Tag: Clayton Paddison

How I’m weighing period perfection against period plausibility in the fuel system of my 1921 Ford Model T – David Conwill @Hemmings

How I’m weighing period perfection against period plausibility in the fuel system of my 1921 Ford Model T – David Conwill @Hemmings

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If this is the first time you’re hearing about my 1921 Ford Model T gow-job project (“gow job” being 1930s slang for what we’d now call a hot rod), I encourage you to go back and read the first and second installments for the background, where I’ve explained my motivation to update my century-old touring car to circa 1934 technology.

Me in a T, back in 2012. The seating position in my car is going to be the same as this 1915 in the Piquette museum. You don’t really sit in a T—more like on it. Photo by Tony Jesuale.

The short explanation being: I’ve always wanted to own a ’30s-style hot rod, I’ve always wanted to own a Model T touring car, and I feel like this will make my T and a lot of others like it more likely to see the road than collect dust in a garage

.This month, I wanted to cover the last of the major chassis modifications—that is, things that make the car drive differently rather than things that make it look different. The remaining topics are the fuel system and the electrical system.

However, I found myself going a bit long attempting to address both systems in one entry. I’ll therefore be saving my electrical plans for next month.

The fuel system consists of everything from the fuel tank to the carburetors, including the tank itself, the sediment bulb and fuel filter, the fuel pump, the carburetors, and the intake manifold. Each area presents its own challenges in hewing as close as possible to my 1934ish time frame without compromising function

From 1909 to 1925, Ford put the fuel tank of a Model T under the front seat. E.B. White quipped that refueling was “a social function,” because everyone was required to get out so the cushion could be removed for access.

Most gow jobbers of the early 1930s would have relocated the fuel tank out back and chopped the seat riser, so as to sit down more inside the body.

If I were a shorter fellow, that might tempt me, but I’ll at least be starting out with the stock tank in the stock location.

One problem I do share with many of those early speed demons is that of a fuel pump. Ford didn’t incorporate a mechanical fuel pump in its cars until 1932. A Model T or A in stock configuration feeds via gravity, but if you move the tank out back (as Ford did in 1932 and many gow jobbers around the same time) or, as I plan to, switch to downdraft carburetion, you have to provide a means of moving the fuel.

Read on

How I plan to upgrade the engine, transmission, rear axle, and driveline on my 1921 Ford Model T – David Conwill @Hemmings

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I’ve been nattering about this project for a few years now, as the plans have morphed based on my resources. Last month, I unveiled the first installment in a series of articles discussing, in depth, the recipe I’ve worked out with my friend Clayton Paddison to turn a well-preserved 1921 Ford Model T touring car into something capable of running on modern roads without hanging an orange triangle on the back

The blueprint we’ve laid out uses 1920s and ’30s technology to expand the capabilities of the Model T’s 1900s design in much the same way a driver in that era might have done so. The previous installment dealt with the chassis and brakes. This month, I want to explain our plans for the powertrain: engine, transmission, rear axle, and driveline.

The engine on a hot rod should never be an afterthought, yet on my car it’s getting only mild attention. That’s because it’s an original, 99-year-old (June 1921) engine that still runs well.

I know that if I were to start hotting it up, it would quickly collapse under the strain. On a pre-1927 Model T engine (engines stayed in production through December August 1941), the biggest weakness is the “bent-paperclip” crankshaft.Eventually, when the reservoir of fun tickets has refilled, I will build the “big” engine—starting with a 1926-’27 block and EE-series crank and capped off with a pair of Stromberg 81s on an Evans intake.

Beyond that, who knows? Maybe by then I’ll have acquired the Rajo Model A head I’ve always wanted. Alternately, I’ve also got a ’28 Chevrolet head bumping around here that I can’t bear to part with.

Until then, a set of aluminum pistons and a few mild bolt-ons will suffice. The original intake manifold and Kingston L4 will be set aside and replaced with a “straight-through” Holley NH and an aftermarket high-volume intake manifold. The straight-through NH was a short-lived version of the common Model T carburetor that flows slightly better than the norm and the high-volume intake is a necessity to take advantage of its potential.

Read on

How I plan to make my 1921 Ford Model T more capable, starting with chassis and brake upgrades – David Conwill @Hemmings

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It’s weird to think I own a car that is 99 years old. Of course, if we do things correctly, it will be like owning a car that’s only 86. That’s right: I’m updating my 1921 Ford Model T touring car with the best of 1934 technology, or at least “the best” insofar as updating a Model T is concerned.

One of the wheels just before I shipped it out to Clayton. It’s 19 inches, as used on a 1930 or ’31 Chevrolet. The 1932 Ford Model B hubcap fits like it was made for it.

I could get into an extended explanation of why people modified Model Ts extensively once their ubiquity was established, and I could tell you all about my belief that performing period-correct modifications makes the Model T far more usable on 21st-century roads without sacrificing its historical character.

Let’s save that for another time, though. Let’s discuss the how.I sat down on Saturday, November 28, for what ended up being a three-hour conversation with Clayton Paddison about the modifications planned for my T. Clayton has been a good friend of mine for probably 10 years now.

This is a kit to install external-contracting Rocky Mountain brakes on a 1926-’27 Ford rear axle. The bands (which will be re-lined with an improved friction material) grab the outside of the 11-inch parking-brake drums. The kit was manufactured in the 1990s and never installed.

His jaw-dropping 1927 roadster is, for many, the quintessential modern gow job (defined briefly as an early-1930s style hot rod). Clayton has a full-time job and as also runs Paddison Pre-War and Model T.

He’s also dad to three. When he offered to devote some of his precious time to shepherding the heavy lifting on my Model T build, I gratefully took him up. I’m a lot better with a pen or a camera than I am with fabricating.Earlier this year, Clayton spotted a great deal on a touring car locally and suggested I jump on it as a shortcut to having a T sooner than my original plan to build from parts.

 I was able to make it happen, but almost to our dismay, what appeared initially to be an older restoration seems to mostly be an original. We amended our initial, rather aggressive plans for modification in favor of something more suited to preserving the surviving originality of my car. The new plan, I feel, makes for a car that will be capable of any driving I may want from it and still has the early ’30s gow-job feeling I want to experience

Read on

Clayton Paddison’s 1927 Model T

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For one so young Clayton has made a real splash in the Model T and particularly the hot rod aspects. Not everyone can build a T that cruises at 65mph for under $7K!

Clayton came back to my attention recently in a David Conwill article in Hemmings, where David described how Clayton will be helping him with his T

Going back a few years Clayton and his T were featured in an episode of Jay Leno’s garage

Jay enjoyed the experience so much that he ended up visiting Clayton in Oregon

You can see the article here

Clayton’s build blog can be found on the Model T Ford Forum

Bonneville or Bust

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

First Start

Engine spec


’26-’27 block, bored .080 over
’26-’27 “EE” series crank
Egge .080 pistons
.300C full-race cam
289/302 Ford SB V8 valves
New babbit bearings (rods/mains)
fully balanced engine/transmission

Chicago Transmission

I can highly recommend a visit to Clayton’s Paddison pre-war and Model T website here