Would you drive a 109-year-old car? Now’s your chance ...

The semi-converted 1910 Model T Ford has recently been listed on Gumtree

15 October 2019 - 12:39
Two men in a Ford Model T 'Runabout', near Washington, DC.
Two men in a Ford Model T 'Runabout', near Washington, DC.
Image: Supplied/Gumtree

If ever there was a car that changed the course of history, it’s the Model T Ford.

As the first mass-produced (and affordable) motor vehicle, it made the automobile accessible for the average consumer. A whopping 16.5-million units were sold, putting the humble Model T eighth on the top 10 list of most sold cars of all time.

Only about a 100,000 still exist in the world today.

A semi-converted 1910 Model T has recently been listed on Gumtree for R199,995, providing a rare opportunity to take one of the earliest petrol-based cars for a spin -although it’s not as easy to keep on the road as you might think - hence the few modifications mentioned in the advert.

“While the mechanics of the Model T looks similar to modern cars, it is very different," said Jeff Osborne of Gumtree Auto, a keen classic car collector.

"The pedals are not placed in the same position as you might be used to. The brake pedal is located on the far right, while there is also a gear selector pedal that provides first-gear, neutral and second-gear, and a reverse-gear pedal.”

If that’s not enough to keep on top of, drivers will also need to adjust the firing of the spark plug manually. “Several enthusiasts have broken their arms trying to start the Model T when the engine backfired. It takes real skill!” said Osborne.

Still, to own one is a real feather in the cap for classic car enthusiasts.

“Interestingly, in the 1900s, 38% of automobiles on the road were powered by electricity, while 40% were powered by steam. Petrol-based cars made up the remaining 22%. If Henry Ford did not execute his vision, we might all be filling up with steam!” added Osborne.

Interest in mastering the art of the Model T has led the Gilmore Motoring Museum in the US to offer driving lessons. While there aren’t similar classes in SA, there are plenty of tutorials online.

The Model T is currently listed for sale by a dealership in Mossel Bay.

This article was paid for by Gumtree.