How complicated is it to build a body?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2014: How complicated is it to build a body?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George John Drobnock on Sunday, August 31, 2014 - 12:03 pm:

My question about the numbers found on my coupe body, and the relationship of the Briggs Company and the Ford Motor Company started me to research any available information on/or how a body was order and manufactured for an automobile manufacture. I found interesting page, from 1921/22, nine item list of what was noted as a contract form from the Smith-Springfield Body Corporation. The nine items indicate what itemized parts and materials are to be used for a body. (Model T Ford Club International (MTFCI))


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Sunday, August 31, 2014 - 09:09 pm:

George,

There is so much more still to discover or more accurately to rediscover about the early Fords. If you still have the reference for your information about the Smith-Springfield Body Corporation – please post it to make it easier for other to find later.

Note from the beginning Ford Motor Company USA purchased their automobile bodies from outside suppliers. The 1903 Fords used bodies supplied by the Wilson Body Company (called Wilson Carriage Company at that time) who also made carriages. They supplied the body to Ford ready to mount on the chassis. Ref: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/begin.htm a little over halfway down the page. Although the fully ready to mount on the chassis is from other sources. ) Note CR Wilson also supplied the bodies for the 1903 Cadillacs and if you look at the two bodies they are very similar in many ways – but not direct copies with some slight changes to dimensions etc. (ref – measurements taken at museum by Hap also Carl Pate’s “Early Ford Automobile Encyclopedia”). And of course Henry Ford was involved in the design of both cars – but had left the company that became Cadillac to form the company call Ford Motor Company. [same reference as above but the Mar 10, 1902 paragraph very earlier in on that page.] And on page 477 Bruce has listed the following body makers and years:

1909 Beaudett (also spelled Beaudette) called Pontiac by Ford records; Wilson
1910 Beaudett; KH ( possibly Kelsey-Hayes – they were not sure); Fox Brothers
1911 Beaudett KY, Hayes, American, Wilson
And he notes there may have been some other body makers that he missed.

Up until around the1914 model year, the majority of the bodies were furnished fully painted and upholstered. If you look on page 179 of Bruce McCalley’s (RIP) book “Model T Ford” you will see a horse drawn flat bed wagon with ten 1914 style bodies being delivered in late 1913. There probably had been more on the wagon – but that is all that is shown. The bodies are not painted their final color yet but they are primered (delivered in the white). Those were painted and upholstered at the factory. But there are indications that some bodies were also delivered already painted and upholstered ref the body tag below that came with the 1914 touring car that indicates who made the body, who finished the body, and who supplied the top for the body. Related to that – I still have not found any documentation to explain what “finisher” means – i.e. paint, upholster, both?





(Ref: May – Jun 1971 page 5 – 11 “Vintage Ford” used by permission. note the same information was published later as an update with the current owner Wayne Martin, who was the previous owner’s son. ) Note also that the listing of body makers is different between the two tags.

And if you go to: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/A-B.htm and scroll down to “Body” you will find a lot of interesting details. Including that Beaudett continued to supply Ford Motor Company USA with bodies until around Jul 20, 1922. From memory all the 1915 Centerdoors appear to have been produced by Fisher. With Fisher and Wadsworth producing the Centerdoor bodies after that. And Wadsworth had a fire or strike or something that stopped/slowed their production at one point.

From an e-mail from Trent Boggess, he stated that all of the high cowl open model bodies (USA is assumed) were produced by Ford USA and not the outside body makers. But during this same time frame it is possible that some other bodies may have been produced by the outside suppliers. And of course we know that both Briggs and Murray produced bodies for the 1928-1931 Model A Ford production (ref: http://www.mafca.com/data_bodycodes.html , down load the PDF and note which bodies were produced by outside supplier such as the Fordors etc. )
And you also had other body makers trying to convince Ford to purchase their bodies such as the Budd body in the article about a Model A Ford with a Budd body at: http://www.hemmings.com/hcc/stories/2010/09/01/hmn_feature3.html

Note for Australia – sometime during the teens they passes a large import tariff on completed cars. Prior to that some Model Ts had been fitted with locally made bodies but after that tariff the normal Model Ts was fitted with local bodies (some looked like normal Ford bodies see the posting at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/411944/473088.html for Australian produced 1914 style bodies. But more and more of the bodies were unique to Australia body makers. And even the 1926-27 style Australian bodies which used metal panels from Canada – they still used a wooden skeleton like the 1911 – 1925 USA open cars and had the panel tacked onto the wood framing.)

For of Canada purchased their bodies for quite a while from outside suppliers as did Ford of England.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George John Drobnock on Monday, September 01, 2014 - 08:32 am:

First off - Happy Labour Day.
Remember "The boss needs you, you don't need him." (The Industrial Workers of the World circa 1920).

I posted on the www.modelt.org (forum) site two rather large (by this sites standards for posting pictures) reprints 1)the Smith-Springfield Body Corporation check list for body construction, itemized into nine areas of build. And 2)on the site is a set of plans and specs for the construction of a "Constructing a commercial body on a Ford frame". It includes a list of acceptable wood and hardware. Just to note in looking for the Briggs information I found a 1920 supplier site that indicated Wagon parts, included was a pedal plate very identical to the plate found around the Model T pedals. We sometimes forget just how complicate the construction of a body can be.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Dimock, Newfields NH, USA on Monday, September 01, 2014 - 08:28 pm:

An arm here
A leg there
and eye, a nose, a finger or two
It ain't hard
The problem is finding a good reputable supplier !

It is easier to get T parts from someone like Lang's


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