My frame serial# is 11518129. What year is it?
The number is fake. Ford did not number frames for 1925 models. The first frames to be stamped with the motor number were in December of 1925 for the 1926 model year. The number started at 12861044.
Thanks, Ken! You've informed me of something unknown to me. Perhaps THAT is why I've not been able to find any frame stamping on the '25. Where would I look for the '26 TT???
What's your engine number? Is it the same? Could be that at some point someone stamped the engine number onto the frame to satisfy some dumb DMV requirement.
That's a federal crime but you may be right Henry.
Marvin - The number will be on the top frame flange under the floorboard. Usually on the right side but they sometimes appear on the left.
My engine number is different. I have researched it and found it was made in December of 1925. Serial# 12851052. Is it possible my car wasn't assembled until 1926? The frame is stamped on the right frame rail area at the rear of the engine. I have a touring body that isn't the original to the car. It has the "T" shaped molding on both sides of the rear body panel. My research has indicated that molding was added in 1926. Can someone confirm if that is correct?
That frame stamp doesn't appear well as being factory. Factory stamping is usually deep uniform.
Enhanced your frame stamp
Here are examples of Ford frame stamping that began Dec 1925.
It looks like someone ground down the frame and then restamped it. If there was already a number there, the question is WHY??? All the CA DMV wants is a number on the frame.
BTW, my '16 T has the motor number stamped on it, less than one million. No idea how it got there, but my car is registered with it! (and it matches the engine number).. . . . .
A number on the frame is not necessary in California. When I registered my TT the DMV used the engine number since there is no number on the frame. I imagine that's true for most T's registered in California, and other states too for that matter.
What you said about stamping a number on the frame being a crime is probably true, but why if you're just adding the number (engine number) it already has?
We're all nothing more than criminals in one way or another.
Sorry, posted the wrong picture of the undocumented shoppers !
Meant to post this one:
Henry P, You got lucky! Califunny law strictly prohibits using the engine number as a VIN (unless it is also stamped on the frame or body in some poorly defined acceptable way). It is kind of silly when you consider that many hundreds of cars are still registered by unaltered titles predating the late 1960s when the law was changed. Prior to the late '60s, Califunny only encouraged people to have the number changed to on the frame if an engine was changed. After the late '60s, they required the change to frame number, but only IF you replace the engine.
And people wonder why I call it Cali"funny"?
Way back when I was in high school, my dad had some business in the small town of Laytonville on highway 101 in Northern Califunny. We spent a lot of time there. One of the local characters (remember, this was in the mid '60s) was a retired Sheriff's deputy. I was very interested in antique automobiles at that time, which interested him. He told me a lot of tales about his early days as a Sheriff's officer (and being interested in history, I listened).
Among his earlier assignments, was to drive all over Mendocino County, stamping engine serial numbers onto frames of model Ts. It was part of the state law that cars be registered by their serial (now known as a VIN) number. Model Ts at that time only had the number on the engine. If the engine were replaced (already at that time a common occurrence to replace worn out engines with a local shop "rebuild"), the car owner had the option of either changing the number on the registration, OR change the registration to show the original number being stamped on the frame instead of the engine (of course for small fee). Even way back then, Califunny encouraged owners to have the number put onto the frame. I once had a chance to read an original '30s Motor Vehicle Department book, and that is what it said at least that early.
The number could be stamped by any Sheriff's officer, Justice of the Peace, most Judges or other court or police officers as I recall. I would guess that that rule was not always followed exactly.
The fellow also told me that there was no official location to put the number. He said he had a favorite spot (usually easy to reach), but sometimes put it somewhere else if anything was in the way.
I have seen about a dozen or more old frames with numbers put on them.
David D, Did your T come from Mendocino County? Maybe he was the one that stamped that number there? (I bet he did!)
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Nope, came from Sacramento area, back in the 1960s.
Yep, CA DMV prefers you let them put on a serial number sticker (yes, a STICKER!! How is that permanent?) They wanted to do that to my Model A back in 1968 when I had to take out the original engine because of a major block crack. Well, I didn't want any unauthentic stuff on my car, and the frame number was/is hidden under the fender, but since my car is an SF assembly plant car, it has an SFA number stamped in the body front seat cross-member, and they accepted that number. Technically it's not legal, as it's only on the body, not the frame, but what the heck. Still registered with it.
I have no idea how Henry got his TT registered!!
I didn't know any better. They even made me get a temporary tag so I could drive it to the DMV office and a person with a badge came out and verified the engine number against the paperwork. When he asked me where the number is I showed him. That was all there was to it. That was about 10 years ago. This is the first time I've ever heard of a chassis number requirement.
In fact, it hadn't been licensed since 1941. When I submitted the initial paperwork I had to do a statement of facts (it was my grandfathers ranch truck, in the family since 1946, etc.). To verify the engine number year of manufacture I showed them the appropriate page in Bruce McC's book, which the clerk had to get her boss to approve. There was never mention of a need for a chassis number.
I did register it as a "commercial" truck so I could actually use it. I had to get it weighed for this purpose. Could that have anything to do with it?
Maybe. We should all remember where this DMV office is!!!
I regularly work with the same office and group of ladies, who
seem to find some charm in all this old iron. It doesn't hurt to
be a trained negotiator, so with a respectful problem-solving
approach and a non-jellybean car to be licensed, I usually get
an easier path to registration than those who show up with a
belligerent attitude and a questionably legal vehicle. With the
26, the clerk was quite amused with all the intel available on
the MTFCA site. We were looking to establish a road weight,
but she was taking a personal interest and looking at all sorts
of data there. It pays to be friendly.