Can anybody help in identifying the maker of this center door body by the # stamped in the floor board on the passenger side?
Yep, that's the body number. It appears that your body was made same as mine, in Des Moines, IA. I don't know what the A signifies. I see your body is a '22. You car must have been made in late '21 or early in '22. Mine was made in July of '22 with engine #6,290,xxx and the body number A33059 stamped in the same location. Although I have seen several Centerdoor bodies of varying years without this number stamp, I have only seen this stamp on 1922 Centerdoor bodies built in Des Moines.
Oops, I may have made that sound confusing. The jury is still out on whether the number was put on when the bodies were built or when the cars were assembled at the Des Moines, IA branch. I'd love to research this at the Benson Library some time.
I was told the there were two outside manufacturers of '22 Centerdoor bodies. The easiest way to tell them apart is at the front corner near the firewall. One style comes to a rather smooth point and the other is stepped. Andy Loso, who posts here on occasion has done more research into that than I have and he's got a couple of nice photos showing the difference. He'll probably post them in a day or so.
This car has all the features of the last body style made but does not have the original engine. It has a 21 engine and is titled a 21.
I know the body was pulled out of a barn in 1960 and put onto a different chassis. Are you determining my body is an early 22 because it has a lower number than yours and could it be as early as late 21?
I have those pictures somewhere, but they are from Hal Davis, I believe, they are not mine. One is a Fischer Body and the other is a Wadsworth. I believe the Wadsworth is smooth and the Fischer has the inset. If the search function on this forum would ever work for me, I would do some digging and pull it up. I believe Fischer was in Des Moines, IA; but maybe it was Wadsworth? Hopefully, Hal will pipe in and give the necessary info. Our Centerdoor, has the smooth front and no body number, that I can find, yet.
History of Wadsworth, including centerdoor:
History of Fisher:http://www.coachbuilt.com/bui/f/fisher/fisher.htm
Welcome to the forum. From your profile it appears you have just begun posting recently. But it also appears you have several Ts so you have probably been into them for a while?
I’m not sure why Eric Hylen picked 1922 for your body – but that could easily be correct or off only by a year or so. IF the outside door handles are the original ones for the body – if they are “T” handle they were used 1919-1920 and if they are an “L” handle they were used 1922-1923 according to Bruce McCalley’s book “Model T Ford” page 293. Additionally on page 294 he has under a picture of an early 1922 Centerdoor, “The front door on this 1922 Sedan still has the window strap. This car was made in early Feb 1922; later in the year the “lever and notch” system replaced the straps in the doors and front quarter windows. The door pull rail is typical 1916 through early 1922.” From the pictures you posted we can see the right front side window has the “lever and notch” window system. Also your door does not have the typical 1916-1922 door pull rail but has a much narrower one about 1/6 the length of the 1916-early 1922 cars.
Note – Bruce also shares there probably was some overlap when both style window lifts (strap and lever) were being produced. On page 293 he states, “The metal covering over the window frames, etc., appeared in 1921 on some [some] production, with the older type (bar painted wood) being made at the same time. Whether the metal covers appeared before the change in the window lifts, or at the same time is unknown to the author but the parts books seem to indicate the covers came first.” Bruce has similar statements in his online encyclopedia at: http://mtfca.com/encyclo/Cdoors.htm
Recommend taking a look under the rear seat at the seat frame. Sometime you will find a body number and/or body tag with a number and/or letter.
There is a Model T Ford Centerdoor group that is attempting to get started. Recommend you see: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/80257/95947.html?1245512471 and click on Trevor Davis’blue name to open his profile. Then go to the bottom of his profile and click on the “send private message.” He would love to hear from you and any other Centerdoor owners.
I have tried a couple of times to make sure I know which body maker Fisher or Wadsworth has the indent and which body maker does not have the indent. See: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/27255.html where Trevor Davis comments on his Wadsworth body number W46149 which has the indent at the bottom of the front cowl pillar. Note Les Schybert in that same posting also has a Wadsworth body and that it also has the indent on the cowl. There is a good photo of his body number – and where it was found (lift up the rear seat cushion and look down on the wood seat frame that hold the cushion. It normally would be on the front wooden rail. Based on that review – I think the indented pillar goes with the Wadsworth body -- so I have posted a "corrected" version of the photo below. But again – I am only reviewing this in my spare time and the sample size is about two. Below is my corrected version that shows the indent on the Wadsworth. If anyone has additional information supporting or correcting that – please let us know.
You have a great looking Centerdoor. Please take lots of photos before changing anything. Also Joe Fellin did a 9 part or so series from Jul/Aug 2006 to Jul/Aug 2008 on the restoration of his Centerdoor. His car also had the window latches and it had the metal moldings over the window sills.
One other clue I have wanted to look at but just haven’t found the time. I suspect the rear window size is different between the two bodies. Would someone take the time and verify if that guess is correct or not?
Hap Tucker 19l5 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and l907 Model S Runabout Sumter SC.
OOPS, I new I was close, Hal Davis wasn't my guy.
Hap thanks for the correction. I need to print this out and glue it to my brain to keep it straight.
We have a 22 and have the bail or loop type handles on our Centerdoor. A friend of mine just down the road recently bought one and his has the same door handles. He bought his fairly complete, although the roof is rotted of and the interior has almost no upholstery left. As things rotted off they fell inside. His wood is fairly complete and can be used for patterns. Inside the body he found all the metal pieces and laying amongst them was a metal tag, appears to be a body tag, but could you look this over and see what you think? Attached photo below, it is rusty and hard to read, but it is a series of numbers followed by a letter 'B' follwed by a space and then an 'F'. His is a smoothed sided body. The engine appears to be a replacement, no Ford markings only by what appears to be a K W in front of the water outlet.
Not to derail this thread, but, Hap, I have a relatively unmolested '25 coupe and just noticed the other day that the body number is stamped into the wood on the left side just inside of the door. If you would like, I will try to see what it is. Dave
My body must be a Fisher but as stated before the body number is on the floor board inside the passenger door. ( A10072) Here are some more pictures of the car.
More PhotosEarly muffler DIfferent upholstery on passenger seat
Yes, so we don’t highjack the Centerdoor thread – please send the photo / information about the 1925 coupe body number to my e-mail [just click on my blue name at the beginning of this posting or any other one of mine – the 3rd line down is my regular e-mail address. Please limit the size of any one e-mail to under 10 megs so it will make it through]. Also – please “cc” Dave Sosnoski [ click on http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/80257/96950.html?1246406969 and second entry has his name you can click there and it brings up his e-mail. I prefer not to post other folk’s e-mails on the forum. Or – just e-mail me and I will forward it to Dave. He is writing a neat book on the 1924-1925 Model T Ford Coupes. ] I have also sent you an e-mail asking you to let me know if front wheels on your TT are Kelsey 88 or Firestone or other some other make of wheel and rim. I looked but I did not see where I had filed that answer – but I may have asked you that before. I need to get more organized!.
******* Back to the Centerdoor thread: ********
For Dennis Fleming – thanks for posting the pictures. If you have a chance please click on my name and send me some high resolution photos – especially of the rear seat frame. I would like to zoom in and invert the colors etc. to see if I can find any numbers etc. Often it doesn’t help – but there have a been a couple of times when I looked and found something by zooming in and inverting the colors. What a great find you have -- lots of history there! Again I would encourage you to take lots of photos.
For Dennis Fleming and Eric Hylen,
Some thinking out loud – or at least while typing:
1. I started off 90% sure, dropped it to 80% then 70% but the more I think about it the more I realize – now I’m just guessing that the “Des Moines and the number underneath it” are the Branch Assembly number rather than the body number. Hopefully we can add a few other pieces to the puzzle and show that I was lucky and guessed correctly or that I guessed wrong. Either way – I would just hope we can clarify it some more. Eric – if you remember – did you look under the rear seat on the wooden seat frame and verify if there was or was not a body tag and/or number stamped into the wood seat frame? If you don’t remember and if you still have contact with the current owner of the car (I think I have their name in my files – so I could probably find it also) would you please ask him to lift the rear seat cushion and check for a number. Dennis – as requested above – please send me a higher resolution photo when you have a chance of your rear seat frame area. Just click on my blue name on this post and my e-mail is the 3rd line down.
2. Ok – I’m back up to 95% sure the Des Moines number is an Assembly Plant Number and not the original manufacture’s body number. Rationale:
2.a. I was digging for additional information and re-read Robert Kiefaber ‘s Sat 5 Apr 2008 10:24 Pm e-mail where he wrote: “On my other Centerdoor the body # is: Des Moines A24765. I believe this one to be a Fisher body because of no ridge on the metal pillar. Also this car is narrower than my other car. This keeps in line with Bruce's book stating that the Wadsworth was a little wider than the Fisher body.” [note page 559 Bruce McCalley’s “Model T Ford” under Feb 20, 1919 Ford Factory Letter : General Letter No. 347, 4th paragraph, describes the Wadsworth as slightly wider than the Fisher at the instrument panel board. A single board was provided and would be trimmed to fit the Fisher bodies. See: http://mtfca.com/encyclo/doc19.htm Feb 20, 1919 para 4 ]
2.b. As complex as the Centerdoor bodies were and as few were produced/made into Model Ts, it might be possible for one of the companies to have a plant in Des Moines to supply the Ford Assembly plant. But it is really unlikely that there would be enough demand for both Wadsworth and Fisher to have separate plants in Des Moines to produce that body style. On page 463 of Bruce McCalley’s “Model T Ford” and also on his “Comprehensive Model T Ford Encyclopedia” [ http://mtfca.com/encyclo/mccalley.htm ] he shows Des Moines producing 2,643 Tudors(Centerdoors) in Calendar year 1921 and 3,756 in Calendar year 1922. [Note the new style Tudor was introduced around Jun 1923 so the production for 1921 & 1922 would have been all Centerdoors.]
2.c. At: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/6/123.html is a posting about a 1923 FORDOR (not Centerdoor) with a Des Moines stamp. (Note the “s” was now on Des Moines. Also The poster believed the “F” was for Fisher – but I don’t have time to find out when Ford stopped purchasing bodies from Fisher. I believe it was around the time that General Motors became the primary share holder of Fisher and/or when General Motors became the owner of Fisher. One of those two dates/times.
2.d. Doing a simple search on Fisher Body Company and Des Moines was not helpful. Additional research to confirm that neither Wadsworth nor Fisher had a body plant in Des Moines would raise my confidence level from 95% to 100% that the number shown with the Des Moines was an Assembly Branch number rather than a body number.
For Andy Loso –
1. One of the problems many of us have is keeping track of “who is who” on the board. It is so much easier when we have a face, car, and someone we have talked with or worked with. That is one of the reasons I have that long signature – so folks can associate the 1915 cut off with me.
2. That very well may be the Fisher body tag that came on your friends Centerdoor. I would want to obtain a few more samples before I said it clearly was or was not. At this point I think that is the only one I have a picture of. . As more folks look into their Centerdoor puzzle pieces hopefully we will be able to make more sense out of what was written and the surviving cars we have to look at today as well as the pictures that have survived even though the cars went to the smelter to help support WWII. Ford often did some unexpected things. For example we know of a six cylinder Ford Model S Roadster that was sold at auction by the Henry Ford Museum. In the case of that car – it appears to have been test bed for that engine which used three sets of the cast in pairs Model N, R, S, & SR cylinders. That is based on some additional literature that was available. It really does exist (–the six cylinder engine and chassis was rebodied with a Model N body.) But it clearly was NOT a standard Ford production vehicle.
3. In the case of the bail style handles on the 1922 Centerdoors. I’m sure there is a reason for that also. Perhaps it came from the factory that way? Or perhaps someone changed the door handles out in the distant past? Or perhaps the bodies were swapped from an older chassis to a new chassis? Or perhaps a dealer had it as a replacement body and installed it on a later chassis and sold it? If only the cars could talk – what stories they could tell. But in some cases the other parts on the car can help lead to discovering one or several likely reasons the car is the way it currently was found. As noted above – on page 291 of Bruce’s book – David Simmering’s Feb 1922 Centerdoor still had the early “strap style window holders” and painted body wood rather than the metal covers over the outside window sills. So just because it doesn’t line up with what is considered typical – doesn’t necessarily mean it was not sold new that way.
Thanks to all of you for reading and sharing on this and the other threads. None of us has all the puzzle pieces and as each one offers their questions, their observations, their findings, etc. the closer we come to finding out how things were made or how things work etc. Thank you all for contributing. And if anyone has additional Des Moines stamps (I thought there was a very original touring car with one of those?) or Fisher or Wadsworth Centerdoor information please let us know.
Hap Tucker 1915 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and 1907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.
I identified your car as a '22 model based on features that I saw in your photos. The Des Moines number stamp simply corroberated that was built a bit before mine was. It's easy to believe that it was made in the latter part of '21. As youv'e noted, your car has all the fetures of a '22. The steel clad window post and "ratchet" window lift mechanisms are dead give aways. Thanks for posting the additional photos. Enjoy your car. Although I have no regrets about trading my Centerdoor for my '14 Touring, I did really enjoy owning it and do miss it on occasion (especially on our annual Christmas Day drive).
You're amazing. Thanks for the links to postings of other body styles with the Des Moines stamping. I agree with your assesment that these were, most likely, an assmbly plant marking as opposed to a body manufacturer's mark. I never found a body number under the rear seat of my Centerdoor. But, I keep in touch with the current owner. In fact, I built the motor that he used in the '14 Touring that he drove on the O2O Tour. I'm sure I'll ask him to have a look for a a number or tag under the seat cushion next time I visit with him.
Which gentleman are you talking about on the O2O Tour. I was on that trip in our 13 touring .
Thanks for all the great info on centerdoors. I will take some better pictures of the rear seat frame tomorrow. I will email them to you.