Several years ago, a friend gave me a 1915 Model T Pie Wagon made by Pyro. He had started building it and stopped for whatever reason. I have begun tearing the thing apart and getting rid of the glue globs. Looking at Bruce McCalley's book, he assumes that the engine was painted black another transmission cover was unpainted aluminum. Was the engine a gloss black or semi-gloss black or neither? What color were the exhaust and intake manifolds? Carburetor? Or the fan belt black or brown? The gas tank? Thanks.
I believe the notion that Model T engines were unpainted is a superstition that arose from what Ford actually did use. That was a "Gilsonite wash", a black low-quality finish that didn't last long. I use black satin Rustoleum on engines before 1926. That sounds like I paint a lot of engines, but I've only done two so far. I prefer satin or flat for chassis parts. Glossy is for the body. I think it looks ridiculous underneath.
The 1915 hogshead is unpainted aluminum. I use the same satin black Rustoleum on the pedals, low speed adjuster, and other steel parts.
I don't know if intake manifolds were painted originally, but mine get the same chassis satin black. Ditto for the NH carb I'm using. If you're using the correct bronze Holley G, it should be bare. I think the exhaust manifold was originally unpainted. I use clear VHT manifold paint to keep it unrusted.
The original 1915 fan belt would be leather, which I assume is brown, but a lot of folks use the ordinary Gates rubber belts which are black. That one depends on how authentic you want to be.
Thanks for the info. I want it to be fairly authentic, given the scale and what detail is available on the plastic. I will probably post with more questions as I continue building it.
I have only restored my 1927 Tudor, which I know like the back of my hand. There were quite a few changes between 1915 and 1927, and yet, some things remained the same.
Here's a good factory photo of brass era power plant.
It looks like the exhaust manifold got the same finish as the rest of the engine. Maybe I should use VHT black instead of clear.
I rub black stove polish on my exhaust manifold ... gives it a nice satin black finish.
I think it would be amusing to paint an engine exactly as Ford did, including the body, drips and all, and then enter it into a concours event. Stand by with photographic proof, and watch the judges self emoliate.
Dan, where is you get that engine pic from? Do you have a higher resolution you could email me?
Here is another view, the photo is from FMC archives. PM me with your email
(Message edited by Dan_Treace on November 21, 2017)
Boy that black is flat as soot...
Soot black wasn't offered, best I know.
Perhaps 15's Charcoal Black is the one.
Sorry. At least it isn't a green. sorry.
(Message edited by duey_c on November 21, 2017)
Thanks for the great photos. I just about have the engine done.
Can I assume that the chassis and running gear were also the same color - semi-gloss black?
What color was the firewall? Langs sells a birch plywood replacement and birch is fairly light. Was the wood stained? Thanks again.
Yes, Cherry wood, pretty red. I have one of these kits, still in the box, so would love to see pics and anything else in the way of suggestions for a better build.
How about the gas tank? What color was it? I am speculating either silver or black.
1915 firewall was black.
Early factory photos, the chassis looks semi gloss black. The gasoline tanks appear to be lightly galvanized. Good repro tanks look (and work) best. If you have a nice original, it could be re-galvanized if you have a place near you that can do it. But they generally cannot get it inside where it really needs to be. I (and a few other people) use silver or aluminum paint on the gasoline tanks. If you are not going for a "no expense spared" restoration, it seems to work well for looks. The real problem today is the inside of the tank. Modern gasoline encourages rust which flakes off and causes fuel flow troubles. A fresh galvanized steel seems to be the best tank sealer.
I would like to see photos of the model. I built the Pyro Coupelet when I was a kid but did not know about the Pie Wagon.
oops, Keith is right--I was thinking of the '14 and earlier fireawalls, yes '15-16 (and up) was black, "Charcoal Black" as noted in the color codes!
That sooty black from the engine photo above is making my hands feel dirty just from looking at it.
Work so far with the box in the back. This kid is missing one tire and half of the hood. I might be able to manufacture the hood from scratch, but the tire is a different story. I may have to find a parts kit to complete it. Thank you for all the input.
take the wheel to an auto parts store, and find an O ring that will fit. Smooth tire! Appropriate for '15 too.
Great idea on the tire.
I don't have instructions and the one I found online is blurry. How was the gas tank mounted?
Does this make any sense? It's upside down! I forget that you are a 26-27 T man with a gas tank above your knees! :-)
I believe the same into 15 and a bit later until the oval tanks came long and then the same. :-)
Tank straps should be black. Yes for galvanized/silver tank. :-)
What the devil are the frame rails doing sticking out past the cross member? ?
I have a few cherished models around here too. :-)
I was a model A little boy until the model T knabbed the older version of me. :-)
Keep us posted Jim!
I could edit my post but the very few models I have are still so very special to me! A certain yellow model A and a couple of T's.
I stole the grey wire wheels off of the yellow A for a dark blue 25 coupe'. That great big TT truck will remain the original plastic green.
Fun project Jim!
Much inspiration here even tho it's a model. :-)
Thanks, Duey for the great pic of the tank. Unfortunately, mine won't be that shiny as I ran out of Alclad polished aluminum laquer last month. It is on my Christmas list, though.
I did look at the Ford handbook and saw that it is bolted to the frame. What color were the straps? Thanks.
I was going to get my kit and copy the instructions for you, but it's not where I thought I put it!! It also doesn't appear to be even near where I thought it was! Hmmmm. Straps were black, the galvanizing doesn't stay that shiny either!
Hey Jim. PM me with your address. I have a matched set of four tires that I think came off a junkyard Pyro T Coupelet. Free of charge one model builder to another.
And I found the hood for you too.
I had a major setback today in that when I went to place the frame on to the fenders the rear axle was about 10 mm short. My friend had given it to me had plans to make this into a Speedster and it never materialized. He must have shortened the frame, the driveline and the rear radius rods. Fortunately, I had enough scrap material on hand.
I also had to reconstruct the firewall as it was totally incorrect. It was more like one from 1923 than 1915.
Jim, I think I would find a parts kit to raid for the parts. There are Pyro kits on Ebay all the time, and those were carried on in some form through the years by Lindberg and Airfix. They are all 1/32 scale and should have the parts you need.
A quick search showed some Couplets as they name them, and they should all be from the same molds so parts will interchange. That Pie Wagon that you have I have to say is one I have not seen over the years. Not necessarily worth a ton, but a rarer version indeed.
Yes, that was a thought; however, I am trying to get it finished in time for a Model T Christmas Party this Saturday and can't get the parts in time. I admit that I started this project way too late - last week - I should have started it a month ago.
I made some headway tonight. The hood isn't fitting right to the radiator, but it was getting late and I will tweak that tomorrow. I need to make the pedals and install the handbrake and that I'm on the downhill slide. I apologize that the top photo ended up a little blurry
OOOPSS, looks like a vaporizer manifold on there. Even back then they got things wrong, LOL.
Good work though, I was an avid builder / collector into my late 20's. I really have not touched this stuff for nearly 15 years.
It isn't a vaporizer, because the intake manifold sits above the exhaust and this one is below. However, the shape of what pyro supplied certainly does not look like Ford made. I debated about properly reconstructing one from scratch and decided that I did not have time between now and the Christmas party on Saturday. Thank you for the nice compliment on my work.
Nearing the home stretch.....
Looking great. What did you do about the missing wheel---or did you find it? Cant wait to see it with the body on, but it looks great now as is.
I kiped two tires and the steering wheel from the unbuilt coupelet. I didn't want to part out that model, but time is of the essence. Thanks for the kind words.
Last night, I spent a couple of hours scratch-building the pedal assembly, radiator stabilizer, the hoses, and the back rest to the seat. I also painted the lettering on the side of the body and painted the windshield frame I repainted the hood before work today and will assemble the body tonight and post some pictures.
Done! Thanks again for all of your help. I left it on the table last night and my 22 month old son saw it, pointed at it and began shouting "doggie dee, doggie dee" - his way of saying Model T. He was not too happy that I would not let him play with it
This is what I had to start with.