It seems that nearly as long as there have been automobiles, there have been aftermarket companies ready to provide customers with the parts and components needed to alter their vehicles’ performance, looks or utility. The ubiquitous and rugged Ford Model T lent itself well to modifications and a wide array of independent companies took advantage of a seemingly endless market to develop components to fit the T to just about any purpose. The wood-bodied station wagon was one of the most popular aftermarket additions for the Model T, often made and sold by Sears & Roebuck or Montgomery Ward. That particular aftermarket accessory proved popular enough to influence Ford to produce its own version. Beyond that, there were plenty of other companies that built Model T based vehicles that ranged from practical delivery van bodies to a downright wacky snow machine and even a tracked tank.
Gear heads being gear heads, no matter what the century, some of the most popular modifications were those intended to help the little T go faster than its box-standard 45 mph. Eventually, some sophisticated upgrades were developed that doubled the Model Ts standard horsepower - as an overhead valve conversion. But for the most part, the best way to make a Model T go faster was to shed weight. Several manufacturers began to offer lightweight “speedster” bodies for the Model T with some being more serious than others. One of the most successful was the “Faultless”, which was offered by American Top and Body Company of Delphi, Indiana. The company began, as its name implies, supplying aftermarket soft tops and body components for Ford Model Ts. They soon joined the sporting T market with a full catalog of parts that ranged from simple side steps intended to replace running boards, to a full raceabout body with revised hood, grille and tail section. Much like many of today’s aftermarket companies, the choices ranged from mild to extreme.
This incredible piece is a 1921 Model T Faultless Speedster. This is an exceedingly rare survivor that has virtually every component one could order from the Faultless catalog. It still wears its alloy side step, cycle fenders, radiator grille cowling, cut-down speedster body with tapered tail, special hood, roof and windscreen frame – all original items from the period. The car is in an unrestored state and looking fairly weathered at first glance, but looking closer reveals a remarkably solid car that is tremendously original and authentic, down to the ninety-four year old leather seat. Faded livery is barely visible on the hood and cowl, adding a bit of intrigue that this car may have been raced on some level. We feel this amazing little machine could be left untouched, proudly wearing its scars in a way reminiscent of the famous “Bugatti from the Lake” now on display amongst some of the finest cars in the world at the Mullin Automotive Museum. It would make a fabulous addition to any eclectic collection of automobiles or antiques, displayed as art. It could also be easily restored, as it is essentially complete, incredibly solid and it utilizes standard Model T mechanical components. Whichever path you choose, once thing is certain, and that is you are sure to have a historically significant, tremendously rare and fascinating piece of automotive history.
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