1912 Model T Fire Chief's Car, authentic low mileage original car.

Price: US $18,000.00
  • Location: Grants Pass, Oregon, United States
  • Make: Ford
  • Model: Model T
  • SubModel: Authentic Fire Chief's Car
  • Trim: Black
  • Year: 1912
  • Mileage: 1,000
  • Engine size: 4 cylinder
  • Number of cylinders: 4
  • Drive type: RWD
  • Vehicle Title: Clear

1912 Ford Model T Authentic Fire Chief's Car description

NOTE: (First picture on left and the last picture on the right is the car as I discovered it. The rest of the pictures were taken as the car was approaching completion of restoration before I became incapacitated, having to give up my last brass Ford restoration.)

Now you can own an original 1912 Model T Fire Chief’s Car with extremely low original mileage, probably less than a few hundred miles since new. In fact, it was driven so little that the original carbide gas headlights were never lit, as well as the original kerosene side and taillights have never had kerosenein them, or been lit either, in the 104 years since the it left the factory, BEFORE Henry Ford installed the first assembly line in December 1913. This is a hand-built Model T assembled March of 1912, predating the assembly line by 21 months! This is a whole original car with all teh little parts do dads and parts and pieces that most project cars never have, and you settle for reproduction piece.

I HAVE A LOW RESERVE IN PLACE ON THIS CAR. IT IS MUCH BELOW THE "BUY IT NOW" PRICE. AND ONCE IT IS BEEN MET, THE CAR WILL BE SOLD TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER AT THE END OF THE AUCTION, REGARDLESS OF THE "BUY IT NOW" PRICE, UNLESS SOMEONE USED THE BUY IT NOW PRICE PRIOR TO THE AUCTION'S END.

This is likely the closest to a new model T you will ever have a chance to own, and all you have to do is to finish the last 10-15% of the restoration. While it’s impossible to know its exact original mileage, I am willing to venture that mechanically, this is the most factory-fresh, original Model T in existence. While I not sure about anyone else, until I found it, I had never seen a Model T with all its parts like they were new. In fact, when found, most hundred-year-old model T’s were often the opposite, completely worn out.

After having an experienced Model T mechanic open up the motor, we estimated, based on carbon buildup and the fact that the original boring marks were still on the cylinder walls, that the original engine had only been run a few hours since new! We could find nothing about the engine that needed any attention, so we buttoned it up, realizing that it was probably the first time that the head had been removed in all those years.

However, it was the muffler that told the story. As some of you will know, the original muffler on the 1912 Ford had two cast iron end-plates which held the shell and body of the muffler, all which had original black factory paint, and no rust whatsoever. When dissembled, the interior of the muffler had no rust, only a layer of soot, and not much of that!

In all our years we had never seen any Model T with only a few miles on it. All we could ever figure out was that, for whatever reason, the Fire Chief who it was purchased for in early 1912 chose not to drive it. Maybe it took too long to get the carbide generator producing gas, and then to light all those lights individually. After which, he still had to crank a cold and sometimes balky Model T engine. By the time he arrived at the fire, the rest of the crew would have the fire out. Besides, it was probably just easier to go with the firetruck. But for whatever reason, this car was probably pushed to the back of the fire station and, apparently there it sat.

I have enjoyed restoring Model T’s since finding my first brass Ford, in a canyon above our ranch along the Applegate River of southern Oregon in 1953. From then until now, I’ve always had a love affair with Henry’s brass era cars. During my college years I supported myself on the G.I. Bill, supplemented by selling model T parts I bought from the ranchers in the Applegate valley. Then, in in an era where Hemmings motor news was 20 or 30 pages stapled together, I shipped model T parts I had refurbished, all over the United States. After college, I went on to other things. However, until now, I’ve rarely been without a brass era Model T.

Then, in my early 70s, it seemed like it was time to quit. I sold my last two brass Ts; one, another Fire Chief’s car, was sold to a museum in Melbourne Australia, where it resides today. The other, a Model T touring car, was sold to the President of the Model T Club of England.

At that time I thought my old car days were over. But, then this Fire Chief’s car was too unusual to pass up; I just couldn’t resist. I thought I was still up to one last, easy restoration. But alas, I was wrong. In the middle of the project, I suddenly needed open-heart surgery and the restoration was put on hold. At the time, it was in its final stages, and I thought I soon would be back to it. Afterward, with eyes just as old as I was, it became impossible to finish; hence this ad and story.

The Ford’s Provenance

I purchased this Fire Chief’s Car from the estate of a man in Ohio who, over the years had told his family that it was built for a Fire Chief in Ohio. However, I was unable to document this, as a fire in the record section of the Edsel Ford Museum had destroyed records of ownership, for parts of 1911 and 12. All other attempts at verification, have led to blind alleys. I have contacted numerous fire departments in Ohio, hoping to accidentally find the right one, but at this juncture I’ve had no further luck. If anyone knows anything about this Fire Chief’s Car, or other repository of old Ford records, please post it in the questions section.

Car’s Current Condition

While the car was uniquely original, someone early on had tried to improve on Henry’s original design and for some reason, modified the body. Because of what they had done, I had a new, original body constructed, and preceded ahead. Unfortunately, in the process they had started to modify the steering column, and their work still needs to be straightened out. Other than that, it’s it’s an original, with all the little parts and doodads the originals had, and are usually missing.. Apparently, the only item it still needs is the brass bulb-horn. However, authentic reproductions are available. Also, when I bought the car it came with a peerless brass radiator, instead of the original Ford brass radiator. Peerless radiators were often used on speedsters during the pre 20’s era. The first thing I did was replace that with the proper, authentic 1912, new brass one.

Terms of the Sale

Unfortunately, at 76, being unable to complete this restoration for physical reasons, I am hoping to find someone that has the same passion for brass era model T’s, as I do. However, because it is in mid restoration, it is important that someone comes to my home to verify the condition, prior to any deal, because it still needs paint and upholstery, and the original brass, while perfect, still has the patina of age, and needs polishing..

Please do not contact me unless you have a a good rating on eBay. And, if you are a scammer, don’t bother. After having sold other cars to outside of the USA I have heard most of the scams. Furthermore, I’m not in the mood to talk about some strange, convoluted deal. So don’t bother.

However, if you are a serious buyer, you or your representative will want travel to Grants Pass, Oregon, on the west coast of the United States, to verify the vehicle’s condition, ahead of time, as I will expect payment in full, and in my account, prior to the car leaving my garage. Furthermore, due to what it is, it’s being sold as is, where is. Plus, the buyer pays for all transportation from my location, to your location.

However, reasonable accommodations will be made for people with experience with, and respect for, Henry’s brass era cars.

Sold with a Clear, Ohio Title

NOTE: DO TO THIS BEING AN UNFINISHED RESTORATION OF AN ORIGINAL CAR, AND BECAUSE IS BEING SOLD, AS IS WHERE IS, THE BUYER, OR BUYER'S REPRESENTATIVE MUST COME TO GRANTS PASS, OREGON TO VERIFY THAT THE CONDITION OF THE CAR IS AS DESCRIBED. FOR THIS REASON AND AVOID COMPLICATIONS, ALSO, ALL TRANSPORTATION IS THE BUYERS RESPONSIBILITY.

Sincerely, Duane Smith

Contact the seller

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