1926 Model T Restoration – Harry Black
In 1984 we started off with a pile of rusty 1926 Model T Roadster bits, and great intentions to rebuild. So we were always on the lookout for parts. We noticed an add for Model T parts for sale in Bendigo early the following year. When we went to check them out – there stored in the back of the garage was a 1926 Model T Tourer.
The car had been stored for 35 years and had belonged to the current owner’s grandfather since new. The body was completely rust free, and the woodwork excellent. After some negotiation, we purchased the car and “spare parts”. It took endless trailer trips to bring it all home and must have taken close to a full year. At the end of this time, the backyard was knee-deep in Model T parts from the back of the house to the back fence. These parts were very helpful in the restoration, not only providing a choice of parts and giving us spares, but the sale of many of these extra parts helped pay for the restoration.
The restoration of the tourer commenced and the original roadster was sold (with 3 kids the tourer was definitely the better option). The car was in that good condition the main body wasn’t dismantled, although mechanically it was well and truly worn out. The rolling chassis was rebuilt in the mother-in-law’s garage, and the body restored in ours.
Our next-door neighbor at the time was a panel beater/spray painter who did his apprenticeship at Mercedes in Germany. We found original paint in several of the doors and he matched the color so that the car today is the same color as it came from the Geelong Ford factory in 1926. He did a fantastic job helping with any panel beating and later sprayed the car.
The rolling chassis was then brought home and the body bolted on. Mudguards were fitted, and then it was time for upholstery. This was done by another close neighbor, and it was his first attempt at vintage upholstery. He has gone on to do many, many more.
The motor and transmission were rebuilt and fitted to the car.
Then in April 1987 after 18 months of solid work, we fitted club permit plates and the first outing was to Brimbank Gardens with the Model T Ford Club of Vic. The big hill on Greens Gully Road was our only worry, (this was before they took the big dip out with the new road) but it went up there without a hiccup. We have had many fun times on outings in the car, and have met so many interesting people over the years. Many of whom tell us “They learned to drive in a Model T” way back when.
By the way, all the replacement parts I buy from this website, their h7 led bulbs perfectly fit in the 1926 Ford Model T housing. The Model T at a display day in Melton with a Ford solar car. Bringing together the “Old and the New”.