Scott Thams is a brave man for entering his 1914 Model T in the 2012 Great Race. We want to say thanks to Scott, and wish him the best of luck on the nine-day, 2,300 mile journey! He sent us a great story on his car as well as a picture, so check it out:
“First let me say entering the Great Race is a bucket list thing for me. I have wanted to run the race since the beginning. With the race beginning and ending in my back yard this was the year! I am very proud to be entering the first Model T Ford in many years. I have been a Model T nut all my life and truly believe they are the very best tour cars you can drive. I completed the restoration of my 1914 Speedster over ten years ago and have put over 6,000 miles on in. It has been on many national and regional tours and I have consistently been the oldest car at the Woodward Dream Cruise each year.
This car started with the amazing spotlight that sits on top of the cowl. I bought it at Hershey. It was one of those Hershey moments. I was walking along and saw it sitting on the ground under a table. I was not looking for a brass spotlight but it called to me and the price was so good I had to buy it. Before I got back to our Hershey space I had decided I needed to build a speedster to go under it. Five years, and countless hours later there was a shiny red speedster under that spotlight. I have had a smile on my face ever since.
For the first several years I was driving the car it had wood wheels. As a member of the speedster chapter of the Model T Ford Club International, I have had lots of opportunities to race the car against fellow members at various meets and tours. I have run on every kind of track from the high banked oval NASCAR track in Richmond VA to Road America to dirt horse racing tracks doing four wheel fades in the turns. I began to think better of the wood wheel under this kind of use so I started to look for a set of wire wheels for the car. Back at Hershey, I was walking around with fellow Model T nuts and found three unusual wire wheels. Most early racing wheels for Model Ts are 30 x 3-1/2 all the way around for ease of replacement while stock model Ts use 30 x 3s on the front and 30 x 3-1/2s on the rear. The wheels I found were two very unique 30 x 3-1/2s with integral brake drums for the rear and one 30 x 3 for the front. I bought them and proceed back to our space. I figured I would have to make another front wheel for the car. When I got back to the space one of my buddies said, I saw another wire wheel like that front one in the white field!. We dropped the wheels and marched off to find the forth one. Sure enough we found the fourth wheel for the set. When we put them together it is clear they were a set but one was in Pennsylvania and the others were in California!
The car is getting a complete rebuild for the race including a new motor and an overdrive. We are going through the car end to end to make sure we can start every day and finish every day. We do know what it takes to drive a Model T hard for a few hundred miles a day. We will be ready! Our all rookie team is going to take the race very seriously but more than anything else we are out to have the most fun we have ever had! I am certain we will accomplish that!”