Thursday, February 26, 2009

Model T

This picture was taken in 1936, and it shows a loaded up Model T Ford. If I were to guess, I would guess that it is about a 1926 Model T, meaning it would have been 10 years old at the time the picture was taken. I love these old Model T's. They were cheap (could be bought for $250), reliable, and just about any repairs could be easily made by the owners. Cars nowadays are too expensive, and have too much stuff on them I don't want. They always put something like a "Sports Package" on the car which turns out to be a plastic decorative spoiler that they then add $2,200 to the price of the car. Also, all the gadgets not only drive up the price of the car, in a few years when they start breaking, you start getting all types of repair bills. I wish someone would offer a simple, safe, efficient, reliable and affordable car.

Oh yes, I do have things all set to go for Saturday's contest. The posting is all done all I have to do is press publish and it will go up. I can hardly restrain myself till Saturday. I am in danger of suffering from premature publication.

19 comments:

  1. Kent Says,

    Averaged out the Model T got the same mpg as modern cars. The industry has done little to improve gas mileage in almost 100 years. No wonder the big three are in trouble.

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  2. My grandfather drove one of those. They were great cars, those were the days when the US automakers made good stuff.

    I agree with PJM. It seems that today, ALL car manufacturers (both domestic and foreign) put uslesss features on vehicles just to drive up the price or to annoy the consumer.

    For the past ten years or so, I've preferred Nissans. But, on almost every vehicle I've owned, they manage do one stupid thing. I don't understand it. They need to hire me over there to straighten them out.

    I had a 2004 Murano, which was a great car, but the handle and manual lock on the driver's side door was positioned so that you could lock yourself out of the car with the key in the ingnition. It happened many times.

    Then, I had a 2006 Pathfinder that was a great truck, I loved it. But it had this "electronic stability control," meaning that it would warn you and then do something with the wheels if it was going to tip over. Well, I don't drive fast enough to tip it over. But the warning system went off every time you turned a corner, and I kept having to stop and drive in reverse to turn it off.

    And . . now I have a 2008 Murano that I love, and the door handles have been moved.

    But now this car has an "added feature" that rolls down all the windows when the car is turned off - if you hold the "unlock" button down on the remote. Well, who needs that??

    Everyone uses air conditioning today, and who leaves their car parked with windows down these days anyway? And, you can't roll them back up by remote.

    No-one even told me that it did this, and it's not really mentioned directly in the manual, so I was accidentally rolling down the windows when I left the car (if i held the remote the wrong way and squished the button for more than a second).

    So . . . I couldn't figure out what was going on. I thought the car was possessed, like Christine. I'd lock it and come back and all of the windows would be down. The dealer couldn't even tell me why.

    I finally figured it out myself, and even my husband didn't believe me until I showed him and found a reference to it in the service manual, haha.

    PS - i'm a car whore. i buy a new car every two years or so, i can't help it, it's like drugs. my mother's family owned a garage and a big tire company, so i guess i inherited it from them.

    my dream is to own a '59 caddy and a '58 plymouth belvedere, just to drive in on sundays!! i LOVE fins!

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  3. Kent Says,

    My uncle had a 59 Caddy. When we visited him he'd tour us around in it.

    I think the Big Three missed the boat in design like SmartGirl says.

    When Ford released the "Bullitt" Mustang they couldn't keep in stock, plants ran overtime to keep up with demand. All they had to do was follow the original designs, TBirds, Corvette split windows etc. with modernization and they would have been in fat city with the baby boomers a couple of years ago.

    Their marketing guys are so dumb. Instead years ago I bought a Ford truck, I had to pay extra for a rear bumper because it was optional.

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  4. Kent:

    True, true. Ford came out with a great retro TBird a few years ago, and now they discontinued it.

    My daughter and I follow the classic car show circuit here in Rhode Island all summer.

    We especially like to hit the A&W drive-in on Tuesday nights in Greenville. It's the only place in the state that still has car hops. We love it.

    It's really too bad that the US automakers went down the tube, both with style, and in quality, too. A large part of the problem has to do with their outrageous union labor costs, but a lot if was (and is) poor managment, and a total, total lack of vision and consumer savvy.

    Just look at those idiots who testified in Washigton for the bailout!! They don't even know what they need or what they plan to do. It's pitiful.

    I became of car buying age in the early 70s, right when US auto quality was at another all-time low, and Toyota and Datsun were beginning to erode the US market.

    I've owned Toyotas and Nissans all my adult life, and they've always been great(except for those stupid little things).

    Once, in the early 90s, I tried to be more of a loyal American, and I bought a Ford Explorer. It was the worst piece of junk I've ever owned. It literally FELL APART just as the warranty was about to expire.

    This thing was made with the cheapest materials and the shoddiest workmanship imaginable, I couldn't believe the difference.

    It was almost as if the truck was equipped with a timer, like the tape recorder in "Mission Impossible." "This vehicle with self-destruct in 36 months . . . "

    It was AWFUL. The engine had a permanent oil leak; we had it resealed 5 times, which meant removing the engine altogether. we lost the 4-wheel drive, and the heating, cooling, and electrical systems, too. The power seats fell apart, so did the electronics-loaded rear view mirror. The radio and tape deck died. The heat shield on the catalytic converter flew off while my husband was driving the car on the highway; it flew into the air and hit the car behind him.

    And . . all of this happened at around 30,000 miles. I drive less than 15,000 miles and year and take scrupulous care of my vehicles, so it wasn't my fault.

    We had to get rid of at less than 40,000 miles, I couldn't afford to keep reparing in. So, we went back to Nissan. At least they are made in America now, just not by union labor. That's probably why the quality is better.

    But . . . I'm still determined to buy my two classic cars from the '50s and drive them in parades!!!!

    My husband thinks I'm nuts, but I love,love,love those old cars from the 30s, 40s, and 50s!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Kent:

    True, true. Ford came out with a great retro TBird a few years ago, and now they discontinued it.

    My daughter and I follow the classic car show circuit here in Rhode Island all summer.

    We especially like to hit the A&W drive-in on Tuesday nights in Greenville. It's the only place in the state that still has car hops. We love it.

    It's really too bad that the US automakers went down the tube, both with style, and in quality, too. A large part of the problem has to do with their outrageous union labor costs, but a lot if was (and is) poor managment, and a total, total lack of vision and consumer savvy.

    Just look at those idiots who testified in Washigton for the bailout!! They don't even know what they need or what they plan to do. It's pitiful.

    I became of car buying age in the early 70s, right when US auto quality was at another all-time low, and Toyota and Datsun were beginning to erode the US market.

    I've owned Toyotas and Nissans all my adult life, and they've always been great(except for those stupid little things).

    Once, in the early 90s, I tried to be more of a loyal American, and I bought a Ford Explorer. It was the worst piece of junk I've ever owned. It literally FELL APART just as the warranty was about to expire.

    This thing was made with the cheapest materials and the shoddiest workmanship imaginable, I couldn't believe the difference.

    It was almost as if the truck was equipped with a timer, like the tape recorder in "Mission Impossible." "This vehicle with self-destruct in 36 months . . . "

    It was AWFUL. The engine had a permanent oil leak; we had it resealed 5 times, which meant removing the engine altogether. we lost the 4-wheel drive, and the heating, cooling, and electrical systems, too. The power seats fell apart, so did the electronics-loaded rear view mirror. The radio and tape deck died. The heat shield on the catalytic converter flew off while my husband was driving the car on the highway; it flew into the air and hit the car behind him.

    And . . all of this happened at around 30,000 miles. I drive less than 15,000 miles and year and take scrupulous care of my vehicles, so it wasn't my fault.

    We had to get rid of at less than 40,000 miles, I couldn't afford to keep reparing it. So, we went back to Nissan. At least they are made in America now, just not by union labor. (That's probably one reason why the quality is better, the employees care more about keeping their jobs).

    But . . . I'm still determined to buy my two classic cars from the '50s and drive them in parades!!!!

    My husband thinks I'm nuts, but I love,love,love those old cars from the 30s, 40s, and 50s!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Henry Ford on the Model-T: "You can have any color you want, as long as it's black".
    Great American.
    Great Anti-Semite, too.
    And when he ordered all of those lazy schmucks who worked for him shot dead by state troopers because they wanted to be commies and form a union, well, how American.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great photo. I'm continuously amazed by how good some of the photos taken in the "old days" were.

    A few days ago, a Honda car was headed south on the old highway near my house. For some reason, it spun out and was crossways in the highway as a Honda van topped the rise and slammed into its mid section.

    The car SPLIT in two, with the front end falling off in the gully to the left and the rear end falling off to the right. Unbelievably, no one was seriously injured.

    I guess the car was built "Honda tough."

    And it probably got REALLY good mileage.

    And I drive a Honda SUV! Comforting.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Kent says,

    Yes that was is the great quote of Henry Ford and they came only in black until another crusty old fart demanded red. And who was going to turn down Frank Lloyd Wright!

    FLW was a great architect, but like many greats, arrogant as all get out. And today he would have never made it because he ignored all kinds of building codes.

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  9. Re: "They were cheap (could be bought for $250)…"

    Yes, but at a time when the average annual salary was less than $1,500.

    Great photo!

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  10. You are close on your guess for 1926 on the Model T. It's a 1925 distinguisable by the single rectangular rear window and smaller body/fenders of the pre-1926 Ts. These were great cars (for their day) but most people want "more' from a car today like a/c and all the bells and whistles. I have a Model T but, for getting around most of the time the new cars outdo a T. For fun, though, the T shines. Now to get my 1906 one cylinder Cadillac running for even more fun.

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  11. My Uncle Howell Festus Harrison drove one of these when he was a circuit riding preacher in South Texas back in the day. He told me that car brought him the closest to cussing that he ever came in his life. In those days, tires had a rubber inner tube, so if you got a flat you had to take off the wheel, remove the outside tire, remove the inner tube, find the leak, take out your patching kit, scuff up the rubber, affix the patch with tire cement, wait for it to dry, put it all back together, and reinflate the tire manually using a tire pump. Well, he had four flats in a row, one for each tire, in one afternoon!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. This car has all the modern conveniences we demand now! Automatic air conditioning! Four wheels drive! Hand powered windows and doors to lock!

    I personally drive an Acura now. I drove a Ford truck for 5 years and my sister has driven the same truck for the past 5 years. It's 12 years old and is actually holding up very well. She's had several offers to buy it for $5000.

    Like many machines & appliances, modern trends is to use plastic, nylon and synthetic parts. These parts wear out much faster than metal ones and that is why we can't fix our own cars or last longer than 36 months.

    $250 in 1925 was a lot more than $250 now, so although they were affordable, they were not cheap.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Norkio:

    wow, YOUR ford truck sounds a heck of a lot better than mine was.

    the explorer was nothing more than a jazzed-up Ranger.

    honestly. just as it hit three years, it literally fell apart in the driveway.

    we never knew if it would start or what would fall off if we touched it.

    and i changed the oil every 2,000 miles and garaged it and washed it twice a week and did everything, every scheduled maintenance..

    we couldn't believe it.

    ReplyDelete
  14. SmartGirl,

    We had a '58 plymouth Belvedere flat six standard trasnmission with a heater, but no radio(the car I refered to in an earlier blog). It did have the fins you like so much, but the beauty was lost in the four-door sedan model. Now, if that was a Fury two-door hardtop with a 383 hemi, I could have lived without a radio, but as it was, it was like driving an empty tomato can.

    I, too, tried to stay american but my disappointment drove me to Toyota. They make a car called the Avalon that is made in a plant in Kentucky. The auto press calls it the poorboy Lexus because it uses premium materians in the construction and the fit and finish is very close to the Lexus. Oh yes, it has a killer engine that cranks out 268 horsepower that will propel the car way faster that my advanced age will allow me to drive safely. I putter around, always less that 70 mph and have a long term gas milage that ranges from 23 to 28 mpg.

    My other vehicle is a basic GMC pickup that is now 7 years old and just breaking in well.

    It is good to know there are car affecionnados here on the blog. Keep looking for the Caddy!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I was born and raised in Auburn Indiana, home of the Auburn, Cord, Dusenberg cars - now those were cars! Every year on Labor Day weekend, people from around the world bring their old cars to parade them around the town. Then they auction many of them. Auburn also has a really nice museum with many old cars. See this link: http://acdmuseum.org/
    But I just keep on driving my little Honda Civic; it serves me well.

    Bring it on PJM, we are all so ready for you Saturday. I almost feel sorry for you that you haven't been able to stump us.....I said ALMOST....

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  16. hah hahhhh,,pjm,,,
    premature publication,,too funny!
    oldbear.

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  17. What I love about this car is the power to weight ratio. You can see how the manufacturer has made a svelte, elegant car to give you the best sensation with its limited power.

    This is went out the window and led to a love affair with foreign cars by a significant part of te population; why we created big engine locomotives as cars exclusively is a mystery to me.

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  18. Heather: Just yesterday my dad was talking about a Cord that one of his neighbors had!! They were cool-looking with those big round fenders and grilles.

    Al: I LOVE the 58 Plymouth Fury. Actually, you know "who" that is, don't you - CHRISTINE - one of my favorites!!

    In the book, Christine was supposed to be a '58 Fury, but Stepehn King apparently messed up some of the details and used the features of the 58 Belvedere instead.

    For example, Christine was red and white, but the 58 Fury only came in Buckskin Beige with gold trim.

    Also, in the book, Christine was a 4-door, but the Fury was actually a 2-door car. They used 2-door Fury for the movie, but they never explained why Christine was the only red one manufactured. Probably because she was "evil."

    I still love that movie, though. Especially when the car "fixes" itself!!!!

    You're right - the Avalon is actually a Lexus, it must be a really nice car. I was actually thinking about a Maxima this time, but I like the Murano for the snow.

    All of the municipal plow drivers around here seem to be unable to pry themselves from their stools at Dunkin Donuts.

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  19. Great one, but where is our contest photo? Wake up !!!!!!

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