Very late '12 or updated by owner?
That would make the detachable doors non-detachable.
Were the doors really intended to be removable, or were they more of an afterthought to body construction?
Also, were they standard equipment or optional? I don't think I've ever seen a period photo of a slab-side '12 without them...
1912 slab-sided fore-doors were called "removable fore-doors." I highly suspect that Henry did not want to have fore-doors on cars and the only way that the engineers could sell him on the idea was to tell him that if people didn't like them, they could take them off.
I have never seen a period photo of a slab-side 1912 body with the fore-doors removed. Sadly, it is seen far too often today.
The late calendar year 1911 cars with step-side bodies also had fore-doors. The door sill is a little different from earlier 1911 cars. The sills on most of the 1911 cars are fairly narrow from the dash to the seat riser. On the late 1911 cars, the sill tapers from the dash to the seat riser (to about 2-1/2" wide) and continue all the way up to the front of the armrests on the seat. These cars were very transitional and clearly fore-doors was an afterthought.
It was a common practice to remove the fore-doors on early restorations of these late calendar 1911 cars to make them look like earlier cars. Sadly and consequently, there are few restored car with them on.
The car in the photo looks to me to be a transitional very late 1912 with a 1913 windshield, brass and black lamps and 'letcric lights! The "tool box" on the running board has replaced the acetylene generator and undoubtedly contains a battery inside it. Gilbert, The 1913 windshield would indeed make the fore-doors non-removable.
Thanks for the picture, Roger.
: ^ )
Ford did in fact install '13 windshields on the very last '12s, and they also installed them on the very early '14s as well. I agree with Keith, it's gratifying to see a '12 with the correct doors; it's a total shame so many of them have been removed to resemble an '11 style body.
The Ford Company bought the car bodies from three or four supplies including Buadett (sp) (Pontiac), Wilson, Fisher and others. At that time, The Ford Company probably was buying all the auto bodies from suppliers. The changes might not have been made at the same time by the suppliers. I do not have information as to who supplied the 1912 model year open car bodies.
In the photo taken last month, you see an American 1912 Touring in the foreground and our Canadian 1912 Touring behind for comparison!
When I purchased mine back in 1998 it had no foredoors, but the "stricker plates" were still on the body. Fortunately just a few months after my purchase, I found locally, an excellent original set of the correct doors needed. I still remember, trying to figure out why there were bolt holes in the upper corners, unrequired for my installation. These I filled with lead. Viewing Roger's photo I can now understand that the holes were indeed to attach a pair of '13 windshield supports! Some people removed the doors to make the car appear more antique, we much prefer the enclosed feeling when driving in modern traffic. My buddy Guy with the American '12
with 30 x 3's on front and 30 x 3-1/2 on the rear needs the two spare tires nicely mounted on the running board. Contrarily our Canadian '12 has 30 x 3-1/2 on all four, thus I carry one new tire underneath, out of site. Our Canadian set of foredoors indeed have "a door on each side". At 143 lbs. I have no trouble sliding in from the driver's side thus not disturbing my dear wife. A year ago Guy was able to find on eBay the correct set of foredoors for his American '12.The curiosity is that on the driver's side there is no door, but just the impression of a door in the sheet metal.(We intend to restore the set this winter for possible use.)The need for the two spare tires, mounted on the running board eliminates entry on the driver's side. I believe it was only in the '26 model year that American T's finally had a driver's door. Tom