Tony’s pair of Model Ts are roaring ‘20s icons

Upper Tenthill local Tony Howard owns a 1925 Ford Model T Doctors Coupe and a black 1926 Ford Model T and has been part of the Lockyer Antique Motor Association for 15 years. picture: JESSE HAMILTON

Upper Tenthill local of 36 years Tony Howard is the owner of two 1920s Model T Fords, which reflect an era of mass production and affordability for automobiles.

Tony owns a 1925 Ford Model T Doctor’s Coupe and a black 1926 Ford Model T and has wanted to own and restore a Model T since developing a fascination with the model in his childhood.

In 2019, Tony started a journey to restore and build up a 1925 coupe after seeing the model’s body advertised on an Aussie Model T Facebook page in South Australia.

“After contact was made, I grabbed my old mate, Gordon Russ, a retired interstate driver and fellow car enthusiast, and we made the pilgrimage from Queensland to South Australia to complete the disassembly and bring it home,” he said.

“The timber generally was in poor shape, dry rot having made inroads, I got hold of a quantity of silky oak slabs, from which I have been able to fashion replacement timbers.

“There are times when the brain gets lost in a fog of frustration, like when trying to fit the rear window panel.

“It just wasn’t right, an inch and a half too low at the front, frantic

measuring and the fog cleared, and I flipped it over, and it fitted precisely.”

Produced by the Ford Motor Company from 1908 to 1927, Tony said the model was regarded as the first mass-affordable automobile and said the car has a strong connection to his formative years.

“Henry Ford had a vision that everybody could have a motor car, so every time he improved production and made it cheaper to produce, the price would drop,” he said.

“From the time when I was a kid, one of our neighbours had a model T as his go-to town car, you tend to gravitate towards cars that connect with your generation.

“I’m a post-war baby, and you look back on what you had, and it was always the best, that’s why I like the cars of that era.”

The Ford model was the most sold car in history before being surpassed by the Volkswagen Beetle in 1972, with 50 per cent of the vehicles registered in the United States in 1916 being Model Ts.

The Lockyer local said he plans to build another Model T from model parts he has collected over the years.

“When I had my business in Gatton, most of my work was in western Queensland. I worked in the bush, and every time I went on to a station property, I’d walk the property dumps, and there would be old cars lying everywhere and quite often bits and pieces of model Ts,” he said.

“I’ve got two more model Ts I want to do up, putting the cars together, I probably spend five to six hours a day. I put a lot of time into it.”