I am Perry Goble, for those that don't know me I have been in the hobby for about 40 years. I have owned and restored a 1905 Model C, several NRSs, and a 1909 Model T, and several other Ts and TTs. I am now working on a 1911 Torpedo. I had to contact several museums, in which I had great cooperation with the staff and was able to gain access to inspect the LBJ Model T. The car is now located in Johnson City, Tx at the LBJ National Park visitor center, near his boyhood home. I brought a stack of book-marked reference books and other assorted material and the historian and applicable curators made copies. I gave the book "Ford the Man, and the Machine" by Robert Lacey, and showed them where Henry the 2nd gave this Model T to President LBJ. My family has a tie to LBJ, my mom's grandfather and LBJ were friends. The two would get together on the front porch and talk about Texas history. My mom told me that she loved listening to them talk about Bigfoot Wallace, a famous early Texas Ranger. LBJ gave my kin a picture of himself standing by a new airplane that he had just purchased.
1)Carburetor/Coil Box etc. 2)Torc Tube 3)Starting Crank 4)Head 5)Radiator 6)Water Pump.
Observations of Parts:
1)Hood is steel 2)Hood Former looks to be aluminum, factory made, non-magnetic 3)2 bolt body brackets, look original to the car where they go through the body 4)Frame does have reinforcing plates inside the frame-rail. Rivets are visible on the outside of the rails 5)Front Vender Irons and Light Forks, first generation like on the car number 904 which are smaller than the standard 910 6)Front Motor Mount, Mickey Mouse type 7) Paint, could not find any trace of original paint on car. Body is wood and the paint seems to be much older than the rest of the car's paint. There is crazing, small cracks, and a little clouding. 8) Front Axel and Purchase are marked with a "W" 9)Emergency Brake lever and quadrant, 1910 types, not two lever 10) Motor, open valve engine, number 17190 11) Wheel Hubs, compared a 6 inch hub and a ruler, the best I can tell they are 5 1/2 inches. 12) I.D. Plate, NRS type. We found that it had been moved from the front of the seat to the back of the car near the license plate. The impression of the plate in easily seen on the front seat kickboard. The plate has the same number as the motor. 14)Body Number, we found the number under the front seat. The numbers 205 were very deep and readable. There was also a partial letter that looked like an "H" that preceded the number 205. Very light and hard to make out. 15)Upholstery looks to be original. 16)Picture of driver's side hood, side panel, there is a small BB size dent approx. the same location of the 1934 picture. 17)Rear Axle, pumpkin has no rivets or reinforcement collar. 18) Took a picture of the front frame cross member corner.
I will post the pictures that I took, once I learn how to downsize the pictures in order to upload them to this site. The folks at the museum are very interested in new information, if you feel that you can contribute, please do. I have been invited back to take more pictures if needed.
Here is the thread that sparked all of the interest in the LBJ car:
Thanks for the update on LBJ 's 1910 touring Perry. My grandfather also had a link to LBJ. He knew he was a crook and a liberal very early on and tried to shoot him with a BB gun. But he missed :o( and hit his dad's Model T hood instead.
Good one George
Wow that's pretty awesome Perry. The car does have some early T stuff on it. Maybe it was a modernized pre - 2500 car since the frame and body seem very early indeed compared to the engine and car number plate.
That's what I am Thanking . Maybe Henry II told the boys at the HFM to put together a 1910 for the president and they had a early enough chases motor and body and there it is . Or maybe the car was put together for the HFM and then was up dated to make it more drivable for LBJ . ???
I have seen pictures from the HFM of cars that were not restored correctly . I can remember saying seems like they could get it right.
Top notch report. Thanks for taking the time to share with us.
Thank you so much for following up on this. Several more puzzle pieces confirmed. Many more questions to ponder.
If you want to speed up the photo posting, many of us (me included) will gladly take the higher resolution photo and compress it down to 250 kb or less so it will post and add it to thread or send it back to you so you can add it. If you want to send it to me, just click on my name at the beginning of one of my postings and it brings up my profile. My e-mail address is the 3rd line down. Please limit any single e-mail to 10mb or less and it should get through. Disclaimer – I’m on the Eastern USA so I am calling quits for the night.
And I'm sure several folks can tell you how to post them on a photo site (sorry -- I don't know how to do that one.)
Or there are several posting on how to resize or compress the photos so they are 250kb or smaller so they can post.
And for a Mac computer please see: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/599638/691594.html
Again thank you so much for the additional information.
Hap l9l5 cut off
My son lives next door and he said he would help me with the pictures.
Human memory is an incredible thing! And always one hundred percent correct and accurate! Not.
One of the things I have commented on often on this forum is how people today really know much more about our model T history than they knew when I got into this hobby as a kid back in the mid '60s. Most "experts" in those days were relying on what they had been told by old people that had lived the era. Unfortunately, much of their recollections (simply put) were wrong. Also, a lot of beliefs were based on low sampling empirical evidence. Most of the books published a half century ago, contain serious errors. Yet, some of those books are among the best because they also have that personal touch that too many dry facts cannot convey. Ralph Stern, and Floyd Clymer are wonderful books, for their views, and much of their history, but for factual details, what was done, and exactly when or how, need to be taken with a grain of salt. A lot of restorations from the '50s have parts mixed from a wide range of years. Now, we have people that fuss over certain details being used a month or two off from how the details of changes says it should be.
Even I am trying to make my current project as close to correct for a spring of 1915 runabout as I can. I lack the resources to do it as well as I would like to, and worry that my front fenders are WRONG! Yet, they ARE exactly what 50 years ago were thought to be correct for ALL '15s. I remember talking to many people that had replaced the four rivet front fenders with the three rivet ones, believing that they were doing the right thing.
Perry G, Thank you for all this research and the reports! It would be interesting if we could find out about the cars full past. It definitely appears to have been through some changes and upgrades at some point, but appears to be at heart somewhat a real fairly early car. They probably mixed and matched best parts from several early cars when it was restored. Even the "experts " used to do that. Today, I would hope most of us would restore and rebuild marginal parts to keep them appropriate build times. Nearly every detail changed several times during those first two plus years.
You say that the front axle and parts are marked with a "W". Would that be a pre-merge Williams? Does it have the one piece spindles?
Again, Thank you!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Thanks Perry, im surprised at the aluminum hood former wonder if they couldn't find one and cast it off an original. Also didn't expect to hear about the early frame and no rivet rear axle. What kind of pan did it have? The first style would have the long front casting with the last rivet actually in the oil sump. Thanks again.
Kim, and all, I've thought for some time the first T hood formers were likely aluminum ala Model K, due to the different shade of gray on the first T photos. I'll post a few pics later.
Thank you Perry for your efforts,
I remember seeing that car 26 years ago. Back then it was in Austin in the LBJ library. Of course I was only in grade school at the time so the details are a bit fuzzy.
Kim I am sure I will need to go back and look again for such details that I did not know to look for . I did look and take pictures of the pan and front casting . They could of copied a original hood former ,but that seems unlikely to me . If they were willing to put a 1927 crank on the very front of the car for every one to see . why not us a more common early former. Yes one piece spindles . The W on this front axle was much smaller than the ones I have seen before on other axles . In fact it took the young eyes of the curators to find them . I think we need someone that would be willing to go to HFM and do some digging .Like Wayne said most of the information we have now has come to light in resent years. I think there is a good chance this is the car that was in the HFM in 1934. It is very important to all at the LBJ park to know if this is fact or fiction . Keep the questions coming .
I just wanted to add I do not thank any thing has been changed on the car after LBJ received it.
Link to LBJ Model T Photos
https://1drv.ms/a/s!Aqp7-HflsMLry1bY9A-29nPckIcQ you have to copy and past the entire link from https to Q haven't figured out how to resize the pics to post ,but this link is 44 photo album of LBJ's Ford
Great pictures. I may have to make a trip down there with you if you have time. Of particular interest to me is the lack of a date code on the engine block. Clearly it is an original early open valve block, but there is no sign of a date code where you would normally expect to see one.
The hogshead is also of interest. Would they let us pull the seat and floorboards?
The body has a lot of similarity to the one on #904. So does the frame and the rear axle housings. The drive shaft housing and pinion spool on the LBJ car is later, since #904 does not have a pinion spool at all.
Here are a few more of Perry's great pictures:
The fenders, running boards, and rear fender brackets are all just like the ones on my 1910.
The front fender brackets are just like the ones on #904.
Front motor mount is not as spindly as the one on #904.
The engine has a 1912 or later front cover and stamped steel roller timer.
Rear hubs, wheels, and front hubs all look like the ones on #904 (all original on 904 except the RH front).
Lamps are just like the ones on my 1910, except the tail lamp is a Gray and Davis that would have been correct for a 1907 - 1908 Model N R S.
The horn tube bracket is a good original one from the era.
The steering column looks quite short, I would love to know how long it is.
The gas tank would be interesting to see more of.
I think that's a good ideal Royce , I wood like to get another set of eyes on it . I doubt they will let us remove anything . I was told by two of the people in charge when calling around that I would have to stand behind the rope while I instructed the curators look and take picture for me . I think I impressed them with my knowledge and it made them want to know more about the there car so they let me be participate in the investigation . Every move was slow and careful , raising the hood and seat cushion for instance . But as far as just looking that I think would be welcome. We would need to make a appointment to do so .
Maybe I could bring photos of #904 for comparisons sake, and some of my 1910. I have a color printer, it would be easy to make a picture book in a 3 ring binder to show what we are trying to determine.
That's a good ideal .
Kim some of the pictures were to dark ,so if we make another trip I will try again to take pictures of the pan and nose . It looked to me to be the short nose .
The serial number boss on the engine is a lot higher than I have seen on late 1909, 10, early 11 open valve blocks. This one is next to the valve lifter, most are lower, just above the cam bearing bolt. Does that indicate an earlier block?
Andrew the last picture is of the BB size dent . If you have a question you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Car number 980 has a body number B102 under the front seat. That is close to the H205 on this car. It has a lot of very early features. Has a later than a 10 muffler. Royce and Perry, check it out closer. A very nice car updated at some point in its life.
Did this no-rivet rear end have a roller pinion housing, or should this be the babbit style drive shaft housing? What vintage should brake rod support supports be for the LBJ car?
The drive shaft housing is from around 1920 on . The drive shaft roller bearing housing is 09/10 for the most part.Anti -rattlers should be the second type 09/13 .The arm that goes around the break rod comes from the center of the radius rod clamp .
Looks to me like the rear axle has been converted from a 6 rivet 1910-11 style. The drive shaft tube should be the Babbitt bearing style, not the roller bearing style it has. I'm still thinking the aluminum hood former is a reproduction. The model k used aluminum as Rob stated, but the NRS cars were steel so I think it's unlikely Ford have made any from aluminum.
I know we've touched on this before (other threads). It looks to me like the hood former on two of the earliest known T's, the "hunting car" and purported T #1 in New York both have either a brass or aluminum (or white/light color paint) hood former. I can't believe it was painted, as it matches no other color. It also appears similar to the Model K style, with an outward rounding appearance, as opposed to the steal/iron stamped Model NRS former:
I too thought it had been a conversion from a 6 rivet ,matter a fact I told the curators that . But then I saw that it did not have the reinforcement collar. That made me change my mined . The NRS's do not have a hood former like the T or K , they are more like angel iron . You know these cars much better then I . We very much respect your opinion and it is important to this conversation.
I should have said Kim on my last post .
Perry, I think the collar on the 6 rivet was removed. I've seen that done before. Rob, sure looks like brass plating on car #1. I've taken the hood former on #314 down to bare metal and there was no plating. Also the rest of the two lever cars I've seen had body color hood formers. I'll check some of the early Ford times photos tonight.
What a great thread thank you everyone for posting the information about the early Model T's and the LBJ Model T. I am actually learning something too bad I won't remember it in two hours. Thanks again everyone.
My thought process has been Ford was using two hood former styles, the very minimalist NRS steel angle iron style, as Perry mentions, and the K aluminum former, that offers more cushion and ledge than a small angle iron.
I suspect the change cards that still exist may offer evidence. I'll post a few examples later. Interestingly many of the first T parts cards go back to late 1907.
Just for giggles and grins,I will tell you that there are at least 100- 1909 hood formers that were repros.I know the guy who had them made and then he destroyed the patterns. Way back then they were almost impossible to find.
Rob, that is probably the only was to know. I have all the change letters from C H Wills to the drafting department, but they don't start until 12-27-1908. That would be to late to be of any use. I remember seeing an early picture Trent showed me of an 1909 that had been driven in the snow. It looked like hood former was brass plated, but there looked to be snow piled on it so it was hard to tell. I suspect that car was #1.
This one Kim? Its from the Dec 15 1908 Ford Times.
Yes, thanks Andrew. Looks like snow to me. That's got to be a real early car to be in Dec 15, Ford Times.
Kim - this is the photo you posted previously of the Paris Show from the Feb 15 1909 Ford Times. Hard to tell but that car may have a light colored hood former.
Kim, it last snowed here last century, so my experience of snow is limited. From other photos posted on the forum it accumulates on flat surfaces and slides off slopes. I cannot see it clinging to the vertical sides of the former shown in the photo Andrew posted. How can the former be the only snow covered part of the car?
Anyone, slightly off topic. Why was LBJ given the car in the first place? Was it given before or after Henry II was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969?
Allan from down under.
Regarding the early Aluminum hood former, would it have been practical that soft sheet metals like Aluminum and Brass could have been formed over hardwood tooling, similar to the manufacture of brass lamps, and prior to investment in costly mass production steel tooling?
My guess is that a process, type of hood former was needed, and the two Ford was using were the iron and aluminum on their two chassis types, NRS and K. So, an existing style was initially chosen.
Next possibility, were the firewalls initially painted, as they were on NRS and K models? Looking at the New York car, the firewall looks awfully dark for natural wood.
(Message edited by Rob on January 31, 2017)
A lot of these mysteries may be waiting to be discovered in the card files at Benson Library......
Here's the link to Perry's photos shortened: http://goo.gl/nM537j
Something seems odd about that serial number "17243." It looks like the first digit is an "L" and the "L7" is slightly larger and stamped lower than the "243."
Chris Paulson stated the serial number boss is in a higher position than it should be.
Is is possible that the serial number is a replacement number for an earlier block? (I'll go out on a limb here) Is it possible that it is a replacement for block number "243"?
Thanks Roger. Quite an interesting car. The hood former is quite intriguing.
There's speculation that the former on these early cars may be brass plated. I think that's unlikely because the plating would be quickly scratched and the underlying metal would rust. The reason for using aluminum is due to it's lightness, strength and soft pliable nature, in my opinion.
Rick, I thought the same thing. However if it were added later, the first three numbers would be off center on the pad?
Sorry Rick, I didn't see the rest of your post. Another mystery....
Is it possible that is motor was One of the first of the none water pump type .And was intended to be us by FMC only , maybe that's why it does not have a casting date . And the motor number was put on when the HFMGV put the car as a1910 on display there . That also may be why the body plate is the same as the motor but put on the back of the car and the original ID plate on the front set was removed. Is this a conspiracy theory .
The 7 is a larger font. Maybe # 1243?
Allan In 1968 LBJ had a program called the Great Society . He was proposing a major cooperative venture between government and industry . The aim was to create 500,000 new jobs .LBJ pick HII to head the National Alliance of Businessmen . LBJ told HII at some point that his family car was a 1910 Model T ford touring And that was the car he had learned to drive on . .Henry II personally gave LBJ a 1910 T at a party on the LBJ ranch .
A good friend and fellow MTFCI'r in France owns a 1911 car that has a replacement motor block, where the duplicate original engine number is preceded by the Alpha character "R". Is there the possibility that this US auto has a similar replacement block identified by the Alpha character "L"?
Perry: Is there a casting date visible on this LBJ block?
I could not find one . It was not in the normal place above the water tube on the driver side .