Hi Hap & Everyone
First of all thanks again for all the great information.
Yes we are new to Ts and I have a few questions that Iím hoping some of you guys can help me out with.
First, early this summer my husband and I were finely able to purchase my grandfatherís T from the family estate after my grandparentsí deaths. Now it has been said that the car has been in the ďareaĒ all its life. It was rumored to get a restoration (I use the term lightly) done and sat on a show room floor of a local Ford dealer in the 20s. Then sold to a local gentleman at which my grandfather purchased it from his widow (according to rumors) 10 years after his death in 1970. So if this is correct my grandfather owned the car sense the early 80s. My question is how would I go about verifying this information?
We have never been able to locate the VIN# I read somewhere that should be stamped in the frame under the front seat. The VIN# that was on my grandfatherís title looks like the date stamped on the side of the engine block. Some people Iíve talked to said this could be correct for the time period? I donít know!
Over the summer we have put well over 300-400 miles on the car and are having the best time with it. I think we are driving it more than my grandparents did! We want to build a trailer so we can drive to the UP and hall our camping gear in the next couple years. We have an axle and are having no trouble finding wheels but are looking for the wood box. To purchase a kit for a TT would be about $700. Does anyone have a TT box they would like to sell?
You are correct about the engine no. on the engine block and title as being the same. If you can post it or the last half of it someone can tell you the date of assembly at the ford plant.
Sounds like your having fun. from the number there maybe more info. that can be provided.
If your car is older then 1926, then the VIN is the engine number and that number is not located anywhere else on the car.
It would depend on your state title records it you can trace the ownership but likely not.
As mentioned above, the number you go by for registration is on the engine block above the water inlet. The serial number is on a brass plate above the steering column, and is usually a few thousand numbers earlier than the engine number. A TT box would be nice, but keep in mind it will be heavy. A regular 25-27 T box is about 150#, and I assume a TT box would be double that.
Years ago when I lived in California I tried to track down some history on an old car. I found that the DMV kept records going back only a few years. I suspect that's the case in most states.
If you have all the running gear for a trailer and just need a box, why not build one? Lots of folks do. Here are a couple of examples.
It can be as fancy or as simple as you want it.
Interesting trailers, what does the hitch on the towing Model T look like?
Erica show us some pictures please!
Yeah I was informed by my husband that the TT box would be to big and heavy. So a T box would be best. I don't have any pictures because of what we have so far cuz we have already put stuff away for the winter but I will see what I can do.
the wood plans for the era correct box are at john regans fun projects, and the hardware is at langs, or you make it. the hitch mounts off the 4 spring clamp nuts, and were common in the day, i'm sure some one has one, or again, you make it. dean yoder has more miles pulling a trailer than most freight companys, perhaps he can give some advise
Hi Erica. I have a '14 runabout, and I have had (in the past) a '26 touring. On the '26 touring the engine number is also on the frame just in front of the passenger seat. That was the first year Ford started putting the number on the frame.
On the '14, the engine number is not on the frame, but as with the '26, the engine number IS the VIN Number. My '14 is registered with the California DMV with CA 1914 license plates using the engine number as the VIN.
If you want to look-up your date of manufacture, you can find it to the month when the engine was made on the MTFCA website at:
My engine number on my '14 is 379404 - made in November of 1913.
Most of the T trailer hitches mount somehow to the bottom of the rear spring bolts. Many of them replace the bars that go across the bottom of the spring. They will pull a light trailer.
Before you buy new hardware or make new hardware, look around for old wagon boxes. If you are in a rural area there are probably boxes that the wood has completely rotted away but the braces and latches and other iron pieces are probably there. Many of those pieces are hand forged and look just right for a T trailer. Many of the wagons had four braces on each side, even if some are gone you should be able to find enough to make a cute and practical box. Use a front axle and turn it around so the tie rod is in the front, run a tongue back to the axle and clamp the tie rod to the tongue so you can adjust the toe in. It makes for a better pulling trailer and good tire wear if you can adjust the toe in. Or if you have a torch you can bend the spindle arms and bolt them to the trailer axle so you can adjust the toe with washers between the end of the arm and the axle. There are lots of ways to make a trailer.
I have several sets of old hardware saved back for building a little pickup box if I ever get started on that project.
This is a really cool one I bought years ago at an auction. It has factory irons and latches, etc. They are around if you look.
Here's a discussion of trailer hitches, with lots of good pictures.
The title of your post says 1914. At that time the only VIN # would be the number on the engine block located on the block just below the water outlet. Check your title and see what the VIN # is on that and check it against the # on the block. Give us the block # here on the Forum and some one will give you the exact date of manufacture. Now if both #'s are the same and your block is of the correct vintage you'll have a solid starting point for tracing the car's history. It probably means you have the original engine in the car. (no guarantees though). If the #'s don't jive or the block has a # with a later date than 1914 It's not original. This makes it harder if not impossible to trace. Then again, if they differ the title # might be an original block #. You can check this by posting that title VIN # here and if it's a block # the manufacture date can be given the same as an actual block #. The point is you're looking for a 1914 #. The rest frankly depends on your states record keeping. Former owners names would obviously be a help too.
I don't know how "new" you and your husband are to T's, but I offer this comment to help. If you already know this just ignore my post.
A couple of answers tell you the serial number is "above the water inlet" but don't explain where that is located. Look on the left (drivers) side of the engine. You'll see the hose and tube coming up from the bottom of the radiator. Then there's another hose that clamps to the inlet that's bolted to the side of the engine. The number should be just above that.