OK I have just drug home a Coupe. The Title says 26. The frame number is late 27. The motor is early 26. So I can go by the frame number but I was wondering if there is a body number that can clear this up and if where do I look?
Is this a car question or a title question?
If it's a title question.......let it ride....... ;)
I agree with Craig. If its a question of title, I'd not worry about it. A lot of T's had their original blocks changed out in their lifetime and don't match the frame number, and most states use a T's motor number for titling purposes. If your trying to determine the exact year and body of your coupe, though, look closely at the construction of the trunk floor pan and compare it to the replacement pans offered by the vendors. Howell Sheet Metal is the only manufacturer of 26 floor pans that I know of and he makes ONLY the 26 coupe trunk floor pan. He didn't even know there was a difference until I showed him my 27 floor and he saw the difference.
It depends on what is on prev.title. When I regestered here in Cali. the Missouri title said '26 and went with frame number only. My engine is 3mos older and it is mid-October 26 ('27 Model)
Your state may very.
George n L.A.
I currently own a 1926 Model T coupe with matching numbers, so the engine has never been replaced, but I would think that, if the engine had been replaced with another engine during the lifetime of the T, the frame number would be the correct number of the T and the VIN on the title would need to match the frame number. That is if you want to stay consistent with the history of the car from factory to present. Using the engine number of the replacement engine that was made the year prior, would alter the history from the correct car to the car from which the replacement engine was removed. Jim Patrick
My touring/pickup was similar, the previous IL title said it was a 1923, but the engine number (no number on the frame) translated to January 1924. Since the car came with a high cowl and the large radiator, I probably should have titled it in MO as a 1924, but I let it ride and left it as 1923 to avoid any complications with the DMV. They still screwed it up (the first MO title I got had the wrong VIN number), but that's a different story. I'm still waiting for my MO historic license plates to arrive, over a month after sending in my paperwork.
OK, This car is titled as 26, the frame is 27 and the motor is an early 26. Iam just trying to figure out if I have a 26 or 27 body. I think the body and frame are a marriage but just wanting to know for sure. I dont want to say I have a 27 if its a 26. I want to keep this car correct and Iam thinking that there are some differences in the two years. All my other cars and trucks are miss matched by the time I got them. So Iam hoping to get at least one correct. Thanks for all the help. By the way I go to AAA for all my DMV work and they are great to deal with. Thanks, Scott
Wire wheels? Head lamps mounted on a cross bar?
It is more likely that the engine was replaced into the original frame, which was most likely equipped with a 1927 body and running gear from the factory, as opposed to the frame being matched up to the original running engine, so I stand by my above assessment that your T started out as a 1927 and sometime during its' life, blew an engine, which was replaced with an older running and stamped engine from another T that ended its' days in an auto graveyard. To perpetuate the history of the graveyard queen by using its' engine number on the title would be improper (and bad luck, if you believe in that sort of thing ). Jim Patrick
Ok I just found numbers on the body crossmember. The numbers are as follows. d1 -3- 15929 Maybe Hap has some info on this number. Thanks guys for all the info. Iam working on getting my camera to download to this machine. Scott
I know you really REALLY want to KNOW what year your cars is.......
If you have a good title and if the DMV calls it a '59 Chev, let it ride.
My '25 Dodge, and I CLEARLY stated it's a '25, as did the old title, on the title transfer form......got the new title back and it says I have a '27 Dodge........OK.......I have a '27 Dodge....... LOL
More fun with the MO DMV - I sent them an email last Thursday asking for the status of my application for historic plates (I mailed it in mid-July). I also (nicely) requested a reply from a real person instead of the usual auto-reply with a link to their website.
So, what showed up in my email today? An auto- reply with a link to their website! The link sent me to an official electronic form with which I could request the status of my application. I filled in the form and submitted it, the post-submittal reply said that they would get back with me in 3-4 business days (!).
Are there any Missouri members that can give me some tips on untangling this? Am I just making it harder on myself by asking for status? Thanks.
why do u say the frame is a 27 ?
Number is 148831xx so I think it is April of 27 Thanks, Scott
You'd have to consult The Model T Encyclopedia or one of Bruce's books to get the exact dates on production changes, but wire wheels were an option in 1926 at least in some months. The early 26's had individually mounted headlight buckets but by the end of 26 production, I think the bar mounted buckets were used across the line. Although you'd probably have to measure the frame thickness with a micrometer, the 27 models (or at least the later production were made out of thicker metal.
So the car's original engine was assembled on Jefferson's birthday in 1927, and the frame would have been stamped with that number soon thereafter. Makes it a 27 in my book, even with an older replacement engine. The last T was made only about six weeks later, so it couldn't get much more 1927 than that.
Thanks Jelf and the others for your input and info. I would like to know more about the body as I do have a number to go by. Thanks, Scott
Robert, don't know if this helps but my early 26 coupe has the headlights mounted on "stalks" attached to the fenders, meaning there is no cross bar tying the lights together. Originally it had split rims and the body was painted black.
Thanks Jerry, My Coupe has the cross bar, nickel head light doors and shell. I just want to nail it down that the body is also 27. With the body number I was hoping that Hal would chime in with some info. Terry said that the battery cover pan in the trunk is different. Thats the info Iam looking for. Bits and pieces that make the difference. I will Title it as a 27 as the frame says so. The motor is stuck. I soaked it for a few days and put a jack under the crank handle for 5 days, nothing. So I pulled the head. Its 3.740 bore but there is some rust and a few barnacles on the walls. All the valves stand up high so Iam going to gentle dis assemble it, clean it up. New pistons and stainless valves and some love.
Robert....Let us know how you make out with that engine.....
Robert, I still have the old trunk floor pan that came out of my car.(I was going to offer it to Howell so he would have a pattern.) I will take a picture of it and post it. Then you can compare it to the 26 style floor that the vendors picture in their catalogs and you will see the difference. As for the body or frame numbers that you mentioned, Ford only used the motor number in the bulk of production, so if your number has any letters or spaces in it, some previous owner probably stamped another number on it for some unknown reason.
Terry, I would like a picture, thanks. The number looks a lot like the one in my 26-7 Tudor so I think that it is from the body maker. Thanks for all the help guys, Scott
Mike Peterson, I sent you a PM the other day, did you get it? Dave
David, no I didn't, try again, I will look for it. MIKE
OK Mike, another message sent. I seem to have a lot of trouble getting PM's to go through for some reason. Thanks. Dave
Bottom Line Up Front: I do not know what the lowercase letter “d” and the numbers you posted [ d1 -3- 15929 ] mean.
I’m sorry for the delay in posting – I did not open your thread until tonight. That is the type of information I am interested in and that I hope to one day be able to offer folks a guide to using the assembly plant numbers to help date their body.
Unfortunately, I do not know of any assembly plant that used the code “D.” If anyone else does, please let us know. We are starting with Dave Sturges’ excellent work he did at compiling the assembly plant letters and numbers for the 1928-1931 Model A Fords. I am hoping to work backwards from his listing to help figure out which assembly plants also stamped the Model Ts and from what time period did they stamp them. The easiest ones to answer for are the Canadian and Australian Fords. It appears that most of the “improved models” were stamped by Ford Australia and Ford Canada and in both of those countries they used a single letter to represent the plant.
But the USA Branch Assembly plants do not appear to have really started consistently adding the Assembly Plant numbers until the start of the 1928 Model A Ford production. We find some examples but so far not very many that appear to have a assembly plant number stamped on them.
Starting with Dave Sturges’ research at: http://www.mafca.com/assembly.html and the PDF version of that information at: http://www.mafca.com/downloads/Technical/Assembly%20Plants%20Body%20Number.pdf we do NOT find any Assembly Plant number that is a single letter “D” and none of them use a lower case “D.” For the Model A Fords, if the branch assembly plant was located in a city with a single word name, that plant normally would use the first and last letter of the name. For example DS was used by the Dallas Texas plant. had a single word name they used the first and last letter of that name, such as DS for Dallas or DR for Denver, Colorado. And if the plant was located in a city with two words making up the name they used the first letter from each word. Such as DM for Des Moines, Iowa. They did have 8 or so plants represented by only a single letter. In those cases it was the first letter of the city. [Note the main Ford Plant at the River Rouge for the Model A Fords [Model Ts were not assembled at that plant] used “F” and for some reason Columbus, Ohio used “G”]. It is possible that the “d” could have been used by one of those cities before they went to a two letter ID.
If you have a chance please send and/or post a photo of your numbers. Please also include something of known size such as a ruler or quarter etc. so we can better judge the size of the letter and numbers.
As mentioned above there are other clues for dating a car. And yes, engine swaps were one of the common things that did occur and still occur today. Frames are not as easy a swap as the engine – but bodies are not that hard to swap. I’ve done that before and back in the Model T days two of my Great Uncles each wanted the body style that the other brother had. But each thought their own chassis was better. So rather than just trading cars, they swapped the bodies out and kept their original chassis. And while many of us would treasure finding another “Rip Van Winkle” like Ford – with almost all the original parts from the same car still there, one of the Stynoski winners from a few years ago started out with an early roadster body. The owner wanted to build up an early 1926 “loss leader” roadster – which Ford sold for a few dollars less than it cost to produce. No starter, no demountable rims, no nickel plating, etc. But it got folks into the show room and more than made up for the loss through the sales of the other more fully equipped cars. That car that had parts from numerous location was acknowledged that year as being “the most like an early 1926 Ford” would have been that had just come off the assembly line. The car is just as much fun to drive either way, but if you desire to make it as original as possible, I would suggest reviewing all the major parts to determine what year range you have the most parts for and then target that year range. For example if you go with the frame – making the rest of the car match the near the end of production. Note the frame serial number indicates the engine log has the engine number recorded on Apr 13, 1927. That is likely the date the engine was assembled (although it could have been assembled at a branch plant and that Apr 13, 1927 serial number that was sent to them could have been stamped onto the engine days or even weeks later.) But even if the engine was assembled and stamped on Apr 13, 1927, it would need to be shipped to the final assembly location. At that time Highland Park was assembling the cars but no longer assembling the engines. So the engines were shipped from the River Rouge to Highland Park. In calendar year 1927 only 2,830 of the 65,599 coupes assembled in the USA were assembled at the Highland Park plant. The rest were assembled at other USA branch plants. So there is a good chance your coupe would have been assembled at one of the branch plants
If anyone sees postings about body numbers, assembly plant numbers, etc. and they do not see some sort of reply/post from me, please drop me a note. I’ve been busy at work and around the house and I have not been able to read as many of the postings as I would have liked to have read.
Again, thank you to everyone for supporting our hobby, club, and helping us to increase our understanding about the Fords.
Hap l9l5 cut off
Dave, got it and returned it, MIKE