Watch This Ford Model T Fire to Life After Sitting for 74 Years

By 3 Min Read

This old Model T could set a Motor1 record for oldest car coming back to life after certain death. It hasn’t been on the road for at least 74 years, and frankly, it looks like scrap. But, the old Ford four-cylinder engine is still under the hood. And the Jennings Motor sports YouTube channel is keen to get it running.

In the spirit of transparency, this isn’t some miraculous barn find that starts right up with some fresh fuel and jumper cables. This 1923 Model T has been outside for decades, and the engine is locked up tight. The hand crank on the front refuses to turn, and water pours from the drain during an oil change. At least there’s some oil mixed with the water.

Fortunately, mechanicals on a Model T are pretty simple. Removing the spark plugs and cylinder head is a straightforward process; doing so reveals significant rust and corrosion in the first cylinder. Mice managed to crawl up the exhaust pipe and into the engine, making a home in the valvetrain. Some muriatic acid cleans things up, and a cocktail of penetrating oil, brake fluid, and diesel fuel frees up the engine. Aside from that, the only item that needs replacement are the spark plugs and a valve for the first cylinder. 

With everything cleaned and bolted up, all that’s left is to add fuel and spark. That’s when things get exciting, as an exhaust backfire ignites gasoline being injected directly into the engine. For a moment fire erupts in the engine bay before being quickly extinguished. No damage is done, and eventually the engine settles into a relatively smooth idle. It’s a seriously impressive feat considering the engine was locked up with water inside.

With the old engine running, the next step is to get some tires and fix the transmission so the old Tin Lizzie can hit the road. That will hopefully come in a future video, and it should be quite a sight to behold.

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