FRONT SEAT NEWS
MODEL T FORD CLUB OF NORTHWEST OHIO
Officers:  Dave Benny, Pres.;  Bob Hollister, V-Pres.; Jim Cook, Sec/Treas/Editor
August 2001
NEXT MEETING: has been scheduled for August 1st at 7:30 pm at Bob Hollister's home near Arlington, Ohio   (see the enclosed map)
The summer has been full of distractions as usual this year.  It's going by so fast that I believe that by the time it's over, I will have missed it entirely.   One of the guys that I know went directly from the MTFCA tour, to a tour in Indiana, and then completed the MTFCI tour in New Philidelpia.  All of the driving to and from the events was done in a Model T.  The only mishap in the 3 weeks was the loss of the steering in an unlit tunnel in Kentucky (that's eventful)!!!  I hope that everyone got the registration form for the 2001 Ohio Jamboree that I sent out a couple of weeks ago.  I didn't want it to wait until this newsletter got to you.  It is very important that everyone that plans to help with next year's event at least come over to some of the Mansfield event to see what it's all about.  Please bring a friend to Bob Hollister's house for the August meeting.  There's always a lot to see.
Article from"Ford - Lima Engine Plant Publication"
   The Model T Club of America has a Web Page--www.MTFCA.com--with a local chapter that meets near Bluffton on the first Wenesday of each month.  The club promotes the nostalgia of the antique car and a hobby that is shared by thousands, not only in North America, but in many other countries as well.  Members do not have to own a car to take part--just be interested. 
     A recent FCN Online article tells about Ford's plans to build Model T's in limited production once again.  "The company was looking for a unique project for the (Ford) centenial celebration in 2003."  Bill Leland, project engineer, Ford T-100 Program, "and since the Model T is the car that really got Ford started and got the world into automobiles, it was decided that building Model T's would be a good idea."  It takes a team of Ford employees about a month to completely assemble an authentic Model T.  and they're doing it one car at a time.  "Ford employees are very excited about this project..." said Guy Zaninovich, historical and technical consultant on the project.  Count Dave Benny and the members of the local Model T chapter among the excited.
    The local chapter is open to all makes and models of the antique car hobby pre-war era.  Anyone interested in more information about the Model T Club can contact Dave.
How to Buy Your First Model T
If this is your first T, buy a decent runner or a driving original.  Get one good enough to tour with without having to do major work.  Then as time, money and ambition allows, rebuild it one step at a time.  Don't aim for a perfect restoration.  Aim for a better quality driver than it was when you got it.  Buy an extra powerplant as soon as you can find one and rebuild it, but keep the T driving until you are ready to put the better engine in.  When you swap the engine, have the radiator rebuilt.  Swap the engine and rebuild the one out of the car as you have time and money.  Now you know more about rebuilding engines and when this one is done you can put it back in the car and have a good spare or sell the first one you rebuilt.  Do the same with the rear end or pull it and rebuild it over a long weekend, etc.  Do the same with the steering gear, the front end, ect.  All the time you have a car to tour with instead of a several year project setting in your garage that can become an overwhelming project that may never get done.  If you keep the parts you rebuild you always have a good part to swap in,  say if the rear end goes bad the day before the tour you have been planning to go on for a year.  After two or three years of doing this you will have a much better T than you started with and parts to sell or enough parts to build a speedster or hack or have a good running gear for another restoration project.  Do it while your kids are little so they can help.  The two or three years it takes for a restoration with the entire car spread all over the
garage is a lifetime for a boy or girl who would gladly help on a short term project, but can't see much point in helping with something that won't be done until he or she is in Jr. High.  If you tell your 10 year old daughter you are going to have it restored for her wedding by the time she is old enough to get married she won't care if you got it restored or not.  Teach her to run the levers while you crank and help check the coils if it won't start now.  Having a running, driving T makes for more fun for the family, less
strain on the budget, and gets you out in the bunch of guys that are already knowledgeable about T's--where the real knowledge is and where you will make friends that will stop by and help with something they are also interested in, instead of asking your fly fishing  buddy to help you overhaul the transmission in the T.  They will also keep you encouraged to fix whatever it was you started fixing and get it back together.  It also gets the wife and kids out with other people who have a similar interest and makes them want to be much more a part of the restoration process than seeing the pile of parts in the garage that you haven't worked on for months because you are waiting to save up the money for an expensive part of the restoration.  Don't send anything out unless you have to have the babbitt done or the crank reground.  Spend the money on more tools
and do it yourself.  Not every car needs a two year Gilsonite paint job.  A 20 footer that you did yourself is better than a perfect one that you wrote a check for   Teach the kids to wet sand primer.  The next one you paint will be better and they will go to school and tell all the other kids that THEY painted THEIR Model T,  not that they helped daddy do it.
Then:  After you know whether you are in love with T's and after you find out if the wife is willing to work a little overtime to pay for the paint sprayer and spend her vacation going on a tour at 30 miles an hour instead of going to Vegas for a week, after you have a nice, decent, running and driving T that you have pretty much gone through from end to end and after you know what to look for in your next project, go buy a basket case project to rebuild from the ground up or buy that 11 Torpedo that will be a mojor several year project.  But don't sell your driver to pay for it.  Do that one while you have one to drive.  By that time your kids will probably be old enough to want a T of their own or be on their own--married and moved away or will want to help restore another one if you did it right with them the first time.  Let them drive this first one just as soon as they are big enough to steer and step on the low pedal.  A T is hard to hurt and a kid that shares your interest is hard to find.  They made 15 million T's,  there are still hundreds of thousands of them around but you probably only have two or three kids.  You can find the kind of car I'm talking about for 4-5 thousand bucks and have a world of fun making it better.  It will probably cost you just as much as buying a restored one but you're going to miss out on a lot if you do that for your first one.  Above all, don't worry too much about everything being perfect, matching numbers, correct everything.  Keep it pretty original, timer and coils, factory carb, ect.  Worry about making sure it runs so you can go have fun with it.  Take a couple tools and some grease rags and go drive it. 

I wish I had done this 30 years ago.  I have wanted a brass roadster for 50 years and was always going to restore one and still may someday.  But---if I had bought a decent '14 roadster 30 years ago and made payments on it for 5 years to get it paid for, I could have been haveing fun touring for 25 years with a paid for car instead of still wishing I had a '14 roadster and having parts stuck away for the "someday I'm going to do a '14 Roadster" project.  I've done some other T's but never that '14.  Parts are so hard to find, I am so busy with work and other interests I wouldn't have it done for two or three years if I started tomorrow.

Remember:
If you want to get there fast, drive a Ferrarri.
If you want to get there for sure, drive a Volvo.
If you want to get there in style, drive a Cadillac.
If you want to have fun getting there, drive a T.
used by permission:  Stan Howe, 4433 Red Fox Dr. Helena, Mt 59602
Wants, Needs, For Sales
Need: A clean dry garage in the Findlay area to store 1 or 2 cars.  Give Paul White a call at (419) 424-5916
There is a 1920 coupe (older restoration) for sale in the Dayton area.  For more information, call (957) 581-5008
For sale:  1923 Model T touring $4000, Call Dick Huff (419) 347-1687
For sale: A 16' enclosed dual axle trailer with electric brakes, rear ramp door, and curbside door in front.  asking $1700. Call (419) 422- 1862
Jack Putnam is selling a three point rolling engine stand that far exceeds the one commercially available.  Call Jack at (419) 358-6313
Other upcoming events
8/16-8/19
Keystone Cops Summer Tour hosted by the Keystone Cops Chapter of MTFCI.
This tour goes to Steamtown, Fort Delaware, PA Fish Hatchery, and Dorflinger Glass Works all the Scranton, Pennsylvania area.
For information contact Mark Golding at Star Route, Box 67, Pleasant Mount, PA 18453
8/22 - 8/26
36th Antique Engine and Tractor Show, Portland, Indiana, at the Jay County Fairgrounds
8/31 - 9/2
2001 All Ohio Jamboree at the Downtown Mansfield Holiday Inn.
For further information call Mike Parker (419) 359-1415 or Larry Hengenius (440) 237-4692
9/8 - 9/9
Old Car Festival in Greenfield Village
10/5-10/7
Antique Auto Hill Climb, Newport, Indiana.
Become a more active member
As always, if someone has a project that they are working on and would like the club to help out, bring it up at the meeting for the members to discuss.  There is a great amount of knowledge in the group.  Every one of us can make a difference in the group.  We might even decide to have the next meeting in your garage for a little hands-on-experience.
Anyone that would like to write an article for the newsletter or present a project at one of our meetings is welcome to contact one of the officers.  We'd be glad to have the help.  Thanks!!!