10k: 1913 Ford Model T

Its not like the daily turismo to post cars that have a 0-60mph of greater than 15 seconds…and this one has a 0-60mph time of infinity because it won’t reach 60mph, but it could still find a place in our garage. Ford revolutionized the automotive industry with the Model T and built 15 million of these little machines from 1908 through 1927 without the aid of six sigma or strategic marketing.  He did it with sprawling factories that built the cars from A-to-Z and employed millions of Americans.  This 1913 Ford Model T will be one hundred years old next year and is offered on ebay for $12,500 buy-it-now in Santa Barbara, CA.

A Model T certainly isn’t the car for everyone – its going to be slow…dirt slow…but with that slowness comes a sense of adventure.  We want to suit up in my best driving clothes, wear leather hats and goggles, maybe compete in a New York to Paris rally and finally beat that dirty, low-down “Great” Leslie in a fair race.  This speedster will give you plenty of adventure, sun. and bugs in the mouth. 

This Model T is equipped with a 2.9 liter flathead inline-4 cylinder engine putting out 20 horsepower – mated to a 2 speed manual planetary gearbox powering the rear wheels.  Fortunately a Model T is a light car by today’s standards and weighs about 1200 lbs – so the 20 horsepower is enough to let you drive safely on small public streets (don’t try driving on the freeway unless you’ve swapped in a Hannibal Twin-8).

The controls on a Model T will confuse most folks used to driving modern cars; the throttle is the right turn signal looking stalk – timing is advanced or retarded with the left stalk.  Pressing your foot on the left pedal engages 1st and 2nd forward gears, middle pedal reverse and the right pedal is the brake.  There is also some procedures that require the hand actuated level on the left- but its nothing that someone used to driving with a PlayStation controller couldn’t easily get accustomed too.

Overall – we wish the owner hadn’t painted the entire thing a Big Bird shade of yellow – we’d prefer it in a simple white or black.  But this isn’t a lot of money for a car that contains so much history and will be around another 100 years –easily.  Plus – have you ever seen such cool “his” and “hers” windscreens?  Just don’t buy it and put a Chevy 350 in it…please.

Will you shout “Press the button Max!” or spend the money on mustache wax instead?

See another 100 year old that belongs in our garage?  email us here:  tips@dailyturismo.com