What would be the best reference to find out what each part was painted or finished with on model Ts
Mostly on the chassis, we're they satin black, gloss black?
I like gloss for body and wheels, and satin for chassis. But that's not necessarily authentic. For reference I'd consult Bruce McCalley's encyclopedia and the MTFCI judging guidelines.
Depend on the year. Later T's got factory gloss black on chassis, most parts assembled and dipped then air/oven dried. Factory operations photographs are the better reference resource.
Chassis assembly later cars, note the shiny frame, you can detect certain fasteners that appear raw steel, most fasteners were Raven finished, a type of non paint finish that was a flatter black.
On early T's the chassis could be body color, if you are doing your 1911, the MTFCI Judging Standards specify Line # 110, Chassis: Painted black.
No assembly line? They would wheel the frame in like a wheelbarrow I guess and put on the differential and gas tank I guess?
Assembly line came along around 1913 and chassis was put together, then wheels, then pulled around on assembly line.
Operations photos of various dates, and various assembly plants, the whole factory used conveyors and lines, just different versions as the daily production gained volume.
Late date assembly
1915 chassis assembly line for 'show', these Fords were assembled at 1915 California Exhibition.
Dan T, Not to be disrespectful, but I have seen those last pictures before, labeled just as they are. Incorrectly. I don't know who or how they were identified as from the 1915 San Francisco display. But they cannot be.
The chassis in the photos clearly have black shelled radiators, later steering wheels, curved front fenders, and channel steel running board brackets, (along with a bunch of other minor details). Those chassis could not have been produced until at least five years after the 1915 display ended.
Great photos all, nonetheless.
Wayne, correct, posted wrong photo.
Those chassis are later as you noted.
Here is that correct photo, at Michigan State Fair, Sept, 1914. This similar demonstration was re-created at the Panama Pacific International Exhibition, San Francisco, in 1915.
MI State Fair, Fall 1914
Close up showing one worker putting frame together, then the frame goes on platform and moved along for assembly. Parts layout isn't like real factory, where 1,000 T's a day are made, but pretty neat for spectators to "Watch the Fords Go By"
Years ago, in the Santa Clara Valley Model T Ford Club, there was a fellow that had a 1915 Runabout that was assembled and sold at the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition/San Francisco World's Fair (No, he was not the original purchaser). He had the original paperwork and I believe a photo of his car on the assembly line. I lost track of the car a couple decades ago.
I've always wondered about the cars assembled at the Panama Pacific Exposition. I'd like to know if they put any kind of tag or plate on the car indicating that it was assembled there. Too bad Wayne lost track of the guy that had the car that was assembled there.
How many cars were actually completed at that Panama Pacific Expo?
Do we know for certain that Ford sold them?
Were they sold right then and there at the show?
Don Skow of Hollister had a 1915 touring that his grandfather had purchased at the Expo. The brass was nickel plated. I believe the car is still in the family as Don passed away a couple years ago.
I wouldn't depend on what Ford used back then because the choices of coatings were very limited and what coatings there were, were very inferior, but they had to use what was available to them back then. Chances are, if they had the choices back then that we have now, Ford would have chosen differently, so taking into consideration the time and expense it takes to prepare a car for painting, you don't want the paint to fail; after a year and be forced to do it all again, so it is best to use the best paint you can find and not use inferior paints just for authenticity. I painted my '26 coupe with Jet Black Imron in 1995 and it has lasted 22 years with no sign of failure.
Gloss paint is easier to keep clean of grease, oil and road grime because it has a harder time sticking to it and forming a bond, so I pretty much painted all my parts with gloss paint. Jim Patrick