A friend for George

Edwin as we first saw him. August 20, 2016.

While this winter has not been horrible (yet) the cold and wind have definitely put a damper on the joys of working on a Model T in an unheated and quite drafty shed. Work on George’s engine has slowed, though not stopped entirely. As of early January, all of the old valves have been removed from the engine and all but two of the lifters have been freed, so the camshaft almost goes roundy-round freely.

With not much to report on the George front, I thought I would share the tangent that the Model T project took starting last August……

A farm auction near Auburn, Nebraska (about 80 miles northwest of us) was advertised as having some Model T parts, so on August 20, 2016 my daughters and I headed that way to see what there was to see. No complete Model T’s were advertised, and I really was not in the market for one anyway, so I did not bring the trailer.

Shortly after arriving, we wandered around for a bit and found the Model T parts, which included the remains of two TT trucks and a couple of 1926 or 1927 touring cars. Much to my surprise, there was a complete Model T included in the auction: a well-worn and quite decrepit 1927 roadster/pickup. A closer look revealed that the cars was fairly complete and appeared quite original. As an added bonus, the frame and engine numbers even matched.

The auction actually moved pretty quickly (at least in auction time terms) towards the cars and there was a Model T frame made into a farm trailer that I was interested in, so, much to the girls’ chagrin, we stayed to see what the Model T stuff would bring. While waiting, my oldest daughter decided that the roadster/pickup looked like an “Edwin” and thus the car was christened such.

Edwin was quite popular with the auction attendees and always seemed to have several people looking him over. As far as bidding, the only real interest came from a group of guys wearing t-shirts from a hot rod shop somewhere in Missouri. Based upon information derived from their “smart” phones, they determined that Edwin was a 1913 or 1914 Model T, would make a “bitchin” rat rod, and so it was coming home with them.

Being chopped to pieces and reborn as some stupid V-8 powered monstrosity seemed to me to be an unacceptable end for such a complete old car (even if it was completely worn out and rusted through), so I let my emotions get the better of me. After a fierce bidding war with the rat rod crowd, I found myself the proud owner of Edwin the Decrepit. Of course that meant we had to go home and get the damn trailer. A couple of hours later we returned with the trailer and brought Edwin home.

Six hours and $1,400 later, Edwin was on the trailer for the trip home.

Work on Edwin so far has been limited to getting all of his tires to hold air using some of George’s old tires and inner tubes, and replacing the rotten wood in the pickup bed. The new bed floor was made out of oak siding salvaged from a collapsed barn. After a few months sitting under tarps, an addition to George’s house was completed in November, so Edwin finally has a home. For the immediate future, Edwin will just be stored in his new home, at least until George is up and running.

Edwin served as a Halloween decoration for most of October 2016.
Edwin’s “new” bed floor, made from oak boards slaved from a barn. October 28, 2016.


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