I have a friend with a Canadian coupe with no starter and no starter gear on the flywheel. However the engine was replaced with a 1923 Canadian block, probably many years ago. The coupe does not have removable side posts. There are probably other things that have been changed as well.
This car is titled as a 1917. Bruce McCalley stated that this body first appeared in mid 1917, probably as a 1918 model. Is it possible (or likely) especially in Canada, that this car could have originally been titled as a 1917 model?
Ford did not offer batteries or starters until the 1919 model year.
What is the serial number? What is the casting date on the block? The 1918 model year began in August 1917.
You mentioned the block had been replaced with a 1923 engine block. If the engine block was replaced around 1923 and it was done by one of the Ford dealers, they would normally stamp the original engine number on the replacement block. If that occurred, then it would help document the approximate year the car was produced (i.e. the car would be produced sometime on or after the engine serial number). But if the engine was replaced by someone other than the Ford dealer and they put a used engine into the car, then the serial number on the engine will not be related to dating the car. Please let us know which is the case.
Is the engine number on the title the current engine number or is it perhaps the original engine number? Please let us know.
Ford of Canada did NOT necessarily make changes at the same time as Ford USA. An in many other cases they followed around the same time. Below are some examples of those differences. See also the posting at: previous postings at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/599638/604426.html?1454892609
++++++++++++++ examples of USA vs Canada differences ++++++++++++
Below items were introduced by Ford of Canada before they were introduced by Ford USA:
1. Model C Ford produced in Canada starting in Oct 1904 introduced side doors to enter the rear compartment while the USA Model C Ford’s continued the older rear entrance door to the rear seat. Ford USA went to the side entrance rear doors my the middle of 1905. (Ref Chapter 4 pages 27 & 28 of “Pate’s Early Ford Automobile Encyclopedia” available from the club.) Not sure if they both went to the running boards at the same time or not.
2. Ford of Canada offered 30 x 3 1/2 inch clincher tires/wheels on all four wheels. Ford USA did not offer those until 1919 with the introduction of the demountable rims. And Ford USA still offered the non-demountable 30 x 3 front wheels up through 1925 for the open cars. When the 1926 model year cars were introduced the 30 x 3 non-demountable was no longer offered on the new cars, but they now offered non-demountable clinchers of 30 x 3 1/2 inch on all four wheels on the open cars – 18 years after Ford of Canada made those standard.
3. Ford of Canada offered both right and left front opening doors on the tourings starting with the 1912 model year while Ford USA did not offer that until the 1926 model year.
4. Ford of Canada offered the lower rear axle fill plug around 1915-16 [ref: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/506218/594687.html?1450228838 see last posting] while the USA did not go to the lower rear axle fill plug until during 1919 production [http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/P-R.htm#rax2].
5. As you mentioned Ford of Canada introduced the slant windshield 2 – 3 years (depending on the source) before Ford USA offered it.
6. Ford of Canada introduced the one man tops 2-3 years (depending on the source) before Ford USA offered them.
7. Ford of Canada introduced the open car windshield that allowed both the upper and lower glass to be opened with the 1920 or 1921 (depending on the reference) model year. Ford USA did not offer the lower windshield opening on the open car windshield until the 1926 model year ( ref: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/U-Z.htm#wshld ).
Below listed items were phased out by Ford USA before they were phased out by Ford of Canada.
1. Ford USA phased out the ribbed pedals during 1915 [ref: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/doc15.htm see Mar 22, 1915 entry. See also http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/doc15.htm where Bruce stated: “The transmission foot pedals were changed from the “C-R-B” markings to a vertical-ribbed pattern. This in turn gave way to the plain pedals during calendar 1915 (before September).” But the ribbed pedals on Canadian cars were continued until around 1925 ref: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/118802/121088.html?1263563059 By David Chantrell - Adelaide, Australia on Friday, January 15, 2010 - 09:44 am: “Some other Canadian peculiararities we have found over the years, but to name a few: Ribbed pedals - 1915 to early 1925.” [From memory – and we know that is not as good as references – I think there are other references that the ribbed pedals went away a few years earlier.]
2. The cast iron steering wheel spider was phased out by Ford USA before Canada. The 16 inch pressed steel spider was introduced in the USA 1920-1925 Pressed-steel spider, painted black. 16” O.D. wheel. (June 1920) ref: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/S-T.htm#stw The 16” pressed steel spider was not introduced in Canadian chassis shipped to Australia until Pressed steering 16" spider - first appeared on the "Dalgety" assembled Ford released on 1st July 1925.
3. Ford of Canada lagged the USA introduction of the Model T and the 1928 Model A by several months.
++++++++++++++ END of the examples of USA vs Canada differences ++++++++++++
Back to the current posting:
If the engine serial number etc. is not related to the original car, then some other details could be helpful. All of this is based on “Did the parts come on the car originally?” I.e. if the part was put on the car later in life (and that is clearly the case for many parts – for example my 1915 did not have demountable front wheels – but by 1950 it did) then the part does not really help you date the car one way or the other. Does your friend have any history on the car? If so what? If not – has the car appeared to be an untouched original with the exception of the engine block? Or was it fully restored – that often times removes clues that could tell you this part was added later because of the different paint or rust etc.
Some photos would probably help. Or a better description. I.e. give us the page number in Bruce’s book you are referencing. Such as on page 232 Bruce states for the 1918 USA model year “The Coupelet now had the metal top section, and continued the removable door posts of the late 1917 (1918) design.” Or page 234 of Bruce’s book he states The Coupe was similar to the 1917-18 style but the window posts were no longer removable.
Clearly for a USA coupe, if the pillars were not removable it would be a 1919 style or later. For the USA coupes the last removable pillars were used through the 1918 model year. So for a USA coupe clearly your friends body if it has not been modified is a 1919 or later model year body.
Some things you can do to speed this process up. Post photos.
Clarify if the coupe has three hinges down low on the body as shown below:
Or if it has three hinges with one up high on the body as shown below:
There are other details that could also be looked at -- for example where is the horn button located on the car etc.
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I guess I need to make myself more clear. Assume you have a closed car without starter or starter equipment. It has the horn button on top of the steering column. No dash and has coil box with switch on it, non-demountable wheels, side-lamps, etc. all of which tell those in the hobby that the latest this car could be would be a 1918. I believe that this coupe body style was introduced in mid 1917, replacing the body style with the removable posts. It has the rear hinged doors, non-metal covered door posts, window risers and door handles all typical of the early 1917-1923 coupes.
Has anyone else seen this body style (coupe with non-removable door posts) titled as a 1917? Again, Bruce McCalley stated that this body was introduced in mid 1917, "possibly as a 1918 model", which is earlier than the normal (if anything Ford did was normal) normal new year intro date around August.
Finally, if these were titled as 1918 Fords in the US, did Canada have a different process in identifying the year of the car when it was titled?
Thanks so much.
Thanks so much and several of you posted while I was updating. I am trying to find reference to what Bruce stated, but I could have misread (or mis-interpreted) what he said. What I am learning from the above is that possibly 1919 was the earliest for this body, but then I assume that even in Canada, it should have had starter equipment. All very interesting and thanks for your help. By the way, the engine is C436618 indicating a 1923 block, but the neither the hogshead or the transmission (or the rest of the car) have starter equipment.
Any car titled during 1917 calendar year would most likely have been titled as a 1917 in most countries / states back then, while anything produced from august 1917 on certainly would have been called 1918 model year by Ford. Different practices, still the same car whatever you called it
It is unlikely that the car was titled prior to WWII. Titles for motor vehicles were not used until after the war in the USA, and I suspect Canada was the same.
In those days prior to WWII cars had a registration, not a title. The car would receive a registration based on what ever the owner told the tax clerk. So the registration was not very good evidence to document the year of the car. In fact it is not evidence at all.
Depends on the province. I have titles for a Paige dating to the twenties
Would you please clarify if the body has the three hinges on the door from the beltline down or if it has the three hinges one below the beltline on the door, one on/near the beltline and one way above the belt line. From what you shared above I suspect, but I do not know for sure, that you are saying the body is the 1919-1923 style coupe as shown in the photo I posted above. But if you answer that question, that will clarify a lot about the body. If it has the 3 hinges like the 1919-1923 USA bodies then it is 99.9999% sure it is NOT a standard production 1917 Canadian Ford Coupe body.
Does the title that says the year of the car is 1917 have the 1923 engine number or some other number?
Does the body have an access door in the trunk area that would have been used to access a battery?
Does the frame have a batter bracket?
If the frame does not have a battery bracket, was it drilled for one and one was not installed or was it never drilled/stamped for the batter bracket?
With the very very little information provided so far, I would say it sounds like you have a later – 1919 – 1923 Coupe body mounted on either a very early 1919 model year (1918 calendar year) non starter chassis or perhaps any 1917-1918 non starter chassis. It is very easy to swap bodies – lots of us have done that. It is very easy to swap engine parts (i.e. blocks etc.).
What style door handles does the body have? Bail, “T”, or “L” shaped?
What style of front spring to front engine mount does the car have? Is it the earlier one with the two U-bolts one on each side of the crank handle? Or is it the later style that is bolted to the front springs with a only two nuts rather than the earlier style with the removable U-bolts that used four nuts?
What type of running board bracket does the car have the earlier forged steel or the later pressed steel ones?
Note at: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/doc18.htm it states:
DEC 11, 1918 Ford Archives
First starter-type engine made, #2,815,891.
DEC 21, 1918 Acc. 78, Ford Archives
Announcement of starters for closed cars on or about January 15, 1919, at $75.
And at: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/doc19.htm
JAN 1919 Acc. 575, Box 11, Ford Archives
T-8793 starter switch plunger for coupe only.
T-8794 starter switch plunger for sedan.
FEB 21, 1919 Acc. 575, Box 11, #724, Ford Archives
T-701C starter-type flywheel used on all cars.
MAR 15, 1919 Acc. 575, Box 11, #726, Ford Archives
Starter-type transmission cover used on all cars.
APR 18m 1919 Acc. 575, Box 11, #729, Ford Archives
T-400D (starter type) cylinder specified for all cars.
So we really have several questions. What year is your friends car. Again a little history would go along ways. How many parts have likely been changed out – a few or many?
Approximately when did Ford of Canada introduce the starter engine?
Approximately when did Ford of Canada introduce the 1919-1923 style coupe bodies.
And if how much if any time period could you purchase the 1919-1923 style coupe body on a chassis without a start?
Those same questions could be asked about the USA cars.
Note that Bruce McCalley at: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/1919.htm states, “The “1919” model year began in January 1919 with the introduction of the electrical equipment as standard in the closed cars.” Does that mean they were optional before then? I.e. at the end of Dec 1918 could you purchase a 1919-1923 style coupe bodied USA produced Model T without a starter? I don’t know. Perhaps the “fossil record” or the archives could provide us more clues about that? And no matter what they did in the USA – what did they do in Canada and when?
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I really appreciate the forum and all of your expertise. I am not currently able to see the car, but it definitely is not the removable post type and has the top hinge at the top of the door, which points to a 1919-23 body. As I learn more about the car, I find that there are several later discrepancies as well. AS I started this thread, I wondered if the car could really be a 1917, but now I am wondering if it could be a late 1918 with the 19 body style but still no starter, or if it is a 1919 and that Canada did not introduce the starter at the first of the year. Conversely, it is likely that someone liked the coupe body, put it on an earlier running gear, etc. By the way, it does not have taper leaf rear springs like some 17-18 models had, and I am not sure if it has the closed driveshaft spool or not. It does have the pre-21 4 bolt front motor mount and the above axle wishbone. It has the earlier cast running board brackets. I think it has a battery box but those were often added so I will compare the bolt hole locations. As many of these parts probably have been changed over the years, I guess my only questions are if a typical 1919 model coupe(if there is such a thing) could have been available pre-starter, especially in Canada. Thanks everyone for your input.