I have just done a quick search in the usual places and cant find any info on pre 1926 right hand drive bodies. My newbie question is did bodies made in or supplied to right hand drive countries have the opening door on the left hand side. My apologies if this is widely known info
The door opened on both sides on the RHD cars.
Did the US ever offer two opening doors ?
Not until 1926 models were introduced.
How about the coupes?
It kinda begs the question why not if the tooling was there. I guess y'all felt that more than one door was just extraneous extravagance.
Most RHD open bodies were made in Canada, none in the US, so in Canada all open bodies were made with two opening front doors and in USA all had false doors on the LH side. If you wanted one you could buy it as an accessory, of course
The Canadians built the cars for British Empire countries, which had the steering wheel on the right side. Hence the LH door to go with the RH door for Canadian cars with the steering wheel on the wrong side.
Allan from down under.
Ford saved money with the dummy door in the USA produced cars. One less door latch, door striker, hinge, screws to hold the parts, extra wood for opening door etc. Trent Boggess found an example in the Benson Ford Archives where Ford directed a body supplier to use two instead of three rivets on each side of a body they were supplying to Ford. The Ford engineers looked at the assembly and determined two rivets would do the job. And they noted the savings (2 fewer rivets (one on each side of the body), cost of installing the 2 fewer rivets) and stated they expected to see a reduction in the cost of the future bodies based on that savings. If you were only purchasing 100 bodies it would not matter. But a very small savings in cost times a very large production is a significant amount.
And the door on the side with the emergency brake is not as useful as many would hope it would be.
Note Ford also looked into removing the rear door and having two false doors on the USA driver's side. 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.
Evidently the savings (another door latch, striker, hinge, and extra wood etc.) would not offset the negative impact of requiring the customers to enter only on the right side and it was not adopted.
Hap l9l5 cut off
It's also hard to say which car would be better to have. I would very much like to have a drivers side door for certain situations but, I once met the owner of a Canadian Runabout and told him about my American one. He complained about the insane amount of body flex he gets. I could just imagine considering how much flex there is in the one door model. I know the T is supposed to flex and for good reason but, I do worry a bit when I can feel it through the seat back and I try to drive straight over driveway ramps to avoid flex. I wonder how others feel about it.
You want flex? Get a no front doors model! Exiting my drive, my bum goes one way, the wheel the other.
Thank you all for the information. My dilemma is that I am about to restore a 1924 US roadster in NZ so it will be right hand drive with a drivers opening door. To me this seems ideal as I see the convenience of the driver being able to hope in and out to fix punctures and put out fires while the passenger can continue eating her sandwiches uninterrupted. However - If I can source a rhd side panel and door allowing her to storm off into the nearest cafe when disaster strikes leaving me to attend said issues through my own personal exit. I do see Dave's point about the flex that this might create - I have a 1925 chev roadster that has the effrontery to have two doors and it does flex like an overweight line dancer. I think I shall restore my US body and only have passengers that I think can cope with some degree of bondage.
If the top is down i rarely bother with the door. But the body would probably seem stiffer without doors.
There is an Australian bodied 1915 in Allora Queensland where I live that is a 2 door touring both doors on the left hand side. I will organise a photo.Doug from the top of down under.
There are numerous two left hand door tourers is Australia.
Extra door meant more cost so cheap models had less doors.
Here is one that lives a few miles from me.
It actually is a Tasmanian bodied car.
yes I have seen a lot of Australian designed and built bodies but you would have to place them in the aftermarket category as they are not from Henry's pen. Some of them look very similar to chev bodies of the period. Funny how the ausys removed the swage lines from ford and added them to chev's
Here is the photo of the Allora car. I have also posted another photo of a car found in Warwick . We believe that both bodies were built in Warwick, Queensland. What appears to be a door is just a seperate fixed panel.
( With the outbreak of war in 1914 and the subsequent restriction of space on cargo ships the Australian Government, in 1917, placed an embargo on the importation of motor car bodies. At this time only the Ford distributors had a local body building operations and only about 10% of their vehicles were fitted with local bodies and the premium was about £125. The embargo had a huge effect in promoting the local body building industries, with each State having at least one company manufacturing bodies for Model Ts. )
For a time after1917 the only bodies available were Australian unless you wanted to pay the tariff on the imported product. I don't think that you could call them " After Market " at that time as they were all that were available.
Also see this past Forum discussion.
Regards, John Page
That's some very interesting reading John. It must make it all the more difficult to restore a T in Australia what with so many body manufacturers and not being able to rely on US suppliers like Howells to source those body panels. I presume soem of those body makers were aslo supplying non Ford autos.
As far as I'm aware, for the 1926/27 cars assembled in Geelong, the government did make an exception and allowed the importation of Canadian body panels. They were keen to have the factory operating as soon as possible and tooling up for body panels was going to delay that.
I think this extended into the Model A era also.
So, although I assume the body and door skins of my tourer to be Canadian, I'm not sure about the framework - I'd seen some mention of steel framework in the Improved Ford for U.S or Canadian manufacture, but the Australian assembled cars are all wood framed.
John are you saying that the Australian 1926 and 1927 bodies wood framed ?
Ken, I have a 26 and a 27, it is easier to say what hasn't got wood in it, the doors and the fire wall.
As John stated the 1926/27 bodies were indeed wood framed.
Buyers now knowing Ford was building in Australia expected that the new style bodies would be the same as that offered overseas. Ford was able to argue that they be allowed to import the panels.
Parts did not attract the same duty as whole bodies so the panels were allowed. Ford argued this not only allowed them to provide the new model but more employment would be available locally as the bodies would need to be assembled, the wood frame version was a concession they had to make but the end result looked the same.
That's a remarkable story. Having restored 1920s Chevrolets for many years I know The Australian bodies were slightly different but they were still wood framed in the US and Aus until the 1930s. I think it is remarkable that Australia didn't adopt the all steel framed 1926 Ford bodies as they must have been a significant advancement for the time.