I am putting together my 21 Low cowl Touring with the 5 piece back and was wondering if all the low cowl T's in the 19-early 23 era had the seat frame lids on them. Did it depend on who built the bodies or ??
My car has the original seat frames in it and there are the holes in the front seat frame for the lid hinges but the rear seat has none.
Maybe some body builders just had the lids in the front but not the rear.
Just wondering. Or maybe the rear seat lid was not hinged?
Bottom line up front -- for your 1921 5 piece back touring I believe it would have a metal seat lid over the gas tank and not have any lid over the rear seat area.
Additional details and of course more questions than answers:
Page 218 of Bruce McCalley’s “Model T Ford” states, “During 1916, however, the metal cover under the rear seat was discontinued.
The information from Bruce’s “Price List of Parts” indicates the rear seat lid was no longer used after 1917. And it has the front seat lid used 1915-1920.
But the information on the same seat lid from the encyclopedia at: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/A-B.htm would indicate the front seat lids were used 1915-1922.
And further down on the same page at: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/A-B.htm under 1921-1922 Bruce has:
Generally similar to 1919 except as noted.
A new body design with lower seats of much more comfortable design was announced on October 15, 1920, and is properly called a “1921” model. Rear quarter panel is now one piece instead of the two-piece design used since 1913. Upholstery tack strips were now inside the body panels, extending above them for the tacks. Metal cap on arm rests was now somewhat narrower. Top iron support post now came through the quarter panel instead of the “L” bracket used earlier. Instrument panel standard on all models, starter or not, in 1922. Oval gas tank was standard. The lid over the gas tank was discontinued.
So what does all that mean? First that different body makers did things slightly differently at different times. But after 1917 I would not expect to see a rear seat metal cover. And after 1922 I would not expect to see a lid over the gas tank. But when in 1921 or 1922 did the lid over the gas tank go away – I do not know for sure.
Note also that in the MTFCI Judging Guidelines 6th edition, I did not see the gas tank cover addressed. I could have missed it but I did look for it.
There is a similar thread at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/179374/217340.html Caution there is also a similar thread but it has some “hidden links” posted by a spammer at the end of it. I posted a warning there but I do not want to post a link to it and have someone infect a computer etc. I’ve misplaced that link again – but when I find it I will ask Chris if he can remove part of it or all of it if necessary. Maybe the links are ok – but hidden – I’m not willing to click on them to find out.
I would welcome additional information on the subject of the gas tank lids as well as when the lid over the rear seat compartment went away (during 1916 or 1917? – or during calendar year 1916 but model year 1917?).
Good luck with your project, I think you are safe to not have a lid over the rear and to have one over the front.
Hap l9l5 cut off
Thanks Hap for the insight. So if there was not any holes for the lid on the rear seat frame it indicates there wasn't one on it to begin with.
Howell's sheet metal sells the lids for the front and back seats and list them for the open 15-20 T's.
This may be one of those 'grey' areas because of the different body makers that were used.
I wonder what the body year actually was because the engine was long gone when I got the body.
I found a 21 mid year engine and that's whats in it now. It probably is a late 20 body but not really sure.
But I will install a front seat lid.