That's pretty 'modern' looking.
Have any survived, That looks great. That would be nice have.
"Rodger Dodger" in the Tacoma club has one on about a '19 Dodge roadster.
Pretty neat setup.
I was in a car club that one of the members has a '22 Franklin touring with one of those tops.
Interesting! An improved 26-7 roadster with aftermarket wire wheels. They look like Hayes type. Certainly nice looking.
Allan from down under.
Odd they were called california tops since this type off accessory rarely was needed in California? Maybe you were supposed to feel like it was California in Michigan with this on your car
(In Sweden it was called called vintertopp = winter top.)
Notice the door handle.
Thanks Jay. Very cool! As a resident of PA, I would love to have an accessory like this. Might put something together once I have the '24 on the road.
It was probably owned by a man of means.
Since it is an early '26 (no headlight bar) they were not yet offered with Ford wire wheels so the owner bought an aftermarket set.
Notice the spare tire cover too.
I wonder about a heater and what other neat stuff that car had on it.
That is very intriguing!! Really I don't think it would be that tough to make, The top rear corners of the roof would be the toughest parts and they wouldn't be that bad. I have this '27 roadster pickup that might look really good with one of these.
There was a guy in northeast Iowa had one for sale years ago. I think his name was Dave Dunlevy(sp).
Does anyone know who I'm referring to?
Dave Dunlavey is contact person for the 1903-1909 Early Ford Registry, see contact info here: http://www.mtfca.com/clubpages/chapters.htm
Ouch, Dunlavy it is
Neat top. Rodger I think they call them California Tops because if the temperature gets down to 50 (F) they're getting out the winter coats. In Sweden and Montana we're thinking maybe a long sleeve shirt.
Really, you have your long sleeve shirts out, John?? I can't even find the one I wore last winter for a couple days. It's about 28 here this morning. Maybe I'll look for it after I get back from breakfast.
There is a set of those wheels on ebay. They are pretty neat wheels. The only real set I've seen was on a 26 roadster at the Centennial in Richmond.
I believe they are Hayes wheels, like the ones on my '17 Torpedo Runabout. Here's a similar set on my Dad's 1925 pickup from a 1959 picture:
Never saw one in person and that's the first pic I've seen of one on a roadster. It's really neat and has a nice finished look to it. So the California name business is just what they were called generally or where they made there?
Royce, that's a great picture, was that taken at a car show? Is that you seated next to your dad?
When I was in grade school, my dad and a neighbor took me and the neighbor's kid to an indoor car show in St. Louis. I don't remember much from it except that I do remember drooling over the TV series Batmobile that was on display. I've been an old car guy ever since.
That's me. It was a Branniff employee antique car show at MSP airport in the parking lot behind the Branniff hangar.
I have been told that those Hayes wheels were an option on Canadian cars. I have a Canadian 1926 Roadster that had them on it. I don't know if it was a factory or dealer option or where I even heard this, but I think it is true.
The "California Top" name just sort of stuck. They were made and offered by dozens (if not hundreds) of companies all over the USA and even around the world. Probably a few companies began calling them that, and before anyone knew it, just like "Kleenex".
Studebaker was one of the few manufacturers that offered cars with tops like that straight from their factories. They rarely if ever referred to them by the California Top name. They called them "Duplex Phaetons" or "Duplex Roadsters". I have seen several of the Studebakers and almost as many non-Studebakers with those tops. A good friend of mine has a Pierce Arrow with a California Top. I have ridden in it a few times. (A very nice ride!)
Thank you Jay! Neat photo!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Did Hayes make wire wheels for the large drum T's?
That accessory top on that "T" reminds me of what the hot rodders call a "Carson Top".
The Carson Top was much later., mid thirties.
They were made by a top shop in L.A. called Carson Upholstery or tops or something. The owner's name was Carson.
They were popular in the forties and fifties.
Yes Hayes made wire wheel for the large drum, I have a set on my Mercury speedster.
My 21" Hayes wheels are exactly like the ones on the car in the first picture. They are large drum wheels.
I wonder what the chances are of getting my grubby hands on a pair of those large drum Hayes?
Michael, any rear Hayes wire wheels are hard to find in Australia, 21' or 23". More fronts seem to have survived, under trailers or horse drawn vehicles. If you find 21" ones, that will not be the end of the search. The rims were unique to the wheels. I once found a pair of 21" front wheels, one with a rusted out Hayes rim, the other with a standard Ford 21" rim. The Ford rim was bolted on and the lip on the rim had gone on over the edge of the wheel felloe. The only way to get it off was to cut the tyre off first.
Most Hayes rear wheels I have seen/found have had flogged out keyways, some with a second one cut in and it also flogged out.
Best of luck in your search.
Allan from down under.
Here's another set on my '17 Torpedo Runabout.
It's taken me 25 yrs plus to get a full set, but I need someone to replace a spoke or two. Who does that?? my 21 fronts came easy from Mel Alexander, and finally found 21 in big drum rears up on a sale close to Iowa, Friemiller was there but he missed them.
Wow.... Torpedo Runabout !!!
Gotta get me one Bubba !
Adds, what, about $15,000 more than a regular Runabout ??
Rare indeed . How did Bruce miss this beauty ?
Torpedo Runabout is the name Ford gave the car Bob. Is there a problem you don't understand?
Here's the original body tag that came on my car when it was new:
The "metric head" is interesting. My understanding is that meant 18 mm spark plugs. Considering the RH drive I guess that works out. In Canada green and blue cars were available in '17, but I have never seen that shade of green on one. I learn something every day!
My dad painted the car that color in 1952. It is a 1948 Pontiac color that he liked. He wishes he never painted it at all, the original paint was in very fine condition like the original upholstery which the car still wears.
I think the metric head would have been for cars destined to be shipped to England.
Problem ?, no problem here. Printed Inspector's Ticket does not say what you imply.
Bob, the printed inspector's ticket has my car's engine serial number (hard to see in this photo) and the body type stamped as "torpedo". Do you think perhaps it is a torpedo sedan? A torpedo touring car? Maybe in your opinion it is a torpedo town car or a torpedo chassis?
Tell us what Bob Jablonski thinks my car is if it is not a torpedo runabout?
John, if you can't find anyone local to supply spokes where needed, I can help. I am re-building a set of 23" wheels at the moment. I can supply spokes if you give me a sample or at least the lengths needed.
Replacing individual broken spokes can be problematical, depending on which spoke is to be fitted, the spoke may have to be bent into a crescent shape as it is fitted and straightened out again once in place. I have just replaced two on the rear wheels on my Haighs Chocolates van, one requiring such treatment.
There is a firm making beautiful reproduction hub caps for Hayes wheels. They are not cheap but are of excellent quality. Like everything else, they have fallen foul of regulations and cannot do them in brass. The alloy used is more red like bronze. This is not a concern if the caps are nickel plated as is correct.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
Ford literature last list a Torpedo body style in 1912.
What unique Torpedo features are on your 1917 Runabout ? What makes it different from a 1917 Runabout ?
I believe we all want to know. Wow, a Torpedo Runabout in 1917 ...... a rare variation !!
Allen I have a new set of caps for mine
For Jay – great photo – thank you for posting it and so many of the others you have found.
For Bob Jablonski – we all learn something new every day about the 15,000,000 plus Model T Fords. While Bruce did not call the 1915-1922 body that only had the front seat a Torpedo, it turns out that Ford Motor Company did use that term (and others such as roadster, runabout and possibly others) to describe the body style that had a single front seat and no back seat or possibly a mother-in-law seat body style. For example in the Sep 1, 1923 Ford Price List of Body Parts they used the term “Torpedo Body Parts” for the 1915-1922 body that had only a front seat. That’s the same label they used on page 5 of the Mar 15, 1927 “Ford Price List of Body Parts” shown below:
For additional information on that please see the thread at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/331880/398047.html?1383417392 and scroll down to the entry: By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Friday, November 01, 2013 - 06:13 pm. And in the case of Royce’s tag that came with his car, it clearly says
Note below are two tags that were attached to a 1914 touring car when it was sold new – but notice they list Torpedo Body No – so the same tag could be used for a touring, torpedo, town car, or chassis. So while many of us associate the Torpedo name with the 1911 and 1912 Torpedo Runabouts, the name Torpedo was used by Ford and others to describe cars with a single front seat from other years.
One of the things I have noticed over the years with Model T Fords, is about the time everyone agrees about something, new evidence will surface that will make us have to scratch our heads and say, “I never thought of that.” For example back in 1955 when Floyd Clymer published “Henry’s Wonderful Model T” [I still recommend the book for the photos, stories, and jokes, but note that some of the information has been updated since then] it was commonly thought that the 1915 Model T Fords came with a brass bell hand klaxon mounted to the false driver’s door (ref page 121). Later documentation showed that was not the case, but that many of them originally came with a bulb horn under the hood. But because it was hard to hear it, many owners added the hand klaxon. So we all are still learning about our cars.
For those looking for additional information on California tops, Dan Treace posted the advertisement below:
A good thread on the California tops including patent links is located at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/80257/116333.html also Model T Haven has some parts for one with photos at: http://www.modelthaven.com/phw.html
For Tom – I do not recall see any Ford of Canada literature yet that included the non-Ford wheels. However, from memory (not as good as it once was) I believe one the Australian Ford Price List of Parts did include them. Note prior to 1925 – Ford Motor Company did NOT have a centralized Ford Plant in Australia and the various suppliers had more liberty than those in the USA.
Hap l9l5 cut off (and yes I finally did the yard work today)
Hi Here is a picture of my friend Kevin Casey`s 1911 in South Africa with a set of Hayes 30,5" Non Demountable wheels.
Leave it to Henry ! Wonder why some time in 1922 description changes to Roadster if he liked the Torpedo so much ?
Torpedo reference not seen on advertisements for the one seat Model T offering.... from 1913 to 1927.