I had always assumed Ford used only black paint on frames after the colored body era. I was cleaning my '14 frame today and found what might have been "1st coat red baking body primer" between clean steel and black paint. Rust was migrating though it and it looked very much like it could have been there originally. It was on much of the frame but particularly in the rear spring channel where it most likely has ever been touched. the runs are in the black paint over the red paint. Other signs point to this car never having been restored.
Has anyone seen evidence of this before? If not, I will cover it up and forget about it.
FWIW- I have a 23 which I believe has the original paint on most of the frame. It has what appears to be a coat of red oxide primer, then a very dark blue almost black primer, then the black topcoat. I remember reading in on of my books (I can't rightly recollect which one) that the frames were painted that way at the factory.
Research from Trent Boggess
On the club site, Encyl. "All Painted Black"!
From 1915 to 1922 bodies were painted with four coats of air drying color varnish. Bodies arrived at the painting department with the wood and steel bare of any finish. After a quick cleaning, the first coat of paint was applied. This was designated as F-111 Red Body Prime. This paint used a pigment that was a mixture of carbon or lamp black and Venetian Red (30% of which was iron), so it may have appeared more of a brown color than red. Arnold and Faurote reported that it was applied with an “atomizer” at 80 pounds air pressure as early as 1915. After inspection, the freshly painted body was stacked to dry for 24 hours. After drying, the body was sanded before its first coat of color.
Have seen body parts and frames with traces of that 'brown' primer, lots of time.
Well, after sanding all day on the frame I am not any more or less convinced this is the case. Since my lungs and neighbors don't appreciate sandblasting I wet sand everything. This reveals all manner of surprises. Stretch marks, grain pattern and strange numbers you don't see when you sandblast. Even under the brake quadrant and body brackets there were traces of both colors. Maybe factory. Maybe later. I can't base anything on this one case. If there is something to what Dennis found then maybe we will have further discussions of this.
I do recall seeing the "brown" primer on Tudor bodies.
Thanks for the ideas.
The only stamping on this frame was an "S" on the front cross member. I had not seen this in previous discussions of frame markings. The rear crossmember and one remaining acetylene tubing clip tell me it is a 1914 frame.