My '17 Model year touring was built in September 1916. It seems to have a few items left over from the '16 models and I wonder if they are "correct." The 1917's are supposed to have nickel plated hubcaps...three of mine are brass with black paint outlining the letters, like a '16. My steering gear is brass (supposed to be nickel plated) and so on.
Which do you think belongs on the car? Brass or nickel?
Your brass,( bronze ), steering gear case could be original for a September 1916 made car and was painted black. Ref:
AUG 14, 1916 Acc. 1701. Model T Releases, Ford Archives
Steering gear case changed from type "W" bronze to cast steel, and raven finished. Note on September 9 deleted raven finish and now to be finished in black enamel. Specified for "1917" cars. On the same date the material is changed back to type "W" bronze.
JUN 14, 1917 Acc. 1701. Model T Releases, Ford Archives
Drawing of steering gear box changed. "Brought up to date by specifying this case to be nickel plated instead of black enameled."
I don't know about the brass hub caps, they could be original to use up old stock. The only reference I found is:
APR 19, 1917 Acc. 78, Ford Archives
Brass hub caps no longer available.
My 17 made August 7 1916 has the black painted steering gear box. It has brass hub caps like you describe. This is a unrestored car with no evidence that these things have been changed.
Model T's were correct when they came off the assembly line.
The ones that were built for the following year would have left over parts from the earlier year so they would be used up.
Ford would use the parts because they would usually fit.
Probably the only pure and correct T's are the ones built during the middle of the Model year.
The spark and throttle levers were also supposed to be nickel plated in '17, transitioning from brass plated - supposedly some were simply painted black during the transition which is what mine are.
My car also has a '16 like windshield inasmuch as they haven't moved the hinges up like is typical in later 1917's. What I know of the history of this car makes me think that what I have is original to the vehicle and I am tempted to keep it like I found it.
John K, I like your "correct when they came off the assembly line" comment. :-)
This is one of the better posts I have read. Keep them coming.
Just to simplify things further, remember that outgoing parts would be used up at different times at different assembly plants.
I forgot to mention that there is no sign that the steering gear case ever had paint on it...go figure.
The encyclopedia describes the '16 thus: "Gear case was brass, one piece assembly." Sounds like what I have.
As I mentioned, the levers are painted black and the paint itself is in good shape except the tips which are worn to metal by use.
Steve, that doesn't simply things but it sure points out the difficulties in determining what is correct. I like the fact that it allows me to argue that either way is "correct" when confronted by the T police :-)
Your car is over 100 years old so there aren't any people living who were old enough to see it when it was new and remember exactly how it came from the factory. You can only go by existing records and pictures and books which were written many years ago. Unless you are being judged for authenticity, it really doesn't matter. If you want to be judged, I would recommend you check MTFCI judging standards and comply.
You undoubtedly have riveted windshield/cowl lamp brackets and oval top sockets too. The ‘17-‘18 models in transition are my favorite.
George - yup to both. The car is an interesting mix of '16 and '17... designed to confound the purists.