Ive been thinking about my collection of T parts and as I have no title or engine number the year of the car might be open to debate. The block is an unstamped replacement 1914. I would think considering the "build" of this car it would have originally started out as something earlier and had a "newer" engine purchased in 1914. Im almost positive I will be able to get a title from a bill of sale and there comes the problem. What year do I decide the car is and how might I go about finding a number that isnt already in use?
At some point the serial number on the block needs to match the serial number on the title. AAA offers a service to check FBI and police history on a VIN if you are a member.
As far as the year of the car, it ought to match the year of the engine being used. If your block was made from January 1, 1914 until July 31, 1914 it would make the car a 1914 model.
If your block casting date is September 1, 1914 to December 31, 1914 then you would title it as a 1915 model.
If you have an unstamped block with a 14 cast date you could stamp an earlier number but if you are going to build a car around the block I think I'd go with 14 unless you have a lot of money to spend on earlier parts. 1914 parts aren't terribly high like the body, rear axle etc. Stamp it with a 1910 number and its big bucks for a 6 rivet rear end, butterfly fender irons, 1 pc spindles/axle, square hole trans cover, pan with no inspection plate etc. Only reason I built a 14 is because that was the first motor I found. I had a 20s chassis and knew little about Ts but I had to change everything on it to be correct for 14. I still have the later frame with extra holes in it. I bought another frame and built a 21 with the parts I had to take off and replace with 14 parts. If I'd come across a 1911 motor first then my frame wouldn't even be close to right because of the rear crossmember and a 1911 body is out of my price range. 1914 is a good looking brass car still affordable to build from parts.
If you want to build a 14 or 15 T with the block you have you may need to pick a serial no. in that range. I don't know what the laws are in Fla. but in Texas the records for vehicles are expunged after 25 years. I went down to the local Texas DMV and had a 63 Ford Galaxie retitled to Texas. Earlier I had a 21 T Touring tiled to me. No bill of sale and no direct proof of ownership other than my word that the T had belonged to my father. I used a bonded title service and got the title.
In both cases the DMV officer checked to see if there were instances where the the cars were stolen. None of course.
I would just pick a number for your block from the dates for those years. Maybe you could find or ask if someone has a junk block and use that number.
The chances are very slim if the number you use would show up as stolen. If its not stolen its a good number.
As far as building the earlier car I already have an early pan, frame, front axle, springs, and lights (all brass). As the car is not a stock T but will be more of a speedster there can be noticable exceptions. This is why I was thinking of titling it as a '12 most likely that had a new "built" '14 engine that remained unstamped. As far as titling, by the time I get to that point it should be TN and not FL. The trick is working with a bill of sale and picking the number. Most likely I will stamp the frame and engine block (in another location) with that number then. I don't want to pick a number in use obviously and would apperciate suggestions on how to avoid the problem.
If you want to build a 1912 you should sell the late model engine and get a correct 12 engine. That way you can have a real 12 versus a wannabe.
If it was to be a stock body car I would agree with you 100%. Considering it is not a stock body car and is being built as something that would have been assembled circa 1914-1916 I think it is logical that the parts used would not have been brand new parts. I also feel that the parts used would have been older unless something newer was better at which point it would have been "upgraded"
The idea behind this car is something that was built for a long distance race prior to WWI. The war disrupted the race (owner died) and the car was stored. In the 20's the car was pulled out and sold. At this point there were some "upgrades" added to the car but it was then parked in favor of the newer cars. The end result would be a "barn find" from the 30's that is all T but has a little history. This "history" is retained and the car is kept in the condition it was "found" having not been "restored" to how it came off the line in '12 or was "built" prior to WWI.
Why not make a real 1914 or 15 then? Own it, make it real.
Too slow, too expensive, and I would like something a little more sporty.
If tours/shows/collecting were what I would be using the car for then it would be different. I am typically alone (no other club members around) and simply like having a car and driving. To drive I need a car that will drive at 55-60.
Since you are shooting for a 1912 speedster look, but with a later replacement engine, for the price you could get for an unstamped 14 block you could buy a complete 1919 and up engine and transmission. Then you could have a starter if you want and someone wanting to build a 14 could have the correct block. Just thinking out loud. You may not care about a starter, I've got a 21 and no starter but if you ever wanted to sell it that would be a plus to somebody who doesn't care about originality but wants the brass car look.
Chadwick, you misunderstand.
Build whatever you want. If it has a 1914 engine call it what it is, not something that it is not. Make it a no excuses car.
A 1914 brass radiator looks exactly like a 1912 radiator, except a 1914 radiator says "Made in USA" under the Ford script. Are you going to use a 1914 radiator, or a 1912 radiator?
T headlights are specific to each model year from 1912 - 1914.
T horns are specific to each model year beginning in 1912 and going to 1916. What kind of horn would you use?
Is it going to be a hodgepodge of parts from any year? Or will there be a theme?
I find speedsters attractive for a number of reasons, but my main concern is braking.
You expect to go 55-60?
What kind of brakes are needed to travel safely at those speeds?
Well things have got a bit off topic but to answer your comments I can say this.
Corey Ihave the '14 (I had the option of using a later starter engine) and want a pre war non starter T. I'm a bit different on this which is why I also have the early non ribbed RHD aluminum hoggshead. Pretty much the only "items" on this car that aren't prewar will be the overhead (not yet sourced), mag drive, carbs (want to find winfield model H), and ruxtel. I will have enough into this engine that if I were to sell which I do not intend on ever doing I would pull the engine out.
Royce, the radiator, hood, cowl will not be T so it is not specific to 12 or 14 although it along with the fenders will be patterned in an earlier style. I have not looked at the headlights for a long time but they are the all brass not the later steel and brass. The horn is not T but an earlier road king horizontal triple twist. Taillight all brass off a different early car. The seat patterns were pulled from an early stutz seat my friend had in his garage. I do not have a decision made on wheelse yet (I have 2 knock offs with hubs that are an off brand) although I will not be running demountables. No, it wont be a hodge podge of parts, the theme is as I mentioned earlier. the theme being a car that was originally an earlier car built in '14. The few notible exceptions would be the ruxtel, head, mag drive, and carbs. Much more of a theme than a rootlieb speedster with electric start brass headlights and a brass radiator titled as a '14.
But back to the topic on hand should I look at trying to title it as a '12 or '14 and how would you go about it?
You are going to spend $20,000 - $30,000 on this car if you do most of the work yourself other than machine shop / babbiting of the block. It's a grand vision, and you should strive to make it what you want it to be. If you want it to be a '12, now is the time to find a '12 block so that it can be a '12.
We spend lots of time discussing cars that are for sale. Often a car is for sale by the widow or children of the person who built the car. There will be a car for sale, titled as a 1912, yet there is not one part on the car older than 1914. So the car is not what it is claimed to be, and someone has to tell the widow or children the truth, because it affects the value of the finished product. Stuff that is older is more interesting and easier to sell / more valuable.
Stuff that claims to be older but is not is less interesting and harder to sell, ditto things that are misrepresented.
Considering this is what I've drawn up I would say this is what I want it to be. As far as spending 20-30 I don't see that. The biggest expenses I see coming are engine parts (won't be my first rebuild) of which Im looking at still needing crank, pistons, and rods (I can look the prices up on those) a head which Im budgeting 2-3000 as I can repair or complete a damaged one. The next big expense will be wheels and tires (I can look the price up on that as well). There is the body but considering the fenders are simple without skirts the price will be less. Then there is the seats and cowl which can be rolled out of flat steel. The top is an unknown and will have to be something made/adapted. Considering I already have 75-80% of an early rolling chasis I don't see a 20k investment is needed.