32374 came to me with its Ford factory "build" sheet that was purchased by the previous owner from the Henry Ford collections. The originals are stored on microfiche, and the image quality is So - so.
The front side is in focus and not too hard to decipher:
The back not so much.
Hey, that's better than nothing! Which is all I have for my 4 T's. Would love to have any kind of paperwork on any of mine, but I realize that's a one in a million chance. Or would that be 15 million? ha ha.
The docents at the Henry Ford were kind enough to decipher the images. Here is that report:
Theoretically all cars should have build sheets. I tried to get a build sheet/shipping sheet for a 1922. I was informed by the Henry Ford that in the 1970's these records were destroyed. Comments?
There was a fire that destroyed a lot of archive material, prior to microfiche backup being introduced. Further anecdotal comment says that at least in the case of Louisville branch, when the plant moved, archive records and fixture drawings were simply abandoned in place with the next owner tossing them in the dumpster
Here's a reference to the fire (among a lot of other info on Ford's archives): http://documents.mx/documents/ford-industrial-archives-history.html
"Ford's historical records suffered another serious blow in August 1970, when a fire at the museum destroyed many production records, automotive drawings, building blueprints and artwork by Norman Rockwell."
Yes, it is unfortunate the records are lost. Without proper documentation, shipping records or build sheets, who is going to have the final say that a 1923 Model T Ford Roadster at auction or visible on line is not a 1923 Model T?
I was told by the staff at the BFRC that the parts drawings were destroyed after being put on microfiche during WW II. The reason? Sabotage, although I can't really see what military value Hitler and the "Japs" would have placed on having the dimensions of the Model T floorboard screws.
I have worked with many of the shipping invoices on film, and I recognize some of the handwriting. I think I can fill in a few blanks for you.
The car was initially shipped to Northwestern (NW) Automobile Company of Minneapolis, MN. This was a very large dealership that had been selling Fords for many years. Among the cars sent to NW Auto was Model T 1000, which still resides near Minneapolis. NW Auto also sold Model Ks (OK Rob, here's your opening), and Model NRS cars as well.
NW Auto also was the dealer of record for many Fords sold throughout Minnesota, and even in the Dakotas. It appears from what I have seen, NW Auto basically dominated the Ford market in Minnesota until Ford set up the Minneapolis branch and assembly plant. I suspect, but not found the evidence to support this, that Ford must have bought NW Auto as a part of its plan to set up the Minneapolis branch.
I do not recognize the tester's name, but the head tester is Frank V. Hadas. Hadas was a long time Ford employee, and had the honor of being the tester for Model T #1. If you can find the picture of the 8 men including Henry Ford who each stamped a digit of the serial number of car #15,000,000, Hadas was one of them.
I think the BFRC made a mistake on who shipped the car on Oct. 31, 1910. They list it as Fishleigh, but Walter Fishleigh was employed in the engineering department in the mid-1920's. I think the actual name was Fishbak, who was in the shipping department in the early years of Model T production.
The shipping invoice lists the body as being provided by "Pontiac". There was no body manufacturer in or near Detroit by that name, but we think "Pontiac" refers to the O.J. Beaudette Company of Pontiac, Michigan. John Regan has done most of the research on Beaudette bodies and can tell you more.
The car originally came equipped with a Jacobson and Brandow coil box and coils, a Kingston 5-ball carburetor, and tires by Diamond, and lights by Brown. I cannot make out the name of the manufacturer, but is most likely Wilson, Hayes or Prudden. It was originally painted green as most '10s were, and the quality of the paint job is described as "Fair". But then every shipping invoice I have ever seen describes the paint as Fair. It was standard nomenclature at Ford. By the way, the folks completing the shipping invoices were not always correct in what they wrote down. The body number on my June, 1911 Torpedo Runabout is a Wilson, but the shipping invoice lists it as "Pontiac". The body number matches, but the name of the manufacturer does not.
There are no shipping invoices before car #1119 (except for car #1) and we wish there were. Those invoices would tell us more about when the change from the two-pedal, two-lever control system to the 3 pedal system took place. It would also be interesting to see how they labeled the slots in the floor boards.
The fact that the transmission cover is listed as aluminum is attributable to the fact that cars built before #750 (or #839) used pressed steel transmission cover. After they abandoned the two lever system in early 1909 they changed from the pressed steel to aluminum. It might be interesting for you to compare the transmission covers of #914 and your recently acquired '10.
I hope this helps fill in some of the blanks.
I find it interesting that if it was a foreign shipped car several options were available! Bud.
#904 has a transmission door with a single hex in the center that operates the locking mechanism for that door. It is totally different from the sheet metal door attached with four screws in this car. I'll get a photo.
On my 42 Ford GPW WWII jeep, the fuel line fruns from the gas tank in a sump under the drivers seat, under the exhaust and to a cowl mounted fuel strainer, then out of the strainer and bolted with clamps directly to the engine block, around the side and front of the block and into a fuel pump and then the carb.
So Ford must not have been to concerned about running fuel lines around hot or warm parts.
Ford Motor Co. did not buy Northwestern Automobile Co.
According to trade publications, Northwestern's contract with with Ford Motor Company ended September 3, 1912. They continued to handle Fords for another month as Ford transitioned to a company-owned branch in Minneapolis.
Northwestern then became a distributor for K-R-I-T, and later Chandler, Saxon and Jordan.
good information....i wonder, did these men listed as formen and shipper and tester only work at the piquett plant or did they also work at the new plant. i have the same names on my mfg and shipping docs for feb 1911. i assume that my car was made at the new plant.
Thank you for the additional information on NW Auto. 1912 sounds about right, but the BFRC records on why NW Auto lost their Ford contract are silent.
At the time Royce's car was built at the end of October 1910, Ford Motor Company was operating out of both Piquette and the new Highland Park plant. Final assembly was moved to Highland Park in January 1910, but many sub-assemblies continued to be manufactured at Piquette through the Spring of 1911. Magneto coil sheets was among the very last assemblies that left Piquette for Highland Park, and the General Offices of FMC remained at Piquette through January 1911.
Assemblies were moved as space became available in Highland Park, but I suspect that the magneto department was somewhat problematic because it was the first place, outside of clerical work, where women were employed as production workers. Keep in mind that Ford only employed single women, because Ford believed that the place for a married woman was in the home. Piquette had been modified to provide for female employees, meaning entrances separate from those used by working men, and of course, bathrooms for females as well. Places for women had to set up at Highland Park, before female workers could be employed there.
Ford left Piquette in June 1911, and it was sold to Studebaker shortly thereafter.
There is, I believe something special about a Piquette car. But is Royce's 1910 a Piquette ?. Final assembly was at Highland Park, but parts of the car would have been made at Piquette.
Who am I to say?
i guess questions will always be there as to actually when the final car was assembled at Piquette. fun to speculate though.
Here's the transmission cover in 32374:
This is the one in 904 for comparison:
Thanks for the comparison photos.
#904's transmission cover bears a strong resemblance to the pressed steel transmission covers used on approximately the first 500 cars.
Royce. "Lewis" was also the Foreman on the documents for my 33435 Engine
Alan in Western Australia
Royce. "Lewis" is also the Foreman noted on the documents for my 33435 engine
Alan in Western Australia
Would an October 1910 car actually be a 1911 model car?
This was a green car originally. By november some Touring cars were painted blue, and finally all Touring cars were blue by early december. The beginning of blue cars is considered the start of 1911 model year.
From Bruce's encyklopedia: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/1911H.htm
happy you made the purchase
I used to know an Arrdeen Vaughan.....
Hmmm...I am working on a very original 1911 Open Runabout #38429, with a transmission date of 12-27-1910. Would it have been assembled at the Piquette Ave plant??
Jeff: No, see Trent's post above, "Final assembly was moved to Highland Park in January 1910, but many sub-assemblies continued to be manufactured at Piquette through the Spring of 1911. Magneto coil sheets was among the very last assemblies that left Piquette for Highland Park"
Fair, archaic in the context above, suggests fine or without blemish. We don't see "fair" used that way much anymore except "fair maiden", etc.
Pretty and a fair one even today Royce. Please bring it to Stephenville!
Ken in Texas