A fellow contacted me today needing a dashboard for his '19 roadster. Said he wanted one with the 'cutout' for the steering column. Said he wanted to use the rectangular switch plate. Got me to scratching my head. Told him I thought the only dashes with the 'cutout' were the '26-'27 and the dash using that switch plate came out in the '20 time frame. Told him I thought the steering column passed under the dash 'till '23 when sheet metal braces with 3 rivets were added to attach the column. However my early '23 touring has a cast brace on the dash that I've always considered an accessory. Bruce's Encyclopedia treats the dashboard as a firewall and I can't find my ' Here To Obscurity' book. I have both styles in stock - just need to know which to select for his '19. Thanks All.
If the 1919-23 does not have a starter, There is no dash panel used. The ignition switch is on the front of the coil box. If it is a 1919 starter equipped car it uses the metal dash panel that is straight across on the bottom edge. It only had a cutout in the middle to take the rectangular switch/ammeter panel. There is NO notch for the steering column. The 23-25 does have the notch & riveted bracket for the column as you stated. The panel also in narrower from top to bottom at each end. It's possible a very early 1919 also had a wooden dash panel (can't verify that for sure).
Dennis I can stand corrected on this but I think all 1919 to 22 cars used the dash with the straight bottom and 2 little "ears" on each end. Starter or no starter. The difference of non starter cars is the switch plate on the dash had a block off plate for the ammeter and a "clum" style resister behind the block off plate for the headlights. The straight bottom dashes did not have a steering column notch. The 23 to 25 style dash with the "curved ends" did have a notch and clamp for the column. Maybe someone else will verify my thoughts on the dashes. One more thing is that the 1915 to 1919 cars had no dash at all. In that case the ignition switch was on the coil box.
Are you saying a '23 non-electrical open T would have a coil box switch like a '17,'18? Since he said he'll use the switch w/ ammeter, I'll select the straight-across-the-bottom dash to send. Thanks !
Steve Jelf - Thanks for the 'Ghosts of Chickasha Past' pictures but I can't believe you only identified me with a question mark when I bought your breakfast that morning ;o)
George: I forgot to say that the 1919-1922 straight bottom dash and the 1923-1925 curved end dashes both use the same rectangular shaped instrument panel bolted to the cutout hole in the center of the dash. Then in 1926-1927 the hole and instrument panel was oval shaped.
Dennis I believe the straight bottom dash is what you customer needs for a 1919 model. I believe that all cars after 1919 had a dash and instrument panel. No cars after 1919 will have a switch on the coil box.
I'm with Donnie on this one, I have never seen a car after 1919 that had a switch on the coil box. Jim
You are right on the coil box for non starter cars. My memory isn't what it used to be! I agree all the 1919-22 cars used the straight bottom dash either with the amp panel or the blanked off one with the resistor. The coil box I was thinking of had the stamped metal covered switch on the front similar to the bakelite & brass or steel plate switch used on the 1915 & 16. The all metal cover switch coil box was 1917- 18. Thanks for clarifying this.
Hard rubber coil box switch was used at least through the end of the 1917 model year.
1919 through 1921 model year non-starter cars had the switch on the coilbox and no dashboards. They also had the combination horn/light switch and the resistor was on the firewall in the engine compartment.
Starting in 1922, the non-starter cars had dashboards with ignition and light switch and used the same coilbox (no switch) and same horn button (no light switch) as the starter cars.
Sorry, George, The old noggin ain't what it used to be. I'm reminded of a line in "Cocoon", something like "As long as we remember who we are, we're doing OK."
EriK. So you are saying the non starters 1922 and later were the only ones to use the switch with the "Clum Resistor" behibnd the block off plate for the ammeter. I have never seen the resister you are talking about for the firewall. That is something new to me. I learn something every day. Does anyone have a pic of the resistor for the firewall. I am posting some pics of the starter and non starter instrument panels that I have. I now assume they are 1922 to 1925 for the rectangle ones And 1926 to 1927 for the oval ones. The non starters being the ones with the block off plates. I think the 26-27 non starter instrument panel may be one of the rarest model T parts out there.
I don't have a picture of the resistor on the firewall.
Below is an non-starter, early 1920 touring (September 1919 motor number) that my dad bought in 1952 from the original owner. He didn't own the car very long but sold it to another fellow who restored it over 60 years ago (today the car would have been left in as found, unrestored condition).
Picture of car in July 1952 when my father brought it home:
More recent photo of the same car - note two wires coming from steering column. Resistor for headlights is on the other side of the firewall. (I know it's there because I saw it - however, I didn't take any engine compartment photos of this car.)
Erik: I agree that the non starter open cars are as you say. That they would have no dash and switch on coil box in 1919 till ???. You say all the way till 1921. I am still looking for changeover dates, but I would think 2 things would be the driving force behind the change over time. #1 would be when was the combination horn/light switch discontinued or #2 When were the open cars offered with starters (starters were only available on closed cars for awhile when they first came out). If you bought an open car with a starter you would have a dash for a place for the ammeter. I believe that would be the time of changeover to the switch on dash with the block off plate. Or If you bought an early non starter 1919-??? open car before they were available with the starters you would have to have a combination horn/light switch. With the combination switch the ignition switch would still be on the coil box and also no dash. When the combination switches were discontinued would also require a dash for a place to have the light switch. Does anyone know when the combination horn/light switch was dicontinued or when the open cars were available with starters. I believe either option above would be the changeover time for non starter open cars having a dash. In the rantings above I am only talking about starters and non starters on open cars after 1919 and later. The 1915 to 1918 models are not a problem as all of them have no dash and switch is on coil box.
The combination light/horn switch was introduced sometime in the 1918 model year. According to John Regan's firewall research, the light switch was removed from the firewall drawing in October 1918. When this was actually phased in on actual cars is up to speculation.
According to Bruce McCalley's online encyclopedia, 1919 through 1921 model year non-starter cars used the same set up that was introduced in the 1918 model year: combination horn button/light switch. The mag/bat switch remained on the coilbox and the cars had no dashboard. However, on page 324 of McCalley's black book, he indicates that the non-starter cars did not have dashboards through the 1922 model year and that dashboard became standard equipment on non-starter cars with the introduction of the 1923 slant windshield touring. So, there is some conflicting information.
The Huckster in my profile pic was a very late '21 model, made in July of '21 just a couple of days before the '22 model year began in August. "Archaeological research" conducted during its restoration indicates that it was purchased as a bare chassis and the Hercules delivery body was added. It came with the coilbox-mounted ignition switch, combo headlight/horn switch, and oil lamps. Since it was a bare chassis, the instrument panel was n/a. It had demountable rim wheels when I got it, but of course I don't know whether it came with those. I suppose they could have been dealer-installed.
The problem with this is that there are so few non starters still surviving. I would speculate that a lot of the cars that were originally non starter cars were changed to starter cars sometime in its life. The ring gear and block off plates were there on all the non starters with the starter hogshead, even if it was a non starter car. I would still speculate that the change over time was when the combination horn/light switch was discontinued or when the starters were available on the open cars. It may be something we can not prove either way. It does seem to be a point of uncertantiy. I would also speculate that a lot of the 1919 open cars are restored wrong. I for one always thought that the dash would have been there for all the 1919 open cars and you used the switch plate with the resister and block off plate. . I do not know the date (yet)that starters were offered on open cars. If it was with the new 1920 models for example, that would mean than no 1919 open cars should have a dash. It seems to be one more of the many interesting things we learn about these cars. Im still looking for when the starters were available for the open cars ....
The list of changes shows that open cars in 1919 could have demountable wheels starting May 7th and starters are listed as being available prior to May 19th. Looks like May is the key month for the modernized '19.
Donnie, just thinking about what you said. If you put yourself back in the day, you could imagine several months after buying your new, non starter 1919 Ford. You have now recovered from the cost of buying your car and you bring it to the dealer for service. The dealer is now familiar with the starter type engine and knows you have block off plates. He shows you how easily a new starter car can fire up, tells you he has the parts in stock and can make your life a lot easier for a mere $100.00. You would probably say yes, especially if winter has arrived. The starter would be the new excitement for the common man in1919 and the neighbour across the street with the Cadillac would not be looking down his nose as much any more. I bet a lot were converted.
So it appears that 9 months (Aug 1918 thru April 1919 aprox.) of the 1919 models of open cars should not have a dash and have the combination horn/light switch with the key on coil box. Then for three months (May June July) of 1919 and later, starters were available. Not considering any overlap or Ford using up parts it appears that the bulk of 1919 open cars should not have the dash and use the switch on the coil box. Then cars after May 1919 more than likely should have a dash and use the resister behind the ammeter block off plate if you had a non starter car. It also appears we have conflicting info from the Encyclpedia and Bruce may not have had enough info at the time or just missed it. Again, this is all speculation ....
The 1918 model year was August 1917 through December 1918. It was 17 months long. The 1919 model year was January 1918 through July 1918, only seven months long.
Non-starter cars did not have a dashboard/instrument panel until the 1922 or 1923 model year depending on how you interpret Bruce's information. Without doing research, I am more apt to believe that the instrument panel became standard on non-starter cars starting with the 1923 model year when the roadster and touring bodies had slant windshields and one-man tops.
Erik. I know you meant to say the 1919 model year was January 1919 through July 1919. Just thought I should post that.
Thank you for catching that.
It occurs to me, that depending upon how you look at it, 1919 is either one of the easiest, or most difficult, years to restore correctly. When you consider the changes, crossover times, and branch plant delays, a 1919 could be almost any combination of from exactly like a typical 1918 to an early 1920. A non-electric 1919 may have had a non-generator block. Or a generator block with the non-generator piece on the side and the earlier front cover. Or it may have had the generator bracket and cover with a block-off cover. They could have non-starter hogsheads early in the year, or block-off plates on starter type hogsheads, and any of them could likely have been assembled originally with either a starter gear or not.
Original examples have been seen to indicate dashboards or not from late 1919 until at least 1921, and maybe later (I have heard but do not totally rely on 1923). I have seen a three-panel rear tub touring without a dash (can't say for certain it was built that way?). Depending mostly on the inclusion or not of a dashboard, a non-starter car could have either type of coilbox and switch combination. And if it had a dash, the resister (?) could be either behind the ammeter block-off plate, or on the firewall? When was the change from early to late light switch handle made? I know most 1919s had the cast handle instead of the pressed steel one.
Because of changes made to them over the many years, most 1919 Ts today are NOT correct (I know my boat-tail isn't, but then maybe it doesn't count). I wonder how many "correct" ways a 1919 could be restored????
Generally, here, we are discussing runabouts and tourings, however some of this does apply to other body styles.
We haven't even mentioned wheels yet.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
I have some more definitive information for you.
According to the Wholesale Price List of Parts Effective Jan. 1, 1927:
The coil box with switch is listed as being used through the 1922 model year (presumed for use with non-starter cars).
The dimmer cover (what you referred to as the "block off plate") and the dimmer assembly (what you referred to as the "clum style resistor") is listed for 1922 through 1927 non-starter cars.
Therefore, it seems there was some overlap and instrument panels appeared on non-starter cars sometime during the 1922 model year and subsequently the coil box on those cars would not include a switch.
I like the transitional years as they are very interesting. This is some new information to me. You can study these cars for years and think you have a handle on it and all at once your whole world changes. It appears that the 1919 to 1923 Ts are probably the most incorrectly restored cars of all. If you take what we have just discussed and throw in the transition of gas tanks and seat risers, tack strip/belt rail body construction, low wood, low steel, and high steel firewalls, sloping and straight windshields, body to frame brackets, and more its no wonder there is so much confusion. Like I read somewhere. "How can we build them correct if Ford never built them correct". But I have leaned one thing. If I was to build a early 1919 open car now. It will have no dash, have a combination horn/light switch and have a key switch on the coilbox. Thanks for all the imput to my confusion. Ill probably have to go to a rest home for a few days, to let my poor brain and nerves rest ..Ha But joking aside, discussions like this is what makes our hobby fun ....
Well Donnie it happened tonight!!!!
I am baffled by your photos of these switches!!!
You have just shown me some NEW information on this subject! Thank you! I have NEVER seen an ammeter block off plate on any T Fords!!!! Seriously! I thought like several have said here that the 1919 up to 1921 Fords without a starter came with out any dash panels. I have owned cars of these years in the 60's and 70's and if I changed them to starters (which I did!) for easier starting and in modernizing them I THOUGHT made them worth $$ more in the long run. The 19 and the 20 that I did had NO dash panel and they had switches on the coilboxes. I am still interested in those dash panels that you showed here today. DAD GUM NEAT those are. Did Ford use those on only a few cars that somehow came w/o starters in the 22-25??? years? ??? I have never seen any. I am NOT doubting your info 'cause those rusty pieces in your photos are not lying. Imagine, block offs on a 1926-7?????? I would have bet a few $$ that that NEVER happened. It seems that you have the proof. I hope you aren't photoshopping me on this as they LOOK real (lol).
Donnie your T knowledge has REALLY grown since I last saw you at our Spfld Swap meet!!! 6 or 7 years ago. I AM impressed by your many inputs on these forum threads!
George, concerning your original question on this thread. I was wondering if your fella seeking the dash board for the 1919 starter car isn't confused (like many of us now in our YOUNG age) and means the dash switch panel cut out instead of a hole for the steering column?
A personnel note here If I might add... You fellas here might think of me as being a silly commenter. I have NEVER found a BARN FIND other than my 10 Ford and it was terrible and damaged and in a million pieces! 1965. ALL of my other Fords that I have restored for me were found in ditches, sinks, barns and machine sheds on farms and if I had NOT restored them piece by piece then they would have NEVER drove nor been a T again!!! What color was my car originally? RUST BROWN! Holes in many places! This was the way it WAS DONE in the 60's!!!!!!! Ask me if you ever see me about my FIRST T. It is a NEAT story and the fella who gave it to me, 1961, is still alive. The other two are gone sadly. I did NOT take it home!
Joe in Mo
Joe: Yes those are real model T parts. The 26-27 style with the block off plate is the only one I have ever seen in person. There was an article in the Vintage Ford years ago about a non starter 26 roadster. It was a Stynoski Winner. The article described all the non starter features very well. Im not sure of the year of the article. I can find it for you if you want to read it. It described a lot of features that seem strange. It had 30X 3-1/2 inch non demountable wheels and tires. No spare tire carrier. The rear fender had the holes for an electric taillight but no light. It had a Ford-O kerosene taillight instead, that mounts with a special bracket. There also were kerosene sidelights mounted to a special pair of bolt on brackets. There were no top saddles or rods in the body panels. There was a rubber plug that covered the holes. It had the switch plate I showed above with the block off plate and dimmer/resister behind the plate. There were other things but do not remember them all now. If I remember correctly, the non starter "Improved" cars were only offered in 1926 but no longer available in 1927 but I can be corrected on that. Thanks for the praise but it is all of us that contribute to the forum and history of these cars. This time I had what I thought was right changed. I want to thank Erik, Wayne, and Dave for there help in changing my mind on this subject...