Fostering curiosity in kids (and their parents) since 2011

A selection of vintage Ford cars

sleek black vintage convertible with white wall tires.

Ford De Luxe (probably) (Photo: Shala Howell)

Earlier this summer, we happened across a line of vintage cars parked on a street next to a town festival in Northern California.

Naturally I took pictures. Turns out, even though there were lots of vintage Jaguars and Dodges there as well, almost all the pictures I took were of various types of vintage Fords. (Did that man know how to market to the average American or what?)

Two early Model T’s

Sadly, my vacation brain forgot to make sure that I also took pictures of the signs saying what each car was, but I’m pretty sure this one’s an early Model T.

Model T, black, with open carriage and rusty hand crank coming out of its front engine.
Oh my goodness, would you look at that hand crank. (Photo: Shala Howell)

Different car, but miraculously I included the sign in one of the photos. Which is why I can say with confidence that this is a 1913 Model T. According to the sign, it was manufactured on January 17, 1913.

Model T, red, from 1913.
I can’t decide which part of this picture I like the best: the hand crank, the guitar in the back seat, or the man with the fedora. Is this the most Californian thing ever? I don’t know, but it’s a contender. (Photo: Shala Howell)

A 1926 Model T modified for racing with a RAJO overhead valve

Next up, a 1926 Model T modified to perform on the car racing circuit. You may remember this car from my July 4th post. At the time, I didn’t know what a RAJO overhead valve was. Apparently, it was a special valve designed by former car racer Joseph W. Jagersberger and manufactured in Racine, Wisconsin that was designed to increase the horsepower in the standard Model T Engine.

The good folks over at the Old Motors blog explained that adding the RAJO overhead valve to a standard Model T engine could boost the engine’s power from 20 h.p to 30 h.p. Contemporary advertisers claimed that Model T’s equipped with the RAJO overhead valve could go from 0 to 70 mph in just 600 feet. (The Old Motors blog has some great contemporary photographs and ads at their place if you’re interested in that sort of thing.)

Olive green Model T modified for racing. The carriage has been removed from over the driver's head, giving the car a much more streamlined body.
1926 Model T modified for racing. (Photo: Shala Howell)

A Model A roadster for variety

This picture actually included the sign. Sadly, the date on it was obscured by the windshield wiper.

Model A Roadster. (Photo: Shala Howell)

A Ford De Luxe (probably)

Let’s end this post with what I think is a Ford De Luxe. Ford introduced the De Luxe in the late 1930s to offer customers a slightly better than standard car, at a price point lower than the higher-priced luxury models in its Lincoln car line. I had seen Model T’s and Model A’s in person before, of course, but I think this is the first time I’ve encountered a Ford De Luxe in the wild.

Highly polished black convertible car with smooth lines, a rubber side board to help folks step into the car, leather seats, and white wall tires. Simply lovely. Even if I'm not quite sure what it is.
Ford De Luxe at a recent vintage car show in Northern California. (Photo: Shala Howell)

(If only I’d thought to take a picture of its sign so I could be certain what I was looking at. I’m relying on an identification by Google image search here.)

What about you? Have you stumbled across any interesting vintage cars this season?

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