The number which looks like 9 16 318759 is on the door sill. I am ready to register my car and would like to use the body # as the engine has been changed to a 1917. I have been told that this body was a non Ford built body because they were numbered and the Ford built bodies were not. Can anyone add to that and does anyone know what the numbers mean? Thanks, Dave in Pensacola, Florida
I have the same style tag on my 1917 roadster.
It looks like your tag says 9 . 16 followed the body serial number.
In my opinion, the body was produced in September 1916 which is the second month of the 1917 model year. That would mean crowned fenders, black radiator shell with corresponding hood, etc. Also, the car would have been assembled anywhere from September 1916 or any month thereafter.
Do you know the history of your car? What is the serial number of your motor? Can you post pictures?
If your car is not a "put-together" I would say your car started out as a 1917 Ford. If it has flat fenders and a brass radiator, then it was probably retrofitted by someone many years later to disguise it as a 1916 Ford.
Here's my unrestored 1917 roadster.
The body was produced in August 1916 yet the motor is May 1917. The original upholstery has single rows of buttons, not double rows of the 1917 Fords produced in 1916. Who knows why there was such a long delay? I do know the history of the car and it was most likely assembled in Minneapolis based on the residence of the original owner as well as a Minneapolis Ford Motor Co. paper tag on one of the top bows.
I believe that Erik J is correct.
Except for a very few (handful?) of specials made in-house, Ford did not build any bodies themselves at that time. I personally do not know exactly when Ford began regular body production in-house, but it was closer to 1920 than it was 1916. Manufacturers body tags similar to yours were common on some bodies from at least as early as 1914, through maybe 1917. There were several companies that made bodies for Ford during those years. Some of them just stamped (cut, wood-burned?) body numbers or manufacturer codes into some of the wood. That was a practice that went back to the beginning of the automobile. It may be on the floorboards, floorboard riser, seat risers, or body sills. Some earlier cars would also have the number on the bottom of the doors (or so I have read).
My spring '15 runabout has a tag similar to yours, as well as a number stamped onto the right side floorboard riser. Both appear to be original to the car. The numbers on the floorboard riser are preceded by a "B" which makes us think it is a body built by Beaudette, sometimes referred to as Pontiac in Ford records.
There is a lot not known about model T bodies at that time. Production was ramping up quickly trying to meet increasing demand. There are a lot of details and differences between the various body suppliers along with minor running changes. So there are a lot of things that nobody knows for certain exactly what was done exactly when.
More details and photos of your car would be very much appreciated!
Welcome to the mtfca forum! The best place in the world for people that want to know more about the model T Ford.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
The photo is not of the whole car as I have trouble getting down to the 250kb limit without cropping. You may be right about it being a 1917 as the engine is a 1917. Would you tell me the numbers after the 9 16? Mine are over 300,000 and if yours are not close then that may not be the date. I read that Ford had manufacturer ID built into the body number so they could trace it back if there was a problem and the 9 16 could be the ID. Who knows?
Erik, I just read your comment again and I had thought that you said yours also started with 9 16 which you did not say. Sorry about that it's an age thing. I bought the car in New Orleans about 25 years ago, from the grandson of the former owner. That's all I know. I just had Vic Zannis rebuild the drive train for me as a 100 year birthday present, but, if you guys are right, I may be a year off.
The tag on my body is 8 . 16 . 309474 - photo below.
My serial number 309474 is 9285 away from your number 318759.
My body was manufactured by Beaudette - see the photo of the "B" stamped in the heel panel/seat riser.
I am interested in the lag time between the body date and the date corresponding to the serial number of your motor.
In the case of my roadster, nine months difference is a very long time and not typical.
My father owns a 1917 touring which he purchased in original and unrestored condition from the original family in 1949. The body of his car is June 1917 while the motor serial number corresponds to July 1917, so only a month lag time. (I can't remember the manufacturer of the body on his car - I believe it is not Beaudette - it does not have a metal tag but the date and serial number are stamped directly into the wood floor riser.)
Since my car has an August 1916 body, it does have some carry over from the 1916 model year. For example, it does not have the notch in the cowl above the coil box to accommodate removal of the radiator radius rod like later 1917 models. It also has the 1916 style door latch. I am curious to know if your roadster body has these same carry overs from the 1916 model year or if it has the 1917 model year revisions.
Tag on floor riser 8. 16. 309474 - Erik Johnson 1917 roadster
"B" for Beaudette stamped in seat riser - Erik Johnson 1917 roadster
No notch in cowl above coil box for ease of radiator radius rod removal - Erik Johnson 1917 roadster
Door latch carry over from 1916 model year - Erik Johnson 1917 roadster
One thing's for certain, the cowl and hood former is 15/16, brass rim headlights are '15, all black coach lamps are '16, and doesn't look like tapered leaf springs, so those would be post '16?
But I'm still learning too!
My engine # is 1052910. I'm not going to take delivery of the car till next week so I can send the other pics then. Here is a link to a video of Vic doing the test drive of the finished car you might see something in it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCqqtAEZaog&feature=em-share_video_user
At 1:09 you can see the cut out in the cowl for the black radiator support rod.
Notch in cowl definitely 1917 model year.
Equal half windshield hinges carry over from 1916 into 1917 model year. Hard to tell if windshield is riveted.
Brass escutcheon and round brass knob for carb adjustment rod. Not sure when that was phased out. The handful of early '17s that I have looked at over the years have the black enamel steel plate and an "L" bent rod, not the "Y" bent rod like my '17.
1052910 corresponds to January 16, 1916.
Earlier, you said it was a 1917 motor. Did you transpose the the 0 and the 5?
If so, 1502910 corresponds to October 27, 1916 which would make it a 1917 model year motor. If that is the case and the car is not a "put together" I would say it was originally a 1917 model and someone decided to disguise it as a 1916.
I can't tell you. I'll let you know next week when I get the car back. The number is the number on my registration and bill of sale from back in 1992. You may be right because for some reason I always thought it was a 1917 engine. I'm learning all kind of stuff I didn't know.
Vic sent me this info:
The engine serial # is 1652910
Casting date: 1/15/17
Rear springs: Tapered
Front springs : not tapered
Notch in cowl does not line up with rod
Hinges have screws, not rivets.
AND your gas tank is oval!
If the car could only talk....
1652910 corresponds to January 19, 1917, four days after the casting date.