Recently came into possession of a nice 1913 Touring.
The car never had the updated reinforcement added to the rear door sills but does have the brace added under the car between the two original body mounts.. The body has some sag so I need to do something.
My question is are these reinforcements available (or does someone have a set laying around) or what have others done to reinforce the body in that area.
My understanding is that the Beaudette bodies didn't need the reinforcements due to having thicker sills. You may have one of those. Even so, both types of factory-supplied, dealer installed reinforcements are available. Not plentiful but not too hard to find.
Larry Smith knows more about the '13 than any dozen of us mere mortals. He'll chime in here at some point.
Has your car spent its entire life in Minnesota? If it has, you can research the registration ledgers at the Minnesota Historical Society and look up the name of the original owner.
Also, if it has a low number Pioneer plate, I can tell you who had the original Pioneer registration.
RV, yes I am hoping Larry chimes in at some point.
On the front seat sill I think it has a W for Walker?
Eric yes a Minnesota car with early Pioneer plate number but it's missing, bummer but I am just thinking of making a leather one with that number.
Originally, Pioneers were issued and required to be displayed in pairs. It was maybe only within the past 10 or 15 years when the law was changed requiring only one plate to be displayed on the rear that the state issued only one plate.
You can apply for a duplicate Pioneer license plate - doesn't cost much:
Unfortunately, Minnesota no longer issues stamped metal plates so you will be issued a flat one.
Another option: Minnesota does allow the transfer of existing Pioneer plates to other cars. My father and I have singles and pairs of three digit Pioneer plates available if you are interested. We ran the numbers through the state and they are "clean," i.e., the cars to which they were originally registered are out of state and no longer registered in Minnesota.
Yet another option: register the car with a 1912-13-14 Minnesota plate. I can give you the name of a local collector/seller who has early Minnesota plates available.
My '13 has the thicker sills and also the extra body bracket under the body, hence no need for that extra ugly bracket inside. Put 5 adults in it and it still sags a wee bit though. We did that one day last year and we really had to slam the doors to get 'em to close and stay closed!
I am hoping that this thread will provide some enlightenment for me. My '13 Touring does not have the reinforcement. Today, the front of the rear doors are about 5/8" higher than what they should be. This makes keeping the doors closed difficult. Is this door mis-alignment problem part of the overall problem? There are numbers stamped on the sill under the front seat, but there is no letters (see below). I would love to know how to identify this proverbial weakness, so I could determine a remedy to my door problem.
Dean, sorry to highjack, but Erik Johnson, do you have a way to get around the issue with registering a 12-13-14 plate via the MN DMV? I tried and they rejected it because it has no letter prefix. They tell me all the number only plates are reserved for semi-trailers?
Here is the number on the front seat sill.
That never occurred to me.
You could call the "special plates" number at the MN DPS: (651) 297-3166. The person at the other end of the line is supposed to be the expert.
Starting in 1921, Minnesota started issuing "A" plates for passenger cars less than one ton and "B" plates for passenger cars one ton.
In 1940, Minnesota dropped "B" on the license plates for cars that were over one ton. However, they continued issuing "A" plates much longer, at least through 1949. (They figured out as long as they issued "A" plates for the light cars, putting a "B" on the plates of heavier cars was redundant.)
Based on what you said, it would be impossible to register most 1940 through 1954 cars with the correct plate (numbers only). That might explain why I see so many cars registered with the wrong license plate - I thought it was owner ignorance. For example, there is a 1949 Buick that I see around south Minneapolis with a 1949 truck plate and a 1949 Ford with a 1949 trailer plate. I have seen many cars with "A" plates that should have "B" plates, or, in the case of 1940 and later, should have no letter on the plate.
Minnesota went alpha-numeric in 1955.
Thanks for the tip, I'll be trying that soon.
Hey where are all the 1913 T experts now that we have had a lesson on Minnesota plates.
RV, my Beaudette body has the rear seat reinforcing plates. It's also a letter July to august build.
Larry Smith, any ideas for me?
Here's what Bruce had to say:
"TOURING BODY PROBLEMS
The initial 1913 Touring bodies were built on wooden sills about 2-5/16 inches thick. The front and rear sections of the body were separate, with the doors extending to the splash aprons to give the body a one piece appearance. These thin sills proved to be too weak, allowing the doors to open as the rear of the body flexed, particularly when there were rear-seat passengers. Early in production the sills were reinforced with a strip of wood which was glued and screwed on top of the existing body sill. Later a formed-steel bracket which coupled the two body sections together was installed over the body sill. Then additional body brackets on the frame were installed just ahead of the rear seat section, and finally the sills were increased to 3-1/4 inches thick but the problem was still not solved. The ultimate solution, however, was the change to smaller doors with a
connecting body panel (the 1914 style body) in later 1913."
Apparently I was wrong about Beaudette bodies not needing the reinforcement. Here's what Bruce had to say about that:
"Bodies were made by Horbert, Fisher, Wilson, and Beaudette. The Beaudette bodies had
heavier wooden sills which required cutting some of the wood in order to install the steel reinforcements which connected the front and rear sections together under the rear doors."
I believe the "KA" prefix in your lower photo stands for Kelsey-American.
My 259595 car didn't have them when I restored it in 2004 and I found a two of the same side and one was much larger than the other. My sills are narrow and then I made the other side of plate steel and installed them. Made big difference in the strength of the rear body section overall and the car had excellent wood in it to begin with. I installed them with leg bolts which I know is incorrect but I wanted the body to retain its early look from the outside.
My 13, (11-12) was produced before any of the "fix's". The body alignment is just about perfect,but I won't let any one in the back seat.
This winter when I get to that part of the project I think I will try to add some wood under the car on the sill and on the inside, I had to replace some wood in one of my modern 30's car last winter and with the epoxy's that are available now days I don't think I will have any problems.
I do have Bruce's book and knew W was for Wilson, my car is a May 16th 1913.