The mirrors on my daughter's 1914 T Touring leave a lot to be desired. They are never stay in adjustment any time at all. I'm thinking about making a pair but would like them to look authentic. Does anyone have an original accessory mirror or a neat one which they have made that they would be willing to share a photo of?
I have a 16 Touring and this is what I made for my mirrors.
The are made of a 5/16 threaded rod inside a piece of copper tubing. I left enough of the rod sticking out to hold a nut and have enough threads to screw into the windshield pivot hinge. It is locked in place with the nut.
I about 1 inch of tubing past the end of the threaded rod that was flattened and drilled for the 1/4 inch mirror rod.
Works great. Does get a bit of vibration at idle. Would use a larger rod next time and re-size one end to 5/16 for more stability. Painted them black to match T. Mirrors are 5" Chevy truck mirrors from 40's.
Gives a good view from the driver seat.
I made virtually the same mirrors, only I used 1/2" steel tubing I got at Menards (I also saw it at Tractor Supply) I cut off a bolt that fit the windshield, ran a nut on to the appropriate depth, while still allowing for a nut and washer to tighten the assembly to the windshield frame. The threaded part was long enough to extend into the tubing about 1 1/4", while still leaving the correct amount to screw into the windshield frame. I epoxied the nut and length of threaded cut off bolt to the tubing. The nut epoxied to the tubing allows me to hold the tubing straight while I tighten the second nut, and it looks like it should be there.
The 4" dia mirrors I got at NAPA for less than $12 ea, one is a convex mirror, and one is flat, same price. Both mirrors look correct, and cost less than $30. I have not painted them yet, but I doubt I have an hour invested in making them.
This is just one of many clamp on mirror styles being sold on ebay (this one can be used as either R or L). Go to www.ebay.com and type "clamp on auto mirror" in the search box and see if there is one, or more, to your liking. Jim Patrick
Oops. I'll bet they can easily be replaced with slot headed machine screws.
The mirrors I picked up at NAPA were metric - think anybody will know?
Your daughter's 1914 Touring came out of the factory without mirrors, but they’re one of the exigencies of driving the car in modern traffic. Many of the mirrors marketed today for use with the Model T are not going to be period correct, but some of them do at least look the part. The popular, but cheaply made, stamped, sheet-brass mirror that came with my car vibrated badly and needed constant re-tightening, and though it looked right, it had to go.
Because my reason for having a mirror in the first place had been defeated by vibration, that became my primary concern when looking for a replacement and so, I purchased a set of heavily-weighted, 5-inch disc mirrors with seriously solid mounting arms which, themselves, were firmly fastened to the windshield frame with heavy, slot-headed machine-bolts. As advertised, they did not vibrate. Unfortunately, they were very plain-jane, black-painted units which looked very wrong on my brass car (though they’d look great on a black-painted, steel car). I drove around with them for about a year until I got sick of the look.
That left two choices, both of which were beautifully made, high quality, heavy-duty units (and the pricing reflected that); one rectangular and the other oval-shaped. Lang's carries both styles.
I really liked the rectangular mirror, but none of the coffee-table picture books showed them on any Model T's of my vintage. The consistent theme seemed to be that they only appeared on cars whose windshields were fastened to flat, squared-off, wooden dashboards (be they Ford, Pierce-Arrow, Buick or whatever) and yeah, those dashes do look consistent with a rectangular mirror of rounded corners.
Because the oval-shaped mirror looked more consistent and at home with the circular trim of my oil-lamps and the curves of my 1915’s stamped metal cowling, I decided on that type and they’re a considerable improvement on the look of the black discs. And it happens they’re heavy enough not to vibrate.
I’ve seen either type on wood-dashboard cars, but the rectangular unit seems a bit more popular with them and frankly, as far as I’m concerned, looks a whole lot cooler. I think a pair of brass-rectangulars would look great on your 1914 Touring and would be consistent with your rectangular oil-lamps.
For the sake of safety, I also wanted an “interior” mirror on the top-center of my windshield. I bought this little unit, but it had a homemade look and got a lot of unflattering comments at car shows.
In spite of its decent mounting, the longer moment arm at the top of the windshield made for quite a lot of vibration.
I replaced it with this far more delicate-looking unit which has some nice, brass trim.
The little mirror vibrates just as badly as the previous unit, but, hey, at least it looks good.
I like, and use on my own '14 touring, the one that Bill Bohlen makes. It bolts to the windshield hinge, making a very positive mount, and it stays in adjustment until YOU move it.
Here's a tip I learned on one of the Mopar muscle car sites.
If your side mirror doesn't hold its adjustment because the ball and socket joint on the back of the mirror is too loose, set the mirror exactly where you want it, then put a small drop (small!) of crazy glue on the joint. It will tighten up the joint without locking it up solid. Works great!
I have been as frustrated as anybody with mirrors, having spent a lot over the years for old ones on tbay. Gene C. says his rectangular ones shake like the others, his having used Bohlen's also.
The pre-'13 windshield is several inches farther from the driver's eyes than the later cars, making a 5" mirror just about the minimum, and the top is a lot wider than the windshield, meaning they need longer arms. Next, I'm going to try a pair of old Chevy pickup mirrors attached to the spacer board below the windshield. So far, the mirrors I've attached to it don't vibrate.
Bill Bohlen's is on the left. No more Blowin in the Wind.
Ben Hardeman's is upper center. The clock is real handy.
So that's what the view from the back of a touring car looks like! ;>)
I used this mirror
But made an "L" bracket that bolts to the hinge bolt on the windshield and is sandwiched between the mirror. It holds the mirror steady and can't be seen.
I have 2 New extra rectangle brass mirrors like the ones pictured above, I would sell if interested $292 plus shipping is what I have in them.
I paid $145.95 ea. at Lang's or trade them for a good set of sidelights and tail light for a 1915 Model T These are to shiny for my Old 15.
Send a PM me if interested...
You can find mirrors that will clamp on your windshield post at motorcycle shop. They have mirrors that have long arms on them that will let you see around your top. I think I paid less than $10 for one. If you want the mirror to mount on the car so it looks neat. You can grind the arm down to size and cut threads into the mirror arm so it will replace one of the bolts holding the window hinges. Put a nut on it to lock it tight.
Paint black and put on your car.
Thank you all for your input. I have some great ideas off of what you have posted!
I second (or third, or whatever) RV's vote for Bill Bohlen's mirrors. They work really well. Of course, any mirror mounted to your windshield will vibrate somewhat, but these do so much less than others. I highly recommend them.
Although a little newer, a Cop-Spotter would be near period correct if you can find one.
I always sit in my T before starting it and adjust the rear view mirror. I try to remember what I am seeing in it as it will be the last thing I see in it before shutting the engine off after the drive!
I'm using the Oval ones shown above. I cut off about 1 inch and applied a bit of locktite when I slide them all the way in. I also mounted them a bit lower on the side of the windshield which helps.
To me, the large rectangular ones are more appropriate on a large car not really a T.
I have a new brass mirror from Bill Bohlen's Antique Motor Sports in case anyone here is interested.
I took the blurry things off, the ones on the car were absolutely useless. I instead fold the hood down and turn your head. Trouble is I get wet in the rain...