Most people have two thoughts about the Model T. It is either the first mass produced automobile that would liberate the masses from their hay burning mode of transportation, or a stripped down version of its original form dripping with chrome, loud pipes and super fat tires that unlike the Corvair, truly was unsafe at any speed. Both versions are just not that fun to drive, no matter how romantic one remembers that experience. Most folks over the age of 40, would not sit down as a child to play monopoly unless they could be the speedster. After all, who wants to be a hat, or a shoe. A good amount of you have spent some time behind the seat of a high-octane fire breathing muscle car and are now ready for something that is just fun to drive.
The project objective for this build is to create a Paco style open wheel speedster that is a safe, dependable touring car that is capable of highway speeds, superior braking, excellent fuel economy and above all, super fun to drive. Like all projects here, we prefer original parts. When that cannot be done, it is important to at least keep the lineage intact. Chevy engines in Chevy cars. Ford engines in Ford cars and so on.
Starting with a crudely built 1917 Model-T pick up, the frame has been boxed, and reinforced where necessary, keeping the same curb height and appearance.
A 2300 cc ford pinto engine offers 110 hp, 90 hp more than the original weighing less by 60 lbs. or so, more than offsetting the added metal used to box the frame. After careful deliberation, we decided to couple the power plant to a C3 automatic, not only for easier drivability, but to clear up floorboard space by using the original external park brake lever as a gear selector. Up front you will find a 4” dropped axle with disc brakes, hiding behind 21” Model-A spoke wheels instead of the 19’s to make up some of the height lost with the dropped axle. In the rear, a custom-built Winter’s Banjo utilizing big bearings, and 28 spline Torino axles. Speedway disc brakes, and dual Wilwood master cylinders to put it on its nose. Firewall forward will remain Model T, and the rest will be a hand built boat tail body using a sectioned hood off a 1941 Cadillac .
The interior will feature staggered bomber style seats, vintage cockpit style gauges and a pair of original Brookland windscreens.
This Project is a prototype. Hopefully one of a few, possibly even an all-electric version. Stay tuned and give us your thoughts