My question is for anyone who has ever worked on the Model T top sockets. I am going to be working on a set of original top sockets that are not really for a Model T. This is a set that I have had in storage for years and now I am trying to make them work for a 1913 Touring. They are in great condition, with original dark blue paint. They are oval sockets, the same size as a brass Model T and the cast ends are exactly the same. The only problem is that they do not have the bumper/spacers on them that hold the sockets apart when the top is down. It doesn’t look like this set ever had any, which makes me believe that this set is from another brand of auto. Is there a repro source for these bumpers? I have a few old rusted out sockets that I could rob these parts from but I don’t have enough. These are hard to find. I guess venders don’t bring the rusted out ones to swap meets thinking that no one would want them.
How are these bumpers attached to the metal socket? Are they riveted and does the rivet go to the inside of the socket or all the way through to the piece on the other side? With new top socket sets selling in the $600-700 range I would really like to make this set work on my car if at all possible. This car is not going to be a show car, but I want it look as original as possible.
Have you tried contacting John Boorinakis in California? His phone is 530-885-4956. He can tell you where to get some.
In 1913 there were at least three different body makers supplying Ford touring bodies. Each body manufacturer supplied a slightly different style of top bow with different styles of nesting pins. John Boorinakis, who Jack mentions, has each of the types. He has them cast out of brass although the originals were either iron or steel. Paint them black and they look like originals. Some are riveted like the later styles, others were attached with screws.
Like Jack says, John can fix you up. He sells the bow spacers for, as I recall, $10 per pair, which includes the rivets if you're buying a double set. Use a machine screw and a dab of epoxy on the singles.
The only thing is: there were variations in these spacers, so the ones you have might look different from the ones you get. In that case, consider getting a whole set or keep looking at swaps.
Looks like I was typing while Royce was posting.
Do your top bows look like the top bow sockets below which are oval and also do not have any bumper/spacers?
If so they may be Canadian top sockets for the Canadian 1917-20 or so touring. The ones shown are from Gordon Sylvester’s original 1919. Below is the type of top bow socket holder that went with the bows that didn’t have the bumper/spacers.
Note the 1915 – 16 Canadian tops that I know about, had the spacers and the standard USA looking top saddle. I do not know if the 1913-14 Canadian tops did or did not have the bumper/spacers. I suspect they did – but that is just a guess.
Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.
Just to follow up on this posting, I contacted Rick by e-mail. He shared, “……that does look like the set I have and I guess that explains the mystery.”
Note if anyone needs a set of 1917-1919 Canadian top bows you might want to contact Rick and have him make some measurements. It might save Rick the effort of adding the spacers to those top irons and the other person the trouble of removing the spacers and filling in the holes.
Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford Touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout.