My colleagues alerted me of this article about the first Australian produced Model T.
What I find interesting is that in the letters Bruce published in his book, he notes Dearborn called the 26 model "the Australian Job" and this July 1925 Touring car is exactly that.
I tried to re-spell Australian in the title. It's not part of what I can edit.
Here is the archive letter from Bruce's book contributed by Trent Boggess:
The following information regarding the change to
the 1926 body style was submitted by Trent Boggess,
and comes from the Ford Archives:
William F. Pioch’s Reminiscences:
“In this particular model change, it was mostly in the
styling of the car and not in the engineering of the motor
and chassis. That car was brought out mainly to try and
keep the sales built up an make the Model T look a little
more like our competitors' cars at that time, who were
catching up with us.
“We called this the Australian job. It was supposed to
throw off the public. This car was tested out on the
highway. We had no test tracks then. For general public
information, I think the people believed the Australian
job was intended for Australia until the car was shown in
the sales room. Of course, a lot of people around Detroit
knew it was intended for the market here.
“We worked on this Australian job for about six or
seven months before it went into production. Joe Galamb
designed the body for this. It had the gas tank in the
hood with the filler in the center of it. That was really the
first streamlined job at that time. It was the last of the
Model T, about 1925 or 1926.”
Either there is some misinformation in the original article, or Australian Ts are a lot different then US-built cars. The right-hand lever behind the (steering) wheel is the Choke? I doubt it.
Reporters are often less technically inclined that the average guy, so there are always misunderstandings in articles where no check reading has been allowed by the interviewed.
The RHD cars had the throttle in the left lever, that's correct, but it's of course ignition in the right lever. The concept of having to manually adjust the ignition while driving is very foreign to most modern drivers, that's probably why he thought choke - another old feature that rapidly disappears from common knowledge..
Another misunderstanding is a top speed of 70 mph - should be 70 km/h - that's about 43 mph or a more common top speed for a standard T.
Australian import laws made it economical to make the bodies locally, that's why open '26/'27 Aussie T's has wooden body structure just like earlier years - only the outer sheet metal and the chassis came from USA.
As an owner of an original Australian assembled car it was rather disappointing to see the inaccuracies in the article, but it's written by a journalist who knows nothing about Model T's.
The car appears to be registered in the NSW club but I've never seen it before.
What the journalist calls the choke is the timing lever. Funnily enough nothing at all is said about adjusting the ignition timing.
The article makes it looks like the Ruckstell is just part of the car and it should have been pointed out that is an accessory.
The car itself is not an accurate representation of the Geelong assembled Canadian cars sold in Australia in 1926.
The fuel pump, fuel filter, air cleaner, non original ignition,are of course foreign.
The pedals belong to an early transmission - it would originally have the wide non ribbed pedals like any other 26.
The claim that you let the pedal halfway up to get second gear is another mistake.
(Message edited by 26tourer on September 21, 2016)