In 1911, if you were driving a motorcar, it would likely be a Model T that was sitting on wooden wheels. They were probably between 21 and 24 inches tall, and had a speedometer gear on the back side. Inflatable tires were still very new to the automotive world, but added huge comfort to the vehicle because of the rough, turn of the century roads. Wooden wheels like these were the norm up into the late 1920’s when steel took over. 100 years later, this 1911 Model T is running like a top, still rockin’ the wooden dubs, and still wrapped in black paint, like when Henry’s workers originally made it.
When you go to a car show or cruise night, there is never a shortage of hotrodded Model T’s. This is totally understandable considering that Henry produced 15 million of them by 1927. That’s a heaping amount of rolling stock for us to still be playing with. What really impresses me though, is when I get to see an “original” one. I’m not talking about a restored Model T in original form, as those are somewhat plentiful as well. I am talking about one that has never been sliced up, or taken apart. One that you know has all of the original bolts that an assembly line worker installed nearly 90 years ago. That is a special car, a real survivor. You know that the car was delicately cared for by multiple generations so that a piece of American history could be passed on to the next. Cars like that have character that restored cars can’t compete with, and can’t be reproduced. They have bumps and bruises with stories to match. (more…)