I am finally at the point of putting paint on my C cab. For some time I have been researching C cabs and looking at factory and period photos of them. One thing that struck me was the difference in gloss between the cab and the rest of the sheet metal. Upon reading an article by Trent Boggess about the history of paint on the Model T I believe that I found out why that variation existed. In the paint list there is a code M-144 Black Dull Gloss (Fordtone) - Truck cabs & bodies.
For some odd reason this paint scheme really agrees with me. It would surely ignite a lot of conversations outside of the normal T discussions.
What are the opinions on this? I want to hear what the forum thinks about it.
The attached C cab photos are factory and the closed cab is courtesy of Jay in Northern Calif. (thanks Jay!).
The difference you are seeing is the type of paint used. The fenders and the hood are dip painted in enamel I believe it was, and the bodies were brush painted with varnish up until 1926 or so. The way the sun hit the truck could make them look as different colors of black. Also the older vehicles replaced parts as they became damaged. It looks to me that the truck photo with the tractor onboard has been repaired after an accident with new parts. The second photo of the screened express body is a pre-production photo in front of the Ford Admin building in Highland Park. Lots of the pre-production trucks had a paint that looked different than the production ones.
There's some other guys here that know more about these different type of painting.
Flat black forever. Gloss black just does not look right on a TT.
Anthony, I tend to agree. I'm going to use SPI (Southern Polyurethanes Inc.) products on it. The epoxy primer is black and has some UV protection so it would serve as a suitable top coat. I'll have to see what it looks like and decide whether to leave it after the last coat of epoxy or put on the shiny black single stage for a finish. I'm not a painter and the lower gloss may help my short comings in body work. I'm not a body man either.
I still would like to know more about the "Dull gloss" paint specified for the trucks. Why wasn't the standard car process used? Maybe it was because the trucks were expected to get roughed up a little.
The hood, radiator shell, splash aprons, fenders and running boards had baked paint. That's one reason why they were so shiny and why the shine lasted so long compared to the body.
Also, I would take the first two factory photos with a grain of salt. They may be photos of mock-ups and not the "final product" and the bodies may be in primer (such as iron oxide primer).
Here is another photo that Jay posted of Patteson Motors in Utah. This is one step past the factory.
I wonder if that second TT with the canopy express body came like that from Ford?
Don, what's you canopy build status?
Why does everybody seem to fit comfortably in these pictures?
Back then they had a "Comfort Fit Guarantee". It was eliminated as part of the Reduction of Comfort programs in the 30's.
wonder if that second TT with the canopy express body came like that from Ford?
Sure did, up to Jan. 1924 you could only get bare chassis TT, as all previous TT's only had aftermarket bodies, but then in Jan '24, Ford supplied the all metal Open 'C' Cab and in April 1925 the Closed Cab styles of bodies on the TT.
And according to Bruce's research, a letter from the NY Branch stated beginning Nov 6 1926 "The truck cab, stake, and express bodies will be furnished in commercial green pyroxylin."
So maybe some of those photos are late model TT's with green bodies?
Wouldn't the C cab have been discontinued by Nov. 1926 since that was considered the 1927 model year?
I believe that the first picture that I posted with just the express bed is a later C cab due to the 20" Firestone rear wheels and non-pleated rear seat back. The canopy express below it has the 23" rear wheels with a pleated seat back which I think makes it an earlier model. They both have the gloss variation though. The dealer picture with the line up of C cabs and the closed cab really makes it clear how they looked from the factory. I still question the reason for the M-144 Dull Gloss paint that Trent Boggess listed in his study of Model T paints and processes. I would really like to know why this variation existed only for trucks.
This is where a TT specific resource would be helpful. I think that the history of the TT trucks, with and without factory bodies, is just as interesting and important as the cars.
I strongly agree that a TT specific resource would be very helpful.
If I'm not mistaken, someone was collecting information for just such a resource on TT's, but I can't remember who.
Does anyone have more information on this?
I think it was Fred Miller based on an old thread that I found about frame to cab mount variations.
Ford did produce some '27 C-cab TT's.
Thanks Dan, does anyone have an ORIGINAL Ford canopy express?
My Gramps bought this one new !
Can you imagine driving the Fordson on the truck with a loading dock? Can you also imagine backing the truck into a ditch to unload when you got to the farm??Bud.
Or back up to a berm, Bud.
Thanks Steve, do you have the back gates and the wire mesh?
I agree with the TT specific. I am currently working on a 1926-27 study of parts and their changes to the Improved Models. I am currently up to thread #7 and have most of the chassis parts discussed. The TTs like the Improved models are very mis-understood and deserve a study of their own. I have used the words "1926-27 Improved Models, a study of". and then the name of the part, in all my thread titles. I hope to monopolize those words only to my threads. If you use those words in a keyword search of titles, all you find is the 26-27 threads dealing with the study. TTs could use the words, TT trucks, a discussion of .... (part name). That would keep the two discussions separate and searchable. I believe it would be worth the time if someone wanted to put out the effort.
Anthony, since you have an original roof I would like to know something. I noticed when putting mine back on the cab last night that in the middle of the rear corner brackets there is a hole in the back center. The wood is drilled through that hole on mine but nothing went through it as far as I know. I think that hole may have been the securing point for the top of the canopy if one was supplied. Is yours drilled like this?
I own a Flatbed TT and a 1927 Fordson tractor. Although I will never load the tractor on the back of my truck, if I did that would probably be the first time I flexed the rear springs.
Side note: My TT is Gloss Black and up until now I thought Tony liked my shinny paint. ;)
Bobby, I'm still sticking to my flat black forever.
Justin, I'll look at my roof rear corner brackets later. My father may have redone the wood in my roof. I was off in southeast Asia at that time.
That is a good suggestion Donnie. I may start doing just that with the TT specific part threads. The more participation the better since I would have to rely on other members / owners posting pictures and information. I've seen a couple of threads concerning body mounts, rear ends, etc. but the bodies seem to be somewhat of a mystery. While I don't own one, I think that an aftermarket body resource would be great considering all of the variations that are (or were) out there.
I may actually start the first thread for the C cab roof. I think that original wooden roof frames are extremely rare and a lot of details exist on them that aren't well known. Fortunately mine was in really good relative condition. I can even tell what the original primer was like and estimate when the roof was installed based on where the black paint was, etc. Even if we just gather a lot of pictures it will be a great resource for those just starting into a project.
Stay tuned for TT topics!
Justin, I believe the TTs and the Improved models are probably the two most mis-understood models of the Model Ts. Although the Non-starter models and the late 22 early 23 transitional open car bodies are right there with them. Have you done a keyword search of subject lines for "Improved Models, a study of" yet. It will let you see how the studies of the Improved models is going. Im lucky to have a very large stash of parts to use, but there are lots of photos and input from others that are contributing. Just the discussions bring up a lot of info. I know I would be interested in a TT study ... I think it will take about a year to do the Improved studies. I started with the chassis parts and will work my way thru the various parts one by one. If you try a study, good luck with it ...
No, I do not have the back gate nor mesh. My Gramps delivered groceries and had canvas roll-up sides & rear flap installed.
Justin, my TT DOES have two holes in the two corner brackets all the way through the wood.
It must be for the canopy that I don't have. I do have other canopy attachment 'hardware' as follows:
canopy panel "common" twist fastener attachment holes, which consist of about 5 or 6 double holes arranged vertically on each side of the C Cab:
I also have canopy panel strap holders on the bed rails. Three on each side. (one is missing).
I also have the hole in the top of the tailgate for the rear gate locking mechanism:
Thanks for looking at those holes. Mine is the same right down to the mud wasp in the one side. I thought about filling them but I'm going to leave them as is(but I will get rid of the mud).
I never thought that the express bed would have the hardware also.
As I said, I plan on starting the TT topic threads so some of this may get duplicated as a reference. There is a lot to cover.
I forgot to also mention that mine has the mount holes for the twist retainers on the cab sides.