Hap Tucker posted in another thread about the top bow pin this picture was included.
If you look close the tread is molded into letters similar to the NON SKID tires. To me it looks like FORD over and over. Has this ever been mentioned before? Jim
Interesting James. I never noticed that. It sure does look like FORD. Dave
That car hasn't been driven much an is still on display at the Henry Ford in Dearborn - maybe still with the same tires?
Didn't look close enough when I was there in '91, but someone who passes by in the future may take a closer look?
Thank you for pointing that out. I had never noticed that before either. But I do not have an Improved Car so I don't study those photos and cars as much as the photos of the ones I have.
First the easy answer for Roger. The photo of the 15,000,000 Ford taken in 1963 shows the tires had already been replaced with Firestone tires that had a more traditional looking tread. (Ref page 16 of Leslie R. Henry's "Model T Ford" The event was the Henry Ford Centennial (Henry Ford was born Jul 30, 1863 ref: http://www.biography.com/people/henry-ford-9298747 ).
So while yes the car was very low mileage -- the tires had already been replaced by that date.
Next -- what do the letters say on the side of the tires in the photo? Good question. A higher resolution actual photo would probably answer the question quickly. I've been looking but so far I cannot find one. I'm 75% sure that the letters do NOT spell FORD. I suspect some of the letters probably spell CORD -- but again there is not enough clarity for me to be able to know for sure. If I find anything better, I will try to post it. Note the original photo is listed as available at the Henry Ford Museum as P833.49144 ref page 142 of Robert C. Kreipke "The Model T." The photo is also shown in other books such as "Tin Lizzie" by Stern page 116.
Note looking at several other 1926-27 factory photos none of them had the similar tread but had more conventional looking tread or they were taken from the side where we could not tell what type of tread the tire had.
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(Message edited by hap_tucker on November 27, 2015)
Special tires on # 15 mill ? Possible I guess. Can't see this not being solved before if these tires were commonly used by HF. Really does look like lettering and really doesn't look like words. King Tut Tire Company with heiroglyph threads?
To me it seems to be some type of lettering. Was their any special documentation kept of this car while it was being built?
I guess the only answer about the tires would be from the guys on the line who assembled the car. But their long gone.
I saw this car in 2007....here's a pic.
It looks like the tyres have been replaced.
Take a look at the front tires also. It does look like FORD CORD repeated. There appears to be an extra segment of tread between the FORDs and CORDs, and a little bump of tread right under the F.
By copying Ward's picture and enlarging it looks as if it say's "FORD DETROIT MI FORD CORD" starting at the top of the passenger front tire. Jim
I guess the tires disappeared along with the 2 digit license plate that was on the car originally.
Old car historical items are like anything else that some folks want to keep for themselves. This happens more than you think.
I think the plate was a dealer plate used by Ford on a lot of different cars.
That is a manufacturer's license plate.
A manufacturer's license plate is registered to the company, but not to an individual car. It is transferred from car to car as needed.
You could be right. My old eyes cannot make out that many letters on the tire, but I also often ask my wife, "What does this small print say?" I hope someone has or obtains an even clearer copy of the tires so they can reference/post that some day.
Yes, many things are kept by different folks. And sometimes they are given the task to throw it away and they place it in their car instead of the dumpster – while other times they take them without permission. Note that two digit 5M license plate is a Michigan Manufacture's plate. The one on the 15,000,000 is a 1927 version. The 5M tag on a 1926 coupe on page 379; on a 1926 Tudor on page 407; of Bruce’s R.I.P. book "Model T Ford" also on his CD is a 1925 year tag and yes, the photos were taken in 1925. And another 5M tag is shown on page 335 and it has the 1922 year stamped on it. That one is shown on a 1924 style coupe - perhaps a prototype or perhaps they put an older plate on the coupe for the photo. For additional information about the Michigan Manufacture plates see the posting at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/179374/188393.html?1297083292 and read the info on the license plates – Thanks Erik Johnson for posting those details!]
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Take a look at the tire with the sharpest focus, the left (driver's) front tire. FORD CORD FORD CORD... is easier to see.
Thanks for the update about the Michigan Manufacturers plate. If it survived after Model T production and hopefully it did it probably went into the hands of an employee of Ford along with the Ford Cord lettered tires.
The plates shown in Ford factory photos would be worth a premium to license plate collectors.
The plate was easily removed but the tires would be another story. If the car was to be saved for posterity it wasn't driven enough to wear the tires out. To many questions!!
I think the reasons are two. 1.The paint wasn't very glossy from the beginning and oxidzed with time, so after a few decades it was dull and didn't shine enough for a museum exhibit, so it was repainted - perhaps before some jubilee like in 1953 or 1963?
The repaint is obvious since the old letters can be seen through the paint according to Tom Miller in this thread: https://www.google.se/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwifwdm RwbPJAhWmjnIKHe2FDG8QjB0IBQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mtfca.com%2Fdiscus%2Fmessages%2 F118802%2F120432.html%3F1265980463&psig=AFQjCNHITRHEUVzlu94Yjgt50PA7iC1RVw&ust=1 448813501353840&rct=j
2. Rubber is also sensitive to storage - ideal conditions are dark and cool. The temperature would probably be ok at the museum if it wasn't for the light - the original tires were likely also a bit dull and cracked when the car was repainted some 52+ years ago, so the tires were changed out at the same time.
I would think the "FORD CORD" thread tire were standard issue at the time, but I have no substantial evidence - just a feeling that making special expensive molds for just five tires would not have been in character with Henry