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Clayton Paddison’s Model “T” “Gow Job” on Jay Leno’s Garage

Reader and contributor Clayton Paddison of Vancouver, Washington has possibly been one of the best ambassadors of the Model “T” Ford and the speed equipment built for it in the past. He accomplished this feat a few weeks ago by getting himself and the car he put together filmed for a feature video on “Jay Leno’s Garage”.

Clayton built this car from the remains of a rough and incomplete 1927 roadster that probably never would have been restored because of all the work and money needed to do so. He bought it from a friend for only eight-hundred dollars when he was twenty-one years old.

His inspiration for the car was the Roy “Multi” Aldrich Model “T” Ford “Gow Job” that Aldrich built in the late twenties or early thirties and later ran at Bonneville, Utah on the Salt Flats. Clayton’s grandfather, who belonged to the “Pacers” car club in Portland, Oregon during the late forties also spurred his interest.

Roy “Multi” Aldrich’s Model %22T%22 Ford

  • Roy “Multi” Aldrich’s Model “T” Ford “Gow Job” on the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1952. This car has survived and you can learn more about it at the link in the text.

1927 Model %22T%22 Ford on the Bonnieville Salt Flats

  • Clayton Paddison’s 1927 Model “T” on the Bonneville Salt Flats after he and a friend drove it round trip from Washington State to Utah to attend Speed Week on the salt several years ago.

For the complete story of this Ford, and all work Clayton put into it, spend the time to watch Jay Leno’s video. In it, Jay will also talk about two Model ‘T” Ford’s he owns and his experiences with them. To learn more about some of the period speed and racing equipment built for these cars, view a four-part Model T Ford Speed and Racing Equipment series posted here earlier along with other features about the subject.

If you enjoyed this feature and the previous posts on the “T” racing cars and parts, please comment, if there is enough interest in the series, it will be continued when time permits.


28 responses to “Clayton Paddison’s Model “T” “Gow Job” on Jay Leno’s Garage

  1. While I don’t have much to say about Model T’s, way before my time, any time Jay Leno is mentioned, I just want to say, what a cool guy he really is. A couple years ago, there was suspect to believe Jay Leno was visiting the Hemmings blog under an alias name. I decided to find out 1st hand, and wrote Jay at NBC ( you couldn’t email him directly) Took a while, but his publicist got back to me, got my phone number, and sure as heck, Jay Leno calls me! Me, a dirt eatin’ hick from Wis. He said he had heard of the Hemmings blog, and assured me he would use his real name, but never commented on it. We talked about cars for about 15 minutes. ( sadly, he didn’t need any help at his garage at the time, I asked) I told him, on a recent visit to L.A., while in Burbank, I saw him driving some big headlight brass era car, but he was going the other way ( and traffic is nuts in L.A. Can’t believe he was driving that car in such busy traffic) He said, if I ever see him again, to flag him down, and he’ll give me a ride. Great guy, and I’m still waiting for that call. Heck, I’d sweep the floors at his garage.

  2. I enjoy these articles. I’m interested in the versatility of the Model T as well, like farm use and snow adaptation.

  3. Very cool! A good friend of mine, who passed away a few years ago, would have loved this, even though he kept his Model T & Model A strictly stock.

  4. Thank you! Bonneville is a special place with wonderful histories of man and machine. Please keep them coming!

  5. Yes, keep them coming. This era of Gow was the beginning of the hot rod and Clayton is the new Standard Bearer. There’s more out there to cover.

      • David G, Very interesting. I have heard the word used for many years, but usually in reference to these early pre-hotrods. I was not aware it was used as early as 1910. While “speedster” is the common accepted term today for cars that have been cut down and made to look like the racing cars of their day, it was one of many words used in those days. I always find it interesting that several manufacturers actually used the word speedster for factory offered cars. In 1912 or ’13, Paige offered a model that their literature called a speedster and looked similar to the Stutz or Mercer of the day. Even Metz had a factory offering in 1914 they called the Speedster. It had a minimal body and wire wheels as standard equipment.
        Terminology and language being what it is, a few years later, around 1919 to 1924, several marques (including Hudson and Marmon) offered low sided (maybe two inches lower than the standard touring car?) four passenger touring cars that were called Speedster by their marketing and factories.

        Clayton P is a true antique automobile person, with a passion for enjoying and preserving history, as is Jay Leno. I happened to meet Jay about 25 years ago. He and a friend were out driving his 1931 (I think it was) Bentley when we bumped into him on our way to attend a Model T Ford Club national tour. The funny thing was, we got to talking about antique cars in general and Bentleys and the MTFCA in particular for about five to ten minutes before I even realized who he was! A real down-to-Earth antique car guy.
        I am so Pleased that Clayton got this opportunity for some time in the spotlight!

        Thank you again David G for covering things like this in the world of historic automobiles!

  6. Hi Clayton!

    You mentioned using 6 quarts of oil. Did you expand the capacity or do you overfill it?

    I just put a Z head on my 1924.

    • Chris,

      I tend to run a bit higher oil level then usual in mine…actually around 5 to perhaps 5.5 quarts to be more correct for some extra lubrication (and as us T guys know, it tends to “disappear”).

      I usually run mine a bit above the upper oil petcock in the oil pan. On a stock T however, this may cause smoking issues or fouled plug problems. I would highly recommend running the Ford recommended levels (slightly below the upper petcock) as shown in the Ford Service Manual “T-1”.

      The reason I can, is because I have modern rings that seal better then Ford rings.

  7. Please continue publishing stories and info about these early performance upgrades which are certainly instructive and inspirational.

    • Double Yikes – I have been at as fast as 125 mph with one a prewar racing car and over 100 with w/a Mercer Raceabout w/high speed gears.

      The only time it’s ever a problem is when you have to stop………

  8. Clayton,

    Thanks for creating such an amazing car. I have been in love with it the moment I first saw a picture of it, and I agree with the commenter above that you created the new standard.

  9. Keep up the good work, by all means. It is in the nature of a human to adapt his environment to his needs rather than to be content with the sticks and leaves surrounding him. “20 hp flat-head, updraft carb, 2-wheel mechanical brakes? 30 mph? Really?” Let’s see what an ohv, dual downdraft, fatter tires, and less mass will do to the 30 mph number, shall we? Ahhh man, listen to her purr!
    Improve THAT car to increase it’s performance over similar ones. Using whatever means and invention are at hand. An excellent series and thank you.

      • Yes I read that. My 30 mph comment was meant as an indicator of where a hot-rodder would start (…”updraft carb…” for example). And Clayton created a very good example of the hot-rodder craft with his twin Stromberg 81s and California three-speed 60 mph treasure.
        Great post.

    • Clayton is first class, met him at Bonneville in 2012. More early articles would be welcomed, David. Speedster was used as well as Bug for a cut down hotrod.

  10. I shared this and love this with all my heart. I am restoring a Model A now. It will never be totally original because of what has been done to it before over the years. It is not work but shear love and joy to make this car go. You can get hooked on this stuff. I have a car with no computers, no electronics of any kind, no fuel pump, no oil filter, no seat belts, floorboards that are made of wood, a trunk that is a trunk. There are no parts on it made in China. Nothing. Nada. Only goes 45 but then the roads don’t let you go much faster anyway.

  11. What a thrill seeing this car in operation with Jay. I’ve know Clayton for a number of years now and he shows his car at the Forest Grove Concours d’Elegance frequently, where he is also a judge. It’s been interesting to see the development of this car for several years. What an inspiration to those who want to utilize their interest in the car hobby to know that you don’t have to have a great deal of money to get started, just an interest and the knowledge that there are lots of people out there whose knowledge you can share. Thanks so much for a real treat to both Jay and Clayton!

  12. David,

    This is such a nice write up and I am honored to be featured here. Making this trip and visiting Jay Leno’s was an absolute dream of mine and getting to shoot this video is icing on the cake.

    As a few others commented about me being the “new Standard Bearer”…..I hope I can be for the next generation. The early Gow Job era has always been a favorite era of mine and one that has really slipped into obscurity. If I can help bring back the style or that era, I would be honored.

  13. Clayton /Jay

    I have always loved watching Jays show. His humer and love for automotive history and one off builds are fun to watch. Clatons Model T build I feel rivals any build that Jay has in his garage when it comes to imagination and creativity. It’s sure is nice to see a young person playing with old cars instead of there iPhones

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