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1920 Ford Fairground Racer

Early Soup Job, Real Gow

Oct 2018 at Scarce Grease Creek, AL on the Tennessee Ts' "Not for Sissies Tour".

From top center; Ford Park/Neutral/High Lever Ford Low Pedal Ford Reverse Pedal Ford/AC auxiliary brake pedal Ruckstell Lo/Hi Shifter Warford Auxiliary Lo/Direct/High shifter

**The spark advance and throttle are on the column**

In the early 20th Century, the cheapest route to a fast car was through modification of the Ford Model T.

The Tin Lizzie was among the least expensive cars; it was very sturdy and reliable compared to other cars; and millions were on the road. So, naturally, there were countless manufacturers that offered aftermarket parts for T racers.

This 1920 Ford Model T Fairgrounds Racer is a great example of such a car. Built by a Northern California farmer many decades ago, it combines parts made for street racing and heavy hauling to make a dangerously fast, reliable street or fairgrounds racer of the 1910s, 1920s and 1930s.

The build;

- 1920 Ford chassis and engine

- Rajo Model C-35 OHV head with Rajo updraft intake/exhaust manifold

- Model B carb

- Model T or A crank, drilled as required for pressurized lubrication

- 1912-1916 planetary transmission/hogshead

- Cast-iron Warford 3-speed auxiliary transmission

- Shortened torque tube

- Early Ruckstell (Hall-Scott) 2-speed axle

- Front and rear springs moved aft, dropped behind axles

- Early Stewart speedometer

- Oil pump and Stewart oil pressure gauge

- Stock Model T steering

- Hays demountable wire wheels

- Wood body and seats

- Model T gas tank

- 1919 Ford/Victor oil tail lamp converted to electricity

- Electric headlights/brass rings

- AC auxiliary brakes

- Original 1912-1916 brass radiator

- Ford tractor hairpins

- Bosch high-tension magneto, taken from an early tractor trailer, excavator or road grader

Rajo C-35 overhead valve head, Rajo intake/exchaust manifold, Ford Model B carburetor, oil pump.

Ruckstell Axle

1912-1916 hogs head

Stewart Speedo and Mag Switch

Warford mod from rear / Spring mounting and AC brakes

Bosch magneto from early 1930s JD McAdams, IHC or Autocar heavy equipment

Spring-behind front axle

Wooden Buckets and stock tank with brass cap

Cast-iron Warford auxiliary transmission


More Cars of the 1920s
More Ford Coverage

1771 car nuts gave this a thumbs-up. Do you? Thumbs-up


ghpcnm on Oct 6, 2015 said:

WOW ... What a fantastic piece of automotive history you have there !!!

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azmusclecar on Oct 8, 2015 said:

It looks like this came with the "Free bugs in your teeth" option............amazing the simplicity of the early year cars. Thumbs up....

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Buckelew on Oct 8, 2015 said:

Yes, nutrition on the go ;)

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ghpcnm on Oct 26, 2015 said:

Is that a speedo under the oil pressure guage?

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Buckelew on Oct 26, 2015 said:

Yes, that's an early aftermarket Stewart Speedometer that syncs with a gear on the left front hub.

Later on some dry lakes racers used front wheel-driven speedometers, rather than transmission-driven, because they gave more reliable readings.

[Reply to this comment]

ghpcnm on Oct 26, 2015 said:

Too cool !!! What is the fastest you've dared to drive it?

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ghpcnm on Oct 26, 2015 said:

WOW !!! That's awesome. You truly have a unique piece of automotive history there. 1000 Thumbs Up !!!

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azmusclecar on Feb 24, 2016 said:

I bet the guys at Autozone, Pep Boys, OReillys, Napa, all scracth their heads and tap away on their keyboards telling you, I know we have parts for this.......would you like a key chain for it? How about an air freshener to hang from the rear view mirror? How about some Rainex?

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Buckelew on Feb 24, 2016 said:

Ha! Ha! They usually just yell "NO!" as soon as I walk into the store.

Outside of lube, perishables or maybe some make-from parts, I'm not sure there's much of anything for this car that can be bought at a conventional parts store.

I'm hoping to get out to the southwest sometime soon.

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ghpcnm on Dec 5, 2018 said:

I would love to take that "T" for a spin around the track. MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY 2019

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Dan_Stanco on Mar 9, 2019 said:

Love this the simplicity of the old stuff is amazing Great car good luck with it

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