xx This car was purchased 12/28/25 and has remained in Great Falls, MT. It is now owned by the purchaser's daughter and son-in-law. It was pretty much a bare-bones T, with starter, and still supplied with 30 x 3-1/2 wood wheels. The purchaser added the pickup box ($36) and the Ruckstell ($70); unfortunately the box was lost over the years. The car had a light restoration at some time, and the son-in-law used it to deliver mail in the 60's. It still runs very well and looks good. This car will stay in the family.
Nice Any pictures of the car?
This would be considered an early '26 runabout, many of the changes in '26/'27 production came later on during the spring of '26. Detail pictures would pinpoint if some of the changes were implemented at the time at that branch plant, like for example if it has the front floorboard clips that holds the slanted front floorboard in place? In this thread there was one november '25 car that didn't have them and a january '26 car with them: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/411944/446798.html?1412473771
Another piece of interest would be if it has the engine number stamped on top of the frame in the handbrake cross shaft area?
This practice was started with #12,861,044 on Dec. 12 1925 at the Highland Park plant, but may have started later at other branch plants.
Here are a few threads on early '26 features:
Thank you so much for sharing the purchase order, dated 12/28/25. By that date the Runabout would have been a 1926 model year with the all steel body, fuel tank in the cowl (except for the Fordor, car chassis only, and Ton Trucks). Would you please confirm that the 30 x 3 1/2 wood wheels were demountables or if they were the early 1926 only 30 x 3 1/2 non-demountable wheels front and back? And if they are the 30 x 3 1/2 non-demountable – could you confirm that the felloe is metal or wood (I would expect metal – but just curious).
Note the engine number of 12,868,684 was listed on the River Rouge Engine Production Logs on Dec 7, 1925 [ref page 533 Bruce McCalley “Model T Ford.”] Why on the River Rouge engine production logs instead of the Highland Park Plant? Because all major assembly transferred from Highland Park to the River Rouge by Feb 1925 (ref comment between Dec 1924 and Jan 1925 listing and also last 62 engine serial numbers shown shipped from the River Rouge to Highland Park on Feb 13, 1925 both of those items from page 532 of Bruce’ book).
Of interest to me is the cost listed for the runabout. Since the dealer listed the engine number – they had the car. But the Runabout with starter and with demountables was listed at: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/1926.htm effective Jan 1, 1926 at a price of $345 .
And at: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/1925.htm effective Dec 31, 1925 and unchanged from Mar 4, 1925 as well as Oct 24, 1924 the price was $345 with starter and demountable rims. That $345 price with the starter and demountable 30 x 3 1/2 rims goes all the way back to Dec 2, 1923 ref: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/1924.htm . But the invoice clearly listed the price as $460. That is $115 more than the listed price. And the Ruckstell axle and pickup bed were listed in addition to that. I suspect but I do NOT know that the additional $115 was the markup for having 16 payments? But that is only a guess.
Henry Ford did NOT like the idea of credit and for as long as possible avoided selling Fords on credit. General Motors enjoyed the extra profit credit brought to them.
[ Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Motor_Credit_Company In 1959: Ford Credit Corporation formed to provide automotive financing. While in 1919 General Motors Corporation founded the General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC) to be a provider of financing to automotive customers. Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ally_Financial ].
I hope you can post additional information about the runabout in the future. As Roger mentioned above if parts have not been changed out it could help document when certain items were introduced etc. for that car. It most likely would have been assembled at the nearest Branch Plant.
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Thanks and I had wondered about the price as well. While it could have included finance charge, $115 would have been way too high. Also, I would have thought that Model T's at this point would have been discounted if anything. As the car came with a starter, the wheels are demountable. I will look in Bruce's "Bible" to see what else I should document, and if anyone has other specific questions, let me know. Of course, things could have been changed over the years but I think it is basically as it was. I will post photos when I get them.