Hello everyone. I found a stamping on the seat riser in my 1909 touring of "BB 4229". Does anyone know what this means? According to the original builder sheet from the Benson Archives, the body was supplied by Beaudette. However, all of the Beaudette stamps seem to only have a single "B". I have included a picture. There is a lot of distance between the "BB" and the "4229" as you can see in the photo. The motor number in the car is #2840 (manufactured on May 8, 1909).
I’m glad you posted your question, as I was not finding anything definitive on the double “B.” In your e-mail you mentioned that there was possibly one other posting you found with a double “B” – BB 4585. I tried searching for that using Google but so far I have not found that remark. Do your have the link to that thread? Was it also a 1909 or 1910 Ford?
Recommend you take a close look at the shipping document that you have on your car. Starting around Jul 20, 1910 the shipping documents also contained the body number. Your car was manufactured much earlier than that – but I would still recommend looking for that number on the shipping document to see if it is recorded.
Side note: The shipping documents for car #1; 1,119 manufactured Mar 3, 1909 to approximately car # 70,702 manufactured Sep 29, 1911 have both the shipping date and the date of manufacture. The listing in Bruce’s book pages 478 – 499 covers about every 100th entry (every 5th car initially, the 10th and then 100th car with others noted along the way.) It has the manufacture date listed which may or may not be the same day the car was shipped.
I had hoped to find some Beaudett (also spelled Beaudette and referred to as Pontiac in most of the Ford records) body numbers shown for a 1909 or 1910 touring. I looked at 5 feature 1909 cars and 5 feature 1910 cars in the Model T Times. I also looked at several 1909-1910 articles in the “Vintage Ford” and did not see any body numbers provided No body numbers listed (they shared the body number was the same as the engine number in several spots – but that is actually the car number – i.e. the brass ID tag would have the same number as the engine serial number up until they stopped matching in the USA production. They continued to match in the Canadian production much later. The 1909 feature car in “From Here to Obscurity” also did not have the body number listed or shown. But it would be a great sample as it also has the aluminum Beaudett body like your car. Does anyone know the current whereabouts or owner of 1909 number 4888 that was owned by Hy Pingree and Ray Miller back in 1971 when the book was published? If so, could you ask them to lift up the front seat and see if there is a number stamped on the wooden frame in front of the gas tank?
Note Mitch Owen with B8808 a 1910 Beaudett has a photo of showing that number at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/118802/138085.html?1272498300
At this point, you are looking in the correct area that a body number would normally be found on a touring (i.e. lift up the front seat cushion and look down on the wooden seat frame in front of the gas tank.) Why it has “BB” instead of the more common “B” – I do not know. But I suspect it is still the body number. An initial GUESS – did the wooden bodied Beaudett bodies have a single “B” and the aluminum bodies have a “BB”? Currently I only have a sample size of “1” which is your car – so it is way too early to form a trend etc.
Hopefully others will be able to add some additional data points for 1909-1910 Beaudett bodies.
Here is the thread on BB4585 I found yesterday: http://modelt.org/discus/messages/2/36294.html?1329097057
The gentleman posting the thread had a touring body for a 1911 stamped with BB4585. Unfortunately, he did not post a picture of what it looked like. There are only 356 numbers separating the two stamps, so this is not making much sense.
I pulled the photocopies of the shipping documents I got from Benson and it does not have a body number listed. The document just has a check by "Body - Aluminum" and "Pontiac" written next to the "Body - Made By" section.
What is odd about the stamping on my car is that the "BB" is so far removed from the "4229". At first, I was thinking that maybe 4229 meant April 22, 1909, which would have been convenient given that the build date was May 8, 1909. When I found the post about BB4585, that shot down my initial theory. Your thought about BB having something to do with the aluminum bodies is certainly a possibility. When I reviewed Bruce's list today, there were a lot of aluminum bodies being used during that time frame.
I also thought about "BB" meaning "Beaudett Body". Maybe there was a new guy stamping bodies that week?
I am going to visit Detroit later this week and visit the Piquette plant. There is a very nice 1909 touring there. Perhaps I can convince one of the staff to peek under the seat for me.
Thank you so much for your help. It is greatly appreciated.
My 1909-10 engine number 10276 has aluminum body with number B 2522 Maybe an earlier body on latter chassis?
Thank you for sharing your body number. At this point we are trying to gather some additional data points to figure out if the 1909 – 1910ish body numbers will be helpful or not in dating cars etc. In the past, they were considered "Too random" to be of any help. However as we gathered additional samples it became clear that in the 1914-1920ish range several of the body makers included a date code in their body number. Beaudett, Wilson both come to mind as using the date code during the teens. But from memory, I do not recall a date code used in a body number in the 1909-1912 range [ok -- the memory is not as good as it used to be]. If anyone else has any examples of a date code in a 1909-1912 body number, please let us know.
Again, if anyone knows the whereabouts of the 1909 Touring engine number 4888 [Ray Miller's touring back in the 1970s] that could possibly provide a good data point.
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My car (#9267, built Aug 17 1909, aluminum body) has almost lost the body number, I think through over-enthusiastic flatting back before painting. I can't get a good photo, but there is definitely B 657X, with possibly another B in front. The spacing between the 2 Bs is 3/4", then 2.5" to the 6, then 5, 7 & X are all 1" apart. There is definitely no other number before the 6. The X is not a proper letter stamp, but 2 strikes with a wood chisel.
There is no body no quoted on the Shipping Invoice, body is quoted as 'Pontiac'.
There seems to be no obvious number sequence going on here with the numbers mentioned, is it possibly a date code or what?
Thanks Jem. The description you provided seems to match the stamping on my "Pontiac" body. If you look closely at the photo I posted, there is a little over a half inch between the two Bs on mine. The spacing between the BB and 4229 is a few inches as well. The numbers are spaced apart too. Very interesting!
Were Beaudett making bodies for other manufacturers? This may explain the random numbering of the bodies as they would line up with their production numbers at their plant and not Fords.
Just a thought.
Good point, but there still doesn't seem to be a simple progression in the numbers. Mike has a May 09 car with 4229 on it, Stu Clipson has 4585 on a 1911 body, I have 657X on my Aug 09. We may never know!
Restoring the 1910 Touring my dad had. Serial number 33327. Found the body number BB 12002 on the bottom of the drivers side rear door.It matches the records that I have from The Ford Research Center and it shows this as a Pontiac body built on 11-21-1910.It is an all wood body. Any others out there with the body number in this location?
My 1911 touring has the Beaudette number under the driver's side rear door, as well as the passenger side fore-door, B 18928
: ^ )
Is the body the 1910 style or 1911 style body?
The 1910 body style has a horizontal bead that goes across the center of the back doors.
It has the horizontal bead on the doors so its the 1910 style.