A Trip to Model T Haven


As the automobile industry evolved cars became faster and easier to operate. By the 1930’s automobiles were significantly better than cars built even ten years prior. Old “jalopies” with wooden framed bodies and two wheel brakes were considered dangerous. Many an old car was pushed to the back of the house or under an old tree on the back forty, never to be used again.

Many people called the “junk man” in their town to get an old Model T Ford or other old car hauled off.  The car would be sold cheaply or even given to the scrap metal man. The junk man had some cheap piece of property, usually on the outskirts of town, where he could park the old jalopies and sell parts for a living.

By the 1950’s some of these “junk yards” had become immense in size. Others that had previously been on the outskirts of town were now well within city limits. As time wore on, most of them disappeared, the cars melted down to make beer cans, and a window into the past was closed.

At least mostly closed. There is still a place where you can go to see and smell the sights and tradition of an old time wrecking yard! Near the city limit of the sleepy little town of Iola Kansas sits the business owned by Mark Freimiller known as Model T Haven. It looks like a typical rural Kansas farm, on a little road just where the blacktop might end. From the road all you see is a barn and a nice looking modern house. Walking behind the house one begins to see the Valhalla of vintage tin behind the row of trees!

Here’s a link: Model T Haven

To get here you have to be going exactly here, because the location is not near any major city. To give it perspective, Model T Haven is about a two hour drive south from Kansas City, Kansas. Or if you happen to be in Tulsa, Oklahoma you will need to drive north for about two hours and forty minutes. Either way, you are going to be rewarded with the largest collection of vintage tin anywhere in one place. A great deal of it is Model T Ford parts!

There are basically three major product lines offered by Model T Haven. First of course are used, original Model T Ford parts. Second are complete cars, some restored and some hulks and everything in between, from Model T’s to anything else you can imagine. Third are reproduction parts. Model T Haven ships all over the world, complete cars or parts to repair and rebuild one.

Rear half of a 1920’s Model T touring being dissected for parts behind one of the barns.

Some Fordson tractor engines and parts on pallets.

A late 1920’s Model T sedan that has been relieved of most of its body still had a decent looking chassis. Behind it is a better T sedan still having a good solid body. The two combined would make a decent project.

As we get closer to the yard we see organized outdoor storage. This is a pile of decklids, mostly Ford but also others.

An immense pile of frames from disassembled Model T’s and Model A’s is nearly the size of my house.

A small pole barn is filling up with gas tanks. Rows of radiators and hoods could also benefit from such a storage area but sit outside waiting for customers.

A 1930 Whippet sedan is missing most of the body but appears like it could be a running “gow job” with a day’s worth of work. 

Nearing the edge of the main field there is another longer pole barn style structure used to shelter semi complete project cars.

A very original looking 1915 Maxwell touring is marked sold. It will soon be shipped to an overseas customer.

The tires on the ’15 Maxwell appear to be pre – WWII. The wood wheels look like they may be usable. This car looks was put in dry storage perhaps 75 years ago. It is going to make the new owner very happy.

This T flatbed truck sports a Smith Form – a Truck conversion and has a weird home made brass radiator shell on a non – brass Model T radiator.

Most car collectors won’t correctly guess the brand of this pickup until they see the tailgate. It is a good, solid restorable truck. Hint: the model year is 1940.

It looks very solid until you see the rear of the bed, listing to one side because of a rotted floor. How much is a 1940 Plymouth pickup worth?

Plymouth pickup truck sells for record price at auction

1959 Edsel four door sedan was complete and very original.

’29 AA truck needed a cab but the chassis was al there.

Row of 1940’s sedans are giving up their parts so that others can build their dream car.

Very few dream of owning a 1966 Corvair four door hardtop apparently, because this car is 100% complete.

1971 VW Kombi is very rusty, missing lots of parts.

1947 Chevrolet fastback sedan gave up its chassis. At Model T Haven there is no shortage of Model A chassis, so that is what keeps this nice straight body out of the mud for that day when it meets its new owner. These cars were popular when new, and the styling still looks good today.

Need a rear body for your short bus project?

1960 Lincoln sedan still has its 430. The hood and front bumper have gone to a new home.

A rare 1966 Chevrolet two door fastback hard top is missing the front clip and engine.

The buck tag from the ’66 Chevy can tell a lot about what options the car had originally.

I kept trying to get a photo that would capture the sheer size of the Model T Haven yard. It is about 1/4 mile square, covered in cars and parts.

An aerial view courtesy of Google Maps from several years ago is missing some of the structures and many of the cars seen today.

A collection of leaf springs, mostly Model T Ford.

Everywhere that you look there are Model T rear axles. This is mainly a fender area, yet there might be 35 – 45 Model T rear axles mixed in.

This ’56 T-Bird was hit hard just forward of the driver’s door when nearly new. Someone has saved it for the right guy. Are you that guy?

1964 Buick Special convertible sits awaiting a buyer.

There were two ’65 – 67 Corvair convertibles. This brown one seemed to be the better one. It has the base engine and manual 4 speed transmission.

Many complete Model T’s are in stock including this pair of 1924 runabouts.

Late 1931 Model A closed cab pickup looks like a solid, complete project.

1922 Chevrolet touring has rotten wood in the body, a typical problem on these cars. The 1916 Model T behind the Chevy looks tiny by comparison.

In another barn one entire floor is filled with wheels and radiator shells, mostly for Model T.

On the upper floor of the barn top bows and windshield frames take up several hundred square feet of storage space.

Model T windshield frames from 1915 – 27 are not rare here. Mark  is going to have one heck of an estate sale one day!

Doors for touring cars and runabouts end up here. Most are for Model T, but there are some from other makes as well. A nice pair of ’26 – 27 T rear fenders hang on the wall.

The pictures don’t show the hard work and dedication that went in to the collection of cars and parts at Model T Haven. Mark and his daughter both have a lot to be proud of here. There is not another place anywhere with this many original Model T parts and cars for sale. Thank you Mark!

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