1924 Ford Model T Truck
This 1924 Ford Model TT is sponsored by
This vehicle is the heavy duty truck version of the Model T called the Model TT. Introduced in 1917, the Model TT was the only major variant of the Model T. TT’s have a longer and stronger chassis and lower gear ratios to enable the standard Model T 20 HP engine to move one ton of freight. This vehicle also has a factory made cab. Prior to 1924, Ford only sold a rolling chassis. It was left to local manufacturers to build the cabs and beds, which is why there is such a variety of different styles to be seen on remaining examples. This vehicle also features one of the very few Ford approved aftermarket adaptations, a Ruckstell “underdrive” which made it easier for the vehicle to haul heavy loads over very poor roads and up hills. It allowed a top speed of 22 MPH. A regular TT only made 17 MPH while standard cars and runabouts, the light duty truck we now know as pick-ups, could zoom along at 35 MPH.
1924 Ford Model TT Cab Truck with Christmas presents in the back.
1924 Ford Model TT Cab Interior.
Model T’s were not small.
1924 Ford Model T Truck front view
1924 Ford Model TT.
1924 Ford Model TT Truck with a really old farm wagon bed on the back.
As mentioned, the TT has a longer wheelbase than the regular T, 125 inches compared with 100. When introduced in 1917 as a rolling chassis only, with neither cab nor bed, the TT cost around $600.00 with another $100 or so for a custom made body by a local builder. ($100 in 1917 is the equivalent of $1, 620 today.) By 1924, the cost of a new TT had fallen to around $400. To stimulate sales Ford introduced its first factory made cab. Known as the C cab, it was only made for two years. Ford also introduced its first factory built bed for the rear of the truck. This was quite small and many people, including the folks who owned this vehicle, declined to buy them or removed them immediately for something bigger. The bed on this truck looks as if it could have come straight off an old horse drawn wagon, which was quite common. Today, what ever else you can say about it, it certainly has the patina of age.
The wheel base of the TT truck is longer than a regular T.
Heavy duty Ruckstell rear end on 1924 Ford Model TT truck.
1924 Ford Model TT heavy duty one ton truck.
Front & rear Model TT wheels.
The TT was introduced in 1917. 39, 000 Ford Model TT trucks were used by Allied forces during World War One, many as ambulances. The TT was Ford’s acknowledgment of the long standing use of Model T’s for commercial uses. Indeed the company continued to sell regular vehicle as a rolling chassis as well.
Another distinguishing feature of the TT are its wheels. Its wheels have shorter, stouter, spokes and a wider rim to accommodate stronger tires than the high narrow wheels on regular Model T’s. The spokes on the front wheels are slightly longer and thinner than those on the rear which has a different, stronger inflatable tire to handle most of the weight. This was step up from the old days when most trucks had solid rubber at the back.
1924 Ford Model TT – heavy duty truck.
Other than that, this old truck is almost as stripped as the day it left the factory. It’s only gauge is a voltmeter. There is no speedometer or fuel gauge. You check fuel by dipping a measuring stick into the tank located under the seats. It does not even have a dip stick. You check the oil by opening to valves under the cab. It does have factory installed electric lights, horn and starter. We have added a “motometer” or radiator cap mounted engine temperature gauge plus a period correct rear view mirror and brake lights for safety. When it was new it would have been possible to acquire an after market set of side curtains to protect the occupants from the worst of the weather through the nonexistent side windows.
Restoration to working condition
On September 22, 2007 work began to return this long stationary Ford Model T truck to active duty. Daniel Bratcher and Mike Mackechney of the local San Antonio Model T club, the “T Fords of Texas, ” began what would be a year long process to get it running again. With the application of time, money and effort the truck was ready for prime time by June of 2008. It was driven to and from the Folklife Festival at the Institute of Texan Culture on Durango without incident. It has since become one of the most frequently driven museum vehicles, as the following pictures demonstrate.
1924 Ford Model TT – heavy duty truck. Vice-Chairman Mike Hitzfelder checks it out.
1924 Ford Model TT – heavy duty truck. TTM Chairman Pat Halpin.
1924 Ford Model TT – heavy duty truck. Museum manager Hugh Hemphill.
1924 Ford Model TT – heavy duty truck and 1926 Ford Model T enclosed sedan with Leo, Dave, John, Mingo, John and Jarret.
1924 Ford Model TT – heavy duty truck and 1926 Ford Model T enclosed sedan.
Out and About Under its Own Power
On September 22, 2007 Daniel and Mike of the “Ford T’s. of Texas” swung by in a 1926 Ford Model T light pick-up and a 1926 Ford Model T open sedan with the intent of getting the museum’s 1924 Ford Model TT truck running again. They removed the incorrect Ford Model A carburetor and modified inlet manifold and replaced them with proper Model T parts. They replaced the spark plugs and wires. They cleaned some light corrosion of some electrical parts, drained the oil and performed some other light but important tasks. They drained out the old oil, put water in the radiator, some gas in the tank, installed a battery and lo and behold the old truck fired on the first stomp of the starter button and started on the second attempt. After tinkering some more, it was decided to see if the truck’s transmission was capable of moving the truck. One thing led to another and, even though the carburetor was not properly hooked up and the brakes were questionable at best, before you knew it the truck was out on the museum’s grounds, moving under its own power. Though much more work needed to be done, everyone involved was pretty elated at the level of success on the first day.
Daniel and Mike of “T Fords of Texas” working on TTM’s 1924 Ford Model TT truck on September 22, 2007.