Lot 81
1913 Ford Model T Custom "King T"


From the Collection of Richard Rawlings


• Winner of Oakland Roadster Show’s Most Beautiful Roadster Award, 1964
• Winter Nationals Auto Fair’s Grand Sweepstakes Winner, 1964
• Customized, Jaguar XKE rear independent suspension with chromed Chevy V-8
• Immortalized as Hot Wheels’ Hot Heaps and as an MPC model kit
• Included are original documents, trophy, display materials and MPC model kits

Chevrolet 350 cid V-8 engine, automatic transmission, Jaguar XKE rear independent suspension, Carter AFB 500 carburetor

Among the most famous hot rods of all-time, Don Tognotti and Gene Winfield’s “King T” custom, crafted from a 1913 Ford Model T Convertible, came to epitomize the 1960’s hot rod scene. Winner of Winter Nationals Auto Fair’s Grand Sweepstakes and Oakland Roadster Show’s Most Beautiful Roadster Award, the oldest car ever to win it, the King T became an instant phenomenon and was immortalized as an MPC model kit as well as “Hot Heaps” in the die-cast Hot Wheels line.

Tognotti started on the 1913 Model T in Summer 1962; the heavy fabrication work and custom undertaking took two grueling years. On top of out-of-this-world looks that flaunted an outrageous paint job and a chromed-out rear, the King T’s mechanics were equally significant. With a Chevy 350 cubic-inch V-8 engine, the car had exponentially more rumble under the hood than the original. The tubular frame rested over ’51 coil springs in the front and the automatic transmission was linked through spark and advance controls on the steering column. What truly set King T apart as an innovator, though, was its suspension. The first car to receive independent rear suspension was the 1961 Jaguar XKE. Just three years later, King T would have a highly customized, XKE’s independent rear suspension that was uncaged and chromed, for all the world to see, under a t-bucket roadster! It was truly something.

A comprehensive restoration was held to exacting standards on this icon, which included a fully rebuilt, dyno-tested engine, original to the King T. In the cockpit, pearl-beige, tuck-and-roll interior complemented the original tufted chest and its display materials. The original wooden-spoke steering wheel was recreated to complete Tognotti’s styling. Lastly, Gene Winfield’s wild and wonderful paint job was accurately recreated by Gene himself who insisted on remixing the original Wild Pearl Lavender paint for restoration. Known as, “King of Kustoms,” Winfield even designed Hollywood customs and contributed to the flying cars of Blade Runner, which was nominated for a Best Production Design Academy Award under genius Larry Paull. Today, the King T remains among Winfield’s as well as Tognotti’s greatest legacies.

Accompanying the sale are original documents from Winfield’s collection, MPC model kits and magazines that immortalized the King T, original display materials and a 1964 AMBR Trophy rebuilt in a convenient size (the original was nine feet). Offered with all the authentic loot, this 1913 Ford Model T “King T” represents a rare opportunity to own one of the most legendary and fantastically outlandish hot rods to ever slap pavement.

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