This has been discussed many times, but I'm going to offer a different slant on things this time. First, there has always been doubt in my mind that all '13 bodies were dark blue. I'll offer some suggestions as to why this may not be true. Recently there was a post on this forum showing the inside of a '13 hood that was black when rubbed out. I also have a '13 hood that is the same, and have seen others.
I wanted to remove the door handle from my '13 roadster, and in order to do this, I had to grind a half moon in the sheet metal where it is nailed to the door in order to remove the door latch assembly. This indicates the latch was installed BEFORE the skin was installed. The latch handle, which goes through the top of the door still had the original gloss black paint on it. What I'm leading up to here is if the door handle was in the car when it was painted, it indicates to me the handle should have been blue, NOT BLACK.
Larry... maybe this is a good thread to survey all those who have 13's who have only found evidence that their car was all black? I have one. My 13 is a late June car (almost a 1914). The inside of the hood is original and shows it was black dipped. I've also found black paint behind the interior so there is no evidence that my 1913 touring was ever blue.
Jim, I mentioned to Larry in an email, told him I thought it was you who had the black '13, but as always, I wasn't 100% sure! And I definitely couldn't remember what build date it would've been. Now I think I'll remember, since I've heard this from you more than once!!
Tim... was yours blue for sure? Do you know or does it sill have original paint on it anywhere?
Larry, The door om my departed 13 roadster did not have a metal backing plate om the door. Only the cardboard panel. The body was midnight blue but the body cap plates were definitely painted black. The door handle came up thru the cap plate. This body had been stored for 40+ years under the dealers (Duncan Motors Douglasville Ga) house. I have the original leather leather upholstery. The handle was black. Were some 13 factory painted black ,I don't know, I wondered more about weather any were ever factory painted green
I don't believe hood color necessarily matched the body color. I've seen illustrations and photos of other makes of the 1912-1915 period that seem to indicate a style of black hood and fenders/running boards with a different colored body. I've also read on this forum that Ford painted the all-metal parts with enamel (black) to be oven cured at temperatures too high for wooden parts like bodies and wheels. These parts were painted with an air-drying paint which, according to the archives, was a dark blue. I don't know whether hoods were body color or not in 1913, but I would bet that Ford wouldn't take days to air-dry a part that could be oven dried while trying to feed a moving assembly line. I read on here recently that the open cars were apparently painted blue until sometime between November of 1914 and January of 1915. My guess is that the bodies and wheels were blue, hoods and everything else were black in 1913 & 1914. Anyway, that's how I'm going to paint mine. :o)
My Jan 1913 touring has a lot of blue paint left under the rear fender on the body and a little blue around the edges of the panels but the inside of the body like seat area and back of the front seat look to be all black. I am also seeing black next to the blue on the top edges of the doors and body where the bead is rolled on the top of each panel. My car was dark blue on the body and doors but the rest was black. As for the hood, I know it may not be the original hood to this car but it might be and it looks like black inside and also could be black on the outside. I do know black hoods were used on heavy trucks in the 20's because my 25 Indiana had factory paint only on it when I found it 37 years ago and the hood and fenders were black with what they called Indiana Brown on the rest of body. They also had what they called Indiana Orange for a standard body color with black hood and fenders and the chassis was orange as well. The brown on my truck looks like it was the orange mixed with a little of the black to come up with a brown or my wife calls it butterscotch. I do have factory spec sheets listing the paint on these trucks over several years but the 1916 Indiana's were all grey on everything including the hood.
I would think Ford would have something in the files that says the hood was black if that was the case but even so my car's hood if it is THE hood for THIS car looks black to me while the outer body is or was blue and has not been painted over with anything. I may take the plywood off to pull the engine out and see what turns up behind it on the front edge of the body where it would be protected from the sun after the homecoming. I know pictures may or may not show color right on here but I will take pictures and post them as things show up. I don't think black hoods were used much on passenger cars at that time but it is possible.
Jim...no doubt at all mine was blue right from the womb! Tons of super dark blue underneath everywhere. Obviously, like most resto's, mine was painted a slightly more appealing midnight blue than what Henry liked! But step back 10 feet or in the correct light and you'd swear it was black anyway, so it works for me!