When anyone refers to the quantity of Model T's manufactured
During its lifetime the magic number quoted is 15 million.
But, is it true that this was only the Detroit USA production?
If so, does anyone know the world total when you consider Canada and other countries?
Thanks for any replies in advance
Alan in Western Australia
I don't know about Canada, Argentina, and other countries, but I believe English production was included in the fifteen million. Production records indicate blocks of serial numbers "sent to Manchester", "sent to Long Island", etc.
From start Model T's had both a car number and an engine number. By 1911 numbers started to drift off from eachother, reason was probably that Ford sold numbered engines as spare parts. By 1915 the car # was dropped, since no one used it for anything. Noone knows how many spare engines Ford had sold by 1927 when car production stopped at #15,007,033, but almost 70,000 more spare engines were made in that year after car production stopped, so a considerable amount should be drawn off the 15 million number. English production and other European production was also numbered from the US numbers. Then we can add the separate numbered Canadian production of 748,000 cars that also included Australia and NZ, so maybe up to 15,5 million total, possibly less, not much more.
A number was posted some years ago of 15,900,312 T's world wide production.
Frank - that thread was about total numbers of engines produced, and that would be more than the number of cars. Engine production continued long after car production.
Some engines were sold without Ford numbers I think, there were Gleaner combines with Waukesha Ricardo heads and Model T blocks, probably with their own numbering(?). Since they didn't have Ford heads, they were maybe not counted as complete engines when sold from Ford?
I have never heard of any reliable records about all the engines, complete or otherwise, that Ford sold "out the back door" so to speak. It is known that complete engines without serial numbers were sold for a variety of uses, including companies that made railroad donkeys, speeders, and carts, as well as several companies making farming machinery including various combines. Several of those combines needed a bit more power and used Ricardo type high compression heads and external magneto drives. Some of them also used less-than-whole engines with special pans, no flywheel (not needed with machinery connected that acted like a flywheel), and no transmission. Also using "short block" engines, with special pans, were several boat motor companies. Several good original and restored such engines exist in private collections (Ralph Ricks' brother had one). There are hundreds of these special engines surviving, and most of them do not have the Ford automobile serial number on them. Some, not all, of the companies using these "back door" engines put their own serial number on them. Some did not. Many of these special use numbers will have a letter or two, followed by a few numerical digits (usually two or three). The letters are sometimes initials for the company using the engine to build a specialized product. A few have been identified as a reference to the state where the product was built.
Over the years, a few people have posted on this forum questioning the odd serial number on their car or spare engine. The simple fact is, that throughout the '20s and '30s, lots of local companies refurbished engines for Ford an other cars and sold them to local people that needed to replace the engine in their old car, for whatever reason. Whether it was originally used as a whole engine or a short engine didn't really matter to these rebuilders. Any viable block was fair game and likely to wind up in somebody's car.
Interesting (for some?) to note. A few of these special engines were intended for used where access for maintenance was difficult. Some boat engines (for example) had parts of one side (or both?) cut and plates bolted into place. This gave access to the rods for adjustment without having to remove the engine from the boat. I have seen photos of one such engine where the plates were cast with the boat motor company's name on the plates on the side of the motor. (I believe it was a Roberts.) These side plated engines were not good candidates for refurbishing for automobile use. Road use of automobiles puts uneven shocks and stresses on the entire drive-line. Having so much of the original strength in the block cut out and replaced by bolts that can become loose under vibration adds quite a weak spot. It would be interesting to know if any cars on the road today have such an engine in them?
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
I would imagine that more than a few thousand engines were sold for alternate uses, along with all the replacement engines over basically twenty years is a lot of engines. Many of which did have serial numbers included in the "official" count. Along with the confusion of Canadian counts, some of the time being taken out of USA accounting, and sometimes not, really makes a precise accounting very difficult. Throw in all the replacement blocks that were sold sans number so that the car's original number could be applied, and we really have a lot of unknowns. As if the question of overseas assembly plants wasn't bad enough.
Several discussions in the past have come to the conclusion (assuming?) that about fifteen and a half million model T cars and trucks were built between late 1908 and all of 1927 world-wide. Plus a bunch of engines in various states of completion.
The exact counts will likely NEVER be known.
Page 31 of the May/June issue of the Vintage Ford (I just got my copy today) has a table from Bernice Young comparing the specs of the Model T with the B-29. The last entry in the table is "quantity manufactured" and lists the Model T as 14,690,510.
Bernice, can you tell us how you arrived at that number?
More on that number...
(Message edited by cudaman on May 12, 2017)
Interesting, when you add a link via editing, it doesn't come across as a link. Here it is as a link:
The table in the encyclopedia says it includes all foreign production except for Canada.
So, if we can find an expert on Canadian production figures, we could add them in and have a more complete summary.
Spectacular Frank, thank you!
So, adding up the numbers in Frank's table, I get a total for Canadian production of 757,430.
Adding that to the total in the MTFCA Encyclopedia, I get a world total of 15,446,950.
I wonder if this number or something close has ever appeared anywhere else before?
Discussion was made in earlier post, 2013
Adding the Canadian production 757,030 to the rest of the world wide production 14,690,150 gives a total of 15,447,180 Model T cars, Trucks, and chassis produced. And compared to the15,755,072 total engines produced [on/about Jun 1927 both USA and Canadian known serial numbered engines] would mean 307,892 engines were produced and were not put in a car, truck, or chassis. That would be about 98% of the engines produced wound up in a car, truck, or chassis. That is hard to quantify as good or bad. From Oct 1908 to Jul 8, 1913 Bruce has the engine serial numbers showing 307,274 total cars & chassis [no trucks yet] and all engine numbers were from the main USA Ford plant. Again some of those would not have made it into a “new car” but were replacement etc. [For example Ford serial #1 had two replacement engines with their own serial numbers.] But for calendar year 1927 all USA production was 347,741 cars, trucks, and chassis [ref page 472 Bruce]. So for sure saying over 15 million Model Ts were produced is a conservative number. I would think even over 15.3 million would be a conservative number. But over 15.8 million would not have been possible if they all had an engine that was recorded in the engine logs – as they did not produce that many engines.
Interesting, both the Canadian and "rest of the world" numbers from 2013 are slightly different from the Frank's Canadian numbers and the MTFCA encyclopedia numbers above.
I wonder if today's industrial record keeping is any better? 100 years from now, will folks really know the total production numbers of anything for sure?
Up until 1913 when Canada started the C numbers the Canada numbers are part of the US numbers and in the early days Canada was building cars for overseas so they would have US numbers,Just a thought.
Thanks, Colin. So, the first four years of Canadian production total up to 22057 cars. If we subtract that from my earlier total (because those 22057 cars are already counted in U.S. Production), the new worldwide total is:
15,446,950 minus 22057 equals:
Both the engine number and the number stamped on the right frame rail of my '27 touring car are 14832783.