Old Photo - Brass Era - Posing Curdside In A Model T Torpedo

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2018: Old Photo - Brass Era - Posing Curdside In A Model T Torpedo
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jay - In Northern California on Friday, January 05, 2018 - 08:10 am:


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Dix on Friday, January 05, 2018 - 08:41 am:

Oval Gas tank. Accessory Trunk ? Skinny spokes. Small Hubs?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Walker, NW AR on Friday, January 05, 2018 - 09:12 am:

Neat car and interesting pic. What's going on behind the house? Are they adding onto the garage? There's another car inside the addition. And what's the drug store sign doing in the yard?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rich Bingham, Blackfoot, Idaho on Friday, January 05, 2018 - 10:45 am:

I'll always consider the '10-'11 torpedoes the classiest of Model Ts. (though I love 'em all !)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Keith Townsend ; ^ ) Gresham, Orygun on Saturday, January 06, 2018 - 11:13 am:

With the square door, I wonder it it is an open runabout with an aftermarket door. The torpedo usually have a curve at the back of the door. I love the skinny gas tank and the trunk looks practical. I bet the sloped part opens.



For comparison, here is a photo of what I believe is an open runabout with a square door. Unless it was a torpedo body that was seldom used...



: ^ )

Keith


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rich Bingham, Blackfoot, Idaho on Saturday, January 06, 2018 - 11:26 am:

Well, this raises a lot of interesting questions! Three very different bodies that appear to be "torpedoes". All seem to have the longer lowered steering column. Wouldn't the open runabout body be a bit taller and shorter coupled? And what about the "special" torpedo windshield and fenders ? Would owners "back in the day" have opted to buy all the necessary parts to convert an open runabout into a torpedo? Would they even have been available?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Robert L. Rogers on Saturday, January 06, 2018 - 02:10 pm:

The woman seems to be unsure of her husband's new contraption.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Saturday, January 06, 2018 - 02:39 pm:

Rich,

The 1911 model year Torpedo Runabout and Open Runabout shared most of the same special parts [2 inch longer hood, dash bracket for the 2 inch longer hood, dash bracket for the 2 inch longer hood, fenders, running boards, had the rear running board bracket moved forward a little under 9 inches (see: http://www.funprojects.com/pdf/FPIframe.pdf - thank you John Regan), windshield, windshield support, rear gas tank, slightly different transmission pedal bend, etc. )

Below is from Bruce's On-Line Encyclopedia:
http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/1911.htm



Above is the 1911 model year Open Runabout and below is the 1911 model year Torpedo Runabout.



The body looks similar but they are different.
The Open Runabout was $680 and the Torpedo Runabout was $725.

Note the photo Keith posted shows a regular Torpedo Runabout and the second photo shows an Open Runabout that has been fitted with front doors. It is very similar looking to the way the 1912 Foredoors that were removable were added.
You can see how the Foredoor kit fits on top of the standard slanted front floorboards at the front. And the 1912 Foredoors were bolted in and could be removed.

But the original photo that Jay posted (thank you Jay!) does NOT show where the floor baords slant up to meet the dash.

I would like to know more about that body that Jay originally posted. Did one of the body makers produce that style for a while and Ford USA sold them new? Did Ford of Canada have that model and was it the same or did it perhaps have the lower rear door corner square? (I never do well at seeing the tire size. If the original photo that Jay posted has 30 x 3 1/2 tires all around -- that would indicate it likely was a Canadian produced car (or a USA car that the owner swapped the front 30 x 3 tire size wheels for 30 x 3 1/2 tire size wheels.) Or was Jay's original photo a very nicely modified 1911 USA model year Open Runabout?

There is always more to discover and document.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off

(Message edited by Hap_tucker on January 06, 2018)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rich Bingham, Blackfoot, Idaho on Saturday, January 06, 2018 - 03:07 pm:

Thanks, Jay for the pix, and thank you, Hap for the information on the open roadster. So many details to absorb, and then there's the mystery of the two different torpedo bodies !!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Walter Higgins on Saturday, January 06, 2018 - 04:27 pm:

Keith has a good eye. The curve that is part of the lower corner of the Torpedo door is also part of the Torpedo seat. As compared to an Open Runabout seat, the vertical edge of a Torpedo seat is also cut back further (meaning the seat side is not as deep). I have saved a bunch of era photos of Torpedos, some that can be dated as very early in production, and none have a square-cornered door. I'd say it's definitely an Open Runabout seat.

What makes this conversion even more convincing is that you can't see the floorboard riser as in the photo Keith posted with the woman. All of the conversions I have seen still show the riser.

To answer Rich's questions, the placement of an Open Runabout seat is as far back as the Torpedo and it is my understanding that it uses the same top assembly. There is really nothing special about a T/OR windshield. It is just a standard windshield flipped around and stopped on a second set of detents that standard hinges have also. That's why you see the rubber bumpers on the outside-bottom. Rather than the upper section folding to the rear, they fold to the front.
Only the dash clamps, supports, and support brackets are unique.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Marshall V. Daut on Saturday, January 06, 2018 - 08:40 pm:

Who was the target market for these Torpedos back in the day? The "Sports" around town? Early Yuppies? It didn't have any special performance enhancements, so it probably wasn't viewed as a "hot rod". Maybe it was aimed at the younger market because of its racier lines?
Marshall, a non-brass T guy


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rich Bingham, Blackfoot, Idaho on Saturday, January 06, 2018 - 10:50 pm:

Walter, thanks for pointing out the similarities between the torpedo and the open runabout. Somehow I missed that, thinking the torpedo was the only model offered with the lowered seat and that fender arrangement.

Marshall raises an interesting question. I wonder what point of view shaped the strategies of "sales & marketing" in those early days? Given the near-certainty that nearly all customers were making their first transition from a horse drawn conveyance to an automobile, they probably wouldn't be equipped to evaluate and compare differences in the performance of one automobile model over another.

Regarding "sporty appeal" vs. utility or passenger capacity, it would likely be instructive to look at what was considered "sporty" (or at least fashionable) vs. utilitarian in horse-drawn vehicles shortly before the "motor age" dawned, and well into the period when the transition from horse-power to automobiles was being made - say up to 1920. Light, maneuverable "two-seater" gigs and buggies were very popular, and subject to notions of "style" and comfort not very different from those we apply to cars (e.g. - a buggy with hard rubber tires on yellow wheels pulled by a fine gray horse was the 1895 equivalent of a red '58 Corvette).

No doubt car makers in the early days gave more than a little thought to providing "horseless" equivalents for the stylish and desirable types of vehicles they would replace.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Byrne - Racine, MN on Sunday, January 07, 2018 - 03:57 pm:

To follow up a little on what Keith and Hap posted, here are some more detailed photos showing the differences in the Torpedo and Open Runabout bodies. The body length is the same along with the seat height above the frame, the windshield, top bows and the dash, however the bodies themselves are very different.





Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Andrew Brand on Sunday, January 07, 2018 - 05:48 pm:

Its interesting that the Torpedo illustration Roger posted above shows external door handles and the bottom of the windshield stays mounted inside the body. I wonder whether these were features that were changed early on or even prior to production. There are a few period photos of early Torpedo cars with square / rectangular gas tanks but none show external door handles or internal windshield stay mounting as far as I recall. The clamps to hold the windshield stays on the Open Runabout illustration are also different to the common Torpedo and Open Runabout part.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rich Bingham, Blackfoot, Idaho on Sunday, January 07, 2018 - 07:17 pm:

Roger, thank you much for adding to the detail. It's always possible that then as in later days, catalog illustrations didn't necessarily indicate exactly what rolled out of the factory. That may be the case with the windshield bracing and the exterior door handle. Come to think of it, wouldn't an exterior handle on that minimalist roadster body would be kind of unnecessary ?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Walter Higgins on Sunday, January 07, 2018 - 07:49 pm:

I don't know that it's proper to post the image since it belongs to a library, so here's a link:

https://digitalcollections.detroitpubliclibrary.org/islandora/object/islandora%3 A174631

Probably the earliest of the earliest Torpedos, at least as far as photos go. The illustrations leave a lot to be desired with respect to details. They show the front body bracket as a three-hole when it really only has two. Also, no exterior door handles shown in the photo.

Also note what looks like two caps on the gas tanks in the illustrations. The factory drawing for the "square" tank that I obtained from the archives shows two fillers and I believe a baffle, so it actually was intended to be a partitioned tank. If it's a gasoline backup or for a different liquid, I don't know, but it doesn't seem to have made it into production. Given that it shows up on the illustrations, that leads me to believe those illustrations were made before any cars were produced.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rich Bingham, Blackfoot, Idaho on Sunday, January 07, 2018 - 08:34 pm:

That's a beautiful photo, though it's probably fair to say that it appears somewhat distorted as it appears on that site. It doesn't seem to have the lean, low slung appearance of most torpedo images, but the oval appearance of the wheels seems to indicate it's horizontally compressed.

Noted, windshield braces are outside the body, there are no door handles.

Thanks for the link, Walter !


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Carey on Monday, January 08, 2018 - 08:47 am:

I know very little about early "T"s but in the pictures
shown by Roger B. the top bows look to be different.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rich Bingham, Blackfoot, Idaho on Monday, January 08, 2018 - 09:58 am:

Good catch Tom ! They are different in the drawings, but appear to be the same in he photos.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Walter Higgins on Monday, January 08, 2018 - 10:20 am:

Dimensionally X, Y, and Z, Torpedos and Open Runabouts should be the same. I think it's just another place where there is some artistic license in the drawings.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John G Smith on Monday, January 08, 2018 - 12:01 pm:

It may be a Canadian production car. To me, the tires look to be the same size, front and back. Also, the windshield hinge looks larger than the typical Rands setup, making me think it is a Chadwick Bros windshield, as typically found on 1909-10 Canadian Fords. I think it's a pretty early 1911. The headlight brackets look like the 1909-10 style, and I'd say the engine pan is one piece. There are very few, if any, surviving Canadian 1911 torpedos. Back in the 1950's, a Montreal collector named Joe Gest had a wonderful 1911 open runabout that had originally belonged to Sir Adam Beck, a pioneer in Canadian hydro-electric power. I'd sure love to know whatever happened to it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Walter Higgins on Monday, January 08, 2018 - 12:56 pm:

That's an interesting theory. If it's a Canadian car, they were using an Open Runabout seat to make it. Perhaps there is some Canadian advertising that would confirm this?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Keith Townsend ; ^ ) Gresham, Orygun on Monday, January 08, 2018 - 08:15 pm:

Jay-
Do you have the actual photograph or did you harvest it from the interweb??
It would be nice to have a picture or high resolution scan close up of just the car. I'd like to be able to see more details.

: ^ )


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Byrne - Racine, MN on Monday, January 08, 2018 - 08:28 pm:

Yes Tom, good catch on the top bows . . . I never noticed the difference even when I did the enlargements. I agree that it is likely a mistake in the artwork because at least my Open Runabout has the same top and top bows as the two Torpedos I've been around. Since these photos were taken, I've found the correct "potato" horn for it.



Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rich Bingham, Blackfoot, Idaho on Monday, January 08, 2018 - 08:57 pm:

Beautiful car Roger ! Thanks for showing us.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Eagle Idaho Falls on Monday, January 08, 2018 - 09:02 pm:

Great photos.
Thank you.


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