WE have a 1916 Touring with a 1917 engine. This car will someday belong to our grand daughter, Ellie. We would like to have a 100th birthday party for it next year but have no real idea when it was produced. Was there a body serial number on the car and will it give us an indication of when it was built? Also, where would I find it?
There is (or was) a patent plate to the left of the coil box which had a space for a body number, but Ford quit putting those numbers on the plates by 1916. If yours does have a number, it will give you some indication of the car's birth date by comparing yours to those of others who have their original engines.
There might be a body maker's number on the seat frame or on the floorboard riser -- same deal, compare it with others who know their car's build date. Otherwise, you're out of luck without the original engine or at least its number.
(Message edited by coupelet on November 24, 2015)
Try posting some pictures of your car here, perhaps some members can give you an idea of its build date based on some of its features.
On a 1916 body, you should be able to find a number stamped directly into the wood on the passenger side floor riser, or a number stamped on a metal plate fastened to the riser depending on the body manufacturer.
The serial number will include the month and the year.
Our 16 plate is 12 15 eng cast date is 11/16/15 I would like to see pics of yours
Generally speaking, the "birth date" for any given Model T is determined by the serial number on the left hand side of the engine above the water inlet. Using the serial number you can look up the date the engine was built by consulting the "Encyclopedia" elsewhere on the MTFCA website.
Your car was assembled within about a week after the motor was built. You may find a date on one of the floorboard risers or underneath the front seat of your car along with the body serial number. However that date was assigned by the body manufacturer, probably not Ford, when the body was built. That date could be well before the assembly date of your car because of the shipping time of the body to the Ford factory, and due to the fact that it took four days to paint a touring car body in 1916-17.
My 1916 Model T touring will celebrate its 100th birthday on March 3 of next year.
Hi Folks, I have a 1915-16 Touring which we purchased this summer. The title says 1915 Ford and lists the motor # 1,246,xxx which matches the engine in the car. The casting # on the block is 4 24 16. Most features of the car would be typical of mid-late year 1916. Dash had been replaced, and patent data plate missing. W embossed on seat riser(Wilson). Very faint, unreadable numbers stamped in right side floor wood. In any case, We plan on celebrating its 100th on May 16th. Thanks to everybody here for sharing your help and knowledge. Dave Clyde
No reason to call your car "1915-16."
Model years are determined by the manufacturer, not the state DMV. Who ever applied for a title in the past made a mistake - either intentionally to misrepresent the year or the car or due to laziness/ignorance.
If it's not too difficult, you should consider getting title corrected.
Eric-Thanks for your input. I see your point. However, I don't feel too concerned about whether it's listed as a 1915 or as a 1916 at this time. As others have said, the 15-16 cars were a transitional model, basically the same, with some running changes.....and a lot can happen in a hundred years. Maybe it Was a 1915 car, and the engine/trans was replaced, and it got smooth pedals in the deal. Maybe the front spring was replaced with a newer, clip-leaf one. The # on the Radiator(apparently original)tag is 158895. Who knows if that's a clue?
Carefully figure out what the numbers on on the set riser, they will tell you when the body was made.
I haven't looked at my pink slip in a long time, but they used to list "Date first Sold" and "Model Year" which quite often were different! Maybe you could get "Model Year" put on yours, I don't think I was able to get that done on my Dec 15 1916 Touring. (I have forgotten where I put the pink slip, or I'd check it--it is somewhere safe in a file cabinet (which cabinet?? I dunno!)
David- Boy, I know that story! When I had a shop I got used to keeping my titles in the safe, and when I sold the shop I had to buy another safe so I can find them!
I'm gonna play devil's advocate here...
Are you sure the car is 1915-1916 with a 1917 engine, or is it a 1917 car with 1915-1916 radiator, hood, and fenders?
The 1915 Model year is very short, only a couple of months. The 1914 model year was produced into January 1915 and the 1916 model was introduced in August. So although the Ford's fiscal year had 300,000+ cars, the model year had only 200,000+ cars.
The 1916 model year went from Aug 1915 to Aug 1916 with a production of 506,000+ cars. So the odds are it is a 1916 car.
I think I would look for a 1916 engine for the car that was made July-Dec 1915. That way the engine would be correct for the car and the car could run in HCCA events because it was made in the calendar year 1915.
So until you get a 1916 engine, I suggest you simply pick a day. I'd pick a sunny summer day.
: ^ )
Dena and Dennis Gorder: You mentioned that your 16 Touring will be your Grandaughters one day.
With that said do you have a good title for the car with the 17 engine number on the title?
I have a similar situation with my 24 T Coupe with a 25 engine that was used to replace the original 24 cracked block engine.
My title has the original engine number on it. I intend to leave signed note with the title saying that the engine was changed with a replacement T 25 engine.
I am doing this to cut down any confusion years from now when my 24 Coupe and my 2 other T's will be passed down.
Here in Texas any mismatched ID no's can become a nightmare on titles when the cars are being registered or sold.
Hopefully that wont happen to you but it depends on who is looking at your cars title at the DMV or family executor who deals with it when the time comes to deal with it. When it comes to antique cars a lot of folks at the tax offices and DMV'S get really confused. Not all but a lot of them.
Hope this helps.
Your car's serial number 1246XXX was produced in mid May 1916. Your block will have a casting date in early May 1916. While your car looks similar to a 1915 Model T it should have dozens of differences that identify its model year that will be part of the car's history.
A good authentic 1916 Model T is hard to find because for some odd reason folks want their cars to be earlier. Embrace your car for what it is - 1916.
Thanks for everyone's help. I did find a body number it is W62187318. So we are assuming the build date is June 2. The engine number is 2289975 which I believe is an October 1917 engine. Unfortunately it does not match the title number so I will have to get that corrected. Thanks again for all your help. It has been an honor to serve on your board for the last 9 years and 2 years as your president. Model T people are the best old car people!
Your October 1917 engine corresponds to the 1918 model year - August 1, 1917 through July 31, 1918. It would have originally been in a 1918 Model T Ford.
From 2012 to 2014 I set out to have the Coupe placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Part of the process was to present a history of the vehicle. There is more to the "Birth-date" of a vehicle - year of manufacture. The "history" of a car is often lost because no-one thought that an individual car could survive time. So documenting the car's history was never considered important. It was a disposable object. So my two-year project with letters, notes, and photographs was to identify its origin, its original sale, and its ownership through time. With this vehicle it was relatively easy. With the Coupe it had three known families of owners. The documentation was easy in some parts, as the original owner's families were still alive and close by. If you set out to develop the history of your car, it would be a good start to get all the information from the current owner of how they acquired the car and from where. It is time consuming, but in the end worth the work. As with all history it is at time subjective and spotty.
Some places for information on developing a history of your car from oral history - talking to the previous owners - start here.
http://www.ohs.org.uk/ or http://www.oralhistory.org/
In your last post, you wrote, "we are assuming the build date is June 2."
To the best of my knowledge (which isn't saying much), the day of the month is not included in the serial number markings on bodies. Only the month and year is included.
In the examples of body numbers shown above, there is separation of numbers to indicate the month and year. With the metal plates, a dot separates the month, year and serial number. When the number is stamped into the wooden sill, the month, year and serial number are separated by spaces.
Do the markings look like below?
W 6 21 87318
If your body serial number follows the familiar format where the first digits indicated the month and year, then the body may be actually from June 1921.
You should consider posting pictures of your car on the forum. Perhaps your car is later Ford that has been dolled up to look like a 1916.
My coupelet's original engine has a serial number of 970,533 and a cast date of 11/12/15. This would make it a 1916 model year vehicle. It also has the portholes that were added for the 16 model year.
May grandpa spent many years (from what my mom has told me) to verify the correct year of the car. He had it titled as a 1915.
When I title it in CA I'm going to try to have the year changed to be correct.
Philip, your Coupelet may have been titled as 1915 all its life - if Ford delivered it to the dealer in time for it to be titled during 1915. The states didn't really care what the manufacturer called the car back then, was it a new car titled in a certain year, then it was titled as that year. So no need to change something that may have been in the car's history from new?
You obviously haven't lived in California. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT attempt to change the year when changing to a CA registration. This will open up a can of worms that could actually result in your car being impounded--doesn't usually happen, but it CAN!
My '16 T is titled as a '15, because it is a Dec 10, 1915 car. It USED to be that the pink slip also showed "Year Model" but I don't think that is done anymore. The slip actually had "Year Model" and "Date first sold" on it. Even CA recognized back when that car year models varied from actual production dates.
I once worked on a RR that was made in '27, but not sold until '29--Dealer couldn't sell it, was sent back to the factory where it became a test bed for updated gauges & oiling systems, then was repainted & sold as a new car. The new owner became upset when he found out the car was actually 2 years old! (this is all documented & published, BTW the new owner was the president of Warford Transmission Company--required T tie in! ).
David, What you said is the main reason I don't want to make any title changes on my 1915-16 T. I don't want to go there. In 1968 I had a '47 H-D motorcycle which needed a fresh motor. I built one with '37 EL cases and installed it. Got the title changed to the new numbers(required by Oregon DMV)... Fifteen years later I reinstalled the original '47 FL motor. Getting the title changed back was a real hassle. After several failed attempts I finally got a title in the mail- for a 1947 HONDA! Dmv folks have a tough job to do. I try not to stir them up...Dave Clyde now in Cedarville, California