Bought my 26 Canadian RHD Touring car in January and just got the paperwork showing its history! It was made in Canada and assembled in New Zealand. I have a copy of the original vehicle registration from 1926 in NZ and continues through 10 other owners in NZ. It was then shipped to the U.S. in 1970 (have shipping papers!) The guy who shipped it to the U.S. then gave it to his daughters in Colorado in 1981. It was then sold to the guy I bought it from! Bottom line - I have the entire ownership history for the last 87 years!! The last bonus I got is that the motor # on the original registration is the same as the motor in it today! Fun stuff!
Glad to see you are single handedly changing the odd US to Colonial RHD!!! Great news about the history, a rarity indeed.
That's an almost priceless asset to have.
That is great news! I know that is something very special.
When you have a chance please share with us how you discovered the early history of the car -- research at the x,y,z archives, found the registrations under the rear seat, etc. For a USA car the information from the archives is excellent for car #1,119 shipped Mar 3, 1909 to 70,750 shipped Oct 5, 1911. After that it drops off to less than 1 in 4 cars and becomes harder and harder to find and the number of cars produced increased. And the records sort of end around Jan 1915 or so time frame as a fire at the archives destroyed a lot of the other information on the USA Model Ts. It would also be nice to know when the car was assembled and/or sold compared to the engine number. That would give us a data point on the relationship of the engine date (we have the Ford Canada listing of months the engines were assembled – see the thread link mentioned in the next paragraph for that list), and the date the car was assembled/sold in New Zealand.
Would you also please take a look at your firewall and let me know if there is a letter on the engine side a little below where the radiator rod is attached to the firewall? See: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/179374/196599.html?1299852394 for where Canada and also Australia placed their assembly numbers. (The USA placed them on one of the metal sill around the front floor boards -- when they stamped an assembly number. Apparently started sometime around 1926 but not at all plants etc. For the 1928 and later Model A Ford production, most cars had an assembly plant number stamped on the body.)
It also gives you an opportunity to try and contact the families of the previous owners. While the original owner is likely passed away, there is a slim chance one of their relatives is still at the original address and/or area. It is a long shot -- but you never know until you try. A short article and photo submitted to the local paper for that area might work. The paper might run the human interest article and someone might recognize the name etc.
It also sounds like the history of the car might make an interesting article for one of the club magazines etc.
Again congratulations on tracking down the history!
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Thanks! From the info you provided in the link, I determined the motor (C5747**) was produced +/ 6/21/1925. I did this based on the production #'s for the period,then calculated the avg # of motor per day (228)and extended this out to my motor #. I think this is probably the way to calculate the approximate motor mfr date? Hap, when I get home I will research the firewall tag (if available) and get back with you to answer more of your questions. You are a wealth of knowledge and it is appreciated! Jeff
Thanks for the kind words and for being willing to check your car. As each of us shares the parts of the puzzle we have, we all get a better picture of how it was probably done back in the day or some good suggestions on how to do things today. Note there is a good chance your engine would have been produced around that date. I do not know if Ford of Canada shipped engine parts to other locations for them to be assembled there. Ford USA did do that -- and in those cases once the engine was assembled with the transmission, accessories, etc. it was stamped with an engine number that had previously been provided by the main factory in Detroit. For those USA engines, the actual date they were assembled would be after the normal serial number date by a few days to even longer than a month. [ref: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/sernos.htm see the introductory paragraph. Additional explanation on page 501 of Bruce McCalley's (R.I.P.) book "Model T Ford" or his CD.] Again I do NOT repeat NOT know if Ford Canada did or did not do that. I would guess they did not, because of the relative small number of engines they produced -- but that is just a guess without any documentation one way or the other. If anyone else has some information concerning that, please let us know.
And please note that the Assembly Plant number was not placed on a tag, but for Canada and Australia for most of the Improved Models the number was stamped into the metal firewall. The number was located a little below the radiator rod on the engine side of the firewall. I do not know if New Zealand stamped their cars or not.
Again, great story and thank you for your help.
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How many time have we heard "If that car could talk".......YOURS comes pretty darn close.......
I would be very interested to assist you in any search you may wish to undertake here in New Zealand. Indeed, depending upon where in NZ the original owners lived, I will be able to send to you a photo of the assembly plant the car was most probably assembled at. You may already have good, accurate detailed information about that? If you don't wish to share past owners names on this forum, please feel free to send to me a private message.
My efforts are not entirely altruistic - they may benefit my own project!
Look forward to hearing from you.
Hap, I looked at my firewall very closely last night for any stamped numbers etc. I did not find any numbers whatsoever! I don't know what this means in the big scheme? Jeff
John, Thank you for your kind offer! I would love to find out more about my car. The owners of the car starting in 1926 were from Scargill, Amberley, Belfast, Christchurch, Blenheim and Lake Coleridge. I have each owners name and most of their street addresses. I don't have any info on assembly plant. I have put together a form which summarizes all of the info I have. Can I send an attachment via private message? Thanks, Jeff
Yes, please do. Or you can send it direct to my email at firstname.lastname@example.org - I will enjoy assisting you.
If the first owner lived in Scargill - which is located in North Canterbury (between Christchurch and Kaikoura) - almost certainly the car was put together at the Timaru assembly plant operated by The Colonial Motor Co.
I'll look forward to hearing from you.
From the New Zealand MTFCNZ Register, there are are four engines shown of the C574... series, and another four in the C573... series. Quite possibly they all came out on the same shipment. The owners of these numbered vehicles are from all over the country, however most of them are from the South Island, so like John, I would suspect a Timaru starting point. In the late 1960's and early 1970's quite a few tidy old cars left these shores for the USA with the boys that were stationed here on "Operation Deep Freeze". Your car could quite conceivably be one of them.
That is significant. Very few of us know the ownership lineage of our cars. Well done!
John, I will send the info to you on Monday from work. Rod, that is interesting about the motor #. The car was bought by a U.S. Navy guy that was stationed with the Antartic Development Squadron 6 in NZ. He shipped it to the USA in December of 1970. I think his squadron was part of the Operation Deep Freeze as you note! Thanks much to each of you for your input! Jeff
It is a great plus when you know a cars full history.
I have a friend who lives at Scargill, Nth Canterbury, & know all the other places mentioned in the South Island where your Model T once lived.
Many great early Fords were taken to the US from Christchurch via Operation Deep Freeze at no cost to the Servicemen I heard. Now with Internet selling, lots are coming back this way!
As John says, it would have been assembled by Colonial Motor Co at Timaru,a port with links to Nth America in that era.
As far as I know,local assembly here did not stamp the firewall, but some cars may have an Ontario assembly stamp eg. Sedans & Coupes?
Before the electronic age, all cars here had ownership papers recording all the owners from new.This stayed with the car. Now, all early history can be lost if the car has been unregistered for many years as it has be be 'vined
with a new plate.
I'm intrigued to hear what you mean that some cars may have a Canadian assembly stamp (eg Sedans and Coupes)? I have some thoughts on on this and it would make a good discussion, I think.
This might be an opportunity for members of the MTFC-NZ to share what they know about identifying marks that may have been added at the assembly plants operated by The Colonial Motor Company (CMC) the extent of assembly in New Zealand.
As you know, I do not know much about Model T assembly in NZ, other than what has been published here already. My interest is Model A production ; a work in progress.
I have read the posts here on the T forum on Sedans & coupes that went to Australia & were not assembled there but in Canada. NZ received a lot more closed cars than Aust. ever did & I would say a minor non Ford set up as per Colonial Motor Co. would not be assembling coachbuilt closed types. They were not capable of assembling any of the Model A bodies either, nearly all of which bear an Ontario [ F] Plant letter.
I am thinking that Colonial, being a sub agent to Ford Canada, & there being no Ford owned Plant in NZ until late 1936, that they would not be able to use any stamp letter or numbers for NZ assembly? NZ tag plates only appears on CKD production at the Seaview Plant post 1936.
John, you are the man on this topic & I would appreciate your comments especially if my comments are not correct.
Hi again Wayne,
I think your comments are absolutely correct.
But I am trying to prove this, about the late Model T bodies (all body types) especially.
I am convinced the relationship between CMC and Ford of Canada was a strong one. I would not expect Ford of Canada to have any objections to CMC 'tagging' in some way the cars they assembled. The question is, what was the extent of CMC assembly?
It is absolutely my understanding that the Model A bodies were not assembled here. Quite why CMC didn't buy the jigs, I don't know - this was pre-depression era. But the Model A did take the world by storm, production was slow and the first examples to arrive here were very late (even later than Australia). Then came the Depression, and the Model A was then followed by the V-8, and we saw the start annual model changes (much to Henry's disgust) and the market had become VERY depressed. I can understand why CMC could not justify the cost of the body jigs for these later cars.
The question is, did CMC assemble any bodies at all?
I shall alert Roger Gardner, the CMC historian, to this thread. Also, the NZ Model T Club members may have on this?
The following is posted on behalf of Roger Gardner, who is the historian for the Colonial Motor Company.
an interesting discussion. Photos of final assembly at Wellington showing a New Beauty Fordor circa 1926 exist, and also about 1924 of Touring body drop exist. Wellington was the main assembly point for CMC and did all the complicated units. In 1930-36 they built Model As,V8s,Mod Y,C, many steel bodies using jigs and Timaru and Auckland did simpler SKD units, commercials and tractors, and distributed in their area. Victoria and small demand models were imported from Canada built. In the Depression, Timaru and Auckland assembly was smaller and some staff transferred to Wellington. Timaru stopped assembly about 1933.
CMC bought land in Te Aro, Wellington in 1932 to build a factory but, because of tariff uncertainties and Ford Canada's uncertain attitude, held off building.
After SMMT talks about British preferential tax in London, June 1935, involving CMC (representing NZ and Ford Canada), NZ PM and Head of Customs plus officials, agreement was reached about NZ Vehicle Tariff and CKD tax benefit for NZ assembly, with British and Canadian preference rates set, it remained confidential until NZ Govt had passed regulations for 1936. Ford Canada advised CMC it would build a factory in July 1935. CMC then ordered a full year's built up production of Fords to be imported prior to 1936 when a new government came in and taxes increased.
Does this help you all to understand the complexities better?
SMMT = Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders
SKD = semi-knocked down
Interesting facts from Roger & yourself. Re Model A bodies, there would have been a lot more equipment & skills required other than jiggs ; electric welding was cutting edge in late '20's & I do not think Geelong was doing it until 1929/30.
Also, Model A introduction to NZ started with the first showings in ChCh in mid May 1928, the exact same time as occurred in Australia! There are photos of the actual cars in Australia, but as is often the case concerning Colonial & Ford in NZ, no photos! After the rush of good sales of the 1928 Model A's in NZ, things slowly went downhill & by 1930 cars were getting harder to move. This must have been the reason Timaru assembly [SKD] ceased. The British were also pushing to get preferential treatment & some Ford Dagenham sales started from 1932 onwards. All of this is well explained by Roger.
The late Model T CKD kits were well designed by Canada & the open bodies could be easily assembled by colonial, I think. The built up closed types may have been just mounted on a chassis. I am thinking most of the Model A's arrived SKD & only required minor finishing ; if only we had photos of what they were doing like the many production photos that exist of Ford Australia! Do you have any rare pic.s lurking in your files?