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Old 07-14-2020, 11:31 AM   #1
rivcokid
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Default Change in driving between Model T and Model A

I got to wondering the other day. The way a Model T and Model A are driven is radically different. Was there any effort (education campaign, books, etc) done in 1928 to re-educate Ford owners on how to operate the new Model A? Say I bought a 1924 Model T and drove it for a few years. It's now 1928 and I'd like to buy a new Ford - was I handed an instruction book? Did the dealers have classes or individual tutoring sessions? Or, like when I worked in local government and got a new software program on my computer, was I just told to figure it out? I tried looking online for stuff but came up empty. Anyone ever look into this?
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Old 07-14-2020, 12:01 PM   #2
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Default Re: Change in driving between Model T and Model A

Two things come to mind. The salesman would teach new A owner how to drive (did the same thing with the Model T) and I have read stories about old timers that would buy several(stock up) Model T's because that was the only car they could drive. Or they would read the owners manual and practice.
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Old 07-14-2020, 12:21 PM   #3
Jeff P. / MN
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Default Re: Change in driving between Model T and Model A

Most all cars had selective gear transmissions by 1928 so I would bet most people had driven or rode in one with a conventional clutch and could see how that system operated.
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Old 07-14-2020, 03:44 PM   #4
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Default Re: Change in driving between Model T and Model A

I can't answer your question, but I do know my grandfather would only drive Model T's because that is all he knew. He last drove a 26 Model T Coupe that was last licensed in 1954. I still have that car and have restored it.

My guess is that salesmen were the ones who showed prospective buyers how to drive the Model A. That would fit in with Ford's philosophy of sales.
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Old 07-14-2020, 04:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: Change in driving between Model T and Model A

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I can't answer your question, but I do know my grandfather would only drive Model T's because that is all he knew. He last drove a 26 Model T Coupe that was last licensed in 1954. I still have that car and have restored it..
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Old 07-14-2020, 05:20 PM   #6
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In 1965 my mom took on the task of teaching our next door neighbor how to drive her 1963 Ford Fairlane. Her husband had passed away and she never had the need before to ever get a drivers license through out all their years together.She had told my mom she did learn to drive on a Model T 50 years before that and my mom said no problem,will be much easier with the Fairlane automatic.Boy was she wrong.
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Old 07-14-2020, 05:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: Change in driving between Model T and Model A

My Grandfather told me that the dealers showed you the basics of the controls and starting the engine. You then picked the options that you wanted, lights, mirror, Etc. and the dealer installed them and sent you on your way. Kind of like buying a new car today. The dealer will show you the basic setup of the hands free communications device and sync it for you. Show you the basic controls and there you go. His first vehicle was a 1910 Indian and his last was a 1959 Fairlane.
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Old 07-14-2020, 07:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: Change in driving between Model T and Model A

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Originally Posted by Jeff P. / MN View Post
Most all cars had selective gear transmissions by 1928 so I would bet most people had driven or rode in one with a conventional clutch and could see how that system operated.
Most cars on the roads were Model T's! Seeing how they worked is not the same as driving one, it takes real life practice. Some people learn to double clutch very fast, others not so much.
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Old 07-15-2020, 02:30 AM   #9
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Default Re: Change in driving between Model T and Model A

My Grandmother went in and bought a car. The salesman showed her how to drive it.
Took her money and sent her off home with the car.
This would have been between 1928 and 1930 sometime.
She had never driven before......she would have been about 40yrs. old at the time.
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Old 07-15-2020, 05:48 AM   #10
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Default Re: Change in driving between Model T and Model A

My grandfather’s first few cars were used. So likely previous owner showed him basics of operation. His first T was a TT. That he drove until just before WWII.
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Old 07-15-2020, 09:45 AM   #11
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Default Re: Change in driving between Model T and Model A

Interesting thoughts and ideas! Thanks everyone. I wondered if there were some people who just wouldn't change - and now I know! It just seems to me that going from a clutch that you press down to engage to a clutch that you press down to disengage would have been enough to send some people (and cars) over the edge!
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Old 07-15-2020, 10:01 AM   #12
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Default Re: Change in driving between Model T and Model A

I met an older gentleman back in the 1990's who continued to drive his Model T as his daily driver. I spoke with him at the feed store where he was tieing on sacks of feed to the running boards. It was a 1926 with a 1922 engine, all completely original with the brush painted black paint. He bought 5 Model T's on his return from WWII and still had three more waiting in the shed for when that one gave out.
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Old 07-15-2020, 12:03 PM   #13
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Default Re: Change in driving between Model T and Model A

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It just seems to me that going from a clutch that you press down to engage to a clutch that you press down to disengage would have been enough to send some people (and cars) over the edge!
I learned to drive (self taught from a book) on a Model T in 1956, The next year my brother taught me to drive his '53 Studebaker. It took a while to master the different clutch pedal routine.
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Old 07-15-2020, 02:56 PM   #14
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Default Re: Change in driving between Model T and Model A

Back in the 1950’s I bought a dilapidated 1926 roadster from a farmer near Cleveland, Texas. The car had a starter, but it didn’t work, and he showed me how to start it by setting the crank at 3 o’clock and pushing down hard with my right foot. He also gave me verbal instructions on how to drive it. I drove it to Houston, over 50 miles, without any problems. I would rather try to teach a person who had never driven a car how to drive a T rather than an A.
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Old 07-15-2020, 03:11 PM   #15
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Default Re: Change in driving between Model T and Model A

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I would rather try to teach a person who had never driven a car how to drive a T rather than an A.

I agree. When I learned I was amazed at how easy it was to pick up. Just give it a little gas, mash the low pedal to the floor and off you go. Seemed like you'd have to try hard to stall it.
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Old 07-15-2020, 05:33 PM   #16
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Default Re: Change in driving between Model T and Model A

Ford had instruction books for most of the cars they manufactured. Eventually they started calling them an owner's manual. They would likely give one of those to the folks that purchased a new car. Since there was no glove box, most of them were likely lost pretty quickly after the sale.

If a person had never driven a T then they could use some personal check out or written instructions since they are so different than modern cars. The model A would be a lot easier to learn the procedures. Some one that is used to pushing the pedal and then only letting it out part way might take a while to work the clutch. He'd also be wondering where the reverse control was. What, no pedal?

The guy crank starting an engine with his foot must have never learned to pull up on the crank instead of pushing down. If the spark control wasn't right, the guy might get launched into the air. It's better than a Ford fracture of the arm but who knows where a person would end up if they got launched.
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Old 07-16-2020, 06:22 AM   #17
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Default Re: Change in driving between Model T and Model A

The guy crank starting an engine with his foot must have never learned to pull up on the crank instead of pushing down. If the spark control wasn't right, the guy might get launched into the air. It's better than a Ford fracture of the arm but who knows where a person would end up if they got launched.

I agree with this but no one told me about it back then. I owned the car for about 6 months until it threw a rod through the pan and then I sold it to a hotrodder. I always started it this way and luckily never got hurt doing it.
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Old 07-18-2020, 08:50 PM   #18
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Default Re: Change in driving between Model T and Model A

Lots of interesting stories - thanks so much!
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