Can anyone tell me when Ford started mounting the head lights on the tie bar across the front of the rad.
I have been told it wasn't until 1927 and that was the way to tell the 26 & 27 apart.
Many times I have seen cars that are said to be 1926 yet they have the tie bar with the headlights on it.
According to the Ascension Letters at the Archives that B.McCalley wrote in his book, the tie bars began April 19 1926 or thereabouts.
"Police departments have called attention that our license brackets obscure the plate on all cars equipped with bumpers"
To comply, headlamps will now be mounted with a tie rod, and the plate can hang there and been seen.
Note you can't read my vintage FL tag on front due to the bumpers
I believe there was a very short time between all of the changes. My 26 Fordor made in early March has only the pad mounted headlamps, my father's 26 Touring made toward the end of April has the bar with lights attached. There are two versions of "prototype" mountings noted by Bruce, but I've only ever seen two of the stamped steel cross bar that mounted under the pad lamps, and only pictures of the one that clamped onto the lamp post. There was also an aftermarket one that has cast ends and a solid bar - I have one of these on the Fordor.
I have seen many different types of head lamp tie bars on '26-'27 T's. There were many aftermarket suppliers, as they made fender braces for the early T's, these same mfg saw the Improved Ford as a new market.
Here are just a few adv. in Feb and May 1926 issues of Ford Owner. I have the Marquette brand tie bar with the nice forging on each ends, with nickel plated bar as original aftermarket accessory on my '26 pickup. My pickup has the fender mounted lamps, so this aftermarket bar mounts under the lamp pads.
Others were made to secure to the base or placed under the base. B.McCalley notes some 'versions' in his book, but seems to me Ford would have only one part engineered with the new Part # 6511 head lamps for mid 1926 when these bar mounted lamps came out, the # 6517X tie bar was part a required of the assembly.
In my lowly opinion, any 'bar' secured to the early part # 6501 '1926' fender mounted lamps would be an aftermarket bar. But who knows, I would like to see such a bar that goes only with the #6501 fender mounted lamps with a Ford script or a Ford part number!
Sorry Dan - I was referring to the two versions for the part that Bruce mentions may be from the Ford Factory, not the several aftermarket styles around. I too have a Marquette brand on my Fordor only It is painted black.
I've seen & held the stamped sheet metal pad style cross-bar, it is made from the same material and a similar construction as the later bar that mounts the lights. I could be wrong, but if you search the archives for the paper-trail regarding that part I think there will be more than the one final version where Ford engineers made an arrangement to use-up all on hand inventory of the pad style lights.
My 26 has the under pad bar on it but its hard to tell if it was with the car from day one. I will look for any name or numbers on it.