Looking for information specific to 1914 and early 1915 Beaudette Bodies. Is the top edge of the heel panel, where the seat spring sits behind, like "A" or "B" in the photo below? Are the front and rear the same on your car?
This image is an example of the cross section of the sheet metal, not showing the wood seat frame that sits on the jog, or the seat spring that would sit on top of the wood frame.
As you are aware, there are differences in the body makers. The 1915 Beaudette bodies, used a steel seat frame like your have drawings. Sorry I can't specify A or B for 1915, but do know the Beaudette body has a B in the front of the panel.
In 1915, Kahler (and maybe some others(?) used the wood seat frame and gas tank covering. The upright cushion retaining lip is a separate T shaped piece that attached to the wood. The heel panel is on the back side of the wood.
I believe all 1914 cars had wood seat frames, so again they would have the T shaped cushion retaining lip that is separate from the heel panel.
I hope this helps.
: ^ )
The early 1915 tourings with the Beaudette bodies, used all wood seat frame construction just like 1914's except the heel panel that is metal with the lip and a B on it. I have a early 1915 Feb Beaudette touring. They also have no carriage bolt on the side of the body. I also have a May 1914 Beaudette touring. I could put my 1915 touring body on my 1914 and they would fit almost perfect except cowl area. I made a set of plans for the 1914 touring and roadster, also for the early 1915 touring and roadster. They have all the details needed for the all wood seat construction.
There was at least one late 1914 body made that has the "1915" style heel panels, with the embossed "B" and metal lip for the seat wood frame to sit on top. I suspect the body changed late in the year to some of the features of the '15 body, but without the narrow cowl.
Leon, Can you look at the front and rear heel panels in your '15 body and let me know which image above best matches each?
I have two heel panels with the "B" stamp. The one I used on the body that I wooded last winter does flare to the front. The one I didn't use is a more subtle flare but still appears to favor your "B".
Thanks Dave, I appreciate the reply, and the suggestion that the flare is a little more subtle than my sketch.
Where to start.
First, my car should never be considered a significant data point for what was or was not done. The fact is, it is not a solid original survivor. It DOES appear to be an original spring '15 runabout body. This is based upon the fact that there was an original date coded manufacturers plate still attached to the original wood sills still nailed by what would appear to have been original nails to the majority of the sheet metal which was in fair condition. That date code indicates February 1915 as some not-known-for-certain state in the body's order or construction process. Was February when Ford ordered it? When the wood frame was begun? Or perhaps when the body was painted and shipped to Ford? I do not claim to know. I would guess that it became a car somewhere between a month and three months later depending upon painting and upholstery. A handful of cars I have heard of or seen with both a similar date code plate and an engine number seem to support this.
So, my runabout body appears to be a real '15. But it was separated from its original chassis a long time ago. I suspect someone somewhere has a nice '15 with an original chassis and a circa 1920 body. It could be either a runabout or a touring, or almost anything else.
The chassis I have supplied it with is assembled from mostly correct era and proper original 1914 to 1916 parts (hey, I cannot afford to be more of a purist than that!).
Why do I go into all this? Because it should be understood that my car is not what should be called a true original survivor and as such, should not be considered an end-all example of how every '15 should be assembled (regardless of how well I try to make it right).
But the body does appear to be an original moderately early '15.
Someone, after the body was separated from its original chassis, did some work on it. Some of the work was not very good, and it looked like they may have been planning to build a hotrod. I had to cut out part of the door opening because of their terrible welding efforts. I made and brazed in a new piece. (I think it looks pretty good now.) There are a few other things that I may not admit to. But all the surviving wood (most of it badly dry rotted, although I was actually able to use a few of the original pieces of wood!), seat frame, ID plate, and most major sheet metal appeared to have been together since new.
This car, had a steel seat frame, mounted to wooden risers on each end/side. The top mounting hardware was mostly complete, and still attached. It also had steel front floorboard risers. The right one of which has another serial number badly stamped into it. I cannot quite read all the digits in that number, but the first character is a "B". Presumably, the "B" stands for Beaudette. There is no "B" on the seat riser heel panel. Believe me. I have looked at it VERY closely.
What does all that mean? I am not sure I know. From what I have read on other threads in the past several years, there is a lot of question and doubt about exactly what was done exactly when. It doesn't help any that restorers in the '50s and '60s often swapped bodies simply because they were available and it was easier than fixing one in only fair condition. Others have stated that steel floorboard risers and seat frames were used, then not used, then used again. My body has been reconstructed to be how it was. I will never make a show car out of it. I hope to make it fairly nice, and as correct as I can. And that is the way it is.
All that to lead in to the simple answer.
My early '15 has the top edge of the seat riser heel panel folded over like your example "A". Folded over flat. Practically no air gap anywhere inside the full length from side to side of the car.
For whatever it is worth.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
The body in my '15 touring looks like "B". The date stamp on the wood is 3 15 (March 1915), the second month that this body style was used.
(Message edited by royce on August 15, 2015)
Wayne, That's an interesting history on your body. It certainly does the preservation of these cars a disservice when bodies, or parts, are swapped just because they are better condition. Thanks for taking the time to explain the condition along with the answer on the heel panel style.
Royce, Thank you for the photo. Is that the rear seat? Can I assume that your front seat looks like "B" too?
That's the front seat. There is no "B" on the rear seat panel.
This is a photo I took of the front seat panel on the 1917 Rip Van Winkle Model T last month.
Thank you Royce. That photo clearly shows the runs in the paint. Thank you for all of your help.
David M, Thank you for your kind remarks. I had to think for a couple days how to put it all before I posted that. I think my car can still offer some valid data points, but it needs to be clear just how valid they are or are not.
I want to thank you and all the others (including but not limited to Royce, and Hap, and Rob H and Donnie, and a dozen other regulars here that through good research are trying to correct some of the misinformation that has been floating around the hobby for more than half a century.
I occasionally tell of the '23ish runabout I saw about 45 years ago that had a '13/'14 rear end under it. Many (MANY!) people were convinced that it was original to the car. The owner said so because the original family he had bought it from had told him. Most model T hobbyists also believed that only '09 to '12 rear ends were different than everything later through '25. High-fill or low-fill pumpkins did not matter. Smooth backing plates did not matter. Enclosed or open spools did not matter (nor the pumpkin variation for proper fit of the spool). Many people believed all that was true, and his car proved it. That is what I (as a kid and relative newcomer to the hobby) was told by at least a dozen different of his club members. It was something that their club was quite proud of.
So much more detail is known today thanks to the many people that care what is or is not proper on their cars.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2