1910 torpedo?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: 1910 torpedo?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By don ellis on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 - 06:13 pm:

Was there a torpedo built in 1910? This one has an April build date on the engine.



Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John T. Tannehill III, Hot Coffee, MS on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 - 06:21 pm:

Looks to be a runabout. I think they made both from 11-12 but in 10 it was just a runabout but what do I know! How long is the hood?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Herb Iffrig on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 - 06:35 pm:

Keeping in mind model year verses calendar year, I would say there were Torpedo cars built in calendar year 1910, but they were called 1911 model cars.

Am I right guys?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Matthew Atchinson on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 - 06:46 pm:

absolutely stunning car. I love these early open runabouts and dream of owning one some day.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Frank van Ekeren (Australia) on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 - 06:57 pm:

A 1910 "FORD MOTOR CARS for 1910" booklet lists,
Touring $950
Roadster $900
Tourabout $950
Tourabout Roadster (no price)
Coupe $1050
Town car $1200

The above photo is like the Tourabout Roadster.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Walter Higgins on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 - 07:01 pm:

The above is an Open Runabout, the sibling of the first style Torpedo.

All are considered 1911 model year cars, but the earliest were made in 1910 and ones built early in 1911 still used a lot of "1910" parts.

This one has a mixture of 1910 and 1911 parts. It seems to be an early one as Open Runabouts go, but not early enough to have the "square" gas tank. The round tank makes it January 1911 or later. Note that it looks to have one-piece spindles and the 1910 style hood former with the bump.

(Message edited by WMH on August 23, 2016)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By don ellis on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 - 07:01 pm:

It has the long hood and correct torpedo parts but the body is wood, not sheet metal. It does have the one piece spindles and correct rear axle and square hole trans cover to name a few.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Frank van Ekeren (Australia) on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 - 07:02 pm:

On a second look, the Tourabout for 1910 looks to be still based on touring fenders and running boards.
The photo above seems to be the later Roadster style fenders and short running boards.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Walter Higgins on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 - 07:04 pm:

Really, is the seat wood too? That makes it pretty early. It's also possible it's a "square tank" car with a later round replacement tank.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Trent Boggess on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 - 07:46 pm:

If you really want to know if this is a real open runabout, you can send the engine number to the Benson Ford Research Center and request a copy of the original "Build Sheet" or "Shipping Invoice" for that car. For a reasonable fee they will provide you with a copy.

Respectfully submitted,

Trent Boggess


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 - 08:36 pm:

It has 1911 style fenders. The engine is too early to realistically been on hand in the fall of 1910.

Which is a good thing - you could sell it and buy a 1911 engine and keep the change.

I agree with Trent, get the build sheet that matches the engine serial number.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By don ellis on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 - 08:57 pm:

i'm cleaning and getting it ready to go to Hershey, the owner thinks he may sell it there. It was restored in 1963.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Walter Higgins on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 - 08:59 pm:

Don, are the windshield support rods magnetic? (You'll have to use a strong magnet to tell.)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By don ellis on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 - 09:15 pm:

i'll check tomorrow, i did polish a spot on one. If they are they're brass plated


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erik Johnson on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 - 09:20 pm:

Original brass windshield radius rods are typically steel tubes inside a very thin-walled brass tube. In other words, they are steel tubes covered with a brass skin.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Walter Higgins on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 - 09:24 pm:

Erik has it right. The prints for the T/OR supports spec a steel tube clad with a brass one. I believe I've only seen one original set on a car. I didn't have a magnet with me, but the brass was wrinkled on the inside of the bends.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard E Moore Jr. Pickwick lake Tenn. on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 - 09:25 pm:

Sure looks like my 1911 open runabout.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Husted on Wednesday, August 24, 2016 - 11:05 am:

What is the asking price?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Darel J. Leipold on Wednesday, August 24, 2016 - 11:36 am:

The crank handle has been replaced with an aluminum one. The same as on my 1910 Touring. The original handle was an artificial material and most of them broke off or were cracked. An interesting T. What is the price? It would be okay to send me a special email.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Barr on Wednesday, August 24, 2016 - 12:10 pm:

I have never seen a 1910 Torpedo Roadster or Open Runabout listed anywhere. Interesting that there are some 1910 feature on this car like the straight dash supports instead of the 1911 version that were formed to go around the firewall molding that was wider than the firewall. Hood, steering shaft and windshield are torpedo style as are the fenders. What is the serial number on the plate attached to the body and are there any numbers stamped into the body?

Best to check the engine number with the build sheet. Might have been installed later to replace a broken 1911 engine.

I have an article from the July 1993 Antique Automobile magazine "The 1911 Model T Ford Torpedo Runabout: The First Ford Sportscar?" which mentions that it was designed in 1910 but not sold until 1911. To large to upload here. Let me know if you want me to email you a copy.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By don ellis on Friday, August 26, 2016 - 09:22 pm:

Turns out this is a 1963 restoration, even won a AACA first. Walter the windshield rods are magnetic.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By don ellis on Friday, August 26, 2016 - 09:27 pm:


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Gould, Folsom, CA on Friday, August 26, 2016 - 09:44 pm:

That torque tube is definitely 1910. Notice the recesses in the rear casting just forward of the nuts. In 1910 they were longer than the later ones. The studs are 3/8" rather than the later 13/32". Also unique to 1910. Reason I know this is that the 1910 torque tube will allow only 3/8" studs to pertrude through the holes in the rear flange. 13/32" studs will not pass thru. If the spool does not have the letter "B" in the embossed factory ID number (not visible in the photo), then it probably will also accept only 3/8" studs, although I have seen non "B" spools drilled to accept 13/32" studs. That is quite a car.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard E Moore Jr. Pickwick lake Tenn. on Tuesday, September 06, 2016 - 05:43 am:

The 1911 Openrunabout I own sat in a collection for over 80 years in California. It has an aluminum crank handle. The windshield supports are all brass. That car looks to be a late 1910. I don't know if it's open valve. Nice car that one. All I know is it sure takes a lot of polishing. I drive mine all the time and I can tell you it will smoke my other t.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard E Moore Jr. Pickwick lake Tenn. on Tuesday, September 06, 2016 - 05:48 am:

I'm sure that's a 1910. Trans cover. Oil cap. 1911 had brass steering wheel spider I think.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Tuesday, September 06, 2016 - 07:32 am:

All those things are typical of 1911 model year before the change to closed valves and trapezoidal transmission door. All 1911 crank handles were hard rubber.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Tuesday, September 06, 2016 - 09:17 am:

Here is a typical 1910 Roadster. Notice how much higher the seat is than the 1911 open runabout owned by Don Ellis:



Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kim Dobbins on Tuesday, September 06, 2016 - 07:23 pm:

Don, what is the number on the brass plate on the red panel under the front seat?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Matthew Atchinson on Tuesday, September 06, 2016 - 08:30 pm:

I'm drooling looking at this ;)


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