Caption- "A motor car with a driver and his mate, a dog, delivering cases of Red Cross material at the Australian Red Cross Depot. Three young children look on."
A really neat wartime photo of a '15/'16 runabout.
Acetylene gas driving light mounted on the firewall appears to be a six inch mirror size as used on the '14 and earlier Fords. A very reliable choice for rough driving conditions and rated at 1500 candlepower back in the day.
Ken in Texas
Ken -- I agree with your dating.
Bottom Line Up Front – I believe it is a 1915-1916 left hand drive (LHD) runabout. If the wheels and tires are 30 x 3 1/2 all around then it should be a Canadian production and if 30 x 3 1/2 in the rear and 30 x 3 in the front then a USA production car. Assumes all the parts were originally supplied on the car. Would someone who is good at determining if the tires are the same size or not let us know what they think?
1915-1916 runabout (not a cut off touring). Assuming the parts are all from the original car and during WWI many Model Ts were often repaired from parts from other Model Ts so we may or may not have parts from a single car. Assuming the photo is not reversed – and I believe it is not reversed. When we zoom in I think I make out a silhouette of part of an oil drain cock on the crankcase (not great – but it appears to break silhouette outline of the crankcase). And I can see an “E” at the end of the second line on the Red Cross sign. While I cannot make out the other letters clearly, I think it probably reads in all capital letters top line: AUSTRALIAN ; then the Red Cross; and the bottom line reads STORE.
With those two assumptions, it cannot be an English Model T. They did not introduce a working right hand front door until around Oct 1918 (ref pg 229 the English Ford Book) and they did not produce left hand drive (LHD) cars until Sept 1919 (ref same page 229 the English Ford book). [Note England initially did sell some 1909 LHD cars when the Ts were first introduced but they were USA produced cars and not Ford of England produced cars.]
It could be a USA produced T and the left hand drive (LHD) would support that. Where would the Australian military obtain one of those? Possibly from the local area they were in. I.e. captured from the enemy; taken form the local owner; or purchased from a local owner to support the war effort. Note that would also be a possibility if the car was a LHD Canadian Model T that is discussed next.
It could be a Canadian produced T as Canada produced both LHD and RHD cars and their bodies had an opening front door on both sides of the car so the body could be used with either LHD or RHD chassis. But for the British Commonwealth Countries such as Australia, Ford of Canada would have normally supplied a RHD car.
Could there be a “tie breaker” to determine if the T was USA or Canadian produced? Yes – again only if the assumption that the parts were original to the car. Are the front wheels and tires the USA style 30 x 3 or the Canadian style 30 x 3 1/2? The rear wheels and tires for both would have been 30 x 3 1/2. I seldom do a good job of figuring out the tire sizes in photos. I would guess they are both the same size front and rear. But we would welcome inputs from someone with a better eye for that sort of thing.
Hap l9l5 cut off