S0S serial number--strange!

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2017: S0S serial number--strange!
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jack Putnam, Bluffton, Ohio on Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 12:43 pm:

I have a 21-25 style block, single valve chamber, no Ford Script, no date stamp that has a strange serial number. 5595S0S stamped in the boss atop the water inlet. This is clearly a replacement block, but I wonder did the person who stamped the number loose his "8" stamp and merely substituted the "S" instead? Any ideas?

S0S block


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By george house . . .caldwell county, TX on Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 01:36 pm:

A Ford employee in the Engine Block Curing Dept. was obviously an indentured servant that has been captured beyond his service contract and was seeking outside help.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Vern (Vieux Carre) on Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 01:50 pm:

Perhaps the original digits were 8's but poorly stamped and the person simply misread them, intentionally using S. Have a check run on both serial numbers.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David L Corman on Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 02:02 pm:

Illinois DMV------ Secretary of State stamped blocks this way in the past


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By G.R.Cheshire (La Florida!) on Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 02:05 pm:

I wonder where he got the serif letter stamp set? even had he lost the 8 if he had overstamped with a zero it would have looked like a "Crazy eight"


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Carl Sorenson-Montrose,CO on Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 02:30 pm:

I’m guessing the “Head Stamper”(block stamper) dropped his 5 somewhere and lost it ,,,he used a S till they got him a new one....Can’t stop the line now can we....??


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Eckensviller - Thunder Bay, ON on Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 04:30 pm:

If the engine stamp guy dropped his 5 he would have done it after stamping the first three 5's in that serial number.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dean Kiefer - Adams, MN on Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 04:57 pm:

A cry for help.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Pawelek Brookshire, Texas on Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 06:21 pm:

I think the "Peter Principle" might apply here!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Sullivan on Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 08:13 pm:

How many 5s you think he stamped that day, maybe it broke. Dave in Bellingham,WA


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Darryl Bobzin on Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 08:19 pm:

An S means the block was cast in San Francisco, A D, It was cast in Denver, And a P, Philadelphia.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 08:35 pm:

These odd numbers have been discussed in the past. But I like seeing questions come around again. I always hope for new information to come out.
I have personally seen a few engines with one, two, or three letters, followed by two, three, or four numerical stamps. These have generally been identified as engines that Ford sold "out the back door" for use in industrial or nautical uses. Apparently a worst kept secret, rarely recorded in books and articles. However well known by many, with lots of empirical evidence. I have seen these in industrial/factory (non-Ford) tow-motors and farming equipment, compete with their special serial numbers.
In past discussions, several people have shown photos of their model Ts with such numbers. A part of history is that many hundreds of local and regional businesses rebuilt and sold engines to keep older cars on the road. These businesses were common well into the 1970s, although most had quit doing model T engines by the mid '50s. I even remember model A people buying engines off the shelf for their cars from the local rebuilder in San Jose CA during the '60s. All through the '30s and '40s, probably into the '50s, these rebuilders would take in engines from almost any source, and keep rebuilt motors on the shelf for customers to come in and buy ready to go. These rebuilders did not care if a motor (or just a short-block) was from a wrecking yard, car, core trade-in, or boat yard. Those odd type numbers wound up in a lot of cars back in those days. And many of them are still hiding there today to be found and confuse someone.
The four numerical digits followed by "SOS" is unusual, even in something that is at it's beginning unusual. "Secretary of State" is quite likely. And it could be any of several states. Illinois is certainly a likely choice. From a past discussion, I recall that some state used a common abbreviation of the state's name along with a few numerical digits. But I do not recall what state that was (I seem to recall that it was one of the "M" states, so many to choose from?). Rather arrogant I would think to use a "Secretary of State" designation and not indicate of which state.
Anomalies can be so frustrating. And they can be interesting. These things need to be considered in the context of their day. There were fewer universal rules then.
My understanding from what I read in the forum is that during the model T era, Ford sold complete replacement engines with serial numbers already on them. But bare blocks (and maybe short-blocks) had no serial number so that the shop should put the car's original number onto the new block. If this was done in a non-title state? Likely no number would be put on. Why bother? If later, the state began titles, or if the car were moved to a title state? A number would have to be assigned. Hence, Secretary of State, or MVD, or DMV designations.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 08:47 pm:

Looks like a coin collector has sneaked in amongst us! I began collecting coins when I was quite young. And moved on to antique automobiles when I was fifteen. I still love coins, and their connections to history as well. Unfortunately, I sold nearly all I had of value a long time ago to pay doctor bills. I still enjoy regaling coin related history (oh NO, don't get him started!), like enunciating the "s" in disme (yes, I know the "s" is supposed to be silent).
I also have an actual three dollar bill.

Welcome!


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