The vehicle featured in this article is a 1926 Ford Model TT Pickup Truck. Ford sold the Model TT truck for the last ten years of Model T production. Interestingly enough, Ford tried to get a truck version sold twice prior to 1917. Both times the concept failed to catch on. Finally, the aftermarket builders led the way to make these vehicles popular with farmers and haulers.
The Ford Model TT essentially replaced the horse and wagon. In fact, the period of the teens were very interesting culture wise. Many people found themselves having to choose between the automobile and the horse. You may think that this would be an easy decision to make, and for some it probably was, but this era ushered in the most radical change in transportation for millions of people. Some automobile promoters tried to show that the upkeep of an automobile was less than a stable of horses.
It's been said many times that Henry Ford was reluctant to make changes to his automobiles. This was the fact even when Ford's competitors such as GM would make what they believed were positive changes to their line. In this regard, 1926 was a pivotal model year.
Changes During the 1920's
Ford Model T sales were losing steam during the middle of the 1920's. Because of this they announced that their would be an "improved Ford" for the 1926 model year.
Some of the new changes Ford made were a new nickel plated radiator shell, wire wheels, wire wheels and a vacuum operated windshield wiper. Probably the biggest change Ford made in 1926 was the availability of several colors to choose from. For the past twelve years all Ford Model T's were painted black. This was the first major change Ford made since 1917.
The 1917 Model TT chassis was 25 inches longer than the standard Model T.
Just the same as the Ford Model T, the Model TT Truck was originally sold as a chassis and engine only. The chassis was built heavy duty compared to the regular Model T.
In 1917 this cost the buyer about $600. The buyer would take the chassis and engine to a body builder who would construct the cab and bed. Each one of these trucks were essentially a unique piece of work. There were a variety of standard plans but the fact was that a buyer could have a truck body built to personal specifications. Where the owner resided and for what exact purpose the Model TT was needed might dictate wood body plans.
Many Ford Model T's had bodies built to serve as depot hacks. These were the first taxi cabs and during the 1920's the depot hacks would typically transport people between hotels and train stations, luggage and all.
It would not be until 1924 that Ford would sell the Model TT with a factory manufactured body. They named this model "Express" and it became a popular seller. It's interesting to note that by 1924 the price of the Model TT dropped to about $325.
Modifications were many, some were the result of here you happened to live. In the north some of these were built with skis on the front end. Wreckers were built as well as Model TT's with tandem axles and dual rear wheels.
The Ford Motor Company sold about 13 million Model TT's from 1917 to 1927.
1926 Ford Model TT Specifications
The particular specifications for our featured restored1926 Ford Model TT Pickup is as follows. This truck has a standard Model T 20 HP engine.
The Model TT weighed several hundred pounds more than the regular Model T automobile. The Model TT's were built to haul freight of various weights and had heavy duty chassis'. The Model TT's were rated at one ton. This made the Model TT a slower vehicle with a typical speed of 20 to perhaps 24 MPH.
The gearbox offers high and low drive with no clutch.
The rear axle of Ford's Model TT had a worm drive. This is a screw like gear arrangement that meshed with a worm wheel. The axes are 90 degrees to each other.
This 1926 Model TT has a wood body.
Brakes are rear only cable operated. No front brakes.
Suspension for the Model TT differed from that of the Model T. The Model TT truck was built with twin rear leaf springs. The Model T automobile was typically built with only one set of cross beam leaf springs at both ends of the automobile.
This 1926 Model TT has a wood body and original mechanics.
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Original restored Ford Model TT's are popular with car collectors. There may not be any other vehicle that came in so many different styles, everything from depot hacks to pickups to flat bed haulers.
Because of the different styles and degree of restoration and general condition, asking prices for a Ford Model TT are all over the place. Most antique car and truck price guides give a range of $3,000 to $27,000. The top prices are for fully restored original show quality models.
(Article and photos copyright 2015 Auto Museum Online)