After WWII, I wonder how many years Ford dealers stocked T parts? I'm pretty certain while Henry was alive they still did, but what happened after Henry died?
They buried him.
And then what happened
He turned to dust.
I expect a few old dealerships continued selling them for many years. I recall that in the eighties Frost & French, a Los Angeles Studebaker dealership, was still selling NOS Packard and Studebaker parts.
That would depend mostly on the practices of the dealer and their local market. A New York City area dealer may very well have stopped routine stocking of T parts for lack of demand long before Henry passed. I'm not sure what his mortality would have had to do with it.
A dealer in the middle of the country, say Iowa, or Nebraska likely had parts for T's into the 50's, but those may well have been gathering dust on the shelf from before Pearl Harbor.
The conversion of so much of industry over to military production for WWII likely ended production of a lot of T parts and postwar demand for new cars must have prevented the resumption of production of many of those parts. By that time Ford would have been content to allow Western Auto and Manny, Moe, and Jack to keep the T stalwarts rolling.
I remember others writing on the forum on how in the attics and storerooms of old closed and abandoned dealerships they found stacks and boxes full of parts. I always attributed this to others writing about how Henry in the early years required dealers to purchase and stock parts in order to buy cars.
All Dads nos T parts came from triangle auto parts here in Winnipeg, Dad cleaned the place out in 1964 not because they did not sell the parts any more, but because they sold the building. In 1960 When he over hauled the diff there is a bill for 8.00 dollars for 2 sets of nos rear end bearings.
My dad started in the hobby in 1948 and bought NOS parts from auto parts stores and Ford dealers. He has some pretty good stories.
He grew up in Minneapolis but as a teenager spent his summers on a farm in Buffalo, MN. That is the area where he bought his 1917 Ford touring and his 1910 IHC roadster.
He went to college in southern Minnesota and chased cars around there and visited Ford dealers there.
He later worked as a Minnesota State Bank examiner for many years and travelled all over the state. He made it a point to visit Ford dealerships in search of NOS parts.
His only regret is that he typically only bought what he needed or what he felt he could quickly resell. This was partly dictated by a lack of storage space in Minneapolis. Also, he said he passed up a substantial amount NOS Model A Ford parts because he simply wasn't interested in them.
About 20 years ago, I attended Sidney Strong's estate auction in Atwater, MN. Sidney was active in the antique automobile hobby very early on and was instrumental in founding the Minnesota Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America. Sidney's father started the Ford dealership in Atwater in the early teens and Sidney started working there when he was around 14 years old and eventually took over ownership. He lived to be about 98 years old. At the auction, there was a large inventory of NOS Model T parts. The smaller parts were still very well organized in wooden, labeled drawers that listed the part numbers.
Steve, I remember Frost & French, in 1971 I went to college in Hollywood for one semester. The college had a museum across the street from them, "Gloria Folk Art Gallery" that was filled with mechanical instruments and toys (Mattel would come over there for ideas). I did a lot of volunteer work there (instead of studying!) At the time they had a very nice Golden Hawk on the showroom floor. I didn't see any Avantis around though.
In his book "A Ford Dealer's Twenty Year Ride" William P. Young stated that during the summer and fall of 1927 Ford kept the factories running producing new Model T Ford parts, which were shipped to the dealers whether they ordered them or not. Given the large quantities of NOS parts I have seen over the years that I have been active in the hobby, I am inclined to think that is true. Even today it never ceases to amaze me how much NOS stuff still survives 90 years after the end of Model T production.
In this area a couple of guys cleaned out local Ford dealers of all their V8 parts and left everything else. If the dealer said they had to take everything they took the T A and 50's parts to the dump, something they regretted latter on.
You're right Dan. Up in Ontario Canada I remember guys picking the local small town dealership's old stock parts in the early 70s and taking only Model A stuff and leaving the T and V8 stuff in the bins. Don't ask how I know..............
Along the same lines of tunnel vision, I remember going to a wrecking yard in Douglas Ontario in 1972 where the owner had just began using a huge crane magnet that could pile cars maybe 100ft high. Believe it or not, my buddy and I actually climbed the mountain and using old driveshafts as pry bars, rolled several '34 three window coupes down the mountain to gain access to Model A stuff. I thought that they were kinda neat, but distinctly remember his comment at the time "no one will ever want one of those oil burnin' %^#@*&^ things". How times have changed.
I bought a trailer load of NOS parts from Bob Gadola in Olgavie Mn in about 1956. He was a Ford dealer from about 1917 to 1926. Ford took his dealership away because he did not have a service department. He continued to sell T parts, buying them through another dealership. He owned half the town and several farms plus an apartment building in Minneapolis. When he died it took two big sales to sell all the new/old items he had. I then bought out several other Ford lots including some from Royce Peterson senior when he moverdto Dallas. I still have a lot of NOS and used T parts. Not now, but in a few years I will sell them out. I keep some for possible use in my 1910 Touring.
I seem to recall a quote from Henry in an issue of Ford Times that said something to the effect that as long as a Model T was on the road, a customer could secure parts from Detroit through any dealer. I imagine that policy ended soon after he died.
A friend of mine bought a small Ford Dealership about 20 years ago and it had a car ramp leading to a second floor. It was full of Old Ford parts, some still in original boxes. There was also HCCT sitting on a shelf up there. Shortly after he bought it, Ford started closing down all the small town Dealerships. He lost a lot of $$ on that deal. Someone came along and bought all the stuff as a lot. Joe
In 1984 I was getting gas in the 26 T coupe at my old home town's Sunoco station. The attendant came out and asked if I wanted any Model T parts. Of course I said sure. He said go get a shovel, pointed to a spot 50 feet away and said dig down 10 feet. The old food store across the street use to be the local Ford dealership and when the building became the food store (1950s?), the garage got asked if they could fill the hole nearby with the parts out of the dealership. Back 15 years ago a friend got a T depot hack body and piles of old liturature and business papers out of the attic of the building. The building got torn down a couple years ago when the roof was compromised during a snow storm.
Businesses here have to pay taxes on their inventory. This means that any old stock held was often written off/destroyed so that it was no longer on the books. During the 60's someone in our T club discovered a cache of new valence panels, complete with two axe cuts in each. They had not been discarded, but were 'destroyed', and consequently were not taxed.
I repaired one of these when restoring my 1920 buckboard.
Allan from down under.
This thread was started by Larry Smith wondering how long after WWII the Ford dealers stocked Model T parts. They probably would sell whatever stock on hand, but I do not know if Model T parts were still available from Ford's factory warehouses after WWII. The latest "FORD CHASSIS PARTS AND PRICE LIST" (catalog) for Model T and TT that I have is dated, June 1941.
Does anyone have a later issue?
In this June 1941 issue, all parts were not available. As an example, the only rear axle housings available were the RH side for 1915-25. There were none for the LH side, or any at all for 1926-27. They only had RH spindles for 1911-25, and only LH spindles for 1926-27, - no pairs.
I could go on, but as you can see, the Ford warehouse stock was running down before WWII.
From the serial number list we can see that the last new Model T engines were assembled as late as 1941, but the numbers also tells that the last year with any considerable number of engines made was 1931 with almost 1,000. Then from 1932-41 only 201 engines were made, likely more due to Henry Ford's interest than for business reasons
This is a bit off the original thread's purpose, but I think it bears saying:
I've seen a lot of hoarding in the old car hobby and have nearly lost count of times that I've heard of, toured or otherwise seen massive stockpiles of NOS parts, cars, signs, etc.
In too many instances, the end game for these hoards is tragic and much of the amazing content of these hoards gets thrown away.
I can think of three examples where this happened and it makes me ill thinking about what was tossed into dumpsters because the people who ended up with the NOS parts didn't know what they had or did have an idea but simply didn't care.
It's certainly within someone's right to have these hoards, but I wish, as they approach the end of their time here on Earth, that they would start offering these hoards to their fellow club members and hobbyists or at least give instructions to their heirs to do so.
Back in the 1980's, a book I read about the Model T (I think it was one of Floyd Clymer's) said that brake shoes were still available through any Ford dealer. The book was published in 1968. It was this learning that parts were still so plentiful which made me, there and then, decide the Model T would be my car of choice. (Plus I thought it was a great looking car)
The last engine assembled was 1941?
This one still isn't assembled yet.
Not wanting to drift this thread too far (Larry will forgive me), but my motto is "No matter what the part is, it will look better on your car than on my shelf."
Very few things about the hobby gall me, but I think the biggest is when a fellow has 5 times as many of some part or other as he will ever use, yet won't part with one to help someone who really needs one for his car. I can certainly see hanging onto several spares of items; I'm not talking about that, but of the old buzzard with 250 NOS rear Hyatt bearings who won't sell one to a kid trying to restore his '25. Fortunately there are many more Rosenthals than anti-Rosenthals around. I've been lucky that way.
RV Anderson.....that's what I was trying to get across in my post above.
What sometimes happens, is the guy with the 250 NOS rear Hyatt bearings passes away and his 29 year old granddaughter throws "those smelly old car parts" in a dumpster.
When you reach the point where your collecting involves opening the barn/garage door and tossing your latest acquisition on top of the pile you've moved into at least a slight bit of madness. It's like the Winchester House. "As long as I keep building I'll stay alive". A lot of these folks are beyond knowing what's there never mind passing that info on to a survivor. If the heirs don't ask it's all gone.
Tom, you know 1941 was about the last ones assembled by Ford and stamped in the original engine # series. Spare blocks were sold unstamped and were supposed to be stamped with the number from the block it replaced, but that wasn't always done.
(I wonder what numbers Ford stamped the new 1914 style engines that were built for the 2003 centennial jubilee?)
This block has a casting date of 060603 and wasn't machined due to a thin wall on the water jacket. Eventually it's supposed to be dropped off at the T-Plex when I bother to get the release letter signed.
I've worked on the Centennial reproductions at Greenfield Village and as I recall, all markings convey they were made in 2003. All of the Village's reproductions have different engines installed due to the rotation of maintenance schedules.
These are my personal observations and I do not represent Ford Motor Co or the Edison Institute.
In 1948 I threw a rod in my 1925 Touring. I then used a NOS block to replace that block. The NOS block did not have a serial number on it.
I think that the cylinder casting Tom Miller shows in a photograph above, was a part of the Ford Motor Company's T-100 project. This was a project intended to produce 100 new 1914 model year style touring cars as a part of the Company's centennial celebration that took place in June, 2003. I was fortunate enough to be an informal consultant for this project, and I became very familiar with many aspects of the project.
It is surprisingly difficult to reproduce a number of the parts used on 1914 model year cars. One of the more challenging parts was the cylinder block. As I recall, the original casting technique for pouring the cast iron cylinders involved pouring the molten cast iron into mold while the mold was in a horizontal position. This could not be done 17 years ago because the original binders that were used to hold the molding sand together while in the mold could no longer be used. New binders had been developed, but one of the drawbacks of the new binders was that they could not withstand the high temperatures the molten iron required to pour a block casting the way Ford did during the the Model T era. To get the molds to fill completely using the lower temperature molten iron, the blocks had to be poured vertically instead of horizontally. Again, as I recall, getting enough good useable cylinder castings for the T-100 project was something of a trial and error process, with a strong emphasis on "error". For that matter, even during the Model T era "core shifting" was common while pouring the cylinders, and the flawed casting were immediately returned to the furnaces, which is why we do not see many major flaws in original Model T cylinders today.
I suspect that the cylinder in Tom's possession was one of these flawed attempts during the T-100 project, that was not recycled into molten iron.
In the end, only six 1914 Model Ts were completed under the T-100 project. One of the six now lives in the UK and is owned by Ford of Europe. A second was retained by Ford Motor Company and is usually on display in the garage at Henry Ford's Fairlane estate. The remaining four T-100 Model Ts are in everyday use in Greenfield Village. These four cars are arguably the most heavily used Model Ts in the world today, which accounts for the fact that each has had considerable modification and maintenance work performed on them over the past 13 years. At one time I could distinguish between an original 1914 Model T and a T-100 car with ease, but given more years of service and maintenance I do not know if I could do that today.
There are several other leftover parts from the T-100 project that were later sold off by FMC, including a new Ford script front axle. It was not used because the pads on the yoke that the spindle bushings ride on were not in alignment, and the bottom spindle bolt hole appears to be way off center.
Many of the parts used to build the T-100 cars were sourced through outside suppliers, most of whom are still supplying parts to the Model T parts resellers today. Some of the new parts we use to restore or maintain our Model Ts are available today because the suppliers began making these parts for the the T-100 cars. The new Stype camshafts are a case in point. New camshafts were needed for the T-100 cars, and, as I understand it, Stype met that need by producing the .250 lift camshafts. They are still being produced and all of my restored Model Ts have a Stype cam of one generation or another in them.
Sometimes I am asked if the T-100 Model Ts are really Model Ts? In my opinion they are real Model Ts, and should be treated with the same respect as original 1908-1927 Model Ts. They do constitute an interesting part of the Model T story. It is also accurate to say that Model T production now spans both the 20th and 21st centuries.
Although they didn't get much call for Model T, A, and V8 parts, many dealers still have some in stock as late as the 50's or 60's. I know becausE I found and bought a few, and dealers such as Specialized, Ford Parts Obsolete, and Valley Ford Parts, got their start that way.
Reading RV's and Don's posts about large hoards of parts makes me think of every year when I go to Hershey and look out over the miles of parts and wonder how many parts actually end up on cars and how many just get passed back and forth between collections.