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Back to Inventory The Scottsdale Auction | January 26 Register to Bid

Selling on Friday

1920 Ford Model T Speedster Special

  • American engineering with distinct European flair
  • Joe Gemsa overhead valve cylinder head and twin Weber 40 DCOE carburetors
  • Ready for vintage race events and shows

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When it debuted in October 1908, Henry Ford's Model T represented an uncanny combination of durability, reliability, and affordability. Remaining in production for almost 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 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 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. The Model T's popularity and the never-ending quest for speed also spurred the 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 Main Street speed contests.

Based on the historic Ford Model T, this wonderful Speedster Special is a race bred machine. Riding on a 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 full tonneau cover protects the cockpit when the Speedster is not in motion.

This well-built Model T Speedster benefits from minimal 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 an impressive exhaust note from the bold side-mounted competition exhaust pipe, this captivating Model T Speedster Special is suitable for a wide range of exciting vintage driving events, where it will surely attract admirers wherever it appears.

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