MY VIN# ?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2017: MY VIN# ?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul Sherman Tacoma WA on Friday, September 15, 2017 - 12:26 pm:

Henrietta, my 1923 Touring has a # stamped on the RH front floor riser. It is: 8040472 B. My question is: Does the B indicate that the body was built by Beaudette? When I got the car, there was also a B stamped in the front of the rear seat pan (now replaced). And while I on the subject, can someone tell me when Henrietta was built?
Thank you, Paul in Tacoma


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Friday, September 15, 2017 - 12:49 pm:

The engine serial number is the VIN. It tells when the engine was made, and if it's the original engine that dates the car. Other features (frame, fenders, radiator height, etc.) also help to identify the year.

http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG90.html


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul Sherman Tacoma WA on Friday, September 15, 2017 - 01:28 pm:

It did not come with an engine, but I now have a 1919 engine. Just wondering about the "B".


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rich Bingham on Friday, September 15, 2017 - 01:33 pm:

This raises an interesting question - does anyone know if records exist of the body numbers placed by the different makers Ford used (Beaudette, Fisher, Wilson, et al) ?? Such records could corroborate the dates of engine and chassis assembly, and help sort out a lot of "bitsa" Ts.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Terry & Sharon Miller, Westminster, CO on Friday, September 15, 2017 - 01:59 pm:

I believe your number is a body manufacturer's number. While these have been used for the VIN, as Steve said, the VIN is the engine number.

The only way to tell when your car was actually built is if people like Rich can persuade the powers that be, to release body number to date lists. I agree with Rich, that would be a great help for those who have, or can find, a body number.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Friday, September 15, 2017 - 02:03 pm:

Rich, the short answer is no. Hap always asks people to look for body numbers because he's researching them in hopes of eventually compiling a list for dating purposes, but there is no complete original list of body numbers from Ford. I believe there are some fragmentary records up to 1915.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Friday, September 15, 2017 - 03:26 pm:

Paul,

Yes, the "B" on the rear seat heel panel as well as the B on the front right floorboard riser indicate the Model T body was produced by Beaudett (also spelled Beaudette and usually referred to as Pontiac in Ford USA records.) Note that assumes the parts are original to the body. If the parts were taken from one body to repair another body -- then it would only indicate that the panel was originally made by Beaudett.

I did some checking, and your number 8040472 B does not fit in well with the few numbers I have. That doesn't mean they are wrong -- they may add a missing piece to the "What do body numbers mean jigsaw puzzle?" Or you may find that one or more of the numbers are acually something else rather than what you typed in your original posting.

Note Beaudett used different methods of putting the body number on the bodies, depending on when the bodies were produced. For example in 1908 they stamped the number into the wood, along with a "B" in front of the number on the bottom of the rear seat of the 1908 Model S Roadster bodies (as well as on the front seat frame. They continued to stamp the number into the front seat wooden frame for a while. I'd have to look up when it transitioned to a metal tag with the number stamped on it, but the 1915 Beaudett bodies have the number on a metal tag that is attached to the wooden front seat frame. In 1916ish they moved the same style body tag to the right front floor board riser. And Royce's 1917 Beaudett has the body number stamped into the wood so the tag was dropped. I don't know if a "B" was or was not stamped into his wood.

Our 1918 Beaudett body has the numbers stamped into the wood on the right front floor board riser.



Note the "B" is at the front of the number. Not very clear in the photo, it also ends with a space 5 space 18 for the month and year i.e. May 1918. Note I cannot read the "5" from the photo but my notes say it is a 5. The car is several blocks away so I cannot just take a flashlight and go look.

By 1920 Beaudett was using a metal floor board riser. Below is a photo from John Sundstrom's 1920 touring. Note how you cannot really tell that number or letter is there.



And after he cleaned up the number with a wire brush (caution -- his was stamped into metal -- if you have a wood floor board riser -- don't use the drill with a wire brush.)



Note it starts with a "B" also and the last 2 digits are stamped differently for 20 -- 1920.

As Steve posted above, various other items can also help you date the body and car. For example does it have a 3 piece rear seat tub like the 1921-1925 cars or a 5 piece rear seat tub like the 1915-1921ish cars?

Please let us know if the floor board riser is metal or wood. If possible please post and/or send me a copy of your body number for our files. If you click on my name, it brings up my profile.
My e-mail address is the third line down. Higher resolution is better as it allows me to zoom in, change colors etc. better.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Friday, September 15, 2017 - 04:06 pm:

Steve,

Yes, I'm still working on compiling a list of body numbers and features. And yes, I will gladly share it, but currently with I have not gotten enough body numbers and other details to be able to put a list together. If anyone would like to send me their body number and information, please see the Posting "Home for the Holidays" that describes what we are looking for and where to look for the numbers. The posting is located at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/40322.html

My main 2 purposes in trying to figure out that puzzle are:

1. To help date a body that is not with the original chassis and/or engine.

2. To help restorers be able to tell which body maker produced their body and about when. So they can obtain panels from the same body company or at least look for them. The note at: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/doc15.htm states:

JUN 26, 1915 Factory Letter

"Hereafter when ordering body panels for 1915 cars, please give both the car and body numbers. The body number will be found on the right sill just inside the front door. This number will be preceded by a letter which indicates by whom the body was made.

"The above information is necessary as panels for bodies made by our various suppliers vary somewhat."

Related to that -- some folks have found that the Howells Sheet metal parts fit great. Others have been frustrated. I suspect but I do NOT know -- that Howells is reproducing a panel based on one body maker and it fits well with that body maker and not as well on some of the other body maker's cars. Again that is just a guess on my part. But wouldn't it be nice if we could give Howells or others the information so they could make the part fit better? Or at least caution folks that if you have a "this style body" the Howell's part was designed for a "this other style body" and you will need do x, y, and z to get it to fit better.

For me it sure beats mowing the grass which is what I am supposed to be doing....

Steve, note that the engine serial numbers of some of the cars shipped up to around Jan 1915 are available in the Accounts Receivable
documents at the Benson Ford Archives. But to my knowledge, they did not record the body maker or body number of the vehicle.

However for many of the early cars that have a shipping record from around serial #30,000 Jul 20, 1910 to Aug 21, 1911 engine serial #66,900 the shipping record often has the body maker and body number listed. Ref Bruce McCalley "Model T Ford" Page 489 for the Jul 20, 1910 date and page 499 for the Aug 21, 1911. I don't see body numbers listed before then -- but Bruce was only documenting about every 100th car. So there may have been some listed on the other 99 cars that were not listed. And of course the shipping documents are not available for cars after approximately end of Sep beginning of Oct 1911 (ref page 499 McCalley).

So much more still to "relearn" and document.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George John Drobnock on Friday, September 15, 2017 - 04:31 pm:

From Forum.....Sunday, April 07, 2013 - 09:35 am:

If the information on Beaudette bodies was presented before - sorry.

This may answer my own question about the manufacture of the 1922 Coupe Body. The number I found on the Coupe (B 21 3663) is very possibly a Briggs and not that of O. J. Beaudette. O. J. Beaudette supplied Ford with well over 2,000,000 bodies from 1910-1922 when the firm was purchased by Fisher Body Co. http://www.coachbuilt.com/bui/b/beaudette/beaudette.htm

"Auto Topics," 15 July 1922 (page 767) discusses the sale 1 July 1922 to Fisher Body Company. For 16 years Beaudette manufactured bodies for Ford.

Within the forum there is a discussion on the body numbers and Beaudette Company. Is this discussion about open cars?
http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/73672.html?1227817825

The following indicates Beaudette manufactured roadster bodies.

"Auto Industries" of 12 October 1922 (p 748) carried the following story, ' Rouge Plant Builds Most of Ford Bodies (Detroit 9 October).' The article states Ford is now building all bodies for its models (cars?) at the River Rouge Plant. The reason was the termination/sale of the Beaudette Company, Pontiac, Michigan to Fisher Bodies. The Beaudette Company, according to the 1922 article, built roadster bodies for Ford.

The Rouge plant now (1922) build 800 bodies daily in house. The Phaeton and all two-door sedans are built at Rouge River. The phaeton bodies are built in numbers of 3015 daily, with an average of 2650 daily. Sedans (bodies) are manufactured at 900 daily.

Bodies for Coupes and the new four door sedan bodies are manufactured by the Briggs Company and not by Ford. These two styles are low production (1922) cars averaging 5000 daily. The Ford Company is manufacturing 400 to 500 light trucks daily.

I do apologize for this questioning, just trying to understand the relationship between Ford and the body manufactures-- who did open? - who did closed?

George John Drobnock


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Friday, September 15, 2017 - 06:35 pm:

George,

I'm sure folks can answer your question or questions if we understand what it/they are.

There were multiple manufacturers of open bodied cars for Ford Motor Company USA as well as for Ford of Canada. It often was based on a time period.

While the Coach Built site has some great information, like all information they are also trying to make it more accurate.

A good general read on the bodies is located on Bruce's Online Encyclopedia at: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/A-B.htm it is broken out by year ranges i.e. 1909-10 etc. You will notice that the various body makers were used.

I think you wanted to know if the discussion on the thread at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/73672.html?1227817825 was about the open cars. Yes it was. No closed cars involved.

Are you asking if a "B" on a 1922 USA Model T coupe body indicates that the body was produced by "Briggs?" If so the answer is -- Yes, as far as I know. I found several posting where you have been pursuing to know if your Coupe was a Briggs built or some other company. And also your desire to know what the body number might mean. ref your posting at:

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/331880/353607.html?1365385641

http://www.modelt.org/mtfcivb/archive/index.php/t-756.html

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/411944/473713.html?1409277840

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/599638/623991.html?1458139686

By the way there is nothing wrong in asking the same question -- we are all learning more about the Ts and you never know when someone may have piece of information or lead that you need.

We know Briggs did supply some coupe coupe bodies in 1922 ref: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/doc22.htm


OCT 30, 1922 Acc. 78, Box 48, Ford Archives
FORD'S QUALITY CONTROL(?)
Coupe bodies
"We have just discovered that in order to make the door panels fit on the coupe jobs, some workmen had conceived the idea of cutting the cardboard on each side about 1/2" from where it was sewed to the cloth and extending from the top to the bottom, thus permitting the cloth to be stretched so that the full surface of the door and door frame would be entirely covered.
"As soon as this was discovered we checked up and were assured by the Briggs Manufacturing Company that this did not extend over a period longer than two days.
"By feeling along the sides of the panel it can be easily distinguished whether or not this cardboard has been cut and wherever you find it necessary, out suggestion is that you replace the panel with a good one from your service stock.
"If the panels which you remove can be used for service and if you have only a very few of them, our suggestion is that you put them into your service stock. In any event, advise us of the number your replace, so that we can determine whether or not they are to be charged back to the Briggs Manufacturing Company."
The letter does not say what to do when you get one of these defective panels from service to replace another defective panel on the coupe being repaired!

And from the Ford Price List of Parts we see that both Fisher and Briggs used different center hinges on the Coupes they produced:



Note it has dates 1920-1923 for the usage.

Fisher would not have been using a "B" on the serial numbers.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George John Drobnock on Saturday, September 16, 2017 - 09:36 am:

Hap and all...

When I started to research the family's 1922 Coupe, I started with a question to the Henry Ford, only to discover that the information that is available to the brass radiator cars is not available to the black radiator cars because of an archival fire in the 1970's.

I also inquired and asked for those with Coupes of the period (1922) to share their engine number and body number to establish a time line for body and engine. Only four responses.

Research lead to what was available on the internet book available section, and I found the October 1922 "Auto Industries" publication and the information about the sale of the Beaudette company to Fisher.

What was learned was this..."Bodies for Coupes and the new four door sedan bodies are manufactured by the Briggs Company and not by Ford. These two styles are low production (1922) cars averaging 5000 daily. The Ford Company is manufacturing 400 to 500 light trucks daily."

The fact that the Beaudette Company used a "B...." to designate body manufacturing numbers. And that Briggs also used the B designation.

What I came away with is that, for 16 years, up to 1922, bodies were constructed by Beaudette and other coach builders. This all changed with retooling at the Rouge Plant Ford Bodies (Detroit 9 October)(1922). Beginning in 1922 Ford was building all bodies for its models at the River Rouge Plant. Bodies (circa 1922 )for Coupes and the four door sedan bodies are manufactured by the Briggs Company and not by Ford.


Notes and reference stuff: "If the information on Beaudette bodies was presented before - sorry.

This may answer my own question about the manufacture of the 1922 Coupe Body. The number I found on the Coupe (B 21 3663) is very possibly a Briggs and not that of O. J. Beaudette. O. J. Beaudette supplied Ford with well over 2,000,000 bodies from 1910-1922 when the firm was purchased by Fisher Body Co. http://www.coachbuilt.com/bui/b/beaudette/beaudette.htm

"Auto Topics," 15 July 1922 (page 767) discusses the sale 1 July 1922 to Fisher Body Company. For 16 years Beaudette manufactured bodies for Ford.

Within the forum there is a discussion on the body numbers and Beaudette Company. Is this discussion about open cars?
http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/73672.html?1227817825

The following indicates Beaudette manufactured roadster bodies.

"Auto Industries" of 12 October 1922 (p 748) carried the following story, ' Rouge Plant Builds Most of Ford Bodies (Detroit 9 October).' The article states Ford is now building all bodies for its models (cars?) at the River Rouge Plant. The reason was the termination/sale of the Beaudette Company, Pontiac, Michigan to Fisher Bodies. The Beaudette Company, according to the 1922 article, built roadster bodies for Ford.

The Rouge plant now (1922) build 800 bodies daily in house. The Phaeton and all two-door sedans are built at Rouge River. The phaeton bodies are built in numbers of 3015 daily, with an average of 2650 daily. Sedans (bodies) are manufactured at 900 daily.

Bodies for Coupes and the new four door sedan bodies are manufactured by the Briggs Company and not by Ford. These two styles are low production (1922) cars averaging 5000 daily. The Ford Company is manufacturing 400 to 500 light trucks daily."


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rich Bingham on Saturday, September 16, 2017 - 12:39 pm:

I had heard about records lost post 1915 in a fire, does this mean there are records extant for pre '15 bodies ? I'd like to know if the number on my Wilson bodied runabout can be paired with a build date.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Saturday, September 16, 2017 - 04:16 pm:

Rich,

The short answer is, I’m sorry but there is not a nice list of USA assembled Model T engine numbers, car numbers, and body numbers for the cars after engine number 70,702 (Mar 1911). I do not know of any official or unofficial listing of the cars made, the engine number, car number (discontinued in the USA during 1915 calendar year), and body number. There is a chance that a few individual "Bill of Sales" might contain all three of those numbers -- but the June 1915 copy of a Bill of Sale that I looked at only had the Motor Number and Car Number listed.

Some 1914 bodies appear to include a date code as part of the body number and several but not all of the 1915-16 body makers included a date code. From your profile, it appears you have a 1913 Runabout. Unfortunately, I do not think a date code was included in the body numbers at that time.

But if you believe your body is original to the engine number in your car, I would love to add those numbers (and the car number if you believe the ID patent plate number on your car is original to the car) to the information in my very small database. I’m still hoping we will begin to see a trend between the body numbers and the engine serial numbers. We did see that trend on the Beaudett, Wilson, and Fisher bodies 1915 and later as we gathered additional numbers. But they all have a date code with the body number.

Additional details:

I believe the body numbers were never in a nice sequential order with the engine serial numbers for USA production. Bodies and engines were shipped together as fully assembled cars up until around 1913. The bodies were brought to the plant fully painted & upholstered initially. And multiple suppliers brought their bodies. Later the bodies were brought in the “white” where Ford did some of the painting and upholstery. I love the photo on page 179 of Bruce's book that shows the 1914 style bodies stacked on a wagon pulled by two horses. Looks like they probably delivered 14 bodies at a time. They were not painted black yet and they did not have any upholstery. Once the assembly line began, the cars were shipped without the bodies mounted on the chassis. Then later the bodies, engines, and other parts were shipped to Branch Assembly plants and not even assembled until they were put together at the far away location.

Note there is about a 20% chance or so that if your car has the original engine number, that the engine number is recorded in the Accounts Receivable Ledgers at the Benson Ford Archives. The records are NOT complete – thus the 20% chance or so. They are also NOT listed in numerical order by serial number. Instead they are listed alphabetically by the various dealers, branches and in the very early 1903-1908 days sometimes even the individual that a car was shipped to. And the cars shipped to them were not necessarily in numerical engine number. So you have to search every listed dealer/branch to see if your serial number was or was not sent there. But they do record the engine serial number, the name shipped to (usually a dealer (agent)), the city, state and the date the car was shipped. Note for the 1903 Model A Fords up to Model T Ford #1,114 Trent Boggess compiled the listing stating the engine serial number, who the car was shipped to, city, state, and when shipped. One of many items we say THANK YOU Trent for all your support to our hobby! That database is included in Bruce’s Comprehensive Model T Encyclopedia 2 CD set (available from Barbara McCalley – Thank you Barbara for continuing to make them available) see: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/3487/788479.html?1505060160 ) and is also included on the DVD that accompanies Carl’s excellent book “Pate’s Early Ford Automobile Encyclopedia available from the author at: http://www.earlyfordcars.info/ as well as Lang’s Early Car Parts and other locations.

If you want to pursue it, the Mar 1904 to around Dec 1914 or perhaps as late as Jan 1915 Accounts Receivable Ledgers are located in Accession 623, Boxes 1-8, the Benson Ford Research Center. That is the database that Bruce McCalley used to construct his 1911-1912 Engine Serial Numbers (including the B-serial numbers) see: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/11-12Ser.htm

Shameless plug: If you have or know of a 1903-1927 Ford that you think the engine serial number, car number (up through 1915ish for USA production – and well into the 1920s for Canadian production) and body number are original to the car, please send them my way. Photos are a great help as they allow us to double check the typing. I.e. if the photo shows one thing and the e-mail says another – something has probably been transposed etc. You can click on my name and it brings up my profile. My e-mail address is the third line down. You cannot send photos via the Private Message, so please use the e-mail address for any photos. Higher resolution is always appreciated.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rich Bingham on Saturday, September 16, 2017 - 09:27 pm:

Thank you much, Hap. If it will help, I will send you numbers and pix of my T.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Sunday, September 17, 2017 - 09:08 am:

Rich,

Yes, please send me the information and pictures of your car. I may or may not be able figure out a pattern to the different numbers, but I know if I don't try I will never know one way or the other.

As I mentioned above if you click on my name at the beginning of any post I've done it brings up my profile. My e-mail address is the third line down. Please limit any singe e-mail to 10kb or less and it should go through just fine. And if you can include a little of the history that you know that can be helpful also. And the 200-400kb size photos usually allow me to see additional details that I would miss if the photo was only 100kb or less. And if you can put a ruler or a quarter next to the numbers etc. on your seat frame, it allows me to better judge the size of the numbers. Note also that you may have additional numbers or letters on the front seat riser depending on when and where the body was made and when and where it was upholstered.



Above is a tag that came from the factory and was still with an unrestored 1914 touring. Note the tag has a place to check which company produced the body -- in this case Fisher. The second column has which company did the finishing (My hypothesis is that is the company that provided the upholstery. But I would welcome confirmation or correction on that guess). The third column has a check mark by which company provided the top. In some cases, the company that did the finishing on the body will also be stamped into the wood of the front seat frame. So a photo that shows the entire front seat frame at high resolution allows me to look for that one also.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George John Drobnock on Sunday, September 17, 2017 - 09:26 am:

Did post 1916/1917 cars (black radiators) have similar cards?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Monday, September 18, 2017 - 08:45 pm:

George,

A while back Royce posted the inspection card shown below (Thank you Royce!):



It came with the very original one owner 1917 Runabout/Roadster that his Dad purchased back around the 1950s or maybe earlier (?) and Royce now owns the T. Note this inspector's tag has dropped the body makers and finishers and top providers from the listing.

My theory -- and I would welcome confirmation or correction to that -- is by 1917 Ford was painting, upholstering, and installing their own tops on the open cars. Why no comment about which body maker? My theory -- again please correct or confirm it or ask another question to give us some leads -- In 1915 the body makers were instructed to place their body numbers on the right hand floor board riser -- so there was not a need to place who made the body on the ticket any longer.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


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