Anthony's Model Cars
1927 Ford Model T Frontenac Speedster
|Years ago, when I bought my
first ’27 Model T Touring, I noticed the extra parts for a Frontenac
engine. I had some plans to use them, but wasn’t sure exactly what I
was going to build. |
After I finished the ’25 Ford Model T Hotel Taxi (my version of the Tijuana Taxi) I was browsing through my T parts, found the Frontenac parts and decided finally to do something with them.
After some research I had it: build a ’27 Frontenac Speedster!
First of all was the body. I had a spare ’27 Touring body and after some fiddling aroung with it I had an idea. I simply cut off the straight rear section, leaving only the side panels with the cowl. The rear part of the side panels were both carefully curved towards each other by hand until the sides had the right shape and glued together. And the top of the side panels received a light slope to rear to get that boattail look.
Next part was the engine. The ’27 T Frontenac parts were not 100% correct, so I had to modify them slightly. And as the Frontenac had a large water pump with pipes and a magneto on the right side, I had to scratch build that whole part. And I added the correct water pipes, both at the right side of the engine and at the front of the engine cover. And ofcourse a set of spark plug wires.
The exhaust was made from Evergreen tube and spare exhaust parts from another kit.
The car had to sit a bit lower than the original T so I used the method commonly used in those days by placing the front leaf spring in front of the chassis instead of mounting it under the chassis. It is mounted on the front bracket and is about 8mm higher. For the rear I used the method by mounting the rear springs under the rear axle instead of mounting them on the axle.
From a successful experiment with another model (the 1924 Ford Model T Speedster with a Mercury Body) I learned how to maken the front wheels steerable, so this speedster also got steerable wheels. They don’t turn, although it is possible to make them turn, but that’s not something I’m really worried about. At least it’ll keep it from rolling from the shelf!
And the radiator received a highly aerodynamic (yeah…) nose part.
One of the things I always do with the wire wheels is ‘shaving’ the spokes with a very sharp knife untill they are thin enough to look a bit more like the real thing. But I never liked the result that much. They did look better, but they were never round, more kinda rectangular shaped. And besides that, it is a terrible and time consuming job and the spokes are really, really fragile.
I was thinking about a way to get the spokes more realistic. And I found a solution when I stumbled upon some thin 0.3mm brass wire.
First I drilled 0.4mm holes in the outer rim on the place were the plastic spokes were located. Then I removed 1 plastic spoke, drilled a 0.4mm whole in the center of the wheel and glued a wire in place. The the next plastic spoke was removed, a hole in the center was drilled, a wire was glued in place and so on and so on…. For all four front and four rear wheels halves.
I agree, it’s also a time consuming job, I had to drill a total of 240 holes free handed, but believe it or not, it did cost me only half the time I otherwise had to spend on ‘shaving’ the wheels with a knife. Not the mention the time I spend repairing the plastic spokes which were cut in half by that sharp knife!
And the result looks perfect. Genuine round spokes which look much more realistic than those ‘shaved’ plastic ones.
All in all a very satisfying build. A lot of work, but I think it shows in the result.