1926 FORD MODEL T TOURER
Registration No. Not UK Registered
Chassis No. 526 955
Green with black upholstery and black vinyl hood
Engine: four cylinder in-line, side valves, 2.9 liters, 22bhp; Gearbox; two-speed epicyclic; Suspension: front and rear by transverse semi-elliptic leaf spring; Brakes: mechanical drum to rear. Right hand drive.
The world's first true mass-production car, Henry Ford's Model T, revolutionised the world on wheels. It first appeared in 1908, and was consistently the lowest prices genuine automobile of its time. Ford's objective was to bring together lightness, strength, endurance and economy. From the beginning, the company's statements always emphasized the Model T, although basic and rugged, was built of the very best materials and as Henry Ford himself often declared, contained features that could not be bettered by any other car at any other price. Using a logical and well-planned mass-production system, it was possible to cut cost to the bone while maintaining quality. The Model T was to remain in production for nearly two decades, selling an unprecedented 15 million units.
It was neither the largest nor the most powerful mass-production car of its time, but it was light and easy to handle, With its forgiving two-speed planetary transmission, it possessed outstanding hill-climbing qualities. The Model T was not very fast in standard trim, but on its 3.64:1 rear axle ratio, could lope along at 40-45mph for hour after hour on paved highways. If its mechanism changed little over the years, the bodies were gently updated as times passed, with a great variety of new types introduced to widen the Model T's appeal. There were Roadsters, Tudor and Fordor sedans, phaetons, trucks and even buses. Its unchanging nature encouraged accessory makers, who promoted everything from luxury car style radiator shells to auxiliary transmissions. It is probable without it there would have been no 'Hot Rod' industry.
Christie's understand that this Canadian-built car spent many years in New Zealand, as it still wears registration plates from that country as well as a sticker from the Vintage Car Club of New Zealand (Canterbury Branch). The early history of the car is not known, but owing to its right hand driving configuration it may have been originally supplied there. A standard four seater tourer, it is fitted with artillery style wooden detachable rim wheels with rear mounted spare, and equipment is limited to a running board mounted tyre pump.
The Ford has clearly benefited from a basic restoration at some stage, as its paintwork, interior and hood have been renewed. But, today the paint has aged a little and there are tiny scratches/marks associated with use, as well as areas of microblistering to the wings and bodywork, there are also a couple of repairs and one tear to the rear seat. There is provision for sidescreens, but these are no longer present, and the sole accessory is a jack.
Christie's has not tried to start or run the vehicle and would therefore recommend a full mechanical re-commissioning prior to use.