Brass Ts in Australia

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2010: Brass Ts in Australia
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Constantine in Melbourne, Australia on Sunday, December 19, 2010 - 09:01 am:

Does anyone have any idea of what percentage of pre-WW1 Ts sold in Australia were bodied locally rather than fully imported from Canada? Also, were all the Ts exported to Austrlia from Canada during this period RHD?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Chantrell - Adelaide, Australia on Sunday, December 19, 2010 - 05:58 pm:

All Fords were imported from Canada from 1904 onwards and were RHD (as were all early Fords). There is an exception to the rule, the handful of pre-production 'T's, that is in the first 2500 appear to have been exported directly from Detroit LHD to the Commonwealth. See original shipping details of #2436. By production, post 2500, back to RHD format and exported from Canada.

My research does not allow me to comment outside of South Australia, sadly no factory records survive for Duncan & Fraser giving us the numbers you seek. Based on surviving cars in SA I would guess somewhere around 5% peaking at no more that 10% for the "Deluxe" version.
Duncan & Fraser released their standard "Deluxe" package in March 1913, photo below. This particular car was built for Dr. McKay of Broken Hill and featured an extended top radiator tank, white paintwork, green leather upholstery & slate gray canvas hood featured on the Duncan & Fraser stand at the 1913 Adealide Show.
Photo & information come courtesy of the Duncan & Chantrell families and the RAA.



Below is a great photo of the factory taken in June 1915 showing 5 beautiful Duncan & Fraser Ltd. "Deluxe" coachworks on completed cars and comes courtesy of the RAA.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Stokes on Sunday, December 19, 2010 - 08:29 pm:

Constantine,

Unfortunately I do not have my Norm Darwin book with me at present, but that would be a good book for you to refer to on this. My own research for the NZ story compares what was happening in Australia.

Without checking, I believe it was 1913 was when Ford of Canada began offering the bare 'chassis' option on their price guides. A chassis is defined as chassis frame, suspension, running gear, front of body including hood (or bonnet) to firewall, and rear lamps to be fitted once a body aft of the firewall was in place.

The main reason Ford of Canada offered this option was to cater to the demand from commercial operators. Ford had offered a C-Cab van earlier, but there were too many variations needed to meet all the different industry requirements - hence the chassis-only option. In New Zealand, this resulted in a welcome new flow of work for the long established coach builders, building commercial bodies and, to a limited extent, car bodies.

I believe the pivotal year for Australia was 1917. This was during the war and, with consequential shipping issues, the motor car became deemed a luxury item, and the Australian Government imposed import embargoes on fully-imported cars. But chassis (as defined above) were ok. This did wonders to assist the development of that motor body-building industry and later further encouraged by placing tariffs on imported car bodies.

Now, don't get excited, but I now have the chassis importation figures for NZ. The Aussie ones may be there too - I will check.

John Stokes
New Zealand


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Constantine in Melbourne, Australia on Monday, December 20, 2010 - 12:41 am:

Thanks for your replies David and John.

Had a look the Norm Darwin book at my library and in a section written by Peter Kable it says:

"Pre WW1 body building was not extensive in Australia, it is thought that approximately 15% of Fords had a local body fitted in the years leading up to the war. Duncan and Frazer were happy to supply their own body for 95 pounds above the cost of a car with a standard body".

Be great to get 1913 American, Canadian and Aussie bodied cars together to compare.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Constantine in Melbourne, Australia on Monday, December 20, 2010 - 12:47 am:

Does the above 1913 Duncan & Fraser Deluxe have an opening driver's door? Canadian cars did I believe unlike USA ones.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By CHRIS MARTIN on Monday, December 20, 2010 - 02:02 am:

I believe this is one of the DeLuxe tourers David was referring to, as seen at the Windsor rally a couple of months back.
And yes, it has four doors.
Chris M.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Chantrell - Adelaide, Australia on Monday, December 20, 2010 - 03:53 am:

Duncan & Fraser started building autootive bodies in late 1900. It was 1902 though when they designed and built a complete body including all castings for a De Dion Bouton.

The photo in the posting above is "Truly Fair", a "pre-production" 1912 "deluxe" that was found in Adelaide complete under a fruit tree in 1951. She is a marvellous car and wish she was in my shed leaking oil. I am glad to say her current owner spoils her rotten.

1911 is the recorded date when they started building "Deluxe" bodies on a Ford. They just took off the genuine body and used what they wanted. Here is the first Duncan & Fraser body on a Ford from 1911. Note the extremely unusual twin cockpit bodywork and characteristic 4 doors. Photo courtesy of the Chantrell family.


Then there is this beauty also from later in 1911, what a handsome "tulip" bodied roadster. Photo courtesy of the Duncan family.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Constantine in Melbourne, Australia on Monday, December 20, 2010 - 04:42 am:

Great photos and interesing Ts.

How many brass era Duncan & Fraser's survive?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By CHRIS MARTIN on Monday, December 20, 2010 - 04:57 am:

I like the last one, the '11 Roadster, do you know if any of those survive?
Chris M.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Chantrell - Adelaide, Australia on Monday, December 20, 2010 - 05:21 am:

First things first, how many brass Duncan & Fraser "deluxe" survive...a 1911 tourer, a 1912 tourer, a 1913 roadster, 2 x 1915 tourers, 1 x 1916 tourer & 1 1916 roadster, 1 tourer, 2 x 1918 tourers, 1 x 1921 roadster & 2 x 1922 roadsters (plus one more that I know off).
7 brass radiator cars & 6 steel radiator cars.

Sadly the 1911 "tulip" bodied car does not survive. This photo came from the Duncan family albums and I was ecstatic when it showed up.

How about this ealry 1913 tourer built for the paraplegic Managing Director James Newell Duncan?
See the riased rear and only 1 rear door so he would not fall out, one man hood and the lovely 2 tone paint work. Photo also courtesy of the Duncan family.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By bob trevan on Monday, December 20, 2010 - 05:41 am:

THIS AUSTRALIAN CAR [DAVID SAYS] IS A TARRANT [MELBOURNE FORD DEALER] BODIED CAR .1914 tarrant roaster .jpg


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kerry van Ekeren on Monday, December 20, 2010 - 05:46 am:

The tarrant looks like it's built from left over parts.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By bob trevan on Monday, December 20, 2010 - 05:50 am:

THIS CAR PICTURED I AM RESTORING. IT IS A 1913 DUNCAN & FRAZER 3 SEATER WIDE DODIED CAR .[NOTE GUARD ROUND TOP STYLE ]DUNCAN & FRAZER BODY.jp


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Chantrell - Adelaide, Australia on Monday, December 20, 2010 - 06:16 am:

Can't resist putting up photo of a "deluxe" bodied streamlined radiator car ca 1917/18. In my opinion I think the Duncan & Fraser bodies are the prettiest and best finished off of all the colonial bodies I have seen. But then again, I am biased being a true blue, born & bread Adelaidean...

Oh, and this one from the Duncan family albums...


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George...Cherry Hill, NJ on Monday, December 20, 2010 - 08:48 am:

Constantine,

There is a book published on 2006 called "In the shadow of Detroit: Gordon M. McGregor, Ford of Canada, and Motoropolis" by David Roberts. It was apparently limited to one printing and is out of print already. Unfortunately, I don't have a copy but have seen it.

While the book is more of what we 'yanks' call a "coffee table book" there are several chapters about MacGregor and how he handled Australia and NZ, and a few plates which provide production records by year from Canada that were exported 'down under'

Maybe someone can point you in a direction where a used one might be for sale.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dick Lodge - St Louis MO on Monday, December 20, 2010 - 12:08 pm:

David, "two countries divided by a common language." My first reaction to your "one man hood" was, "Well, of course! How could you have a two-man hood?" Then of course I realized that your hood is our top. My only excuse is that it was early and I was on my first cup of coffee... :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Aaron Griffey on Monday, December 20, 2010 - 12:35 pm:

I have always thought the Duncan & Fraser were the best looking T bodies and I have never even ever been to Australia!
I think they may have taken pride in designing and building a beautifull if not real nice looking body to sell to ford dealers and buys when Ford was more interested in building a cheap, reliable, functional car, not that I think the Ford U.S. bodies were not good looking.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Stokes on Monday, December 20, 2010 - 02:36 pm:

David and Bob,

This is a real education for me! Those bodies are quite stunning!! Especially the 'tulip' style Roadster! That would be quite something replicated, and would be of historical relevance.

My only question is, "why?" Why - at that time - remove what is presumably a prefectly good original body, and replace it with a hand built one? Would the cost not have been restrictive? By that I mean, once you had added the cost of the new body, would the buyer not have been better off purchasing a more expensive car?

Or perhaps the removed body had been damaged in an accident?

I can, of course, understand the need for the custom-built tourer to carry a paraplegic.

John Stokes


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ricks - Surf City on Monday, December 20, 2010 - 03:14 pm:

My near 90 y.o. neighbor's father, Mr. Tremaine, was a circuit riding preacher in rural NZ in this car in the 1920's. He died from colliding with a train in it. I've posted pix of this here before to try to learn what it is. She was only nine at the time, and remembered the name as a Calthorpe, Calcott or Cowley.

New thought: is there any chance the body was made in Godzone or Dunnunda?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By CHRIS MARTIN on Monday, December 20, 2010 - 03:52 pm:

Yep, Calthorpe. My guess is a 10hp, made in Birmingham England, and that looks pre WW1 maybe a 1914 model.
There was a Calcott car made nearby in Coventry too that was similar, and of course Morris made the Cowley.
Chris M.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Stokes on Monday, December 20, 2010 - 05:23 pm:

Ralph
Had a quick surf and found this.....

Calthorpe

See http://www.gracesguide.co.uk/wiki/File:Im19160313LCar-CalMinor.jpg

Best wishes - John Stokes


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Stokes on Monday, December 20, 2010 - 05:38 pm:

Also see 1921 model...

http://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C136282/

And this one (year unknown)....



John


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Chantrell - Adelaide, Australia on Monday, December 20, 2010 - 06:03 pm:

The question was asked a few posts ago why these bodies were built on a Ford. In Duncan & Fraser's case they had a huge clientel of rich professional people. By the time the Ford arrived it had proven itself not only to be cheap but reliable. A custom made "deluxe" body allowed the lawyers, doctors & the like to have all of the mechanical advantages of the Ford but a custom made body to display their wealth.

Duncan & Fraser were first and foremost coach buildiers making carraiges, buggies and both horse drawn & electric trams. By 1917 the "deluxe" Ford body could be bought in 64 differenet body colours, 5 different leather trim colours and 3 canvas hood colours; and of course any combination of these. My father's 1917 "deluxe" bodied Ford was originally dark blue paintwork, green leather trim and a slate gray canvas hood.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By peter kable Kiama Australia on Monday, December 20, 2010 - 07:59 pm:

I think also it was also a "Colonial" thing. Most of us at the time had an English background ( well we were convict stock or immigrants from Great Britian)

All the top quality (expensive) cars had the European style body. The Ford especially had a different style from that foreign mob "the Americans". So lets hide the origin by putting on a body that looked like it was one of the ones that the wealthy people had.

Here are 2 Davies & Fehon bodies from the State of New South Wales

DFnsw01(3)
D&F10


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR. on Monday, December 20, 2010 - 10:14 pm:

I thought someone from Down Under mentioned a while back that Ford sent chassis without bodies to AUS and/or NZ to avoid tariffs. That led to most of the cars there being custom-bodied. Anyone else recall that?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By peter kable Kiama Australia on Monday, December 20, 2010 - 10:47 pm:

Hi Mike, yep that happened at the end of the war when we realized that we needed to have more home grown industry as the Germans had cut us off from everyone with their navy.

The Aussie government put in tariffs so Aussie industry could be built up. We were too small to make a car from scratch so they banned bodies only allowing chassis's ( or you could import a complete car at a big extra cost) That was for all cars made overseas.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 12:56 am:

I knew I should have looked into this thread sooner.
Early on, it is mentioned that one of the cars was originally white in colour. Several of the cars in these original photos appear to be white. I am wondering, was it that common in Australia and New Zealand for a car in those early days to be white? Many people in the U.S. like to paint their early automobiles white. But research and close examination of hundreds of original photos show that with a few notable exceptions, relatively few American cars before the 1930s were originally white.
European and British cars were more likely to be white, because they had better roads at that time. American roads were so bad that it was nearly impossible to keep a car clean. White seemed to look worse and show the dirt more. I wonder, did Australia and new Zealand simply follow Britain's lead or style? Just something more for me to ponder.
Thank you to everyone above that posted. Especially those photos. They are great.
Happy Holidays, and drive carefully, W2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By CHRIS MARTIN on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 01:26 am:

I wonder if white was popular as it reflected heat better?
Or does that still matter in an open tourer?
Meanwhile, here's another photo of the Tarrant bodied roadster.
Chris M.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Constantine in Melbourne, Australia on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 02:19 am:

Great photos here...these Australian bodied Ts are very British looking. They remind me a lot of a Rover or Napier.

So Ford Canada did export rolling chassis to Australia prior to WW1 for Australian bodies to be added? Or did the dealers remove the Canadian body and replace it with a custom made when they received an order?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kerry van Ekeren on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 02:21 am:

Australia needs cheap cars.
A good market for low priced light Amerian car is assured. At the time of writing freights are $40 a ton, and this, together with other charges, brings the importation cost of the average motor car up to nearly $1000. These figures include ocean freights, inland freights ranging from $35 to $85, depreciation of the English money, exchange assurance and other factors. Thus you will see that the $1000 car has to be sold in this country at a price something like $2,000.00.
printed, The Automobile, march 1916.

Cars in Australia were considered a luxurey, so to buy a running chassis on a different tax scale, created a profitable body building industry in several parts of Australia.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Constantine in Melbourne, Australia on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 02:55 am:

I don't believe a running chassis was on a different import tax scale prior to WW1...Australian bodied cars were more expensive than the imported Canadian cars.

So did Ford Canada export a rolling chassis to Australia prior to WW1 or did the dealers remove the Canadian body and replace it with a custom made body when they received an order?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kerry van Ekeren on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 03:27 am:

I can't find the exact date, but the Australian government had introduced the customs duty on imported vehicle "bodies" before 1910 in order to protect local manufacturing, this resulted in about 1/2 the cars coming to Australia as unbodied.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Constantine in Melbourne, Australia on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 03:40 am:

I don't think that's correct.

As I mentioned further up, the Norm Darwin book has a section by Peter Kable in which it says:

"Pre WW1 body building was not extensive in Australia, it is thought that approximately 15% of Fords had a local body fitted in the years leading up to the war."


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By A.J. "Art" Bell on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 03:47 am:

There is a preview of “In the Shadow of Detroit” at the following link.
(Quite a few pages are included, but of course never the ones that you
would like to read.)

http://tinyurl.com/3afp288

Regards
Art


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kerry van Ekeren on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 04:18 am:

Coustantine, As usual, not all publications are right so we will endeavour to dig and learn more, I had found what I posted before, History of the car in Australia 1890's-1960's. it was covering cars in general, not just the T but is stated in that publication that the customs duty on bodies was introduced between 1900 and 1910, lets hope we can find something that may be more accurate with some research.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By peter kable Kiama Australia on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 05:38 am:

There was an import duty for cars and bodies way back even before Federation in 1901. Each state did their own thing. Victoria had a tax but in NSW there was none. In 1901 the newly formed Commonwealth Government imposed an across the board tax. Chassis's from UK could be imported free of duty but 5% was charged for other countries. The duty on bodies was much higher 30% on British bodies and 35% for others.

In 1914 Tarrent was importing 600 Model T's per year 160-170 received their own Australian bodies. A Ford T body cost 219 pounds a Tarrent body 315Pounds. If you look at the picture I posted earlier you will see in the right bottom corner that body was 340 pounds. Duncan and Fraser stated that their customers thought the imported bodies were too flimsy.

In August 1917 ( as stated by John Stokes - up above) the Australian Govt prohibited the importation of all motor car bodies. The restriction were relaxed in 1918 to allow one car to be imported for every 2 chassis. British bodies were taxed at 40% the others 55%.



In 1917 there were over 5000 Model T cars still unsold by the importers due to the effects of the war and a special deal had to be done with Henry Ford to reduce the charges imposed on the dealers so they could shift the cars before importaion started again after the war ceased.

Those arriving after the 1918 came as a chassis which included bonnet (hood to everyone else) scuttle, dash and running boards, this made it a lot easier and cheaper for the local industry to supply completed cars.This information is from records of the Mitchell Library in Sydney.

There has always been more Canadian bodied Fords around even today, Most are original cars, some have been imported and converted to RHD ( or left as LHD) and some have been built as Canadian cars from plans as it has been in the past (especially from 1959 -1980) that they were true Model T's and the local bodied were frowned upon by a lot. I can remember a person rejecting a nice Australian bodied car because he wanted an "original one" ?????

I think it may be a bit different today.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kerry van Ekeren on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 05:57 am:

t


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Stokes on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 05:11 pm:

It is really important not to confuse what happened in the Australian market with what happened in the New Zealand one.

While there are similarities, the two countries are quite seperate and governed by seperate laws, including tariffs (a form of import control).

The very reason for the existence of Ford of Canada was to overcome the trading difficulties and loyalties within the British Empire. It was Ford of Canada who supplied Australia and New Zealand (and other Empire countries such as South Africa, India etc). From the early teen years here in NZ there were statements being made, and advertisements being placed, that the Ford was a British car, made in the British Empire, by British workers. I suspect the same was happening in Australia and the other Ford of Canada markets.

Another important aspect is the cost of importing foreign air! Because of shipping costs, it was more efficient to tightly pack unassembled cars into shipping crates and have them assembled, in a prescriptive manner, close to where the buyers were located. Hence the growth of assembly plants throughout the USA and the world - which appealed to foreign governments, because of the employment and industry opportunities created for the locals.

In some ways, Australia cottoned on to that much better than other markets. While the war was given as the reason to introduce the tariffs there, no such problem existed in neighbouring New Zealand!

The idea that white - or light-coloured cars - was influenced by what Britain was doing is probably quite a good one. It was said, right up to the late sixties, that New Zealanders were more British than the British! But Australia was also very 'British'.

It was not until 1938 that New Zealand got serious about tariffs (and then it was aimed more at 'dollar' countries, so as to capture Canada). However, because of the war and post-war effects, the effect of that tariff was not felt here until about 1949-50. This is when we really began to favour cars from Britain.

John Stokes
New Zealand


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Luke Dahlinger on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 05:24 pm:

As usual, I should know better than to click into a thread like this while on the clock. Fascinating!

As for the book "In the Shadow of Detroit", I got my copy directly from the source- Wayne State University Press. Here is the link.

http://wsupress.wayne.edu/books/839/In-the-Shadow-of-Detroit

There is a preview of the same book on Google Books. That means there's chapters missing & so forth, but it's free to look at it anyways.
http://books.google.com/books?id=THOyZ5JwkEQC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Shadow+of+D etroit+Ford&source=bl&ots=89Y3S0st9f&sig=VKeQcqZXQzeTSfbU5YCeZTxb7vg&hl=en&ei=Qh oRTciHNISClAfUg6zgCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBYQ6AEwAA#v=on epage&q&f=false


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By peter kable Kiama Australia on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 10:09 pm:

Kerry, I am presuming that your posting from the Museum Victoria is to show that the Model T's were shipped as chassis's as early as 1911.

Unfortunately this isn't correct, as is often the case museums get it horribly wrong when labeling exibits. I seem to remember in another thread mention of a museum labeling a Model T as an N or an S??.

Publications of the time such as the Australian motor magazines and the Canadian edition of the "Ford Times" the companies monthly magazine show and mention often Model T's being shipped in crates with bodies. Somewhere I have a photo from about 1914 showing such crates being delivered to a NSW country dealer on horse and drays ready to be unpacked and assembled. I mentioned before Tarrents only built about 170 bodies out of 600 during a year.

On any Model T run you will always find brass T's with Canadian bodies outnumbering any Australian bodies. Obviously because they were that much cheaper than the Australian versions.

I think white (or light colours like it were more common here as cars from the Continent came with such colours and we tended to follow British ideas). They lasted fairly well in their milder climate but not so well here due to our hasher sunlight (they quickly went yellow). I used to work with an old painter who told me of the horror stories they had painting early cars with the old brushed varnish finishes. If you did choose white you had to be prepared to keep the paint up to it. If you could afford the extra cost of the Tarrent or other body maybe needing extra repainting didn't bother you It wasn't till after the second world war that white became practical when Titanium Dioxide white pigment became available.

John Stokes. Do you know anything about the Ford Building in Wellington? I Googled it and nothng came up but I have an article copied from a magazine which says it was built to assemble Fords. The steel frame came from Canada and it was a 7 story building in which Fords were assembled from imported parts and they were even painted in black which was imported in drums. There is no indication of the magazines name, its an article on the history of the Colonial Motor Company.

If you want a copy send me your address of line.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Stokes on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 10:52 pm:

Peter,
Yes please is the short answer! Thanks indeed. I shall send you a private message. John


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Stokes on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 11:01 pm:

To Peter again - see http://www.colmotor.co.nz/about-us/company-history
The "Ford factory" was opened in 1922 and operated by The Colonial Motor Co. Ford opened in Wellington in their own right in 1936, in a seperate factory in the Hutt Valley in Wellington. At that point CMC became a dealer.
CMC exists to this day. The 1922 building also still exists and was converted into offices long ago. Now CMC takes up just a small part of the first floor!
I would be most interested to read the magazine article! Is it a recent article, or an old one?
Many thanks again - John


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Constantine in Melbourne, Australia on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 11:32 pm:

This has turned into a very informative post...perhaps it's time for a book called "The Model T in Australia"?

I was also thinking what Peter mentioned, that is if the pre-WW1 split between Canadian bodied and Aussie bodied was about 50/50 you'd expect the split in surviving cars to be a similar figure.

David, have any detailed plans/drawings survived on Duncan and Frazer bodies? I guess they may have been lost in the fire.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kerry van Ekeren on Wednesday, December 22, 2010 - 12:02 am:

Peter, What you have posted seems to contradict what infomation that you posted earlier, that the tax scale was inplace as early as 1901, so if ford was still only sending complete cars at 1911 then they were not taking advantage of the tax system then?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kerry van Ekeren on Wednesday, December 22, 2010 - 02:41 am:

Peter, Just another question for you, you stated in a post that in 1917, 5000 T's unsold, was that at the Canadian end or sitting in Australia? Thanks.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Chantrell - Adelaide, Australia on Wednesday, December 22, 2010 - 03:39 am:

Just to clarify the chassis querie I have no records of chassis being imported prior to the embargo of August 1917. Duncan & Fraser just removed the Ford bodies as required until this date. See this 1913 tray top!
Photo courtesy of SLSA B38818.

"The History of Ford Australia" published by Norm Darwin was the first book where the Ford situation here was properly told. Peter Kable wrote the first chapters up to the model 'A', and with some contributions at the time from other people well & truly set the benchmark. Well done guys.

It was this book that encouraged me to formalise the 30 plus research I had on the South Australian story. "Duncan & Fraser Ltd. - Legacies Left Untold" was published, marketed & distributed with my own funds in 2008. Since then much more material has come to light. I will not reprint my book, but I write and administer my own website www.duncanandfraser.com where everybody can share my joy and passion with continuing research. I try to meet my target of adding one page per month.

As for a book on all of the colonial bodies? This is a dream for a number of us. It is a complicated story and just in South Australia alone there is evidence of another 3 body builders other than Duncan & Fraser Ltd. on Ford 'T's; T.J. Richards, J.S Bagshaw and of course Holden Motor Bodies supplying Tarrants in Victoria from 1921-mid 1925. Hopefully one day our research and knowledge from every state will enbale us to piece it all together in some kind of logical, photographic type document.

Constantine - if you want specific Duncan & Fraser body information please email me and I will always see what I can do.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By peter kable Kiama Australia on Wednesday, December 22, 2010 - 04:12 am:

Kerry, Henry Ford was very particular about selling his cars. He would not allow interference with his manufacture even down to the adding of accessories. He placed strict rules on all his dealers. They were not even supposed to sell other makes of cars.

Ford sent the Australian distributors whole cars whether they wanted them or not. The Australian body builders were not that big and would have been hard pressed to make all that was required. Whatever the tax may have been Ford knew his cars would still be a lot cheaper than all the others imported.

The 5000 Model T's were landed here right at the start of the war. Actually there was more than that and some were sold during the war as well as being converted into ambulances and other war related vehicles. When the war ended 5000 were still left and in that time Ford had reduced the price further (and changed the style) so the dealers had cars which were old models and owed them more than they could sell them for.

In the end (1925) Ford started assembly here because of the poor quality of the Australian bodies being produced and the bad attitude of the importers to their dealers and their customers.

Constantine, Is you car here yet? I have plans for Ford bodies put out by the Motor building industry but not from the body builders themselves.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By peter kable Kiama Australia on Wednesday, December 22, 2010 - 04:58 am:

John, The article has to be between 1968 & 1984. It talks about the 50th Golden anniversary of CMC.

It's interesting that NZ went such a different route than Australia. You should put an article together for the Vintage Ford. Everyone would be interested in what was happening in those days. Especially how Ford Canada sent men with the crates to find out where things were getting stuffed up ( they were having trouble with rust on the bare steel bodies being shipped).

I will get a copy printed off tomorrow.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kerry van Ekeren on Wednesday, December 22, 2010 - 05:35 am:

Peter, You lost me somewhere with that post, first, ww1 started in 1914, so would it be 5000 brass T's? now David will correct me if I'm wrong, South Australia had 1 1916 left unsold when the 17 black radiator model came out and with such a shortage of panal steel, Duncan and Fraser Ltd had teams of men going around suburban Adelaide exchanging corrugated iron fences for wooden ones, rolling it flat again for body steel, if so many T's about with perfectly good new imported bodies, you would have to ask yourself why? and do what with the old but new bodies, if a cheap T couldn't be sold and left such large numbers around Australia, who was going to buy a dear one? now Ford sold in 15/16 over 15,000 running chassis in the US, another question, then why would Canada not be aloud to fill chassis orders? I'm not saying that you are wrong, just trying to work out the logic of it all.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Chantrell - Adelaide, Australia on Wednesday, December 22, 2010 - 05:04 pm:

The 5,000 car surplus at the beginning of the war has been a recent piece of information and has been the subject of recent communication between Peter & I. I have found no previous mention of this in local newspapers such as "The Regsiter" nor the RAA's "SA Motor" of which I have read every available copy from March 1913 to December 1919. Have I missed something? Could be! This is why I love our hobby!

From a South Australian perspective Duncan & Fraser always imported directly from Canada, organised their own shipping, customs, wiring of money, set their own pricing, cost of spare parts, Ford servicing prices etc. It is known through this period that Duncan & Fraser were building bodies, stripping corrugated iron fences for body steel, buying sheet steel from the ballast of ships also for body steel, expanded thier garage to accomodate 300 cars per day, continued to build electric trams for Melbourne etc. I think we all agree that these are not the business activities of a company in financial distress.

Arthur Davies from Davies & Fehon in New South Wales either owned or was on the board of not only Davies & Fehon, but Tarrant and Queensland Motors, in other words the entire populated eastern seaboard of Australia. The source of the 5,000 surplus is an article written by him after he left Ford becuase of French in 1925. Is the figure true? Has Arthur Davies "exaggerated" the situation to support his resigation? Why didn't Duncan & Fraser buy some of these cars to help out? Were the cars in Canada and not actually in Australia and couldn't be shipped due to war restrictions? If so, Duncan & Fraser buying directly did help. Who knows? More questions that need further research to answer.

There was no love lost between the Duncan Brothers and the Davies Brothers. This came to a head in 1921 when he awarded the "Deluxe" body contracts from Tarrants to Holden Motors Bodies, the opposition body builder in Adealide that was nationally manufacturing 10,000 Dodge bodies per year at the time. Perhaps Davies awarded Holden's the contract because of the Duncan's apparent lack of support during the 5,000 car surplus debacle?

My current thoughts centre around this is probably an example of his mismanagement & poor judgement of the situation at the time and the events that culiminated in WW1. Perhaps he intended to be the Australian wholesaler and make more profit? Did Davies try to sell them back to Canada? What is known is Canada did reduce the retail price of the Ford.

I honestly don't know at the moment. Peter is reseraching at his end. I desperately need to get back into our Mortlock Library to reserach (and other Duncan & Fraser leads) and see what can be found. Until then all these questions and many others remain unanswered and I am only guessing...


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George...Cherry Hill, NJ on Wednesday, December 22, 2010 - 06:47 pm:

Was able to get this chart out of the book I mentioned above.

Apparently when the book was published in 2006, they had access to FMCC records as a footnote says that original archives show actual towns delivered to.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By peter kable Kiama Australia on Wednesday, December 22, 2010 - 06:52 pm:

Kerry, Yes all the T's were brass no black radiator versions arrived here till after the war finished. Why would you buy any car during the war with a local built body if you could get one with the original one cheaper? Obviously you wouldn't. I think normal T's sold well if you could afford them but the war forced up the price considerably and that probably put off most people.

Obviously steel would have been put to war purposes first before local manufacturers got it to use for domestic use. If D&F were making trams etc they would need steel for them, they may not have needed the steel for T bodies.

Here is the section written by Arthur Davies in 1925 on the subject of the excess of Model T's and other cars. As its written only a few years after the events it should be accurate, I didn't find anything to indicate that he was challenged on his take of the proceedings. I hope the print is readable if not I will later write it out and post it separately.

davies01


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By peter kable Kiama Australia on Wednesday, December 22, 2010 - 07:02 pm:

George, Thanks for the chart, a bit more info for us. there is a lot more cars than chassis's so the chassis were probably used to build local bodies and the cars sold as.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kerry van Ekeren on Wednesday, December 22, 2010 - 07:18 pm:

Sorry peter, I don't read the chart the same as you, what I see is from 1911 to 23 that chassis came to australia at about 4 to 1 cars in that period.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kerry van Ekeren on Wednesday, December 22, 2010 - 08:17 pm:

Something of interest that I found that would confirm that chart as being right in numbers for chassis and car imports, compiled from registration records in NSW 1916, car and chassis count for 1914 and 15 in dollar total, from canada, 1914 $338,480 and 1915 $273,515 and bodies total 1914, $75,660 and 1915 $64,595
There is a drop in new car registrations in 1915, 1914 3293 and 1915 2758 in NSW take in account what would have been registered and a drop as well in other states, I can't see with what was imported to Australia by that chart that we could have a surplus of 5000 T's,
I do think that Athur Davies may have had a hidden motive to make that statement 1925.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roy Grenman on Wednesday, December 22, 2010 - 08:38 pm:

Hi all, I was reading this today, I contacted Ray to come and give us his knowledge on what he has in paper work and books for this period and he said he would not be interested as even with facts people do not listen or believe, This is what he told me about white cars,
"they are very few in number and was a special order as was black, black was a hearse colour as French found out but we had around five other colours to choose from and there where private imports that do not show up like my car which came as Right Hand Drive with the ford blue and different build plates from the factory cars and the facts from Ford Canada are usually wrong any way as Australia and New Zealand from 1914 was at war and a major amount of men had left for the war so there was no one but the rich to buy cars and when you tour Australia all the old building cease after 1914 so who was here to buy cars?. Also the sea trade was cut off because many of the ships where used to move supply's and men to the war as well as the German raiders "
end quote.
He did say he had some early books on New Zealand that showed the Ford buildings and models in the main city and Australian books from 1912 which have the detail,s but he has packed them away, you guys must have really up set him as he is not talking Model T any more... Roy Grenman


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Stokes on Wednesday, December 22, 2010 - 09:47 pm:

George - thank you for posting the table from "Shadow of Detroit". It is what I referred to above.

Kerry - if you read the table literally, you are right. That is, that Ford of Canada exported to Australia lots of bare chassis and no built up cars in the period 1911-1912/13. Yet the converse happened in New Zealand, with lots of built up cars and no bare chassis!
The matter is clarified in note a on the table, that the figures for those years refer to total exports only.
The table is poorly put together, but the note does claify it.
Very few chassis came to NZ (none in 1913-14) and I suspect the same was the case in Aussie. Indeed, information from elsewhere shows that Ford of Canada did not offer bare chassis until the 1913-14 year.

John Stokes
New Zealand


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kerry van Ekeren on Wednesday, December 22, 2010 - 10:21 pm:

Thanks John, Yes it would be a brave person to compile all that is in print, new, old, stories and myths too claim an accurate history of the british empire T's, just too many gaps to fill, just little things that crop up that puts the bigger things in question.
I found another, true or false? a company called Globe Motor and Taxi Company of melbourne. A T built by them on a imported rolling chassis in 1912.
A book on the subject would need to be titled carefully " A 102 years of publications on the model T ford, believe it or not"


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By peter kable Kiama Australia on Thursday, December 23, 2010 - 02:43 am:

Kerry , We have been talking about brass radiator Model T's so they only go to 1916.

As John mentioned the chassis was not available till 1913 so the chart is maybe a bit out.

There definately were 1910-11-12 complete cars shipped here. Neally all the survivors around today have the Canadian/American style bodies on them. If you look at David's list he shows only one or 2 of each year of the D&F bodies are still around, there are heaps of the Canadian ones. The Clubs in NSW show a similar ratio.

Still that is a great chart that George has posted. The only figures I had showed total numbers and didn't split cars from chassis.

Of interest are the 1919 and 1920 passenger cars on the list and the 13 cars listed for 1923. The 13 are probably the sedans which Ford Canada sent to try and convince the Australian market to buy ( the local distributors said that they wouldn't sell and wouldn't order them.) but I wonder what the others could be??

George, are there figures for later years 24,25,26,27 ?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kerry van Ekeren on Thursday, December 23, 2010 - 04:09 am:

OK, so we can safely say that chassis came in for Australian bodies by 1913/14 and Duncan & Fraser in SA wrecked complete cars to build Delux bodies as early as 1911,in a small number?
did any of the other state body builders do the same thing? or can we conclude that the Australian T's started in 13/14,14/15 + 15/16 going by the chart for the number of chassis at that time giving Constantine's question a ball park figure of 25to30% home built brass T's?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Constantine in Melbourne, Australia on Thursday, December 23, 2010 - 07:44 am:

George, thanks for putting up the table.

David, not looking for anything specific was just thinking with such nice styling, if plans of Duncan and Frazer bodies existed, together with some photos someone might one day decide to build a replica. Any idea why D&F did not import chassis to add their bodies to? What happened to the Canadian bodies they removed? If correct the above table shows that at least in 1913 chassis were being imported by someone.

Peter, car will hopefully arrive mid to late January...in the meantime I'm trying to sell my 1924 Australian bodied Fiat (see the latest edition of Just Cars) to make room...you wouldn't know someone who might be interested?

George, thanks for posting that table.

There's a lot of information above; am I correct to conclude that from the evidence we have today the clear majority of BRASS Ts imported into Australia were Canadian bodied (perhaps 75 to 85%) and RHD?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Constantine in Melbourne, Australia on Thursday, December 23, 2010 - 08:13 am:

Roy, tell Ray it's not true that most people using this forum ignore or dismiss other people's views or opinions.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George...Cherry Hill, NJ on Thursday, December 23, 2010 - 09:11 am:

Peter,

There are no production references past the chart supplied. See below for quoted excepts from the book...

• “No Ford cars were sent to Australia between September 1916 and August 1917 as dealers there still had a large backlog of 15-16 Models…”
• “McGregor could not build fast enough to meet the surging demand for the Model T, abroad and at home or on a scale that would reduce the cost of production to a level desired by Detroit. His marketing trip of 1909-1910 was undoubtedly a factor in the strong overseas sales in 1911-1912, including 1,157 in Australia, 586 in New Zealand….”
• “From September 1917, Australia imposed an embargo act on imported car bodies which meant that only chassis could be exported to Australia…”
• As far as post 1923 sales to Australia, the author is somewhat silent with simple comments as “Due to the start-up of Ford Australia…” or “Problems with Australia…”


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Stokes on Thursday, December 23, 2010 - 04:56 pm:

Here we can see an excellent example of the differences between the Australian and New Zealand market conditions.

No Ford cars were sent to Australia in the 1916-17 Ford of Canada fiscal year, because of the backlog of unsold cars.

In complete contrast, New Zealand couldn't get enough of the new Fords! The big threat in early 1917 was a proposed increase in price - a letter from CMC to the Ford dealers states that "Unfortunately, present conditions are not favourable as far as freight rates and war risk insurance are concerned and, if these show any further upward tendency, we shall be obliged to increase the price of cars in proportion."

Advertising at the time pointed out the features of the "new 1917 models, with streamline bonnet and radiator and domed mudguards". (A bonnet in NZ talk is a hood in US talk!).

John Stokes
New Zealand


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kerry van Ekeren on Thursday, December 23, 2010 - 07:20 pm:

Hi John, correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the 16/17 fiscal year that the update is released, maybe David or Peter can tell me if we were a year behind in getting the update T?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Stokes on Thursday, December 23, 2010 - 08:59 pm:

Kerry - right now the best I can pin it down for the New Zealand market is between February and April, 1917. In February, the brass cars were still advertised. By April, the 'new' (non-brass) Ts had arrived. I am still trying to find a period news release about this - there must beeen many stories released at the time, as it was quite a noticeable change in the appearance of the Ford - and such a change may give us the rationale.
John Stokes
New Zealand


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Stokes on Thursday, December 23, 2010 - 09:38 pm:

I cannot help myself! I am going to throw a very large pussy cat amongst a whole bunch of pidgeons....

In November, 1915 the Australian Government issued a directive not to buy from the Ford Ontario company, because of the views of Mr Henry Ford towards the war.

Such a directive, at such a time, would have a great impact on the locals, and on Ford of Canada - Australia was by far Ford of Canada's largest export market.

The following year, the Prime Minister of Canada, one Sir R L Borden, stepped in. He made it clear that "the Ontario company was quite distinct from Mr Henry Ford's Detroit company, and that Mr Henry Ford owned just a quarter of the stock, with most of the balance being owned by Canadians."

"Sir R L Borden added that he believed Mr Ford's views about the war were not shared by the Canadian company, which loyally supported the Empire". (News release of the period).

I simply wonder if this partly accounts for the unsold Ford cars in Australia from about that time?

John Stokes
New Zealand


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Constantine in Melbourne, Australia on Friday, December 24, 2010 - 02:29 am:

I don't think it would have had a major effect; with the country at war and thousands of men heading overseas, people stopped buying all brands of cars not only Fords.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kerry van Ekeren on Friday, December 24, 2010 - 02:55 am:

Yes you would think so but the funny or mystery part of it all, is the canadian production numbers didn't drop, someone must of wanted T's, 1913/14-15657 1914/15-18771 1915/16-32646 1916/17-50043


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By peter kable Kiama Australia on Friday, December 24, 2010 - 03:52 am:

Thanks George for the info, nice to have an extra source to back up Arthur Davies story. We will add it to the rest of the data we have collected

John, thanks also for the pussy cat info us pidgeons appreciate it . I'm sure that would have had some influence as well as the shortage of males who were away at the war again that gives us an extra answer as to why there was an stockpile.,

Christmas is going to slow things down a bit but there looks to be an answer to what the story is regarding Local built bodies and and the ones imported on the chassis.

I will get the 4 guys from the other states to look into the information and see if we can confirm any of it. Unless we can find confirmation it is just hearsay it will remain just that.


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