I met a couple of unsuspecting Arabs at a motor show in Abu Dhabi recently who have been most decidedly ripped off by someone over in the US who sold them (at probably great expense) a '1904 Model T Ford', which they have been proudly showing around the region. I got talking to them, and once they knew I knew a bit about old cars they asked if I could find out the history of this car. They are nice chaps with more money than brains, and I really am loathe to burst their bubble. I knew right away it was a trifle suspicious, but I would like a little more info before letting them know the bad news. They have a 'serial number' of 30532. If anyone could shed light on the origin of any of the parts on this hybrid, it would be most appreciated.
Below is a link to a folder with the photos in it (as I can't upload them here without severely restricting the size) - I am not sure if this will come up as a clickable link in this post. If not, paste this into your browser and you should be able to get to the folder (it's a Microsoft One Drive folder).
Pictures posted here would get some better exposure. For this antiquated site ( I LIKE it that way!), pictures must be resized (a maximum of about 240 kb I think?????). I (and a lot of other people here) are not really into the computer age, and don't trust unknown sites or unfamiliar links and programs. The 240 kb (or is it KB or Kb or kB???) gives a good size, and fairly good resolution. We often get into extensive discussions over photos posted here, and get into minute detail of what is or is not correct.
Personally, I would like to see the pictures myself (I do have a bit of a reputation for being critical of some incorrect restorations?).
It may at least be appropriate to point out the obvious. The model T Ford did not see the light of day until 1908. The Fords available in 1904 would be remaining model As from 1903 and the improved model As from 1904 which are often (incorrectly) referred to in the hobby as model AC (the incorrectness of the model AC designation does clarify the significant difference between the first model As and the improved version cars). The model B was a much larger car, built and sold during 1904 and 1905 (if I recall correctly). They were the first effort by Ford at a larger more expensive car. Not many were sold, and only about six of them survive today. Also, the model C Ford was built late in 1904 through 1905. It was a slightly improved body with what we today would consider a more standard front appearance, and mounted on a slightly extended chassis, otherwise very similar to the models A and AC. The model F was manufactured in 1905 and '06, was a larger and somewhat improved model from the model C. It was followed by the N, R, S, series for the mass market of '06/'07/'08, the four cylinder forerunners of the model T. During those same three years, the much larger and more expensive six cylinder model K was also offered.
It will be interesting to see what has been called a "1904 model T"? An earlier car, with misidentified model? Or a later car, with misidentified year? Some combination of both? Or something else entirely?
If you have an Interest - why not directly contact the Seller of the vehicle ?
Without pulling the BOOK out, the 30532 number is a 1910 manufacture range.
Sorry to hear, someone in the U.S. pulled one on another country. Again, it pays to educate yourself before spending large amounts of cash. On the other hand, if cash is NOT important to you, then you get what you pay for; lack of education.
Thanks for researching (getting an education) before jumping in. I will leave the true identification to the experts here who can date just about any Ford T by sight.
Before gathering the torches & starting a witch hunt. ....
The OP just registered - this is their first post - they are a third party - they do not own the vehicle.
There is enough Gossip on the Interweb already ......
Using a new photo resize app so I hope these come out okay:
Theyíre much higher quality in the OPís link.
Iíll leave it up to the guys who know what theyíre looking at to determine if itís a car restored with non-original parts scabbed in, a replica of some rare or extinct horseless carriage, or something thatís made up entirely. In any case, itís not a Model T.
GOOD FOR YOU JIM.
I'm a pretty suspicious person when it comes to brand-new posters to the forum, but Liz Jones seems to be (for a change!) a real person who really lives in Abu Dhabi. I will try to post a screen shot of the car. I have no idea what it is. I can do a couple more screen shots if you'd like
Tim beat me to it.... and better, too!
Thanks Dick, I must have been resizing while you were running background checks, haha.
A little bigger:
So does anyone know what it is?
Parts salad. The back end shape resembles that of a 1903 Model A, but looking at Bruce McCalley's The First Six Years I don't see anything that looks like the rest of this object.
This is just an attempt to correct some bad info above. Ford (FoMoCo) did indeed make an AC model ford. It has always been called that, and I have a copy of the original parts catalog from 1904 denoting parts for the AC model. Itís generally known as a 10 HP model, but otherwise pretty much the same appearance as the 8 HP model A of 1903. The model A ,soon after production started, had the radiator made larger and rear axle vastly improved, but it was the whole new design of the motor that caused the AC designation by ford. Who does this matter to? About a dozen years ago , a fellow wrote a book about the early history of ford. It must have bothered him that he had an AC and not an A, so he came up with the term, Enhanced Model A. This term was invented when the book came out, not in 1904. I have an early model F ford of 1905. Itís a very early serial number for model Fs and has features in the engine that are peculiar to the model C. Should I start calling it an Unenhanced model F?
Iíll bet the auto pictured above has a late model lawn mower engine in it, and is probably a lot of fun to zip around in, but not very historic, of course IMHO
Front axle looks like model T, so does the steering wheel and gear set below it. The rear axle could also be model T but not enough is showing to be sure. The car is an imaginative invention.
Since you do not want to burst their bubble, dont. Nothing is gained by pointing out that it is not a model t, not a 1904, and not a ford. the polite answer is it is so unique and old that no information is available. If cornered you can say that you consulted the mtfca website but since it is not a model t, little is known.
I wish I could see some pictures of the engine as I might know the history of this car. If it is a 2 cylinder vertical, then I may own the twin to the engine.
About 25-30 years ago I saw a very similar car at a antique machinery show up here. The owner was spinning a story about it being a only one left of a very early Ford. When I saw the engine I said that I had the identical 1/2 T engine made by a foundry in Medicine Hat!! He was unimpressed to be found out!!
A few years later a friend from Southern California told me a story about some friend of his who had ďstolen ď this incredibly rare Ford from this sucker in Alberta!!! I saw a picture and recognized the car. I would not be surprised if this is the same car!!
It has T axles but not transverse springs. The gearshift and pedals are not T. It has a T column but at the wrong rake. Interesting that it's RHD. It has what looks like a coilbox but isn't. There is something weird going on with the top landau irons. Does it have a radiator or is there some weird air- cooled lump in there? Why does the legend say 320cc?
I think it's a relatively modern attempt to make a copy of the infamous Rolls-Canardly. Those poor chaps got took big-time, probably kindest to leave them in ignorance.
I must kindly disagree with those who don't want to set the record straight. They will go around showing this as a Model T and that is only promoting misinformation of Ford history. They should be told the truth so they can seek recourse against a dishonest seller.
I'd hate to be the one who sold them this, they have "different ways" of dealing with cheats. Without even looking farther, the body is way too long for an early ford. There are so many "wrong"t things one can see just by glancing at the photos.
One thing you can do is to show them some books describing early Fords--first thing would be to point out that the model T wasn't made until 1908 and it had a radiator shell and hood, not a "waterfall" front, like the uh, 'thing'. Then let them decide what they want to do about it. I'm certain that "saving face" may come into play here--you are dealing with a culture much different from the American one, so proceed with caution (probably don't have to tell you that, you live there).
Sad to say, just by looking at the pictures posted here, it's hard to believe that anyone with a basic knowledge of early cars could fall for this one, it is just so wrong in so many ways.
The importance of all this is that that "thing" is misrepresenting history, and keeping history "honest" is critical to knowing how we got to where we are today. Hmm, I can see my museum curator side is showing.
Thank you for your prompt and extremely helpful information. These poor chaps have really been taken for a ride, and unfortunately I will need to let them know in case they try and sell it to anyone who knows a bit more than they do. Most people in this part of the world have more money than brains, and absolutely no idea what a real veteran/vintage car is. In the 10 years I've been in this country I've yet to see a real 'vintage' car - everything that they are proudly showing off has been modified, modernised or otherwise mucked around with. This one, however, looked a little different, which is why I offered to find out information for them.
Once again, my thanks to all of you for your help. This was just a one-off post from a kiwi who loves old cars, based in the UAE. Now to tell these fellas the bad news...
For what it's worth, Liz, we have people from all over on this forum, including some very active Kiwi members. Go, All Blacks!
You know,it is 1 thing to make a honest dollar or some profit on a item.
But who ever sold this to those folks as a Model T should be pointed out .
That was just wrong.
BUT as far as the little car, I kinda like it.would like to see mechanical details for sure.
It goes back to my thread about the letter cars that didn't make it to metal. I feel like folks might make it a hobby to build 1 off cars based on the drawings if they could be found.
As for the link,I can't get it to open.
You are welcome Liz J. And I am pleased to see many posts from people with more normal sleep cycles than I have. They all give good advice, even though some of it may be contradictory. And yes, it very much looks to be a totally made-up wanna-be a replica pretending to be something antique. One of the problems this hobby has had to deal with for 75 years now is vehicles that unknowing people have made for fun, and others believing they are the real original era cars. I have personally seen a dozen or more similar cars myself over the years, being claimed as original cars (and another couple dozen on the internet). I have seen and met with owners who were in tears because their treasure had been exposed at shows by many people that could see the obvious facts. I could write at length about three or four such cars I have seen.
Tim Morsher, Thank you for your correction. You are certainly more knowledgeable on the earlier Fords than I am. Much of what I think I know is I think from the book you mention. Like many books on historic subjects, it is an excellent book, with a tremendous amount of proper information (probably better than most history books). But, like all history books, there are a few errors in it. I still recommend the book to anyone interested in early Ford history. However, I will try to incorporate your correction into my own head.
Thank you all!
Mack, Good point! Some level of recreation is a fact of life in the restoration of antique automobiles. Faithful recreation can revive cars that only a small part of the original exists by replacing the pieces lost to time. It can also give people a chance to see and experience cars that were totally lost. As long as such cars are honestly represented as what they are,? They can be a wonderful thing (spend a few minutes looking at the "Beast of Turin"!).
Less-than-faithful recreations can also give us a look into what could have been, and things were on the drawing boards. So-called "tribute" cars can have a place in the world. But people NEED to know what they are, and what they are not.
One sort-of recreation I have seen several of (most of them very badly done!) is the 1901 Ford (or Fordmobile). They are supposedly copies of the prototypes built by Henry Ford in one of the earlier incarnations of the "Ford" motor company. The OP's discussion car in Abu Dhabi looks somewhat like the drawings of the 1901 prototype. That was the first thing I noticed when I first glanced the photo. I can only wonder if it could have been part of the inspiration for this car.
It is believed that at most a very few prototypes were built (I believe I read that only two were actually known for certain). I have seen one photograph showing maybe two of them (the photo was not clear, and identification was not certain). One may have been sold when the early company was dissolved. None are known to exist more than a couple years beyond when they were built.
I thought that the Henry Ford Museum had several of the early autos built by Henry or for him.
Remove the plastic bags from the velvet ropesÖ.
Ok so it looks like a rebuild or replica of a horseless carriage, with T parts. Maybe it was registered as a model T because that was many of the parts origins?
Here is more information on the car when it listed on eBay a couple years ago. It's a fairly honest description of exactly what the car is.
Darel J L, I could be wrong about that. But I know that I have read that none of the '01 prototypes survive. Maybe someone that actually has contacts with the Henry Ford can ask them? I know those in charge of the collections did a very poor job some years ago and disposed of many artifacts that they should have cherished forever (well, another couple hundred years anyway). Several prototype engines were sold, as well as the experimental six cylinder model N, likely the very one that Henry himself drove around Detroit for weeks tormenting owners of large powerful cars with its speed and performance.
Erik J, Thank you for those links, although I couldn't open the eBad one enough to read much or see any pictures. The other link opened okay, but still no pictures for me, and you are correct. The description there is reasonable. One can only wonder if it changed hands between when that listing was made, and when the current owners bought it.
However hmm. I just went back to recheck something, now I can't get to the eBad listing at all. I even tried the eBad link given through the other link. Maybe they don't like me? (I wouldn't blame them much, I haven't liked them in years.)
According to the eBay listing the engine is a Crowley. Probably what happened is when the car was sold the owner was either told or assumed it was a 'Model T by the seller who didn't really know either.
The seller probably thought that it was 'Ford' and was really old it could only be a 'Model T' because all really old cars were Model T's.
Believe it or not a LOT of people think and believe that.
Looks like it was listed for sale just as it is, a mix match of parts built for fun. The people who own it now either don't understand that, or are happy showing it as a Model T. Wonder what it will bring at the next Barrett Jackson auction.
The original poster believes the current owner was ripped off. However, nobody knows if the current owner was ripped off. Frankly, who cares? It's none of our business and a waste of time.
The eBay listing says "replica." There's no representation that the car is an authentic antique automobile. If anyone is going to complain about the description, all you can say is that it cannot be called a replica because isn't a replica of anything - it's just a one-off fantasy vehicle assembled sometime in the last 40 or 50 years. Again, who cares?
Um, the original poster was asked by the current owners to help them understand what they have. That sounds pretty solid to me that they were "flim-flamed" on this vehicle. Just because the ebay listing was honest doesn't mean the current owners even saw that listing. They likely bought it from a different party.
I wonder if some of those "more money than brains" (by the way, that is an expression I have used for many years myself) would like to hire an adviser? I wouldn't mind a six figure salary for a few years.
Have them bring the car to that new program Sticker Shock.
Hi Liz, This is a 1904 Ford Model B. Your car looks like a fun car and was done nicely. It was sold on ebay for $4500 and was represented properly ,at that time, as a built up/ parade car using some model T (08-27) parts. Hope this helps some.
Looks like Mr Toad should be off on his wild ride in that car...but I think his was a touring and a 1903 Model A (at least it looked like one) at that.
"This is a 1904 Ford replica car made up of parts from a model T and a Crosley." is what the ad said, nowhere does the guy even state that it is a real anything and more than likely he didn't even know there was no such thing as a 1904 Model T Ford either. These guys didn't get duped, they were just not very experienced as to what is and what is not a Model T Ford or that matter a real antique car either. But what I don't get is why that guy made this "clooge" and try and pass it off as a Model T Ford? And one that doesn't even exist to boot...I guess its one of a kind then isn't it?
The Crosley was a cute little car and in themselves is kind of rare. That guy would've been better off trying to complete the Crosley and passing it off as one of those, than a nonexistent Model T Ford.
But I suppose as long as it stays in the collection of the "Sultane of Oman" nobody will ever know. I mean after all it's not like they'd bring it here and try and pass this thing off as a 1904 Model T Ford, now is it? But it does look like a fun little car anyway...whatever it is.
Folks are jumping to conclusions.
We don't know if the current owner purchased it via eBay.
If he didn't, we don't know how much he paid.
Anyone who is in the early antique car hobby knows what it is with just a two second glance - a fantasy vehicle constructed within the past 30 or 40 years, etc.
I was able to obtain specific details on the vehicle with just a casual, ten minute internet search.
Anybody who wants an education on Model Ts can digest a lot of information over a short period of time via the internet.