Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

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1923orange
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Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by 1923orange » Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:26 am

What are the chances some of our model T's were still being used as daily drivers pre ww2 in the early 1940s? Just curious...


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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by FundyTides » Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:42 am

I was born in 1939 so I don't remember this but my Dad and grandfather told me that up until about 1940, a gentleman in our summer cottage community used his Model T to commute back and forth from the city. It would have been about 7 miles each way. They said they used to laugh at the way the car bounced along the dirt road in the community. The road to the city however was paved. I remember the same gentleman still coming to his cottage in the mid to late 40's but by that time he wasn't using the T anymore. I don't know what the fate of the car was. I still drive the road in that community (chip sealed now) in my T as I grew up and still live in the same area.


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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by Original Smith » Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:55 am

I remember seeing T's in the early fifties. There were a few that had never driven anything else!


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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by Fire_chief » Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:09 am

One of my '14s was a daily driver for an undertaker up into the '50s.
I'm in the middle of a complete restoration now.
A few more parts to paint, and then on to the upholstery and top.

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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by TWrenn » Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:17 am

Coupla years ago I helped get a guy get his '26 coupe running for the first time since he graduated H.S. in the 60s
He said he drove it every day to school once he got his license. After H.S. life's events caused him to lay the car up til now.
Pretty cool.


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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by JohnM » Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:51 am

My first T, a 1927 Tudor, had a gas ration sticker on the windshield. That means someone depended on it for transportation during the war years.

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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by RajoRacer » Sat Oct 17, 2020 11:03 am

My Gramps drove the "family" grocery store TT until the late 50's which he purchased new in spring of 1925 from Wm. O. McKay Ford in Seattle.
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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by TonyB » Sat Oct 17, 2020 11:25 am

In 1988 I was visiting my brother in New Zealand and on one of the trips we saw a Model T pick up. Naturally we caught up and met a delightful young couple who we living off the land. I suppose they were hippies but very pleasant. However the pick up was their only means of transport.
So some (rather odd) people In the world were using them in the eighties. No doubt thirty years later they are driving a Toyota.
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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by Norman Kling » Sat Oct 17, 2020 11:53 am

I can remember from about 1938 forward. I remember seeing many Model T's every day. Some were parked in the business section as people did their shopping. Others I would see going up and down our street every day. In the summer when I slept with the window open I could recognize the sound of engines of most cars. I could tell what kind of car it was as it started from the stop sign about 2 blocks away. Quite a few were Model T's It was up a slight grade and they would rev up in low and then when they shifted there was the, Tut Tut Tut as it picked up speed in high. You see many people could not afford to buy a new car during the depression, and then when the war broke out they stopped making new cars for over 3 years and when the new ones did come out, they were sold on a priority basis. It took my parents about 2 years to get a new car, and they had orders for several brands. The first one available was a 1948 Nash. The Nash was not a very good car, but it was the first one they could get. They did get a 1947 Ford Truck for their business because the business was farther up on the priority list.
Norm


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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by Erik Barrett » Sat Oct 17, 2020 12:26 pm

California issued driver’s licenses for model T only well into the 50’s. There were still people who had never driven anything else.


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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by John kuehn » Sat Oct 17, 2020 12:39 pm

My Grandfathers 24 Coupe was his daily driver up to 1954 when he couldn’t drive anymore. He was the 2nd owner when he bought it in 1942. Over time he installed a trailer hitch on it and when the wooden wheels got bad he bought some 28-29 Model A wheels and put on it.
The Model A wheels were welded directly on the Model T hubs.

The remains of some 21” T wood wheels were found next to the back fence of his lot and I suspect those wheels were on it when he bought it. I still have the Model A 21” wheels that were on it when I inherited it and by the looks of the welds the wheels were welded on using an acetelyne torch.

I also have the inspection receipts that he had and noticed that the inspectors would call the T a 25 Model and sometimes a 24 year Model.

Probably because the 24-25 Coupes look almost alike except for a few deatails.
The engine no. is a late 24 so when they went to the next Model year some of the 24 details went into the new year when building the cars.


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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by Been Here Before » Sat Oct 17, 2020 12:44 pm

Very small sample of 1940ish newspaper articles of Model T's on the road. Note that in most cases the drivers age indicates they grew up with the Model T.
Scan1940fordtarticles.jpg

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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by Steve Jelf » Sat Oct 17, 2020 12:56 pm

I remember seeing farmers plowing or cultivating with mules during the war, though most had converted to tractors by then. When I was a teenager in the fifties a friend's grandma was still driving her 1933 Plymouth. In the early sixties a junk man in the Athens area of Los Angeles was still using a horse-drawn wagon. Until about 1965 our mail was delivered by a postman in a Model A panel truck. There are always a few stragglers, sometimes due to a limited budget and sometimes by preference. So yes, there were Model T's still being used as daily transportation in the forties, especially during the war. But if you look at period photos of street scenes you'll see mostly vehicles from new to four or five years old, with a few older than that mixed in.

img015 copy.jpg
Sunday morning, Engracia Avenue, Torrance, 1955. Of the dozen recognizable vehicles, none are over 15 years old, and most are under 10.




vintage-1946-bumper-to-bumper-traffic-los-angeles_1_ecd7aaed3b78930aa0dbf46d62689c6b.jpg
Los Angeles, 1943. Coupe, front center: T or A?
The inevitable often happens.
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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by TRDxB2 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 1:07 pm

I couldn't find any data that specifically indicated car registrations by year and manufacturer. I did find data about car production by manufacturer by year and also car registrations by year. In looking at the figures (eye balled) rough estimate that 30% all cars produced up to 1940 were registered in 1940. Perhaps some percent were still driven in rural areas but not registered. Given the Great Depression and WW2 periods I would imagine that many older cars were on the road. I did look at Google photographs of various city street scenes between 1940 -1940 to see what car population looked like. There newer model cars in major cities and some older in mid-west. Not a real answer to a most interesting question
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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by Phillip » Sat Oct 17, 2020 1:51 pm

My Model T Roadster Pickup still has a Minnesota tag from 1948 with very rusty bolts holding it on the front. Under the 1948 tag is a 1947 tag. The truck was painted county yellow. Looks like this T was last used in 1948.


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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by HPetrino » Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:16 pm

I acquired my '18 TT in about 2002. It still had it's last license plate, 1941. It was part of the ranch equipment included when my grandfather purchased a ranch in Santa Clara, CA in 1946. I'm assuming it was on the road until sometime in 1941, then relegated to ranch life where it spent the rest of it's working life until 1963.

Erik B.,
There was a good reason to issue "T Only" drivers licenses. In about 1941 my aunt bought a 1937 Chevy. When she brought it home her dad (my grandfather) slid behind the wheel, engine running. He had never driven anything but Model T's. She said to him, "Let me show you how the gears work, Dad". He responded, "You aren't showing me anything. I've been driving since 1913" (or words to that effect). Meanwhile, my aunts little brother (my uncle, age about 13), had slipped into the passengers seat to look over his sisters new car. Grandpa managed to jamb it into a forward gear. It lurched forward. He instinctively tried to hit the brakes using his right foot. Of course he instead floored the accelerator. They ended up in the living room.


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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by Billdizer,Spencer In » Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:29 pm

I have my grandfathers 1925 coupe. He bought it in January 1942, just after the war started, to replace a 1920. He had looked at this coupe earlier in Scottsburg, IN., and had decided it was too much money. After the war started, he decided to buy it, and did but the price had gone up because the auto manufacturers were already cutting production! He drove it as daily transportation both on the farm, and after he moved in with our family as his health failed. He passed away in 1958.


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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by kmatt2 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 3:14 pm

My frist running T was a 1926 2dr that was still the original owner's daily driver up into the 1950s in the Hanford Ca area. The T driving story that I like best is the farmer in Armona Ca that used his 1920 TT to take his walnuts to market in the fall every year 1920 up to mid 1960s. The trip was 8 miles each way from Armona to the market in Hanford Ca. The TTs wood body and bed was made Hanford and the back wheels were dual hard rubber. I got to see this truck in 1972 but didn't buy it from the 2nd owner. The Lemoore Ca city fire dept has the original 1917 fire cem tank on a car chassis they bought new but last used before WW2.

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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by KirkieP » Sat Oct 17, 2020 3:39 pm

Erik
Thanks for posting the information about T only driver license.
Kirk Peterson
Santa Fe NM


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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by 1923orange » Sat Oct 17, 2020 3:52 pm

Great stories, being a ww2 buff I always wondered how many Ts were on the road still during the war. Thanks


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I'll go one, better; How about the 1950's?

Post by ModelTWoods » Sat Oct 17, 2020 4:25 pm

A Model T driver in the 1940's? Ha, that's nothing! How about the early 1950's, and this isn't a second hand story, its part of my family's history. In 1929, my Dad, his two brothers, one sister, and their Mom, moved to the area west of Houston,Texas, but their father and husband, Abram Woods, stayed behind in the Lake Charles, Louisiana area, telling them that they wouldn't like Texas and would return. By 1941, Abram Woods, decided his family wasn't returning to Louisiana, so he drove to Texas in his 1927 Model T coupe. Once here, he used the car to drive three miles into the nearest town to sell his homegrown garden vegetables out of the back of the trunk. He removed the trunk lid and replaced it and the metal panel below the lid with a wooden box, making an enclosed pickup. Registration plates on the car when my Dad and I restored it in the late 1960's, showed the last year it was licensed and driven was 1951. Abram Woods died two years later at the age of 80+ years. When we restored it in the late 1960's, the car, also, still had its WWII gas ration sticker on the original windshield.
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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by Wayne Sheldon » Sat Oct 17, 2020 7:52 pm

From before the age of two, until fully seven, we lived in a nice old home (rented) in one of the old neighborhoods in San Jose Califunny. My mother didn't drive in those days, so we walked to a lot of shopping and stuff. There was an old man that we would often see driving around the area in his model T pickup. I didn't know at the time whether it was a cut-down touring car or a runabout with a wooden pickup box. But we saw him often all around the area, buying and selling junk. A couple times, he stopped right in front of our house. I would stare out the front window and watch when he cranked it to start the thing!
It was one of several cars that made me want to get into them when I got older.

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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by Dan B » Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:40 pm

Great thread! Enjoying all of the stories.
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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by HPetrino » Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:35 pm

Wayne,

Do you remember the old guy with the large old truck, probably an early to mid-1920's model, who sold produce to restaurants in downtown San Jose? If I remember the story correctly, he started with the truck new as a young man. I remember seeing him and the truck in the 1950's and early 1960's. Then there was a story about him and the truck in the San Jose Mercury featuring his life in downtown San Jose, at which point I think he retired.

I could be a little off on the dates and I can't for the life of me remember his name, but I have a clear snapshot memory of that old truck.


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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by Harry Lillo » Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:55 pm

I grew up in Northern Alberta, far from most of the population in the Province or the continent.
We had an elderly man Joe Stone who drove his 1927 Model T touring as his only transportation until 1969 or 70.
Prior to that he drove his Fordson tractor the 4 miles into town.
The tractor was easy for him to drive as he could see the front wheels and keep them in the dirt road tracks.
When he got the T he had trouble figuring out where the tires were.
One of the locals told Joe that he should keep the radiator cap lined up between the ruts.
He always sat near the centre of the front seat with his eye on that radiator cap.
Joe would often give my Grandmother and another local lady a ride to town.
They had to sit in the back seat because Joe took up most of the front seat.
In 1965 Joe threw a rod and was devastated that there as no one in town that could repair it.
My Uncle went to the harbour in the next town and found a couple of discarded Model T engines that had been used in the 30 foot commercial fishing boats. Between the three engines they were able to get Joe back on the road.
They drove the car 14 miles to the next town where there was a tavern to celebrate. The sun barely sets in late June so they were able to drive back home as the T had little for headlights.
The local general store always kept a quart of robin's egg blue paint on hand. Every spring Joe would give the T a new coat of paint.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police once stopped him and gave him a warning that he didn't have a rear view mirror.
He went to the local dump and found three rear view mirrors from some abandoned cars and put them across the top of his windshield frame. The Police were satisfied.
Joe passed away in the early 70's and his car went to a local family then quickly disappeared.


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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by Burger in Spokane » Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:30 pm

I remember seeing T's and T-era cars on the road in the early 60's
in the East Bay area. My Grandfather seemed to enjoy seeing them,
and pointed them out. He called them all "jalopies", and for many
years I believed that there was an actual "Jalopy Car Co.", just like
Ford or Oldsmobile. I really took to the looks of the pre-25 stuff, and
like anything, when you are looking for it, that is what you often see.
I visually scoured the alleys, driveways, farmyards, and backlots, for
a glimpse of cars like like these. When we moved to Puget Sound in
1966, I found lots of them rusting away in the woods, along fencelines,
and occasionally hiding away in barns. It was in Mrs. Miller's implement
shed that my friends and I found a truck near-identical to the one I own
today. I was doomed.
More people are doing it today than ever before !


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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by Jeff Hood » Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:11 am

I remember seeing Model T's, Model A's and other 20's and 30's cars in the early sixties. I always was excited to see an "Old Timer" driving down the street. In my neighborhood there were two '46 Dodge trucks well into the mid to late seventies. A '26 or '27 T was less than 15 years old by the beginning of WWII. My daily driver 1985 F350 is now 35, and I also have an unrestored original "65 Mustang, now 55 years old that lives on the street, and while not a true daily driver, it is driven a lot. In perspective, a 35 year old 1927 T would be on the road in 1962!


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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by Wayne Sheldon » Sun Oct 18, 2020 1:33 am

Henry P, I do well remember that vegetable truck! It was a Kleiber, 1929 or '30 as I recall. It was painted a sort of battleship gray. I remember reading
in the 1960s that the original engine had worn out several years before, and been replaced with a Mercury V8. Outwardly, the truck looked unchanged.
I used to know the man's name, but cannot recall it at this time. If I think of it in a little while I will add it to this thread.
The truck and he were for a time declared San Jose's official "mobile landmark"!
I used to see them around town quite often.


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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by Jeff Hood » Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:52 am

I also have a 1925 T Coupe that has been in The Long Beach Model T Club since about 1958. I have tried to piece together it's history, but the guys "who were there" are mostly gone or their memories are fading. The man who bought it in 1958 just turned 100! The story seems to go that he bought the car from an ad in the Sunday classifieds. It was owned by a "little old lady" and it sounds like it was driven home after buying it, but I'm not sure, and it is not known if it was being driven by the lady up to that point or had been stored. Still, that would make it 33 years old when it was sold. It was driven for a couple of years in the Club and then sold to another member who, in about 1960, "updated" the running gear to mid 1930's Ford including a V8-60 and hydraulic brakes. It then became either his or his wife's daily driver around Long Beach, and I'm told it also made several 800+ mile round trips to Sacramento and Reno. I can remember seeing this car quite often around Long Beach when I was just a kid, and I'm often asked if it is the same car people used to see somewhere around town. The man or his wife drove it regularly until about 1991 or 92, when he died and his wife sold it to another club member who didn't drive it daily, but drove it regularly on club tours for the next 22 years. I have had it now for five or six years and have returned it to regular, but not quite daily use. I drive it as much as I can and have also made some high mileage trips in it going as far as Paso Robles, Lone Pine, and Needles, Ca.In 1963, California issued new license plates to all cars. This was a black plate with yellow letters and numbers. The colors have changed a few times on newer plates, but the series continues and the black plates are still valid plates. This car has a black plate and has been registered every year since the plates were issued. So, here is a 1925 T that was possibly driven regularly well into the 1950's, thirty to thirty-five years, and then updated or some might say hot-rodded, and driven regularly for another 60 years.

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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by BuddyTheRoadster » Sun Oct 18, 2020 3:55 am

Vehicle registration records would probably tell it more accurately than we can. Another option would be to see how late Ford dealers were expected to stock T parts. We know that Ford was still selling replacement engines until 1941. But clearly from the posts above, someone was still driving a T until the start of the war, and then once the war began, people would drive anything that ran to get to work.


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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by Rod Petrie » Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:52 am

I have my Grandpa's 26TT which I am presently restoring. It had a 47 license plate on it so I assumed it was driven until then.

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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by John Warren » Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:28 am

Love the thread. Eric, That is something the T only drivers license. The information TRD posted makes it easy to see how the manufacturers were jockey-ing positions. We had a guy , Bert Wolf, in our neighborhood that drove his 26 RPU in the 60's. This was the first model T I saw running.
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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by Bruce Compton » Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:49 am

Here is my '21 Coupe that was put away in 1949-50 and stayed untouched for 65 years. Obviously it was a teenagers "school" car in the late 40s from the graffiti on the doors and rear deck. Most noticeable is the "Hydramatic Drive" under the back window,so it was on the road after '46 and a friend remembers seeing it in the barn in 1950.
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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by Burger in Spokane » Sun Oct 18, 2020 11:41 am

According to the history that I have been able to put together, my TT was a one
family farm truck that never really retired, and was kept in decent shape and used
as needed, probably more for show and novelty in later years, but right up into the
21st century. It was only sold into the "old car" scene when younger family members
no longer had an interest in keeping it up. I bought it from the second owner, who
wanted to tour in it, but found the 7:1 gears prohibitive, and sold it to me. If this
information is accurate, this truck has been in continual service since new.

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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by ModelT46 » Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:22 pm

I drove my 1910 around the neighbor hood in spring and summer of 1947. I then bought a 1916 center door which I drove to high school. Sold the 1916 and bought 1929 Model A Tudor which I used on a regular basis. Sold that one and bought another 1929 until I bought a 1932 Lincoln KB 4 door. Sold that and bought a real nice 1935 Chev, sold that when I joined the army in the fall of 1950. I still have and use the 1910 Touring.

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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by Steve Jelf » Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:38 pm

Vehicle registration records would probably tell it more accurately than we can.

It would be great if they did, but most states purge the records after a few years.
The inevitable often happens.
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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by gclaytonsr » Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:58 pm

I was a teenager in the 50's. There was a number of T's being driven daily. My grandfather had a general store. One older man with a large
gray mustache would stop with a T huckster. He had an orchard and sold apples around the area. Another man in the next town to the west
had a 27 coupe with yellow wire wheels which was his only car. My father told me many of the older T drivers were accustomed to the three
pedals and did not want to change. There was an article in the news once about a man that had a T which was his daily car and a Star which
he only drove on Sundays. Unfortunately he was involved in and accident and wrecked the Star. The headlines read. '"Man wrecks his Sunday
car and was left with his weekday car."


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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by OilyBill » Sun Oct 18, 2020 1:37 pm

My 1926 Franklin Coupe was driven daily by a local guy until 1954, when he took if off the road and put it in his garage to do a valve job on it. He never finished it, and I bought the car in 1996. It still had the 1954 license paperwork and the plant parking sticker for the "Hughes Missile Plant" in Tucson. Because of the depression and the war, a LOT of old cars were driven longer than most people would have thought. They weren't antiques then. They were just daily drivers.


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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by Burger in Spokane » Sun Oct 18, 2020 2:06 pm

It is nothing unusual to see a 1960's and newer car on the road around here.
By "unusual", I mean, one might see 5-10 any given day. Even more old trucks.
A 1960's vehicle is no less than 50 years old today. Extrapolating that to the T
years, a 1925 T of comparable age would still be a daily beater in 1975 or 80.
That just wasn't the case in my area. Probably anywhere. The archaic mechanical
designs of the time made them quite obsolete to "modern" driving infrastructure,
and their looks made them a quaint novelty by the 1950's, when they were less
than half the 50-years-old benchmark mentioned.

On the flip side, Americans were a far more frugal bunch in those generations,
and some saw no need to get rid of a prefectly good car before it was rendered
unserviceable for some reason. The direct inspiration for my TT ownership was
a near identical example that sat in quiet repose in Mrs. Miller's implement shed,
next to a same-vintage Fordson tractor and various other ancient harvest tools.
The Miller farm was about a mile over the hill from ours, and being kids, we felt
compelled to explore every inch of ground that we could get to . This was in the
1970's, and even though they had fallen into disuse from the Millers aging out and
the whole farm just falling into a state of quiet neglect, they never felt the need
to update the equipment. It worked and got the job done, and there was no sense
in wasting money on something with a new shine. At least that is how THEY saw it.
Mrs. Miller's early 50's Ford Mainline sedan was still her daily until the end.

God bless those people who did not feel the need to constantly get the "latest
and greatest". If it weren't for them, none of this cool old stuff would still be
around.

fullsizeoutput_8a4.jpeg
More people are doing it today than ever before !


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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by Been Here Before » Sun Oct 18, 2020 3:27 pm

Truth in this ( from Steve Jelf post) "Vehicle registration records would probably tell it more accurately than we can."
"It would be great if they did, but most states purge the records after a few years."

We recently planned to get a 1970 Ford Mustang back on the road. Over the years off the road I maintained insurance to keep registration plate and not have to return license plate (this is Pennsylvania). Car was off the road for 6 years.

Went on line to reapply for new registration. Used vin number, current license number and original title number.

The computer came back to let me know that the 1970 Ford Mustang was not in the system with my current information and no new registration could occur. Informed to go and register the car.

Which I did. I now have a new license plate, new title, current required vehicle insurance for a 1970 Mustang, keeping original vin number, I now have a title for 2020 Ford Mustang Mach I, with a 351 Cleveland.


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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by Jim Eubanks » Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:12 pm

Around here in the mid 50s I remember a 26 cpe driven regular from Powell to Knoxville and back hauling slop for the fellows pigs, had boards bolted to the front and back fenders. Another fellow drove a 23 or so one ton as his only vehicle, wrecked it once when the steering would up, I went out with in the wrecker that rescued it. The owner had an old rr boxcar full of parts and put it back on the road quickly. Another Knoxville car, 26/7 roadster pu was driven every work day to town and back by a machine shop owner, and was the first T I remember having a Ruckstel.


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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by Jerry VanOoteghem » Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:43 pm

My '25 Touring was purchased in 1940 by my dad. He paid $15 for it and used it as his daily driver. He drove it his first day of work at the Ford Highland Park Plant, which was then in tractor production. He used it on his wedding day in 1950, his retirement day in 1980, I used at his funeral in 2010 and on my wedding day in 2017. It's been driven every year of its existence, (except during the war, when dad was away), and most recently, this weekend, on a tour in mid-west Michigan.


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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by Richard Instness » Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:24 pm

I was in elementary school in 1953 in a small town in Washington. Across the road from the schoolyard was a second hand store that was ran by an older couple. I would stop in after school sometimes and wander the aisles. Never bought anything, just liked to look. Their business vehicle was an old toil-worn all-black Model T delivery. Daily use of vehicles of that vintage were not common in 1953, at least not in our town.
One day, while walking home from school, I saw the Model T laying on its side on the edge of the road a half block from their store. It had apparently swerved and gone up the slope to the schoolyard and tipped over. There did not seem to be much damage, but that was the last time I ever saw that old model T.
I have thought many times about that Model T and of all the treasures that were in that second hand store.


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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by Original Smith » Mon Oct 19, 2020 12:12 pm

In 1960, I had just graduated from high school. My dad wouldn't let me have a Model T until I got that diploma! I found an unrestored 1926 touring in San Marino. I joined the Long Beach Model T Club then. There was an old timer that had a '26 roadster pickup that he bought new. It was his daily driver. The story goes he bought two of them when they ceased production. The one he drove was his second one. I used to know the guys name, but don't recall what it was.

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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by RustyFords » Mon Oct 19, 2020 12:22 pm

Although I have no hard proof of it, several factors point strongly to my 24 Touring being used during WW2 on a west Texas cotton farm.
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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by FundyTides » Mon Oct 19, 2020 1:42 pm

When my Dad and I bought our 1927 T Touring in the early 60's, it had 1947 plates on it and we received the 1944 Registration with it so I assume it was still on the road in the 40's. Both the owner and his brother were listed as owners on the registration. I was told that the reason for doing this was that all owners of a vehicle were automatically licensed to drive. Don't know how accurate that is.

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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by walber » Mon Oct 19, 2020 6:09 pm

In the early 60's, I pumped gas at a local station In North Seattle and there was an elderly lady that drove an early 20's T Coupe. According to the fellow who owned the station, she was a spinster and that was her only car. Even then it was best to pick you routes carefully driving a T in Seattle to avoid the worst of the hills. Where we lived in the Ballard area they weren't bad though.

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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by TonyB » Tue Oct 20, 2020 11:36 am

Just today on Facebook, Stan Howe recounted how a coupe he now owns was used into the fifties by a local Montana couple.
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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by John kuehn » Tue Oct 20, 2020 4:23 pm

This thread reminds me of when I was in high school and occasionally seeing old cars that were in their late 30’s thru the 50’s going down the road and used as basic transportation. That was in the 60’s. Nothing fancy but just to get from one place to another is mostly what they were used for.

Those cars were around 30 years old at the time and being at the end of their practical useful life.

I mentioned in an earlier post how my Grandfather drove his 24 Coupe up till 1954. It was still running but the engine was a smoker and had the occasional issues with the coils. Others in this post had similar stories kind of like I did.

Nowadays if we see an 80’s car or truck being driven on the road you kind of look twice like I do and think that old car is 30+ years old. Think about it. 1980 until 2020 is 40 years folks!

It seems that cars and truck’s last around 30 years in their useful life these days just as they did in the Model T era.

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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by George Mills » Tue Oct 20, 2020 4:29 pm

My late Father in law got his license in '41 and his first car was a 1924T that he bought cheap, and the day after H.S. graduation he and a friend hopped in the car near Philly, and then went to Houston, and then drove back...just to say that they did it!

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Re: Model t as a daily in the early 40s?

Post by George House » Tue Oct 20, 2020 6:04 pm

I can’t speak on Model T s as daily drivers in the 1940s as I came along in 1950. But I became interested in and aware of Model T s in 1952. In late elementary school and junior high I knew of a 1926 roadster and 1919 centerdoor as daily drivers by elderly people in New Braunfels TX. I’ve been the proud second owner of both for decades...😁
One of the biggest problems with today’s youth is they’ve never known the fear of hearing leather being rapidly pulled through seven Wrangler belt loops.

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