When I began the restoration (as a volunteer) of this roadster for a local museum; I found what appeared to be seemingly handmade top saddle extentions on the factory saddle arms (2). This enabled a full range of decklid opening when the top is folded down. These extentions consist of 1" OD X 1/2" ID X 3/8" thick circular metal 'rings' with 1/2" 'L arms' extending upwards for 3" onto which the original saddles attached. Therefore 4 set screws would be needed: 2 for the saddles and 2 for the circular rings. The 3" 'L arms' appear to be brazed to the circular rings. Are they original? Are they as rare as the near non-existant '26 cowl lamp brackets? Should I use them or not? Without these extentions the deck lid can't be latched open when the top is securely fastened in the saddles. Thanks . . . george
Iím not an expert my any means but this sounds interesting sense I have a roadster please post a picture if you can we would all be interested in seeing this one. Dave
My '26 roadster has straight arms that screw through the holes at the back of the body. I understand that a lot of times these holes had rubber inserts and the top just stayed up.
I have the straight arms and the saddles to allow the top to come down, but it is not tied to the saddles as it is on my '20 touring.
They float and when you raise the deck lid, they come up as well.
I have been told by old heads this was the way it was done and have seen a Ford ad that showed this system.
OK Joe . . .thats a consideration. Thanks. The folded down top is supposed to 'float' as the deck lid is opened - since its not tied to the saddles. They probably weren't too concerned about it in the day - but nowadays that'd be kind of tough on the paint back there. Can anyone else substantiate that there was, indeed, a Ford advertisement touting this system? Use leather saddle pads and tie-down straps but loosen them when the deck lid is to be opened and latched?
I will be glad to take a picture or two of mine and post them. Just as soon as I can. Dave
It is my understanding that the bows were not tied down. We traveled 500 miles with the bows cradled in the saddles and did not have any difficulty with them. I also do not have the leather pads in my saddles as they would be laced in with the tiedown straps.
On page 9l7 of the book "Henry's Wonderful Model T," by Floyd Clymer,there is a Ford photo of a 1926 Sport Roadster with rearview mirror, windshield wiper, nickle radiator shell/lights, wire wheels and a boot on the folded down top.
I believe that a good reason for the curve in the '26 turtle was to allow for the folded down top.
I am still looking through my Vintage Ford and Model T Times for the edition that had old Ford advertising.
You said "the bows cradled in the saddles". Therein lies my problem. My bows, when the top is let down, rest on the turtledeck and they are about 3" above the saddles. I'm sure thats why someone installed the 3" inverted L arm (described above) onto which is fastened the saddles so the cradled top bows, leather pads and straps would be above the turtle. What am I missing here? Maybe I'll call over the neighbor - he has a digital camera . . help . . . george
Look at your top bows. Are they curved or straight?
I am talking about the main bow the sits on the pivot arm. If it is straight, then it is an earlier bow from '25 back. If it is curved, as mine is, then it is made for the '26.
It looks to me that they are the same, except Henry had the bow bent to fit to the "improved Ford."
Check this it may be your trouble.
These are pics of how my 26 top is tied down. Dave
This is the way my top bows set on my '26 roadster as well, however I do not tie them down and they lay in the saddles pretty well.
It came to me last night that you may have and individual adaption created by someone who did not like to lift the top and the deck lid at the same time. This previous owner probably did not wish to screw up the paint either, or was in and out of the turtle so much they wanted to make it easier.
If the top works when up then I would just drive with it and display the flexibility of the car and the owners to refit a T to their needs.
I once had a radiator that was patched with concrete. Wish I had kept it as a souvenire of keep em rolling.
I would be interested in seeing some pics of the arrangement if you could post them.
Hmmmmm . . .Thought I responded to this yesterday. Guess it "Didn't Take". My bows are exactly like the pictures David posted. Thanks! I'm inclined to agree with you Joseph: This adaptation was conceived by a previous owner who wanted to have the deck lid latched open when the top was strapped in the saddles. When the top is folded and sockets in the saddles - and the deck lid is closed - the top bows are about 3" above the turtkedeck. Might've been our temperate climate here in Texas. Someone did a lot of top down driving and turtledeck lid opening. So these two 3" upside down L arms are just one of many modifications folks made to make the Model T more comfortable or improve performance. . . Thanks for solving the mystery guys !! . . .. george
George: Please post a picture, if possible, of the 3" extention you mention. We also have a '26 Runabout with top irons as pictured here. The top material rests on the painted trunk & side straps need to be loosened to access the trunk.
Extra height on the folded top would be good.