1916 Ford Model T Raceabout Speedster
Engine no. 1436302
Before '32 Coupes and Dry Lake Hot Rods, it was the Model T Speedster that was considered to be the original fast Ford. Having become a truly ubiquitous car not long into its production, a market quickly sprang up for parts that would make the Ford perform better. The robust and simple nature of these cars allowed for all sorts of modifications. High compression and over-head valve cylinder heads began to be offered as well as sleek body kits. As most car enthusiasts could only dream of owning a Stutz Bearcat or Mercer Raceabout, the resourceful Ford owner could actually craft his car into something similar. Depending on how deep his pockets were, he could even make it go as fast.
It should come as no surprise, then, that due to Ford's cost effective nature and competitive attitude, the company soon became the dominant platform for the construction of racing cars in the teens. A Ford T based car even finished 8th at the Indianapolis 500.
This car is an example of an early style Ford Speedster. Its look is as close to a Mercer or Stutz as a Ford will ever look; nothing about the car has much in common with what initially rolled off Henry Ford's assembly line. The driving position is also low and racy; the driver sits nearly where the back seat would lie on a standard Ford. The cowl and seat platform are all custom fabricated, and a Torpedo-type tank rests at the back, just ahead of a small trunk. A rear mounted spare finishes off the back end.
Sporty and low slung, the body sits low on the frame. Combined with the larger wire wheels, it's an aggressive little raceabout! A bracket mounted generator under the hood and external water pump will undoubtedly improve the experience as well. Weather protection is limited to a small monocle mounted on the steering column, promising a truly open air motoring event.
It is reported that the car is currently in good running ordered and moves along with surprising pep. A huge amount of bang for the buck, and certainly more sporting than anything Ford offered, this is a rare opportunity to get all the raceabout excitement of a Mercer for the price of a Model T!