How is a body number to be interpreted? I have a 1922 closed body Ford with a number of B21 **** stamped on the passenger side floor.. According to periodicals of the 1920's Briggs produced coupe and four door at the rate of 5000 bodies per day. Is there information available else where indicating that the B21 **** is an indicated the 1922 vehicle has a body from a 1921 production run from the Briggs Company?
So far it has not been that simple to figure out. For the open tourings and roadsters we have a much better understanding but still large gaps. For the closed cars we have less information and larger gaps.
If you can let us know what body style Centerdoor or Coupe, other items that would date the car (remember many engines were swapped and are still being swapped).
If it is a Centerdoor -- then I will be very surprised if it has a "B." But we are always learning more.
Please post photos and the type of body.
Hap l9l5 cut off
I posted the following April 2013 on the Forum:
------"Auto Industries" of 12 October 1922 (p 748) carried the following story, ' Rouge Plant Builds Most of Ford Bodies (Detroit 9 October).' The article states Ford is now building all bodies for its models (cars?) at the River Rouge Plant. The reason was the termination/sale of the Beaudette Company, Pontiac, Michigan to Fisher Bodies. The Beaudette Company, according to the 1922 article, built roadster bodies for Ford.
The Rouge plant now (1922) build 800 bodies daily in house. The Phaeton and all two-door sedans are built at Rouge River. The phaeton bodies are built in numbers of 3015 daily, with an average of 2650 daily. Sedans (bodies) are manufactured at 900 daily.
Bodies for Coupes and the new four door sedan bodies are manufactured by the Briggs Company and not by Ford. These two styles are low production (1922) cars averaging 5000 daily. The Ford Company is manufacturing 400 to 500 light trucks daily. --------
My question is, as information from the Henry Ford for the 1920's is spotty, if the attached 1922 coupe is a Brigg's body as the "Auto Industries" of 12 October 1922 would indicate, would B 21 indicate a body built in 1921 be the 1922 model year? Of course McCalley (p464) indicated that for 1922 197,988 coupes were build in the United States. With (?) 16,404 converted from chassis (?).
Certainly to keep up with production demands these bodies would have to have been pre-constructed.
My question is an attempt to understand if a stamping B 21 (space) **** means that the body was from a 1921 production run. For this discussion the coupe has an engine number indicating June 1922.
The site's picture format size for pictures is a bit of a pain. The car is a two door coupe no centre door. I was informed, as many before me, the pic is to large.
I do not think that the B21**** on your coupe indicates the year of production. I also have a very original 1922 coupe, with Briggs body number B261740. The engine number is 640****, which indicates an engine build date of August 16, 1922.
Also, the 1922 coupes were not low production cars. According to Bruce's book, there were more coupes built in the 1922 calendar year than all roadsters, with and without starters, combined. The touring car was the highest in production, then the coupe. That is also true for the 1923 calendar year.
Ok Then how would the Briggs passenger side number be interpreted? Or are they just production numbers from Briggs that were only important to the Ford assembly line?
Briggs was building bodies for other makes as well as Ford so that might be the total production for all makes. 5000 a day would be quite a feat anyway. I would have to find my 21 body parts book but there were also Wilson(?) and Beaudette making closed bodies for Ford. That numbering may well reflect the sequence it built in against the total production of all bodies made by Briggs. Even in the Model A era Ford remaining records only show the number of units of each style and was not broke down by manufacture, I think I remember reading that a lot of Briggs records were lost in a fire.
I'm almost positive this is a Briggs body. The Coupes around this time were built by Fisher and Briggs. Fisher became part of GM around 1921 or so and no longer built bodies for Ford.
What periodicals are you referring to regarding Briggs building Fordor bodies. I know Briggs was building the Centerdoor Sedan along with Wadsworth. It's possible they built some Fordors, but the information I found says that Ford built all of the Fordor bodies themselves. I'd be interested in studying the periodicals you are referring to.
Sorry - Centerdoors were built by Fisher and Wadsworth.
""What periodicals are you referring to regarding Briggs building Fordor bodies. I know Briggs was building the Centerdoor Sedan along with Wadsworth. It's possible they built some Fordors, but the information I found says that Ford built all of the Fordor bodies themselves. I'd be interested in studying the periodicals you are referring to. ""
The publication I am referencing is "Auto Industries" of 12 October 1922 (p 748). Again the article stated-- "Bodies for Coupes and the new four door sedan bodies are manufactured by the Briggs Company and not by Ford.""
With caution I make this statement. So often the story of the production of the Model T is a rehash of earlier works and writings. For example, Clymer, Henry's Wonderful Model T 1908-1927 (1955), whose tables and information can be found in past pages of the Ford Times and Owner. And the Clymer format and tables can be found in current publications. In publications written during the life of the Model T (1908 to 1927) there were magazine and newspaper articles that have been neglected or forgotten that could add to the history. Also there is a caution of accepting articles such as the one above from Auto Industries. It is unfortunate that records from Ford for the 1920's has been lost.
Thanks for the info. I can believe that. The Fordor came out in Dec. 1922 so these would be the earliest versions of the Fordor. The early 1923 model year Fordors were different from the rest in that they used a lot of the same pieces that the Suicide Door Coupe used. Those were built by Briggs.
I think it is the 1924 Ford Industries book that mentions that Ford was now building all its own bodies except for the Coupe. So it would seem that the early bodies were built by Briggs, then Ford took over the production.
Thanks for the info,
I was very incorrect going by memory on the Wilson and Beaudette making coupe bodies in the time frame discussed here. Correction, only Briggs was making coupe bodies in 21 and 23, Fisher was only listed in the parts book for 1920.
Using info from the Ford body parts book and Bruce's book;
Total production world wide for coupe bodies for 1921 was 95,682 and for 1922 was 202,410.
For 1922 if you use a 20 day work month that means there would have been 843.375 coupe bodies made per day, not 5000.
Does your body have the metal covers over the wood around the door and quarter windows or is bare wood? The metal covering the wood in those areas is a feature of the 22 bodies. My Aug. 21 engined body only had (no longer have it) the straps for the side glass, no type of retainers in the groove for the glass to hold the glass at different openings and no metal cover over the wood in those areas.
The doors and quarter windows as you describe are metal covered (1922), the quarter windows are controlled by straps with no latches. I have no data to indicate why the 1922 "Auto Industries" would suggest that the production was 5000 bodies per day -- unless at the time the writer visited the plant that was the daily or previous daily production (?).
As I said before, Briggs was building bodies for other makes besides Ford and could very well have been a record output for ALL bodies.
By Bruce's book you have a 1922 Model year body and would have the strap for the quarter window, I did not make that point very clear.