A friend is doing historical research and posed a question to me about the use of left and right drive cars in Great Britain in 1916. More specifically the question would also relate to Model Tís. I know they drive on the left side of the road but were left hand drive Model Tís used in Great Britain in the early to mid-19-teens? I am not sure when right drive Model Tís were commonly available in Great Britain, Canada, or Australia.
It was an interesting question and I donít know the answer.
The earliest UK cars were imported with LHD.
By late 1909, the UK was supplied with RHD, and Trafford Park (opened in 1911) built only RHD except for the period 1919 to 21 after the generator was introduced and it took 2 years to sort a solution for RHD steering.
In 1916 there will have been some LHD Ts, but only from 1909.
When I started work on my 1909, I purchased the ďbuild sheetĒ for the serial number (111xx) of my T from Ford Archives. There was some discussion regarding the middle 1 as to was it a 1 or a 7 so I bought both sheets. Both indicate the vehicles were shipped on Oct 4, 1909.
My car 111xx was sold in the state of Michigan while 117xx was shipped to London, England. There is no mention of it being RHD, so a reasonable assumption is that is it LHD.
There are two book writen by Neil Tuckett and Bruce Lilleker that tell the all story of the model T in G.B.
"The English Model T Ford, A Century of Model T in Britain" ISBN978 0 95601 18 0 0 and:
"The English Model T Ford, Volume 2 - Beyond the Factory" ISBN978 0 95601 18 3 1 .
In the first book, on page 17, it say:
The Model T received its World Launch at the London Motor Show, Olympia, which opened 13 November 1908.
Its price was £225.-
Guys, thanks for the answers. They help answer the question about T's in Great Britain.
The new book by John Stokes about Ford in New Zealand suggests that Canadian-made Ts sent there followed the same trend as in Britain - LHD initially, but RHD by late 1909.
All the Model Ts in British Columbia Canada up to about 1920 were right hand drive.
Re-purposed Model T with RHD
Left- and right-hand traffic (LHT and RHT) - Canada
and then scroll down to Canada.
Does anyone have a photo of the engine/steering set up for a RHD Model T, if so would you post it.
You mean like this?
Alan Woolf I know so little about the T story in Britain, but I think the following is reliable.
Chris Barker's comment above, that the first Model Ts in NZ were in left-hand drive, is correct. But it does not follow that this was the case elsewhere - I have not studied elsewhere.
But I have studied Ford of Canada. FoC was very quick to offer right-hand drive - the first RHD cars arrived in NZ probably in the third quarter of 1909.
Of course, Britain also drove on the left - and Ford in Detroit supplied the cars/parts of Britain (ie not Canada). To the best of my knowledge the Ts in Britain were RHD from very early on, right through until the end of World War One. That said, during WW1 production of civilian cars in Britain pretty much came to a standstill in favour of war production.
When civilian production resumed, because of the desperate shortages of men and materials, Ford of Canada did sell some cars to Britain, to relieve the backlog. I know nothing about the specs of those cars. Then the British story becomes a tad complicated. But it is covered in my FORD IN NEW ZEALAND book simply because it is such a contrast to what happened in Canada and her markets (of which Britain was not one!).
The first shipment of Ts to NZ from Canada comprised 10 cars - 7 of those were left-hand drive. The evidence is only anecdotal but it would appear Ford and other makers would send anything to met our demand - and we'd buy it!
Post-WW1 in Britain, for different reasons, only LHD Fords were available up to early 1922, before RHD was restored. Again, the reasoning is covered in my book.
The other book that is worth referring to is called "The English Model T Ford" by three experts on the subject, authors Martin Riley, Bruce Lilleker and Neil Tuckett. That book is well worth having.
In summary, in 1916 I would say that, if you could get a Ford at all for domestic use rather than military use, it will have been RHD. Consulting that book will confirm or otherwise.
Thanks for the photo, kinda tight in there. Like the manifold clamps
Tight fit alright, getting the genny out is a pain, gotta take the inlet manifold off, the latest type of vendors alternators don't fit either.
Here are some pictures of a 1910 Canadian RHD T with the original and correct style of throttle and timing linkage.
RHD cars have the carburater throttle arm 90 degrees different than the LHD and the timer control linkage is connected to the bottom of the timer, upside down from the LHD.
Also, on the steering column the throttle and spark are on the opposite sides.
The original linkage is simple and only one rod, but it must have a ball/socket joint steering column end.
Most RHD cars that I have seen have "homemade" linkages that are very different and more complex then the original.
Also, it should be noted that the throttle lever on the steering column changed a couple years later to a slightly curved one that the linkage fit on a bit easier.
On your photo of the 1 Engine can you read the Serial #?
Its not my car so I can only share part of the number. 25,5XX.
Made in Walkerville, Ontario.