Despite hailing from an entirely different millennium, the Ford Model T still has pull with the millennials. For proof, allow us to introduce you to Brandon Fay. The enthusiastic 24-year-old recently treated a 1927 Model T to a painstaking restoration that would make ol’ Henry proud.
Fay and his prized four-wheeler were featured in the latest installation of CNBC’s Jay Leno’s Garage. Throughout the 30-minute episode, the former Tonight Show host and the industrious young gent unpack the car’s incredible provenance and discuss the detailed work that was carried out. Naturally, Leno also takes it for a spin.
The first production Model T was introduced to the world in 1908 as an affordable, simple and durable ride. By 1913, Crazy Henry had introduced his now-famous assembly line and subsequently churned out more than 15 million models that revolutionized the auto industry.
Production stopped in May of 1927 and Fay’s particular model was one of the last to exit the factory. As such, the car, which was rescued from a farm in Wisconsin after 30 years of neglect, is incredibly special. In fact, it features components from the Model T’s successor, the Model A, along with a spate of modern upgrades, including a water pump, an electric fan and ignition system. Fay also incorporated various hot-rod touches which he considers to be period correct.
During the episode, the duo also explain why the Model T makes an excellent restoration project for millennials. Since there are roughly a million of them still on the road, they are relatively inexpensive to buy. (Expect to pay in the ballpark of $20,000.) What’s more, the mass-produced car comes with standard, interchangeable parts that can be easily sourced on the good old internet.
So, how did Fay’s Model T run? It’s not exactly fast. Indeed, even on a good day, the car’s 20 hp engine would only get you to 44 mph. Still, the fact that the century-old beast is still running is a testament to the quality of the engineering.
“People aren’t amazed at how fast you go, they’re amazed that you got there at all,” Leno yells over the car’s rattle. “I mean if you took any car from the ‘90s and left it in a field for 30 years, I don’t think it would start as quickly as this one did.”
We couldn’t have said it better.