Hello I am the curator of the Detroit Police Museum. We are looking to put a display together of this first radio car. I have located the antenna but we are not sure what year the car is. If anyone can help to identify the year we can start looking for a car for the display. The first radio car was 1921.
The car in the photo is no later than 1922 (1923 windshield slants back). If the first radio car was new, it's a 1921-1922. If the radio was installed in a car the department already had, it could be 1917-1922.
This car "looks" to be from 1920 to 1921.
The five-lug wheels and tires and the running board mounted spare tire bracket were aftermarket items. So were the spotlight and moto-meter.
The car has the low radiator (1917-1923)
Non-sidelamp windshield brackets (1920-1923)
Iron sleeve starting crank (1915-1921)
If you could provide a more clear image of the windshield mounting area, it could reveal more.
It almost looks like the windshield mounting brackets have been modified.
The photos shows the general style of car made from 1917-1923. in 1917-1919 all cars had side lamps with an bracket that was integral with the windshield bracket. In 1920 when cars were available with electric start, demountable rim wheels (four lug) and a spare tire carrier on the back were the norm. On cars that were equipped as such, Ford used a different windshield bracket that had no provision for the side lamps.
However, since this car has aftermarket demountable rim wheels with an aftermarket spare tire mount, it could be earlier than 1920, if the department had removed the side lights and had modified the windshield mounting brackets.
Please keep us informed of your progress of your project!
: ^ )
You can rule out 1922 and possibly 1921 model years because of the top saddle brackets.
If you could provide a high resolution photo of the car in question, we can scrutinize it further and better pinpoint the model year.
Note that the car has aftermarket wheels.
Be aware that there has already been some discussion regarding your desire to mock up a Model T Ford with an antenna:
Thanks to all. This is the best I can do with the photo. It was a poor copy of an original that is long since disappeared. I can assume from the comments that it probably is a 1920 model T. Here is a photo from 1967 that the Detroit Police Department did with a new and old radio car. The antenna is a reproduction of the original and that is the one I have. The Model T was borrowed from a officers collection.
That is one weird radio antenna setup! I'm sure the birds just love it when the car's sitting still.
You can see a cross rod underneath, which means it still has forged running-board brackets, when did they quit using those in favor of the stamped steel ones? Best Jeff
Well spotted Jeff. On our Canadian sourced cars, that would rule out 1922, making it 1921 or earlier.
Allan from down under.
Thank you for posting your question. Also you should find your location of Detroit to be very helpful in tracking down additional information about the photo. That same photo was used to create an illustration that is on page 63 of Robert C. Kreipke’s “Ford Motor Company the First 100 Years.” There are 2 photos on that page. One of a radio tower or similar item. The other what appears to be an illustration or hopefully a computerized modification of the original photo so it looks like an illustration but without the building in the background. I do NOT know which credit goes with which photo. But one is listed as Ford Motor Company -- FMC96054 The other one is listed as “Henry Ford Museum, Benson Ford Research Center – HFM B-40871.
The Benson Ford Archives will have a copy of the book as well as a copy of the HFM B-40871 photograph. To view them would not include any cost. For information on the research center please see their web site at: https://www.thehenryford.org/collections-and-research/services/reading-room/ Their reading room (library) is open Mon – Fri from 9AM to 5PM.
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It also looks like the wishbone is under the front axle.
Jeffrey -- often times the Benson Ford Archives will have some additional information about the photo. Often times that information is helpful and sometimes it is inaccurate.
Yes, in the larger illustration in the book you can clearly see the wishbone is under the axle that was introduced during the 1919 model year.
It has the two "U-bolts" holding the front spring to the frame.
Keith -- if the illustration is accurate (sometime they are sometimes not so much) the car has the side light brackets but does not have the side lights. If you zoom in on the passenger side of the photo at the top of the post you can sort of see the side light bracket. But on page 63 it is clearly a side light bracket.
Based on the accessory demountable wheels, location of the wishbone, and other items I believe it is most likely a mid year 1919 to early 1920 before the Ford supplied demountable wheels became readily available. I.e. I am guessing that by late 1920 a person could purchase the new demountables from Ford for less than the accessory 5 lug demountables. But that is a GUESS -- I did not research the prices.
And of course all of this assumes the parts are original to the car and we know the wheels were changed out.
In the illustration the tires look really worn.
The latest I know of the cast iron running board brackets with the rod -- would be a 1921 model year with the pressed steel being used more and more until all the old stock was gone. Bruce said the 1921 model year they were gone -- but a posting covered this and from memory -- I'm 80% sure I remember several cars with the earlier cast iron running board brackets and 1921 model year engines.
I would post a scan of the illustration in the book, but the copyright on the book is 2007 so it will be a long time before that one is out of copyright.
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