Recently I was reading the post on LBJ's model T which was given to him by the Ford family:
This is described as a "1910". I found some additional photos of the LBJ car, some of which are below:
I noticed some interesting characteristics:
- "2 bolt" body to frame brackets at front and center of body.
- early hood without rivets along the hinges (indicating steel hood used on first 2500 cars).
- low door handle position (I believe this was changed before #2500).
- early rear fender irons (they seem to be the pre #2500 style where the arms come up under the fender apron, even though they appear to have later 1909 fenders installed so the irons come up inside the fender apron).
- splash aprons with a curve in the rear edge (early 1909, rather than a straight line on the rear edge of the 1909-10 aprons).
- early top support "L" irons (early 1909 style which came down on an angle rather than the 1909-10 style which came straight down).
- aluminum (?) hood former.
The aluminum hood former (thought to be visible in the photos of the muddy Ford and the 3 photos thought to be of model T #1) was discussed here:
Below is a photo of a car which was in the Henry Ford Museum (I'll refer to this as the HFMGV photo):
Note that many of the features above are present, along with additional early features visible:
Rivits along frame rails (used on first 2500 cars)
I believe the HFMGV photo is LBJ's car. Lots of distinguishing features in my list above match. Both the HFMGV photo and the LBJ car have what appears to be an aluminum hood former. Note also the unusual bracket holding the bulb end of the horn tube on the side of the front seat which appears to be identical on both cars.
The car that Henry Ford took on a hunting trip to northern Wisconsin in late September 1908 (sometimes referred to as the "muddy Ford", or "car # zero"), thought by some (including me!) to be a prototype, has 2 bolt body to frame brackets. These were used on NRS Fords. The LBJ car has these also. The following photo (which I'm going to refer to as the "shiny T" and may or may not be the muddy Ford before the trip but i believe is is a prototype in any case) also shows the 2 bolt brackets at the center location:
There are a couple of references on the forum about the HFMGV car being converted into a 2 lever 2 pedal car, but I doubt that it was the car in the HFMGV photo that was converted.
So, is the LBJ car the same car as in the HFMGV photo? We may be able to answer this quite easily. The car in the HFMGV photo appears to have a small dent in the side panel of the hood, visible between the top strap and the windshield rod. Maybe the LBJ car has the same dent. Both cars appear to have a later starting handle.
If it is the same car, there could be various explanations for the HFMGV / LBJ car displaying very early features. Maybe it was an early T which was substantially updated over its lifetime before going to HFMGV, maybe Ford made it look like the muddy car, etc.
So, who can visit the LBJ car and take a heap of pictures for us? If someone can, I'd be happy to provide a list of specific items of interest.
I should add that there are some features of the HFMGV car which don't match the LBJ car (eg: sidelamps and top), but these could easily have been changed. The number of unusual features that do match outweigh these differences in my mind.
That is an interesting theory Andrew.
The car at the Greenfield Village shown in the photos above was auctioned off in 1985 and purchased by Aaron Crandall of Rockford, Illinois. It was described in Leslie Henry's book as a not too convincing conversion of a 1910 into a 2 lever 1909 recreation. Here are a couple more photos of that car, which is not the same car as the one on the LBJ ranch:
This car was dolled up to be part of the 15 Millionth Ford celebration, and was also photographed a lot during the opening ceremonies at Greenfield Village. Different car for sure.
Note the rear body bracket has four bolts on this two lever 1909. Also the 1909 fenders are flat in the front, not billed. Note the running board trim which is polished brass, held in place by screws, since the running boards for 1909 are wood covered by grey linoleum.
Another telltale sign the LBJ car and the car shown at Greenfield Village are 1910 are the rear fenders and butterfly brackets. The 1910 brackets are bent between the body and the fender. 1909 brackets are bent under the fender.
Look at the rivets that attach the rear fender brackets to the fenders. The 1910 rear fenders have the brackets offset towards the body. 1909 rear fender brackets are riveted in the center of the fenders.
1909 rear fenders:
1910 rear fenders:
I believe we are talking about 2 different cars which were both at Greenfield Village Royce. I think that the car in the 1927 photo:
Is the car in this 1934 photo:
The unusual extra pair of windshield brackets is visible in both photos, as well as in the photo of the "2 lever" car shown above which I believe is this one:
The car in the 1927 and 1934 photos above has many different features compared to the car below which I am suggesting is the LBJ car:
In any case all the photos show 1910 Model T's. The only thing that would seem to be 1909 is the door handle being lower. Perhaps a real 1909 body found its way onto a later chassis? That would be interesting.
The car is maybe 20 minutes from Perry's house. Maybe he could get access to it and do some detective work.
I will make a call and see what I can do .
Thanks Perry. Anything you can find out would be great. Would you mind if I sent you a list of things to check?
I found another photo of the LBJ car:
I'm still seeing more on it that's early 1909 than just the low door handle position.
Ok name some "1909" features. All the fenders and running boards are 1910. Lamps are typical 1910. Wheels have 6" hubs typical of 1910 after June.
You can send the list .
I agree with you on the fenders, running boards, and lamps. (although I think the front fenders with the bill, the rear fenders with the holes in the aprons and off center brackets, and uninterrupted rib running boards were introduced at or soon after #2500 so would have been on plenty of model year 1909 cars before the model year 1910 cars came out). I can't comment on the hubs because I find it hard to determine whether they are 5 1/2" or 6" from the pictures - you could be right that they are 6".
The features I'm seeing on it that are early 1909 are the same as the list in my first post: "2 bolt" body to frame brackets (and from the last photo it appears they are in all 3 locations), hood without rivets along the hinges, low door handle position, pre 2500 rear fender irons, splash aprons, top support "L" irons, aluminum (?) hood former, frame (appears to have riveted reinforcing plate in the rails in the HFMGV photo).
Re the butterfly fender brackets - have another look at the shape of the ones on the LBJ car. Compare these to the photo of #904 and the 1910 you posted above. The arms on the LBJ irons don't bend up immediately where they protrude out from under the body. They are shaped more like the ones on #904 - that is they stick out towards the wheel for several inches, then bend up. That's why I think they are the early 1909 style rather than the normal 1909-10 style which bend up as soon as they clear the body and continue diagonally up to the hole in the fender apron.
Again - I'm surmising that this may be an early 1909 car which has been substantially updated. I'm certainly not denying that it has a lot of 1910 features.
Hopefully Perry can find out whether what I think I am seeing is the case.
Thanks Perry - will do. I'll think about it and post it here - maybe others can add to it.
I think from the photos you have shared, it might be possible that the LBJ car was originally in the Henry Ford Museum at one time.
It clearly has some parts from later years as you pointed out - the starting crank. But as mentioned earlier the body clearly has the two bolt front & center body brackets and the lower door handles. Those items would not be typical of a 1910 car.
Royce could easily be correct on the 6 inch verses 5 1/2 inch earlier flanges on the wheels. From the photo I cannot tell. Looking at the back wheel I would have guessed 5 1/2 inch. But if Perry is allowed to see the car a ruler will verify that answer one way or the other very quickly.
Andrew pointed out the early hinge on the hood that is not riveted like those after approximately car #2500.
Note Bruce as well as the MTFCI Judging Guidelines 7th Edition both agree that the metal running board with the rib running the full length of the board was used in 1909 production and continued into early 1910 production. The linoleum covered boards were used on the earliest cars but the all steel running boards replaced them during 1909 production.
The same is true for the lipped front fenders, and the rear fenders with the new style butterfly fender irons and the fender bracket closer to the body than the earlier fender brackets. They are listed as 1909 as well as 1910.
I don't think we know exactly when many of the items changed. And of course the first thermo-syphon car was #2,448 produced Apr 22, 1909 followed by #2455 produced May 1. So even though the Price List of Parts uses 2500 as the cut over from the water pump to the thermo-syphon car -- it actually occurred a little earlier. (Ref page 480 Bruce McCalley "Model T Ford.") And T with engine number 5000 was produced on Jun 16, 1909 (ref pg 483). With car number 6000 assembled on Jun 29 (ref pg 484). And car number 7000 was assembled on Jul 15, and car number 8000 was assembled on Jul 30 (ref pg 484). "IF" the fenders and running boards were changed around car #2500 then you can see that a great number of 1909 model cars would have the later style running boards and fenders.
Perry, if possible, please check for a body number. If you are permitted to lift the front seat cushion and look down on the wooden seat frame -- some of the body builders stamped a letter and number there. Trent's web site at: http://jupiter.plymouth.edu/~trentb/ModelT/T7299/T7299.html has a photo showing the body number on Don Lang's Jul 1909 engine # 7299 touring car.
I'm looking forward to what is discovered about LBJ's car. Hopefully it can be determined if it was or was not the same 3 pedal car that was on display at the Henry Ford museum. And of course -- are there other items on the LBJ car that would indicate it was or at least part of it was one of the first 2500 Fords? Fish plate on the frame rails etc.?
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Hi Perry. Here is my wish list. It depends on what access you can get to it but here are some thoughts on what to check:
Does the frame have reinforcing plates inside the rails (ie: rivet heads visible on the outside of the rails)?
Photos of the front corner bracket on the front crossmember.
Photos of the front fender irons and headlamp forks.
What is the construction of the hood former? Cast aluminum? Does it appear original or made up?
Is the front motor mount the early style with the "wasted" ends between the u-bolt holes?
Is there any evidence of red paint on the body?
Is there any evidence that the body to frame brackets have been replaced?
Is there any sign of a maker's mark on the front axle or front spring perches?
Photos of the emergency brake lever from underneath would help - they were different in early 1909.
Photos of the rear fender irons.
Photos of a rear door hinge (if possible with the door open).
Photo of the door latch mechanism.
It would be good to know what engine is in it although we can assume its not an early 1909.
Out of interest does it have the small dent in the left hand side hood panel that's visible in the HFMGV photo?
Anybody else have additional suggestions on what to check?
Thanks Perry - I really appreciate whatever you can find out for us.
(Message edited by Andrew Brand on January 21, 2017)
I have a suggestion on what to check.
Museums typically keep good catalog records of anything that is, or has been, in their collection.
Instead of playing guessing game to determine if the LBJ car was once owned by the Henry Ford museum, I suggest contacting the museum and get the catalog record for the car with the aluminum hood former and the three window rear curtain.
That most likely will provide the motor number and/or body number as well as the acquisition date, disposal date and possibly to whom the car was given or sold.
Then, you can make a direct comparison to the motor number of the LBJ car. You can also get the catalog record from the LBJ museum which most likely tell you exactly how and when the car was acquired instead of the generic "it was presented to him (LBJ) by the Ford family."
I'm a little new to the T scene, so quite a bit of this is over my head. However, I may still be able to provide assistance.
I live < 1 mile from the Ford Piquette Ave Plant Museum and I frequent there every 3-4!weeks or so.
They have a number of early cars and I'd be willing to take pictures if it would be of value. I would just need to know what to focus on.
Also, I've uploaded my pictures from previous trips to an album shared at the following link:
The LBJ car clearly has rear fenders and fender brackets that were used beginning in June 1909, about the time of the introduction of the 1910 models. They are NOT like the ones used on the typical 1909 model cars.
Brackets used after June 1909:
Typical 1909 rear fender brackets are inside the rear fender as seen below on #904:
Also, again with arrows, look at the position of the rivets on the LBJ car's fenders, showing the location of the fender brackets. They are in the post - June 1909 position.
Typical 1909 rivet location:
After June 1909 - 1910 models, same as the LBJ car below:
We have already agreed that the fenders on the LBJ car are the 1910 style - that has never been in dispute, so I don't think we need to discuss the placement of the rivets any further.
Am I correct in thinking that there were only 2 styles of butterfly rear fender irons for Touring Cars, or were there more?
I think you have misunderstood what I am saying about the combination of fender iron and fender on the LBJ car. In my original post I said the rear fender irons "seem to be the pre #2500 style where the arms come up under the fender apron, even though they appear to have later 1909 fenders installed so the irons come up inside the fender apron". To make what I meant clearer perhaps I should have said the rear fender irons "seem to be the pre #2500 style where the arms would normally come up under the fender apron, even though they appear to have later 1909 fenders installed so the irons come up between the fender apron and the body"
Below is a repro early 1909 style butterfly fender iron (ie: the same style as on #904) installed on a 1909-10 rear fender. Please ignore the forward arm on the fender iron because I don't think its bent correctly. Notice how the rear arm follows the line of the fender apron - the arm runs almost parallel to the apron. The fact that the arms pass through the fender apron and don't pass underneath the fender apron don't make this a 1910 butterfly fender iron. This is the scenario I am suggesting I can see on the LBJ car:
Based on the photos of the 2 styles of rear fender irons you posted, if the LBJ car had the 1910 style irons I would expect the arms to look more like the red line in the photo below:
Won't fit that way. The fender would not fit the running board and the wheel would rub the fender. No way to use the 1909 irons with later fenders. Or vice versa.
Perhaps the photo from this thread should be included in this thread also:
The OP was specifically about 1908 cars. Hello ? Let's keep it
ON topic here, people !
Please add one additional item to look for:
The ID patent plate and if found the number on the plate.
From the photos of the LBJ car we can see that the patent plate is probably not present on the front seat heel panel. But sometimes they are relocated to the firewall etc.
And more importantly -- are there any holes or outlines of the plate to indicate what shape it originally was? The earliest Model T's used the NRS&SR style patent plate (Ford seldom would throw anything out). Gail Rodda on page 24 of his "Model T Parts Identification Guide vol 2" has those used on the first 2500 cars. See reproduction at: https://www.modeltford.com/item/1865-6-8.aspx
Then Ford added a rectangular plate with the patent numbers attached just below the same car number plate used by the first 2500 Ts. (Sorry no photo).
Then Ford replaced both of those with a new ID plate that had the car number and the patents listed. Gail Rodda says that change took place in late 1909. See the reproduction at: https://www.modeltford.com/item/1865A.aspx
And there was at least one additional style used for a short time.
Just another clue to look for concerning dating the body.
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Although not definitive evidence, I've noticed that the seat tufting pattern on the LBJ car seems to be located slightly higher on the seat than I would expect, (probably because I don't know any better), the HFMGV tufting also looks to be located identically high on the seat.
Also, notice how the buggy rail seems to bow out awfully wide of the rear seat on both cars. The saddle brackets are also hanging the same weird angle. Forgive me if these items are mentioned already. No time to read all the EXCELLENT observations above. You guys amaze me. Keep it up. This is very interesting!
Perry Goble's report from his first visit to the LBJ museum:
I have noticed before that there were at least 4 different versions of 1909 Tourings owned by the Henry Ford Museum. I thought it was far too confusing to bring up the subject before, which it appears to be now in this thread.
Two versions could be the same car. I will go through them
Version 1 Which I also believe to be the LBJ car. Car definitely has a very early water era pump body. Obviously all the fenders and running boards have been changed or an early body on a later 09 or 10 chassis
Here is a picture of the same car with Hood open. Could have been a water pump engine, hard to say but the head does look a bit flat on top , what do you think? Does anyone have a clearer picture? They are 3 teared side lamps. Same windscreen, bent rear buggy rail hangers, low door handles
This is the car Royce is speaking of. It has a much later 09 body or earlier 10 body but has a water pump motor as in Royce's photo. E&J 2 teared side lamps & Automatic Windscreen etc
I presume this is a Henry ford Museum car, please correct me if I am wrong. Not sure what body it had but looks to be 2 lever and has the early fenders. It looks very simular to version 2 with windscreen, lights etc. Does anyone have any clearer photos? This could be version 2 before tidied up.
Version 3 Continued
Found the reference. Yes it is the Henry ford Museum
The Well known 2 lever #839. does anyone have the "as found" photo?
This is a very confusing subject. Maybe the Museum tried very hard to get an authentic 2 lever and had several cars till they found #839. I did hear one of the early versions was burnt in a fire.
Version 1 again
Postcard saying Henry donated a 1910 ford to LBJ. Looks to be the same car, 1909 Touring form Henry Ford Museum (one of Andrews photos). Henry did have a 1910 in his collection I Believe.
I suggest getting the catalog records on file at the Henry Ford Museum for the Fords in question. The records should still exist even if those cars are no longer at the museum.
Then you can quit playing the guessing game on the LBJ car.
Perry Goble and I went to see the LBJ car last Friday. The museum people have already reached out to the Henry Ford museum for more info if any exists. I will let Perry tell more about the car if he is ready. It appears likely the car was very early in the first run of 2500.
The 839 is in the original Model T Ford Restoration Handbook is one belief as found by Jack Scaff of Grand Blanc Michigan is something I heard as a child from Jack who was a friend of mine fathers. I head this when Jack was in his 70's but I don't know if it was the honest truth or not.
Anyone have a copy of the muddy #1 from the camping trip they can post?
We all know that Ford updated cars for various folks, Edison, Henry himself. No doubt others as well.
WE restorers are FAR more exacting than museum employees in the past were.
No disrespect intended, era photos I believe with a certain amount of skepticism, pictures of restored cars are not a source of authenticity.
Have at it.
The muddy car is pre - serial number 1. We call it T - zero for that reason. (credit to Trent Boggess for the nickname)
Thank you Royce.
I saw the LBJ car when I was 6 years old my mom and dad took me.
I really like seeing early photos of the early 09 Fords that are posted here from time to time because they are authentic. Seeing pictures of cars that were restored years ago are disappointing sometimes now that we know a lot more about what is correct about these cars. I have not seen #839 in person but seeing pictures of it makes me wonder how authentic it really is. Yet it is in the Henry Ford Museum. I guess the average person does not know or care because it is basically an early 1909 Ford.
OK, probably dumb question, but I'll ask anyways;
Prototype car like "0"; was it made out of piece of earlier cars, or did Ford make a one-off forged front axle, etc. etc.? For instance, the front frame crossmember is a pretty deep stamping. I can see building up a radiator, although even that would require some forms to shape the brass.
How was it done?