For Sale: 1920 Ford Model T in Saint Louis, Missouri

Vehicle Description

When it debuted in October 1908, Henry Ford's Model T represented an uncanny combination of durability, reliability, and affordability. Remaining in production for nearly 19 full years with nearly countless updates, some 15 million examples of the beloved "Tin Lizzie" were built in all. In addition to making Henry Ford a household name, the little car put the world on wheels and proved the economy and efficiency of the assembly line. The Model T remains an enduring cultural phenomenon today and rightly, it was recognized in 1999 as the "Car of the Century" by noted automotive journalists, above 700 other worthy candidates for the prestigious award. Along with its adaptability and affordability, the Model T was a product of uncompromising quality that ushered in the latest materials and metallurgical advancements. Among them was the use of chrome-vanadium steel for the Model T's chassis frame, yielding extraordinary strength and durability, ideal characteristics for racers and pioneering hot-rodders alike. While a Stutz Bearcat or other fast cars of the era were often priced well beyond the reach of most motorists during the 1910s and 1920s, enterprising owners and backyard mechanics made good use of plentiful and inexpensive supplies of the Model T in the used-car market or from wrecking yards. The Model T's popularity and the never-ending quest for speed also spurred the nascent aftermarket industry, which began turning out upgraded engine and drivetrain parts, along with lightweight speedster bodies. Lightened and upgraded, legions of modified Model Ts soon ruled fairground dirt tracks, set new speed records on California's dry lakes, and humbled more expensive and powerful opponents on clandestine Main Street speed contests. Among those enthusiastic and enterprising racers and early hot-rodders was the colorful Joe Gemsa, well-known to the California racing fraternity as "Jiggler Joe." A sprint-car driver during the 1940s and 1950s and a NASCAR builder and driver, Gemsa continues to be renowned as a master machinist who specialized in modifying four-cylinder Ford Model T and A-B engines to virtual perfection from his tiny El Monte, California workshop. Seeking race-winning performance, Gemsa designed and built overhead-valve and overhead-cam cylinder heads for the sturdy Ford "4-banger." He also designed and built many other supporting components including magneto, distributor, and oil-pump drives, and oil sumps for racers and rodders. Mr. Gemsa was also well-known for cruising a beautifully engineered and detailed bucket-style Model T roadster in the 1950s-1960s and for his expert work and dedication to keeping the hopped-up Model T flame alive for new generations of fans to enjoy until his eventual passing in 1995. Based on the ubiquitous Ford Model T, this wonderfully evocative special exemplifies the breed. Riding on an aggressively lowered chassis and dressed in a marvelous Bugatti Type 35-inspired body, this Model T special perfectly captures the essence of a 1920s dirt-track racer with a distinct European flair. Power to match the Model T's racy looks is delivered by a four-cylinder Model T cylinder block topped with a Joe Gemsa overhead-valve cylinder head and fed by twin Weber 40 DCOE carburetors. Finished in Light Yellow and riding on red Buffalo wire-spoke wheels with a matching frame and suspension, this Model T special is highly engaging throughout, featuring low-placed headlamps, a side-mounted spare to the driver's side, leather hood-retaining straps, an engine-turned dash panel, and handsomely button-tufted Red upholstery. An alternator-type charging setup provides heightened reliability, an external shifter handles gearchanges, two-wheel brakes provide stopping power, and the modern, period-style Classic Instruments gauge cluster includes a tachometer. A racy full tonneau cover protects the cockpit when the Speedster is at rest. As offered, this well-built Model T special benefits from sparing use in recent years and is presented in very good condition with good-quality paintwork displaying a light but consistent patina, and nice leather upholstery. Thrilling to drive with a fabulous exhaust note from the bold side-mounted competition exhaust pipe, this captivating Model T special is suitable for a wide range of exciting vintage driving events, where it will surely attract admirers wherever it appears. Offers welcome and trades considered For additional details please view this listing directly on our website

Vehicle Details

  • 1920 Ford Model T
  • Listing ID: CC-1581825
  • Price: $54,500
  • Location:Saint Louis, Missouri
  • Year:1920
  • Make:Ford
  • Model:Model T
  • Odometer:0
  • Stock Number:7215
Listed By:
Hyman Ltd. Classic Cars
2310 Chaffee Drive
Saint Louis, MO 63146

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