Does this bother anybody else? As much as I love all Model T Fords, it seems like nearly all of them look like the rear axle is a couple inches too far forward. Invariably, the rear wheel (tire) appears like it is only an inch or two (and sometimes less) from rubbing on the bottom of the fender where the fender attaches to the running board, and there is a much larger space between the tire and the bottom of the rear fender at the back. Wonder why it is that they didn't center the rear wheel/tire in the rear fender,....???
I have often noticed this too and it used to bother me. Now, I'm so used to it that it has become a part of the special look of a Model T. I think they are very attractive cars.
Come to think of it, I've noticed that too. Odd, isn't it?
Its to give more room for the mud build up on the rear of the fender. ;>)
Most modern 30x3-1/2 tires are oversize, and give you almost no room between the front of the tire and the back of the fender. What looks even odder is that 30x3-1/2 T-Drivers are about 31-1/2 inches in diameter, while 30x3 T-Drivers are the proper size. So the car looks as though it has a mildly jacked up rear end, as well as having no room to clean the underside of the fender.
With the angle of the torque tube and radius rods, the wheels center in the rear fenders when the springs are compressed, either on large bumps or with a heavy load.
Model T's weren't built with Rolls Royce precision.
Sure they were. All the rear axles are too far forward by precisely the same amount.
I've gotten use to how close the rear tire is to the fender, doesn't mean I like the look.
I'll fix that problem on my next T build.
Bugs the crap out of me. I can live with a lot of stuff being as is on T's, but this absolutely drives me insane.
Derek is correct.
The rear fenders need no more front edge clearance, when a load is placed, the fender is high on the rear side so it won't hit the tire.
I like it, the look is real T
And a gang of man's best friends like the look of that rear fender too!
As the nephew in Tobacco Road says, "It don't hurt the runnin' of it none."
How do other cars of the era compare?
I beg to differ with Derek and Dan, but only to degree. The angle of the torque tube to the frame is a shallow one. Upward movement of the tube therefore means little movement of the back axle to the rear of the car, under any load which the rear spring is capable of accommodating. Otherwise the rear spring and shackles would be tearing themselves apart. There will be slight movement of the rear axle to the back of the car under load, but it is hardly noticeable, and must be minimal to avoid damage to the spring/shackle assembly.
That said, the narrow gap between the running board and fender is weird. Perhaps another explanation lies in the need to create as much access to the rear seat as possible on the 100" wheelbase of the T. If the rear fender was centred on the axle, the rear door would be that much narrower.
When I built my shooting brake body, I moved the front of the fender forward to centre it more, just because I could, and it looks better!
Allan from down under.
Here you are, the big one, the General, wanted to copy the Ford, so here you go!
Allan Bennett - Thank you! Didn't really want to say anything, but frankly, I felt the same way, that such a shallow arc due to compression of the rear spring just couldn't make much "fore & aft" difference to hardly notice. I've just always thought it strange that for the whole life of the Model "T" production, the rear wheel(s) just are not quite centered and don't look to be positioned quite correctly. And I think it's one of those things that if the axle was just an inch or inch and a half further to the rear, it would make a huge VISUAL difference. I do agree with Dan that it's certainly one more well known Model "T" distinguishing characteristic that make the Model "T" unique,.....but it's a "look" that I just don't like. Maybe it's a carryover from years of hearing so many of my Dad's comical comments like,......"make sure the center's right in the middle and that the edge runs all the way around".
Anyway, I'm kinda' glad to hear that it'd not just me and that a few other "T" guys don't like that particular "look" either!
I gave it some serious thought for one or two seconds and decided, I don't give a dern.
I think it has more to do with traction than looks. Since most of the roads then contained a goodly amount of mud, just seems like common practicality that the fender fitting the way it does would help scrape mud off the rear wheels for better traction on them.
I think the angle is steeper than you guys think. From memory, it's hard to say where the torque tube ball is, but let's say it is half way up of the splash shields and about even with the rear edge of the front door in the profile pictures above. Swing you an imaginary arc from that point through the center of the rear axle upwards. I don't think it would miss the center of the rear fender opening by much. Perhaps someone has a cutaway view that will settle it.
I think it gives it a look of speed. I don't know, maybe like the wheel is outrunning the fender.
I've never really like it, it looks wrong to me. Like the wheel is going to eat the front fender. But, I've just come to accept it as part of the car. It's the only real aesthetic problem I can find with the whole car.
I agree with the "looks wrong" on most T's. The '26/'27 coupe that I have has quite a different look than the earlier models. The so called "improved Ford" made changes in appearance and height. The 21" tires and lower stance just looks like there is more room between the fender and tire. Maybe there is no real difference, but I like all T's and that's what counts.
The odd relationship between wheel and fender doesn't bother me in the slightest. I'm annoyed by the current proliferation of "natural" wood finish on wheels, the overuse of wide whites on old cars, and silly engine colors. So what? I love spinach, Brussels sprouts, and Lima beans, and I can't abide egregious mangling of English in media, most of today's popular music, and most television. Others are repulsed by what I like and enamored with what I don't. Different strokes...
In a lot of the old photos, people solved the problem by backing into things. The fenders were Henry's 5 mph bumpers.
I moved the fender forward.Easy to do.
I am with Robert Hester on this.
But I would add - with the threat of global warming and big sugar drinks looming over us I don't give a darn