The Ford Model T is easily one of the most iconic automobiles in the world with nearly 15 million produced. With so many in the world, it’s no wonder many of them wound up in the hands of hot rodders. They were a particularly popular hot rodding canvas after World War II when the lightweight rides were plentiful and cheap. While many hot rodders today would build something radical and over-the-top with a large V8, the man featured in this latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage went the period route.
The owner of this 1927 Model T, Clayton Paddison, said he picked up his Model T for just $800. It was a rough shell, but he slowly restored it himself. He said his plan was to build a budget hot rod someone in the 1930s would have made. It still has a Model T four-cylinder, but it now features a high-compression cylinder head, Model A exhaust manifold and an intake with dual carburetors. It’s all connected to a three-speed transmission, which replaced the original two-speed planetary gearbox, and a two-speed rear-end. Despite the little four-cylinder, this T roadster can reach speeds over 60 mph (that’s really fast for a T).
Paddison says he wanted to build this car to easily driven on modern roads, and he gave it the ultimate test by driving it from his home in Portland, Oregon to the Bonneville Salt Flats for a little bit of top-speed driving. Paddison clearly love his creation, and from the video, Leno seems to like it too. Check out the video for Leno’s reactions and Paddison’s full story.