A Finely Restored 1917 Ford Model T Touring Car

Featured in this article is the 1917 Ford Model T Touring car. This original and finely restored Model T Sedan is in pristine condition. This is exactly the type of vintage automobile that people are instantly attracted to.

Anyone who owns one of these vintage Fords have been asked questions such as…How long have you owned it?…Is that the original engine under the hood?…Where did you find such an old automobile? The Ford Model T Touring car is one of the finest exhibits of American craftsmanship.

1917 Ford Model T
1917 Ford Model T Touring Car

Ford’s Rugged and Low Cost Model T

The Ford Model T design was born in the northeast corner of Detroit’s Piquette Ave. Ford plant’s third floor. This was the car that would help usher out the age of horse drawn carriages.

The Ford Model T was the car for the masses. The Universal Car as Ford once put it. The Ford Model T is referred to as the first affordable automobile, the car which initially helped the car market become what it is today.Henry Ford created the famous “$5 a day rate” for assembly line workers which was designed to be earnings enough to allow them to buy a brand new Model T.

There were many things that were important to the success of Henry Ford’s Model T but one major attribute was the ruggedness and reliability which adapted it to any number of uses. Specialty suppliers soon flocked to the Model T’s platform. The Model T  coachwork was seen in a large variety. This was everything from runabout speedsters to rugged commercial bodies that pushed even the Model T to the limits of its endurance.

model t touring
1917 Model T Touring

Add to that the low price of Model T’s, heading even lower with Ford’s mass production, and the car had quite a lot to offer.The Model T came in five body styles for private passenger vehicles. These were the five-passenger Touring, two-passenger Runabout, seven-passenger Town Car, seven-passenger Landaulet and two-passenger Coupe.

The Model T’s relatively light weight of about 1200-1400  pounds made it well suited for use on the muddy and rough roads during the first part of the 1900’s. If you happened to get your Model T stuck in a hole or mud, a few mules could pull it out without much difficulty.

Ford Motor Touts Their Model T

Ford Motor was quite proud of their product which debuted in the toward the end of 1908 as the following sales literature from 1909 points out…..

The Model T is built entirely of the best materials obtainable. No car at $5000 has higher grade, for none better can be bought. Heat treated Ford Vanadium steel throughout; in axles, shafts, springs, gears-in fact a vanadium steel car-is one evidence of superiority.

model t tourer
1917 Ford Tourer

Nobody disputes that Vanadium steel is the finest automobile steel obtainable…We defy any man to break a Ford Vanadium steel shaft or spring or axle with any test less than 50% more rigid than would be required to put any other steel in the junk pile…

As a side note, , the Model T was selling so well, Ford saw little reason to spend much on advertising. Ford Motor dropped most of its ads in national magazines that year, and in 1917, stopped doing paid advertising altogether. Ford did not buy anymore ad space for the Model T until 1923. Four years later the Ford Model A came out.

See the AutoMuseumOnline articles on the links below…

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Several good books have been published regarding the Ford Model T. A few that you may find interesting include The Model T: A Centennial History by author Robert H. Casey. Also Model T Ford: The Car That Changed the World by Bruce McCalley.

ford model t engine photo
The Ford Model T four cylinder engine

1917 Ford Model T Touring Car Specifications

The 1917 Ford Model T was equipped with a 177 cubic inch four cylinder side valve engine delivering from 20-22 horsepower. The car could travel between 35 to 40 MPH with a top speed usually recognized as 45 MPH at about 1,800 RPM’s.

The Model T was said to have attained 25 MPG.

It had a two-speed forward and reverse planetary transmission operated with pedal actuated bands rather than a clutch and sliding gear transmission.

The car had a hand crank for an engine starter. Brakes were not what we now consider to be brakes. Braking the car was performed by a contracting band on a drum in the transmission. There were hand-lever operated emergency mechanical brakes on the rear wheels, which were really only effective for parking the car.

The 1917 Ford Model T had a 100.0 inch wheelbase and an overall length of 134.00 inches. The car’s width was 66.0 inches.

It’s been said that approximately two-thirds of all Ford Model T production occurred from 1917 to 1925. The years 1917 through 1920 is considered the years that the Model T saw more changes.

1917 model t horns
The 1917 Model T horn

Collecting Ford Model T’s

Ford Model T’s can be seen in museums as well as in many auto shows around the country. Totally restored Model T’s make fine exhibits. Their simplicity for one is very unique. The controls, the engine compartment and the undercarriage speak of just the necessities in an automobile. It seems like the automobile industry took their cue from the Ford Model T and expanded, improvised and experimented going forward with more complex and higher performing cars and trucks.

Prices for finely restored Model T’s will vary by year and model and but most of the asking prices for those on sale appear as of this writing to be in the mid teens into the high $20,000 plus range. You may find a finely restored Model T Depot Hack at the higher end of this range.

(Article and photos copyright 2014 AutoMuseumOnline)