I took my own good advice and bought a complete and (almost) running car to enjoy right away, rather than a basket case project that would take years to complete. I saw it advertised in Hemmings, and was drawn by the price, which was reasonable, and proximity. It was in Emporia, just a three hour drive away. This was a chance to get a brass era car without spending a fortune. So on March 20, 2011, I was off to Emporia with the trailer. Upon inspecting the car I found it complete, and having many correct features for a 1915 Ford. An old joke is that there are more 1915 Fords now than there were in 1915 because so many have been put together from parts. Of course that's a gross exaggeration, but there are a lot of cars like that, and this is one of them. Some hints leading me to believe it are the later front and rear springs, drive shaft housing and spool, and the battery carrier that was bolted in the frame. No matter. The car was complete and mostly correct, and the price was reasonable, so the deal was made and I hauled it home. The car was sold by a fellow well known in this part of the country as a dealer in Model A parts and old cars, and he was selling it for the daughter of the late former owner. He said he'd had it running after pulling it to get it started, so I knew I'd have to do a little work on it to get it up to snuff. But it took surprisingly little effort to get the car going. The main problem it had was the carburetor, which I rebuilt. That and a new set of plugs was about I all I had to do to make it start reliably on the first pull of the crank. I had to rebuild the ignition switch, so while I was at it I installed a Fun Projects coil box kit, and had some coils rebuilt by Ron Patterson. Over the next year or so I drove the car often, and worked on various minor repairs it needed. But there was trouble in Paradise. Three things about the car bothered me. While it started easily on battery, it would never start on magneto, as a 1915 should. More troubling was the smoke. The car ran fine, but put out a very noticeable smoke screen. And on hot days it overheated.
So in January of 2013 I decided the time had come to dig in and find out what was going on inside. I pulled the engine and started checking things.
I found that there was a lot of crank shaft end play. I mentioned this on the MTFCA forum and Mike Bender invited me to bring the engine down to Tulsa and have him check it out. After looking it over, he asked me what I intended to do with the car. I told him I'd like to drive it on some trips and tours. "Not with that enghine, you won't," said he. So during the winter and spring I helped mike rebuild the engine and transmission. Over the months I've been making other fixes on the car, and as of this writing I still have to do the rear axle. I hope to have the car ready to roll before spring of 2014.
writing that last paragraph, I've done a lot to this
roadster. A lot remains to be done, too. We did finish the engine and
transmission, and I pulled the rear axle and got it in shape. In May of
2016 I made my first long Model T drive when I took the runabout to
Gary Paulsen's Model T field day at Galva, about 125 miles north.
Starting out at 6 AM I noticed that I was feeliung tense,
consciously made myself relax. A few miles later I noticed
again, and again made myself relax. The trip north included
unexpected adventures, but by the time I got home at 7:30 that evening
after a round trip of 250 miles, I was perfectly relaxed. Here's
the story with still
pictures, and here's the video.
As of this writing, April 10, 2017, the car has had the engine pulled again to replace a valve lifter that went bad, has had a few incorrect parts replaced with proper 1915 parts, and recently received three new wheels and a set of NOS New Zealand white Firestone tyres. Several things remain to be done to the car, but it runs and drives as it should and I'm enjoying it.
I drive the roadster to town often for shopping.
In spring and summer I love going out for an after-dinner evening drive on country roads. Here's another video.
Riveting in a new cross member.