20 hp, 176 cu. in. four-cylinder side-valve engine, single up-draught carburetor, two-speed planetary transmission, front and rear transverse leaf springs on solid axles, foot brake operates contracting band on transmission, handbrake operates mechanical brakes on rear wheels. Wheelbase: 100"
- Fully restored example
- Optional electric starter and demountable rims
By the time this Model T Runabout was built, Ford had sold six million Model Ts worldwide since the model’s introduction in October 1908. 1922 was the second year sales topped one million, and though the little workhorse had gained electric starting and demountable rims, the basic car had changed little.
The engine remained the 20-hp, 2.9-liter, four-cylinder side-valve unit, cast en bloc, with a detachable cylinder head, which was quite novel at its introduction. The engine pan remained a one-piece steel stamping. The axles featured transverse springs front and rear, which gave remarkable articulation, so that one wheel could be up in the air and the other in a hole.
The transmission is of a planetary type with a multiple disc clutch. There are three pedals: the left for high-low forward gears, middle for reverse and the right pedal for the brake. To drive a Model T, simply start the engine, release the handbrake on the left to the straight-up position, then push in the left pedal, which engages low gear. Once you get rolling, release the handbrake all the way forward, and the left pedal will pop out to engage high gear. You can now proceed from about 5 to 45 mph, and the whole arrangement is practically indestructible.
Model T Fords remain the ideal way to get into veteran cars. They are simple and there were 15 million built over 20 years, so parts can be found everywhere. By the 1920s they could be bought in tourer, runabout, coupe and sedan versions, plus a myriad of commercial variations. The charming two-seat roadster on offer today represents a great deal of fun for the money. It is a fresh restoration, described as very straight, and an excellent runner. Eighty-nine years later, it’s still a lot of bang for the buck.