I'm sure its not black.
Red touring pre - serial #1. Henry and friends drove it on a trip where it used nearly as much oil as it did gas.
From the pictures of that car, I would have said it was "mud colored".
Oklahoma mud would be red!
So would a lot of Northern Califunny Mud! They don't call those towns Redding and Red Bluff by accident.
Here is a copy of the build sheet for number one. This was on the forum years ago.
Can you see a color mentioned?
In Bruce's book, it mentions that the first color mentioned on a shipping invoice was March 18th,1909 for car number 1540 and it was Gray.
I would have to say that there was only 2 people in the car as the front seat is clean and the rear seat is splattered!
Interesting invoice on #1.
Lighting was E & J headlights, 6" mirrors with a Prest-O-Lite tank.
Ken in Texas
Looks like it said shipped to Ford Motor Co., Henry Ford...obviously he would get the first one!
Interesting to know what the car in the pic was following to be so pigged up with mud all across the entire front.
A good account of the trip is in Tin Lizzie by Stern which i see is now reprinted in paper back as well as hard cover.I think in the early days cars were driven by execs also for testing?? About a month ago i recived a e-mail from a used book site that they had free shipping so i bought 3 copys used for 14.20 all in!! Bud in Wheeler,Mi.
Ford had promoted the coming of the Model T since October, 1907. Orders were received throughout 1908 for the much anticipated model.
This article mentions Henry Ford traveling through Chicago on his way to Iron Mountain with the new Model T in late September, 1908:
Following the trip, the following article and photo of one of the first Model T. Notice the Presto Lite tank:
The shape of the reverse lever handle seems different than what I've seen.
So what happned,did Henry tell to throw the battery out,or was it never taken along in the first place??Bud.
William, was that #1540 a Runabout? Early Runabouts were gray. I've often wondered why they decided on a colour that is such a departure from the red on Touring Cars. They could have painted the Runabouts red too but, I suppose they wanted wanted the showroom and car shows to show an image of choice.
Fords prior to the Model T appear to have used similar color schemes. The 1907/08 Model K Roadster was listed as "color optional" (as was the touring), however many were produced in gray and red:
The K touring was often red, and the T touring color looks to be similar. This is a 1908 colorized sales brochure jacket showing a red K touring:
Both S runabouts and some N runabouts were dark green While the S roadster was red. I suspect Ford continued to go with colors they were familiar with, and had on hand. One color that did not (that I'm aware of) carry over from the NRSK period to the Model T was maroon, the color early Model N were painted.
I imagine a 1907-08 Ford showroom would have been a very colorful place if every model were on display.
Dave, it's listed as a roadster. So I would assume yes
It was fire engine red & got pulled over many times by coppers on horseback ...
One thing to keep in mind when looking at early photos is the photographic film used at that time was monochromatic. Monochromatic film does not capture colors very well. In fact, reds appear as black.
The two photos of car #0 were taken using monochromatic film. It you look at places that are not covered in mud, particularly of the top of the rear door, it appears to be black, as monochromatic film shows red color.
With the photographic evidence available, I suspect car #0 was red.
One more point, if you read the article on the Iron Mountain, MI trip in car #0 closely you will note that oil consumption on the return trip to Detroit was much less than on the trip to Iron Mountain. I do not know with certainly what Jimmy Smith and Bert Scott were doing to the car while Mr. Ford was out hunting, but it is known that the first few Model Ts built used two oil lines. One to,the front, and one that ran to the rear to put oil into the rear ball cap bearing where it really isn't needed and could easily leak out of the engine. The second oil line was eliminated after about the first dozen cars, and no known example of a car with the second oil line intact survives. However, when examining disassembled cars with very low numbers and early pressed steel transmission covers evidence can be found that of the provision for an oil line running to the rear ball cap bearing.
The very first cars also had a "band support" riveted to the oil pan under the transmission bands. Again, I have seen evidence of a band support in a very low numbered car, but the upright portion of the support had broken off.
In my opinion, the first 2500 Model Ts should be considered experimental vehicles. So many changes occurred during their production, and the cars built after 2500 are so different, that the first 2500 cars really belong in a category of their own.
Trent, Thanks for posting that enlightened interpretation about car #0. We appreciate your scholarly research on our beloved cars very much.
Maybe it's a 4 letter word called BOAT?? Bud.
Jan 6, 1909 New York show with the first of the new Model T's
Those sporty gray-painted mother-in-law runabouts with the matching gray tops were outstanding!
Orthochromatic film is sensitive to violet, blue, and green light. It's blind to red, so red objects are rendered as clear on the negative. This shows as black in the print.
Because the film is blind to red light, the little window showing the picture number on the backing paper has a red lens. This one has faded to yellow with age.
Looking at the photographs presented, one other consideration to the colour of the first Model T. How good was the perception of the worker ask to mix and paint the first car? Did that individual suffer from monochromacy (achromatopsia)? And did they have the misfortune of seeing no colour at all in their world, only different shades of grey ranging from black to white. Or possibly did they have the condition of protanopes and were confused with colour and to that individual assigned to the task, missed the task requested by mistaking the many shade of red with black?
Milwaukee to Grand Haven Boat.