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The Class of ’25, Part Two

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Concept sketch by Clayton Paddison.

Well, it happened. My inner contrarian lost out to practicality. If you can call it practicality to own a near-century-old car with the intention of driving it on public roads (note: This is Hemmings, yes you can). I’ve decided my next car will be a 1925 Ford Model T – I’ve even toyed with selling my ’62 Falcon to make it happen sooner, though my wife is opposed to that.

As you’ll recall from Part One, my good friend Clayton Paddison is one of the biggest Model T advocates you’ll ever meet. He’s even set aside an engine for me, with a “born on” date of March 24, 1925 and he’s taken my ideas and put them down on paper the same way he did for our Mystery Roadster last November.

1946 Jalopy

My original drawing.

The plan is to create something like the stereotypical student jalopy, circa 1936-’42. It’s an image Walt Disney (and the Archie comics) helped enshrine in our national consciousness but one you don’t actually see surviving outside of old photos or recreated. It doesn’t have that working-class tough-guy swagger of a period hot roadster or the Barney Oldfield panache of a ‘20s speedster.

1926 Paddison Roadster

Clayton’s ’26 roadster has a competitive presence that won’t be present in my jalopy. Image courtesy Clayton Paddison.

Where things will differ from the past, however, is the quality of construction techniques. Jalopies, as the name implies, were largely a matter of stripping down a junk car and adding some cheap personal touches from the novelty aisle at Pep Boys.

My T will mirror the stance and quality construction techniques used in Clayton’s ’26 roadster – largely because he has volunteered to handle the chassis construction! Aside from the 1925 touring car body, my car will differ from Clayton’s in that its mechanicals will be simpler and items like the ’31 Chevrolet wire wheels (generously donated to the project by my Barnstormers clubmates Kevin Carlson and Dan Beaudry), white-wall tires and fox tail will say “student jalopy.”

1924 Ford Model T Tudor Dice K

One of the few examples of the student jalopy theme we’re aware of is this 1924 Ford Model T Tudor belonging to Daisuke “Dice K” Koda of Tokyo, Japan.

I’m probably going to skip the traditional “graffiti” though.