Got back from looking at a Ford dealer that opened in 1919, closed in 1925. Still had new parts in the shelves from that time. Story was that Ford wanted the owner to buy more units than he believed he could sell. So in 1925 he quit Ford and started selling Chevys. Then in 1927 he closed the doors altogether. These were the left over parts.
This dealer was in a little town in North Tenn. Hard to believe that these parts were left untouched for so long. Oh, by the way do not try to look for this dealer, the building is now empty. Dan
SO...Dan my NEW BEST BUDDY...what do you have for sale?
Still looking in boxes, but there will be some TT stuff and some Chevy stuff. Dan
I am interested if there are Chevrolet parts from the teens. What a find! A real time capsule. Do you have anymore pictures of this long gone dealership?
I have heard of such finds.....but wondered if they were just "Stories". This is great! Model T Heaven. I have a 13 touring that is a very original car and needs a new firewall. Any chances of parting with the firewall?....It would go to a good home and not later be for sale on Ebay or at a swap meet. Thanks, Les
Dan. I hope you got a LOT of pictures. Those shots that you posted were great. Got any more?
What a neat find. Congratulations. I'm thankful you found the parts as sometimes when a person purchases a building they just plan to level it to make room for what they want the land for. And in those cases, they will just toss anything they think is worthless. Like all those NOS parts!
Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.
I believe it was 1920 when Ford shipped all available spare parts to dealers then requested payment. Ford needed the cash to payoff notes coming due. It worked to raise cash but alienated many dealers.
Great find! But not necessarily all NOS parts.
Gary: The Chevy parts were from only 26-27. The dealer closed up then. The only thing that looked like an old dealership was the room where the parts were and the owner had removed and boxed up the parts before I got there. No other pictures.
Les. Sorry, for now the firewall has a very good home. Did you notice that the firewall is for right or left hand drive?
Hap: Owner has all the records for this dealership, invoices, letters and is going to get me copies. Should be very interesting. Dan
I am on my way home? I just need to verify your address.
What a find!
Dan when you get to the TT parts email me what you have firstname.lastname@example.org
Wow! That's a great story!!!
I'd certainly like to see what the old dealership looked like,..inside and out. I love old architecture and seeing the way buildings were built back then, each with their own individual details!
Dan, what a tease! I happen to be in Nashville this week for work....Any chance I could get a peak?
In the early '50's (?), old Texas Highway 90, now replaced by I-10, went through a couple of small towns, Harwood and Waelder. If I remember right, it was Waelder where a Chrysler type dealer had closed up, left new cars on the floor (very small building) and under a shed type awning, the place stayed that way for many years. The story was that he had gone home for dinner one day, and said to H__ with it, and never went back, I do know it stayed locked up and the cars stayed that way for years. Remember, people didn't vandalize and steal like they do now, and these were in out of the way places anyway. My Brother had a deer lease close to it, and we saw this for a long time, I have often wondered what happened to all of that stuff, one day the cars were gone, and I assume the parts inventory inside was gone too. I was not into old cars then, they were just old cars, pity.
Interesting to find a right hand drive firewall in the U.S. Also, seeing an original firewall with the steering cut out was a supprise to me. I just assumed the cut out on our 13 was non-original. Thanks for sharing. There has been some discussions about original firewall color. The one you have about sums it up.
Look closely. That firewall has the choke rod hole drilled on both sides, typical of all 1913 - 1914 Model T production. It is reversible.
Les: I have another firewall that came off a late 14 Touring, Made the same way, the cut in the steering hole. The other side of this firewall is lighter, I think the sun coming in a window did that. I did not get to see how parts were stored,the owner had removed them from the shelves before I got there. If you want I will take some pics of the firewall and post. Dan
Royce, Thanks for pointing out the two choke rod holes...thats interesting. It would seem that the firewall could be reversed....except for the horn hole
Dan, Thanks, I would like to see some pics.
Do the firewalls have maple wood cores?
Being reversible, only one hole is required for the horn, just as only one hole is required for the steering column.
When the steering column is on the left, the horn is on the left. When the steering column is on the right, the horn is on the right.
The carb adjustment rod requires two holes because the carburetor is always remains on the right side of the engine regardless if the dash is installed for left hand drive or right hand drive.
You are correct...time to get my eyes checked again.
Actually the dashes were notched at the steering hole AND reversible starting on 12/12/11 and this change was placed in both the "one piece" 1912 dash AND the 2 piece 1911/1912 dash which was still in use at that time. The "reversible" dash versions began on 3/12/12 with the addition of the carb adjuster hole being drilled on both sides but also in the 1912 dash, the coil box mounting hole was changed from being a counter bored hole to being drilled all the way through at 5/8" diameter so that the then wooden box coil box could be mounted from either side of the dash. The extra carb hole is covered up on the engine side by the hood former and on the people side of the dash the extra unused hole is covered by a brass body ID plate. The dashes made from 3/12/12 through the 1914 dash were reversible. The coil box mounting hole changed during 1913 from the larger hole to the smaller bolt size hole needed for the metal coil box introduced in 1913.
Am I noticing that even this NOS dash is starting to delaminate at bit at the bottom edge? This was common with most of the wood dashes made after the 1911 dash and is caused by the grain of the core and veneer covering running in opposite directions thus expansion and contraction with natural moisture variations cause separation. The earlier dashes didn't have this problem because they were constructed with the core and veneer having the same grain direction and many of those can be found still very much intact. That dash looks identical to those that I made for the T-100 project but that is the first time I saw one that was NOS. It does prove that the dashes were EXACTLY like Fords drawings. No surprise. I have yet to see ANY part that is not exactly as per Ford drawings show it to be.
John: The dash is very delaminated, being stored in a closed up building in the south. Any idea what I can do to it to save it? Thanks, Dan.
You need to do 2 things. One is NOT to do anything to it until you get it in the basic climate of its final home. That will help a lot. You CANNOT stop wood from acquiring the moisture content of its home. If the dash were to be final assembled in a given moisture (Rel Hum) place and not changed, then it would not delaminate since what causes the problem is expansion across the width grain of both the core and veneers when they acquire more moisture. Since the core and veneers are at 90 degree to each other - they pull apart. Ford was trying to fight warpage but didn't realize they were putting in a bigger problem than they were solving. No amount of final finish will prevent this from happening. You cannot fight wood movement - you must plan for it and work with it. When I build a dash for a 1914 I try to talk the customer into letting me put the core and the veneer BOTH horizontal so they expand and contract TOGETHER. This is why the early dashes don't delaminate. They are made with core and veneer running the same way. Later plywood has all plys the same size to prevent delamination when the plys are alternating in grain direction. That works. TWO is that I would try to remove the veneer completely and lightly sand it and then reglue it back on using polyeuthane (sp?) glue commonly sold as Gorilla glue but I like EXCEL brand much better since it has longer drying time with is really important when working with veneers and lots of clamping setups. PE glue is waterproof and somewhat flexible but also will NOT creep which is what happens when veneer tends to WALK across the core due to cycles of expansion and contraction. Using some types of glue commonly used for veneers like contact cement turned into disasters for me because of air bubbles which form easily under thick veneer but also after a few seasons, I was appalled to see that the veneer had litterly SLIPPED by more than 1/8" from one edge to the other. This is referred to as CREEP.
The biggest thing to help is to prevent the wide RH swings. Don't reglue it in Florida and then ship it to the NORTH where it is dry in winter or you will have a disaster. If the veneer is really cracked bad - you might consider using NEW veneer and putting it on in same grain direction as the core. I would STILL use PE glue and be SURE and glue both sides of the dash at the same time. NEVER glue or apply finish to ONE SIDE of these dashes unless you want to make a bowl out of it when you are done.