I just got a T that's been in the family since it was new... how cool is that? The word was always that it was a 1919, and has been everything from a coupe when it was new, to a tractor, log truck, buggy, then was put back to a car in the late 70's/early 80's with whatever my Gramps had laying around... I don't think there is a whole not original on it at this point. Rumor is the chassis and radiator are the only original pieces left, but that could be a complete rumor. The body is a plywood runabout type thing, the fenders are straight, and look to be '09-'10 the turtle deck looks about right, the firewall is steel, so that's late '23 or later?
Here's where it gets sticky, I'm pretty sure the car is a 1925, but I don't really know. I have a picture that is supposedly the same car, in factory original form, which shows it as a Coupe, so the story lines up, however it has a square rear window in the picture. Clue #1 it's not a 1919, since I think a '19 coupe would have had a round window. Written on the back of this picture is "1925 Ford T" so, that's what peaked my curiosity.
The registration is for SN 13238038, which I know is just the engine, and puts it in Feb '26. However, I don't see any numbers on the engine so I can't verify this at all. I also checked the frame rails under the floor boards and didn't see anything, but I think that SN started getting stamped in '26?
Using the Encyclopedia here, which is absolutely amazing, the only chassis change I see from 1919 to 1925 is in 1925 they went from a four rivet brake quadrant to a two rivet, so I checked it out and it has a two rivet quadrant, but it looks like there are four holes in the frame. Who knows if this was ever changed, so my biggest question at this point is, does the '25 chassis still have four holes and a two rivet quadrant, or were there only two holes in the chassis?
I also measured the radiator, and it measures just over 18" from the bottom of the core to where the tank section on the top is. Which makes it a later "Tall" radiator, yeah? Which, if the family folk lure is to be believed and the radiator is original then that puts it post 1919.
Also, any other things to look for that may help? I know this may be a "best guess" situation since it's been so hacked up and put back together over the years, and there's not a huge difference between a '19 coupe and '25 but I'd like to make it as historically accurate as possible as I put it back together.
Well, thanks in advance for any help anyone can offer!
Here's a couple more old pictures, doubt they'll help but they're cool!
Wow you sure did your research. This forum is a wealth of info . Within 24 hours there will be at least 10 great posts on your car
Adam, David just took the words out of my mouth. There is a lot of expertise here, and you are probably about to get the benefit of it....
All signs point to 1925...
It's missing the apron under the radiator in the first photo, but the fenders do have the lip where it would meet up with the apron, so they are 24-25 fenders.
It has 21" tires, which became optional equipment in 1925.
There was overlap with 4 holes in the frame with 2 rivet handbrake quadrant.
Looks like a late '22 or early '23 to me. Steel firewall but still has the low rad. Earlier coupes had suicide doors. One piece front spring clamp and stamped running board brackets were '20 and later features. Two rivet brake quadrant was later too.
Agree 1925 mostly.
From earlier post on the forum:
Larry Smith's article on 25's in the May/June 2009 VF magazine, the "'26-7 style" two-hole quadrant was used beginning in the '25 model year, but the frames still had the 4 holes.
Check again on the engine left side just above the water inlet, there is a boss, and it should have a serial number stamp. If no number, and the boss is untouched and blank, that was a replacement block only, that was used to rebuild the motor in your T now.
If no number, see if the rear of the block has threaded bosses on each side to bolt the transmission cover to the block. That would indicate the block is later than 1925, and is the Improved Car engine, that would make sense with the registration number on the paperwork.
I just read what Derek said. I didn't think that the apron could be missing. I'd say he is right.
Thanks for the info! I have been reading this site for a couple days now so I knew this was definitely the place to ask.
I had a feeling there was overlap with the holes, the rear one doesn't look completely drilled out, or it's painted shut or something. I have a feeling the quadrant is the original.
I think the quadrant, the picture of it as a  coupe, and the firewall/radiator combo points pretty squarely at it being a '25. Now I'm super curious how and when it was decided it was a '19!
You guys rule. Thank you all so much for the info!
I went out and rechecked the block, definitely no number, it looks completely untouched. Also, no bosses on the back. I wonder how this ended up with a '26 registration on a '25 that everyone thought was a '19. Oh, the life these cars have lived.
One of my aunts told me the first car on this place was a 1919 Chebby. But the pictures show it was a 1916, so I suppose it was bought used in 1919. That's an example of how these family histories often get things a bit mixed up.
Your engine is obviously pre-26, and the brake quadrant is 1925. I'm not one of those people who can tell the difference between a low radiator and a high radiator from a picture, but yours looks high (24 or later) to me. It's easy enough to measure like this:
Low (23 & earlier) is a little under 17". High (24 & later) is a little over 18".
None of the pictures show your pedals, but I assume with that engine they're not the 26-27 wide pedals.
Firewalls typically for 25 had two rivets for the data plate which can be found on the right side when viewing from the interior. Earlier 24 cars had a 4 rivet data plate.
Adam -- That Model T certainly earned its keep! And it kept on doing it through several different incarnations. What a thrill to be able to help it rise from the ashes to become a car again!
The original picture shows a '24 or '25 Coupe, as others have noted. Other details point to '25 only. If I were in your position of having an original Family car, I'd be looking for a '25 Coupe body to put on it. Whatever you do, make it safe, have fun with it, and good luck.
The radiator core is just over 18" from the bottom of the bottom tank to the top of the fins. Just the fin section is 17". The surround that's on it covers about an inch of the top of the fins and measures about 17" from the bottom of the radiator to the top of the surround opening, 16" of fin showing. Not sure what the correct way of measuring is. I'm thinking it's a short radiator?
I don't see any holes in the firewall that look like they could be for a data plate. The only two rivets I see are the ones holding the choke pivot in place. It is definitely steel though. Maybe a reproduction?
It's definitely a thrill to get it back on the road. It was my plan to put it back to a coupe, however I really like the idea of having a convertible so I think I want a roadster. It's always been whatever the current owner wanted/needed so I think that's historical enough for me. I do want to keep it period correct though, as it "could have come" from Ford. Now, finding out that it's a '25 opens up the possibility of an OEM roadster pickup, which has always been my favorite T. I particularly love Larry Smiths here:
If Larry, or anyone that knows him or the car sees this, I'd love to see some more pictures of it. It's obvious that he likes the factory original idea as much as I do, so I'd love to see how it all went together.
Finally got some more time to clean up the firewall and sand away some paint and found the two holes for a data plate. I think that about settles any questions remaining.
I'm going to take the shroud off the radiator and measure it again, but I think it's a low radiator, which, coupled with the tall firewall, may be why the hood didn't have sides on it.