Jay Leno Gets a History Lesson in a 1927 Ford Model T Hot Rod
The Ford Model T is the classic to beat all classics. There were nearly 15 million produced, and many of them ended up in the hands of hot rodders. Jay Leno had the chance to drive the one you see here and spend some time with the man who gave it an overhaul. You might expect it to have a giant V8 under that hood to shock people with its power, but the owner of this 1927 Model T, Clayton Paddison, took a unique route. He bought it as nothing but a shell for $800 and set about restoring it and turning it into a period appropriate hot rod. RELATED: See Images of the 2011 Ford Model T
He even kept it to a budget that would have been reasonable back in the 1930s. There's still a Model T 4-cylinder engine, but he added a high-compression cylinder head. There's also a Model A exhaust manifold and intake with dual carburetors. It's paired to a 3-speed transmission, which replaced the original 2-speed.
It can hit speeds of over 60 mph, which isn't impressive now, but was a big deal when this car was new. Paddison wanted to be able to drive this on today's roads and he succeeded. He drove his old Model T from his home in Portland, Oregon, to the Bonneville Salt Flats for some high speed driving. It was a labor of love to build the car, and Leno seems just as enamored as Paddison.
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