Does anyone know if the June 22,1927 issue of the Ford News really means that Ford purchased back his first Model T Ford?
That issue has a picture of the 15,000,000 and says Ford purchased his first Model T Ford back from an owner in Ohio? Would that mean his first model T or one of the two lever, 2 pedal types and not the actual first Model T Ford made to sell to the public?
I never got the chance to know Henry, and the family has not kept
in contact, so I really can't answer your question. Sorry !
Bottom Line Up Front: No, Henry Ford never was able to track down the first production Model T Ford.
Henry Ford wanted to find the first production Model T Ford or a low serial number Model T Ford. He had folks looking for the cars. He let folks know he wanted the early cars (to include the 1903 Model A through Model S Roadster). He sent folks out to investigate leads on the early cars.
There is a good thread with photos and why the car shown in that photo was NOT actually the first Model T. Note -- it was one of the early Model Ts (partially reconstructed from other parts) but not the first Model T. See: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/411944/444346.html?1399861037 Thank you to Royce who posted the photo below at that thread. It is probably the same car you are discussing. If you post the photo or let us know it is the same car that would clarify it one way or the other.
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Bill Ford did just recently buy Model A #32, which was one of the first three Fords sold.
Referring to Hap's post above, he references a link to a thread that mentions Aaron Crandel's early T. I saw this car with John Regan years ago. I found some notes i wrote at that time on the car.
Aaron Crandel #11551
Even though this car is not a real 2, lever it is never the less very interesting. The body number is 11551. the front of the body has the early 2 bolt body bracket, no rear door pockets, original green paint with red pin stripes. It has an early pre 500 block with the small oil breather hole, the breather has its original cap. The block has no serial number. The crankshaft is a prototype according to Aaron. It has very heavy throws and a different nose at the front end. The frame is a production 1909-10 (no fish plates) but has the correct early running board brackets. Oil Pan is the second style, the 2 lever system is completely made up. Transmission cover is the 1 st style and is of pressed steel.. The reverse lever is made from a later brake lever.
My conclusion at the time was that the car was put together in the early 1920's from left over parts. the car is in good shape and runs well.
Thank you so much for adding the additional details here and elsewhere about the early Ts.
Note "IF" we knew which company produced the body, there is a slim chance that looking in the Benson Ford Archives "Shipping Documents" we might find out which Model T touring body had number 11551. Note on page 489 of Bruce McCalley's (R.I.P.) "Model T Ford" he had started listing about every 100th serial number car. On Jul 25, 1910 Touring car number 30,072 with Pontiac (Beaudett) body maker #11350 was manufactured. And on Aug 2, 1910 Touring car number 30,400 was manufactured with Pontiac (Beaudett) body number 12909.
And on Aug 12, 1910 Touring car number 30,500 with body number 11782 by KH (Bruce was not sure what KH stood for at the time) was manufactured. So the 11,xxx bodies were being used during that time frame. I don't know if any touring bodies with a 11xxx were used prior to that time frame. And since Pontiac (Beaudett) and Wilson supplied the 1909 touring bodies (ref page 477) and Pontiac (Beaudett) and KH supplied the 1910 bodies (ref same page 477) – there probably were at least two 1910 touring bodies and possibly even a 3rd earlier produced body with 11,xxx.
Again thank you for sharing your insight.
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You are correct that Bill Ford, Henry Ford’s great-grandson purchased a very early 1903 Model A Ford. From the article at: http://www.mlive.com/auto/index.ssf/2012/12/bill_ford_purchases_1903_model.html shares it is engine #30. And the write up at: http://blog.caranddriver.com/worlds-oldest-surviving-production-ford-comes-home- bill-fords-new-1903-model-a/ saying the original purchaser was Herbert L. McNary, from Britt, Iowa also matches engine #30 in Trent Boggess’s “Early Ford Database.” But clearly a very early Ford and it directly helped fund the Ford Motor Company when funds were short.
Note both articles agree the car was the 3rd one purchased. But Mr. McNary put $150 down on the car and paid the rest at a later date. It was part of the money from 3 cars that helped keep the Ford Motor Company afloat until they started selling more cars. An interesting history and a beautiful car. Note #30 was not shipped to Mr. McNary until Aug 4, 1903 (ref Trent’s “Early Ford Database”). Fifteen other Model A Fords are recorded as shipped prior to Aug 4, and that listing does NOT contain cars 1, 2, 3, 12, which likely were also completed prior to the Aug 4 date. Regardless of the wording the car is beautiful and it’s place in history is special.
Additional information: For anyone who would like a copy of "Early Ford Database" dated Sep 10, 1997 compiled by Trent Boggess, it is included in the CDs that come with Bruce McCalley's (R.I.P.) "Model T Comprehensive Encyclopedia" available from: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/331880/333725.html?1357665853 (note shipping has increased -- just ask what the shipping is). It is also included on the CD/DVD that is include with "Pate's Early Ford Automobile Encyclopedia" see: http://www.earlyfordcars.info/
A hard copy is also available at the Benson Ford Archives. It contains approximately 21-22% of the serial numbers of Ford cars shipped between Jul 20, 1903 (Model A #4) to Mar 2, 1909 (Mode T Touring #1114).
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The car in question was photographed by magazines and newspapers extensively. It has only a single brake lever in photos taken that day. Obviously it also has many features distinguishing it as a 1910 model.
Later it went on display in Greenfield Village. In this photo there are no levers!
Later the guys in the museum "restored" the car to how they wanted it to be. Thus it appeared in the museum as a "early two lever" car in the 1930's - 1960's:
We often forget that people wanted the earliest possible Model T, even 90 years ago. Lots of phony 1909's are out there. You need to be careful when buying to avoid becoming a victim.
Just realized that photo was flipped. Here it is corrected:
Hap, i have never been able to find any information on 1903 cars number 1,2 and 3 but car number 12 went to A. Malcomson according to the 1903 Ford Motor Company sales ledger.
Royce, you are so correct about buyers need to be very careful when buying very early model T'S. The same is also true about the 1903 cars. Many years ago i was offered a restored 1903 Ford by a prominent collector. He proudly stated that the only original part on the whole car was the steering wheel spider!