My 1923 runabout came with the Ford-O tail light. Evidently this was the tail light supplied from 1923 onward if you were too cheap to opt for the starter and generator. My car also had oil side lights. Unlike the typical tail light with a large red lens facing backwards and a small clear lens illuminating the license plate .... the Ford-O has a large clear lens illuminating the license plate and the small red lens facing backwards. It also has the mounting bolt on the side to facilitate mounting on it's special Ford-O mounting bracket.
So, why was this done? Makes running an electric brake light back there less effective. I'll be mounting a second period correct light back there with an electric bulb so that I can drive in modern traffic.
The Ford O taillamp was meant for TTs. The concave of the left side with mounting bolt doesn't really fit a kerosene tail lamp bracket. You need the taillamp with the large red lens and small clear lens. Latter for license plate illumination.
I've seen many of these on non starter passenger cars and the model T "encyclopedia" states:
8786CX (Electric in 1924 and later),
6568X (Oil) in early 1923
6568BX (Oil) about mid-1923 and later.
The later oil tail lamp with the small red lens at the rear and the large clear lens on the side facing the license plate.
The large clear lens facing the license plate is to provide increased illumination on that plate to meet requirements from various Highway Departments for improved lighting on said plate. Yes, it makes little sense to have a smaller red lens on the car, but that was Ford's response to the mandate.
Thank you for this information. I have wondered why some of the tail lights I have have the small red lens and large clear one.
Ford made a license plate/taillight bracket for these lamps, and the lamp fits perfectly. They did the same thing for the passenger cars with no electric start.
Yes, the bracket for my Ford-O tail light is also stamped Ford-O and is a perfect fit. Also holds the lamp at a slight angle to illuminate the plate better. I don't like it as much as the type with the larger red lens facing the back of the car ..but it's the correct light for my car and will keep it there.
My '23 came to me with a starter and generator ... and oil side lights / tail light. So, I guess whoever owned it back in the era must have gotten the "upgrade" to starter and kept the oil lights on there.
Mark, I hate to bump this back up but would you show a pic of your "O" tail lamp and bracket when you have the time?
I came across one of these lamps last year and it might be a fit for my 25 TT.
Guys, are the O mount brackets the same between T's and TT's?
Here ya go:
Well, I think y'all have this squared away.
Sticking to the topic of tail/license plate lights.
Does any one have a picture of what was stock for a 26 coupe rolling out the door of the factory?
Well now. Isn't that interesting? :-)
That's really different...
Maniacally cool. And so messed up!
I can imagine our modern reflective plates lighting up ever so brightly! It'll be quite bright back there.
Thank you sir!
John, best I could do would be a modern day pic of a late Tudor. I'll need to go look tomorrow to see if it has a plate holder. I ain't much help perhaps.
Was your Coupe' an electric?
Trust me, I can't remember if your Coupe' had any optionals. :-)
Just one more little detail to add to the confusion. The Ford-O taillight was also used on 1926 Non Starter Improved Models. In 1926 there was a second version of the Ford-O special bracket. It mounts the taillight to the center of the car using the rear spring clamp bolts for the mounting. 1926 non starters also had kerosene side lights mounted to special side light brackets. The non starter option was not offered for 1927 models so all 1927 models will have electric taillights. TT trucks use a different bracket to mount the Ford-O light.
1925 and earlier Ford-O bracket mounts to frame/rear cross member at left rear corner of frame
1926 Ford-O bracket
1925 and earlier Ford-O bracket (left) 1926 (right)
1926 Ford-O assembly
1926 Ford-O mounting bracket shown with a rear spring clamp
Sorry but this is so messed up Mark! Thank you!
Holey moley Donnie! Thank you from me! It sure does add to the info/mysteries.
I've some research to do for a TT O mounting bracket.
Hah! Like I want to be correct. Well, yes. In ways that I can be.
Sorry Mark, stuff like this fires me up. Didn't mean to hi-jack...
Duey ... hope it fires you up in a good way. It's good that there is now more information to be found on these Ford-O assemblies. You can see now why I posted my original question. This is a very odd set up compared to earlier versions.
Another thing .. it's a little difficult to show, but the angle of the lamp is not 90 degrees to the license plate as with other brackets ... but the large clear lens actually turns inward to be more effective when lighting the plate. Less of a "raking" light.
I prefer the larger red lens to face the car behind since I usually put my stop light bulb in there. But since this lamp and bracket is original and correct for my cat I feel obligated to use it. I'll put a vintage accessory stop light on the back in a different location.
The 26 coupe is electric!
Thanks in advance posting a picture.
For Duey and others that want to see what the Ford-O tail lamp and license plate bracket for the TT trucks without starter and generator look like, this is it.
Also, the Ford-O tail lamps were supplied by Brown and E&J. Here are photos of NOS examples of both.
Jim. Thanks for the nice photos of the TT bracket. I have had them before, but did not have any TT brackets to take a photo of. Im going to save your nice photos for future reference .. For the folks unfamiliar with the Ford-O lights the main thing to remember about the Ford-O lights is that they are a "non starter" only related part. They are only correct if the car or TT Truck was "non starter".
Some how one of these Ford-O brackets slipped out of the factory on my starter equipped 25 roadster pickup. May not have been right but that's the way it came. You can see the bracket behind the non-Ford bracket hanging on the side of the bed rail.