It is a model T speedster with a pre starter era engine.
It has Mott wire wheels on it. It may be the car in one of Clymer's book "The wonderful Model T"
Looks to be quite a standard non-starter engine, looks like a Holly NH and ford coil ignition. Unless it has been rebuilt by a Montana 500 expert, it will run like standard model T. Probably worth $4-8,000.
That should stir up a hornets nest.
The story I have been told, is that it is an Ames Bodied speedster, and was given to the grandfather of the current owner by Henry Ford, as a reward for being top salesman. There is reported to be an original letter from Henry Ford himself, confirming it. It also has reportedly been to the OCF a few times. I have no reason to doubt the story, though I have not seen the car, or the letter in person. It is a family heirloom, and not for sale.
It has a real early oil can.
I call BS on the Henry Ford story LOL!
With such a little to go on, I tend to agree with Royce....
I googled Ames and found quite a lot of data and pictures. This is typical:
From 1915 through 1925, the Ames Body Corporation produced replacement bodies for the Model T Ford. There were six body styles. 10,000 bodies of each style were reported to have been made. During the same period Ames manufactured a frame extension marketed as the Ames-Truk that converted a stock Ford Model T into a 1-ton truck. Early Ames Speedster bodies can be easily identified by their hoods which featured distinctive round louvered vent hole covers, similar to those found on cast iron stoves and Weber grills.
Ames Body produced both carriage and automobiles bodies for their parent firm, the F.A. Ames Co. Ames purchased rough lumber from various Daviess County sawmills then dried it in their massive kilns prior to shipping it to their dimension and planning mill. Once assembled and ironed, bodies in-the-white were delivered across town to the massive F.A. Ames Co. plant for finishing and trimming. F.A. Ames continued to produce buggies, carriages and spring wagons into the early twenties.
There are several pictures which I cannot copy onto the Forum but none have the same cut out for the driver and passenger and no louvers on the hood.
Why would Henry Ford get involved with one salesman and give him a car which he did not manufacture? It would be like Chevy giving a Rolls Royce to a sales man.. I doubt it would occur.
The date on the letter would help....
The sign on the seat say current owner Bob Terry(?) Grayling MI.
The sign on the seat say current owner Bob Terry(?) Grayling MI. Must be close Ed.
It would be good to know more about the letter. If you have the salesman's name, we can learn if he was a Ford salesman/dealer.
After the last several years, I've learned to never say never. However, it would be surprising to learn that HF would send anything other than a stock bodied Ford. However, until a person chases down all the information available, nothing is certain.
It may be that the car was originally a chassis, presented by a branch manager, then bodied for this salesman, or any number of variations. Or it may be a fabricated story. We won't know until there is more information.
Looks like a really nice custom bodied T. Thanks for posting,
Henry wouldn't have had anything to do with this car. That said, it's a cool ride. This hornet says lots of guys would say 4-8K is cheap. Can't build it for that or anything close.
The car to me, appears to be the 1915 Speedster featured in the Red 'Model T Ford Restoration Hand Book'. I spent hours looking at those pictures in my younger days, using at as inspiration for my speedster project. The wire wheels were quite unique as was the Ames body. I don't recall the windshield being on it but it seems to be a fairly amateur addition to what is a nice body anyway. At the very least it is a long surviving speedster restoration and the story behind it may have some providence. I would like to own a car that has been featured in such a well known book. Unfortunately I cannot give you pictures or page numbers as I have loaned my book out. Perhaps someone here will be able to scan the picture and post it here.
page 141, sure does look like it.
Because of the hood leather strap placement, with the little keeper brackets for the strap, and the accessory red wire wheels 30x3 up front, Ames body type, and color, fenders and other features exactly match the 1915 Ames Racer restored by Les Henry in the Fig 55 posted.
Am would say its either the same T or an exact replica
Lighten the front pic to show the wire wheel
Also - the lettering on the side of the gas tank.
Perhaps the letter "from Henry Ford himself" is actually a piece of Les Henry's correspondence on Henry Ford Museum letterhead.
It was restored by Leslie R Henry of the Ford museum at Greenfield Village.
Lets try whispering that in the ear of the person next to you, then have that person whisper relay the message to the person next to him.......
Take a look at the block serial number. I bet it matches this:
No intention to perpetrate fraud is necessary for history to get garbled. If you've ever played Telephone you know that a story gets changed in passing from one person to another. Henry VIII of England becomes Henry Ford of Detroit and Judge Vaughn of Arkansas City, Kansas, a local JP, becomes Judge Parker the hanging judge of Arkansas.
One would think that Les would have kept the scalloped hood:
Most Ames Speedster bodies in the early twenties had the 'cloverleaf' like series of circular opening ventilators along the hood and body sides.
I can tell you one thing about this car......I'd like to have it!
The Royce D. Peterson car and the Les Henry car bodies have different geometry. Nothing matches.
I'll have to ask my dad if he remembers Royce's speedster and if he knows anything about its history.
Below: Robert Johnson, Royce D. Peterson, Royce N. Peterson - 2013
I read somewhere that the les Henry Ames body was hand builtt by les that may explain no cloverleaf vents . Heres another example I have seen at least 4 bodies all were handbuilt and no two were exactly the same