HomePick of the Day1920 Ford Model T Speedster

1920 Ford Model T Speedster


The Ford Model T Speedster is said to be ready to compete in historic racing events
The Ford Model T Speedster is said to be ready to compete in historic racing events

Vintage racing has been booming as old-car hobbyists, dedicated track stars and well-financed collectors discover the joys of getting a classic competition machine out for some friendly (or heated) wheel-to-wheel sport. But such fast fun can be expensive, as prices for historic race cars soar (the most expensive car ever sold at auction is a Ferrari 250 GTO racer) and the costs of competing put many racing wannabes in the stands instead of on the track.

The Pick of the Day offers something of a compromise, a 1920 Ford Model T Speedster that is an affordable piece of U.S. racing history, track ready and updated with modern safety features, with an asking price of just $25,995. This could be the hot ticket for a non-wealthy driver ready to challenge an oval or road course in vintage style.

The Ford Speedster compes with an SCCA logbook and racing history
The Ford Speedster comes with an SCCA logbook and racing history

The Lutz, Florida, classic car dealer listing the Speedster on ClassicCars.com provides a colorful description of the Model T racer that is both informative and fun to read (other sellers should take note of how it’s done).

“Take a moment to imagine you’re coming off the final hairpin at your favorite track,” the seller wrote. “You wearing leather racing goggles, the wind whips through your helmet, and everyone in the pits and the grandstand can see the 10,000-watt smile on your face.

“That’s because this is racing in its purest form. It’s a Model T stripped down to its bare essentials, and then given a super-slick torpedo-style body. So while this one is built purely for function, there is still beauty in the classic lines.”

This car has racing history going back to its heyday, the seller notes.

“ In fact, this Model T Speedster earned a fierce reputation racing in the 1920s around the state-fair tracks in the Deerfield, Massachusetts, area,” according to the seller. “Today, it even still carries the stickers from vintage SCCA events for both the dirt and tarmac races.”

A full safety cage protects the Ford Speedster's driver and fuel tank.
A full safety cage protects the Ford Speedster’s driver and fuel tank.

Powered by its flathead Model T engine, the Speedster retains most of its original running gear, including its antiquated faith-based braking system, as shown in the photo gallery. The body apparently is the real deal as well, to which has been added an assortment of safety upgrades.

“ We’ve come a long way in the last century, and so this one has been updated with a steel exoskeleton safety cage that now reinforces the side passenger compartment, adds a roll hoop, and protects the battery and fuel-cell rear compartment,” The seller wrote. “You also get a Formula race seat with RaceQuip four-point harness.”

Performance and reliability have been enhanced for the professionally rebuilt engine, the seller says, with the addition of an “electric fuel pump, electric fan, aluminum zinc head with high compression, Texas T distributor, large single-barrel carburetor with velocity stack, and ceramic-coated Indy headers.”

“But don’t be fooled into thinking this is anything but a vintage racer,” the seller adds. “One push of the start button, and you’ll hear that single exhaust boom out a classic tone that sounds like old-time jazz to the old-timer racers.”

The Speedster comes with a complete SCCA logbook of past racing exploits, the seller says, to which the new owner can add his or her own track experiences.

“This Ford Speedster is ready to connect you with a bygone era the moment you hit the racetrack,” the seller concludes. “This is truly what vintage racing is all about.”

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

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