http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/model-t-coupe_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trkparmsZ66Q3a2Q 7c65Q3a3Q7c39Q3a1Q7c240Q3a1318QQ_trksidZp3286Q2ec0Q2em14QQhashZitem330302157886Q QitemZ330302157886QQptZMotorsQ5fCarQ5fTruckQ5fPartsQ5fAccessories
Is it true no coupes exist, prior to 1915? I can't recal seeing any restored specimens.
No, it isn't exactly true. Snyder's Antique auto has a very nicely restored and documented one on their shown floor. I cannot locate the forum thread but it was also featured in one of the T magazines in the last couple of years or so. But there are not many – as they did not produce many to begin with. Note all the early Fords with the exception of some of the Beaudett aluminum bodied tourings were wood up until 1911 introduced the wood frame with the wood tacked onto the frame.
Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.
Model T Coupes began in 1909. The early ones are very rare these days.
Jim Finney also has one.
I've heard that Jim's and Snyder's are the only "real" '09 ones still alive. I've also heard that Snyder's is actually a '10 model, built in late '09. (But I don't know that to be true.) It was common practice back then to title a car in the calendar year it was sold, rather than by the model year of the car.
Otto -- Bruce's Encyclopedia says there were 47 Coupes built in 1909, 187 in '10, 45 in '11, 19 in '12, 1 in '13, and 0 in '14. With such small production numbers, it's no wonder they are so rare today.
Then in '15 and '16, nearly 6,000 Coupelets were built, which were actually convertibles. The fixed-roof Coupe reappeared in 1917.
Hap, I was trying to find and post a drawing of the Model S coupe. Do you have a drawing of one? I know a few were shipped to Omaha, possibly for the post office?
Below is an article from the Early Ford Registry Newsletter (see: http://www.earlyfordregistry.com/ ). It is a little more than the picture you asked for but I’m hoping it will spark some additional sharing of information on both the 1909-1913 Model T Coupes as well as the 1908 Model S Coupes. The part I like best about the article it clearly demonstrates how as each person contributed the pieces to the puzzle they were aware of the picture became much more usable.
Below is the article from the Summer 2008 Early Ford Registry News Letter:
Raider’s of the Lost Coupe
….our search for a 1908 Ford Model S Coupe --- by Hap Tucker
Model S Coupe? What Model S Coupe? Even today if you type in “Ford Model S Coupe” in a search engine like Google, you will find a little over 2. 840, 000 returns but you won’t find anything about the 1908 Ford Model S Coupe. And if you narrow your search by adding the year 1908, it drops down to a more reasonable 230,000 returns, but still none of them say anything about a Model S Coupe. I get more real returns by searching for my own name than for the Model S Coupe. And nothing is listed in the indexes of our excellent club magazines such as the Horseless Carriage Club Gazette, Model T Times, Vintage Ford, etc. And even E-bay didn’t have one for sale.
So why would I or anyone else be looking for a 1908 Ford Model S Coupe? Good question? Before 2003 or so I wasn’t looking for one or any information about one either. I didn’t know they had ever existed. But while I was visiting the Benson Ford Archives I ran across the following clues while looking for the date the last Model S Runabout was shipped. In their copy of Trent Boggess’ “Early Ford Database” published Sept 10, 1997 tucked away on page 82 between the end of the Model S Runabout entries and the beginning of the Model S Roadster entries there are three small lines with “SC.” I would never have seen them if I wasn’t looking for the end of the Model S Runabout shipments, as they were no where close to the page related to my car’s serial number . Those three “SC” entries are listed as Car # 782 shipped Jan 29, 1908 to Denight Auto Co., Omaha, Nebraska and it has in the remarks section “Coupe Top”. The following two entries, Cars # 901 and 907 were both shipped Feb 11th  to Thos. J. Northway, Rochester New York.
Alright how many of us are guilty of not reading the instructions until we have to? What does SC stand for anyway? South Carolina comes to mind but it doesn’t fit for a car model. So I flipped to the introduction and there between the other more common body styles I found that “SC” was used to indicate the entry was a Model S Coupe. Next to the Model S Coupe was a number “4.” Going to the bottom of the page I read the footnote, “Records indicate that 28 Model S coupe[s] were sold from Oct 1907 to Jul 1908, “Sales Book 1908”, Accession 235, Box 7, Research Center.” And now I had 5 lines of information about a Model S Coupe and I still had lots of other things I wanted to look at. And we were on vacation and my wonderful wife and kids would soon be finished looking at the Ford Museum next door and be coming to pick me up soon -- so I filed it away in my notes.
Later I posted a couple of notes on some forums and in our newsletter asking if anyone had a picture of a 1908 Model S Coupe. And another clue came in. Trent responded that there was a poor quality picture of a Model S with a coupe body in one of the 1908 Ford Times. But that he was not sure it was actually a factory bodied Ford coupe. That clue led me to ask for help locating a 1908 Ford Times issue with a Model S Coupe picture. Don Watson who has done a lot of research on the Model T Towncars and early Model T coupes kindly mailed me a Xerox copy of page 14 from the Dec 1, 1908 Ford Times which is shown below:
I compared that picture/drawing from the Ford Times to the early 1905-1906 Cadillac coupe shown below:
(For additional photos of similar Cadillac coupes see: http://www.motorera.com/cadillac/cad1900/1906/cad06b.jpg and go to the end of 1906 at: http://www.car-nection.com/yann/Dbas_txt/Cad05-12.htm )
I also compared it to the early 1909 Model T Ford Coupes, pictured below from Bruce McCalley’s “Early Model T Production” brochure at: http://mtfca.com/books/1909cat.htm (used with permission).
We see the early Cadillac and Model T Coupe had rounded door bottoms, rounded corners on the rear side quarter glass, had the doors hinged at the rear (suicide doors), and looked like they were professionally constructed. They both looked similar to the nice carriages of the day while the Model S Coupe body shown in the Dec 1, 1908 Ford times just did not look nearly as stylish or professionally produced. In Mar 2004 I commented to Don Watson, “As I looked at the picture, it struck me that it doesn’t look like one of the automobile coupe bodies. Rather it looks more like a body that a local carriage company may have made and fitted to the S chassis. It doesn't have the window trim / recesses or the molding on the door. It could just be that the car appears worn because of the hard service a mail delivery car would have gone through. Also, I wonder if they left the original body on the car and just built the coupe part around the original runabout body?”
I tracked down that the Lynn, Massachusetts, the town that was listed for the Post Office that was using the Model S Coupe, had a good historical society. And I posted a note asking if anyone lived nearby who could do some checking on the S Coupe. But because the Coupe in the article didn’t look like the “curved finished” body that I was expecting, I put it on the back burner to check into later. (By the way it is still on my “check into later list – if anyone lives near there or would like to contact them, please let us know what you discover.)
Then in the Spring 2005 Early Ford Newsletter, Trent shared his “Ford Motor Company Sales March 1906 through August 1909” article which clearly documents that between Jan – Oct 1908 there were at least 26 Model S Coupes sold (excluding 3 months that the records were not available for.). While not a new piece of evidence – Trent had mentioned the Coupes in his 1997 “Early Ford Database,” but it reminded me that we still hadn’t found one and that it was still on my “to do list.”
And finally in Apr 2008, Don Watson e-mailed me a note asking me to send him my mailing address. He said he wanted to send me something. When the package arrived it was Xerox of a 1908 Ford advertisement that had been recently auctioned on e-bay. And there was a poor quality illustration of what might possibly have been a Model NRS Coupe. That prompted me to look at the Early Ford Registry (EFR) Forum to see if there was any mention of it there. Dave Dunlavy had posted a note showing the low resolution scan from the auction and asking if anyone had addition information about the coupe. I posted a short note and then Paul Mikeska, one of our other members posted that he had “won” that auction and was already planning to send us a copy but that his “day job” had him tied up at the moment. Paul provided some excellent scans and hard copies of the original advertisement from the January 5, 1908 “Daily News, Denver Colorado.” There was only a caption below the picture that read, “15 – 18 H.P. 4-Cylinder Coupe, $800” and the rest of the advertisement addressed other models, future models, and why the light Ford was the best value. In addition to the posting on the EFR forum, we had been sharing our discovery process with a few others. Bruce McCalley, author of “The Model T Ford” graciously took the original newspaper scan and cleaned it up for us. Below is the much “clearer”high resolution illustration from the Jan 5, 1908 newspaper that Bruce worked on. If you are viewing it electronically you can zoom in on many of the features and see the three rivets holding the running board brackets to the frame.
But wait a minute! That is a boxy square, body similar to the one I wrote off a few years earlier as being made by a local black smith rather than a professional body maker. So I put out a request on the Model T Ford Club of America Forum for a better copy of the coupe shown on page 14 of the Dec 1, 1908 “Ford Times.” Another fellow hobbyist who preferred to remain unmentioned posted and sent a better copy of “Ford Times” illustration shown below:
And while the area where the back of the coupe body meets up with the rear turtle deck looks different from the other illustration, most of the other features are the same. I.e. the square doors, square windows, roof over hang, lack of ornamentation/styling etc. Base on all the above, I believe the illustration in the Dec 1, 1908 “Ford Times” could be an actual Model S Coupe sold by Ford. It may have been modified a little by the postman to carry more mail or it may have been a variation as they decided how they wanted the coupe bodies to look and function. Looking at the body in the “Ford Times” it appears to me to be more of a “complete body” designed as one unit. While the body in the newspaper advertisement looks like they removed the Model S Runabout seat assembly (part 1030B) and replaced it with a coupe body over the more or less standard Model N or S Runabout lower body section.
And while Ford only produced approximately 28 Model S Coupes, that actually was a good production run. For the Model T Ford, they only produced 47 T Coupes between Oct 1, 1908 and Sep 30, 1909 and 187 coupes the following year, and 45 in 1911(ref page 13, 16, and 79 of Bruce McCalley’s “The Model T Ford”).
Please note that no single individual had enough pieces of the treasure map to put all this together. I want to say a big THANK YOU to all who helped us this far on our discovery journey. And what’s next? I think we need to send a copy of page 14 of the Dec 1, 1908 “Ford Times” to the Lynn, MA Historical Society. I’m sure they will want to add that to their information. And hopefully they will be able to give us some more pictures or clues. Who knows – there may be a 1908 Coupe in the stone barn that was previously owned by Mr. Craig, the Lynn, MA Postmaster.
++++++++++++++++ end of Early Ford Registry Article +++++++++++++++++
In Sep 2008 there was an E-bay auction for the best picture I have yet seen of the S Coupe. Unfortunately I didn't bid high enough and the winner was not interested in allowing us to use the picture. However, if anyone lives near Canal Winchester, Ohio, apparently Dr Gayman used a Model S Coupe to make house calls. The picture showed his coupe with the square bottom door opened in front of his office with the words “Always ready to respond when called.” Any additional information on that Coupe or any early Ford coupe would be greatly appreciated.
Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.
This is a real, original 1907 Cadillac, owned by Randy Ema of Auburn and Duesenberg restoration fame.
There was an article in the Model T Times a few issues back (damned if I can find it) about a recently finished 1910 Coupe, they printed an advertisment from Ford, you could buy a touring & for a few dollars more you could get a coupe body, so you could swap the bodies for winter & spring/summer driving, doubt if they had many takers.
Unlike the Cadillac which had the windshield sliding down, the Ford Coupe windshield was hinged & latched overhead, don't think I'd like all that plate glass sitting over my head.
There is at least one 1909 - 10 original coupe in existence, owned by Jim Finney of Oblong Illinois. The car is currently being restorred by Craig Beek. I've seen pictures of the car before restoration, during restoration, and in its current almost finished state. It is a thing of beauty.
The body on ebay is one of several made by Ray wells using dimensions and patterns taken from the original.
Headline in Illinois society page:
Normal Man Marries Oblong Woman
There is another 09 coupe that is in the process of being built. It is owned by Jack Mahaffey from Oviedo FL. He also has a beautiful 09 Town Car that he has restored. I believe that his coupe body is based solely on photographs, and was built by a now deceased craftsman from Canada. It is a beautiful car, it is painted and he is in the assembly process.