Dave, I know you have experience with the center doors and was hoping to get some good information for my '22. The top information is what I need. What was original as to how they constructed the top. I see many pictures of center doors and most appear to have cobra grain or something similar over the solid wood. I have also heard that Ford had a solid top with leatherette around the outside of it about 3" or so. As far as you know what is correct for a '22 ? Thank you in advance. Pictures would be a big help~
There is a really nice section in Bruce's "Bible" (The Model T Ford - the car that changed the world) about Center Doors written by Dave Huson and Dave Simmering. If you can get a copy of that, perhaps it will help you.
Thanks Dave, I'll have to check that out also...much to discover I'm afraid.
Don Both; I am afraid I never did a 22 Center door. I did three earlier ones. As to the tops of the earlier ones they had 5 cross bows. I measured the distance between the top bows and had the wife sew five strips of cloth from side to side and I then tacked the head liner to the cross bows and to the top of the sides and front and back.
I then went to a farm store and bought some chicken wire with very small loops. Again I fastened the wire over the entire top. I then placed a pad of foam on top of the wire. I would guess it was an inch or two thick.
I then tacked the top layer. I don't remember what the original material was but I used long grain cobra material. In fact the nit pickers might not like it but I install Long grain cobra on all the sedans and coupes that I do!
Note: One Center Door top that I did had a huge one piece of fabricated material that covered the entire top. The fabricated material rested right on top of the cross bows. the top material laid right on top of the fabricated material with no pad to avoid abrasion. I threw the fabricated material away and used chicken wire and a tough pad of foam instead, its a lot easier.
I hope you have the RAIN GUTTER! THEY ARE VERY DIFFICULT TO FIND. I don't remember what year but some rain gutters are designed so you can put a flat strip in the gutter to hide the tacks. If yours is designed like that and you are missing the strip that hides the tacks I have used a carpenters tape Measure tape to install in the cutter. They fit perfect and never fall out. By the way the cobra grain top material is tacked under the rain gutter.
Thanks for the response Dave, I guess I'm back to square one on this one. There is an original top nearby and it is solid. I understand the originals were made of a pressed board made from soybean. They used either a 3 or 4" strip of leatherette around the parameter or they didn't use the leatherette. I don't know which is correct. I can go either way with it but would like it to be as correct as possible for its day. I do have the rain gutter and its in very good condition with exposed screws..no screw cap that I can tell. Thank you so much for your input on this, I do appreciate it.
This picture shows the center door but I have no idea what year. I don't see any sign of a leatherette border here...maybe someone else does?
Don, I have the book. I am mailing it to you.
Appear to be later teens - bail door handles but no side lamps are mounted but then my eyes aren't very good !
Thanks Ed, how about I call you and you can just read it to me? Yeah...the whole book. Steve, my '22 has the bail handles also. Solid brass but they were broke off flush with the door latches. I did manage to repair them and I plan to use them as they are.
Don, can you wait until I learn how to read? Lysdexics are teople, poo.
Don, I have a 23 center door being restored, it still had the original top, it was as you describe, pressed board with leatherette boarder, tacked at the edge, with rain gutter over the tacks. If you look close on the second car back on right, the corner nearest the lights you can see the leatherette trim.
Joe do you have any pictures of the car? And maybe of the top? I thank you for the info...
Ed, I apologize I totally forgot what I was going to say.. :/
I don't know if Tom Underwood reads this forum, but he had two original centerdoor sedans when I visited him in Wichita 28 years ago. One had a Fisher body, and one had a Wadsworth body. I think the Wadsworth was the one with the pressed board top.
James, that brings us to another interesting point. Don's Center door, and at least one other in our area, have a Ford stamping in the body wood. There has been some controversy over Ford manufacturing their own bodies, but there seems to be clear evidence that they did in fact build some of them. Maybe Don will chime in in the morning.
Dan: Some of the sedans and coupes had slats that went from the front to the back. The slats were about 1/4" inch thick and about 4 or 5 inches wide and apart 2 or 3 inches apart, so who can say what was on top. I have had a 19, a 20 and a 21 and NONE had some mysterious leatherette. There was 9 Center doors on the Auburn, California National Tour in 90 and none had a mysterious leatherette that I saw. I sure would not argue the point because I was not at any of the assembly plants when they were built. I know when you get your car up and running you are really going to like it. One of the guys up the road had his center door burn up a few years back, I sure hope someone tries to rebuild it as all the wood burned. I think I will drop by and see if he still has it and offer to help him with it. I just hope he has not scrapped it.
Yeeesschh...this is becoming more and more complicated. I know the '22 wasn't a Wadsworth because according to research by Les Sumner that factory burnt down in or around 1920 and was never rebuilt. Ed is correct that this car and 2 others that are in this area have nothing but a Ford brass plate as to where they were built. So logic would tell me that after the Wadsworth factory burnt Ford most likely made up the difference and built their own bodies. I have to wonder what the AACA judging would determine to be correct for the top on a '22? I guess the saga will continue on this one...
Don: If I get some time between jobs and walk ins today I will try and get you some pictures. I also have some pictures of the upholstery in my 19 that I will send to you. By the way if you can get a copy of the VINTAGE fORD 20-6, It has some centerdoor pictures including original upholstery.
Thanks Dave, I did receive some pictures of a original. It does show the remnants of the leatherette around the perimeter. If I receive permission I will post them. It is a very neat old car and in extremely good condition for its age. This is interesting to me and I hope to others.
Thanks Joe for allowing the picture to be posted. You have a very nice center door there!! This clearly shows the leatherette that was used to border the perimeter of the top.