The Last One?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2013: The Last One?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Niels Andersen on Saturday, August 24, 2013 - 09:43 am:

The first one probably had the number 1.
We know the round ones, most significantly
No. 15000000, which was filmed with Henry
himself as passenger, disembarking at the
exit of the assemblyline, where the door would not shut at the first try.
Does anybody know the number of the last one?
I have a frame with the number 15007600. - Can that be beaten?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Saturday, August 24, 2013 - 09:59 am:

Last Model T built was 15,007,032 according to factory records. You sure about that number? Does the engine match?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Thode Chehalis Washington on Saturday, August 24, 2013 - 10:50 am:

The encyclopedia shows the last engine number of 15176888 in 1941

http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/sernos.htm

Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Coiro on Saturday, August 24, 2013 - 10:54 am:

One of the neat things about the Model T Ford is that the car is unique in so many off-beat, weird little ways. And it's fun to talk with car-show spectators about why there's no driver's side door and why you shift the car with the parking brake lever and how the the last 1914 models built by Ford came out after the 1927 model—in 2003!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Eagle Ida Fls on Saturday, August 24, 2013 - 11:20 am:

Did they serialize replacement engine for a time?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Eagle Ida Fls on Saturday, August 24, 2013 - 11:23 am:

http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/sernos.htm

Oops!!! I guess so.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Niels Andersen on Saturday, August 24, 2013 - 12:23 pm:

Royce: Frame only - Have checked the number ten times, and it keeps being 15007600. - Referring to "Model T Ford" page 536 an engine was stamped with this number on June 2, 1927, and probably shipped out to an overseas assemblyline still rolling, which would most likely be Copenhagen, Denmark. Here it could have been installed into a frame, which would have been stamped with the same number. - That is how I understand Hap's explanation in another recent thread:"25/26 Drop Frame or not".
Please correct me, if my understanding is wrong!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harold Schwendeman - Sumner,WA on Saturday, August 24, 2013 - 01:39 pm:

Jim - I'm not too sure on this, but perhaps you're comparing "apples & oranges". After the last Model "T" vehicle was built, Ford built engines until 1941.

Come to think of it, there were also replacement engine blocks available whereby engine numbers could be stamped in at the mechanic's descretion,....."descretion" being the "key" word there! (???)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Saturday, August 24, 2013 - 02:45 pm:

From the encyclopedia:

A car bearing the engine number of 15,007,033 is reputed to be the last Model T Ford produced. Engine production, for the most part listed as "truck" continued through the year. Ford branches apparently continued assembling cars until stocks of parts were depleted. 69,198 engines were built in 1927 between May and December of 1927 (15,007,034 to 15,076,231).

Apparently the Copenhagen plant had enough parts on hand to last at least to car #15007600.

As I understand it, assembled replacement engines had serial numbers and bare blocks did not. Is that right?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange on Saturday, August 24, 2013 - 03:18 pm:

I think you're on the right track. Notice that the engine serial number list from the link above says that "The last Model T engine was assembled on August 4, 1941. A total of 169,856 engines were built after the last Model T was assembled in Dearborn."

If you subtract 169,856 from
15176888, you get the 15007032 that Royce mentioned. This would be the last Model T built in Dearborn, but maybe not the last built worldwide.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By john kuehn on Saturday, August 24, 2013 - 03:22 pm:

And so it goes trying to date 'exactly' a Model T.

I wonder if the branches were very precise in numbering the frames as T production finally stopped.

Probably we will never know for sure. And so it goes.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Deichmann, Blistrup, Denmark on Saturday, August 24, 2013 - 03:37 pm:

I have a late '27 engine in my 1922 "Kettinge 4-door" with a number even higher than Niels'


15.066.275.

I do not know if it comes from a car with that VIN or it is a replacement engine. It definately are from abroad and most likely Copenhagen as youcan see the Ford logo under the number.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Saturday, August 24, 2013 - 04:19 pm:

Steve,

First the easy one – your question was: "As I understand it, assembled replacement engines had serial numbers and bare blocks did not. Is that right?”


Answer: Yes -- as far as I currently know. Things are still being discovered but currently the information I know of indicates that during the Model T ear, the main assembly plant as well as any Branch Plant etc that assembled a Model T engine would have stamped the completed assembly with a serial number. Those engine serial numbers were supplied by the main Ford engine assembly shop for all production with the exception of Canadian engine assembly which starting in May 1913 used their own serial number sequence. Bare blocks were NOT serialized. See paragraph 4 below for the best summary of that.

Background/Supporting information:

1. I'm 99.99% sure that Ford USA stamped the engines when they were assembled as a power plant (i.e. engine and transmission, head, hogshead). And that once the engine was placed into the frame in the later years, the frame was then stamped with the engine number. Additional details are provided below.

2. From “Ford Methods and Ford Shops” published in 1915 but it includes material originally published in 1914 or even as early as late 1913. [Note that book is included in Bruce McCalley's CD "Comprehensive Model T Encyclopedia available see ordering information at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/331880/333725.html?1357665853 ] On page 75 we have operation # 84 one man 68 seconds, listed as: Operation 84. Paint the motor and remove it from the end of the assembly line to a small wooden stand on rollers. Below is the picture with operation #84



On the next page we have the following picture and label:




The man at the left is numbering the motor. The man at the right is trying the standard starting crank to see that it is right for its engagement with the crank shaft
These operations are performed as the motor stands on the small truck


I read and searched for other information on engine serial numbers or motor numbers etc. From what I can tell they were stamped then, and the tag that eventually would go with the car (Form 386 Motor Assembly Record see page 79) was wired (attached) to one of the transmission pedals until the motor (I like the word engine but Ford used the term motor) was put in the chassis and then the Form 386 was attached to the steering wheel (see page 88). Reading before and after that area I did not find any information to indicate the Motor Number (engine serial number) was stamped after the engine was placed in the chassis. Also on page 88 they did note that the numbers (car, motor, and body) are not the same for a given car.

3. On page 564 of Bruce McCalley’s “The Model T Ford”, his electronic Encyclopedia on his new CD and also in his on-line encyclopedia at: http://mtfca.com/encyclo/doc24.htm he states:

MAR 18, 1924 Letter from Chicago Branch

"We hear stories that some salesmen are telling their customers to be sure and look at the motor number of any car when they buy in order to be sure they get a late motor number. These particular salesmen are just making a lot of trouble for themselves because at the new plant we have hundreds of motors that have been standing there for thirty days or more and will be going into the cars in the course of production. This means that all dealers will receive motor numbers from the Burnham plant that will be considerably lower in number than those motors received from the Chicago plant so just stop your salesmen making any remarks at all about motor numbers because in so doing they are going to make a lot of trouble for you when we start shipping from the new plant."

A.W.L. Gilpin
Branch Manager
P.S. In correspondence the old Ford plant in Chicago is referred to as the Chicago plant and the new plant is referred to as the Burnham plant because it is near the Burnham railroad yards.

Which indicates those motors (engines) had serial numbers already stamped on them when they were stored.

4. On page 501 of Bruce McCalley’s “The Model T Ford” we see:

In paragraph one he writes : “The serial (engine numbers listed here are taken directly from the daily log books of the engine assembly department of the Ford Motor Company. These original books are completer from 1915 until the end of Model T Engine production in 1941.”

In paragraph four same page 501 he describes how blocks of engine numbers were also shipped to the different assembly plants. Those numbers are indicated in some places and not in others. But the date for those numbers is the date the numbers were shipped off and probably not the date the engine was assembled.

In paragraph five (last paragraph same page 501) he says: “The author cannot stress too strongly that care must be used when attempting to accurately date a car by its engine number. Remember that the dates shown are those when the engine assembly was completed, not the car, or the date a block of engine number records were shipped to another assembly plant. Further more, {caps added by Hap) Ford ONLY STAMPED A SERIAL NUMBER ON A COMPLETED ENGINE (ENGINE, TRANSMISSION, PAN, HEAD, ETC.) during the Model T era, not on a bare block or a “short block” which was destined for the replacement market.

5. On page 533 of his book, “The Model T Ford” Bruce has,

Dec 1925 engine production records:
Dec 5, 1925: 12,8555,160 to 12,863,164 were produced. That would indicate those engines were stamped at that time (or the numbers were shipped to a plant). Otherwise they would just list the number of engines produces because they would not have serial numbers.

6. From: http://mtfca.com/encyclo/C-D.htm#Chassis1 Bruce states: under
FRAME NUMBERS
Accession 94. Walter Fishleigh files.
“Motor number was first placed on frame side member R.H. on Dec. 12, 1925. Motor No. 12,861,044. Information obtained from Mr. Burns, Final Assy., Highland Park.”

7. I believe (but I don’t know for sure) that Mr. Walter Fishleigh would have looked at the motor number of the motor (either a tag with that number written on it or perhaps the number on the actual block) installed in the frame and then stamped that same number on the frame. I think it was possible for an engine to be produced and installed on the same day – but we know there were also times (some listed above) that there was a delay.

8. I understand this won’t solve world peace or world hunger – but I would like to know more if anyone has additional information related to it.

9. And on page 536 of Bruce McCalley’s book “Model T Ford” under the engine serial number records there is a note on May 25, 1927. It says, “14,999,999 to 14,000,001) 3 held out for next day” Which indicates that they were not in the chassis yet.

9.a. Stern’s “Tin Lizzie” on page 117 has a picture of engine #15,000,000 along with 8 men standing behind it. On page 116 the caption for that picture reads, “Opposite are the officials and employee s of the company who each stamped one digit of the motor number on the engine block. ….[names were listed … Henry was not one of them]. But the engine was NOT in a car frame.

9.b. Stern’s “Tin Lizzie” on page 116 shows the 15,000,000 Model T Ford coming off the assembly line. Caption reads “May 26, 1927” one day after the engines were held out of the normal production flow.

9.c. There is also a picture of Henry Ford stamping #1 on the first Model A Ford engine on Oct 20, 1927. It does not appear to be in a car frame either – but rather a test stand with a coolant hose running off the inlet side and the transmission attached as an assembly also.

10. Thanks to all for posting – there is so much more to learn. And as that story of the blind men and the elephant teaches us, we all have a slightly different view of the “Elephant” we can offer and we can all learn more about our cars, hobby, and friends. I look forward to capturing different inputs from others that often give us additional insight into what did or at least what could have happened.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap 1915 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Saturday, August 24, 2013 - 04:29 pm:

The gray race car I used to have had a September 1927 engine. It was undoubtedly a replacement engine which was modified for racing (huge valves, almost touched the pistons, and intake ports ground out to paper thin in places). This apparently was done when the engine was new. I don't recall the number, but may have a record of it somewhere. There are quite a few of those post-production engines out there. However not very many such frames. I would believe a few branch plants, and especially foreign plants, would have assembled Ts for some time after June '27 and may well have used "post-production" serial numbers. Ford made a big deal about shutting down production at the primary facilities, but less about the branch plants. I have seen a lot less about it, but have read from several sources that some production continued for awhile. Each and every plant would pretty much need to be researched individually if you wanted to know them all.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Saturday, August 24, 2013 - 04:39 pm:

John,

Ref your question: “I wonder if the branches were very precise in numbering the frames as T production finally stopped.”

I believe the answer to that would have been yes. They had been using that procedure of stamping the frame with the same number that was on the engine that was already installed into the frame since around Dec. 12, 1925 ref: http://mtfca.com/encyclo/C-D.htm#Chassis1 That procedure would not have been implemented world wide on Dec 12, 1925. But I believe but I do not yet have documentation that within a few months the Ford plants world wide would have most likely been doing that also.

This is an area where the fossil evidence could potential help fill in some details. Are there any countries where the bulk of the calendar year 1926-1927 frames are not stamped with an engine serial number? [Early 1926 model year cars produced before the Dec 12, 1925 date would not be stamped and probably it would take a little while to implement world wide.] If so we would like to know about that so we can add that to our information. For that matter if you know that many of the calendar year 1926-27 Ford cars in your country / location do have the engine serial number stamped onto the frame rail – please let us know that also.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off (avoiding mowing the lawn again)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Saturday, August 24, 2013 - 05:21 pm:

Michael,

Your engine serial number 15.066.275 is listed on the Nov 1927 engine log records (ref page 536 of Bruce McCalley’s “Model T Ford.”)

Note from http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/doc23.htm it states:

SEP 10, 1923 (Engine production records)
“Ford USA” stamped on export motors, below number plate.

Which the “Ford” stamped below the number plate agrees it was an engine assembled for export as opposed to use in the USA market. If you ever take the water inlet off in the future, please take a photo of that area and let us know if it also has USA after the Ford. Please do NOT take it off just to take a photo. And if anyone else has one of those blocks marked with “Ford USA” below the serial number please let us know.

I also think there was at least one photo posted previously on the forum showing the Ford USA stamped under the serial number. But searching for Ford USA gives more returns than I have time to search through. Anyone else remember seeing previous photo or comment about that?

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Hatch on Saturday, August 24, 2013 - 09:07 pm:

I have number 15143343. It was a 27 Tudor sedan. The number does not match the frame. Dan


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Deichmann, Blistrup, Denmark on Monday, August 26, 2013 - 01:27 am:

Hap, we have the "Scandinavian triplets".
Last year or was it back in 2011 where we found out that I and two Swedes all have an engine assembled on July 1st 1925 which was the first day they assembled the new improved engine. All 3 brought pictures of our numbers "as proof" and all 3 have the "Ford USA" stamped.
They are most likely made for export in order to allow the assembly plants abroad to start the new production as soon as possible. These particular 3 blocks where most likely all shipped to Copenhagen.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Monday, August 26, 2013 - 03:20 am:

Here's the thread when this was discussed: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/179374/197438.html
Both Åke Österdahl, Michael & I have engines made the third shift of July 27, 1925, when full production of improved engines started.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Monday, August 26, 2013 - 06:01 am:

Michael and Roger,

Thank you both so much for pointing me to that thread. For some reason I had missed that one. Ake had posted a great photo showing how the Ford and USA was stamped below the serial number on the export engines. Ake's photo of his Jul 27, 1925 engine is shown below:



And I am also reposting the reference from the Benson Ford Archives that said Ford USA stamped the export engines that way:

Note from http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/doc23.htm it states:

SEP 10, 1923 (Engine production records)
“Ford USA” stamped on export motors, below number plate.

Again thank you to everyone for adding the puzzle pieces, pictures, and questions they have that may help us learn how, why, and when things were done on our cars back in the day.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Treace, North FL on Monday, August 26, 2013 - 09:57 pm:

Here's Ford 15million with the special painted engine getting its famous stamp.

Note the metal and leather stamp holder around the waist of the worker....and for this grand T, a plate bolted to the water inlet to square up the numerals, probably not all branches got this sort of care for everyday engines. But many Fords sure have nicely stamped numbers on that pad.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - 08:23 am:

Neils,

Yes, you understood my posting at http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/331880/375948.html the Monday, August 19, 2013 - 07:10 am correctly. Engine 15,007,600 would most likely been assembled at the River Rouge on Jun 2, 1927 ref the engine logs. [I believe but I do not have documentation to support that belief that by Jun 1927 – Ford was no longer sending blocks of engine numbers to other plants for them to assemble the engines there. Production was winding down. If anyone has additional details on that – please let us know. For additional details on that please see the posting.] And it makes sense that it could have easily been assembled into a completed car in Copenhagen later that month or even Jul etc.

So if you see the engine number 15,007,600 stamped into the top rail of the Model T frame, and if it was originally stamped there during assembly, it would not indicate the actual date the car or chassis was assembled. In the case of being assembled in Copenhagen, Denmark, you would also have to factor in the shipping time from the River Rouge to Copenhagen and any storage time at Copenhagen. So yes, engine number 15,007,600 was most likely produced on Jun 2, 1927 [I believe but I do not have documentation to support that belief that by Jun 1927 – Ford was no longer sending blocks of engine numbers to other plants for them to assemble the engines there. Production was winding down. If anyone has additional details on that – please let us know.] Then it would have been shipped and then installed in a chassis at a location other than the main plant as it had already ceased automobile production.

The different branches continued to use up the available parts they had to produce Model T Fords. There was not a “Plan B” waiting in the wings – if they wanted to work they assembled what they had left.

Michael – your engine # 15.066.275 is listed on the Nov 1927 engine log records may or may not have been installed in a complete car. If we could find out when the production at the Copenhagen plant stopped that could give us some clues. But of course the engine may have been sent to a different plant and some how wound up in your car as a replacement.

Dan your Model T engine # 15143343 is listed on the Oct 1928 Engine Log record. I do not believe any of the branch plants anywhere in the world would still have been assembling complete Model Ts at that point. The Model A was introduced at different times around the world – but by Oct 1928 I believe all the plants would have been producing only the complete Model As. Ford continued to supply parts for the Model T for years to come just as it had for the Model N, R, S & SR when the Model T was introduced [see Dec 5, 1912 entry at: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/doc12.htm ] So in the case of your Oct 1928 Model T Engine, I believe it was sold as a complete engine. I would guess it was NOT installed in the car by the Ford dealer. Why? Because I recall reading that one of the reasons/uses of the wide serial number pad on the later engines was so the original car’s serial number could be added to the replacement engine. In those cases the replacement engine number would be on top and the original engine number would be stamped onto the pad a little lower. Both numbers would be visible. So if your engine does not have both numbers, I would suspect that someone other than a Ford dealer installed the engine. Of course the mechanic might have been in a hurry with the customer wanting the car “right now” and they may have missed stamping one engine.

If anyone has information on when the different Ford Plants stopped Model T Production please let us know. And of course if anyone has some engine numbers stamped into a frame that is over 15,000,000 we would like to know more about the frame/engine & car.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Niels Andersen on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - 09:48 am:

Did I come closer to an answer to my initial question: "The Last One?" (car produced)? - Yes I think I did!:
Fact A: Of the 15076231 numbered engines produced
up til December 31.1927, not all were installed into a frame (could be millions of them).
Conclusion: There were far less cars produced than 15000000.
Fact B: From December 12.1926 all frames on the assemblyline were numbered with the same number as was stamped into the engine installed in that specific frame.
Conclusion: As frame 15007032 was stamped days before engine 15007600 got its number, frame (car) no. 15007600 must be later than 15007032.
Thus what we now know is that we do'nt know the number of "The Last One", but it was certainly not 15007032.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - 10:04 am:

Since Ford sold complete numbered engines as spare parts there were less than 15,000,000 cars produced in Detroit, Manchester and all the subassembly plants together - except Canada and the subassembly plants that got parts from Canada.

The Canadian engines were numbered up to c:a 748,000 so a reasonable guess could perhaps be a total of about 15,500,000 cars worldwide? (+/- 100,000 :-) )


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Darel J. Leipold on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - 03:25 pm:

I have seen two Model T installed engines that were over 15,000,000. Back in about 1955, one of the Habagger sons in Chaska, MN had a 1927 touring for sale. The number was just over 15,000,7000. I should have purchased it. About 6 years ago at the St, Peter MN swap meet was a 1927 chassis with a serial number just over 15,000,000. I do not know where either one is today.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Robert Scott Owens on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 - 12:46 am:

I have heard that Ford did not count Trucks as they were cars. Can someone clear that one up? Thanks, Scott


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 - 07:36 am:

Robert,

I’m not sure I understand your question, but it is my understanding that Ford included the Ton Trucks 1917-1927; Delivery Car 1912, Roadster Pickups 1925-1927 and chassis (both car and truck) in their claim of over 15,000,000 Model Ts produced.

The official Ford Motor Company site at: https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2013/08/05/model-t-facts .html states: “More than 15,000,000 Model T's were built and sold.”

Note they do not say “Model T Car” but rather Model T’s” That allows including the trucks as well as the TT chassis and car chassis that were sold to outside body makers and even individuals for them to fit their own bodies.

There is a long but detailed thread at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/331880/355935.html?1366771270 that discusses how many Model Ts were built.

On pages 462 -473 of Bruce McCalley’s “Model T Ford” he has "Ford Car Production listed 1903 to 1913" and then the term switches to "Model T Ford Production" when it includes 1908 to 1919 which included the TT.

If anyone has additional information to support or correct the above – please let us know. There is always more to learn about our cars, how they produced and how to keep them on the road today.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


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