What is the full story about the light bar on a 26 - 27. I have seen 25s with and with out, 26 and 27 models with and with out?
I haven't seen one on a 25, (produced between 1924-1925) but I'd bet money if I saw one that it was an aftermarket.
1926 was a transitional year. Early 26's had no light bar/fender brace. Soon, aftermarket suppliers started offering them. Some were of a fixed length; others had adjustable threaded ends like a clevis.
Sometime in late 25 or early 26, (26 production year), Ford started making the common headlamp bar seen on all 27's. My April 26 produced four door sedan, has the later bar.
What Terry said ....
26 was the first year of the Improved Car. Total change of looks, including
the froggy-looking high mount headlights on fender-mounted stanchions.
Somewhere mid-year, they ditched the fender stanchions and went to the
Model A type headlight bar, which carried through until the actual Model A
arrived in 28.
25-and-earlier cars could be fit with anything, I suppose. But it would be
some sort of custom/retrofit. 17-25 T's and TT's used the frame-mount stem/
pod assembly. TT's never did go to the Improved Car redesign of fenders,
cowl, headlights, etc. and kept the 25 look until the end.
I looked at several 1925 photos and there were no light bars, I looked a several 1926 - 1927 photos and it was a 50/50 mix. I have a Canadian 1926 #677949 which places it at about mid July 1926, it has the light bar. That all appears to fit, thank you for clearing that up.
I've been told this, but haven't verified as to the truth. When they started installing bumpers on the cars, the bumpers obscured the front license plate which hung under the front spring. So the bar was installed in order to elevate the front plate. Some people say it blocks air flow through the radiator, but I haven't had any problem with that. Later all the late 26 and 27 had the bar and the lights were mounted on the bar. The earlier bar was bolted to the fenders with the same bolts which held the headlights. These might have been aftermarket bars?
My understanding is all cars with stem type head lights, the bar was aftermarket non Ford. I don't think the light bar was put into service because of license plate, I think it was because of the weight/type of front fenders and mounting bracket needed the extra support.
Between the fender and the hood was a handy place to carry sacks of grain, flour or even a hog. The bar would offer additional support.
Coming up a long grade in the summer time my engine did steam up with the plate on the bar, I removed the licence plate and placed it on a bracket under the rad. The steaming problem was then eliminated.
This is all model year and not calendar year. No 1925 cars will have a headlight bar. Headlight bars are an "Improved Model only" feature. Early 1926 headlights are stem mount. Then a headlight bar was added that fit under the stem mount. There are two basic types of these bars. One is adjustable and the other is not. It is believed that these bars were after market, but the final agreement is still not agreed on as to aftermarket or Ford. Then in later 1926 the headlights were moved to the headlight bar for the rest of production. The license plate was moved to the headlight bar because the police could not see the license plate if the car was equipped with bumpers. The license plate being moved and the bar with the lights on it, came about aprox. the same time. So it can not be said for sure the real reason for the bar. Probably a combination of all the reasons mentioned ... 1926 - 27 TT Trucks continued in the 1925 and earlier style and do not use the "Improved Model" features. have fun and be safe .... Donnie Brown ....
Donnie is correct.
Around April 1926 the headlamps on the Improved Cars changed to bar mount, for the reason the bar provided a place to raise up the license plate from under the crank. Police dept. in various jurisdictions.
Factory letters from branches
July 1926 Ford Service Bulletin
All the Improved Car fender or headlamp bars for the 'fender mount' Ford headlamps on the Improved Cars are aftermarket, and made to dress up the Ford, or to provide fender support as these same mfg. made versions for the '25 and earlier for owners to keep fenders from flying.
The Improved Car fenders were well mounted to the then new frame horn bracket, and had stout metal supports too, bolted to the frame.
So Ford didn't need to make a fender bar for the fender shake, but found the aftermarket bars sold well to dealers on the Improved Car, and Ford found rather the change was for better and easier head lamp adjustments, and for the front plate too as the laws required.
Some of the many aftermarket fender bars made for the new Improved Car, fender mount lamps, prior to Ford making the Ford bar with lamps, for the Improved Car in April of 1926.
(Message edited by Dan_Treace on January 14, 2017)