This placard is on the firewall of my 1917 Model Year (9/16 build) Model T Touring. I wonder, is the vehicle's serial number supposed to be stamped in the box at the top or is it normally left blank?
Could be a repro tag. I recall reading somewhere, Ford discontinued body id numbers around 1913(?) only to reappear stamped on frames sometime after August 1925.
I believe that patent plate is correct for the 1916 model year. No serial number would also be correct. It may possibly be correct for an early 1917 model year Ford such as yours.
My unrestored 1917 roadster, the 1917 "Rip Van Winkle" touring and my father's 1917 touring do not have the area for the serial number. These are May, June and July 1917 Fords, respectively all with known histories since new.
Your patent plate is not in the correct position and the nails are incorrect.
The firewall drawings show the specific location. It ends up getting partially obscured by the cowl when put in the position indicated in the drawings. Unrestored cars show it partially obscured.
See this thread:
PS: Jim Sims has a very early, unrestored 1917 Ford touring. He occasionally posts of the forum. Ask him what style of patent plate he has on his car.
Here is his profile:
Sorry. no patent plate on my 17.
My patent on my 24 has been painted over. Can I take off the paint with out ruining it? Think you.
Practical ways, with paint remover will take off the blackening. Plus the old paint painted over likely has damage and blacking gone with age. You may try with small amount of remover, and wipe often in one spot to see what happens.
Mechanical means will also remove the original surface finish.
The reproductions are nice.
Think you Dan.
As I recall, that style of patent plate was used from about 1913 through 1916 (some people in a past discussion did say a few early '17s had this style also?). However, Ford quit stamping a "car number" on those plates in early '15 (that plate did NOT get the engine number except in rare coincidental or changed and made to match cases). Ford quit stamping that plate because the "car number" and the "serial" (engine) number had drifted apart and were creating confusion with states as more and more states required registration of automobiles.