Nickel Plated Radiator Shells

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2008: Nickel Plated Radiator Shells
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Stokes on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 09:28 pm:

Further to the "Shiny Radiator" thread, I have discovered the following in a 1921 New Zealand parts list....

Plain Raditor shell 17/6
Nickel-plated radiator shell £2.5s.6d
Nickel-plated radiator front and headlamp doors £3.3s.0d
Nickel-plated bumpers – they are strong, pleasing in appearance and can be quickly attached £2.7s.3d (a metal/brass version was also available, at about half that price).

I gather the nickel-plated options were NOT available in the USA. Is anyone able to say for sure if these nickel-plated options were offered by Ford of Canada?

With thanks in anticipation.
John Stokes


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By michael on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 09:54 pm:

john. I don't know what was offered or what wasn't offered. I can tell you this. my radiator shell has ford 'made in usa' on it and it was nickel plated. Mines a 1917. the nickel/copper plating was visible when I sandblasted it all... so, I put it back to where it started... people will tell you all kinds of things about this book or that. But, bottom line, they don't know for sure. just like the colors on the cars: people will swear by black, but even in some books and in the archives you can see colors on all years... if you wanted it, and you could pay for it, I'm sure Henry gave it to you. my 2 cents.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 10:19 pm:

With fond hopes of keeping the information sort of together, the original thread is located at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/63507.html?1219055811 and has a fair discussion. With hopes of keeping the discussion somewhat linear, please post additional information on this thread and not the old one. Or if you do post to the old one – give us a hint that you did. Thanks.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 10:24 pm:

John,

When you have a chance, please post the cover and the page that has the listing for the nickel radiator shells. That may help us cross reference a part number and/or factory number if they are provided. I.e. was it an official Ford Price List of Parts? Or was it a Ford Dealers Price List of Parts, or was it a after market company Price list of Parts? Thanks.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 10:37 pm:

Nickel plated radiator shells were finally offered by Ford as an option in June of '25 in the USA.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 11:05 pm:

For Michael -- I agree with you that much is still unknown about the Model Ts and they all are a lot of fun to drive regardless of color or if the radiator shell is painted or plated. In the case of John’s questions, he is working on publishing a book about the Model Ts (and I think earlier and later Fords also) that were sold in New Zealand. So he would prefer to print things that are accurate rather than inaccurate in his book, and I think that is a worthwhile goal. I’m sure most other authors have also tried to do that within the limits of the information they had available and the time they had to produce the book. We actually have more information more readily available today than the authors of just 20 years ago. And if you look at Trent’s “Visit to the Stacks” at: http://oz.plymouth.edu/~trentb/HFMGVStacks/Stacks.html you will see that there is much more still to be dug out for those that like the details.

For John – would you please share why you think the picture you posted earlier was made in 1922? I have reposted it below to make it easier for folks to find:



If you help me find the page number in Roger Gardner’s “Ford Ahead” I will scan the other half of what I believe is the same photo. I have seen it, and I looked through the book twice tonight looking for it – but it is time to quit. I believe if you look closely you will notice that the cars that are shown are all “high cowl” open cars. I believe they would have been produced after 1922 and for that matter called 1924 -1925 models. Additionally, the cars on the left (that are not shown in your picture) appear to be the low end cars with 30 x 3 ½ inch clinchers, no bumpers, and black radiator shells. The Jan 1, 1925 Ford Price List of Parts and Accessories … Ford Canada shows the balloon tires became available for use in 1924. But if you look at the door hinges in the picture you will see they are approximately equal length top and bottom. It is a little late and I need to get up early – but if a few other NZ, AU, or CA folks could check their 1922-25 cars and see if Canada followed the USA with the introduction of that hinge (as they did with several items such as the horn button on top of the steering column) or if Canada was before the USA (as they were with the slant windshield and one man tops). Below are two examples of USA cars showing the difference in the hinge design between the 1915-1924 cars and the 1925 cars (from Model T Haven’s website at: http://www.modelthaven.com/





Of course if you have a good way of knowing the picture was actually taken in 1922 – then it would support that NZ at least (and Canada possibly) introduced those style hinges earlier than the USA. Thanks to everyone who has put some brain bytes into this one. I know John will use the information to help promote our hobby.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 11:07 pm:

John,

One last thing -- is it possible those radiator shells are actually black and that it is just the light reflecting off of them in contrast to what appears to be a lighter colored car body?

Respectfully submitted,

Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Stokes on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 11:10 pm:

4 quick scans now attached. The first three are interesting in themselves!

Cover of parts catalogue....


Back cover (pg 82) - a note about the selling of genuine Ford parts only....


A similar note on pg 3....

Radiator parts - the nickel plated item is third from bottom. Note date on base of page.

John


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Treace on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 11:11 pm:

Hap

Just checked the USA Ford Parts and Price Lists for this nickel shell info
(all are USA Ford Parts and Price Lists)

Oct 1 1924
# 3947C Radiator Shell '23-'24
# 3977 Radiator Apron

Dec 1 1925
#3947C Radiator Shell '23-'25
#3947D Nickel Radiator Shell '25
(so first mention of the 'D' rev.part Nickel shell in the USA is in the Dec 1925 parts list --funny though this list says for '25, yet the below companion parts for the shell are noted for '26 model.---could this mean that prior to Aug intro of the Improved Car, that this nickel shell 3947D was available? i.e. for the '25 model year?)
# 3977C Radiator Apron w/ finish strip '26
Cp. Tudor, Fordor
# 3977D Finish strip only '26
Cp, Tudor, Fordor
# 3977E Radiator Apron '26


May 1 1926
#3947D Nickel Radiator Shell '26
#3977C Radiator Apron w/ finish strip '26
Cp, Tudor, Fordor
#3977D Finish strip only '26
Cp, Tudor , Fordor

Dan


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Stokes on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 11:33 pm:

Thank you all for your input.
Larry - I wonder if Ford US and Ford-Canada stole the idea from what they saw on a trip to downunder??!!
Hap,
Firstly, I could not post the full CMC Garage photo here as it is massive - it's a full 3MB. And unfortunately I couldn't reduce it on my away-from-home computer, so I scanned it from Roger's book! I have just sent to you seperately the full pic of CMC garage picture for you to examine (hope you don't mind - its better quality than the page in the book).
Secondly, my understanding is that it was taken in 1922. That might be wrong and I'm happy to stand corrected on that one - I'd be interested in the answer. However, these are pre-"improved car" examples, sporting the shiny radiator options, as was the bride-and-groom Coupe in the 'Pretty Girl' thread.
John


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker on Tuesday, August 19, 2008 - 07:51 am:

John and all -- more questions than answers. But scanned below are better pictures for everyone to review.


first "delux" cars on the right of the picture.


first "standard" cars on the left.

Quickly submitted,

Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By alex on Tuesday, August 19, 2008 - 07:36 pm:

Hi Hap,

As per previous posts I cannot see how these cars would be 1922 when they have 25-26 NZ Dealer number plates. (I stand to be corrected of course)

John...have you done much research on NZ Dealer Number plates??? My info suggests these cars are later than 22....


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Stokes on Tuesday, August 19, 2008 - 08:38 pm:

Thank you for pointing that out Alex.

It is possible the plates may be 1925-26. New Zealand national motor registry did not begin until the 1925-26 year (probably July to June year). Before this, it was up to the city, town and county councils to maintain registers (and that was unreliable, at best).

Quite what the dealers did about plates prior to the nationwide standard I do not know!

The first NZ national plates (ie 1925-26) for general use were white numerals on a green background, with a square symbol mid-centre. Conceivably that is what these plates are. But these plates also fit the 1926-27 description, of white numerals on black with hypen mid-centre.

Here is another thought. Presuming there was some sort of a requirement for trial cars and delivery cars (which would travel between cities, towns and counties before they were registered) to have an acceptable ID, could a form of dealer registration have been in place prior to the national standard? Waht makes me wonder is that two of the plates shown in the CMC Garqage photo are repeated! There are two 2-181s, and there appears to be two 2-179s. Possibly a number was issued to a dealer, which he could repeat over several plates? If so, does the 2 prefix designate 1922? Which may explain why the year had been given as 1922?

Although I see the point Hap is making - the hinges seem later.

So many questions! So little time!

John


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker on Tuesday, August 19, 2008 - 09:16 pm:

All thank you for your help in sorting this one out. There are a couple of items / threads mixed together here. I think if we can separate them out, it will be easier to address them and make sense of the over all issue.

First the simple question of what year are the cars that are shown in the Colonial Motor Company (CMC) Limited Garage? Clearly they are NOT 1922 as originally proposed. They are high cowl cars with the high cowl radiator. Does anyone know of any 1922 high cowl produced car? (and yes please limit the inputs to Ford Model Ts). Now if the original date on the picture is inaccurate, what is a logical time frame? Based on the high cowl touring it would be sometime between late 1923 (a 1924 model year produced in late 1923 (ok – I’m guessing that the Canadian cars followed approximately the same switch to the high radiator and high cowl as the USA version.) That is also supported by the Jan 1, 1925 Canadian Price List of Parts page 27 that has the 1909-1916 radiator (#3925) and the 1917-23 radiator (#2925C) and the 1923-24 radiator (#2925E). Note on the next page of that same price list they incorrectly list the low radiator shell part # 3947B as fitting 1909-1923 when it should actually read 1917 -1923. And then they have part #3847C radiator shell fitting the 1923 – 1924 cars (remember this was a Jan 1, 1925 price list – so it doesn’t mention 1925 cars yet). The cars on the right had the balloon tires which were offered in Canada in 1924. And “IF” the Canadian parts were aligned with the USA parts (sometimes they were and sometimes they were not) the USA offered nickel plated radiator shells and radiator apron and headlamp rims. That was announced in an Apr 30, 1925 Factory (USA) letter – ref page 566 of Bruce McCalley’s book “Model T Ford” and also his on line encyclopedia at: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/doc25.htm
And thanks to Alex for reposting his observation that the Dealer Tags are 1925 – so the photo of the CMC Garage was 1925 if we have that information correct. The 1926 model year cars were not introduced in the USA until the end of Aug 1925. And the cars shown in the CMC Garage are before the 1926 style cars.

And another side note – you can easily see the crank behind the bumper of the cars in the picture – now that the quality is better. You can also see that it has a dog bone radiator cap wrapped in paper or cloth. And where the person with the chalk also outlined the fenders as well as writing the destination on the radiators.

Now a more difficult question, what about that NZ coupe in the earlier posting that had the low radiator that was plated along with the side oil lamps that apparently had the rims plated? In that thread several options were discussed. Obviously someone plated them – but were they after market or did someone take their Ford and have those parts plated to make it look nicer, or did the come from a Ford assembly plant that way? That one still needs to be looked into further. I think it was NOT offered from a factory production in 1918. The plated shells are NOT listed in the Canadian price lists before 1925 (or I missed it). I suspect it was a dealer offered accessory where the dealer took the original Ford radiator shell and had it plated and offered it to customers as a dress up item.

From page 21-22 of the Sept – Oct 1944 [originally in the Nov – Dec 1967] Vintage Ford. An example to stress the difference between “Ford Dealer” vs “Factory Ford produced” item:

The Model T V-8 engine was designed and built
by Mr. J. Dale Gentry and Mr. Martin S. Lewis. Mr.
Gentry was a Ford Dealer in the Los Angeles
area in the early teens and twenties. Mr. Lewis,
who was a self-taught engineer, was Sales Manager
for the Gentry Ford Agency.
It was at this time that Mr. Gentry had a visit
from Mr. B. L. Graves, the Los Angeles District
Manager for the Ford Motor Company. Mr. Graves
frowned on the V-8 engine and suggested that the
time and money spent on the project should be
spent on the promotion of the Model T Ford. Mr.
Gentry figured his dealership was paying a good
return and did not want to lose his valuable franchise;
the V-8 was abandoned. Note the V-8 used the stock transmission and oil pan bolted to the special castings. The engine would fit into a stock T Chassis without modifications. [It probably would not fit the RHD chassis without some type of modification as there was a special slot for the LHD steering column to fit past the left cylinder head.] In the case of the Gentry Ford Agency of California, they had produced a really nice V-8 engine that obviously looked like a Ford but which was never offered by the Ford Motor Company. So a Ford Agency or Dealer could and sometimes did offer items that Ford Motor Company did not produce.

I believe in the case of the John Anderw & Son Ford Dealers price list of parts it reflects the dealer and NOT the Ford Motor Company offering for 1918. Other comments, observations, and especially pictures of 1924 - 1925 NZ touring cars showing the hinges and cowl arrangement would be greatly appreciated.

As a side note the 1917-early 1923 radiator and radiator shells were the same size (ok some radiators for export had a larger top tank – but if fit under the hood and should not have changed the radiator shell. The late 1923 (1924 model year) radiators to 1927 are the same.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Stokes on Tuesday, August 19, 2008 - 09:30 pm:

Superb Hap! Thank you for your supported view and I definitely won't argue with your conculsion. John


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Nevin Gough on Wednesday, August 20, 2008 - 02:17 am:

I recently found the price list that my Grandfather would have used in his Garage. It is dated 1st Dec 1929, and was published by the Colonial Motor Company Ltd.

It lists the nickel plated radiator shell (3947D) as being 1923-27.

I guess this just indicates that they were the same shell through that period, and not that they were necessarily plated in 1923.

Interesting though...


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Stokes on Wednesday, August 20, 2008 - 02:55 am:

Thanks Nevin,

As Hap has said above, Ford of Canada does not list the nickel plated radiator shells. It really does look as though, at the eleventh hour of producing this book, that we have tripped over a New Zealand Model T peculiarity.

All this because Dave Sosnoski and Alex Alongi went to look at a pretty girl!

Thanks to all who have contributed.

Best wishes - John Stokes


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker on Wednesday, August 20, 2008 - 07:36 am:

For John -- For your book, mentioning the early plated radiator shell and headlamps as needing additional research and asking for information and photos might be one approach to consider.

Also, the Ford Canada Price List of Parts may NOT have included parts that were only for the overseas market. For example -- I looked but did not see the radiator with the larger than standard upper tank. That radiator was sent to Australia and other hot locations etc. It probably was not available at the local Ford dealer in Canada, but it clearly was produced by Ford Canada and sent out.

There is still lots to discover and figure out about the Ts (NZ and others) and how it fits in the puzzle. And while some of the above I am certain of (such as the CMC Garage picture is NOT 1922) other items may be changed as additional information is discovered. And that is part of the fun of our hobby -- discovery.

Thanks to everyone who read and especially to those who were able to contribute. All the pieces of information help us solve the puzzle.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Alex Brown on Friday, August 29, 2008 - 06:00 am:

Just to confrim those are stewart bumpers. Great Great Grandad purchased his in 1925 with Stewart bumpers, split rims, shorter windscreen, nickled radiator and stewart speedo


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave_Sosnoski on Friday, August 29, 2008 - 09:07 am:

Not to start another discussion, but the windshields in the above photo's also seem to be different than US production. On these both the top and bottom sections open. In the US, until early 1923 the bottom was fixed and the top section folded down. The hinges were bolted to the windshield frames and the stanchions didn't run all the way up. In 23 with the 1 man top they had stanchions, but the bottom glass was fixed and didn't open. In 26 they came out with the style where the bottom glass could open. These windshields look like the 26 style but the bottom doesn't have the curve to match the 26 cowl - making them unique.

Dave S.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By johnd on Friday, August 29, 2008 - 09:43 am:

Dave- I have 2 different windshield outfits that the bottom and top move in or out, they are aftermarket, and have the 15-22 style brackets w/lamp holders for the sidelites on them.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Howard Tobias on Friday, August 29, 2008 - 12:23 pm:

I was looking at the pictures of the New Zealand cars and was wondering if different types of paint finishes reflect light differently and would look like nickel or colored paint.
Howard


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Alex Brown on Thursday, September 18, 2008 - 05:57 am:

For what its worth....just found another New Zealand/Canadian Nickeled 1925 style car for interests sake...don't know much more other than its prob 1950's



Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Thursday, September 18, 2008 - 12:53 pm:

Alex,
That picture looks like a "thrown together car". The hood is not correct for the body and radiator. I would think, that possibly some of the parts had been replaced prior to the time the picture was taken.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Treace on Thursday, September 18, 2008 - 01:15 pm:

Nickel shells are best!

Just installed a nickel shell on Dixie, the '26 touring. (That's all original nickel on the shell and headlamp rims, still shines almost like new, but some wear thru, nicks, and dents are there)
Missing the nickle trim strip for the top of the radiator apron, but that's ok.

Had the black painted shell on, but the shine is better with the nickel.


Sharp eyes will note the Centennial badge on the radiator, and that black shell on the hood is really a painted over brass shell that was a nickel one too, those round holes for the welting are a dead give away to the nickle-plate brass shell.

Polishing plated shells at the factory would be difficult with the nornal jagged edged welting slots on commom steel Ford shells.

Used it because the tears on the edges were easy to fix with braze, and painted those repairs aren't so obvious.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Alex Brown on Thursday, September 18, 2008 - 03:44 pm:

The car sure is less than Tidy Norman I agree...but I don't see why its thrown together....model T bonnets easily get out of shape.......we know plenty of 25's had nickled radiators here in NZ


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By jack daron-Indy. on Thursday, September 18, 2008 - 06:09 pm:

What is interesting to me ,is that the shells are 1922 and back,yet nickled. As far as I am aware,that option nnever was available here in the states.


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