Trivia: what do you know about the model t driver front door?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2015: Trivia: what do you know about the model t driver front door?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Robert Poane on Monday, January 26, 2015 - 10:16 am:

Just curious,

1. why was there no front door from 1909 to the first half of 1912.

2. Why was the removable door put on the late 1912 touring model?

3. Why the dummy door? I heard it was because drivers were getting out and being hit by horse and buggies or other cars.??

4. Was the dummy door replaced with a workable door on the later model T's?

5. Why did some countries have a driver side workable door and what country is that? Canada?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erik Johnson on Monday, January 26, 2015 - 10:27 am:

Regardless of make or RHD or LHD, with many antique cars it's difficult if not impossible to enter from the driver's side due to the steering column and the shift and/or brake lever.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Colin Mavins Winnipeg,Canada on Monday, January 26, 2015 - 10:31 am:

Canada Made right hand drive cars Dash boards were cut for right and left hand drive. Both door open and horn tube and bulb were on the out side. Cheers


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Coiro on Monday, January 26, 2015 - 12:13 pm:

1. Speculation: The Brass-Era was largely characterized by opulent, expensive cars that were novel playthings of the wealthy. - Because the most costly of these were so large and heavy, operating them required muscle and sweat, so the affluent—who have always been the trend-setters of their day—hired drivers (who were still thought of as "horse wranglers" such as those who drove enclosed coaches from an exposed seat). - Whereas the VIPs entered the roomier rear through a door, the driver just climbed up into the driver's seat. - The accepted style, having been set, was followed for a while by Henry Ford, who, seeing the Model T as "everyman's car," eventually put doors (real and fake) up front. -Even so, the front seating area got an easy-to-clean, plain rubber mat (because traditionally, horse wrangling drivers got dusty and frequently stepped in horse poop), while the passengers in the rear rested their tootsies on a more costly, inch-thick, straw carpet.

2. More speculation: For one single year, Mr. Ford "hedged his bet" by making the trend-setting front doors a detachable accessory on the early, stepped, wood-body cars of 1912 and also the later, sheet-metal covered cars of the same model-year. - But "fore-doors" did catch on and so, became a non-detachable, standard feature the very next year.


3.
a.) Even more speculation: The parking brake handle made for awkward entrance and egress and Mr. Ford figured that most drivers took the path of least resistance through the passenger-side door, anyway.

b.) -A touring body with only three doors was structurally stronger and stiffer than a body with four doors. - But Ford apparently put a bit too much faith in this principle and the touring body of the 1913 model year (which featured the first non-detachable front door on a touring body), was too flexible and needed retro-fitted stiffeners installed to prevent the rear doors from popping open whenever the car rolled over a bump in the road.

c.) -By featuring a non-operating, dummy-door on the driver's side, Ford saved the expense of the materials that went into framing out the door and its opening, the cost of hinges and latching hardware and the labor that would have went into installing these things. - If Henry thus saved a buck or two on each of these dummy-doors, imagine how much money that represented by the time 15-million Model T Fords had been manufactured!


4. Model T sales peaked out around 1923 and then dived like a Stuka. -Ironically, this was because the new, improved roads that Henry Ford zealously promoted, allowed Ford's competition to produce, sleeker, lower-slung, heavier, more stylish cars that would not have been able to deal with the truly horrible, unimproved American roads that the Model T, with its high ground clearance, long spring-travel and light weight, easily traversed in years past. - Mr. Ford, who prided himself on being the first to be last, steadfastly resisted his son's recommendation for a totally new design that would have been sales-competitive. - But even Henry eventually came to the point where he could almost, but not quite, see the handwriting on the wall, and stubborn to the bitter end, agreed only to a compromise: Instead of introducing a brand-new design, he'd do a mostly cosmetic modernization of the basic Model T. - The "improved" car included an operating driver's side door.


5. Canada was influenced by both English and American cultures, and the Canadian preference for which side of the car the steering wheel should be mounted was ambiguous. - Some were mounted on the left and some, on the right. - To accommodate this ambiguity in the most cost-effective manner, a single Canadian touring body configuration, with operating front doors on both sides, was produced. - This eliminated the need for mirror-image bodies and making the decision as to how many of each to manufacture.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Derek Kiefer - Mantorville, MN on Monday, January 26, 2015 - 12:38 pm:

My speculation would be that most early cars didn't have doors at all... you just kind of sat on a seat out in the open. Rear doors on a touring were likely popular with buyers because they helped keep the kids from falling out.

As time went on, people realized that doors also helped keep mud and rain off the occupants, so foredoors became popular as well... Ford was likely just providing what the public wanted to buy, as the market changed.

again, just speculation...


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By steve miller- mississauga,ontario on Monday, January 26, 2015 - 05:04 pm:

Canada produced cars for export to the British Commonwealth countries most of which still drive on the left side of the road. In the early days of the T the east and west coast of Canada drove on the left side as well.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Keith Townsend ; ^ ) Gresham, Orygun on Tuesday, January 27, 2015 - 01:34 am:

Robert-

1) No front doors was the generally accepted body style for automobiles up to about 1910.

2) By 1911 most automobile manufacturers offered fore-doors on their cars. Fore-doors kept the kids from falling out... Ford started fore-doors around serial number 83,000 (Beaudette body B-18900-ish) [Note: It gets complicated because body numbers did not consecutively follow serial numbers.] Ford had to scramble to keep up with the industry. If you look at cars with early fore-doors (step-side body cars), it clearly was an after thought. The body is slightly different with a wider sill. Since Ford identified the fore-door as "removable" they weren't thought of as "added-on" (which they were on the step-side body cars.)

When Ford introduced the slab-side body in calendar 1912, they continued with the "removable" fore-door verbiage.

3) There really isn't enough room to get in and out with the steering wheel and parking brake in the way. Yes, Canadian cars had left front doors because Canadian cars were designed to be either left hand drive or right hand drive.

4) left have door appeared on 1926 and 1927 passenger cars. Left doors appeared on TT trucks as soon as Ford offered bodies.

Soapbox) Despite being called "removable" ALL slab-side 1912 touring cars came from the factory with fore-doors installed. They were NOT an "option." I have never seen a period photo of a slab-side 1912 Model T with the fore-doors removed. Taking the fore-doors off of a 1912 Model T to "make it look older" is a restoration phenomenon (and fallacy) from the 1950's and later.


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