Im in the process of repainting my 27 touring. It looks like the car was repainted once but never took apart. I have found lots of original black paint on the insides of the splash aprons, inside the fenders, and between the fenders and body, under cowl ect. Was the black paint on the improved Ts still painted the old way, of flow it on till it runs. There are massive runs and puddles everywhere. Also was the body painted off the frame .??? There are 2 big runs under the cowl that are upside down. The body had to be upside down for them to run the way they did. From the amount of runs and puddeling that I see,it almost appears the body was dipped. Since the body was all steel and not composite wood/steel as the earlier cars were, they could have baked the bodys for the black paint like the fenders, and other small parts, that were all steel and no wood. I was just wondering if the black cars were painted in a different procedure than the "color" cars were. ....?? The only exception I see to the no/wood is the front 2 small square shaped wood body blocks at the floor board riser area that fit up into the sub frame and the rear 2 body blocks that fit up into the sub/frame and all four blocks held in place with wood screws. My originals were still in the car and were almost glued into place with the puddeling paint.
Yes, the car was painted in pieces, different procedures for different parts or assemblies.
All fenders and splash aprons were dipped in gilsonite slush and baked in a oven from the beginning of the Model T black era up until 1934, I think?
During the time the improved cars were produced Ford introduced the then new Pyroxylin paint for the bodies, likely on the 1927 models. Earlier '26 models in color were painted with enamel. I'm no painting expert, but guess the procedure to paint also changed with the new materials. Spray guns were likely used for colors, maybe the old flowing on paint with a hose method still was used for the black cars in early '26?
It's all but impossible to recreate the exact methods and materials today to restore a car - but still interesting to learn more about it, maybe someone has seen more period photos or documents?
See these articles at the encyclopedia:
Here is a thread from 2011 in which I posted a private response from Bruce McCalley regarding this. I got his permission before posting it. In it, he confirms that there were improved Model T's painted black at the factory in 1926-27 if the other colors were not on hand. Apparently, Ford never allowed a little thing like being out of a certain color to stop production. Jim Patrick
'26 runabout being painted with the 'Ford -Flow on Gravity' process, the body paint just flowed on the body with a sprinkler head, then the body got oven baked. The fenders,hood,aprons, etc all got 'dipped' and then baked.
Later atomized spray setup
Note the oven blower on the right conveyor line
Schedule of finishes in 1926 Ford Sales Data
Dan thanks for the pics. The drawing of the man flowing on the paint must be of the man who painted my car. The runs look like my car. The Bruce McCalley info mostly is talking about closed cars in black. I was aware that most closed cars came in color early on and the early improved roadsters and tourings were only offered in black at first. From the list above it also appears that the open cars were not pinstriped. I wonder if at some point on the paint line the bodies were turned upside down. Its the two big runs that run up in the cowl area that make me think they were upside down at some point. The wood blocks being almost glued in place with paint also support the upside down idea. We may never know unless a pic shows up with a body upside down...
Have seen examples of pinstripes on the '27 open cars, haven't seen it on the '26. Factory literature from '27 shows pinstripes on open cars too.
Original pinstripe on open car
Most striping was a dealer option done at dealerships. (Mr Elsey again). I do not know other than what he told me. The early cars from '13 back I think were striped sometimes at Ford Mfg. plants. Again, I am 68, so I wasn't there. But Mr Elsey was.
The list above is 1926 so may not have been offered in 26 and was in 27. Could have been a running change and started at anytime in 26-27. I wonder what color stripe was on a black touring or roadster. ??
No stripe on a '26 touring or runabout
fordor casino red
coupe light green
Send me your email address and I will send you the 1926 info. I do not remember how to resize
Here are some pictues of how I did my 26.
I have seen what appear to be original 1929 Model A Fords (Fordor style) that have runs in the cowl area that are running uphill or the vehicle (or at least the cowl area) was painted top toward the floor. These are color vehicles probably sprayed, but that may help answer your question of the possibility of vehicles being painted "upside down". I know that this is a Model A and not T, but it might help in your quest to confirm that some vehicles were painted upside down. However I believe the 4 door body style for Model A's was manufactured by companies other than Ford! I do not know if Ford purchased the bodies completely painted or did it in house!
I took some pics of the runs in my cowl area and one of a nice run/pool on the bottom of a splash apron. I had already applied my first coat of paint under the cowl area but it still planely shows the runs going uphill. I did not remove any of the runs and Im painting over them. I feel like they have been there this long, why remove them now. These are just a few of them. There were runs everywhere. There was even a run in the front seat backrest that went all the way from the toe board to the top of the seat tack strip. It appears to have ran out from under the toe board joint where it meets the back rest. There may be no way to prove it but in my opinion the black cars were painted in the old way of flow on paint. They probley were painted upside down at some point to do the bottom and inside of cowl ect. and then turned right side up to finish the paint job on the outside and maybe the seat frames. Just speculation but that is what the old paint is telling me ...