Well I just picked up another project and plan on it being a long term one. This 1922 was something I couldn't ignore any longer. I've always loved the looks of the center door and now will have to rely on the good folks of this forum to help me restore this gem. These pictures are from the seller, I plan to flood this thread with the progress so bare with me.
And be looking for body numbers, body maker numbers etc. There were at least two body manufactures for the Centerdoors – Fisher and Wadsworth. I have tried a couple of times to make sure I know which body maker Fisher or Wadsworth has the indent and which body maker does not have the indent on the lower front cowl section. See: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/27255.html where Trevor Davis comments on his Wadsworth body number W46149 which has the indent at the bottom of the front cowl pillar. Note Les Schybert in that same posting also has a Wadsworth body and that it also has the indent on the cowl. There is a good photo of his body number – and where it was found (lift up the rear seat cushion and look down on the wood seat frame that the cushion sits down on. It normally would be on the front wooden rail. Based on that review – I think the indented pillar goes with the Wadsworth body. But again – I am only reviewing this in my spare time. Below is my corrected version that shows the indent on the Wadsworth. If anyone has additional information supporting or correcting that – please let us know.
And Don, please let us know if your car has an indent in the front body near the bottom of the cowl or not.
Below are two photos courtesy of Dennis Flemming (Thank you Dennis!) from his 1923 Centerdoor showing a stamping with Des Moine and a number.
Below is a photo courtesy of Eric Hylen (Thank you Eric!) from a 1922 Centerdoor he previously owned:
My theory (guess) is the body was assembled at Des Moines (they spelled it that way back then) and my second guess is they assemble the car at Des Moines. I haven’t looked at the small amount of data we have on the Centerdoors of that time frame in several years. But from memory – I don’t think we were able to come up with a definite “this is what the Des Moines stamp and number mean.” Someday, I hope we will be able to do that.
Please take lots of digital photos before doing anything to help capture details. The window latches indicate it is a later body. I wonder if the wood around the windows was originally covered with metal panels yet or if that car came with the window levers but without the metal covering over the outside window sills. If the previous owner has photos of the car that could help document it, please ask him for scans etc.
Again congratulations on your new car.
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Hey Don, I think the center door is one of the best looking enclosed Model T's Ford made. It looks like you've got a pretty nice start on what will turn out to be a beautiful car.
Thank you Hap, Mike. I will do the best I can to get as much history on this as I can. The seller is rather elderly and very hard to understand what he is saying. From looking it over yesterday in -12 degree weather, the wood has never been disturbed. That thought might change when I get it home and start to clean the snow out of it. One thing that stands out is the windshield visor/ shade. The pictures I've seen on the centerdoor hasn't had any such shade on them. Aftermarket maybe? The other unusual find is the door handles, they are T shaped on both doors. I'm thinking these are incorrect and maybe someone could fill in the blank on that. At any rate, this will be another long thread and I hope it is a active one. I know very little of these cars and will rely on the wisdom of the forum. Stand back and prepare yourselves for another ride to restoration!
Don, I'll be glad to "bear" with you, but not BARE with you!! LOL..sorry, couldn't resist the opportunity. (check your first post )
Nice looking project, you have more patience than I do for that kind of stuff. And probably more skill too!
Well, good on you Don, I had a feeling this car was on your mind for some time. You are going to have lots of fun bringing it back to life. Let me know if I can help in any way. Joe
Dan: I have had a 20 and a 21. Both had T handles. My 19 has bale handles. My 19 also has a shade.
Tim, I looked at that spelling and do you think it registered? I guess its all good as long as everybody is in their own home and not in my barn.
Joe, I'm going to apologize right now because I'm planning on picking your brain plenty. It should be fun doing it though..
Dave, I will take a picture of the handles when I get the car home. They are not typical and maybe have something missing..dunno~ Standby~
You really will want a copy of Bruce’s book and/or CD (I like the CD better). Details such as the ones below are discussed for several pages with illustrations in many cases. On page 293 of Bruce’s book and page 54 of his CD and page 37 of the Nov-Dec 1985 “Vintage Ford” [which is included in the CD from the club on the “Vintage Ford” collection and is the one we are using by permission of the MTFCA to promote our hobby and club] Bruce shared:
Door handles are listed at 9058 (black) 1915-
1918, 9058B (nickel) 1919-1920, 9058C (“T”
handle) in 1921, and 9058D (“L” handle) in 1922-
Note that is the type of information that is also included in Bruce’s Price List of Parts that is included on his 2 CD set available from: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/331880/333725.html?1357665853 note the shipping is now $6.25 rather than the $5.15 listed back in 2013.
And on that same page it has additional information about the metal covers over the outside window frames which says:
The metal covering over the window frames,
etc., appeared in 1921 on some production, with
the older type (bare painted wood) being made
at the same time. Whether the metal covers
appeared before the change in the window lifts,
or at the same time is unknown to the author but
the parts books seem to indicate the covers came
And yes, I’m 99 percent sure the window visor would have been an after market accessory. Possibly dealer or owner installed.
Again, we look forward to additional photos and information.
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If it turns out like the Fordors, we're in for a real treat and I for one will stay tuned Like Mike G, they are my favorite T body style as well.
Hap, thank you greatly for the information...your knowledge scares the crap out of me! This car has the metal skinned window frames. I don't know if this is unusual or not but, the rear quarter windows are strap activated and the door windows have the steal notched slider. I don't recall what the front seat windows have. Now, on the door handle question.. I have seen the loop shaped door handle on others, is this the handle you refer to as a "T" handle? The reason I ask is this car has a T shaped handle but its obvious parts are missing.
Dan: One of the High Ups in the MTFCA used to be fond of saying that center doors are no good for tour cars because they are to heavy but I found just the opposite and used them on many big tours. I used to out run every one on a tour. They are an excellent tour car if you build them right. The first time I ran in the Montana 500 I used my center door and finished in 8th place. In a center door you are in out of the rain and snow and are never cold. Your wife will love to ride in your center door because her hair won't be blowing all over the place and she will be comfortable and WARM.
One word of caution, Don't ever put single hasslers on a center door USE DOUBLES. Single hasslers can through you over. With doubles you can ride over the toughest water bars like a dream.
Dan: I see you have one good thing already. My 19 had the detachable wheel LUGS. You have the PERMANENT LUGS. I could not keep a valve stem in my rear wheels because ever time I put the breaks on the tire and tube slid on way and when I started off the tire would slid the other way. This happened no matter how much air I kept in the back tires. It didn't take me long to change to the permanent lugs. I understand that Ford changed that arrangement in 22 so you lucked out and will not have to change rims.
Dan: I see you have one good thing already. My 19 had the detachable wheel LUGS. You have the PERMANENT LUGS. I could not keep a valve stem in my rear wheels because ever time I put the breaks on the tire and tube slid on way and when I took off the tire would slid the other way. This happened no matter how much air I kept in the back tires. I understand that Ford changed that arrangement in 22 so you lucked and will not have to change rims.
Hello and nice center door,I have a 1918 fisher body and it has the indent.Look at the top rear door wood and there will be a number followed by FBC if you have a fisher body,those same numbers will be on the wood under the rear seat left front.
I own a 1916 and a 1919 center door. My biggest complaint about center doors is getting in and out from the drivers seat. I am 6'3" and getting old.. I also have a 2 speed rear end on the 16 so getting my feet to the front side of the drivers seat is a problem. (2 speed shift lever also causes a problem)
Once I am in and driving, there is plenty of room and both of my cars are good drivers.
My 1916 with the 2 speed did great on a tour to Yellow Stone national park. Without the 2 speed, I would have spent a lot of time in low band.
Quote "I plan to flood this thread with progress"
That's great...let the waters flow! I enjoy reading and learning about rebuilding the Model T.
I'd clean it up, put a top on it, make it tour worthy, and keep it as is....
James, I think that is the biggest question I have with this car. The patina is a measure of its age and the life it has had. I'm really considering leaving it that way. My question would be if I did, would it look weird with a new interior and top? I also enjoy the looks of a total restoration and paint job. But we all know how many shiny black T's are out there. It is a tough decision. Like I said I don't have the car home yet to know exactly how much has to be done. That may make my mind up for me...
i too like it just the way it is. tell us about the 33 ford in the back yard? such pretty cars they are
I lean towards restoring it. While I like seeing an unrestored Touring, Runabout or Coupe, I think the Sedan is too pretty to not be made pretty.
Hi Don, As you probably remember I looked at purchasing this car also --I think it will be a relatively easy restoration and I'm glad you got it. I would lean towards a complete restoration but your call.
I took a few pictures of it and can send them to you if you want. One interesting item that I noted was the Ford Brass Plate nailed to the car. I will try to attach a picture. To me it looked like a tag found on mfg. plant machines. Others may have ideas about it.
Let me know if I can be of help. Carl and I are finished with Big George's '26 pick up. Regards, Joe.
Hi Joe, wow I didn't see that plate. The car is sadly left out and had a sizeable depth of snow in it. I'm actually quite surprised you didn't buy this one. Maybe you saw something I missed?
Re: How will Big George react when he doesn't have to back-up the hills ?
Clayton, that is a panel wagon. He put a V8 Cleveland in it (?). I may not remember that correctly...This guy had several projects going and also had a 1947 complete original Chevy four door with 33k miles on it. Three on the tree and said he wouldn't hesitate to drive it to Florida. A '29 Two Door Model A he was restoring and a Model A Pickup sitting in the snow bank. Interesting fella for sure.
For Jack Hedges – thank you for sharing that your 1918 Fisher body also has the indent at the bottom of the cowl. One problem with trying to determine a trend is having enough data points. It is looking more and more like the indent or smooth without an indent is not tied to the body maker. If you have a chance would you please send me photos of your body number and the FBC on top of the doors and seat?
For Don – While looking for a photo of a 1921 Centerdoor “T” shaped door handle I ran across the link to the “on-line” information on the Centerdoors. The Encyclopedia CD and book have more – but this will help you also – please see: http://mtfca.com/encyclo/Cdoors.htm
So far the best 1921 Coupe “T-shaped” handle I have was posted by Roy Mathis (thank you Roy) and is reposted below.
I think there is a good chance that the Coupe and Centerdoor shared a common door handle. The part numbers are the same and the changes from brass loop, to painted black loop, to nickel loop, to T shape, to L-shaped are the same. If anyone can confirm if that photo above is or is not also for a Centerdoor that would be greatly appreciated.
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Congrats Don! I've bought and sold well over a hundred cars in my lifetime. Of the ones I've sold, the only two that I wish I still owned are a '22 Centerdoor and a '64 Impala.
I met my wife while I was out for a drive in the Centerdoor. She was a pretty sad when I traded it for the '14 Touring that I'd coveted for several years.
Congratulations! I own a 22 Centerdoor and love it! Your body looks quite straight and solid. It would be a shame to loose that great looking patina -there are enough restored centerdoors on the road. Yours would really stand out! Like others have said, my wife loves sitting in the back seat (gives me more elbow room up front!) Mine was a little slow navigating the hills around southern California but a RAJO BB solved that problem (Added rear disc brakes, too)
Thanks Eric, David I appreciate the kind words.
Hap, that is some good read !! It is good to know that a purist will find it difficult to criticize the upholstery when such a wide variety was used. Also, it seems that this period of sedans was one of grab and go even the body wasn't really standardized. It will be a interesting build. I've been contacted by a local T builder that within my area there are currently 4 other center doors being restored. I should have plenty of resources to brain pick and possibly obtain some parts. I'm hoping to get the car today. My biggest fear is it most likely frozen solid to the ground and I may tear the tires up when we try to move it. We will see how it goes, -12 degrees wind chill should make for a quick as possible get-ur-done job, without damage I hope.
Have a safe trip [drive slower] and stay warm. If you are using an enclosed trailer you will not need to worry about parts falling off -- they will be in the trailer. If it is an open trailer any parts that are not tight can vibrate off and disappear along the route. If any of the standard T chassis parts fall off, they can be replaced a lot easier than the Center door unique parts. I like to bungee the doors and hood so they cannot get away. And I remove anything that can be easily removed (seat cushions, etc. and store them inside the tow vehicle.)
Not the information about Centerdoors at the link above is only part of what is in Bruce's CD and book.
If you have 5 Centerdoors in your area -- I would think you have a good chance to help document what is similar and what the differences are. If you are interested in helping with that -- please let me know. There are many things we want to learn more about the Centerdoors and Bob Kiefaber is working to write a book or at perhaps some articles about them.
Good luck with picking up your new T.
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I am happy you acquired this centerdoor. I watched the ad for it and was amazed it didn't sell sooner. I'm looking forward to progress reports.
Well I just got it home all safe and sound. Will be spending tomorrow digging out the drive to the barn. (which I just did yesterday morning).
Hap it does have the Fisher body on it. It also has a windshield wiper that has two blades. One on the outside and one on the inside. I will taking pictures but need to get it inside to get the ice and snow out of it. So far it looks fairly good for 93 years of existence.
Nice car, I hope you will preserve it and not restore it. It's only original once.
We are all glad you and the Centerdoor arrived home safely. I look at your 93 year old car and I am reminded I am just a steward. The original owner is no longer there to take care of it. And it will be passing on to a new caretaker some day further on down the road. But we are allowed to enjoy them for a time. And hopefully they will be better off for their time with us.
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Thanks Hap, Phillip Richard and all others. Buying this thing while buried in a snow bank wasn't the wisest way to go. But I'm known to be compulsive when it comes to something in need of repair. I will disappoint some on the forum when the time comes to decide on the final finish. The determining factor will be how much metal work can be done without it being a eyesore. I know I can buy rusted body parts and replace the originals but I have a problem with that. It's my thoughts and desire to use every possible original to the car, part. Even if it is reworked at least it is original to the car.
Sheet metal doesn't seem to be a problem on this car from the pictures, but you may get an opportunity to learn woodworking ;)
Lots of wood in a Centerdoor and lots of work to change it out if there's rot anywhere - and most 93 year old wood bodies has some..
Don.. Sorry I am late getting back to you. Work gets in the way of my fun time! In any event, I would not restore any of it, other than put a top on it. There are two things you can do: Restoration... or... Preservation. Truthfully, I wouldn't even consider the restoration category, or even "partial" restoration. I'd leave the original seats as they are. There are things you can do to protect the seats. Heck, I've seen guys buy old (original from the era) burlap feed sacks and make seat covers that go over top the original seats to protect them, but can be easily removed when you take the car to a show in order to expose the original material. There are many things you can do.
Here's something to consider. It's only original once. As soon as the original patina is gone, you can never go back. Every time I take my un-restored 1915 touring to a show, it gathers a crowd. I can park right next to other beautifully restored T's, and the crowd gathers around my car instead. Guys who are restoring their cars take detailed photographs of mine. They always need information on the little things that have long disappeared on cars that were basket cases or incorrectly restored years ago. I've seen this same thing with other un-restored cars also. Un-restored automobiles offer a themselves as a genuine historical sacrifice to further the truth about the manufacture of that particular model. There is tremendous enjoyment standing there with your car while people ask you questions and enjoy looking at your prize.
One more thing you can do if the interior is too fragile to use... you can find another set of seat frames, and restore the replacements. Then, you can remove the original interior (seat frames and all), and carefully store it in your shop, intact. You can set the original interior from your car in it's proper location on the shop floor, photograph it, and carry that in the car with you. No one would ding you for having the replacement interior when you show them that the original interior is at home and fully intact. I once saw a guy who did this with a 1968 chevelle SS/396. Just something to consider.
Enjoy and congratulations!
I say do a frame up restoration. Maybe you can learn woodworking somewhere along the way.
Hey, I am a board member of the Des Moines Historical Society and Model T enthusiast. Our President also has a Model T. If anyone has a car with a Des Moines stamp, and is interested in selling, please contact me. The Ford building in Des Moines is still standing, and it would be great to have a car that was built there.
Don to check if you car is a Fisher look under the back seat left front corner and it should be stamped in the wood frame.
Well this should shake up the model t world...or at least the forum. Fisher style pillar, no stamping found (so far) after looking where you guys suggested. All the wood with the exception of above the windshield appears to be original. The only ID found on the body thus far is the Ford tag that Joe Stearns has the picture of.
After digging out the snow I did find the correct door handles (loop style)...thank goodness! What you think???
Forgot to mention the engine no. 5906104 ... Back to the mouse poop ...
Don also look at the top of your doors it should be stamped there also
Current pics!! We want pics! We want pics! We want pics!
Can't figure out why someone would let such a jem sit out in the snow though. . Tarps are cheap!
Nothing there Jack, I took a magnifying glass and flash light...nothing. dunno~
David I have to dry it out and then maybe I can find something other than the Ford tag....right now I'm thinking this had to be built by Ford.
Hmm, Ford tag--maybe you have a prototype???
Wet snow & mouse droppings---there's a "fun" combination! Be careful there!
Dang it! You guys are getting me all conflicted. I've been trying to sell off most of my spare T parts, especially the later ones, because I fell like I've got enough projects to last my lifetime. Don't worry, I'm keeping enough spares to finish and maintain my projects. But, this thread has me thinking that I might need to add an enclosed T to the collection.
I've sold two out of the three Ts that my family decided to let go from my father's collection. The last one is a '22 Coupe. If you guys keep posting cool stuff about enclosed Model T's, I might just have to buy it myself. Trouble is, I'm already keeping two of his cars and buying the coupe would force me to build more garage stalls.
In all seriousness, owning and driving an enclosed Model T is a completely different experience than an open car. The sounds and smells are unique. They're warmer on cold days, but are well ventilated on hot days. The Centerdoor has a distinctive style and that oval rear window is iconic. I envy you Don.
Eric, now is not the time to envy me..wait until its up and running then maybe. I have to admit something here. I'm not crazy about owning another car. I know it sounds weird but my excitement comes from working on a piece of this countries history. I love seeing how the old wood masters cut and shaped the wood. I love looking at what was the evolution of the modern era. The details of how they thought out the design and came up with improvements all the while kicking out massive amounts of these machines. How they combined high tech machining with stage coach wood and nails, it just amazes me. Here with this car you have finely machined engine and transmission parts and yet the back window is a pull strap. How can that not generate the imagination as to what was going on back then. Enough of my b.s. sorry to bend your ear.
You have the Wadsworth and Fisher bodies confused and backwards on the diagrams. Check the previous blogs further in the article, or do they have the body manufacturers mixed up? My 1918 has the indent in front of the door next to the front fender and according to your drawing it is a Wadsworth body and according to the older 2007 comments in the same article it is a Fisher body. Which one is it>
Frank my 1918 has the indent and the fisher stamps on the doors and under the back seat if that helps .
Ok now I'm confused, my car has no indent and no stamping anyway I can find...just the brass Ford plate.
Thats what makes this fun...
A few pictures but they are dark and I need to find another camera...
and a few more
Your arms must be too tired out from shoveling to get it knocked apart?
Is that really as solid as it appears? How is the body wood????
It is pretty solid but I have some work to do here and there. You will need to see it for yourself Ed. I might have to drive up to Totally T's and get some parts soon. If I do I will bug you..
The family is heading down tomorrow am, but I have too many obligations here in the shop.
The indent you all are talking about near the lower cowl,apears to be eliminated when the metal skins around the windows and the notch window lifters were added in 1922. Wadsworth and Fisher both had the indent. The Wadsworth factory burned down in late 1920 and then there were no more Wadsworth bodies.These statements are just my personal research and observations. Les Sumner
I find the windshield wiper interesting I have never seen a wiper on both sides of the glass or are my old eyes playing tricks on me. Nice Car I think there is only one centre door T in my neck of the woods.
Colin, no you aren't seeing double it has a wiper on both the outside and inside...how weird is that?
I have a near new-old-stock vintage after-market wiper that has a rubber blade on the outside to scrape rain and snow off the windshield. On the inside, with the handle is a thin felt pad roughly matching the outside blade for placement and length. The felt probably wipes condensation inside as well as adds counter pressure against the outside blade so that it should hold better pressure and therefore do a better job wiping the rain.
I threaten to put it onto the "well accessorized" coupe in place of the standard hand operated outside only wiper. But I really would like to put a good working early style vacuum wiper on the car. Good early ones are difficult to get, and the one I have belongs to the '27 Paige.
Years ago, a good friend had a pair of hand operated wipers on a car. It could be operated from either the driver's or passenger's seat and would wipe both sides at once. It was an original accessory, he had part of the box and instruction sheet. He sold the car years ago, I wonder what became of the thing.
So many accessories, so little time.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
So Wayne, I haven't looked over the wiper setup yet. Are you saying the inside is felt and not a rubber wiper blade? That would make more sense to have the felt. I will check it out this morning when the shop gets above -8 ..these old bones have become a bit sensitive to sub zero temperatures. I think the body thinks its in the morgue...
Yup Wayne, the inside wiper is felt. I wouldn't know if you hadn't said anything...Thank you !
" Centerdoor sedans had solid roof panel" this is taken from the encyclopedia. What does it mean by "solid roof panel"? Any help would be appreciated.
Don I have a similar 22 Center door and live west of Saginaw. I saved the roof panel that you have questions on, however, it was broken in half but still good for measurements. It appears that it was made out of some type of particle board I replace mine with some marine grade plywood so if this original panel might be of some help let me know. I also saved the headliner and welting that was originally in the center door. I loaned it to Les Sumner and he was able to reproduce the pattern in the welting and also I guess it helped in matching the material used in the headliner and the measurements in his reproduction. Les would be a good person to get a hold of also since his center door has been completely restored in excellent fashion.
Your center door is slightly newer than mine since on mine the inside door pulls are of the towel bar style and all the windows are raised by lift straps. Also all the outside wood around the windows on mine are exposed were as on yours the wood is metal covered above the belt line.
If you are in need of the inside or outside door handles as used on your CD I have reproduce these in the past. My outside door handles use a steel shank were as some of the reproductions they cast the whole thing including the shank in aluminum which have had some problems with twisting and breaking off. Bob
Hi Bob, thanks for the great information. I know Les and he is helping me out on this project. If you don't mind, could you PM me and we'll exchange email address' ? I appreciate your posting and it would be nice to have something nearby to look at. I understand if you'd rather not be bothered, no pressure!! Thanks again Bob.
Ha! Don, Bob Scherzer is the guy that I told you you just HAVE to get together with. Prepare to be amazed.
Bob, you heard from Charles lately? I got an email from another friend, and I didn't like what I read.
I got a chance to see this old surviving relic yesterday. The 22 centerdoor, not Don. Well I did see him too. This car is in such good shape for something from Michigan, or any rust belt area. Don will have this running in no time. I wondered if anyone had ever seen the brass Ford numbered tag in the above picture. It is under the rear seat. No signs of any other body numbers. Jim
My 22 Center Door also has this brass tag on rear seat frame and I too couldn't find any other stampings either. Offhand I don't know what the number that's on it just that it has Ford and then a number. My car's body was also in good shape as far is it not having any rust out on any portion of it. However, the top wood was another story. Bob
Bob, that is what I'm finding on my car. The top wood needs to be replaced but I'm having a hard time finding any other wood that needs attention. I know wood from restoring old boats my entire life and this wood has a new "clink" sound to it. Unbelievable for a 93 year old even the joints are solid yet. I expected the wood on the bottom of the doors would be wet and punky but I haven't found that to be true either. It is a unexpected surprise. I will keep probing though...
Hey Jim Derocher, my Slim Whitman 8 track is missing....I'm suspecting~
Don: Would that be the Slim Whitman that played the guitar left handed? If so, I am surprised that you mentioned him because I doubt many have heard of him. (Or heard him play) Somewhere in my stuff I have a souvenir picture obtained from him when he played here in Abilene many moons ago.
Slim Whitman!? He is alright for a modern country music performer. I listen to Jimmie Rodgers myself (the one that died in 1933). At least we are safe from a Martian attack (inside joke).
Don B, While I think that way too many cars were being restored for many years, cars that definitely SHOULD have been preserved. And all those hundreds (thousands?) of cars can never go back to being original. I also believe that there is a point where not enough of the really original is left, and a car should be fully restored. In my opinion, your new project is on that fence-line. Whether you chose to make it a beautiful car as you have shown such ability to do, or preserve what you can with enough restoration to make it usable? You will work wonders for that car and make it something special.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Tim, yes Slim Whitman the country singer. Jim Derocher is and always has been his biggest fan. He has every recording Slim ever made and plays them constantly ..over and over again.
Wayne, what doesn't show in the pictures is the only interior parts left on the car is the seats and the two door panels. I don't know how you could preserve the interior. The seats have been chewed up by mice over the years and aren't usable because of it. Another problem that isn't showing is the car was painted red at one time and still has red paint here and there. But my biggest concern is resale value. I don't want to go through all this work only to have it worth less than I have in to it. So I've pretty much made up my mind to restore it completely. The interior and a new top would look odd if the rest of the car wasn't freshened up, I fear. The wood spoke wheels will need replaced also. I do want to drive the car once it's done and I just don't see how you can preserve it and make it safe at the same time. Then the issue of the plate glass comes to mind. By changing the windows to safety glass pretty much removes the car from the original category...
Hi Don, sounds like you are having fun with your new toy already. I agree with your thinking on this car ---to just keep the cost down but restore it to be beautiful. And as we both would agree I'm sure, the fun in in the hunt/journey. I didn't realize the wheels needed to be re-spoked-- do plan to do this yourself? Have fun. Joe
Good morning Joe, yes I will do the spokes. I built a press a few years back and have done the Fordor and the Coupe. The centerdoor spokes are tight but they also have splits and one on the rear is worn down like someone took a grinder to it. I would feel safer knowing that the wheels aren't brittle.
Yup, Slim Whitman, and Slim Chiply are my faves, with a little right wing AM radio thrown in. Have you cleaned up that carby and fired her up yet Don? At least with this heat wave we're getting it's not to bad working in the garage, had mine up to 52 degrees last night! JD
I knew it, Slim Chiply is missing also. No haven't tried it yet, I'm a bit leery of doing anything with gasoline involved while having the burner going. And got plenty to do meanwhile. I will save it for the next time you head south.
Strip'n and rip'n...
I can hear the "preservationists" weeping. I love it. When you are done with this, it will last 200 years, encapsulated in modern sealants and finishes.
Well the center door is taking back seat to a 26 touring now. This is all original except the top fabric. It has been painted but never restored. Drives and runs great. We are going thru the rear end and a few other items to get it safe to drive daily.
Neat car! What is the thing that the red arrow is pointing to, is it a switch for the dash light?
Most likely an accessory switch - the dash lamp has it's own just a bit up & left of the push-pull one - the small round, knurled one.
Mark, it is a switch but no wires attached to it. It may have been a power kill for their ipod charger or gps in the day...
Don, If you were not that far away from Texas, I would offer to let you work on another basket case 1922-23 center door in my garage. I think mine is even in worse shape than yours and needs a good amount of wood replaced. Engine is also missing, but that is not a problem as the center door used the same engine as all Model T's did.
It may set a while as there are a few projects ahead of the center door. I have a 1916 and a 1921 center door that I do drive some.
I tell you what...throw a engine in it. Bring it up the first week of September. On your way back you can go to the Old Car Festival. Then next September come up and get your center door and take it to the Old Car Festival! I would have a nice winter project and you would have a fresh new center door. :/
I have a 1918 center door,after reading your post,I looked on the rear seat frame and found a metal tag with the number 8414.
Very cool! Re wiper. thanks for the info on the inside blade. I have one on mine and did even think to check to see if it was felt, who would have thought!
You never know what's in the can when you open it up...
Hey Don, hows that rear axle coming. I didn;t hear anything about the Freeland car show, any trophy's? I hope to check the progress on that centerdoor soon. Those pics of the 26 look a little blurry to me, must be that wild grape wine we tested tonight...See ya next time I'm down that way. JD
JD, the parts arrived yesterday and I should have it back on the car today. The car show went really good, we had a fun day. The 1912 took first place and best of the show. While I was checking out the other cars I felt a hit to the backside. It was a high school buddy, he handed me a book and said "here I borrowed this 43 years ago" ... never too late I guess!
I have a question about the top. How much if any curvature did the centerdoors have? This one has very little about 1/4" and almost appears flat. Thanks for any help on this...
I can't offer any information on a center door but my '22 Coupe has very little rise in the center. When you look at it, it looks flat but if you place a straight edge or level on top the sides drop ever so slightly. Water rolls off.
I do wish I had managed to keep the center-door I had years ago. Of course, the fact that it was a brass era (1916) made it a little special. I know that the roof part was not original on my car, so that makes any information from my faulty memory extra suspect. As I recall, from research I did at the time, that the roof piece originally was a molded pressed paper thing similar to Masonite. I was told the original piece had the rain gutters made onto the roof piece all as one piece. Although I did see a few references to this piece, and even heard of a rumor of someone that had a piece of one, I never saw one myself. Supposedly, they deteriorated very quickly, and most were replaced very early. My car, and several others I got to look at, had basically a Masonite panel, hand fit around the edges with a rasp file, typical top material and rain gutters added.
I cannot say for certain what the top was really like when the cars were new. But most that I have seen were fairly flat on top.
And I do love center-door sedans!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Thanks for the information, I do have the rain gutter for the car. It is one piece that wraps around the front in the shape of a U and extends all the way to the back where the rear panel folds over the top. I've been told the original roof material was made from soybean pressed like chipboard. They didn't last but 2 or 3 years and it had to be replaced. Apparently Ford was experimenting with soybeans and came up with what he thought was a durable alternative to plywood. All the pictures I have seen of the center doors the roof does appear very flat compared to the Fordor and coupe. So that is shall be~ Glad you are hitting on all four cylinders again Wayne !!
I have one, 1922, just about the same condition. I bought it about 15 yrs ago. Started to restore it and my wife decided to call it quits and I stopped working on it. You have inspired me to start working on it.
I missed out on the centerdoor here in town for sale so I will enjoy watching the progress of yours instead. I didn't need the extra project and was happy the Lady got a better offer than I could make. They are a wonderful body style and I hope you continue to keep us posted.
Glad you have inspired Richard W. to work on his. If you don't get better info on the bow rise, I would say an inch would be more than enough. The slight arch keeps the bow form sagging. I'm not sure if it is constant between front and rear or if there is more in the center. If the rear sheet metal has some arch at the top this may be a clue to the actual bow arch.
Actually I did get the measurements from the best Model T person I know. Les Sumner emailed them to me. Thank God for wonderful people and the Model T world is stuffed full of them! I'm very pleased that Mr. Wolf renewed his desire to preserve that Centerdoor. We all know it is a ton of work to bring it back to life but it also has two tons of self satisfaction in the end. Thanks guys !!
My driveway today...took a tour and had a blast..
Stopped in to see the progress of a friends 1938 Packard Cabrolet. V12 one of nine left in the world.
Do you wear that motorcycle helmet when you drive the speedster?
My buddy Joe does...more for bug protection I'm thinkin...
I may have that Packard wrong...it might be a Victoria, not a Cabriolet.
Ed, the reason I wear the helmet is to eliminate the BUFFERING wind effect that I get from the cool monacle windshield. The effect is similar to driving a car with the rear windows down-- drives me nuts. The helmet eliminates this effect. Joe
Totally immersed in Rustbullet.
Thanks for posting an update. I've always enjoyed your restoration posts
Don, Is that Packard from the collection of the late Rod Blood in West Newton, Massachusetts?
The Packard is a V12 Victoria that has spent the last 50 +/- years in Bay City, MI; prior to that Detroit.
John, I actually first saw that car in the early '70's. It was owned by a local man who dismantled old wood boats. He would sell the fittings and even the brass screws he would clean up and sell. I still have a coffee can full of brass nuts and bolts and screws I bought from him. The second owner was a Gougeon who built racing sailboats. Joel Gougeon bought it from the estate. The Gougeon brothers with cooperation of Dow Chemical Company created WEST EPOXY. Which stands for Wood Epoxy Saturation Treatment. I was one of the test customers for their epoxy before it went on the market. I had to experiment and reply with the results on how the epoxy worked in the real world. It was interesting working with them and they had to make many changes in the formula before all the bugs were worked out. That probably explains why I grew a big toe out of the middle of my forehead. So that Packard has been in the Bay City area for close to 50 years that I know of.
Bill you beat me to the answer!
Can anybody tell me if the 22 centerdoor used body blocks? Other than the running boards...Thx in advance.
No body blocks, only body brackets until the improved T bodies arrived in August 1925, I think. Body blocks were used to fill up the u-profile in the steel subframes in the improved T's (not the Fordors, they kept the wood structure from before)
Don, your rust bullet center door is looking good. Good for another 93 years or more. You are faster at this restoration stuff than most of us and your work looks good too! That center door will be on the road in no time. Joe
Thank you Roger, I wasn't sure and found none on the car.
Joe, thanks for the kind words. We need another tour before long. Maybe this time you could join us for the entire trip~