Tips For Driving Your Model T Ford

Driving Back In Time

Going through some boxes of old family photos and papers, I discovered an email written by my step-dad about his memories of the Model T Ford. He described what it was like to drive it and recalled how it was put together.

For any gear-heads out there, and for those who enjoy a jaunt back in time, I offer his own words. And here, a photo of a 1927 Model T Ford Roadster with a Pickup Body.

Hit The Road In Your Model T Ford


His words: The Model T Ford had three pedals that connected to bands in the transmission. One pedal was for the brake band within the transmission. There were no brakes at any of the wheels.

The emergency brake was hand operated and on the earlier models it was on the left side of the driver. When you pulled on it, it provided braking and the drive band was put in neutral, which put the drive pedal in the middle of its range.

The drive pedal was depressed down for low gear and let all the way up for drive. This caused a problem for some people that were learning to drive or were inebriated from drink – for example, when they pulled into the garage they could push the pedal down half-way and it would be in neutral, but if they happened to push it too far, it was in low gear, and could push out the back wall of their garage.

The third pedal was for the reverse band and could also be used for a brake if the brake band was worn thin and didn't function well.


His words continued: The throttle and spark advance levers were both hand-operated and located just up under the steering wheel. To start it, you first retarded the spark and advanced the throttle lever slightly, then hand cranked the engine to start. 

As soon as it started, the spark was advanced to the running position. If it were left retarded, the engine would get extremely hot. If you happened to forget to retard it to start, the crank would kick back from the pre-ignition and could even break your arm.

Once you were on the road, it was only a steering job. The hand throttle stayed where you set it and the drive pedal was up. That's about all you need to know to drive a Model T Ford. 


Photo courtesy of The Murphy Auto Museum.

Ford Trucks And Their History

Segment One: the Model T Years 1925-1927:

When ordered from the Ford factories the Model T Runabouts with Pickup Body were usually painted black or green.

For 1927, the last year Ford would produce the Model T, additional colors were made available for the Runabouts. Blue and Brown were the colors added and, if you wanted one of these colors, your Model T Runabout with Pickup Body came with black painted fenders, running board and a radiator shell.

Some owners dressed up their pickups with the Model T Ford’s nickel plated radiator shell and wire type wheels to give their trucks a more modern look.

At the end of the model year, Ford had produced some 18,142 Model T Runabouts with Pickup Body trucks which was a pretty good number of units for those times.
— Ford Trucks, Paul McLaughlin

The cost of a 1927 Model T Ford Runabout with Pickup Body was $366.

We Drive Computers Today, Not Cars

I remember my dad lamenting the changes to cars even by the 1980s, how they were becoming so computerized, that he couldn't work on them anymore. Instead of car parts, there were computers and you needed specialized computer equipment to make repairs.

The Details Of History

If you have a love of history, it's interesting to picture the details of a life gone-by. With The Radiance Technique® (TRT®), you can direct energy to another time and space with techniques you are taught in The Second Degree of TRT®

At The First Degree of TRT®, applying TRT® hands-on allows you to get in touch with your own awareness and expand your imagination with events and times in the past. 

It was a treat to "hear" my dad's voice describing his memories of the Model T Ford. I'm grateful to have found his email printed out.

Perhaps, the next time you hop in your car you'll think back to the Model T Ford.

Our cars are still only four wheels running down the road, and yet, how different today!