I am a newbie to model T's as most of you know. But over the past 4 months while beginning my restoration, I have read volumes of literature.
I just don't get some of his philosophy. For example: As I dismantled my Tudor to begin restoration, I, of course worked from the top down. When I had the sheet metal removed down to the center rail, there sat a perfect touring car.
Why wouldn't he have just designed a "hard top" with windows to just sit on top of the body he was already producing? The bottom sheetmetal from the touring car would have then already fit with no additional tooling. It just seems as though Henry wasn't thinking.
Another good example is the running boards. Why are there so many variations over the years. Why would he go to the expense of setting everything all back up again just to turn the ford script? Why then set everything back up again to remove the ford script?
I understand many changes were made to overcome problems, make them run better, or solve customer complaints, but would the orientation of the ford script be customer driven? It sure just doesn't seem cost effective to me.
You are forgetting the gazillions of cars produced and the MANY sets of tooling required to make the parts. It doesn't cost any extra to put the "Ford" script in a different place when new tooling is produced.
Turning the Ford Script sideways made the running boards interchangeable left to right. This reduced the complexity of the assembly line. If it hadn't been done, the script would be probably have been installed wrong on some cars because the line wouldn't stop just because one side ran out of running boards.
Tudors and Fordors are different bodies in that the pillars have wider heavier doors to support. This is why the sixties Lincolns had suicide doors on the back. The dagger shaped B-Pillar would never have supported the hinge load of a door with a glass window. Others in this forum will tell you aftermarket tops were available to enclose open cars. There were compromises made with these designs, along with the narrow doors, and they would have never have been as strong as floor to ceiling pillars.
If you're going to change the body wood, there is little point in trying to make the rest of the body common.