Pick of the Day: 1922 Ford Model T speedster built for driving fun

The sporty roadster was created authentically by an owner inspired by the originals

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model T
The Model T has been transformed into a sharp-looking speedster

If you were a regular non-wealthy driver yearning for a sports car in the 1910s and ’20s, you pretty much had to build it yourself, and most often, you started out with a Ford Model T. 

You’d take a stock Model T and remove its body, and then fit it with a pair of bucket seats bolted to the frame, an oval or circular fuel tank behind the seats, a wooden dashboard and, if you had the extra cash, a totally cool monocle windshield mounted on the steering column.

You’d turn your factory Model T into a racy “speedster,” stripped down and lightened for performance and eye-catching style.

model t

The Pick of the Day is a 1922 Ford Model T speedster that was built by its handy owner, only he did the work in the 1980s to transform it into a Brass Era beauty that can be driven and enjoyed today. Though a 1922 Ford would be dated after the time of brass-trimmed automobiles, this one was treated with the details of a 1913 model.

“This pretty old speedster was set up as a ‘brassie’ though it is built 1922 frame with the early cross-members so it could be set up as a 1913,” according to the Sonoma, California, dealer advertising the Model T on ClasssicCars.com. “Everything was rebuilt at that time, and it has been loved and cared for regularly since.

The speedster was kept in the family for 35 years, the dealer says, and now has come up for sale.  The Model T was “thoughtfully built,” the seller adds, with enhancements that make it easier to enjoy without detracting from its authenticity.

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“The engine runs strong and set up nicely with aluminum dome pistons and dippers on the rods to keep the engine well-lubricated,” the ad says. “It comes equipped with a Tillerson carburetor, Model B manifold, and a 12-volt distributor, carbine generator, and electric starter.

“Gearing is improved with its Ruckstell rear end and solid-brass Ruckstell shifter, and braking dramatically better with Rocky Mountain brakes with new linings. It rides smoothly on 30-inch painted wood spokes with steel rims with hand-painted pinstriping.  

“This special T is very comfortable with its classic diamond-patterned seats and well-accessorized including a very rare, early monocle with Ford logo, locking steering wheel, Ford John Mansville speedometer, brass floorboard trim and a nifty solar light conversion to the spotlight.

“It has a nice set of brass cowl lamps, brass Boyce Motometer winged radiator cap with temperature gauge, brass step plates, a nice and loud triple-twist horn, gasoline pressurizer (not needed, for looks only), and spare water and fuel tanks on the passenger-side running-board. You’ll find plenty of room for picnics and parade supplies in the handmade wooden trunk.”

model t

The Model T looks quite elegant in the photos with the ad, painted white with attractive brass and wood details.  The asking price is $24,000.

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

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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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