HOT HOT HOT

   This year, during summer, I had the opportunity to cross off something from my bucket list that I didn't even know it was there. Driving a Ford Model A. Even better, a speedster. Let me back it up though and start from the beginning...


   For quite some time I wanted to do something special for one of my closest friends; one who's been more like a father to me. As a thank you for all his support, advice and pretty much everything else, I wanted to help crossing-off from his bucket list driving a Ford Model A. 
A stock one. 

   Now, I've been posting quite a few Ford hot rods over the years on dWrenched and I guess we all petrolheads know how important Model T is for the automotive history. No...?

 Without even trying to be a scollar about it I'll just mention that Model T ''started it all''. The launch of the Model T led to an industrial and social revolution in the USA and it introduced mass production techniques to the manufacturing process of cars. 
Thanks to Henry Ford's genious of implementing the moving assembly line in car manufacturing (most than probably copied from the butchers industry) more than 14 million Model T's were fabricated, between 1908 and 1927. Model T was called ''Tin Lizzie'' because what you'd get was pretty much the bare minimum of a car, cheap, but very robust. And no, not all Model Ts were painted black. Unlike the legend, all those built between 1914 and 1926 were black. Another fun factor is that by 1918, half of all cars in the USA were Model Ts. Some of the innovations introduced were the monobloc 2.9L straight-four engine, the two-speed transmission attached directly to the power unit and the epicyclic (planetary- mhmmm) gearbox. The power output of the Model T was 20-22 hp at 1800 rpm. It ''could'' go up to 45 mph. More interesting facts in the video below. 



   Coming back to my story, seeing Model T's in museums is one thing, finding an owner actually letting you drive his is another thing. So over the course of a few months I did some digging. Thanks to Instagram, I managed to contact an online friend who is passionate about Morgans (just like I am) and Ford Model Ts. Once explained my plan to Jason (hey Jason!), he was on board. Location? Autralia! A bit too far from Uk to share the experience. After a while I had a lightbulb episode and decided to ask Neil from the Vintage Hot Rod Association for some pointers. Before turning them into hot rods, all Model Ts were stock, right? So that was my best bet. And Neil was the perfect person to direct me in the right way. Thank you very much for that by the way. 

   Neil Tuckett of Tuckett Brothers is simply put a walking Model T encyclopedia. He is a great source of advice, car parts, actual Model T cars and everything in between when it comes to these machines. And a very friendly chap too. In fact, one of his operations; besides trading, fixing, racing and modifing Model Ts is organising Ford Model Ts driving courses. For future owners or enthusiasts. Phone call made, date set, perfection! 







   Beautiful April day with sun up smiling upon us and the Marstonfields all green and vibrating.  
Once arrived, Mr Neil welcomed us is his authentic oily and greasy mechanics uniform, just as every respectful petrolhead should present himself. Afer a cup of tea and some friendly conversations we started getting under and over a Model T. To better understand how, why and where. Grease on our hands, dust on our knees, beautiful. I won't spoil much of the experience because it's something you actually have to be a part of, to understand and to fully immerse yourself in. One fun fact, always make sure you have enough water in your Model T radiator. And check your petrol level, even with a high end tool in form of a stick.

   Learning how to actual drive a Model T looks a bit tricky at first glance but once you understand what does what, it're pretty straight forward. You have three pedals; the right one is your brake, the middle one is reverse the left pedal is the (not your modern day) clutch pedal. There is no gas pedal. Model T has a hand throttle, in the form of a lever on the steering wheel. The second lever on the steering wheel is the advance/retard. You also have a hand brake, operating the clutch and the brake.

   Everything on the Model T feels exacly as intended; robust. Built tuff, built to last. It has that agricultural feeling to it, but in a good way. 
After roaming wild and free like animals in the prairie and having the opportunity to drive two Ford Model Ts, a yellow 1924 and a dark blue 1911, a lovely lunch followed. After a big chunk of quality chit-chat, I bit the bullet and asked if I could drive the Speedster I found with the corner of my eye almost hidden under a dust cover in a shed a few minutes earlier. You see, while doing my research, I managed to spot the Speedster in the ''cars for sale'' ads on Mr Neil's website. Instantly, the desire of driving that specific car sparked inside my soul. And while I was doing all of this for my friend so he could drive a stock Model T, imidiately driving this Speedster ranked way up in my bucket list. Oh how much I tried to keep my cool when Mr Neil's replied ''yes, of course, just let me put some fresh petrol in it''.

   If driving a fully bodied Model T Tourer with its bells and whistles was a real treat; driving an engine-wheels-and-frame-only Model T was an even more visceral experience. For a minute, I went back into my childhood when I used to ride along in farmer's tractors during summer's field works. In a good way I mean. Everything is exposed, you are up in the wind and all the smells and colors of the fields are not filtered by anything. Actually seeing the front tires dancing and the axles sqeeqing and moving closely (so close) under my feet made me feel as I was a part of the machine itself. The sound of the straight-four engine coming out from the straight no-muffler pipe only emphasised that ''tractor'' character. Difference being, I would've gladly driven this Speedster all day long.







   Built by Tuckett Brothers, the 1920 Speedster was now for sale as owner was reducing their collection. Everything done, rebuilt engine, transmission. Rocky Mountain brakes. It had a new alternator, starter motor and distributor. New aluminium fuel tank and seats. Must say, those bomber seats and that fuel tank made me fall in love with this machine in the first place. 

   Since my summer experince, the Speedster is long gone-sold. Hope I will meet you again Mr Speedster. If by any chance, the new owner reads this, I hope you will enjoy it to the fullest. And maybe contact me for another go hahaha

   As far as Mr Neil goes, I'm more than sure that we will meet again sir. At your location or at hot rod-automotive related events. Thank you for keeping automotive history alive!

   And as for yourself, dear reader, if you can, you definately should take the course and experience driving a Model T at least once in your life. It might be something you always wanted but never knew. Pssst, the driving course comes with a Model T handbook/manual put together by the master himself; a marvellous token of the whole experience. 

You can find Tuckett Brothers on their website or on Facebook. Enjoy the extra photos. 













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