I found this number on the right front floor just inside the door sill. Is it a body number? Can the body maker be identified with it? The engine number points to 1924 and the car is titled as such. Under the rear seat is a removable piece of fiber type material that has "Briggs MFG" stenciled on it.
It could be a Fisher body July 1921??
That would be too early for a Fordor. Ford only made Center Door sedans in '21.
Are there any other clues to determine the body builder? It does have aluminum doors and the rear upper body is aluminum. I have not seen anything that jumps out at me, but then I don't know what I'm looking for. Still a newbie.
I did a little looking, but I did not turn up anything noteworthy. From memory (not as good as it once was) I think Dave Sosnoski, did an article in one of the national Model T magazines within the last year or so that discussed not only the 1924-25 Coupes (his passion -- and I want to purchase a copy of his book when it come out) but also mentioned his thoughts about who / where the Fordor bodies were produced. You can contact him using the Private Message (PM) feature of the forum. His profile is at: http://www.mtfca.com/cgi-bin/discus/board-profile.cgi?action=view_profile&profil e=dave_sosnoski-users If you find out anything please let us know also.
If you have a chance please post a photo of the " piece of fiber type material that has "Briggs MFG" stenciled on it."
Note Dan Treace at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/331880/332662.html?1357508238 made a passing comment on a thread dealing with the 1926-27 open cars. He posted, " By the Improved Car times, Ford was making all its open bodies and Coupes and Tudors, the Fordor was still outsourced to Briggs. " I have had it on my "to do" list but I have not yet asked him why he believes or knows that the Fordor's were produced by Briggs. We do know that they produced many of the Fordor bodies for the 1928-1931 Model A Fords--that is well documented. He may have some good information. You can send him a PM from his profile at: http://www.mtfca.com/cgi-bin/discus/board-profile.cgi?action=view_profile&profil e=dan_treace-users Again, please let us know what you find out even if it doesn’t clarify the question.
From the price list of parts we know that the 1920-1923 style Coupes were produced by both Fisher and Briggs.
My “Hunch” [read that as low probability of being right guess] for the night is that Briggs supplied the panels and the main Ford factory in Dearborn assembled the bodies and stamped the “F” followed by the serial number on it. But again that is just a guess to start the discussion. Sometimes it is easier for folks to say “No, that cannot be correct because of x,y,& z” than for them to say what is correct. And the more people thinking about it the better in most cases.
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A big THANK YOU Hap! I really appreciate your time and effort on this.
I will send a pm to both Dave and Dan, and share the results when received. I will try to get the picture of that " piece of fiber type material that has "Briggs MFG" stenciled on it." under the back seat tomorrow and post it.
John, i have a 24 Fordor (march)and i could not find numbers anywhere, i took it all the way down to bones and never saw a number.
Hap, Sorry for the delay in getting the photo of the "fiber type of material". After removing this from the car and a closer inspection, it is basically a piece of cardboard. The stenciling is faded but it appears that this was the top piece of a larger shipment. Part # 4634 or 1634 R. F. P. A. Rattler (rear floor pan anti rattler?) ?11 pieces? For a piece of cardboard I'm surprised it has lasted this long!
I got quick replies from both Dave and Dan (thanks). Dan included this link http://www.coachbuilt.com/bui/b/briggs/briggs.html
it was an interesting read, so I will share it. This may have been posted before.
Nice looking Fordor Rick! I hope mine looks as good when it is done.
Thank you for posting the photos of the cardboard with the Briggs information. For some reason the full link the Briggs information on the Coachbuilt site didn't work for me. But going to the main page at: http://www.coachbuilt.com/ and then clicking on "B" and then "Briggs Manufacturing" worked fine. But I did not see a reference where they supplied Fordor body or Fordor body parts (but I skimmed it quickly and could have missed it).
Please let us know if either Dave or Dan believe the Fordors (or parts of the Fordors) were produced by Briggs or not.
Thank you for your help and for posting the photos.
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Dan replied "While I have no proof that Briggs always made the Fordor for Ford, the success of Briggs making bodies for Ford in the T days and the Model A is well documented.
The ‘F’ on your body number could mean Ford built, but don’t know. There is just too little research done on Ford body builds. Ford did begin to make its own bodies as sales skyrocketed, but still some were built by outside companies. I would just guess the Fordor was one of those, as the high cost model didn’t have the same sales numbers of say the open cars, or the coupes.
But don’t know"
"For the Coupe bodies, some of them have a serial number stamped into the metal floor board riser on the passenger's side. This number always ends in a B. I'm 99% sure this indicates a Briggs built body as I know that Briggs was building Coupe bodies for Ford. It appears that Ford was also building Coupe bodies at this time. If I track the Briggs serial numbers vs engine numbers and compare it to the known production numbers, there is a shortage of bodies which would indicate that Ford was also building them. Some of the Coupe bodies do not have the B serial number, which again would indicate that those are the ones built by Ford. I do know that by the 1925 model year Ford was definitely building Coupe bodies and was getting parts from Briggs to build them.
Sometime in the 1925 model year, Ford began assigning serial numbers at some (or maybe all) of it's branch plants. This number usually consists of a series of letters followed by a sequence of numbers. By looking up the list of Branch plants it's usually possible to determine which branch the letters are referring to. I looked and there are no branch plants starting with an F so I don't know what that refers to."
From the Coachbuilt site:
"Ford played a larger role in the fortunes of Briggs Mfg. starting in 1910 when they got a large order for 10,000 Model T interiors. Many years earlier, James J. Couzens had worked with Briggs at the Michigan Central Railroad as a railroad car checker. Fortune followed Couzens and he was an early investor in the Ford Motor Co., and by 1910 was Ford’s chief financial advisor. Couzens later became Ford Motor Co.’s Secretary and Treasurer, the City of Detroit’s Mayor from 1919-1922 and Michigan’s US Senator from 1922 until his death in 1936.
With the addition of the Sterling Auto Top Co. in 1917, Briggs was now able to supply Ford and others with convertible tops and top mechanisms, and the acquisition of the Detroit Curled Hair works gave Briggs a steady supply of the horse hair used in stuffing their upholstery."
"The popularity of the closed car meant that more sheet metal stamping capacity was needed, so in 1923 Briggs purchased the Michigan Stamping Co. Coincidentally, Michigan Stamping’s original Chesterfield, Michigan plant was run from 1903-1913, by John William Murray, the founder of the J.W. Murray Mfg. Co., a firm that would soon become Briggs chief competitor. However, by the time of the purchase, Murray was no longer with the firm.
Michigan Stamping was an early supplier to the Ford Motor Co. and along with a competitor, Parish & Bingham, produced most of the Model T’s chassis. Michigan Stamping frames have a M.S.B. pennant on the frame while Parish & Bingham frames feature a P&B inside a circle."
"So much information so little time"