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My story of a Model T speedster

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by zach, May 17, 2013.

  1. zach
    Joined: Dec 2, 2004
    Posts: 166

    zach
    Member
    from NE KS

    Forbes Field, Topeka KS 1953

    [​IMG]


    "T bug" was built around 1952 by Claude "Doc" Stafford, a mechanic, in Topeka KS. Doc was what appeared to be a colorful fella, a WWII aviator and eventual owner of a motorcycle repair shop. The little speedster was one of many of his projects, a sympathy we all share. He also was still heavy into aviation and helped found the Combat Air Museum in Topeka. Claude had since passed and his son had inherited the car, and ultimately made the tough decision to sell it to me. This will be my story of the car and its future endeavors. At some point I will sit with Claude’s son to further document its history.

    I had known of the car from hearing about it from Luke, Nate’s late brother. He had described the car as a really cool speedster with big disc wheels. He was right. What can only be described as luck put the car in my reach; A coworker discussing my new position at work with me, the small talk about where we were both from, she mentioning her mom preparing to sell her old place out in country in the area, me inquiring about the property, the location of that farm. Wait - I knew exactly the unique spot where the house was at. Immediately I thought of the car. Could this be place where it was located? It could have been one of a few possible locations. She went on to describe the house in detail. "You would love it; there is an old machine shop where my dad and his buddies would build cars and motorcycles. There is a horse barn too if your into that. The old garden shed where mom stores some junk is rough, there is some old car in it….” Yes! I steered the conversation to the car. What kind of old car? “Its junk, some sort of kit car.” How old is it? “I have no idea, you wouldn’t want it.” Does it look like a Model T? I got a blank stare… Well does it have tall skinny wheels with no fenders? “Yeah that sounds like it. Do you know about it?” Do I ever! It turns out that the car was just being stored at her mother’s place. Claude was a friend of her late fathers. When Claude passed, his son needed a place to store it and another mutual (and since passed) friend to both Claude and my coworkers late father suggested to store there. I am standing dumbfounded. She gave me her mother’s number. What are the chances of getting this car? I was selling my long stalled out and unfinished Model A coupe project that very night. If this ain’t fate! The deal for the coupe was done, and I had never laid eyes on the speedster. It was late but not too late. I called the owner of the car (I had gotten the number from my coworker’s mother earlier) and he answered. He confirmed it was the car and I told him the story of how I had known about the car and gotten his number. I popped the question; he replied. “Yes, I have been thinking about selling it. Call me in a month.” I could have never waited that long and knew it. I setup a time to look at the house that weekend but was engrossed with looking at the speedster. It had a tarp on it in the little garage and was pretty much covered in junk. Shit. I took a few quick glances under the tarp and snuck a quick teaser pick of one of the Disteel wheels sticking out of it. I was in love with what I had seen. This was the car. I called the owner again - only four or five days had passed. I pleaded my case with him; I had available cash and a family – money doesn’t last long in that situation.

    [​IMG]

    More to come...
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2013
  2. NoSurf
    Joined: Jul 26, 2002
    Posts: 4,352

    NoSurf
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Glad it found it's way to an appreciative new owner!
     
  3. I love that picture.. and that color. #3
     
  4. chopper daddy
    Joined: Oct 12, 2004
    Posts: 371

    chopper daddy
    Member

    So cool to know the history on it!
     

  5. 2muchstuff
    Joined: Mar 17, 2004
    Posts: 303

    2muchstuff
    Member
    from Eastern KS

    Zach - very cool car and photo. Doc Stafford is a well known name among the "more advanced" car guys around Topeka. I may be able give you some contacts to help dredge up more info on the car and Doc. There was another of his T's, a late teens center door coupe, that sold at an auction on the west side of Topeka a couple years ago.
     
  6. the suspense is killing me!
     
  7. zach
    Joined: Dec 2, 2004
    Posts: 166

    zach
    Member
    from NE KS

    You will have to wait. Is the book better than the movie?
     
  8. Pretty epic! I'm so ready to drive this thing.
     
  9. Arghhhh, you're going to leave us hangin' ?
    Love it so far!
     
  10. Alright damn it, I'm inviting myself over.
     
  11. I'm coming over tomorrow!
     
  12. I think about 6am would work. Zach will have white coveralls for everyone.
     
  13. hiboy32
    Joined: Nov 7, 2001
    Posts: 2,791

    hiboy32
    Member
    from Omaha, NE

    now is a good time to continue your story... do you think we have all day??

    Jeff
     
  14. NoSurf
    Joined: Jul 26, 2002
    Posts: 4,352

    NoSurf
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    And a Gatsby hat?
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2013
  15. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 29,471

    The37Kid
    Member

    Great find! Disteel Wheels sponsored a car in the 1922 INDY 500. What does the engine have in the way of speed equipment? Bob
     
  16. SUNROOFCORD
    Joined: Oct 22, 2005
    Posts: 2,144

    SUNROOFCORD
    Member

  17. Yeah!!!! We're tired of waiting.... or did I just read that?
     
  18. NoSurf
    Joined: Jul 26, 2002
    Posts: 4,352

    NoSurf
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  19. gas4blood
    Joined: Nov 19, 2005
    Posts: 787

    gas4blood
    Member
    from Kansas

    Nice find, Zach! I have a '26 T speedster, old build but I don't know who did it. If it has old speed parts, I'm sure it does, I know a little about that stuff. That is a nice looking exhaust that I can see a bit of in the picture. OHV?
    BobW
     
  20. general gow
    Joined: Feb 5, 2003
    Posts: 6,353

    general gow
    MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    argh! still no update? yer killin' me, Smalls!
     
  21. mashed
    Joined: Oct 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,474

    mashed
    Member
    from 4077th

    Reminds me of that joke "How do you keep a turkey in suspense?"

    "I'll tell you tommorrow."
     
  22. mashed
    Joined: Oct 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,474

    mashed
    Member
    from 4077th

    Aww, c'mon! Gobble, gobble..
     
  23. general gow
    Joined: Feb 5, 2003
    Posts: 6,353

    general gow
    MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    this bookmark is too thick.
     
  24. NoSurf
    Joined: Jul 26, 2002
    Posts: 4,352

    NoSurf
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  25. hiboy32
    Joined: Nov 7, 2001
    Posts: 2,791

    hiboy32
    Member
    from Omaha, NE

    Now that is an update
     
  26. yes! good on you indeed!
     
  27. mashed
    Joined: Oct 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,474

    mashed
    Member
    from 4077th

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