A real barn find

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Art Ebeling
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A real barn find

Post by Art Ebeling » Sat Nov 14, 2020 7:17 am

Here is a 22? Touring I looked at in a real barn on a real farm in mid Illinois yesterday. The family wants it restored for a wedding. I explained costs and gave them classified ads showing that pretty nice ones can be bought for a third of what they will spend. It was very interesting to look at as it is complete and untouched. Art
22 engine.jpeg

Jonah D'Avella
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Re: A real barn find

Post by Jonah D'Avella » Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:42 am

F: first F: find
O: on O: oil
R: race R: revive
D: day D: drive

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Re: A real barn find

Post by DanTreace » Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:47 am


Wow, great photos of a T from a deep sleep. Petty tatty and ratty from the cotton upholstery stuffing now packed on the engine splash shields by the carb!

Good of you to explain to the owners, unless so much sentimental attachment, for a wedding might be best to rent another or a larger antique, entry to the rear seat of the T touring is tight for the bride in a pretty gown. :o

But real nice to see one so intact, from the original Ford script spark plugs to the top saddle mounts for the top irons!

Reminded me of the one I found in 1978, in a barn, was only missing a hood and front wheels, added a set for rolling it out to my trailer.

scan0009 (2) (570x477).jpg
scan0009 (2) (570x477).jpg (143 KiB) Viewed 1930 times
The best way is always the simplest. The attics of the world are cluttered up with complicated failures. Henry Ford
Don’t find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain. Henry Ford

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Re: A real barn find

Post by Dollisdad » Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:53 am

Buy or rent another car and leave that one alone.

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Re: A real barn find

Post by Fire_chief » Sat Nov 14, 2020 9:46 am

That's like the 15 touring I found in a cow barn a few years ago. I brought it home, and now it sits untouched in a hay barn. Really can't decide what to do with it.

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Rich Eagle
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Re: A real barn find

Post by Rich Eagle » Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:07 am

Absolutely Wonderful. It's easy for me to say it should be left as is and never touched but that may not be practical for most folks. Anything done to make it usable could detract from the charm it has.
At least we can enjoy these photos and any others that may come our way.
Thanks for posting this.
When did I do that?

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Re: A real barn find

Post by John kuehn » Sat Nov 14, 2020 2:17 pm

These are the ‘real’ barn finds that should be just cleaned up, made road worthy and drive as is. I’ll bet most of the wood is still stable enough to leave alone but if not fix just what’s needed. Believe it or not there are getting to be more people who would drive the car as is cleaned up and used in some wedding shots.

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Art Ebeling
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Re: A real barn find

Post by Art Ebeling » Sat Nov 14, 2020 3:06 pm

The family says it ran fine, was still used in parades and that it was not broken when it was parked. The engine is not frozen. It would be interesting to see it cleaned up and the tattered materials removed. Art

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Re: A real barn find

Post by Mark Osterman » Sat Nov 14, 2020 3:15 pm

Wonderful seeing these in the wild. Love the pictures but now I want to see more. 😀

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Re: A real barn find

Post by Erik Johnson » Sat Nov 14, 2020 3:27 pm

Another unfortunate victim of poor storage.

The fact that it is currently sitting in a barn is neither here nor there.

Clean it up and get it running.

Don't worship dirt.

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Re: A real barn find

Post by John kuehn » Sat Nov 14, 2020 4:49 pm

I would get with the family and tell them that the T is a real survivor found in a barn and it would be great to clean it up and running and maybe put some new tires on it. They might be pleasantly surprised the fun they would have with it. If they want to spend a lot of money to restore it later they could do that but it would be neat to see the T in cleaned up as found condition.

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Re: A real barn find

Post by aDave » Sat Nov 14, 2020 5:41 pm

Hope they reconsider the "restoration"....
Just clean it up, make it run smoothly and use as is....Great wedding "something old"....

"Something old" is the first line of a traditional rhyme that details what a bride should wear at her wedding for good luck: The old item provides protection for the baby to come. The new item offers optimism for the future. The item borrowed from another happily married couple provides good luck. Wikipedia

So she won't "wear"it...just ride in it... :P

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Art Ebeling
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Re: A real barn find

Post by Art Ebeling » Sun Nov 15, 2020 11:33 am

There really is not very much black paint left on it and it needs some back corners patched. On a total refinish what paint or procedure would make it look like an old preserved, not too glossy, finish? Not quite Hot Rod flat but not quite new? Something along the lines of the 22 Touring offered by Ancient seeker in the "Model T collection" advertised in the classifieds. Art

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Re: A real barn find

Post by tom_strickling » Sun Nov 15, 2020 11:44 am

I am pretty much restating what others have, but:

A local guy I know of is paying for a total restoration of a 23 touring that looked much like that when he started. He is closing in on $18,000 for the restoration and has a good friend who did the tear down, and reassembly made arrangements with the paint, wheel,upholstery, engine rebuilder etc. Kind of a general contractor who contacted all the sub contractors. The good friend has not charged him anything for this service as of yet.

There are plenty of good cars for sale out there, already restored and more economical.

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Re: A real barn find

Post by LarryO » Mon Jan 18, 2021 11:26 am

Hello all! Since Art didn't know the full story of this T when he posted this I thought that I'd provide some background to provide insight into our decision to restore the car. My Dad was given this car by 2 of my Great Aunts in 1958 (the year I was born) who had inherited it from one of my Great-Great Uncles in 1956. My Mom doesn't know if the uncle was the original buyer but the T was the only car he ever owned. So, I would guess that the car has been in the family for 75+ years. My brother's grandchildren will be the 6th generation of our family to take a ride in this car. When Mom first mentioned in 2019 that she had a CD coming due and she would like to restore the T in time for the local parade in 2022 I explained that I had talked to someone a few years earlier who had spent several thousand dollars more than the CD was worth while doing a lot of the work themselves on their T, so the idea was put on the back burner. Then last year my daughter, who had teased my Dad since she was a young girl about fixing up the T for her future wedding, became engaged. So we started to seriously look into restoration, asking around about restorers and a chance conversation with my brother-in-law led us to Art. The timing was right for Art to take on the project and our family is extremely grateful he agreed to do it. We had some discussions about just doing enough to get it driveable, but Mom's desire is for it to look nice and run. And, after pulling it out of the shed and seeing that it was in poorer condition than we had thought, I think that is the right thing to do. Hopefully this will answer some of your questions and help you understand why we're doing the restoration.

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Re: A real barn find

Post by Steve Jelf » Mon Jan 18, 2021 12:51 pm

It does look like a 1922, or close to it. Folks are often mistaken about the model year of these old Fords. They may misremember what they're told, or they may be told by somebody who is mistaken. That's very common, and many times they are even titled and registered with a mistaken model year. Fortunately there are references to verify or correct the model years. In any case, this car is around a hundred years old. Almost certainly it will need new wiring at the very least, and those century-old wheels may need new wood to be safe. Original glass? It has to go. Obviously the car will need a new top and interior.

But should it be restored? The HPOF (Historical Preservation of Original Features) movement has been growing in appreciation in recent years. Cars that fifty or sixty years ago would have been restored without a second thought are now lovingly preserved. However, preservation requires something that has survived well enough to be preserved. In this case it appears from the photos that so much is in such poor condition that a restoration, or at least a major fix-up, is the way to go. Money argues against that. It would cost less, probably a lot less, to sell it and buy a better one. Without the known history of this particular car I would advise that. A Model T of this vintage is relatively common and cheap. But money is not the only consideration. Its status as a family member for several generations practically forbids selling it. I agree with Mom.
The inevitable often happens.
1915 Runabout
1923 Touring

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Re: A real barn find

Post by noelchico » Mon Jan 18, 2021 2:48 pm

I'm as cheap as anyone. It surprises me the people who trade in their cars every 3 years in order to have a "new" car in their garage, even though doing so costs many thou$$ands. They buy expensive clothes, like wedding dresses, to wear once. I have Teresa's grandpa's 23 touring, bought used in '26 to take his firstborn to school. Yes we could afford to replace it with a nicer one, but it would be just another car. It sounds like this car is worth restoring for the sentimental reasons alone. How many more generations in the family will be able to enjoy it?

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Re: A real barn find

Post by StanHowe » Mon Jan 18, 2021 3:33 pm

Women are made to love, money is made to spend.

We've had a lot of auctions for people that were "Going to restore that tractor or that car" or whatever as soon as: 1. work slowed down, 2. they got caught up a little on money. 3. other reasons.

Most of them were estate auctions.

I have yet to talk to any old person that said, I wish I had spent less time with my family, more time working and not spent money on foolish things like prom dresses and vacations with the kids.

Make it and spend it. Life is short. Make money, spend it on memories.

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