.
4. Imperfect gas mixture.
5. Platinum points dirty or burned.

ENGINE STOPS SUDDENLY

1. Gasoline tank empty.
2. Water in gasoline.
3. Flooded carburetor.

ENGINE OVERHEATS

1. Lack of water.
2. Lack of oil.
3. Fan belt torn, loose or slipping.
4. Carbon deposit in combustion chamber.
5. Spark retarded too far.
6. Gas mixture too rich.
7. Water circulation retarded by sediment in radiator.
8. Dirty spark plugs.

ENGINE KNOCKS

1. Carbon deposit on piston heads.
2. Loose connecting rod bearing.
3. Loose crank shaft bearing.
4. Spark advanced too far.
5. Engine overheated.


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