I just bought a '15 T touring with a spare tire mounted on the running board. All the wheels have demountables but I don't think they were introduced until '19. Is having demountable rims on a '15 strange? Everything else about the car is absolutely perfect and I hate to have such an obvious error in plain sight if it is in fact regarded as such.
If the felloes are wood and each rim is fastened with five lugs it might be period Firestone demountable accessory wheels from when the car was new. If it's regular Ford 30x3,5" demountable clinchers with four lugs from about 1919-25, they may well have been put on the car at the then owners wish at the local Ford dealer while it was still being used so very few would worry about it - if you're not into judged shows.
1925-27 21" demountables with baloon tires may look out of place on an otherwise original '15, that's of course depending on personal taste. Originally your car had non demountable 30-3.00" wheels in the front with smooth whiteish tires. 30-3.50" smoothies in the rear. All black wheels of course - varnished spokes wasn't an option until 1925. But Henry Ford doesn't own your car any more (isn't it fantastic - we all have cars once owned by HF with family ) so you can do as you please with it - I do
Unless you are doing judged shows, leave them and drive the car. You will be glad they are on when you have a flat out on the road.
I have a '15 Touring with non-demountable clinchers as it came from ford. I just don't like the looks of anything else on a '15. That's my opinion.
First of all, congratulations on your purchase and welcome to what we kiddingly refer to as "The Affliction." _If you're married, get ready to have more good, clean, healthy family fun than ever before. _If you're single, a Model T Ford is a real... uh... well, I'll avoid using a crass, politically-incorrect term here.
Now, as to your concern about originality and demountable wheels: When it comes to antique collector cars, the humble Model T Ford stands absolutely alone with regard to its historical significance and its impact on the whole wide world. _Part of the very fabric of the legend is its practical adaptability. _Indeed, the historical record would indicate that Ford dealers made a routine practice of updating, with new parts, older cars coming in for service and maintenance. _Such parts interchangeability was, of course, intentional.
Car guys throw around terms like "original," "stock" and "period-correct," and depending on to whom you're talking, the definitions might get a little bent. _But if you're a speculator, "original" generally means unrestored and "stock" means restored to factory-new condition. _Unlike most car models—take the Thunderbird, for example—under the skin, the Tin Lizzie remained the same basic Brass-Era car design, right down to its low-voltage flywheel magneto & timer, 4 buzzing coils, 3-point engine mounting, 2-speed planetary transmission and a hopelessly outdated powertrain brake, for the entirety of its almost twenty-year run. _So when you use a term like "period-correct" with regard to a Ford Flivver, that period would probably be longer than for some other car.
Would, then, 1919-vintage, demountable wheels be period-correct on a 1915 Ford? _I would argue the answer is, "Yes."
Now, there's nothing wrong with being a purist about your Model T, but in the context of the 21st century, that's less a concern than might be the case among the Pierce-Arrow/Mercer/Stearns-Knight crowd.
As Mark from Portland said you'll love those De-mountables. Four (4) lug nuts and a jack and your up and going again.
There are all kinds of solution to the original wheels here is a 1915 with model a wheels on and adaptors.
I don't like demountables on pre '19 cars. I think they make the car look odd and thrown together. Keep in mind that the new tires are much easier to change. You can even carry the tools to remove the wheel so you can change the tire off the car.
But the Firestone wood felloe demountable rims (five lugs) ARE period correct. They also aren't that common either, and harder to restore as new spokes aren't mass-produced for them (AFAIK). Plus they were usually bright red, what an eye-catcher!
Demountable aftermarket 5 lug wood wheels
And these all metal spoke demountable, rather nifty.
Dan Trace, I love your replies they are always backed up with photo or documentation. Keep up the great work. See ya on the winter tour next month.
Thank you all for the helpful input. The wheels on my car have 4 lug rims. Knowing they are from '19, would white tires have been used or should they be black? It would be a win-win in my eyes to keep the demountables and still use white tires but I don't want to do that if whites were phased out by '19.
In 1919 tires supplied from Ford would have had double white sides and a black thread - unfortunately not currently produced, even though there have been recent talk about a restart if Coker can sell 300 or more tires: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/506218/583043.html?1446739964
But since it would have been a used car by 1919, it could have used any tires on the market - and I suppose there were black, white, grey and red tires available back then and any combination of colors on sidewalls and thread. But the available options now would be all black or all white - and I would have chosen black since they're cheaper and lasts more than double compared to white - there's a practical reason for why the black rubber that was mixed with carbon black won in the end
There were many different and almost totally forgotten tire colors offered between 1910 and 1925, more than you would likely want to believe. Not only the black and/or white sidewalls, plus the pure white and light gray tires we have become used to for collector antiques. They came in many shades of black and gray from off-white all the way to charcoal gray. Tires were even sold in all red rubber color just like the old inner-tubes that can occasionally still be found.
Sidewalls were often the same color as the tread. They were just about as often NOT the same color.
Most of the most common tires from about 1917 through about 1923, were either basically a light black, or either a light or dark black tread with both sidewalls being off-white. I have seen a few original tires that had dark black tread with two bright white sidewalls.
And, there were even other colors. Like green. And they came in many combinations. Fortunately, a FEW collectors were smart enough to preserve surviving examples, even if in poor condition. Occasionally, original era color ads can be found showing some of the tires. Black and white print ads can also sometimes be found listing some of the colors available.
I have personally seen red and light gray tires from the '10s, and mixed in both directions.
I have even seen a bright Irish green sidewalls with a red tread tire. I wish I had had a camera with me there.
The really odd colors and combinations were mostly limited to the late '10s, although I have seen several from earlier also. By 1925, most tires were either black or black with one or more white sidewalls. By the 1930s, whitewalls had become a fashion statement. When the model T was new in 1917, they were just tires in ever-changing colors.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Thanks for the comments, but remember, will be seeing you and Kelly first in Dearborn, MI this month
Thank you all for the useful information! Very interesting indeed!!
I did my medical residency in a the very conservative Chicago suburb Hinsdale. My face was very sensitive an I was having a time with shaving causing great irritation an my neck was always broke out. Finally I got permission and quit shaving. While attending to a dear old Saint, she looked up at me and said "You know, I don't like beards!" It wasn't until later that I came up with an appropriate comeback: "Well, then, don't grow one." It's probably good that I didn't think of it sooner; saved me a trip to the program director to explain the offense.
For those purists here, each of our cars are the way they are for a reason, whether for convenience, safety, or due to finances. If you don't like demountables on a 15 car, then don't put them on your car!