I just got back from a delightful HCCA tour in Northern California. There were a half dozen 1915 Fords on this tour, and not one of them was a genuine 1915! It is a shame the Horseless Carriage Club did this to our hobby!
It is really sad when that kinda of thing happens. I wonder what percentage of our cars have not been majorly jacked around with.
What were the changes.
Taking a 1916 to 1921 body adding brass radiator, head light and cowl light brass rims, steering wheel, hood, cowl support, fenders, 1915 block and some other odds and ends and making a fake 15.
It's surprising how many 1915 hood former's still survive.
I have a friend in Maine who has an original 15 Roadster body that was "restored" into a 1920 car at some point in time. The big difference that was not covered up is that the car has a 2-piece LH body panel like the 13-14 cars with a vertical seam at the end of the fake door bead - this had changed sometime in 15 to a 1-pice stamping.
I suppose they had to draw the line somewhere. A lot of textbooks say that the Brass-Era ended in 1912 and it's true that most of the cars were switching away from brass radiators by then. Henry, of course always desiring to be the first to be last, was putting brass radiators on cars as late as 1916 (for which I'm grateful).
I'm guessing that for the Horseless Carriage Club, 1915 sounded like a good round number. Maybe 1920 would have been a little bit late as, by that time, just about all the cars were being manufactured with self-starters, electric lights and other such modern conveniences.
The HCCA "Nickel Era Touring Register" was approved by the HCCA Board of Directors on June 27, 2006 at the scheduled board meeting on the HCCA Oregon Trails National Tour in Pendleton, Oregon. Many active touring members own automobiles in both the nickel and brass eras. This new register will allow more members of HCCA to tour on more large scale Nickel Era Touring Register Tours with their nickel cars as the Nickel Era Touring Register tours are not limited to pre-1916 automobiles. It gives greater justification to belong to HCCA, the premier, national touring club.
This register is open to all members of the Horseless Carriage Club of America who own original running or restored 1929 or earlier year model "nickel era" automobiles capable of touring. Maintenance of active and current membership in HCCA is required for membership in the HCCA "Nickel Era Touring Register".
For more information, contact:
1643 Agave Ave.
La Habra, CA 90631
Send EMAIL to the Nickel Register
I don't know that I would blame the HCCA for that... I think a lot of people just want the look of a brass T, and dressing up a 17-22 to look like a '15 is the most affordable way to get there.
Well my '16 Touring engine was made Dec. 10, 1915, so my '16 qualifies for the HCCA original touring rules!! Just dodged that one! (but my '16 Dodge touring was made in May '16, so it doesn't qualify--except as a Nickel Era car. Now the young folks will want to know what a 5¢ piece has to do with cars. . . . .
not to change course, but the 2 piece roadster body side was mentioned here, i have one that is thought to be 16, could some one tell the story of those?
My 1915 (gets inspected tomorrow for licensing) has an engine casting date of March 5, 1915.
I have 21 inch de-mountables and the rear end, drive line and front axle are of unknown years. Other than that it is all 1915 (right down to the leather license plate) and will be titled as such.
A purist would cringe but I am quite happy with it.
Casting date. Serial number 723467 can also be seen.
John, nice photo's and a great T, just a little thing, when you get some time, see if you can drop the front of that out side oil line to make it run down hill, will work much better that way.
that wood look just fine at my house !
My 1915 is almost certainly a put-together one. Guess what. I don't care. Little by little, a piece at a time, I'm replacing wrong parts with right parts. Eventually it will be real enough to fool the experts.
Larry: which tour are you talking about?
Ah, yes. The little line that is not difficult to draw. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE to draw! I first joined the HCCA in 1967. Every few years, they go through some variation of this debate. What should qualify for their "Premier brass era touring club"? And what should not. I, quite frankly, believe that they made the wrong decision twenty years before I joined, which, by the way, was a decision made several years before I was born.
Pre '15 is a nice, round, number. It sounded good when they started saying it in the 1940s (maybe even late '30s?). It sounds good today. In the 1950s, they didn't really enforce it. I have the magazines with photos to prove it. And some people complained. The fights and arguments began. People got hurt, others got angry. The HCCA started getting stricter about national club tours. They left the local (Regional Group) clubs to make their own decision for their tours. Every several years, it starts up again, and they make some minor amendment.
Early on, the debate was "Pre '15" "inclusive"? Or "exclusive"? Could 1915s belong and go on tours? Or did "Pre '15" mean 1914 and earlier? To be honest and up front, I have not seen anything printed in the magazines about these early debates. But when I first joined? A lot of members were still very angry about the decision they had made. Many were (some I know still living still are) angry that they didn't move the cutoff back to 1912 (one side or the other). However, they had called the club "Pre '15 before, and a lot of people had bought '14s and '15s in order to join. People would have been hurt if they had cut it that far back. Even in the '50s and '60s, they had already pretty much committed themselves to a bad choice. Maybe, a bad choice.
A threat to the earlier cars today is that many people want to widen the HCCA's appeal to cars of the late '10s and '20s. The "Nickel Age Registry" is a nod to that threat. Personally, I love nickel age cars almost as much as I do horseless carriages. Almost. I want there to be a good "Nickle Age (Era)" club and tours all around the nation! But the earlier cars, they have special needs, special considerations, especially for tours. They need a club that is for them! I think that club should be the HCCA.
It is interesting to compare the early car tours (or rally) in the USA with those held in Great Britain. They will do several major tours per year with dozens to more than a hundred very early (pre 1907?) cars driven many miles. All cars on the annual London to Brighton run must have been built before January 1905. There are no tours of that magnitude in the USA. I would hate to see the brass era left behind by an interest in the "newer" antiques. I fear it could happen.
The HCCA has a tough walk trying to maintain a high quality and reasonable authenticity, yet encourage restoration and preservation of cars that might otherwise no longer exist. I do not have the authority to speak for them, nor do I have all the answers. Many wonderful examples of early cars exist to be seen and admired today because of incredible restoration work. Unfortunately, similar efforts by others with common cars sometimes result in unauthentic replications in an effort merely to "belong". There is no easy answer. I walk that line myself a bit. My "mostly '13" T speedster is a put together from a mostly '13 project pile. My '15 T runabout project pile is a spring '15 body with mostly '15 parts to make a fairly correct car when put together (if I live long enough). Some one long before I got it had started to build a hotrod out of it. They are not perfect, but I try to keep them well within the HCCA guidelines, and they are more correct than a lot of cars.
I have no problem with "put-together" cars if they are reasonably well done and fairly correct. Most of the people in the HCCA agree with that. I like what Steve J is doing with his runabout. Most Regional Groups would accept it and him with open arms as it was a year ago. John A, nice car (PU) also! I know of "put-together" CDOs, IHCs, Buicks, Pierce Arrows, and even a Regal or two. (I will not name names)
Guess I have ranted and side-tracked enough.
1915 is a tough year for model Ts and the HCCA. Fortunately, the model T clubs don't worry so much about that one sharp cut-off date.
When I first got into this hobby? It was amazing the things that were NOT known. Many cars were restored by replacing a rotted-wood body on a '15 with a good '23ish body. People mostly did not realize even the 3-panel vs 5-panel touring difference. I remember a '14 touring being restored using a high radiator touring body! He was very proud of how easy it was to add onto the cowling and fit to the firewall. Someone asked him about the upholstery tack rail. He was unaware of that difference. That thing may still be out there. It did look nice.
A lot more information is known and available today than was then. I do like the fact that more effort is being made to make the cars "more correct".
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
My 15 Roadster has the 2 piece side panel as well so you are saying this may indicate this is an earlier run of the 15 body?
When I bought mine that's the first thing I noticed that was different about the car was the driver side body panel, I was concerned that it may be a repro by it being a 2 piece panel. So that's good news!
ok! all roadster bodies from 1915 to at lest September 1 1922 had two piece panels on both sides. this is shown in the 1922 miscellaneous body parts book, also 1913 bodies had two pic panels, 1914 I am a little if,e on them. I've done 300 bodies so I've seen most of them.charley
I will have to dig a bit, at one point in time I had read that the one-piece LH panel started in 1915 on all US built runabout bodies. I'm thinking it was somewhere on the MTFCI webpage.
Very well said Wayne. I would rather have a "fake" 1915 on tour than a T bucket hot rod or a post war car on a HCCA tour. I am 38 years old and have a strong passion for brass era cars. I am much rarer than fake or real 1915 model T's. That's what's sad to me.
As Mike Conrad said in the last post "I'd rather have a Fake the a T'Bucket. I have a 1919 and a 1917 Depot Hack. They are as original, maybe except for the wheels. Both are Demountable wheels and I am PROUD of both of them. They are not perfect in any way but nice.
I have to say that I get sick when I see the T bucket made into some kind of "HOT ROD'. For the "T"'s that are put back as Henry made just excites me to no end. LUV all the old one as original JMHO and Thoughts.
What about the 1915 turtle deck..? I have one that has corner pieces welded in that look factory.
To better describe the turtle deck: It has a left side, rear panel, right side. Where the right and left side(s) meets the rear panel it has a tear drop rounded corner piece welded in.
Is this the way they are supposed to be or has every other T this model I've seen had body filler over these seems? I'll try to post some pictures.
Steve all turtles from 1914 to slept 1922 are made that way. I cant say about the putty but you can bet they didn't leave the factory that way. I have seen some that had some lead left on the seam. charley
Here's a faux 15 that was on a Horseless Carriage Club tour in Virginia several years ago.
Lot has changed from the late 50's. I have some old HCG mags from the late 50's. Talks about tours that the oldest car was 1915! Many photos of cars from the 20's in them and some of the older stuff.
My 1915 passed and is registered!!!
The State Police were more interested in the contents of my "Moon Shine Jug" and going for a ride than inspecting the T!
Seriously, they did enjoy looking her over and decided on attaching only one VIN tag instead of 2 because they didn't like their own options for location on the second tag.
I guess all the ones I've seen at shows over the years have all been over restored, and the seams have been filled with body filler or lead.
Good to know that two piece body panels are correct and also I don't have a made up turtle deck.
I've read a tone of things on the 1915's over the years but 99% was about the touring car.
Wonderful! Congratulations John!
That '15 that Royce posted the picture of above, does appear to have a fair amount of genuine '15 stuff and maybe was a real '15 (I can't tell from just a few details). It is not a "brass era correct" car however. I know that I am in the minority on this. But I prefer cars that mostly appear to be proper for their era, that is to say most modifications, accessories, and replacements are within a very few years of the year the car is said to represent. For example, I do not like wire wheels on brass era Ts. Yes, there were wire wheels available to put onto a Ford during the brass era, however very few model Ts actually were equipped that way. Wire wheels were not in any way typical on brass era Ts (except in Great Britain and Australia). There are probably more model T Fords on the road today with wire wheels than ever were before 1917. Nearly all the brass era Ts with 30 X 3 1/2 wire wheels on them today, are using brands or series of wheels that were not even available before 1919.
But that is all my silly opinion on the matter.
I do however like the several accessories on my '24 coupe. Most of them were actually available in 1924.
I should also add that I am not what most people would call a purist. I do not have the resources to be that way if I wanted to (I actually probably would if I could). I also do not expect everyone to agree with me and do not hold the same ideals for everyone else. Besides, There are so many things such as paint, tires, upholstery materials, wood species, that are not available today, that being a purist is foolish anyhow. I do care about the general and over-all appearance.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2