I am looking close at the factory catalog shot of the above mentioned models and the tank looks as though it has two caps on it -- one left and one right. Having never seen one in person, I have no other reference. I'd be interested in anyone knowledgeable commenting on what's showing there.
Several years ago there was a car like that being auctioned off. I don't recall if it was ebay or one of the big auction companies. I think it was a live company though. Anyhow the car had a square tank like that. The car was described in the advertisment as having one of the few known early square tanks,ultra rare bla bla bla...
So I know there is one of them out there somewhere. You just need to find it.
The earliest tanks were "square" but the above picture looks like a typical artists conception of the car and not a picture of an actual early 1911 torpedo which would explain the 2 gas caps. Note that the pan is 1910 style. These early bodies were made of wood which is likely why not many survive. They were first listed in the invoices at the HFM in very late 1910 and much later than typical new 1911 cars which began on October 1, 1910. I know Bill Barth restored an early torpedo with a square tank. The threaded fitting on the square tank was made of brass as was the gas tank cap but the later tank was round. Early on the tank itself was fitted with brass threaded cap fitting but then changed to cast iron fitting and the gas cap was then lastly changed to cast iron and painted black. My open runabout has an original cast iron cap on it. It is a May 8, 1911 car. So many of the repro brass caps were made that most people are no aware that a brass cap would be incorrect for the typical 1911 torpedo and open runabout unless it also had a square tank and a wooden body.
You are correct, that is only the typical artists conception. I've scoured the web and magazines to no avail with the hope of finding a photo of a square tank.
My interest in this is I'm trying to put together an Open Runabout, but cannot find a loose body laying around, even for patterns. If I can find one to dimension, I'd like to build a wood body and make a square tank to go with it. I figure if I'm going to all the trouble, I might as well go to a little more.
Two ads from 1911 showing the square tank.
"The Washington Times" January 15, 1911:
"The San Francisco Call" April 30, 1911
Changed from rectangular to round listed in the catalogues on (US Date style) 01-04-11A. "Gasoline tank, Torpedo Runabout. Changed from rectangular to round."
01-04-11A; the 'A' suffix looks like a drawing amendment with date to me. Hope this helps...
Jay from Northern California posted the photo below on Feb 8, 2011 – sorry, I did not save the link.
And cropped and zoomed below:
Hap l9l5 cut off
Thanks to all -- every little bit helps!
What is shown may be an artists conception but for the time it would be very rational thinking by Ford as he sold cars in RHD and LHD countries so it depend which side of the street the pump was on. The main question is any of you over 100 years old and can say it was not there or have any of you can honestly say I have seen a barn find and they did not have two?
I have seen an original square tank and it only had one filler. I also have the factory drawing for the filler fitting and at that time the drawings stated the number of items/car so the drawing would have stated 2 if they used 2 of them. It may have had 2 of them on a prototype tank but it doesn't appear to be on the production drawings. I don't think the filler neck being on either side or both makes for any convenience versus a center filler position that is easily reachable from either side and even easier from the very back of the car.
Is it known why they went from the square to the round tank? I'm guessing either easier to manufacture, better capacity, or some combination of the two.
There is no documentation as to why they did it but I can tell you that a round or oval tank is going to keep the motor running until the last drop while a flat bottom tank can have gas in it and be out of gas on an incline unless the tank has a rather narrow bottom and is tall.
Is this a 1911 Open Runabout? Thank you, Kathy
That is a Packard Roadster, not a Model T.
Here is another period photo of a Torpedo with the early tank.
That's good insight on the tank design, John.
Andrew, thanks for the last photo. That's good inspiration for going forward with replicating the square tank.
The square tank gives the torpedo an entirely different look. Thanks for the pics.
Here's an early Open Runabout:
And some illustrations.
Ford Times V4 No5 rear cover:
Ford Times V4 No7 March 1911 cover:
Ford Times V4 No5:
The photo with the two women is fantastic! As it's likely a square tanked car had a wood body, I'll be studying it closely.
I was just on the thread about the Model S Roadster and was discussing the amount of Model S's still around.
This made me think about the Torpedo Roadsters and the amount of them left. Does anyone have any idea about how many Original ones may be around.
Rare as rocking horse droppings in Australia. Many copies have been restored though...man, they really do look good. Here is the only original South Australian photo I have with one taken out near Farina.
Does anybody know how the deck (where the gas tank sits) of a wood bodied car was constructed? I'm guessing it's tongue and groove boards with a veneer on top, sort of how firewalls were done. I'm thinking a wood bodied commercial roadster would be done in the same manner.
Just found this photo and remembered this thread. Note the seam in the front wall of the tank.
These photos have renewed my interest in the 1911 open runabout and the torpedo. I have saved a correct steering column for one, a round 12 gallon gas tank, correct frame, a thin 12 rivet read end, correct front end, correct break lever unit, trans cover, radiator, windshield, coil box, head and other lights and other things. It would end up as a mid 1911. I could use one of the non starter blocks I have. I have always thought it would be fun to build one up. perhaps the open one. One always needs a "project" to keep one's interest in Ts.,, I will always keeps these parts as a unit in case I do not get the project finished,
Roger Byrne has an open runabout and he has gone completely through it. He might be a good contact for technical information. If you are unable to find information contact for Roger (a poster on MTFCA on occasion), send an email and I'll dig up his contact info,
Andrew's pic of the two ladies driving in the snow with those smooth tires got me to thinking.
That must have been something on snow and ice with bald tires. Sounds like fun.
Rob. Thank you for the information. I am starting a file using the photos from this thread. I think I will also copy parts info from my early parts books. I have the Ford Times the color picture is from.
Darel, I sent you an E-Mail . . good luck with your project. Here's my OpenRunabout before I had the carbide generator and "potato" horn installed.
Your car turned out great! Hope you've had a chance to drive it,
The email address for me in the profile was out of date. It has now been corrected.
That is an excellent photo, Andrew. Thank you for posting it. That probably shows more of the fine details clearly than anything I've seen yet. Particularly the gas tank.
Beautiful runabout, Roger. I've seen those photos in various places on the web and have studied them hard.
Roger -- I really like the nearly-black blue color of your car. Which paint/color is it?
More photos and information
Mike, we have had several discussions on "Midnight Blue" paint. Here are links to one of them with the paint codes: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/277414.html?1332517099
Here is a photo of my first Model T which I bought in in 1965. It had been rebuilt by a club member, sold upon his passing and the new owner was forced to sell it when his second wife refused to ride in it.
When I got married and we had our second child I sold the body and built the Town Car. The new owner was going to make a fire chiefs car but later sold it and after several years a club member purchased it and restored it back to health. The rear guards are fronts reversed.
Here it is with the Town Car
Always glad to hear from you
Thanks for the 2 photos you just posted!
If you can find a copy of the Sept.-Oct. 1989 issue of the Model T Times you'll find pictures of the '11 square-tank torpedo that Bill Barth restored, if I recall correctly.
Roger -- Thanks for the link. I remember those discussions and made note of the paint codes at that time. I just didn't remember that it was you who posted them.
Peter, do you remember if the body you sold was all wood or steel skinned over wood framework?
Another early square tank open roadster
Great Photo Darel!
Notice a Good Cigar was only 5 cents back then
Excellent photo! Happy new customer, perhaps?
That dealership is still in business:
It is from a book and the photo was provided by the Diehl family. They labeled the T a 1915 and said the lady was Mrs. Diehl.
Walter, body was wood frame, steel on rear of seats and rear deck.
Here is a photograph of Rob Heyen's 1909 Touring parked next to a 1911 Torpedo.
The photo showing Diehl & Simpson Ford- is in Bellingham, WA. The building still stands and Diehl Ford is still in business and still family owned. I believe they're now the oldest Ford dealership in the US.