Any Canadian Coupes Eh?
I had a question from John who has a Canadian manufactured 1923 coupe with the doors hinged at the rear.
He wanted to know why it was registered as a 1923 but the upholstery supplier insisted he needed to order their 1922 coupe rather than the 1923 coupe upholstery kit. Below is a picture of John’s coupe (note the Canadian loose lug probably Kelsey 88 style wheels).
He asked me about his Canadian Coupe serial number. A little research showed:
From Herman L. Smiths serial number listing based on the Ford of Canada archives:
Feb 28, 1923 ended with 388272
Mar.31, 1923 ended with 396250
Additionally Bruce McCalley page 543 “Model T Ford” has
C393,000 Mfg date 3-17-23
C393,500 Mfg date 3-21-23
C394,000 Mfg date 3-22-23
Those numbers came from the Canadian Ford Service Bulletins
C394,307 has a casting date for the block of 3-1-23 McCalley page 543
The above indicates his engine was probably assembled in Mar 1923.
From his coupes picture it clearly shows it has the doors that open at the front and are hinged at the rear. It also has the latches to hold the door windows in the desired location. Ford USA continued that 1922 style body until around Jun 1923 (that was also true for the Ford USA Centerdoor sedan which continued the 1922 style until around Jun 1923). Then around Jun 1923 the new style USA Coupe and Tudor Sedan were introduced. Ford referred to both of those as 1924 models including the ones produce from Jun – Dec 1923. (ref page 308, Bruce McCalley). For Ford Canada production – I do not have any original Ford Motor Company documentation or secondary source documentation on when Ford of Canada switched from the rear hinged door coupe which was in USA production from 1920 to 1923 to the front hinged door coupe which was in USA production from mid-1923 to 1925.
Note if you look at the Cartouche advertisements they lump the rear mounted hinged doors that were produced up through May 1923 in the 1922 category. That works but doesn’t exactly follow when the cars were produced or that Ford called them 1923 models – in his advertisements. Below is the fall 1922 Ford brochure showing the 1923 line up. Note the slant windshield low cowl USA touring (Ford Canada introduced their low cowl slant windshield touring in 1920) but the straight windshield roadster and the rear hinged door on the coupe as well as the Centerdoor sedan. (From Bruce McCalley’s “Model T Comprehensive Encyclopedia” http://mtfca.com/encyclo/mccalley.htm used by permission. Also larger and easier to read in his CD – shrunk to fit here.)
But if you look at the door wood section of Lang’s catalog you will see they split it 1920-1923 and then 1924-1925. But on the coupe body wood Lang’s splits it 1920-1923 and 1923-1925. I believe that last way is actually the most accurate and representative of what really happened.
I believe John has a very nice looking Model T Ford Coupe probably produced in Mar 1923 or possibly very early Apr 1923. It would have been sold in the spring of 1923 and licensed as a 1923 Ford. And of course the main Ford factory probably switched over to the new style bodies before the Canadian Branches switched.
If anyone else has or knows someone who has a 1922-1924 Canadian Coupe, would you please have them post and/or e-mail me with the month the engine was produced (see below) and if it has the doors hinged at the rear like the 1920 to early 1923 Coupes or if it has the later 1923 to 1925 style doors with the doors hinged at the front.
Also please let us know if it is a low or high cowl coupe. Barry has an unusual Canadian coupe with the high cowl high radiator and radiator splash apron with the earlier style doors hinged at the rear. It appears to be an original with a lot of history going way back. It has a Jun 1923 engine serial number and a Jul 1923 date stamped on the body sill. I suspect that is near the time Ford of Canada switched to the high cowl with the doors hinged at the front.
Hap Tucker l9l5 Model T Ford touring cut off and made into a pickup truck and l907 Model S Runabout. Sumter SC.
Barry chiming in here.....are John and his 1923 Coupe here in the US, or still north of the border? Pls connect John and I directly if there's any assistance I can offer him.
John's car appears to have a low rad and cowl- can confirm? While the open-air roof may preclude survival of the die-stamped date in the wood sill, it may still be there- can check? Wheels held on with the square lugs like mine?
A good friend here in East TN recently saved another Walkerville coupe found in the North Jawjah hills- although a Walkerville motor was with the package, the motor in the car now is a US motor- the CDN motor is I believe from 1925, and the car is definitely earlier than mine- we are still trying to confirm the production year, and all indications point to either 1919 or 1920 at the latest.I'm still hoping to find a surviving late 1923 US coupe same as mine- early body and high rad, but no luck so far...
Thanks for your Posting. I have to explain that the photo posted was before I had the upholstry finished or the head-liner and roof on.
I have since done that. Still looking for original type trim that goes around the top of T. It appeared to be a coved lead material. I bought replacement at Mac's, but it is sort of square and made of rubber. Barry I am in Ontario north of the 49th. You can contact me anytime,
my email address is "firstname.lastname@example.org"
John P 23? T.
I don't know why everyone has such an issue with the 23 coupes. It's no different than any of the other years. The model year changed around July - August of 1923. Cars built before that were the suicide door coupes, are the 1923 model year and have the low radiator. Coupes built after that are the standard door coupes, are the 1924 model year and have the high radiator. It's the same thing with the change to the improved car with the 26 model year. That happened in August of 1925. We don't call them early 25's and late 25's, they are the 25 model year and the 26 model year. Same thing with the introduction of the Model A in August of 27. They are not 1927 Model A's, they are 1928's.
Apparently some of the confusion is that sometimes things are referred to by model year, and sometimes by calendar year. Regarding Lang's, it appears that the door wood is listed by model year, while the body wood is listed by calendar year. Cartouch seems to be doing their own thing and combining the two so that they consider the suicide door coupes to be 1922's, and the standard door models 1923's (because they came out in 1923 calendar year???) This is why whenever someone says they have a 23 coupe I always ask if it is a suicide door or standard door coupe, then go from there.
What is important for John is that he makes sure that the upholstery kit is for a suicide door coupe. I don't know the differences between a 1922 and a 1923 coupe to say if they are the same or not. Based on their confusion over the model years before I ordered it I would do some research and if there are differences be sure that what they are selling is correct for a 1923 suicide door coupe and not just for a 1922 coupe.
Anyway, this all pertains to the American versions, I have no idea what Canada was doing other than has been mentioned there is at least one version of the suicide door coupe with the high radiator.
I ordered upholstery for a 1923, fortunately I had original panels, I took them to Mac's Auto in Lockport and they made copies for there computor, and have kept some of my originals. They had already made the hip panels and others but I got excellent service from Dave Trank the upholstery manager. His "we'll make it right attitude at no extra cost" was great. I was able to get some remade, as I had already installed the headliner lower to fit original panels that they had made. Got it all done and for a dumb "cop" with no upholstery experience, it looks pretty good. Modest Eh? The Canadian T is a bit taller then those made in USA.