Is there anyway to tell the exact date my 1926 Tudor was made? Thanks
You might be able to find date of engine manufacture, but probably not the date of car assembly. Check out this link below.
Richard's link will give you the month. Bruce McCalley's Model T Encyclopedia will tell you the day. Or you can post the number and I'll look it up.
Bottom Line Up Front: Yes, in a few small cases for a 1926 USA assembled car you may be able to find the actual date as well as which Ford Assembly Plant the car was assembled.
"IF" the car was assembled at one of the few Ford branches that stamped an assembly code on the car and "IF" that Assembly Branch also included a date stamp on the body and “IF” you can still read it and “IF” the body is original to the frame, chassis, engine, etc. then you can easily tell. But only a few of the Assembly Plants stamped an Assembly Plant code, sequence number and even fewer appear to have included a date code or date. The procedure of stamping an assembly plant letter and number and date stamp initially started on a very small scale around 1925 perhaps even 1926. Over time more and more Assembly Branch Plants participated in the program. By the time the Model A Fords began rolling off the assembly lines most of them were stamped with an assembly date (on the gas tank on the firewall side for the 1928-29 models) and most had a Branch Assembly number/letters indicating where they were produced.
For any of you who also own a 1928-1931 Model A Ford (several of us like Fords from the Quadricycle up to the 2016 models) please see the branch assembly number information on Dave Sturges’ excellent listing at: http://www.mafca.com/data_assembly.html which is on the Model A Ford Club of America web site. There is an introduction and explanation on that page and a link to download the PDF version of the listing at: http://www.mafca.com/downloads/Technical/Assembly%20Plants%20Body%20Number.pdf . We have been trying to work back in time from Dave Sturges’ Model A Ford work to try and figure out the Model T branch plant assembly numbers.
For Model T information please see the posting at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/40604.html where the photo below is posted. It is from a 1926 Tudor sedan body. Unfortunately, the body had previously been separated from the chassis and we could not obtain any additional information about the engine serial number or frame number.
While the meaning of the cold chiseled “T” and the stamped “CP” and stand alone “P” is still not clear to me, the 5-28-26 is clearly May 28, 1926. And based on the information I currently have, I believe that May 28, 1926 is the date the body was assembled to the chassis at the Ford plant. That understanding may change in the future as we gain additional information.
So I would encourage you and others with late 1925 to 1927 Ts to look at the tops of the metal sub frame (the metal channels that hold the front floor boards up. Check both the right and left side as well as the part that is hard to see because of the front seat shadow) and see if you discover any letters, numbers, etc. If they are there – they should be on the top side of the metal channel. If you do find a number, please let me know. And if you checked and did not find a number, please let me know that also. I would also like to know the engine serial number (you can xxx the last three or four digits) and frame number if it is different. That should help us better understand when the Assembly Plant Numbers were begun at which plants.
Note for our Canadian and Australian 1926-27 owners – the Assembly Plant code is stamped on the engine side of the firewall just below the radiator support rod. So far I have not heard of any of the Australian or Canadian Ts with a date code being added to their 1926-27. But…. Until now I haven’t thought of asking you to look on the metal channels that hold the front floor boards up. If anyone finds a date stamp or other stamp on their metal channels that hold up the front floor boards on their Canadian or Australian car, please let us know. For additional Canadian and Australian info please see the posting at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/179374/196599.html?1299852394 Australia used the same location and stamped an “A” in front of the numbers on the engine side of the firewall.
And if anyone knows how Argentina, England, New Zealand, South Africa, etc. did or did not use a Branch Assembly code, please let us know.
You can post the information and/or drop me a Private Message or e-mail. If you click on my name it brings up my profile and my e-mail is the 3rd line down.
The following was NOT asked for – but may save you some time and expense:
It appears that you recently purchased an unrestored 1926 Tudor. Is this your first Model T? Is this your first old car? From your other postings it appears you desire to keep it as original as you can. If you are already knowledgeable about Model Ts feel free to skip the rest. If you are new to Ts I would recommend reviewing the information below.
Steve Jelf’s recommended books on how to keep the Model T safely going see: http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG80.html
Since you are interested in keeping the car as original as possible, I would also recommend you obtain both a paper copy and an electronic copy of Bruce McCalley’s excellent book “Model T Ford.” The soft cover book is available from the club but I cannot find the search feature on the club sales area. They are also available from the vendors. And the 2 – CD version is available at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/303050.html (postage has gone up).
And if you are new to T’s please see the safety information that was posted at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/506218/576808.html see the second entry from the top.
Finally, I would encourage you to consider keeping your car unrestored if it is in reasonable shape. It can provide a nice time capsule to how thing were done.
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Great info, Hap! I was not aware of the late model body markings. Can't see anything yet on my '27 coupe because its painted down there but I'll be blasting it clean in a few months and I'll let you know what I find.
Wow!!!! Thanks for the great info Hap. This is my first T but I have been doing a lot of research on them since I got it. My car is in amazing condition, it was 98% all there, it was missing the key, window cranks, starter, and starter bendix cover. As soon as I saw the car I new I was going to own it no matter what it took. I am going to leave it as original as I can. I already bought a complete wiring harness for it and a couple other things to get it up and running. The car is absolutely amazing, I finally got the gas cap off today ( it fell apart ) and the gas tank is spotless. At one point someone put a Rucksell 2 speed diff in it and rocky mountain brakes on it as well. I will see if I can load some pics. Thanks Again
For Richard -- Expectation management -- so far only a few of the 1926-27 have been documented as having (or not having) an Assembly Plant code and date stamp. I hope you find one. And either way please let me know. I suspect that the later in 1927 you go the more likely your car would have one. But again -- even some of the Model A Fords (including my 1931) do not have the Assembly Plant code or date. (And I am assuming you have located the local Model T Club chapter near you. If not please see the links below that I shared with Pablo.)
For Pablo – I’m glad to hear you are planning to preserve the car as much as practical. As many people say, they are only original once. Please be sure to check out the local Model T Ford chapter closest to you. They will be a wealth of information and encouragement to you. They are listed at: http://www.mtfca.com/clubpages/chapters.htm and http://www.modelt.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5&Itemid=15
As you are working to get your car running there is an excellent check list by Milt Webb called “How to remove a T from mothballs.” One location it is posted at is: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/8538.html -- scroll down to Tom Mullin’s posting the third posting from the top. That is probably more than you need to do – but includes a lot of good things to check. Milt has also made it into a video that is available for purchase from the MTFCA. If you are handy with cars and have been working on them successfully before you probably will do great with the checklist. If you have not been around cars much then the videos could be a big help. Sometimes seeing what they are saying to do is just really helpful. The videos are available from the club as well as the vendors.
And when you have a chance please post and/or send me some photos of your T.
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I had some free time today and went and looked at the rails on my car for a build date and I just cleaned them up a little and I didn't see anything. I want to see if I'm looking in the right place. Here's a link to my car on my friends website.
A lot of folks are going to be envious of that tool kit, Pablo. Better keep it in the safe!!
Your car may or may not have an assembly plant number. But if it does, for a USA produced car it is usually found on the top of the metal channels that hold the front floorboards. Below is a photo of your floorboard area. You would look on both the driver and passenger side.
Below is a photo of where Leon Parker found a number on a 1927 coupe.
And below is the number he found:
Again only some of the assembly plants put a number during the 1926-27 time frame.
Thank you for looking. And thank you for sharing the link to the photos of your car.
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Thanks, if I get a chance, ill check again in the morning. Ill you you know what I find. Thanks again
No luck on finding any numbers.
Let's go back to the most basic thing. The engine serial number is stamped above the water inlet, like this:
It would be very unusual for a T not to have that number. Find that and we'll go from there.
Thank you for looking and letting us know you did not find a Branch Assembly Number or date.
As Steve shared above you can get an approximate time frame of when your car was assembled by using the date the engine serial number is included in the daily Engine Log Numbers.
And for most of the 1926-27 Ts & TTs the original engine number for the car was also stamped onto the frame of the car. ref: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/doc25.htm which states:
DEC 12, 1925 Acc. 94. Walter Fishleigh files, Ford Archives
"Motor number was first placed on frame side member R.H. on Dec. 12, 1925. Motor No. 12,861,044. Information obtained from Mr. Burns, Final Assy., Highland Park."
So if your 1926 T was one of the small percentage of cars assembled at the Highland Park plant on or after that date and time, it most likely has the engine number stamped on the frame rail. [Note the number can be stamped on the top of either side.] But if your car was assembled at one of the numerous Branch Assembly Plants then it may have been a few more days or even a week or two before that branch started stamping the engine serial number on the frame. I don't know if Ford implemented the procedure every where the same day -- but I believe that is unlikely.
And note that for the 1926-27 cars NONE of the engines were still assembled in the Highland Park Plant where the Model Ts were being assembled but at the River Rouge Engine shop. Because of that, the engines had to be transported/shipped to the plant were they were installed into the chassis. [There was one exception to that and it is mentioned in the last paragraph.] So how long did that take? From the River Rouge to the Highland Park plant we have two documented cases of the actual engine log date and when the engine was assembled into the car date.
The first one is the engine (they use the term motor) 12,861,044. From the same reference we have the date it was installed in the chassis -- Dec 12, 1925. From page 533 of Bruce's book we see serial number 12,861,044 is listed on the Dec 5, 1925 of the engine log. So it took approximately 7 days (8 if you count the first day) from assembled as an engine to assembled in a chassis.
The second documented case took about a day – but it was a special case. The engine was assembled on May 25, 1927 and the engine log states “held out for the next day.” On May 26, 1927 (I have seen other dates but hat is often used) it was placed into the 15,000,000 Ford. But I suspect it was not sent the normal way with the bulk of the other engines produced that day.
And if an engine was shipped to California etc. for the River Rouge plant it would probably take even longer.
Additionally engines were sometimes stored for a month or more. Ref: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/doc24.htm scroll down to Mar 18, 1924 which says:
MAR 18, 1924 Letter from Chicago Branch
"We hear stories that some salesmen are telling their customers to be sure and look at the motor number of any car when they buy in order to be sure they get a late motor number. These particular salesmen are just making a lot of trouble for themselves because at the new plant we have hundreds of motors that have been standing there for thirty days or more and will be going into the cars in the course of production. This means that all dealers will receive motor numbers from the Burnham plant that will be considerably lower in number than those motors received from the Chicago plant so just stop your salesmen making any remarks at all about motor numbers because in so doing they are going to make a lot of trouble for you when we start shipping from the new plant."
P.S. In correspondence the old Ford plant in Chicago is referred to as the Chicago plant and the new plant is referred to as the Burnham plant because it is near the Burnham railroad yards.
And finally some engine numbers (not engines) where sent to some Branch Assembly Plants where the plant stamped them onto an engine that was assembled at that plant from the parts that were shipped to them. In that case it could also be days or months later than the entry on the engine log book at the main engine assembly shop in Dearborn. Ref page 501 Bruce McCalley “Model T Ford”.
So the engine number will give you an approximate but not an exact date your car was assembled.
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I've been so busy that I forgot I had a Model T lol. Here is my engine and frame number 13843477. This is stamped on the block and on the passenger side upper frame rail. Can someone look this up please. I think it's in May sometime. Thanks in advance.
It was stamped about mid week of the first week in June 1926 most likely. It would have been in a car and out the factory door within a week or two. So it was in a car by the end of June 1926 if the car was produced in Dearborn / Highland Park.
If it went to a branch for assembly it could have been 30 - 90 days later before it was installed in a car.
June 15, 1926.
7,203 engines completed that day, first one was 13,843,248; the last one numbered 13,843,500.
Although this discussion is for late production T's - 1926 to 1927 - can it be applied to the mid year cars? Production between 1917 to 1923?
Yes. Daily production records go back to the early teens. Sometimes the difference between model year and calendar year leads to confusion.
Jeff, interesting response. I was hoping that there may be a clue on a vehicle constructed in the 1920's to help with dating, assembly branch (if possible). But wait this is the response I received from the Research Centre at the Henry Ford -
Hello Mr. Drobnock, (Tue, 26 Feb 2013 )
Thank you for your interest in the collections of The Henry Ford. The Henry Ford is accredited by the American Association of Museums, an independent, non-profit, educational institution. We are not affiliated
with Ford Motor Company (FMC) or The Ford Foundation.
Unfortunately our shipping collection only runs from 1903 through 1913 and our production records do not cover 1920 Ford vehicles. So we will
not be able to assist you with your request.
Just a few minor comments.
Steve's last name is Jelf not Jeff. I didn't notice that until someone was kind enough to point it out in a thread a few years ago.
Steve's comment "Daily production records go back to the early teens." is for the engine production at the main USA Ford Plant. It does not apply to engines assembled at branch plants.
For the comment by the "Henry Ford" staff, actually their accounts receivable ledgers that cover about 22% of the cars for any time period go up to the start or 1915 calendar year. Their shipping documents / invoices are also fairly complete from car number 1,119 to car number 70,702 in the fall of 1911. (Ref page 478 & 499 Bruce McCalley "Model T Ford.)
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?? But information on the vehicles produced during the 1920's? Information or no information? The Research Centre states a void? I would hazard to guess that there is more information on the Brass Radiator than the Black Radiator.
There is lots of info available on most years, the on line encyclopedia list monthly production while the book lists daily production. Just because Ford are too lazy to look it up for you is an other issue.
This was taken from the on line encyclopedia
(Compiled by R.E. Houston, Ford Production Department, August 3, 1927)
The figures below are PRODUCTION numbers. There are several sources of production figures and they do not always agree. The following figures are derived from the source noted above. In general, the figures between 1909 and 1920 are for Ford's FISCAL YEAR which varied in the early years. 1909 fiscal year was from October 1, 1908 to September 30, 1909, and this pattern continued until the end of the 1913 fiscal year, September 30, 1913. Beginning in October 1913 (1914 fiscal year) the fiscal year was October 1 through July 31, 1914. Starting in August 1914, and through the end of the Model T era, the fiscal year was August 1 through July 31. Beginning with January 1920 the figures are for the CALENDAR YEAR.
These are the monthly numbers, the formatting is rotten but you should get the idea, otherwise look it up.....
1926 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
End # 12990077
So June 15th, 1926 was its "hearts" birthday lol.
Here's what production numbers look like in Bruce's encyclopedia for part of 1926. You can easily figure out days of the week because there are no numbers for Sunday.
Thanks Steve. Do you happen to have the following page? Thanks again
Yep, end of 1926 model year and start of 1927.
Awesome THANKS !!!