Tag Archives: Model T Ford Speedster
Frank Danforth’s Garage and International Order of Odd Fellows Lodge in downtown Granger, Texas. L to R : Frank Martinets, baby Dan Martinets, E. Blaylock, Frank Danforth, and three unnamed others.
Frank Danforth certainly chose an odd way to promote his primary product, Goodrich Tires, but surely went to great lengths to do so. Apparently not content to equip a Model “T” Ford Speedster with just a pair of wings, he added such details as the attendant struts, wires and a propeller, too. (Left thumbnail, below)
Such creativity makes us wonder if he was also responsible for the large sign overhead that lists the products and services he provided to the motoring public.Whether or not he did, we found this photo quite entertaining and, judging by the bemused expressions on the faces of some of the participants, they were having some fun, too. You can find more Texas related photos on The Old Motor. Photo courtesy of The University of North Texas Libraries.
This represents only one of the thousands of Model “T” Ford Speedsters built across the land by young men and women back in the 1910′s and 1920′s when they were quite popular. A used Model ‘T” chassis could be purchased quite cheaply at the time and rebuilt quickly into a special as we see here. This Ford, in addition to having what appears to be an aftermarket factory built body, is also lowered with underslinging brackets.
The (top) photo is courtesy of John Hart and his explanation of it follows: “This is a photo of my grandfather taken in 1923. He is sitting in his “hot rod”, a 1914 Ford with a special body. My father recalled riding in the car in 1930 as a child. He once told me that my grandfather wouldn’t drive the car in the winter. He would take the engine apart every autumn and store the parts, soaking them in oil. He would then reassemble it in the spring!”
L to R (above); Haywood underslinging brackets that lowered a Ford using the same principles as used on the car in the feature photo, a Roof (also called Laurel) advertisement from one of the larger and earliest companies to get into this line of equipment, and an early article by Ford writer Murray Fahnestock dating from 1917.
This is the third in a continuing series here on The Old Motor covering Model “T” Ford racing and accessory parts (scroll down).
The Model “T” Ford chassis was a very popular platform upon which to build a speedster back in the period. At the time this photo was taken, what would go on to become a very large aftermarket that supplied accessories, bodies, radiators, wire wheels and racing parts for the Ford was just beginning to be formed.
W. G. Kelly and a friend seen here in this photo dated December 23, 1915, were out in this mud – covered Ford special, on the roads in the Charlottesville, Virginia area. The early speedster they are posing in appears to have been built on a standard chassis with a v-shaped radiator, body, lamps and wire wheels, which were purchased from suppliers at the time.
Detail photos of the speedster, along with a similar accessory radiator
In the advertisements that follow we have tried to include a variety of offerings from other aftermarket firms at the time. By the late teens high compression and overhead valve cylinder heads were developed and offered along with some of the first in a long line of other performance and racing orientated parts. An amazing variety of speed and racing equipment was produced on up through the late 1920s, such as the Frontenac Speed Equipment line as can be seen here offered by the Arthur Chevrolet. Photo at the top by photographer Rufus W. Holsinger, courtesy of the University of Virginia.
You can also take a look back on an earlier post here on The Old Motor, showing some of the wide variety of Model T Ford accessories that were available later on the mid-1920s.
L to R (above); the Universal Speedster Body as offered in the Motor, April 1915, the Auto Parts Co. body offered in the Auto Trade Journal, December 1914 and the Ames and Fasco bodies shown in the Horseless Age, August, 1916
A variety of special gear ratios along with wire wheels and a four speed transmission in the November 1917, Automotive Trade Journal- Ford Accessory Section