Hello, I am new to the forums. I have recently pulled this Model T from an old barn and am interested in getting some more information about it. I have been reading threads on this forum all afternoon and have learned a lot from everyone, thank you!
First, I would like to verify that I have correctly identified the serial number on the engine which I believe was manufactured in September 1919. I was not able to find the matching chassis number on the frame rail of the front left side because I think it may be covered by the body. Is there an easy way to find this to see if I have a "true 1919"? Iím assuming that this is important information. It's obvious that this car will be quite a project, but as you've all stated...it's all about the journey and enjoyment of the process. If I feel I am not up to the task of restoring this vehicle, I would love for it to go to someone that would enjoy this project. Does anyone want to throw out a guess as to what it might be worth in its present state? Hope these pictures are helpful! Thanks in advance!
(Message edited by adminchris on November 05, 2014)
Chassis numbers were not stamped on the frame rail until late(I think) 1925. Yours would not have one.
Others are better at identifying year specific features.
Sept. 1919 would be a 1920 model year.
Everything looks pretty correct to 1920 to me.
It looks like it started life as a Coupe.
The front spring is interesting... the original front spring has been replace with a pair of 1/4-eliptic springs mounted parallel to the chassis.
I agree that every detail shows it is an early 1920 model. Your block was cast on Sept 13 1919 which again makes it a 1920 model. Could you please check your gas tank to see if it is round or oval? Thanks.
Just to the right of the engine number (partially out of the photo) is the casting date.
Great looking vehicle!!! Man that thing will draw crowds of people everywhere you take it. Can we see some detail shots of the entire chassis and suspension?
I forgot to mention one odd thing and that is what looks like a Canadian horn button.
Agree with the rest, its the remains of a 1920 coupe. The gas tank is square tank under the driver seat, you can see that. The steering wheel is wood rim, cast spider.
Value, at least in this part of the USA would be about $1500 or so.
Front spring arms are a different bird, an accessory that didn't have much success.
Right Dan. I forgot about the square Coupe gas tank.
What's with the strange looking front spring arrangement?
check the shock on the rear. charley. password gone again!!!!
Hey wait a minute. Do I see "Made in Canada" on the block? That would explain the horn button as well as the odd wheel lugs.. Seems to be a Canadian T which would make it a 1921 model. Can anyone else here read the side of the block?
(Message edited by 404 not found on November 04, 2014)
Dave, I think the engine number should be prefixed with a C if it is a Canadian block. The horn button sure look like it could be Canadian.
Regards, John Page, Australia.
The Apco accessory horn buttons were sold all over the world I think, including USA. I've found a couple of them over here in Sweden.
Great old pickup - if there is some strength left in the wood, I would just fasten the rear fenders, clean it up and make it run - quite an attention-getter at any car meet
The bed looks like a dump bed that I recently saw at an auction in Ohio. You can see it has a chain hanging from under the bed that was attached to a hand crank to raise it. It also looks like some hinges under the bed but they are hard to see. The side brackets holding the side boards on also look like the dump bed that was at the auction on a '22 Model T truck. Is it a dump bed? Are you thinking of restoring this truck or sell it?
Tony, I'm just down the road from you - sent you a PM.
Anthony, could you check the casting date to the right of your serial number? We can only see the month and day, the year is cut off. Also, can you check the block in front of the starter to see if it says Made in Canada or USA? There should also be made in..... lettering below the name FORD on the rad shroud and on each running board.
I have a steering column with horn button as shown in above photo, that came from Canada.
If you decide to sell give me a call at 315-493-2148 ( Carthage, NY ( Upstate ) or email
I have a steering column with horn button as shown in above photo, that came from Canada.
Tony, If you decide to sell, I am requesting first dibs. Please call me at 315-493-2148 or email me at email@example.com
I live in upstate NY and could be in Keene in about 8 hours or less, depending on the weather.
Beat you on dibs with a PM at 7 AM.
If a Canadian car, should the front wheel hubs say made in Canada also ??? (Unless they were changed) ... This would be a very nice car to leave alone and drive as-is. Just fix the safety related items and things that need adjusted. Years ago the "farmer" built or "owner" built bodies were not considered worth anything. Times have changed. Those items have survived the test of time and are now part of the history of the model Ts and their owners. They show what our parents, grandparents, and even now great grandparents had to do to "get by". I see a growing number of people that like the old cars left in their "work clothes" and not restored to the point of losing the history. But the main thing is "its yours" so have fun with it.
Donnie - you are dead on there.
Donnie, I think I also saw Made in USA on the hubcap and John Page, I also thought about the lack of a C prefix on the serial number. Of course hubcaps are easy to change and we all know what the serial number discussions have been like lately. It probably is an American T but unless the owner chimes in, we won't know. Is there anyone here with a good monitor and eyes who can study the seventh photo where it says "Made in ..... on the block? I only have a smartphone to look at. I think I see the letters CANA before in disappears behind the starter. Anyone else?
Fellows,just an obsewvation or two on Canadian horn buttons. Wiring is as shown,two wires looped through the lower quadrant on the steering wheel.
But the Canadian steering wheel nut is basically round wth two small flats ln the side. These are drilled and threaded to take two short machine screws.
The horn button assembly is the same as US T's when it is mounted on top of the steering column,except that the attaching ears are left straight to allow the assembly to be attached to the nut.
Without any plug wires it probably doesn't run very well.
Anthoney, We are dying to see some pics of that front spring setup. Most of us have never seen anything like that .
Get that other pair of wheels behind the reel mower that are in the shed!
I also agree,dont fully restore it, fix it to be safe and run well and drive! Uniquely built and really a attention getter.
That front spring setup, never saw that before till now.Unique for sure.
I like the reel mower that is in the left upper corner of 1 picture.Looks to be a round tank Briggs model 6r6 or 8r6 engine on it.
First of all, wow! You all are very knowledgeable and your passion for this hobby is evident. I appreciate all the information and interest. Sorry not to reply sooner, long day at work, today. I did manage to snap a few more pictures for you to analyze. Here are some quick answers to some of the questions I've seen:
1) The block does appear to have a "C" on it, although not within the serial number, see photo. you should also be able to see casting date - 9/18/19?
2) This is indeed a dump bed, kind of neat how simple, yet effective it is.
3) Hub caps definitely say Made in USA.
4) Horn...no idea. I took a better photo of the steering wheel, hopefully that helps.
5) Yes, needs wires :-). I don't actually know when this last ran but I was told just today that it had an electric start put in once upon a time.
6) Front spring setup...sorry, forgot to get some pics of that in the daylight - I'll do that on Friday, I'm out tomorrow. I did take another of the rear, don't know if that's helpful or not.
7) Yes, that is a reel mower, grandpa used to use that to mow our lawn. That would be cool to restore too! There's lots of cool stuff in this old barn.
8) Finally, the additional pics you see are other pieces I have. One set of wheels, rear axle and wheels, and original seats (although in rough shape...damn rodents). Should I just toss the seats or are these actually restoreable?
Thanks again for all your comments and information, I will post a few more pics on Friday.
There are too many digits on that block for it to be Canadian. The Canadian engine numbers only went into the seven hundred thousand mark.
Regards, John Page, Australia.
New seat springs run $64 to $200, depending on what they're for, so you definitely don't toss those. On the wheels, even if the wood is rotten, the hubs and felloes can likely be used to make new wheels. That rear axle may have some good parts in it, and the radius rods look OK and should fetch a few dollars.
The engine is not Canadian. Total Canadian production never even reached a million, let alone three million. Serial number 3391607 is listed as Wednesday, September 17, 1919, which is early in the 1920 model year. IF that's the original engine, it's a 1920 car. But after ninety-plus years, there's no way to be sure about that, which is why the other features also are important for dating a car. The serial number is an indication, but not proof.
Anthony - Thanks for the additional pictures! Now it is evident that both the front axle and the rear axle have some sort of additional accessory springs. It appears that those strange "longitudinal" springs on the front end take the place of the stock factory transverse "buggy spring" which has been removed. The rear axle however still has the stock factory transverse "buggy spring" as well as the accessory "longitudinal" springs. At the rear, they appear to be more of an accessory "helper" spring, but I for one have never seen springs on a Model "T" anything like any of those four springs. Any additional close-up views you could provide would be great, and maybe somebody out there knows something about them, but I sure don't! Very interesting for sure. And by the way, I keep noticing that for a "barn find", the cowl on your "T" looks absolutely flawless! In fact, most of the sheet metal looks pretty darn good!
Welcome to the hobby, and to the forum! This is a great place to start,......harold
Tony, did you get my PM?
Unless the springs are totally rusted away, you can patch them, and then recover them. Everything you save is part of the history. You say "grandpa" If this was "grandpas" car that would be more reason "for me", to keep it as it is. Everyone has their own ideas as to how to restore something, but remember once you change something "its gone forever" My vision of this car (not necessarily yours) is to mechanically fix the chassis and engine, new tires, wires ect. No paint, (just oil everything), then tighten up the body, so it is solid. Then when you have it running good , load some of "grandpas" neat old "goodies" that are in the shed in the back of it and have fun .... Remember that this was my ideas for the car, and I feel obligated to at least mention them, for you to have some ideas of how some of us feel about the "patina" being left as-is. But the main thing is "Its your car" Build it like you want too. Have fun with it, and if it was "grandpas" car, let it remind you of the good times with him ... By the way, If you have not noticed by now, a lot of us are "opinionated" That's just the way we are. No harm meant, just part of the "old timers" problem we all have. I like your car, and I would be proud to own it ..... Someone is always here if you have any questions.
I'd blow the tires up, put some gas in it, fire it up and keep it just like it is. It probably drove into the building, it would be a shame to lose all that original age and "patina" by cleaning it up too much or restoring it.
We now know that T is American and the correct dates as Steve Jelf indicated. Certain things on this vehicle match the engine date indicating the engine is likely original. The under axle wishbone is 1919 or later. Same for the rain gutter on top of the firewall. Although the original front spring is gone, the two piece crossmember spring mount remains. They were changed to a one piece sometime in 1920, so it is all correct for an early 1920 car.
Anthony, I was wondering if you could have a look under your car at the running board supports to see which type you have? There are two of them running across the car, one at each end of the running board. The first and early type is a solid, forged, skinny rod. The second and later type is a thick, stamped U channel. I'm guessing your early '20 has the first type but, that was the year they changed it so, your info would help us self declared experts to become real experts Thanks.
From the underside pics you can see the running board brackets are the forged type, but he's missing the supporting cross-rods, maybe taken out to accommodate the accessory springs. If not, then I would put them in Anthony. Find some from T members or buy them from Fun Projects (I think he has the correct ones, or maybe just the correct nuts. These help keep the running boards from drooping. Found ones would more likely match your car's patina. (Some of us go to great lengths to try to match our cars' patina!)
Harold posted :
Anthony - Thanks for the additional pictures! Now it is evident that both the front axle and the rear axle have some sort of additional accessory springs. It appears that those strange "longitudinal" springs on the front end take the place of the stock factory transverse "buggy spring" which has been removed.
Appears that those longitudinal springs are all part of the Hyde Fulcrum Spring Suspension, probably today are rather rare.
Ford Owner and Dealer, July 1923.
And the rear axle on the car appears to have an accessory snubber, Gabriel type, hanging off the rear crossmember and the torsion belt wrapped around the driveshaft.
Dan, nice ad. Ill bet that is what is on his car. Very rare. That would be a nice speedster setup with no fenders or splash aprons to hide the springs. Anthony, just one more reason to "leave her as-is" Remember, I told you we were opinionated .
Darn it !
I knew Dan would come up with an ad for those springs, whatever they are.
They must be very rare today, and I'd certainly try to get them in good working order and leave them on the car.
Dan - Thanks for posting that ad,.....it sure explains a lot about Anthony's "T" with the unusual suspension.
You know, I sure hate to use a "modern" term on a Model "T" forum, but I can't help but wonder if that front end not having the stock transverse "buggy spring" would benefit greatly with something like a "Panhard Bar" for better steering and control with those long accessory "longitudinal" springs. Sometimes even the Model "T" transverse "buggy spring" front suspension has been "stiffened up" for speedsters or racers, by locking one of the front spring shackles. I'd sure try the car the way it is though, just to see how it handles. Also wonder if the very common Model "T" front end "wobble" would be worse or better with those unusual springs,...???
Anthony,...please let us know how that all works out when the time comes,.....and thanx again for the great photos of a very unusual car,......great project,......harold
Dang! I keep saying "car", when it's actually a truck! Sorry,....harold
That is the neatest T truck design I've seen in a long time. Really hope the restoration works out. Don
Let me know if you got my PM. I am 40 miles away from you.
That accessory spring set-up may not be all that much better for the Ford. The famous Ford 3-point suspension is what allows the T to twist and roll to meet the terrain.
As for Mr. Hyde's spring suspension, it may just turn the Ford into a Dr. Jekyll's vehicle.
3-point suspension, helps the front end dip independently when a front tire drops into a washout hole while Fording
It is an interesting concept tho' Dan. I can see where those springs would actually spread some of the weight of the truck and it's load to the center portion of the frame, and for a pickup truck built on a car frame, it just might make sense. I just wonder what it does to the handling of the car,...oops,....I mean truck. I'd sure try it out and see,....wouldn't take much to strip those springs off and put the original transverse buggy spring back under the front end, right? I wonder if anyone on the forum has had any experience with these "Hyde Fulcrum Springs"? Anybody,....???
Sorry for the delay, all. Below are some additional pictures of the Hyde Fulcrum springs from the rear axle. They look a little bit different than the ones in the advertisement that Dan found, particularly at the rear of the vehicle. I also took one more under the dump bed.