I saw these at the Bakersfield swap meet. They look pretty simple to build. I am building a touring body and I could build a set but not sure if it makes the car look any better. Any thoughts?
There are dip doors, and non dip doors. I believe the dip doors are the earliest. Keith Townsend knows all of this well.
Hi Marc: I've a Canadian '12 Touring with the correct foredoors- a door on each side that is particular to the Canadian T's. For your info I'll attach a lovely photo of an '11 from the forum earlier this month.(The doors certainly give one a more closed in and secure feeling when running in modern traffic!)Tom
Thank you for the input
The picture of a nice '11 above with the dapper gentleman in it is none other than our friend, Keith Townsend.
Keith (the other one)
Is the body on your car original? Ray Wells? or what? What maker?
Fore-doors started to appear around serial number 80,000. What s/n are you working with?
My computer is in the shop, but I will send you some pictures of fore-door details.
Also there are some Ford retrofit fore-doors that were made available for non-fore-door cars from 1911.
My car has a Beaudette body, B-18928.
Give ma a call and let's chat.
: ^ )
I have most of the original wood for a touring body. I am building a new body from original wood, patterns taken from original wood, and forms that I got from Harold McGee. Harold has built a lot of bodies but he is 91 now and offered the patterns to anyone that could use them, I thought that it would be fun to do so I got the parts from him. I am really into it now and it's coming along pretty good. I don't have a car yet but I am collecting parts. I have almost all of the iron parts to complete the body. My body may be sidelined for awhile while I help Harold finish his last body. It's been quite the apprenticeship and I am learning a lot of things that I have never done before.
The number on the original parts start with a B I have to get back to you on the exact number.
I have always wanted to take the doors off our 12 to see what its like driving with out doors. Being a Canadian car it always had doors.
ALL 1912 cars have fore-doors regardless if it was Canadian made or US made. I have never seen a period photo of a 1912 with the fore-doors removed. The only people who removed them were people who restored cars in the 1950's and 60's and thought they might fool someone into thinking the car is older than it really is. The only one they fool is themselves because their car would then be incomplete.
The sill on fore-door cars is different from earlier non-fore-door cars. It tapers gradually from the floorboard riser and runs all the way up to the front of the armrest. The striker plate is recessed into it. Earlier cars have a "dog leg" where the sill runs up to the bottom of the seat, then the seat hangs out over the edge of the lower part of the body.
Here is my car before painting the body:
I think this is Gary London's car:
My car uses the 1912 type "checkerboard" sill plates. All three (yes three- there is none on the driver side) are the same as the back seat sill plates, oval in shape. Earlier 1911 uses the skinny sill plate that is only about 1" wide.
Here is my front sill after putting the car together:
In October 1912, Ford offered retrofit fore-doors for earlier 1911 cars. They looked like this:
Notice the offset in the door to fit the dogleg of the side of the seat to the lower side of the body.
There is what the look like of the car:
Just ignore the goofy looking headlamp...
Here's another with retrofit fore-doors:
I think the retro-fit fore-doors are more stylish than the factory installed units.
Send me a message with your e-mail and I can send you lots of fore-door images.
: ^ )
Hi Keith we didn't get a chance to look at my 12 touring basket case but I got it out to look at the doors for the front and now I'm convinced that these are not the correct doors. If anyone has the correct doors for this twelve and need the ones I have I'm ready to deal.
You indeed have a set of fore-doors for a late 1911 body.
Is the Wilson body number you pictured the number on the fore-door, or the 1912 body?
Is that your 1911 behind your '12?
: ^ )
Yes that's the 10/11, I'm trying to make room for the earlier car we moved. I decided to bite the bullet and have the 40x 60 built. Keith the number is on the 12, at the lip of the front seat
Tomorrow take a look in the daylight and see if there in a number on the under side of the fore-doors. They kind of look like Hayes fore-doors.
: ^ )
It really is sad that so many hobbyists back in the '50s/'60s and '70s removed the fore doors from their '12 model T touring cars. While I sympathize with the desire to appear to have an earlier car, the real goal should have always been to restore and preserve the cars basically as the antiques they were (and are). I remember being told by many owners of '12 T touring cars that the front doors were "optional", and therefore "correct" without the side pieces (research has since shown that to be bologna).
Unfortunately, also, there were many variations of the side pieces. With at least four body manufacturing companies supplying bodies, and at least five variations on the Ford spec across the model year, finding a matched pair of side panels to properly fit a specific car is like winning the lottery (well, sort of).
John T, Right off the bat, at a glance, what I see of your car and doors, is that they are completely wrong for each other. First glance, you have a slab-side body. These are the latter half to 2/3 of the model year. The rear door could have an outside door handle? Or not. The position of the outside door handle (if it has one), could be in a couple different locations. Yours appears to have no outside handle, with an inside handle something like everything later. I think that is near the last of the '12 touring bodies. I am never sure about the dates of changes, but that likely makes your body a May/June '12 or later. (Please be kind with corrections? Or just shoot me outright.) As with many things model T (this year more than most!), there was likely a lot of crossover when both (or three) styles were being produced at the factory.
Your side panels on the other hand, are early. The "down dips" ahead of the door and dummy door are the telling feature. That down-dip was to accommodate the earlier two-piece firewall used on all earlier Ts through 1911 models. The late calendar year 1911 early '12 models through about December '11 cars still had the two-piece firewall. IF the windshield were to be removed, and along with it the upper wood piece of the firewall, the side panels would have a fit issue with the upper part of the firewall missing. Remember, these were running changes. The side panels were added to the earlier firewall, THEN the decision made to change to a one-piece firewall. After that, the side panels were changed a bit to fit the new firewall better. (YIKES! We're not even out of 1911 yet!) The step-side body with the one-piece firewall continued into calendar '12, followed by the slab-side body, which required a major change to the fit of the side panels. I have heard that the slab-side bodies began showing up around January or February of 1912, but do not claim to know that as a fact. Again, there was I imagine a fair amount of crossover time when both styles were leaving the factory.
So you are trying to fit late calendar year 1911 side panels onto a late model year '12 body. It would be much easier to just make new ones following the basic design of your early panels, but to fit your car.
You may be able to find a good trade? The slab-side panels are much more common than the dip-down variety. Somebody with an early '12 might offer you a nice deal!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
I'm hoping so Wayne, these fore doors are really nice with what I believe is original material and I'd really like to have the right doors. I suppose the dilemma will be what are the right doors and can I find some or have to build them. I'd need detailed pictures & measurements to accomplish that.
Keith I image you have a significant photo file of the various style. Thanks for everyone's information. Would these doors be the right ones for Marks project?
I know of one set of orphan 1912 fore-doors. I will check to see if they are Wilson or not.
If we are not able to locate a set of 1912 Wilson fore-doors, maybe Ray Wells or Harold McGee could make you a set if we could find a set that could be used as a pattern to copy.
Is there any number or markings on the bottom (or anywhere) on your late 1911 fore-doors to help determine their manufacturer?
It would be nice if they found a home on a car with a body of the same manufacturer.
For your fore-doors to work on Mark's project, he would have to rebuild the front sills.
: ^ )
Keith judging from his wood working skills that's no step for a climber. Wish I had those skills.
This is the original part off of the bottom of one of the doors, I darkened in the numbers so you can see them better.
Harold started with this number and added worked from there. I continued his practice with my number
I could make a set of front doors off of your parts and a pattern of your opening but Ray Wells is probably a better choice.
I am an apprentice at building bodies. Give me another ten years and I might get good at it
A Beaudette body in the 14xxx range would not have come from the factory with fore-doors attached. You are about 4000 Beaudette bodies too early. John's fore-doors look to me like Hayes, so I don't know how well they would even work.
Compare John's foredoor:
with a known Hayes fore-door:
and with a Beaudette fore-door:
: ^ )
Thank you Keith for all of your help
I will try to call you tonight
If John wants front doors that fit I might take a crack at it
Mark let's talk, Keith said he knows where some orphan doors are but not sure if they are marked Wilson. I'd love to see some pictures of the doors so that if your willing to try lad help anyway I could. Thanks John
Here are some pictures of my doors
I this k I will finish this body with out the front doors per my original plan
The doors are easy, the frames were harder but I have them figured out now, my next set will be perfect
The frames are not mounted yet, the alignment is off on the strike side, but i learned on this set. The doors are fine but I want to make another set of frames
Don't be looking at the Phillips head screws, they are being replaced with slotted screws like what's on the doors