Vintage Motor Cars of Hershey

8 - 9 October 2009

Lot 707

1915 Ford Model T "Fronty" Speedster

To be auctioned on Friday, October 9, 2009

Sold for $71,500

  • Chassis no. C69130


Est. 64 hp, 176.7 cu. in. four-cylinder engine with Frontenac head and Model A pistons and crankshaft, two-speed planetary Model T transmission, transverse leaf springs front and rear. Wheelbase: 100"

After the first World War, America was car crazy, and – thanks to the Model T – backyard mechanics and trained engineers had the perfect economical basis to produce a wide selection of accessories that could pump up that Tin Lizzie’s powerplant far above its factory 22-horsepower rating. Among the most successful entries were those produced under the brand name of Frontenac, operated by three brothers whose first names were Arthur, Louis and Gaston and whose last name is very familiar to the automotive world: Chevrolet. While most of the "Fronty" conversions were seen on dirt tracks, in 1923 L.L. Corum took a 5th place finish at that year’s Indianapolis 500, bested only by a quartet of powerful Miller eight-cylinder cars.

The Model T Speedster presented here is equipped with an original Frontenac overhead valve head and the sporting Peugeot-style bodywork of the Milwaukee-based Bub Body Corporation. In the late teens and early twenties, speedway bodies were particularly popular conversions for Model Ts, marketed by such retailers as the Chevrolet brothers, Craig-Hunt and Faultless, all of which were essentially identical to those first introduced by Morton & Brett in the late teens. Bub, in particular, was founded by Albert Zwebell, who along with his two brothers, had previously enjoyed considerable success with the invention of an improved method of vulcanization that allowed smaller shops to remold tires more efficiently.

This Bub “Wasp” steel body is complete with a full underbelly and aluminum fenders. The engine, which is mated to a Model T transmission, is of course fitted with the Fronty conversion as well as Model A pistons and crankshaft. Other desirable features include an Atwater Kent distributor, Reelroof racing wire wheels, a stainless steel exhaust system, the hood and radiator from a Peerless and six-foot Ford wide-track axles, which were originally built to fit wagon tracks but were preferred by racers for the wider stance and lower center of gravity they provided. The engine was rebuilt, the radiator was re-cored, and the car also benefits from new wiring, paint and upholstery. All restoration work was conducted by W. James McBurney of Niagara Falls, Ontario.

With the strong interest today in vintage speed equipment, this "Fronty" is a real blast from the past, representing not only an historical look back in motorsports but a potentially bright future in vintage competition as well.

Addendum

Please note the serial number for this car is C69130.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alain Squindo


Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

Alex Classick

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United Kingdom

Alex Classick joined RM Europe in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Nottingham University with a degree in Business Mana... read more

Alexander Weaver

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California, USA

Alexander Weaver joined RM Auctions in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born into ... read more

Annette Abaci

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Germany

With post-secondary degrees in Economic Science and Mechanical Engineering, Annette Abaci initially worked part-time at Mercedes-Benz ... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

Dan Warrener

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Ontario, Canada

Possessing a degree in Economics from Brandon University, Dan Warrener spent the initial stages of his career working around the globe... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don Rose joined RM Auctions in 2006, after many years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputatio... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, USA

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord joined RM Auctions in 1998, initially responsible for the transportation and logistics of the company’s auction and restora... read more

Ian Kelleher

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New York, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College, with a B.A. in Political Science. ... read more

Jack Boxstrom

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Ontario, Canada

Jack Boxstrom joined RM Auctions in late-1996 to assist with the recently acquired, and subsequently record-breaking, auction in Monte... read more

Max Girardo

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United Kingdom

Max Girardo started his career in the vintage automobile industry in 1998, joining Brooks Auctioneers (now Bonhams) as a car specialis... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Auctions, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Graduati... read more

Peter Wallman

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United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007, following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, read more

Peter Giddings

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+1 925 831 2048
California, United States

A life-long car enthusiast, Peter joined RM’s California office with over half a century of experience in the automotive and rac... read more

Peter Blond

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United Kingdom

Peter Blond joined the RM Europe team in 2013 after being immersed in the collector car industry for more than 60 years. An... read more

Rob Myers

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Ontario, Canada

As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, USA

Shelby Myers literally grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to w... read more

Vinnie Mandzak

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California, USA

Vinnie Mandzak joined RM Auctions’ California office in 2012 as a car specialist, following more than 30 years’ experience... read more

Jeff Whiteside

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Ontario, Canada

Jeff Whiteside joined RM Auctions as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer following almost three decades in a diverse r... read more