1926 Ford Model T Speedster, 2-door
Original cost: $345.00 (runabout model)
Donated by: Donna, Gary, Shawna, and Ryan Giesenhagen, Kearney, NE; given in memory of Bob and Gloria Turner
Previous owner(s): A museum in South Carolina
Number made: 342,575 (runabout)
Engine, etc.: 4 cyl. flathead; 177 cu. in., 22.5 hp; standard transmission; 100 in. wheelbase; 1,655 lbs. (runabout)
The 1926 line of Model T’s was advertised as “The Improved Ford” and the phrase was justified.
Fatter tires were the first of many changes which also included a redesigned body. For an extra $25 cars could be ordered with welded steel wire wheels instead of the standard wood artillery wheels. Fenders were new, running boards were lower and deeper and chassis height was reduced by 1.5 inches.
Sedans and coupes were now available in colors including Gunmetal Blue, Phoenix Brown, and Drake Green. Open models continued to be available only in black.
Nickel plated radiator shells were standard on closed body models and a vacuum-powered driver’s side windshield wiper was available for an additional $3.50. Seats were more deeply cushioned. The fuel tank was moved from under the driver’s seat to the cowl which greatly helped gravity feed. Electric starters became standard in January 1926.
The most significant improvement was in the brakes. Previous models used a single drum in the transmission which acted on the drive shaft. This system was inefficient and the brake band wore out long before it should have. For 1926, Ford widened the transmission brake band; the emergency diameter of the brake drum was increased and for the first time, lined with asbestos.
Several features remained the same as in previous years: a single ammeter was the only instrumentation on the dash. Some buyers paid extra for dealers to install a speedometer. There was no oil-pressure gauge since the engine was lubricated by the splash system. A temperature gauge wasn’t needed to tell if the engine was overheating – the owner could tell from steam rising from the radiator. Fuel level was measured by dipping a stick into the gas tank.
Although many improvements were made in 1926, Ford’s sales continued to drop. Even lowering prices by up to $115 for Fordor models didn’t stop the decline. Between 1923 and 1926 Ford’s production fell 24.7%. In contrast, Chevrolet, while producing a significantly smaller number of cars, saw a sales gain of 41.6% during the same time period. The American public wanted something new and Ford provided that with their new model, the Model A, which was introduced in 1928.
http://www.oldcarbrochures.com/static/NA/Ford/1926_Ford/1926_Ford_Foldout/1926%20Ford%20Foldout-02-03.html (Original 1926 sales brochure; doesn’t include Speedster)