In his garage in Portugal, Joaquim Costas has a wide variety of unique classic cars, with one thing in common: they’re all Fords. The former Ford employee’s collection includes such rarities as the 1965 Mk 1 Costina, 1954 Ford Anglia, Mk. 1 Escort, as well as a 1967 Mustang that Mr. Costas prepared himself for delivery, serviced it, and then bought from its owner. But the oldest model isn’t any of those, but rather a Ford Model T.
The 1915 Model T roadster recently underwent an engine restoration, and is now powered by a powerplant that makes 20 horsepower, allowing the 98-year-old vehicle to reach speeds of up to 40 MPH, or 70 KPH. The vehicle’s chassis was built at Ford’s Walkerville factory in Canada, and was then likely shipped to a coachbuilder to be given a stylish body.
In production from 1908-1927, during which time more than 15 million were sold, the Model T was a low-cost, reliable vehicle that could be easily maintained and would take anything the rough roads of the era could throw at it. Those without direct experience with such a classic vehicle might find it difficult to imagine, but the Model T differs significantly from the cars of today. For instance, the T doesn’t have a fuel gauge, necessitating the driver to check the fuel using with a dipstick, and its daytime running lights are lit by hand. Despite the various modern-day inconveniences associated with getting it going, Costas drives the T on a regular basis, taking it to rallies, where he can cover up to 300 kilometers in a single day.
As many other collectors, Mr. Costas’ passion for cars came about when he was younger, something that he may have picked up from his father. He has built up his collection slowly, recently taking the model T to a Ford dealership for some service work, which made the vehicle eligible for free breakdown assistance.