Nicely Restored 1926 Ford Model TT Pickup / Photos, Model History

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.

1926 ford model tt pickup

1926 Ford Model TT Pickup

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.

ford 20 hp engine

Standard Ford 20 HP engine

Chassis Only

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.

ford model tt cab

Cab of 1926 Ford Model TT

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.

See the Auto Museum Online articles on the links below...

Restored 1914 Model T Depot Hack

The Taxi Cab / Early Taxi Manufacturers

Model T Serial Numbers and Registering Antique Vehicles

 1922 Buick Five Passenger Sedan

ford model tt one ton pickupFord Model TT Collector Vehicles

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)

 

Model TT

Here was the first truck model produced by Henry Ford. The Ford Model TT was just it's name implied. It was the truck version of Henry Ford's popular and wide selling Model T automobile. The Model TT at first was a one ton truck chassis with a heavier rear axle and frame than the car version. One thing the Model TT was noted for was it's durability. The same type of durability that the car model was also known for. The Model TT truck chassis, was built 24 inches longer than the car chassis at 124 inches.

ford model tt

1924 Ford Model TT

The Model T

The Ford Model T came on the market in 1908 at a price of about $850. It had a 20 HP four cylinder engine and reportedly could reach speeds of 45 MPH. That's a fast speed for the year 1908. The Model T's were in production for nineteen years. Interestingly enough, Ford's production line methods which came into full fruition in 1913 cut production costs dramatically. As an example, the 1926 the Model T car sold for about $300. As you can see the price dropped substantially compared to the 1908 model year autos. Ford's efficient production line methods truly placed the Model T in reach of the average American. Looking back, the Model T or "Tin Lizzie" as it was often called, was not in itself such a revolutionary change in auto design and mechanics. What was revolutionary was the efficient assembly line with interchangeable parts introduced by Ford. It wouldn't take too long for others such as GM to adopt this same production method. Ford's competitors really had no choice if they wanted to stay competitive.

model tt truck

Ford Model TT front end

To keep prices as low as possible, Ford made all assembly line cars in the color black. Colors in addition to black were not offered until 1926, just one year before the Model T ceased production. An interesting side note to demonstrate the popularity of the Model T car was that when the model ceased production, some 15 million of the cars had been produced. The Ford Model T has often been called the "most influential car in America".

In 1928 the new Ford Model A was introduced. This was a truly new Ford product in many ways. See our photo article on the Ford Model AA Truck. This was the Model A Open Cab Pickup and AA Chassis.

1924 model tt

1924 Model TT cargo bed

Model TT Chassis

The Model TT truck chassis came on the market in 1917. Production records show that three one ton chassis were built that first year at a price of $380 with 41,000 chassis units built in 1918 and 70,000 units in 1919. Up until 1925, Ford Model TT chassis buyers would make arrangements to install their own truck bed for whatever specific purpose they required. Ford Model TT full trucks came on the market in 1925. The 1925 trucks were the Ford Runabout models which represented the first time Ford came out with a factory built and installed truck bed. In 1925, the Model TT Runabout sold for just under $300. Again, Ford Motor kept the price of their first full built factory truck at a price affordable to many.

ford model tt truck

Ford Model TT dash

The new Ford  truck was built with a cargo box, an adjustable tailgate, four stake pockets and heavy duty rear springs.

Peak production numbers were in 1926 with 228,000 units built. Ford's building of a full truck with factory installed bed came at an opportune time during the 1920's Prohibition era for those in the beer hauling business. Not sure if the production of these had anything to do with that demand but the truck was sure popular. Could this have had any influence on the resounding sales figures for the Model TT during the 1926 model year?

The Ford Model TT featured in this article is on display at the Texas Transportation Museum located at 11731 Wetmore Road in San Antonio. If you're traveling to the San Antonio area I would highly recommend a stop there. Plenty of interesting exhibits including locomotives, vintage cars and trucks, carriages and model trains.

(Photos from author's collection)