We found this postcard on Ebay showing a 1914 Touring parked in front of the Ford dealer in my hometown of Adams, MN.
This is the same dealer where my great-grandpa Math Bissen bought his 1914 Touring brand new. Here's a close-up of the car in the photo.
We were hopeful it might be his car, but the side lamps are wrong (Great-Grandpa's car has E&J lamps, and the car in the picture appears to have JNO Brown lamps)
I'm hoping Erik Johnson can tell me who owned the car though.
Here's a recent picture of the car Great-Grandpa bought new there, restored in 1992 by my Dad.
And here's a copy of the Bill-of-Sale..
That is very cool, thanks for sharing. I've tried tracking down the 'T' my great grandfather purchased. No luck as of yet.
Great stuff Derek!!
I also know he cranked it right handed.
How? Well, we still have a couple of his left hands...
His left hand was mangled in a corn shredder, so they cut it off with a hacksaw on the kitchen table.
Ouch. Bet that took a bit of apple jack.
Great looking car.
Notice the rebound straps on the front axle.
I put some on my 1924 cut-off touring, they do help reduce the "ejection seat" effect on big bumps.
As was said above, GREAT POST Derek!
I looked up plate 18478 in the 1912-13-14 listing but it is assigned to an Oakland.
Therefore, the plate must be 1915-16-17. I only have a partial public directory for those years and unfortunately that plate is not included.
The two "dots" in the plate indicate the owner drilled additional holes so he could mount it.
Derek - if you don't already know the number of the plate that was originally issued to your car, it would be very easy to look up in the original ledger at the Minnesota Historical Society.
What do the numbers 585493-550721 on the Bill of Sale signify? I can't make out what it says. Also, I don't see the engine number anywhere on the documentation. Interesting that they didn't use it (or am I wrong and just missed it?).
There is a 1915 or 1916 T Touring in the background, and the postmark on the card is 1917, so it probably is a 1915-16-17 plate. Oakland is only about 25 miles away though.
I don't know the original plate number, but Mathias Bissen from Rose Creek MN was the original owner.
I have shared this before, but here's some film of the car being used in the July 4th parade in 1942. There is film from another earlier year also spliced into it showing the same car.
585493 is the engine number. It was built in September (9-17-14 casting date if I remember correctly) and purchased on Oct. 7th 1914.
The other number might be body number? I would have to ask Dad.
Ah so! For some reason I was thinking the engine number would be somewhere up over 1,000,000. I stand corrected!
One correction, the car was ordered on Oct. 7th and he took delivery on Oct. 22nd 1914 according to the bill-of-sale.
Next time I go to my parents, I'll have to get some more pictures... They also have paperwork from the $50 rebate that Ford offered in 1914. I forgot about that while I was there on Saturday.
Just a clarification.
The 1912-13-14 was registered to an Oakland automobile in St. Paul, not Oakland, MN.
That's what I get for trying to read too fast... missed the word "an" before Oakland.
I just talked to Dad, and the rebate information is only an envelope that Grandpa thought might have been from the rebate.
Great photo and great information about your great grandpa’s car. Note the two numbers 585493-550721. You stated the first was the engine number so the second number is normally the car number. That should be the number that is stamped on the ID patent plate that is attached to the firewall for the USA cars from 1909 to early 1915. Note originally the number on the engine and the number on the ID patent plate were the same. But starting around Oct 6, 1911 for USA cars, the engine number and the number on the ID patent plate no longer agreed (ref: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/doc11.htm -- note that it says
OCT 6, 1911 Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives
Motor and body numbers not to agree in the future.
But we know the body number never agreed with the engine number – i.e. the independent body makers provided the body numbers not Ford and the body makers used whatever numbering system they liked to keep track of how many bodies they shipped to Ford. If you would like a more detailed explanation on that – please drop me a note and I will look up the previous posting that goes into additional details. Also note that the Canadian engine number and the number on the ID Patent plate continued to agree much later (again for details ask and I can find some references)).
Below is one of the tags from a 1914 touring showing how they listed both the engine number and the car number and how they did not agree in the USA for the later 1911 to early 1915 cars. (They were discontinued completely in the USA for car numbers but not in Canada. I don’t recall/know how Ford of England did them).
Next time you look at the dash on the car – please double check and see if the number agrees with the number on the ID patent plate.
Hap l9l5 cut off
Hap, that's correct. The 2nd number is the body number on the brass tag on the firewall.
Thanks for confirming it is the number on the ID Patent plate.
Hap l9l5 cut off
The number on the brass tag is not the body number. It is the tag number. The body number is under the front seat on the front support.
We have received another picture from this dealership, this one being INSIDE the dealer with 3 late-1914 Fords, and 7 non-Fords (Chevy?).
We also have a newspaper clipping showing the same dealership sometime 1924 or later.
It was interesting to see the Prestolite tank mounted on the running board, our early 19113 T had our tank mounted in the same place, because there was no door there
The car to the left of the rear window and the three cars on the right side appear to be Overlands.
I'll see if I can look up plate 62122 tomorrow.
Note that the third car from the left (Ford) has an accessory cowl and windshield.
Derek and Erik, great stuff. Erik, I still need to talk too your Dad regarding Busch Ford dealership. I've been spending all my time tearing down the sedan. Now I've apparently blown another disc in my back and am dealing with a lot of pain. I'm not looking forward to surgery again (this will be my 6th in 30 years).
Derek, I find your posted documentation interesting by itself. To actually have the car that goes with it is phenomenal!
i think i see 5 new overlands 1917 -19 were they changing over. Derek can you blow up the rest of the pic.the car in the frt is not a Chevy they had cantilever springs.charley
The Inspectors Tag you show has provision and looks to have been checked as having been attached to a Chassis.
If the check mark is correct, it must have been shipped to a branch as a chassis and then had a Touring car body mounted on it.
It would seem likely that the Car No., "dash tag" we are talking about would have been attached during assembly of that sub assembly prior to mounting of the dash on a car of any of the four types listed.
Do you have any pictures that would answer the question of when the "Car No." dash tag is attached to the dash?
Seems to suggest "Chassis" were shipped to branch plants for assembly with a Beaudette, Wilson, etc. body?
Ken in Texas
Charlie, the dealership in later years was a Chevrolet dealer, but I'm not sure about the history of the change from Ford to Chevy.
Their advertising always said "Meurer Chevrolet Since 1923" but the picture above shows a Ford sign on the building with 2 1924-1925 Fords in the picture.
I assume 1923 is when Meurer bought the dealership from J.H. Carey who was the first owner (and salesman who sold Great-Grandpa's car).
Minnesota 61222 is a 1915-16-17 plate as 1912-13-14 only went up to approximately 54000.
It was issued to A A Knutson of Adams for a Ford according the public directory in my dad's collection. So, the directory definitely matches the photo - town and make of car.
Now that we know the name and town of the owner, it would be possible to look up the 1914 registration in the ledger at the Minnesota Historical Society. That would also probably list the serial number which were usually, but now always, recorded.
You guys in MN are very fortunate to be able to trace your cars as described above.
According to the story when I bought my '14 Touring in Fairmont, MN in '05, it was originally from Iowa and had an amateur restoration by a retired Ford mechanic, maybe in the '60's. When he died, his nephew got the car in about '88, and I bought it from him.
I would LOVE to know more about my cars' history....you guys in MN are very fortunate.
Happy Birthday to Dad! (a few days late)
Thanks to Roger Byrne for the high-quality scan, it turned out great blown up to 24x36.