Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

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Matt in California
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Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Matt in California » Wed Dec 02, 2020 11:53 am

Disclaimer
When I was starting getting into Model Ts I didn't have much more than $1000 I could scrape up. A more experienced person shared the Coffee Can Principle . Namely, set aside money until you have enough to buy a well cared for Model T, rather than get something "cheap" and spend 4x as much. I agree with the idea that buying a nice well cared for Model T is a great way to start, but I think there are advantages to building your first Model T with parts. First and foremost when I did build my own car I understood how it operated and was not afraid to work on my car. (My first Model T was a 1926 Touring. I purchased the rolling chassis and engine for $600 and got the rusted out body from a farmer donated... Other parts set me back a few hundred. This challenge is inspired by that.)

Personal Contest Rules
  • Cost- Spend as little as possible. Ideally start with less than $1000 for all major parts of car including: engine, frame, body. Other parts can be added over time as desired/needed. ("Consumables" not included in the cost can include tires, coils, upholstery, elbow grease, etc.)
  • Added Restrictions- Buy at market value. I want to limit most of my purchases to online to keep things at "market value." Because this is a personal challenge and the fact that I have friends with piles of parts that may just give me deals because i'm a nice guy (or not) and or trades. Also I want people new to the hobby to see that getting started in the hobby is really accessible.
  • Start with a engine. A qualifying car needs a running engine. So this is a great place to start. Time can be spent here working on the engine until it is ready to be used. Of course this requires getting a good set of coils...
  • Model year correct? As much as possible keep it period correct- ideally with parts from the same year especially body and engine. But it is okay to have variations with the thought you could always swap out the front/rear axle in the future.
  • Horse trading? Some parts may be purchased in a lot and parts out of the lot may be sold to keep the overall price down. But for this challenge it should be keep to a minimum.
  • Additional Challenges? Perhaps that the car is a brass era car?
  • Elbow grease is free.
Before I continue. Please feel free to make some comments.

Matt

Update:
$100 Engine purchased (8/31/20)
$500 (plus $100 for delivery) Express body purchased (12/5/20)

$300 left to spend
Last edited by Matt in California on Sun Dec 06, 2020 2:12 am, edited 10 times in total.

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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Rich Eagle » Wed Dec 02, 2020 1:01 pm

You have the advantage of the Forum. Many have parts they might donate or sell most reasonably. That's an advantage. I have become known locally for building Model T's and many parts come here on their way to the dump. There have been guys moving away or passing on and parts that can't find their way to a buyer are often offered to me. While they usually aren't in the best shape there doesn't seem like much use for them but to build cars out of them. The down side is that the parts you don't have and have to buy do cost some money.
But maybe that's the fun of it all.
Best wishes.
Rich
When did I do that?


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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by kevinf » Wed Dec 02, 2020 1:07 pm

Matt,
Certainly possible,
https://classifieds.ksl.com/listing/62149436
Good Luck,
Kevin

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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Steve Jelf » Wed Dec 02, 2020 1:13 pm

A couple of comments/questions occur to me.

Is an auction you attend in person considered market value? I once bought an engine/transmission for $5. I've bought a split rim spreader for $1 (nobody knew what it was), a couple of good 26-27 gas tanks for $1 each, running board tool boxes for $5 or $6, a whole shelf full of stuff that included a good working Model T generator for $4, and other shockingly cheap goods. Ditto swap meets. I've found some amazingly cheap deals there. Do those count as market value?

Do you count the cost of attending meets and auctions?

Does correctness matter, or does a parts salad qualify?

If the goal is to build a T at the lowest cost, I think 1920-1925 is the best choice, and a runabout the best body style for the assignment.
The inevitable often happens.
1915 Runabout
1923 Touring

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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Steve Jelf » Wed Dec 02, 2020 1:26 pm

The Utah runabout is very much a parts salad, so if correctness is one of the rules you're buying it for some of the parts and will need to sell the rest.
The inevitable often happens.
1915 Runabout
1923 Touring

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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Matt in California » Wed Dec 02, 2020 3:13 pm

Rich,
Yes, I agree that and hope to get some parts from generous folks. But my general thought is to show people it is possible to have a good start of a car to get in the hobby for as little as $1000. But as you know it is not the big parts that add up as much as the small parts.

Kevin,
Yes that car proves the point. The body looks great. If the engine and rear axle are in as good of shape then it is a good deal. If the engine is missing a piston like the wheel a spoke it may be a issue :shock: (I have always thought removing all the pistons allows the engine to turn nicely :mrgreen: )

Steve,
Great questions! Regarding auctions and swap meets, I am trying to minimize being at the right place at the right time for this, but I have dreamed of having a contest at Bakersfield where two or more teams would have a $1000 to build a running Model T. I think it would be a great way to get people half my age interested in the hobby. And it would be fun to watch and help.

In response to the parts salad question, ideally it would not be a parts salad, but if someone is starting they could always swap out parts later. I would say that the engine/body should match. I added one more point:
  • Model year correct? As much as possible keep it period correct- ideally with parts from the same year especially body and engine. But it is okay to have variations with the thought you could always swap out the front/rear axle in the future.
Any other rules need to be added/changed?

I hope you are enjoying thinking through this with me:)

Matt


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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by big2bird » Wed Dec 02, 2020 3:23 pm

My 23 touring is a parts car.
Never again. Cheaper to buy an intact car.

A speedster is a different story.


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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Norman Kling » Wed Dec 02, 2020 4:27 pm

You might be able to find a "basket case" for under $1,000 but will need to do a lot of work on it to get a running car out of it.
26 touring as purchased.jpg
26 touring as purchased.jpg (61.04 KiB) Viewed 3061 times
pile of rusty parts.jpg
pile of rusty parts.jpg (41.21 KiB) Viewed 3061 times
Ten years later and many additional thousands of dollars, finally finished
Norm
Finished.jpg
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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by ivaldes1 » Wed Dec 02, 2020 5:31 pm

Yeah but the before and after pictures for a true basket-case disaster to nice drivable are priceless! -- IV


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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Rich Bingham » Wed Dec 02, 2020 7:57 pm

This is a fun exercise. Perhaps the economics of the problem remain the same ? In 1962 I gave $75.00 for a complete chassis. "Parts" were essentially free, as one could scrounge nearly anything one required from junk piles in the sagebrush or on farmsteads where they were given. My dim remembrey calculates that given my cash resources at the time, I probably spent another $300.00 on paint, wood, materials and new KW coils, band lining and tires from Monkey Wards before my "restoration" hit the highways and byways.

Consulting the online inflation calculator, I'm shocked to find my hulk would be $650.00 in today's dollars, followed by an additional investment of $ 1,700.00. 😳

In other words, I lose !!! :lol: :lol:

On the other hand, it makes the "older restoration" I bought a few years back a real bargain ! Working the inflation formula backward, I'm pretty sure it may have been possible to have come up with a roadworthy T for $ 131.50 back in '62, but it would have required the patience, connections and knowledge I certainly didn't own as a fourteen year old kid ! :D
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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by TRDxB2 » Wed Dec 02, 2020 8:19 pm

Matt, No offense intended but suggestions to build upon it.
You said "I want people new to the hobby to see that getting started in the hobby is really accessible.... As much as possible keep it period correct- ideally with parts from the same year especially body and engine. But it is okay to have variations with the thought you could always swap out the front/rear axle in the future.

The above statements indicate that you are suggesting that you would like to show new people already in the hobby what it would cost to build a period correct Model T. I'm not sure if that is your intended goal or if it is to attract people "into the hobby" be demonstrating low cost, availability of expert help, parts, the forum, swap meets, having a mentor, etc.

I am into the hobby to develop/improve upon my skills of a mechanic, welder, machinist, restorer etc and the Model T, because of its simplicity, is the perfect object to use for that. I started with a basket case & progressing slowly on the build but I have learned a tremendous amount. I have hardly any of the parts I started with, sold them and purchased ones in better condition. Buying a used part takes more than cash, its knowing about, if it is period correct, condition, if its reparable, having or knowing someone to repair it, not to mention tools required.

So for some beginners with few skills, starting with a inexpensive, drive-able, fixer-upper that needs all wear components replaced would establish a foundation to move forward into a restoration. Their next car could be a barn find.

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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Matt in California » Wed Dec 02, 2020 11:30 pm

Jeffrey, I appreciate your thoughts! You are right it is cheaper to buy a restored car than restore one. I am not reallying looking to restore a car. But enjoy the project aspect of working on the mechanicals and getting it operational.

Norman, Thanks for posting your before and after photos. I agree with Ignacio! That car looks amazing. If someone is going to restore a car, I would rather someone restore a basket case car like that than a nice survivor! I image you hung onto that car for a long time after you put all the work into it!

Rich, I love your calculations! My dad made a Model T Hot Rod in the 1960s. It looks very much like the generic fiberglass ones with the short pickup bed, but it was original Ford steel. I remember being amazed that he bought the original parts for $150... But when you put it in today's prices I think Model T parts have gone down!

Frank, Now you have a few things for me to chew on. I think cheap is one part of the demonstration I am looking for. Additionally, there is really nothing like learning the difference in parts then buying something and finding out it was not the correct part, year, etc... (I will learn a lot as I move away from 1926/27 to earlier car this time.) I agree anyone new to the hobby should get mentors especially someone in person, and this forum can serve that purpose! Seeking out a mentor is natural result of someone working on a project. You also make a great point that only certain people would be in the place to take on a project. I feel that with model Ts owners have to be able to do some work. The reality is that we can't take our cars to a shop and get them worked on. So unfortunately unless a owner is willing to do some work they may be out of luck even with a reasonably well maintained car they purchase.

Matt


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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Sarikatime » Thu Dec 03, 2020 9:16 am

I am just now almost finished with a bitsa touring with parts left over from previous builds and parts bought from friends on the website or t-bay. The most frustrating at times is that you finally see a part you have been looking for, at a good price, but no one is bidding on it or buying it, including you. The price is right but what they want for shipping puts it out of the good price category. The things that I bought or sold in the past cost me so much for shipping, but they doubled or tripled the shipping cost to make up for the low price, putting the item higher than reasonable. Darn, can’t figure out why the item is not selling, I put a great price on it! Other times there is an item on t- bay, normal price, but, someone needs it right now and willing to bid 2 to 3 times the cost of whatever it would cost if he or she would have thought ahead during restoration. The same or similar items are usually up for sale on a regular basis, at the right price, without having to satisfy the greedy buyer or seller. I love the hobby, love working on the cars, maybe sometimes more than driving them, but this is just one of the frustrations of this hobby, or any hobby, you all know what I am talking about.
Frank

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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Will_Vanderburg » Thu Dec 03, 2020 5:04 pm

My Touring was purchased with $500 dollars down and 150 bucks per month. The guy I bought it from held it until paid for. (a chassis, partial body and extra motor).

I was given opportunity to swap out parts from him. 13 years later, working in my spare time, I had a running driving car.

Fast forward to today: I still have that car.

I also have a 1922 Centerdoor. The body was given to me, completely disassembled. I bought a frame and running gear, plus an extra motor. Currently, I have maybe $1200 to $1500 invested in it.
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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Will_Vanderburg » Thu Dec 03, 2020 5:10 pm

My father attended an auction as a teenager and saw the auction people pull a Hack out of a barn. A guy bought it for 300 bucks and was driving it a week later.
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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by dobro1956 » Thu Dec 03, 2020 9:47 pm

When I first got into the Ts I had little to no money to spare. But I did have a lot more energy than now. I was just starting to go to swap meets, and within a year I was a vendor. The first year (1980) I made 75.00 above expenses. I thought I was rich... :) So I started buying all the piles of T parts I could find. or anything old car related, I thought I could make a little profit on. I would take the best parts to use on my car and then trade or sell the rest at the swap meets (usually at a pretty good profit). Over a period of about three years I had built a very nice 1922 T that would take 1st or second in almost all the shows I took it to. I figured that I had built that first car for free and made about 1500.00 profit on the parts that I sold. I now have about 40 years of collecting and buying thru the years. I have also never used a penny of "family" money for my old car hobby. It is a "self funding" operation. I have 4 cars and a tractor conversion, and a huge collection of parts and memorabilia that has been paid for by buying and selling. Everything "old car related" I own is "free and clear" paid for by the hobby itself. Now I am not counting anything for time and labor, because it is what I like to do. Now that I'm old and slow, I do not buy much anymore, but I also have tons of parts left over from all the years of buying big hoards. Those parts should be able to keep funding my remaining years of "hobby work" till Im too old to keep at it. Then we will have a "hell of a sale" This is not really what you were asking about, but it is an alternate way to be able to fund an old car addiction ...


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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Burger in Spokane » Thu Dec 03, 2020 11:12 pm

Before and After photos of my truck.

25asfound.jpg
26Natworkday.jpg

Now, for a little background. The "before" photo is of the first TT I bought.
I was eager to get one and this complete, but ratty one appeared for $1000,
so I bought it.

"Before" (in this case) means before I bought my second truck ! Because "after"
I bought the first one, and began rounding up parts, I got to thinking that I'd
spare the wifeperson another trip down Restoration Lane, and buy one that was
more-or-less ready to go. So, this is the truck I bought AFTER the first one !
It cost about 8x more than the first one, and that was before I began rebuilding
things to make it very reliable.
More people are doing it today than ever before !

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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Matt in California » Fri Dec 04, 2020 1:27 am

Frank, You are correct shipping is getting expensive. For most parts I plan to source local parts.

William, Thanks for sharing your stories! When did you buy your $500 touring? I almost wonder if prices haven't changed much over the years for project car Ts. I like the idea of a $300 Hack!

Donnie,
I love your comment: "When I first got into the Ts I had little to no money to spare. But I did have a lot more energy than now. I was just starting to go to swap meets, and within a year I was a vendor." Your story beyond that is great as well. I haven't keep track, but I have done my best to keep the hobby is self supporting. This is a great way to make it affordable for anyone. In the spirit of your thoughts I will add a point that allows for some horse trading:)

Brent,
Your $1000 truck before and after is great! I think you could even argue that it fits the challenge in a certain way.

Fun stuff!

Matt
Last edited by Matt in California on Fri Dec 04, 2020 2:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Matt in California » Fri Dec 04, 2020 1:41 am

1st Step Find A Engine
Some time back, I did this step of finding a engine. A year ago I saw a ad for a Model T engine. The engine was for sale for over a year. I had been in the process of moving, so I avoided the temptation. I called the seller and asked about the price. He said he had people contact from out of the area, but he wanted to talk in person. I asked for a price and he wanted a offer. I told him that without knowing the condition of the engine I couldn't offer more than $100

I went to see the engine. It ended up being a 1915 engine on a buzz saw...
1915 buzz saw.jpeg
1915 buzz saw.jpeg (83.61 KiB) Viewed 2546 times
Here is a link (viewtopic.php?f=2&t=6381&p=109563#p48044) with more of the story. Now people don't have to lose sleep about using the engine for the buzz saw:)

Okay, I will edit the first post with the engine/price. That leaves me with $900.

Update:
$100 Engine purchased (8/31/20)

$900 left to spend

Matt

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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Will_Vanderburg » Fri Dec 04, 2020 2:34 am

Matt in California wrote:
Fri Dec 04, 2020 1:27 am
Frank, You are correct shipping is getting expensive. For most parts I plan to source local parts.

William, Thanks for sharing your stories! When did you buy your $500 touring? I almost wonder if prices haven't changed much over the years for project car Ts. I like the idea of a $300 Hack!

Donnie,
I love your comment: "When I first got into the Ts I had little to no money to spare. But I did have a lot more energy than now. I was just starting to go to swap meets, and within a year I was a vendor." Your story beyond that is great as well. I haven't keep track, but I have done my best to keep the hobby is self supporting. This is a great way to make it affordable for anyone. In the spirit of your thoughts I will add a point that allows for some horse trading:)

Brent,
Your $1000 truck before and after is great! I think you could even argue that it fits the challenge in a certain way.

Fun stuff!

Matt
I put the money down in March of 1996.
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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by varmint » Fri Dec 04, 2020 11:02 am

My wife's bucket list includes restoring a Ford Model T and we bought one for $1000 four years ago.
It was a complete disaster as seen here: http://www.vieuxcarre.org/t/
Even if this thing is expensive to repair and we have to fabricate our own parts in a herculean way, we are not doing this to get the cheapest Model T.
This is about a husband - wife relationship spending time together in a constructive way and learning a thing or two as a by-product in the process.
I agree with the task of purchasing a cheap T to tinker with but I would work on the purpose statement.
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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by TRDxB2 » Fri Dec 04, 2020 12:17 pm

The availability and cost of parts that most owners got started with in their day and economic conditions is quite different today. Having said that I do see a lot of commonality in how everyone got started. That got me thinking that perhaps there is a need to get some input from newbies of all ages, especially the young people, on how/why they got started, with what and what is working for them in Today's world. If the goal is to get people into the hobby I think it would be best to put aside building a period correct T but how best to get started and have a running T of "any style". Once one is into the next step will take care of itself. Long time members know who's who , where all the swap meets are, who are the parts suppliers, etc.. Where can I find a complete and current list of that. SO, just for starters: where would someone look for a T and in what condition so that they could make it road worthy for $$$ or less in 2 years or less.
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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Matt in California » Sat Dec 05, 2020 12:22 am

William, I would love to see the before and after.

Vernon, Wow! Amazing work! You did a great job making things out of simple parts/tools. I almost wish you had a really rare car. I am grateful out west we don't get that rust if the metal is out of the soil. It is great/amazing that you and your wife share the passion!

Frank, I agree that T parts may be more expensive than 1960, but it also seems that there are less people willing to work on project cars, so when I got to estates sales the model T parts don't find much demand. I think you have a good point that on someones first build getting everything period correct should not be essential and making a particular style is important. And you are correct parts for a body kinda force someone to get the mating parts.

Matt

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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Will_Vanderburg » Sat Dec 05, 2020 9:14 pm

Matt in California wrote:
Sat Dec 05, 2020 12:22 am
William, I would love to see the before and after.

Matt
Oddly, I took very few pictures of the car when I was purchasing it. I think I did an initial video of the car, but since I do not have a video capture device to transfer to computer, that's out. I did document the building of the car, but that is waaayyyy too many photos to post here.

I have one picture that shows part of the interior of the car. The car was missing the front seat back, the front seat box that the springs sit on, the entire wood structure, the rear panel of the car, radiator apron, top, had a broken/bent windshield, and a few other odds and ends. The motor was just a naked block with a camshaft. The second motor was a locked up '24. The car was in similar shape or worse than most of the cars sold on Model T Haven's website. A complete story on the car was in the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of the Vintage Ford.
IMG-1150.jpg
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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Matt in California » Sun Dec 06, 2020 2:05 am

William,
Thanks for posting! Very nice work! Amazing that you bought it for $500 plus $1500 to restore.
Will_Vanderburg wrote:
Thu Dec 03, 2020 5:10 pm
My father attended an auction as a teenager and saw the auction people pull a Hack out of a barn. A guy bought it for 300 bucks and was driving it a week later.
When did your dad see the $300 Hack? I wonder what $300 would be in today's equivalent.

I liked the idea of the $300 hack you mentioned... Look what ended up in my garage!
075ED8AC-ADE0-4937-B434-B5E2892E2329.jpeg
I found it on Facebook marketplace. This was a couple of hours away. It cost $500 and $100 for delivery.

Update:
$100 Engine purchased (8/31/20)
$500 (plus $100 for delivery) Express body purchased (12/5/20)

$300 left to spend

Matt


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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Dallas Landers » Sun Dec 06, 2020 9:04 am

Matt, the metal bits on the bed and construction looks like Martin Parry.
Nice save.


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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Erik Barrett » Sun Dec 06, 2020 11:27 am

It seems like everyone trying to buy a model T from me has taken your challenge.

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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Matt in California » Sun Dec 06, 2020 12:11 pm

Erik Barrett wrote:
Sun Dec 06, 2020 11:27 am
It seems like everyone trying to buy a model T from me has taken your challenge.
Erik,
It has been fun to read the stories of buyers/owners. Now it is also exciting to hear from the perspective of sellers!

Is that because you are selling real deals? Or people trying to talk your price down to their budget?

Matt

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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Matt in California » Sun Dec 06, 2020 3:08 pm

Dallas Landers wrote:
Sun Dec 06, 2020 9:04 am
Matt, the metal bits on the bed and construction looks like Martin Parry.
Nice save.
Here are more photos:
C364E7BD-B32F-4C39-ACF1-FAC5420EA100.jpeg
B1BF0E34-89D5-411F-9BC9-AF649C55BCBF.jpeg
BD791349-4707-41E3-963B-BB07EE3C0B04.jpeg
71C064FA-C38D-42AC-8D17-97370F7E29A5.jpeg
I look forward to feedback and observations.

Matt


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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Dallas Landers » Sun Dec 06, 2020 3:44 pm

KIC Document 7-A-1.jpg
Here you go. Martin Parry.com
1922 dealer catolog had this one. I took a quick look. You may find another yeat with more detail.

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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Matt in California » Mon Dec 07, 2020 7:26 am

Dallas Landers wrote:
Sun Dec 06, 2020 3:44 pm
KIC Document 7-A-1.jpg
Here you go. Martin Parry.com
1922 dealer catolog had this one. I took a quick look. You may find another yeat with more detail.
Thanks Dallas, that website is an amazing resource! You are correct this is the "162A Six Post Express Top Body"!

Under the Dealers Catalogs - Early Bodies for Fords (see: https://www.martin-parry.com/early-bodies-for-ford.html), I found this.
Martin Parry 167 Light Open Express Body.JPG
This supports the idea of putting the body on an earlier car. My thought is on a 1915 to match the engine I am considering using. I didn't get the windshield with the body, but I don't think that is an issue because for the 162A and the 167 that was at an additional cost (a whopping $11.85). So some people must have stuck with their original cowl.

I think that what I have resembles the open express even thought originally it was closed...

Here is the 1923 price list (see https://www.martin-parry.com/dealers-co ... -1923.html):
Martin Parry 1923 price list.JPG
It looks like I got over charged :o Note "special commercial fenders" were only $3.75 (including war tax).

I also found this ad very interesting. Marketing to the used car market of the 1920s (see https://www.martin-parry.com/generous-a ... offer.html for close up images)
Martin Parrythe Used Car Problem.jpg
I look forward to additional comments and thoughts.

Matt


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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Erik Barrett » Mon Dec 07, 2020 12:11 pm

Matt, it’s a little of both. I price cars to sell. Otherwise you and up storing them forever. But even then, people try to talk you down. They’re model T people. Many of them just can’t help themselves. I’m of the opinion that people drive model T’s today for the same reason they did back in the day. They are cheaper than anything else. The exception, of course, is early brass era cars and those with speed equipment and/or historical provenance.

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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Will_Vanderburg » Mon Dec 07, 2020 4:58 pm

Matt in California wrote:
Sun Dec 06, 2020 2:05 am
William,
Thanks for posting! Very nice work! Amazing that you bought it for $500 plus $1500 to restore.
Will_Vanderburg wrote:
Thu Dec 03, 2020 5:10 pm
My father attended an auction as a teenager and saw the auction people pull a Hack out of a barn. A guy bought it for 300 bucks and was driving it a week later.
When did your dad see the $300 Hack? I wonder what $300 would be in today's equivalent.

I liked the idea of the $300 hack you mentioned... Look what ended up in my garage!
075ED8AC-ADE0-4937-B434-B5E2892E2329.jpeg

I found it on Facebook marketplace. This was a couple of hours away. It cost $500 and $100 for delivery.

Update:
$100 Engine purchased (8/31/20)
$500 (plus $100 for delivery) Express body purchased (12/5/20)

$300 left to spend

Matt
It took way more than 1500 to restore my touring. The body wood kit alone was 2,000.

I’ve only got about 1500 on my second T a Centerdoor so far. But the interior kit will be 3 grand.

My dad saw the hack in his teens which was the mid 50s.
William L Vanderburg

1925 Touring
1922 Center Door Sedan

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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Matt in California » Mon Dec 07, 2020 5:28 pm

Erik Barrett wrote:
Mon Dec 07, 2020 12:11 pm
... They’re model T people. Many of them just can’t help themselves...

... I’m of the opinion that people drive model T’s today for the same reason they did back in the day. They are cheaper than anything else...
Erik,
Your statements make me laugh! And I 100% agree. I like model Ts because they can be cheap, I am cheap and I find it difficult to pass on a great deal!

Matt

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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Matt in California » Mon Dec 07, 2020 5:45 pm

Will,
By my calculations a $300 Hack in 1950 would be about $3000 in today's money. Depending on condition that could be considered a deal.

I see I miss read the restoration cost on your touring... I haven't got into woodworking, paint, and upholstery. I tend to think from that perspective I would never buy a car that I would want to redue. I like the restored look. If I wanted a restored car I would buy one and save $1000s of dollars and perhaps miss out on the fun that you are having! :D

Matt

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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Matt in California » Mon Dec 07, 2020 6:02 pm

I found the following photos of an amazing survivor that is probably exactly how this express started (see: https://www.martin-parry.com/car-regist ... -1927.html to enlarge photos and very nice article).
Martin Parry 1924 Six Post Express Pickup.JPG
I see the current owner is here on the forum (see http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50 ... 1440771497).
565715.jpg


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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Dallas Landers » Mon Dec 07, 2020 9:59 pm

A true gem. I have many photos saved of that. When I was doing research for my TT.

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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Matt in California » Thu Dec 10, 2020 2:20 am

Now I really like the look of the early 1920s Martin Parry Express as shown above.

But I also like the early brass radiator that could go along with my 1915 engine.

Early Ad
Like this example (see http://www.coachbuilt.com/bui/m/martin_ ... _parry.htm):
Brass Martin Parry.jpg
Brass Martin Parry.jpg (19.63 KiB) Viewed 1791 times

1915 Milk Truck
Here is an example of a 1915 Milk truck (see restoration: http://www.ru2inc.com/inprogressmodelt.html)
1915 Milk Truck.jpg

1912 Cutoff Touring
Even though Martin Parry supplied the fenders, I like the earlier 1912 rear fenders like this (see: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/17 ... 1299625058):
1912 Cutoff Touring.jpg
Of Course this is not a Martin Parry, but it gives a reference for how the fenders would have to be cut:
1912 Cutoff Touring Fender.jpg
1912 Cutoff Touring Fender.jpg (134.63 KiB) Viewed 1791 times

Another Early Express
The other question would be the firewall. How does the early firewall look? As reference see the following (from: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/11 ... 1283833990)
Early Hack.jpg

Poll for MTFCA Forum
I would like to have a poll. If somehow on my meger budget I could pull it off what do you think regarding the following:
  • Brass or black style radiator?
  • Earlier flat firewall or cowl (see milk truck)?
  • Flat rear 1912 style fenders?
I look forward to hearing your responses.

Matt

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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by TonyB » Thu Dec 10, 2020 11:27 am

If you look back in The Vintage Ford, there was an article about a father/son speedster project which cost a total of $250. Mind you the Father (was it Don Black) had some generous friends.
Tony Bowker
La Mesa, California
1914 Touring, 1915 Speedster, 1924 Coupe.

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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Matt in California » Tue Dec 15, 2020 12:21 am

Tony, That sounds interesting! I would like to know which copy I can find that in.

It doesn't anyone had suggestion year/cowl style. So I guess it is up to me. :mrgreen: It looks like I may have a pre 1915 frame and fenders lined up in my budget. We will see if it works out.

The journey continues...

Matt

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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by TRDxB2 » Tue Dec 15, 2020 1:50 am

Matt in California wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 12:21 am
Tony, That sounds interesting! I would like to know which copy I can find that in.
It doesn't anyone had suggestion year/cowl style. So I guess it is up to me. :mrgreen: It looks like I may have a pre 1915 frame and fenders lined up in my budget. We will see if it works out.
The journey continues...
Matt
I'm trying to understand the purpose of the challenge? Lets say someone can build "something" today for x dollars and someone else does it for x-1 dollars. Now what? Just posting the resulting build on the Forum and it becomes another memory like the others, cost to build at a point in time. I really like the idea as a method to attract newbies. Having said that, perhaps documenting the processes (with pictures) to get a barn/field find and/or a so called "running" T up to snuff is the challenge that a newbie (with what skills?) faces. Likely the challenge will be" "I bought/started with this for $$$
Before.jpg
And created this for $$$$
bt1.png
OR I started with that and made this for $$$$$
bt2.png
or perhaps a newbie would be happy with this as a first build $12,000

I hope you get what I'm trying to understand
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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Matt in California » Thu Dec 17, 2020 1:30 am

Frank,
Good question about the purpose!

I think I would say that my purpose is to show that someone could start for as little as ~$1000.

I am sure that there are a lot of ways to get a T on a tight budget. I hope this inspires new people to get in the hobby and others to encourage them.
I look forward to may other stories!

Matt

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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Matt in California » Thu Dec 17, 2020 5:38 pm

Well I moved forward (I hope that is actually the true direction) and purchased this:
300012CC-C5A2-4200-ADA5-28CAA4340042.jpeg
344BE136-38A1-4A43-A0EC-62CAB4D2F416.jpeg
1AEF73E8-7D92-4EB5-82BC-E715552D2575.jpeg
8A32E1CF-49CE-40D8-BA2C-DFA0BAE463B4.jpeg
7123E6FC-63EA-4611-82C2-A0F9DCDF67F7.jpeg
I spent $200 on the lot. I post more details later.

I look forward to hearing comments and feedback.

Matt

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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Matt in California » Thu Dec 17, 2020 5:44 pm

I took apart the rear spring:
A4C9D126-4DC1-404A-8A71-694096BBF6A4.jpeg
3B12238B-4917-4659-8473-3201FDF87C29.jpeg
C134DC4F-C1FC-4D21-97BC-331493BC9371.jpeg
Front spring is too large (2 inches).
2A18C217-6A8E-4059-81AC-EFC815F26942.jpeg
43284BD2-0B2E-4F18-B8FA-0FFBF7D270F2.jpeg
This is my first T that is not 1926-27. I see that I have load to learn.

Matt

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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by TRDxB2 » Thu Dec 17, 2020 9:07 pm

Matt in California wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 5:38 pm
Well I moved forward (I hope that is actually the true direction) and purchased this:
I spent $200 on the lot. I post more details later.
.....
What "model" did you purchase and what "model" you are planning to assemble? Keeping and account of every nickle & dime is the real challenge. ;)

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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Matt in California » Fri Dec 18, 2020 2:16 am

Frank,
To answer your question: a model T of course :lol: Actually, tried to take a poll to hear what others thought I should build. I didn't get much response, so I was left to my vices! To more directly answer your question- After purchasing the Martin Parry body I had the choice of making something match the approximate year (mid 1920s) of when it came out. In this case it would be like the owner purchased a bare chassis from the dealer. Or the other option would be to assume the Martin Parry was put on a "used" car. I never owned a brass era car, so I decided I wanted to move in that direction. That said, I am having second thoughts with this purchase considering that I spent $200 of my last $300.

Here is the story. I saw these parts online. They had be listed for two years. I got ahold of the seller and went back and forth regarding setting up the time. Finally on Wednesday I got a message that I could come. After work I was able to go, arriving after 4:30 pm. Being this time of the year it was getting dark. The parts were pushed back bushes between a old car in the backyard. I pulled them out. I also found that the seller was the mom of the guy who owned the parts. Evidently her son had cancer and she was helping him out. About this time I decided that I wouldn't asked for a reduced price. It would have felt bad not leaving some money by this point.

It took me about 30 minutes to find all the parts that were listed two years prior. I couldn't see things real well. But today I found some surprises. First that every piece of sheet metal had major issues or repairs. One rear fender was actually multiple fenders of different years patched together to match the other fender of 1914 era. Another surprise is that the front fenders, running board and splash guard are 1911 era. I was thinking the parts were newer brass era. I believe the frame is the 1917-19 era. I am not exactly sure on the rear tapered springs.

After some reflection, I am considering using the the Martin Parry rear fenders along with the 1911 front fenders, running boards and splash guards.

Matt

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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by TRDxB2 » Fri Dec 18, 2020 12:01 pm

I think your journal of how you are getting parts together is something that a newbie would be lacking and find interest in. There are lots of technical How To's but next to nothing on finding and identifying parts. People who have been in the hobby for a long time take these things for granted. Chickasha, Luray, Hershey (no, not a Willy Wonka tour) - what about these places once you know where they are and what goes on - how do you go about planning the trip and a stay at these places.

People who have a "collection" say that the fun is in the hunt of finding stuff and the excitement is when they find their Holy Grail. In looking at the Classifieds Parts in the Forum its kind of obvious everyone has a parts hoard and multiples of items that they likely got a good deal on but really didn't need ;) And in the General Discussions there is exuberance in the Barn Finds, purchasing rare items and etc.. So why is it "fun" to own a Model T? Is it in driving it, memories, the build, finding parts, meeting other owners and gawkers, learning new skills, taking people for a ride, parades, car shows ---- all of that? Like any hobby, the costs related to it is spread over time and the desire to archive a certain goal (owning every brass model, just 1 National Award Winner, smiles on faces as you drive around town).

While I planned to build a Model T many years ago and had beginer build laying around, just really started to work on it a few years ago. Slow progress, lots to learn, re-doing previous fixes for the better, no time line :D

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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Matt in California » Sat Dec 19, 2020 2:21 pm

Frank,
Again you are the voice of reason! I agree that for someone starting the biggest challenge is figuring out the differences in parts from models and years. I have a copy of Macs opened to the various fenders and even with that it was a challenge to identify these. And trying to identify the frame made me wish the MTFCA encyclopedia had photos with each and every detail.

I have been playing with Ts for over a decade. I started with a 1926 chassis with engine and wheels for $600. I worked on getting the engine started. It took me some time, but got the engine running. Then I searched for a body. I then got a rusty touring body given to me. The guy also let me look through his pile of rusty fenders to figure out what matched. It was easy to spot 1926/27 fenders from the rest, but I did learn alot about identifying parts. I had to buy the headlights and windshield. At the start I didn't put much more than $1000 in the project.

Here are my thoughts on the advantage of a novice building their own T:
  • Learning how the car works. If you have a Model T you should know how to do basic mechanical work on it.
  • Easy to find parts/projects.There are lots of project cars out there that people have a difficult time selling and sell for a song. Depending on the project and the desires of the buyer these could be a great place to start!
  • You can't do it alone. This means you have to get help it might be on the forum. From someone selling parts or a trusted vendor. Hopefully a local club or mentor.
Disadvantages:
  • Things add up! Tires and wheels alone are expensive! Add upholstery/paint most any restored Model T sells for less than tires, wheels, upholstery and paint.
  • Time. It takes time to work on a project car. Projects cars are like musical instruments. They tend to sit around and never get finished.
The last point is why I posted here. I appreciate people's comments and find it sort of keeps me accountable with moving the project forward.

Matt

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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by TRDxB2 » Sat Dec 19, 2020 4:37 pm

We do have a newbie to follow - Jonah D'Avella - the questions he asks are really good ones and the type of issues a person would encounter. I really agree that a decent running T without major issues is a far better beginner's car than I bucket of parts or some abandoned project. He's 14 and here is his first posting t o the forum "I recently bought a 1926 Ford Model T Touring and I am looking for a club near me. I live in north-eastern Tennessee and am looking for a club in Kingsport, Jonesborough, Jonson city, or Bristol." Added a picture of his car - not quite complete but a good beginning since most of it is put together.
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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Matt in California » Wed Dec 23, 2020 12:25 am

I did some work on the hood former that I got from a friend.
8D827EEC-6EC8-45EA-9F76-6B10153EA450.jpeg
EC41B94F-21F4-47E5-8EC3-9FDDE5832418.jpeg
It looks much better now.
83432CD9-5B21-4683-B231-A06AFADC950A.jpeg
Anyone ever open up an rusty aluminum hood?
27EA662E-F03D-424A-95EC-62876D35223F.jpeg
The only thing that I can think of is removing the rivets.

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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by jab35 » Wed Dec 23, 2020 11:27 am

I'd try Evaporust. Make a shallow wood trough that just fits the hinge side of the hood, line with heavy plastic sheet (construction grade trash bag material) and soak the two hinges. If successful, open sides and repeat with center hinge. Others may have better ideas, jb

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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by TRDxB2 » Wed Dec 23, 2020 3:19 pm

jab35 wrote:
Wed Dec 23, 2020 11:27 am
I'd try Evaporust. Make a shallow wood trough that just fits the hinge side of the hood, line with heavy plastic sheet (construction grade trash bag material) and soak the two hinges. If successful, open sides and repeat with center hinge. Others may have better ideas, jb
I agree with trying something like Household Cleaning Vinegar first 50/50 water solution (cheaper than Evaporust). Need a mild acid to remove the oxidation . Once loose I would remove the hinge rods rather than trying to open the sides or center rod.


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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by ericmac » Thu Dec 24, 2020 12:19 am

Forgive me if I am suggesting something that others have posted and I have missed. One thought specific to your challenge is when you inadvertently buy a valuable but incorrect part (or parts) is you could resell them for a bit of a profit, then plow that profit back into the original project.

I did that with my first '15 Touring, a car absolutely loaded with speed accessories that I either did not want or did not need. By the time I brought the car back to stock I had half of my purchase price back.

Doing something like that with your project would allow you to stay closer to budget while allowing some room to profit enough to keep to your goals. Your going to have to pay for paint, tires and upholstery somehow.
1913 Touring
1926 Fordor
1937 Cadillac Series 75 Fleetwood Conv. Sedan
1927 Touring
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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by TRDxB2 » Thu Dec 24, 2020 1:59 am

ericmac wrote:
Thu Dec 24, 2020 12:19 am
Forgive me if I am suggesting something that others have posted and I have missed. One thought specific to your challenge is when you inadvertently buy a valuable but incorrect part (or parts) is you could resell them for a bit of a profit, then plow that profit back into the original project.
I did that with my first '15 Touring, -----
That has to be part of the challenge - shouldn't mater if its an original part or not that you sell or buy. I started with a bunch of mismatched "original" parts sold almost all of that. Rebuilt the front axle with "new" parts. I have purchased a bundle of parts only for a few items and then sold what I didn't need. But I am not an accountant and keeping track of dollars spent and made isn't important - major parts and repairs are easy to record - nuts & bolts, paint, cleaning solutions, grease /oil, tools, welding gas... that's another story. Thank God no one suggested we keep a record of the hours spent working on it. ;)

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Location: California
MTFCA Number: 30697

Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Matt in California » Sat Dec 26, 2020 1:12 am

Frank and Eric,
Thanks for your ideas. Any one have any experience opening aluminum hoods after being rusted?
TRDxB2 wrote:
Thu Dec 24, 2020 1:59 am
ericmac wrote:
Thu Dec 24, 2020 12:19 am
Forgive me if I am suggesting something that others have posted and I have missed. One thought specific to your challenge is when you inadvertently buy a valuable but incorrect part (or parts) is you could resell them for a bit of a profit, then plow that profit back into the original project.
I did that with my first '15 Touring, -----
That has to be part of the challenge - shouldn't mater if its an original part or not that you sell or buy. I started with a bunch of mismatched "original" parts sold almost all of that. Rebuilt the front axle with "new" parts. I have purchased a bundle of parts only for a few items and then sold what I didn't need. But I am not an accountant and keeping track of dollars spent and made isn't important - major parts and repairs are easy to record - nuts & bolts, paint, cleaning solutions, grease /oil, tools, welding gas... that's another story. Thank God no one suggested we keep a record of the hours spent working on it. ;)
I agree this would be a way to recover some expenses. Actually I see in the latest Vintage Ford a 14 year-old bought a project car with lots of extra parts. Perhaps he could recover $1000.

Matt


Jonah D'Avella
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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by Jonah D'Avella » Sat Dec 26, 2020 8:12 am

I was the one in vintage ford that got an abundance of parts with my car, and when I did a estament of what the parts were worth, I subtracted them from the whole sum and came out with the car costing about 1 grand. To get the car running, I have spent about 250.
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O: on O: oil
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TRDxB2
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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by TRDxB2 » Sat Dec 26, 2020 10:37 am

Jonah D'Avella wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 8:12 am
I was the one in vintage ford that got an abundance of parts with my car, and when I did a estament of what the parts were worth, I subtracted them from the whole sum and came out with the car costing about 1 grand. To get the car running, I have spent about 250.
The car HAS cost you what you paid for it parts and all. It WILL HAVE cost that plus whatever you spend on it now ($250) and whatever you spend on it in the future whether you use those/extra parts or not. You only get to subtract from the total cost what you sell when you sell it. True you have an estimated "value" in all that you own but like anything else its only worth what the other guy HAS PAID for it. You need to document the work done to the car as well as expenses for two major reasons. When its sold, a buyer may want to know what parts are original to the car, from another car versus a reproduction (they don't care what that cost was). Then there is the Tax issue and this is only an example and whatever laws exist now will be different later. If you make a profit on the sale of the car in the future you may have to report a Capital Gain (What you sold it for - what it cost you) so you can immediately see that you want a record (copy of a the Bill of Sale, check or what have you) showing the what you actually paid - parts and all and receipts for what parts and work that was done to it. Technically, what ever the amount of profit is must be reported (even $1) :roll:
We all know that you will not make a profit BUT the Government says "show me"! :( How will they know? Banks need to report deposits over a certain amount, when the buyer goes to re-title it (but he'd want a document with a lower value to avoid reduce licenses fees) :lol:
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ericmac
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Re: Personal Challenge (Contest): How cheap can I purchase/make a Model T for?

Post by ericmac » Mon Feb 01, 2021 8:52 pm

If you make a profit on the sale of the car in the future you may have to report a Capital Gain (What you sold it for - what it cost you) so you can immediately see that you want a record (copy of a the Bill of Sale, check or what have you) showing the what you actually paid - parts and all and receipts for what parts and work that was done to it. Technically, what ever the amount of profit is must be reported (even $1) :roll:

I actually had concerns about this when I sold a high dollar car several years ago. Fortunately I kept meticulous records of the restoration including parts, materials and labor. Believe me when I tell you that even when 100% of your own labor is free, no well restored Model T in the world will sell for more than the cost of the car, parts, materials and farmed out labor combined. Thus, no capital gains.
1913 Touring
1926 Fordor
1937 Cadillac Series 75 Fleetwood Conv. Sedan
1927 Touring
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