This story came in from our director of merchandising Dan G. A friend of his recently pulled this pretty nice 1919 Ford Model T out of a garage after many years of storage. I was blown away at how well this Model T aged. I decided I had to contact Dan's friend Alan, and get a brief background on how a find like this came about.
According to Alan, a childhood friend "Jeff" had this car in the family since the late 50's. Apparently his father had purchased the car then from the original owner and pulled it out of a barn in Maine for a measly $500. Luckily he had found the car when he did, as it didn't take much fiddling to clean it up and put it back in service. Often he was found driving the kids around the neighborhood in this piece of automotive history. Even back then I can imagine it wasn't that common to see someone driving around in an all original Model T, and the looks and conversation must have been great!
In the 1990's Jeff's father retired, and moved from New England down here to "Eastwood Country" in Pennsylvania. His trusty Model T followed him here, and he packed it into his new garage. At this point the "T" was in need of a restoration. He took up one of my favorite parts of this hobby; collecting and locating new original parts to bring his project back to "like new" condition. After a number of years, his hard work was paying off, and the car began to be surrounded by rare parts, new accessories, replacement parts, and all sorts of goodies. You can imagine the determination it took to seek out these parts then. In the early 90's the internet wasn't quite like it is today, and he couldn't just put a "WTB" ad up on craigslist, forums, or even browse Ebay for what he needed. I'm sure it took a lot of networking with other enthusiasts, watching the newspaper, and hitting up lots of swap meets (the "old fashioned way"), to gather things like brand new Ford Model T spark plugs in the box, gas lamps, etc for a then 70-80 year old car.
Fast forward to this past June, and Jeff's father unfortunately passed away. His long time project was left behind in his garage, and his family was forced to sell his home, and of course clean out his belongings. Because all of the family lived out of state, and coordinating the whole clean up was quite difficult, Alan offered to help his long time friend Jeff out. Alan showed up, and to his surprise, the garage door was open.. and there sit the old Black 1919 Ford "T". Jeff and his family indicated "it had to go", even though they all had an emotional attachment to it. Since they didn't have anywhere to keep it, and they didn't want to just sell it to a "stranger", Alan and his brother offered to purchase it and keep on with their father's plan of restoring it.
As you can see, the old "T" is in quite good nick, and luckily a lot of the hard to find bits were included with the car. Alan and his brother promised to keep the family updated on progress through pictures and email. Alan indicated that someday soon he hopes he can give Jeff and his family a ride around the neighborhood again. Just like they did with their Father so many years ago. This will be the second time this car is "saved", and it is really great that it is being kept alive!
These are the stories that I love, and it is half the fun of owning, restoring, and tinkering with old cars. They all have some sort of history, story, or interesting bit of information about them, and often the owner is happy to share. Try and strike up a similar conversation with a new Hyrbid owner in the parking lot.. I'm gonna bet it won't be nearly as interesting!
Here are a few more pictures of the "T" that Alan forwarded over. You can really see how good the condition is in these pictures! Enjoy!