I went to see a T today that a lady is trying to sell. Her dad passed away and she got it. Her mom is in a nursing home and has no real interest in the car except for the money. She said her dad had it for 5 years and she's not sure where it came from. It's been restored and in good shape ,Really clean. Anyway it's a coupe and she says according to the registration it's a 22. But, the engine is pre19 as it has no generator, though somebody put a different hogshead, so it has a starter. She has 2 spare engines both with no starter. So how do I figure out what year the car is? I can't believe that if's a 22 why would anyone have an older engine in it. Or how can I tell by looking at the body what year it is. When I go back I'll take some pictures Thanks loads
A 1922 Coupe. Engines get changed out all the time..
Some pics will determine what year the car is. As far as engine no's are concerned it's fairly common for T's to have different engines in them than what was originally in them. Not a big concern.
T engines in the Black era ( 17- 25 ) will interchange without much trouble since they were pretty much alike as far mounting them in the car is concerned. T parts will interchange and you can make a car with or without a starter pretty easy.
This car also had oil cowel lights, could they have been added ? And it has an ammeter made with the ing. switch. It looks like the car in the above photo.
Check the serial number on the block to determine what year the engine is. Just because it has no generator and someone added a starter does not mean it is earlier than '19. Cheapskates like me could order a car without a starter right up until the end of production. Does it have the boss for a generator that is blocked off?
There is not sign that there was a generator it doesn't have the piece that the generator would bolt to.
When did the ignition key move from the coil box to the dash?
Richard, while I'd like to recommend posting pics of all of your question areas, it seems sometimes around here you can ask ten people and get twelve different answers. Instead what I recommend is hooking up with someone who knows their way around black-era coupes and emailing them pics and questions directly.
Oh Tim. Thats no fun
Model T Ford, coupes, and coupelets. Really very simple. However, there has been a TREMENDOUS amount of misinformation over the years, and, as a result, literally hundreds (more likely thousands) have been misidentified. Many of those, have been improperly restored because they were believed to be a year that they absolutely were not.
First. Calendar year and model year are NOT the same thing. Cars, generally speaking, SHOULD be referred to by their MODEL year, regardless of what month they may have been manufactured in the previous calendar year. (The Horseless Carriage Club and a few other marques between 1915 and '16 are among the few MAYBE exceptions.)
1915 (beginning about September '14), 1916, and early black era 1917 couplets had convertible tops with roll-up (actually "lift-up") windows in the doors.
MOST 1917, and 1918, couplets were fixed roof cars. These came in at least three major variations (differences in how the body and roof were assembled, as well as a major difference in one version's roof lines). The special feature these all had, was that the door windows rolled (dropped) into the doors, while the rear side windows also lifted in and out of the body, and had a "removable" center pillar which when removed (with the windows down) left an open (pillar-less) side.
While other marques also offered similar styled coupes, and even sedans, over several years, Ford only offered this characteristic for less than two years, 1917 and 1918.
1919. A year of major change. The electric starter was coming to the Ford automobile! Production was speeding up, prices were dropping, and bodies were being simplified, and standardized.
Early in the 1919 model year (late calendar 1918), the coupe became the common version we see so many of (and love every one!). But the starter wasn't quite ready for Ford production. The earliest '19s had no starter. And for the coupes and sedans, are the ONLY ones that correctly had oil side-lamps and tail-lamp.
I don't know for certain the exact date/month of the change, and knowing how Ford did things, there most likely was a few weeks of crossover. However, very early calendar 1919 (January I think, but it may have even been December '18?), the starter/electric became standard equipment on Ford coupes and sedans. At that same time, all Fords with the electric option (standard on coupes and sedans) stopped being equipped from the factory with oil side or tail lamps.
The 1919 style coupe body, with only minor changes, continued until mid calendar year 1923, or the "real" end of the '23 model year. There were dozens of minor changes to the engine, wheels, and chassis through all those years. To fully date a model T of 1919 through 1923 takes looking at a lot of little details. Some on the body. Some on other things. Seriously, from ten feet away? Only a couple things can be seen to help with dating. And most of those, like the engine with its serial number, could likely have been changed at some time over the years.
Manufacture changed a bit early during calendar '23. Some body styles maybe as early as June of '23 were basically early issue '24 models. Ford made a lot of major changes to the front of the car. The fenders, the hood, the radiator and shell along with a whole bunch of little pieces were totally different (at least in details, they basically looked alike from ten feet away). Here is where "model" year matters.
The '23 coupes look basically like the '19 through '22 coupes. But the '24 model year is a COMPLETELY different body. All standard coupes and couplets from 1915 through '23 model year have the door hinges at the BACK of the door. The door, is a "suicide" door, opening at the front. The "couplets" (1915 through '18) had all hinges below the belt line, while "coupes" had one door hinge near the top of the door. Otherwise, use of the words "coupe" and "couplet" is simply a matter of semantics and marketing. Ford called the early ones "couplet" in their advertising, and the later ones were called "coupe".
1924 and 1925. Built for slightly more than two years only, the body is unique in details and construction. Almost nothing for the body will directly interchange between the '24/'25 and any coupe (Ford or otherwise) either earlier or later. The trunk in a '24/'25 coupe is HUGE! I crawled completely inside mine, and could easily sleep in it! The doors are hinged at the front, and open from the back (not suicide doors). There were a few minor changes on the body from early to later production. The biggest change was in the construction of the doors. 1924 doors were wood framed as was the rest of the body for both years. However, the doors for 1925 were steel framed, and therefore lighter in weight. This change also resulted in slightly different locations for window handles and mechanisms.
1926 and 1927 coupes. Another major change. The body is now mostly all steel construction, styled a bit different, although similar. Body and chassis alike have countless minor changes. For all body styles (except the trucks), these are the "improved" model T Fords, and Henry's model T's last gasp. Most parts are slightly changed from earlier models regardless of body style.
Side-lights revisited. Coupes and sedans from early 1919 got the electric/starter option as standard equipment. As such, NO coupe or sedan from early 1919 onward would have left the factory with oil side-lamps. Touring cars and runabout/roadsters (as well as trucks) could be ordered without the electric/starter option, and could have side-lamps provided by the factory well through model year 1926, and maybe into '27. Many now do have them. Some added back in the day by dealers or owners simply because some people still wanted them. Most because people owning or restoring the car in recent years wanted them.
T coupes, in a nutshell.
Thank you Hal D! I hope that "short and sweet" version can help some understand which coupes are which and what time-frames they were produced. The long version could fill a book! And I won't pretend to know half of it.
I always thought cowl lights were standard on all "Doctor's Coupes". That's how you can tell them from a regular coupe.
Oil cowl lamps were supplied on non-starter cars.
Seems you are In Lexington, VA
Perhaps there is a member close by who can have a look & advise