At just about every rally we see beautifully restored mother-in-law 1911-12 model 'T's. I know many have been restored. One local "Wheeler & Dealer" here had at least 6 bodies sitting in his roof at one point and every project he sold around the 1911-12-13 mark most came with reproduction mother-in-law bodies. (He did sell a handful of projects with reproduction torpedo roadster bodies too).
With the beautiful photos if Ian Berg's first run (it is a beautiful car by the way) I started checking my files and have been unable to come up with a single original, genuine, Australian, RHD photo with a mother-in-law Ford.
This got me thinking did any mother-in-law bodied Fords actually come to Australia? Does anybody have an original, RHD, Australian photo of one?
I believe they would have been imported to Australia. I have plenty of 1912 Torpedo Shots but no Runabout. The only early Runabout in Australia evidence I have is 1910.
I kind of thought so too, but there is no proof past the only early photo of 1910. As you correctly highlighted we have photos of the rare and elusive torpedos, but none of mother-in-laws.
The same as I have never seen a genuine Australian photo of the 1911-12 'C' Cab Van, many Colonial built copies, but none of the genuine Ford body.
I hope somebody out there has a genuine photo.
How's that dual Fronty coming? Did miss an update?
David, I'm away from home for the week but from memory there is a photo taken of the Ford Company headquarters in Melbourne taken early teens and there is a C cab Ford in the photo parked out in front. It's in Norm's book.
I think I have an ad showing C cab Fords of the period as well.
It always appeared to me that a decision was made very early to just supply touring and roadster versions only as it made it easier as they could sell as many of those as they could get. If you wanted something different you could get it by having it built locally which was a good profit maker for them. Hence the Colonial models as well as the Trolly and other types.
Most of the cars were sold to country people who wanted it for ease of travel and for work related things (farmers) A mother in law type body would have been fairly impractical. Putting the mother in law on the tray of a Trolly would be a "better solution" !!!!
The so-called "Motor Pioneers" who travelled through the North Island in 1912, from Wellington to Auckland, went in a 'mother-in-law' car.
Made in Canada, I guess this car could just as easily ended up in Australia as it did New Zealand.
What great photos. Thanks for all of the PM's, but no Australian photos so far...
David, I think this is the picture Peter is talking about. It is in Norm Darwin's book, and the picture credit is PK's.
Haven't done much to the Fronty lately. still working on the rear hubs.
I have found some reference to roadster 4 sale in Australia.
There are lots of adds in WA but they all seem to be linked to other adds for Torpedo Roadster with illustrations in same price range.
Here are some adds for Qld & NSW for Roadster. Note the Taxicab add.
Qld other adds refer to colonial made Runabouts and Torpedos. I believe the Standard Model Refered to is the Canadian import model.
I have photos of seperate 1912 Steenbohm Runabouts in Qld. So Standard would be very rare.
A Victorian reference to a 1911-12 Runabout in Jan 1911
The above clipping should read Jan 1912 not 1911
The so-called 'mother-in-law' car was referred to by Ford of Canada as the "Commercial Roadster", as distinct from the 2-seater "Runabout". Those names come from the Ford of Canada catalogues up to 1912.
The I understand Ford of Canada dropped the "Delivery Van" body style, and made available the bare "Chassis". Quite possibly I am wrong but I do not believe NZ or Australia was building "Colonial" bodies until the availability of bare chassis. There may have been a few aborations to that, but not a trend, I believe.
At that early stage, I wonder if the use of the word 'standard' in the advertising is to differentiate between various body styles coming in from Ford of Canada. The 'standard' models may have been the standard "Touring Car" (as opposed to, say, a "Tourabout") and a "Runabout" (as opposed to, say, a "Commercial Roadster"). Certainly the descriptions of the 'standard' cars given in the adverts that Mark has posted would indicate that as the case.
Of course, the names "Touring Car" and "Runabout" were also standard motor industry titles (not exclusive to Ford) for those body styles, and may have been used loosely.
I hope this is seen as helpful in your search for the truth.
Second paragraph should read...
I understand Ford of Canada dropped the "Delivery Van" body style in 1912, and made available the bare "Chassis" instead. Quite possibly I am wrong but I do not believe NZ or Australia was building "Colonial" bodies for Fords until the availability of bare chassis. There may have been a few aborations to that, but not a trend, I believe.
Thanks for your comments. All makes sense about the chassis being available. There are a few exception of colonial bodies on pre 12 chassis but very few.
I looked up the word "commercial" and "ford" for 1912 and nothing is coming up. Also the word Roadster and Ford do seem to work for that era. So "Ford Runabout" seems to be the only description.
I had the very bare remains of a fully Ford accessorized late 10 Runabout imported to Sydney Australia RHD from Detroit via Canada in 1910/early 11. Would have been a show room car. This car has been restored as a Runabout in Tasmania.
Here is the job card for it. very difficult to read but was a Timber Pontiac Runabout Body RHD with windshield, headlamps, top etc.
Note the cross on LHD and tick on RHD as all the other check off points are ticked.
Sorry, the above should read
I looked up the word "commercial" and "ford" for 1912 and nothing is coming up. Also the word Roadster and Ford do..... NOT..... seem to work for that era. So "Ford Runabout" seems to be the only description that works.
Found this photo of a late 1911- early 12.
The inside body irons look US/Canadian and not colonial. The "L" irons that the spare tyres are strapped to appear to be the short roadster style. Seat looks Runabout. Could this be a Standard Runabout converted to Utility?