I probably haven't thought this through enough ...... but if Henry only put 3 doors on his tourings, why didn't he put the front door on the driver's side instead of the passengers ?
Was the fourth door left off door economy ? For strength ?
Your not the only one who's thought about the same thing. The closed cars opened on the drivers side so why couldn't the open cars do the same thing?
I bet Ford had a reason. Somebody on the forum probably has the answer from somewhere.
The hand brake makes it difficult to get out that side and often a spare tire was mounted there. That was probably part of the reason.
The drivers side was in the mud when you parked.
The story I always heard was that the roads were so bad and the bodies so rickity, that Henry didn't want the door to pop open on a rough road & the driver be thrown out. That probably was a good cover story to explain around that dumb lever being in the way.
It's darn near impossible to get out through the driver's door on the '26-27 open cars, especially if you are a little overweight or a large person.
The body is so much stronger without the opening,
Too hard to get between steering wheel and rear of door opening,
Cheaper to build the body-and maintain (one less door).
The driver can get in from the sidewalk side.
If you remember, Olivier's open car in France only had doors on the right side.
Henry wanted the woman to crank the car or get out while the man cranked it! It is much easier to get out the right side when you need to get out to crank. Of course one of the back seat passengers could get out to crank, so a door on each side in back! The driver should never let the car run unattended unless he is alone, then use a chock block, so he should never get out to crank it when someone else is present!
Not to mention bumping the blub for the horn and breaking that flimsy bracket off. I've had to re-solder it a couple of times.
Did we forget to say it's cheaper to omit the left side door? Was Ford cheap? A nickel saved for 1 million cars = $50,000.00. Pretty soon you're talking real money!
I have a drivers side accessory door complete with mounting hardware for my RHD project car. (1915 RHD touring being converted from a standard LHD American car) At the rate I am going on that project, I hope I live long enough to see it complete.
The left side should be easier to get out off????
I believe Ford USA and Ford of England both used a false door on the drivers side (LH for USA and RH for England) primarily to reduce costs. All cost that follow are the RETAIL (not wholesale) listed in the Price List of Parts. For the door hinge it is listed in the Sep 1920 Price List of Parts was 50 cents (part number 5297x ) The door assembly was listed for $4 in the Jan 1915 Price List of Parts and $6 in the Sep 1920 Price list of parts (part number 5116X). I do not know if the hinge was included in the door assembly or not. I would guess not – but that is only a guess. The door latch which would have been included in the door assembly was listed in the Jan 1915 book at $1 and the Jan 1916 book for 30 cents and the Sep 1920 for 40 cents etc. So the retail cost of parts for the door was a minimum of 90 cents in 1920 or $1.40 in 1915 etc. to make the math easy call it a dollar in 1915. Combined Ford production of tourings and roadsters is listed as 291,297 for FY 1915, i.e. Aug 1, 1914 to Jul 31, 1915 ref page 462 of Bruce McCalley’s book [they do not know if that was USA production only or if it included Canadian or other foreign production.] But if it was USA production they could easily save almost $300,000 just by having a dummy door. [Note for that time frame only Canada had two front doors – the English Fords had a dummy RH door.] Note that is only for the FY 1915. More roadsters and touring were produced in the years that followed. Note at: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/fdsales.htm from Jan 1, 1915 to Dec 31 1915 there were 337413 tourings and roadsters completed (yes, some probably were still 1914 body style cars -- but they still had a false driver's door).
From the archives Bruce found and shared at: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/doc15.htm
MAR 24, 1915 Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives
Letter requesting opinions as to the desirability of discontinuing the left rear door on the Touring.
Of course the argument could be made that the cost of the second front door could have been easily passed on to the purchaser. That is true also, but there are many recorded cases where Ford was looking at ways to reduce the cost of the cars. And one less door was clearly one way to reduce the cost. What about their question on the desirability to discontinue the left rear door on the USA touring? Evidently they did not see enough of a benefit to justify doing that one.
Hap l9l5 cut off
Anyone who has experience with antique cars knows it is difficult or even impossible to enter early cars from the driver's side - the steering column, brake lever, shift lever, pedals, etc. are in the way. This isn't a Ford thing, it applies to many makes of automobiles. It's easier to enter from the passenger side and slide over to the driver's side.
That is also the reason why spare tires and other accessories on early cars are mounted by the driver's door because it typically wasn't used.
If drivers entered automobiles from the passenger side, it made sense for Ford to save some money and eliminate the door.
i have a 29 packard with 126" wheel base and you can barely get your foot between the seat and the door post. funny that it took them a long time to figure that out.
Am I correct in the assumption that on closed cars (at least on my 24 Coupe) that the outside door lock is on the passenger side so if you locked up the car you could only enter on the passenger side?
That would mean that you entered the car on the passenger side for easier entry.
So maybe the idea is to enter a T on the passenger side is to make for easier entry. Especially for big people!
Besides the problem getting in on the drivers side the passengers side was a lot safer (still is) On some RHD Australian bodied Fords touring cars you have only 2 doors on the passenger side none the drivers side. 2 door versions were cheaper in the list of available options and extra strength would have been pitched to buyers as well as the cheaper price.
My guess that it is more of a functionality and safety issue then a cost issue. The 26-27 open cars have a drivers doors but it is not usable in many cases. I use it when the car is on level ground sometimes. The hand brake has to be moved to the vertical position to get in or out.
See the first minute of this video:
I always get in and out from the drivers door on our 27 tourer, it is a tight fit but isn't so bad as long as you put your feet and head in the car in the right order. Mess it up and you get stuck.