By the way, you can insert more than one picture per post. If some of the pictures show up as just symbol placeholders in the preview, don't worry, they will show up properly in the final post.
Welcome to you and a real one. That is a nice car.
Ken in Texas
I tried to get a pic. of tag on right floor it says 12-15-15380 I guess thats the body date dec.of 15? the eng ser. no is 973687 and cast on block in raised nos. 11-16-15 that would be when cast? I got a friend to post pics for me. when it comes to computers I dont get it
How does it run?
Looks like a good car to me.
From the book that Bruce wrote, the engine appears to have been assembled on a Saturday, November 20, 1915. Looks like they worked all day that Saturday so they could be off the 25th for Thanksgiving.
There is another number stamped on the transmission stub shaft. You cannot see that until you take the engine down one day. Please see what date is on the stub shaft and let us know. It should be about 11-15-15, a few days before the engine was assembled. That will confirm the 11-20-15 engine build date in Bruce's book.
Ken in Texas
Really like the car! I would keep that as unrestored as possible and enjoy it with perhaps whatever mechanical repairs it needs to keep it as it appears now.
Since it was built in calendar year 1915 (even though it was built in Ford's 1916 fiscal year, has 1916 features and is officially a 1916 model) it's also eligible, either restored or as-found, for HCCA national tours.
Yes, I would echo Royce's comments. Also nioe that it is eligible for HCCA tours - a plus, I would think for resale if that ever was to happen.
Gilbert, question for you - what is the HCCA stance on Speedsters? A little curious on that one - do they go by model year vehicle is registered, or are do they even fit the bill?
Looks unrestored right down to the tires?
I second what Royce said. That looks like a fantastic original 15 touring. Other than mechanics, please do not restore that car. It's worth more like it is compared to being restored.
thanks guys for the input I have no plans to restore. I want to get it running and only do what I have to. I was told by my father it had all the original white tires on it in 1941 when they got it.the original owner said it had 1500 miles on it.he was and old guy and he stopped useing the t in 1924 when he bought a new chev.I dont know how he was sure it had 1500 miles there is no speedo. but he wasint lying to sell the car he made my dad promise it would be scraped for the war effort. my dad and his 2 brothers had a auto wreaking yard at that time the big joke was he charged them 10 bucks for the car and scrap prices were only about 2 dollors a ton at that time.
Please post more pictures of your wonderful car. It appears even the floormat is original.
Steven, I'm not sure there is an official position. A lot of brass Ts come to HCCA national tours with clearly non-period accessories - starters, Ruckstells, aftermarket brakes, electrified lights - and they're welcome. Some other cars come "as converted" for instance, there's a '14 or '15 Hudson, unrestored, that was converted to a pickup truck back in the day, but probably quite a bit after 1915. There are a lot of depot hacks that tour. My personal, highly unofficial view is that if you show up with a period-looking brass-radiator speedster that's not all gung-ho with a Rajo or whatever, you'll be welcome. If it's got two extra transmissions, four-wheel disc brakes and no fenders, you might not be thrown out, but you might find yourself sitting alone. Carl Pate is national vice president and Chris Paulsen is national secretary, and they post here from time to time. Maybe one of them will elaborate, or correct me.
Gil Fitzhugh the Elder
I think a little saddle soap followed by Mink oil would make those seats look like new.My wife is telling me to quit looking at your car until I get hers fixed then and only then can I get another car...I guess I can dream. Very Nice
Good Grief there may even be original air in those tires!
Please keep us updated with your progress.
My '16's engine is Dec 10, 1915, and qualifies for HCCA events. Also, my car is nowhere as complete as yours (having been disassembled in 1960) so would love all sorts of pictures of your car's details, as mine should be very close to the same (although mine is a Beudette(sp?) body, and I have yet to find any signs of body number on it, in spite of the front cowl wood being pretty good (the rest of it isn't!)
Paul, my '16 Touring is 984605 and was cast 11-22-15 and built 11-30-15 so they are less than a week apart - practically brothers! Congrats on a great original T!
thanks for the advice on saddle soap and mink oil G.R. I never thought of that. David and Bill it sound like we got 3 of a kind! I will get more pics. soon. I know the cyl. head was changed it has a 1918 cast date and the original mag. horn and switch was taken off and a brass bulb horn put on. my dad put new tires on the rear in 1941. the original oil lites were stolen. I put on the ones on it now one had a handle on it for a lantern when I got it at a flea market. the front tires are original I think the mice chewed the stuffing out of seats and mouse p. rusted hinges on panel under back seat. I just got the model t service manual and service bulletins essentials I bought on amazon after i read those and the things on this forum I have read I will try to start it!
I would think twice before use saddle soap on the upholstery. I would not recommend it.
DO NOT use mink oil on the upholstery.
The upholstery on your 1916 Ford is leatherette (artificial leather) not real leather. It is basically oil cloth. Only the end caps on the arm rests are real leather.
Get as much dust and dirt off of it with a brush and vacuum - be gentle when doing this.
Clean it with mild soapy water. For leatherette I like to use Murphy's Oil Soap per the directions on the bottle but any mild soap will do.
Mink oil will ruin leatherette upholstery - it will get into the cotton cloth backing. Don't do it.
Casting dates on the head do not include the year - just the month and day. Most likely, the head is original to the car.
thanks Eric I will think about the upholstery for a while. the head has a raised cast date on rear that says 11 17 I was thinking that meant it would be for nov.1918. the block date is 11-16-15 so the head was cast one day after the block. if the body date 12-15-15380 is when body was finished when would car have been asembled? I know they were cranking them out in those days!
The cylinder head date is in the form of Month / Day (no year). So it is November 17th of an undetermined year. I would expect a low head on this car, like the one in the pictures. It was likely cast on November 17, 1916, which matches closely with all the other dates that we know for parts of this car. It is likely the head that came down the assembly line with this car when it was new 99 years ago.
Great car. Congratulations.
I just have to add my little comment.
Wonderful Car!!! A preservation candidate for sure.
I bookmarked this thread the minute I first saw it.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
I've got the newest one though, 999972!
Take some more pictures of the front floor mat. I was just noticing how nicely it appears to fit along that front riser. I don't think the ones out there today are that closely matched.
Somehow the word "please" got deleted from my post!
I wonder if an air sample from the tires would show if there was more oxygen in the air back then as compared to today.
Interesting that you should ask such a question, Hal S. As I recall, about fifteen or twenty years ago, there was an effort I read about to find things like telescopes and binoculars that could be dated and with a high probability that they had not been opened since they were new. The plan was to do quality and contamination testing on the air trapped inside for a half century and more comparisons.
I never did hear or read of any results from the effort.
I don't think a tire would be a good source for such a test. The natural rubber and other chemicals involved have a high tendency to rot and degrade over time and exposure to its own air and would contaminate the air sample inside it. Have you ever gotten a good lung-full of inner-tube air? HORRIBLE!!!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
I love it, Paul. I'll be following along. Can't wait to see some pics of it outside.
a few more pics. I dont know how good they show up that thing on the tool box is a petrified fanbelt! under the back seat is a sidecurtain. the rear floormat is a woven fiber the front is rubber I hope you can see what you wanted David.the headlight switch is broken that round alum. thing is the 1917 registered motor vehicle and bicycle law tag I will try to get a better pic. of it. thank you all for the nice kind words. you guys have motivated me to get going on this car. I have already moved most of the junk out of the way so I can push it out side. the front tires did hold air when I moved car in 92 it sat 50 years then but it was on blocks I never put it up on blocks and tires now are hard as a rock thats why people used to jack up there cars when stored.
What a neat car! I sure would like to be there looking at it. It's early enough that it doesn't have the metal arm rest caps yet. And what about that horn! I can't see any evidence that a mag horn was used on your car. It should have a couple of small screw holes at the top of the steering column to attach the horn button. Also, is your coilbox switch hard rubber, and does that have the brass switch plate or steel? It also appears it had a speedometer at one time. Did it? What is that plate where the speedometer would go? And last, I want to know more about that rear floor mat. I had the opportunity to view the Rip Van Winkle recently, and the rear mat in it is a 3/8 wool mat with a burlap center, and a neat diamond stitch pattern around the edges.
Paul - Your car is great! A very nice original example. Your front tires look like they may be factory originals. Could you please look and see if they have Ford script on them?
Larry - Could you please tell us approximately where the Rip Van Winkle car is? Last I heard it was somewhere in Texas.
Larry the car did have a elec. horn at one time the bolts are on the wood firewall also the steering column has 2 small holes on top where horn switch was and a tube on bottom for the wire. it never had a speedo the floor mat is cut out for one tho it must have been an option. the alum plate on dash is a 1917 reg. motor vehicle and bicycle tag. the rear mat is woven it is weak some of the fabric came off when I got to close with vacume under back seat is in very good cond. I took out a lot mouse turds and stuffing even the cardboard liner is pretty good the sidecurtain looks good also. I will check the other things you asked about later. what is the Rip Van Winkle car I never heard of it. also Ken Parker said something about Bruce's book what book is that? Keith I will check the tires the guy said tires were original in dec.41 when my dad and uncle got it my dad changed the rears to make it safe to drive he told me he drove it a lot until he went in army in 1942 then it was put away. my father was partners with his 2 brothers but they did not like T"s my uncle Stan broke his arm on a T my uncle Pete didnt like them. the only one left is Pete he is 97 and lives with me he still drives his model A a little but he scares me!
Hi Paul - "Bruce's Book" is a book titled "Model T Ford, The Car That Changed The World" by Bruce McCalley. Bruce was one of the founders of the MTFCA in 1966 and he was the Editor of The Vintage Ford club magazine for something like the first 25 years after the club started. He was also the pre-eminent authority on Model T's and wrote this book in the mid-1990's, plus the Encyclopedia that is online on this site. His book is available in paperback from the MTFCA. Go to the home page and down on the left side of the menu is "MTFCA Store". Click on that and you'll find the book. The original book was hard bound, however, those are sold out, but can be found on ebay, etc. The T parts vendors also carry the paperback version of the book.
The Rip Van Winkle car is a 1917 T Touring that was bought by a bachelor in 1917. He bought it to stop a pestering salesman to get off his back because he didn't have a car. He didn't want a car either, so when the salesman delivered the new Model T, it was put in the garage and just left there & never driven. Sometime along the way, some kids broke into the garage and took a joy ride in the car. It was recovered and put back in the garage & at that time it had 26 miles on it. The car was discovered many years later and put on display in a Ford dealers showroom, then stored again. The last I heard, it still has just 26 miles on it, so it is still virtually a new car, and a time capsule into what a new Model T was. This is significant since all Model T's have been changed over the years with part replacements, accessories, overhauls, etc., etc. This car is covered with pictures in Bruce's Book.
Hope this helps.....
Paul -- "Bruce's Book" is titled "Model T Ford -- The Car that Changed the World." You can buy it from the MTFCA here:
Scroll down to the third row of books; it's on the left. In it is an article about a 1917 Model T which was found a few years ago, with something like 26 miles on it. Since it had been "asleep" for so long, it was nicknamed the "Rip van Winkle" car. It is often cited as a representative of how things were on T's originally.
Every Model T'er needs this book.
Is there an echo in here, or is it just me?
Those front tires should be preserved as intact as is reasonable (which may at this point require cutting them off the wheels).
Paul, What a magnificent example of a 1916. A very nice original unmolested car. I would love to see a feature article on the car in the Vintage Ford similar to the above mentioned Rip Van Winkle article. Congratulations on having such a nice car. I hope you are able to get it on the road soon and enjoy a drive. I love my 1916.
Keith the tires on front are goodyear 30+3 no ford script that I could see.yes Wayne I will try to save old tires to hang on wall. I would think if original they would be firestone. I think I read mr. firestone was Henreys camping buddy.and thanks guys for info. on Bruces book I will buy one.
Larry I just looked at the switch plate it is steel its pretty rusty I cant read it. I put a little oil on it. it does have brass screws.I dont know what you mean by coil box switch hard rubber I will put up some pics. when my friend can help me. I cant get my computor to do pics.
Looks great Paul, congrats on a great looking car. Can somebody tell me what the petcock on the intake manifold in pic #3 does? Can you lean the mixture with this?
Why take the tires off the wheels when you could change the wheels if or when you wanted to drive it.
There are two versions of Bruce McCalley's Model T Encyclopedia. The CD edition costs more than the paper one, but I think it's more than worth the difference because of all the parts books and other extra material that's included. Here's info on that: http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG80.html
Here's the coil box switch Larry was asking about. With the plate removed you can see the hard rubber case. On later switches the case was steel. A magnet should tell you whether the front plate is brass or steel.
You don't have to remove the face plate to see the hard rubber housing.
thanks for the pic.Steve I think I have the hard rubber housing the face plate is steel I already ordered Bruces book in paperback
Here's what the faceplate looks like--these are from two different manufactures, so there are minor variances
I did a little on the T today I took out spark plugs found some cotten seat stuffing in no. 3 cyl. the exaust valves on 2 and 3 are stuck open I soaked everything up with marvel mist. oil it should not take much to free up valves. I will try gently tapping from plug hole. I fished out the stuffing with a wire than vacumed. since John Noonan asked about the valve on int manafold I have looked in all the books I have and found nothing could it be a vacum tap? or to prime with eather? I have a question where do you hook up the 6 volt batt. for starting I am a ways off for starting car but i would like to see if coils buzz.also where did people put the batt. and is a lanturn batt. enuff thanks
Hundred year old wiring is fun! If you are comfortable with voltmeters and ohmmeters, it can be so simple. If not? Ouch. You should try to check the wiring through the coil-box and the switch, looking for both poor and/or corroded connections and/or shorts. The switch may work well in spite of its aged condition, or not.
The box and switch likely should be completely gone through and partially rebuilt for reliable running and driving.
The coil-box should have ten porcelain tube insulated contacts sticking into the engine compartment. Four of those are spark plug connectors. Four of them are timer connectors. One of the lower two is the connection for the switch to the engine magneto, the other lower one is the connection for the switch to a battery which was not originally supplied by Ford and may or may not have ever been wired up.
WHATEVER YOU DO!!! Do NOT connect battery power by any means to the magneto! The proper function of the switch is to connect one or the other ONLY to the coils. Accidental connection of battery to magneto often results in near-total demagnetization of the magneto.
Here's the 1915-1918 wiring, showing the battery terminal on the coil box. Presumably you'll be running on MAG after starting, so you don't need much of a battery. I have a regular six volt car battery in my 1915, and I aim to replace it with something that doesn't take up so much space.
thanks Wayne and Steve that makes it very clear. I found and old piece of wire on the side pan. I couldnt tell where it came from but now I know! . the wire looks 100 years old! I will put it back on where it belongs
more pics, 1st pic is the pedals the high-low pedal has a pad on it. it is drilled and screwed it looks like a lot of work why? maybe guy had a short leg? the other pedals never had pads. 2nd pic. coil box it has some wood splinters forced in to tighten coils 3 coils have brass tops 1 must be replacment. 3 and 4 dash plates. on the underneath pics the wire is for cut out. last pic is the mis matched plugs the stuffing was in no. 3 cyl. I have 2 ex. valves stuck I am soaking with m.m.oil
Great find Paul ! Yeah, preserve and enjoy it. But I'd recommend you take the head off and prepare the engine upper end before the first start. Didn't you say you removed spark plugs and vacuumed cotton through their holes? Late Friday John Noonan asked about a "petcock" on the intake manifold. Look closer John; maybe enlarge the picture if you can. That's the 'through-the-block linkage to the carb throttle arm. Again, great Model T Paul! I could spend an hour just studying it. Thanks for sharing it with us
Shame about the headlight switch as it appears to be the less-common version. It'll take some looking to find that exact style. Most of them have a rectangular metal plate and the body of the switch fits in the firewall. IMHO, it would be worth looking for the same style to keep the care acculturate authentic.
Really appreciate the detail shots, I'm saving all of them for future reference on my car!