This Ford was in our family from 1964-2000 when my dad got a brain cramp and sold it. We always thought it was a 1904, but, I have now been told it is somewhere between 1917-1925, possibly a Speedster.
17 - 27 can look like that. It's an aftermarket body of some sort.
So, you would say definitely not 1904? I always wondered about the body. But just last week I saw a very similar one in a pic at some site for old Fords. It did not have a heading that told much. I believe it did mention it was a speedster, but, no year.
As for the body, was it common for Ford to just do a chassis and drivetrain, then send the cars out to another company to do the body?
Definitely not 1904.
The radiator is 1917-27, can't tell on the small picture if it's the low 17-23 or high 24-27 radiator. I think it's the high one but it's hard to say for sure.
The body looks like a Faultless Raceabout judging by the way the tail humps up behind the seat.
Ford built bare chassis that you could buy if that is what you wanted. By 1917, there were used Model T's in every town dump that could be had for very little money. Generally the bodies would fall apart long before there was anything mechanically defective. A brass era Model T would have looked hopelessly ancient in 1920, and there were certainly lots of them available to convert to speedsters, or whatever the owner wanted.
Ford Motor Company did not assist or cause any of the speedsters like the one in your photo to be built.
Here are some larger photos of home built T speedsters of the 1920's:
Example of a Faultless Raceabout body.
Kevin, the car is definitely not a 1904. It has a 17-27 style radiator shell. I can not tell for sure from the pic if it is high or low radiator shell. low would be 17-23 and high would be 24-27. There is no connection between Ford and a speedster other than the parts used. Ford did sell just a chassis, but probably very few speedsters were built with a "new chassis" There were lots of different aftermarket body makers and you could order a body from them, and put it on a used chassis to build yourself a speedster.. But a lot of speedsters just had home made bodies on them. Your body does look like a factory body (maybe a Faultless body) There were several different ones that look similar. As a general rule the speedsters are dated by the year the engine number is .. The hey-day for the style of your body was aprox 1917 to sometime in early 30s. But the speedsters were still being built by individuals, all the way till WW2. Nice looking car. We would love to see more photos of it. We may even be able to decide what body it may be ... Have fun and be safe Donnie Brown ...
The apron below the radiator is from the 1923-1925 era, but the same radiator continued till 1927 with a different apron below it. Since it has a custom body, the shell might also be custom. The headlights are also older than 25-27, but since it has no fenders, they are mounted to the frame as were the earlier ones.
Kevin, Here is a pic of a 1904 Ford. There were several different body styles. But it will show how different the cars were before the Model T came out. You can google 1904 Ford and look at images to see a lot more ..
The racer body on your Dad's former T sure does look like the Faultless style.
The chassis/radiator appear to be low hood style, '23 to '17. The radiator shell has the lower thin apron used in those years.
Wheels appear to have metal 'covers' on both sides of the wood spoke wheels, a typical 'racer look' add on, that was popular in the early '20 to mimic the look of disc racing wheels.
Rather nice T !!
Everyone, thank you for your thoughts. Here is the only other color picture we have.
Sorry, I reposted my original picture. this is the one I wanted to add.
Kevin, black and white pics are good to, if you have any... We like black and white photos as much as the color ones... Here are some pics from Faultless catalogs. There were other companies that sold the Faultless bodies, under their own company name, Ford Speed may have been one of them. There appears to have been running changes made to the bodies made during the day. So no two may be exactly alike. You body is very similar to the Faultless bodies.
(Message edited by dobro1956 on February 14, 2016)
"Speedster" is one of about a dozen general names given to cars (Fords or others) that were cut down and maybe modified to go faster. Sometimes they were made only to LOOK faster.
It was something done almost from the beginning of the automobile. It is said that
James Ward Packard modified his new Winton automobile (about 1898) because it did not satisfy him. He wanted it to be faster and look better. After fighting with Winton about it, JWP and his brother founded a company to build Packard automobiles. After that, rebuilding automobiles into something faster and/or faster looking became common. Ford model T speedsters have been built in every calendar year from 1908 until still now.
My 1919 Boat-tail on an endurance run with about forty other speedsters a few years ago.
You may be able to find your dad's old car somewhere around. Or it may have since been redone enough that it cannot be recognized. You could nearly replicate it from the photos you have.
Beware. This is an addictive hobby!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2