I'm incensed beyond words.
I recently went to the Model T Ford club on Facebook and someone had the audacity to lie and say #2 and #22 was a fraud.
To deface the reputation of a dead man, my father, who gave $40 to cchurch every week, who founded several model t clubs, who was visited by Lang himself several times is nothing short of liable.
I'm so mad right now I can spit nails but I grew up with that car. To even suggest it was a fraud because it had fish plates and it used a 13 frame is an outrageous lie and he has ZERO evidence to back up there were fish plates.
The magazine has tons of photos which examine the car in detail. My dad was a foremost respected expert and would be so stupid as trying to pass a 13 frame off as a 09. He even knew the difference in heads and radiator caps on those early t's
https://m.facebook.com/donald.hess.me/posts/pcb.10161039008920548/?photo_id=1021 7207842485388&mds=%2Fphotos%2Fviewer%2F%3Fphotoset_token%3Dpcb.10161039008920548 %26photo%3D10217207842485388%26profileid%3D1150637369%26source%3D48%26refid%3D18 %26ref%3Dm_notif%26notif_t%3Dgroup_comment%26_ft_%3Dqid.6633750274169925000%253A mf_story_key.10161039008920548%253Atop_level_post_id.10161039008920548%253Atl_ob jid.10161039008920548%253Acontent_owner_id_new.1150637369%253Asrc.22%253Aphoto_a ttachments_list.[10217207843005401%252C10217207842485388%252C10217207843325409]%253Astory_locat ion.6%253Astory_attachment_style.album%26__tn__%3DEH-R%26cached_data%3Dfalse%26f tid%3D&mdf=1
That is a beautiful and highly important car of history. Don't be mad, consider the source. I had a posting on here about a year ago and as you are now, I was steaming from the ears from anger. Then some lame brain told me that I should settle down and don't have such thin skin. That person that degraded your fantastic vehicle was, and is, jealous of a rare and beautiful car that they themselves will never be able to obtain or even get close enough to look at, and just wanted to degrade it best he could to make himself the smart and important one in the story. Just my half a cent. Frank
Donald B Hess was a long time collector of early Fords and of the very Early Model T Fords. I remember his want ads in the 1950s seeking 1909 Model T Ford cars and parts. I sold him some nice Model N parts. The Model T in question speaks for itself and does not reflect upon Don. At the time of the original story other collectors of the first Model T Fords raised some questions about the engine in this T. Also questions were raised as to where Model T Ford number 2 was shipped back in 1908 and as to where Don found the T in question. I encourage anyone who seeks more information to review all data including original material.
Facebook is notorious for mis-information, etc. So while you are certainly right to be indignant about what was posted, you have to take the source into consideration too. Fortunately I can't get to Facebook (should be "In-Your-Facebook") on dial up; I only get there when I'm in town on wi-fi.
>The Model T in question speaks for itself and does not reflect upon Don
Are there problems with the photos?
If someone was trying to pass off a #2 fraud with an early T already, they weren't too smart as it's clearly an early T due to it's unique markings, that only exist on the early T's. Especially considering what was paid for it back then.
Those early T's were very unique. They were sort of an experiment by Ford, and there were often subtle variations between each one, especially when it came to the heads and cooling as well as the radiator caps, due to the overheating that was prevalent.
Regrettably the origin is this misinformation came from here with a screen capture from January 23rd. I have the name of the person.
This car was clearly visible to the public at Hershey and won first prize. I was there with the car the entire day. And no one informed the judges of any inherent fraud then. There were several Early T collectors there. This was it's only public viewing. If there was fraud no one called it on him then. The engine was clearly visible to all there. Plenty of people squatted to look under the car but NONE crawled under it.
One early T collector I saw purse his lips when I told him the number. I looked over my dad and I said, "Hey dad, are we going to tell them the number yet?" When I told him #2, he wasn't happy. I could see it in his face.
There's a reason why I call it "Fakebook"
i can tell you this and this is working off my memory. So bits of this may be a bit spotty.
Quite simply the person my father bought this from was an electrician and owned it several years and simply didn't have a clue what he had. Another friend of my dad knew it was an Early T and found it first then INFORMED my father. My father being a collector of Early T's looked at the price and trusted his friend on the information at hand. Hence why it was bought without first seeing it.
If there was intent to defraud, it wouldn't make sense to be bought from someone who sat on a couple years on an already old early T body for such a relatively low amount.
My father had literature from floor to ceiling on early T's. (In fact several filing cabinets worth as well as a library of Model T Times.) He knew what he was doing.
Obviously the radiator was recored. The piston heads were redone and the Jones speedometer was obviously not stock, but appropriate for the time period. And I cannot verify the authenticity of the radiator belonging specifically to #2, as my memory isn't clear there. It does belong to an early T however as the design is correct for early T's.
But to sit there and alter a early T motor block with a new serial number would severely damage it's value. It's an enormous risk, and would be a stupid one.
I can tell you has #22 also. And this isn't a person to be fooled. But that information will remain private.
The information and opinions I refer to predate facebook. I have never used Facebook as a reference nor do I use facebook in any way. Back in the 1960s there were stories that Don Hess had a very early Model T. When Number 2 was "unveiled" I viewed only photos. I have never seen this T. I believe it was sold to someone in Europe, perhaps Switzerland. I do not know where it is now. Does anyone kn ow where n umb er 2 and number 22 are at the present.Don was an interesting person.
Last I heard no2 was still with Robin Brock in Scotland. I have seen it but don't know enough about the first cars to offer any opinion.
Stupid people that denigrate anything that they cannot have or understand, have always been around. Modern computer generation people have elevated that behavior to a religious fervor.
I worked for many years in fields of cutting edge technology. My "fingerprints" are "all over the foundation" of the internet. Eventually, I needed to get out of that line of work in a large part due to the myopic idiocy of those running the show. Much of the computer generation do not believe in anything that existed before the day they were born. And they cherish putting down anyone that accomplished anything outside their gaming system.
The "information age" and the internet offer some really incredible possibilities. Researching history, networking with other intelligent people with similar passions, these things are wonderful. But too much of the computer generation has more real respect for hackers that cause thousands of dollars (even millions of dollars) damage than they do someone that works for a living wage. Many of these people cannot change a tire on their car to save their own life. Yet they hate anyone that can restore a valuable piece of history at their own expense.
I am afraid the ancient Greeks were right. Each generation is less great than the generations before them.
ď Disinformation ď is an effective tool used by some folks to further their Agenda.
It has little merit in the Reality most of us Share.
Folks will say what they will ....
For those people that matter to you - the words mean nothing.
For those people that donít matter to you - the words mean everything.
Guessing I'm just a stubborn kraut who refuses to do Facebook, Twitter, or ANY social media. 'Illiterate Bullies' want to hide behind their keyboards, so why interact with them? Whoever chooses can pick up the phone, then to let you and caller ID decide!
Let me preface this by saying I have no dog in this fight, nor do I have the first-hand knowledge or information to form an opinion one way or another as to the pedigree of #2 or #22
The Facebook posts were not the origin of the claims. The discussion about the pedigree was in reference to posts on this forum, by well known and respected forum members.
It would be interesting to hear in greater detail what reasons they have to cast doubt on it, but keeping that discussion civil would be difficult.
One question at the time of the first showing was the thread size on the left hand side oil vent pipe. The very early pipes were smaller diameter than on the later early first 2500 engines. It was reported by someone that the pipe was correct, but the threaded opening had a bushing to bring the size of the opening in the block down to the threads on the correct pipe. I beleve photos of that side of the engine show this. Perhaps someone can verify and comment on this.
When I read you posts, they immediately struck home with me.
Long before Facebook.....when my Dad died, I was tasked with finding new owners for his cars.
One, a 1903 Curved Dash Olds, attracted quite a bit of attention and I was pleased when a couple of chaps turned up to inspect it with the view to buying it. But all they did was run the thing down, saying this wasn't right and that wasn't right.
Even though it was nearly 30 years ago, I remember getting very annoyed and eventually I showed them the door (back gate in this case)
The reason was that at the age of 7 or 8, I had held a concrete sifter, for days, while Dad loaded it with bits and pieces while he dug the entire Olds up off the banks of a creek. We found every last nut and bolt. Later, but before restoration & after the chassis was re-assembled, I remember climbing all over it while we kids played around and on it. As I got older I helped him build the body from blueprints he'd bought from someone in the US and further local research was fruitful in that we found the cars complete history. On our wedding day my bride and I were photographed in/on it.
In other words, I grew up with this car. It was part of my life..... and these 2 numbskulls just blew in and started laying %$#& on it and all the work my Dad had done, without any sympathy for the situation. (his death)
I expect that they were just trying to force the asking price down.
Eventually I found a buyer, who did know what he was talking about and the Olds, like all the other cars, went to a good home and started a new life on 1 & 2 cylinder rallies all over this country.
It really cuts deeply when someone runs down the Herculean efforts you or someone close to you have made in their lives.
(Message edited by rob patterson on December 11, 2018)
First, let me start out by telling you of all the absolutely PERFECT antique and classic cars I have seen over the recent past half century.
At this point, let me say that I am not personally familiar with either number 2 or number 22. But I have read and heard some discussions and doubts about them several times over the years. If there is a piece that is incorrect by a few hundred production cars? How could there not be? Even If a couple pieces had to be modified to look really first hundred right? How many cars does anyone here know that doesn't have some little such thing (provided one really knows the car well enough to actually know)? I have been sworn to secrecy about details on several cars. I know a few details about a few cars that have been shown at Pebble Beach.
Numbers 2 and 22 survived almost a half century before they were restored. Nearly all of that time they were considered an old piece of junk. Almost half of that time was the worst time in USA history, the "great" depression and World War two. The fact that they survived the scrap drives at all is incredible. The fact that they were anywhere near complete is almost a miracle.
I will admit that I can pick most antique cars apart with the best of them. But this sort of nit-picking and put downs is disgusting.
Only if an educated and civil discussion is carried on to educate and inform, and improve the understanding of the model T Ford's evolution is there any good reason for any of this. 2 and 22 are among the most valuable major artifacts of automotive history.
Some of that is my opinion.
Donald is right about one thing for certain. There are quite a number of people who get real uptight when someone claims to own a T with a lower serial number than their own. There are exceptions to this of course, and we know who they are. But if you've got #2, you are going to piss a bunch of guys off and some will attempt to discredit you. And heaven help you if you put your car up on the web and it has one part newer than the year you claim, especially if that date is earlier than theirs. They will take a blowtorch to your claims. If the car is for sale, they will take it upon themselves to protect others from your ineptitude or fraudulence. It is tiresome. Some guys have cars older than yours. Get over it.
The whole question not over who owns the oldest Model T. It is whether that vehicle in question is Model T number 2 . It is probably not.
Don Hess , two of us, my self & another crawled under # 2 at Hershey. We had Vernier calipers & we measured the gauge of the frame thickness in several places !
This detailed post from 2014 provides insight by Trent Boggess 2004 magazine article on #1 and the specific frame front bracket the first 10 Tís would have. Rather good detail to prove early frame, now this bracket could be replicated but a nice bit of work by Trent to confirm early photos of #1 are likely correct too.
scroll down to Nov 9, 9:56 pm to read the article
If there is a claim to be made towards an object or event, then there needs to be enough documentation to prove the reason the object is the rarest, most original, last extant example say a Model T Ford... If not grab a beer and shoot in the breeze of the moment...
And to do that there should be a standard set of guidelines for the documentation, here is one example of proper documentation of an object in this case a Model T Ford...
From: Secretary of the Interior's Guidelines for Historical Documentation
Documentation is a detailed record, in the form of a report or other written document, of the historical context(s) and significance of a property. Historical research to create documentation uses archival materials, oral history techniques, ethnohistories, prior research contained in secondary sources and other sources to make a detailed record of previously identified values or to investigate particular questions about the established significance of a property or properties. It is an investigative technique that may be employed to document associative, architectural, cultural or informational values of properties. It may be used as a component of structural recording or archeological investigation, to enable interpretation or to mitigate the anticipated loss of a property through conservation of information about its historical, architectural or archeological significance. Documentation generally results in both greater factual knowledge about the specific property and its values, and in better understanding of the property in its historical context. In addition to increasing factual knowledge about a property and its significance in one historical context, documentation may also serve to link the property to or define its importance in other known or yet-to-be defined historic contexts.
Documentation should incorporate, rather than duplicate, the findings of previous research. Research may be undertaken to identify how a particular property fits into the work of an architect or builder; to analyze the historical relationship among several properties; or to document in greater detail the historical contexts of properties. The kinds of questions investigated will generally depend on what is already known or understood and what information is needed. For example, documentation of a bridge whose technological significance is well understood, but whose role in local transportation history is not, would summarize the information on the former topic and focus research on the associative values of the property. The questions that research seeks to answer through deed, map or archival search, oral history and other techniques may also relate to issues addressed in structural documentation or archeological investigation; for example, the reasons for and history of modification of a building to be the subject of architectural or engineering documentation.
We have a history of that car dating back to 1958 when it was purchased. I saw the way bill freight slips from when it was transported on a train. As a small boy I remember seeing those crates marked 1909-2 and my father personally telling it was #2. My mother also has memory of that car as she was married to him.
My father never ONCE told my mother or I that it wasn't genuine.
We have the names of people who helped my dad work on that car. A few are still alive. We are putting that list together.
The engine block itself is the original and had a crack in it due to overheating. It was an extremely difficult task to get it running smoothly again. The block had to be re-honed.
However to get her to run smoother, the piston heads were replaced with aluminum. The originals were in poor shape.
This is ALLOWED per rules.
There is clear obvious evidence this is an original wood body as it had a defect which was visible and could only occur after sitting in storage a CONSIDERABLE TIME. It was that way from the time was small. I will not name this defect as it's not my right as I don't own that car. I can assure you it is not a reproduction body as I saw it myself it's original shape.
I was there at Hershey when she was driven in. We were worried about the tires getting dirty being white, so we wrapped them in duck tape. That unfortunately was a mistake because it took 3 hours and hand scrubbing to get all that sticky residue off. I NEVER left the car that day except maybe to go to the bathroom. I don't ever recall anyone EVER sliding under the frame.
I do remember someone asking what number it was. We didn't tell anyone yet and I yelled over to my dad on the other side, "Hey dad, are we telling them the number yet?" And he gave approval. When I told him "#2" the person in question visibly pursed his lips. He wasn't happy. Now here my memory is a little spotty but, I think I asked my dad about him later and my dad said, "He owns an early T" But this last statement I'm not 100% certain on.
The engine was visible to anyone.
The car was visited multiple times by Lang himself in private. I was there for most private viewings as to my own request because my father was getting old and forgetful. I was there to make sure everything was okay because he had some extremely rare and old stuff.
I also KNOW who owns 22. I won't say his name because he hasn't come forward. And I will respect his right to privacy. But it is someone well known and not someone to be fooled.
As to my Dad's character and history:
My dad loved antique cars. He restored 2 Sears, an 03 Ford, a ?1901/1903? Crestmobile, model N's and more. Each won multiple trophies and best in show. His case was full of trophies for cars he restored. He contributed to the Hershey museum and has his name on a brick there.
He served as a Model T judge before in the past at Hershey. I asked him why he stopped judging and he said, "You have to knock points off for things that aren't correct. And when you have friends they take that personally. So I stopped doing it as it created hard feelings."
He was an active and charter member of the Blue and Grey Model T Ford Club.
My father is the kind of man who went to church just about EVERY week. He gave his tithes and on the rare case he did miss a week, he kept his tithes in full the following week. He served as an aldermen on the council of his church for years.
As to my father's skill:
He restored numerous lamps, speedometers, coil boxes, tanks, and carburetor. I stood in the garage with him working on those old original parts and the parts that were "too damaged" to be useful, he handed to me to "work on."
As to my father's knowledge:
He would take me along when he looked at Model T's and he would point out to me details that were incorrect. He could tell the difference on a frame based on a bolt pattern. He knew the different radiator caps and when they were employed on the early T's. He could tell the year by the windshield frame differences. He also knew what colors were available during what years. He even knew when a paint hue was off.
He stored every issue of Model T times and Hemmings as well as had filing cabinets FULL of T literature. It wasn't just one cabinet, but mulitple ones of nothing but T information. It took us months to go through it all after his passing.
The pictures are available via the Model T Times issue. There isn't anything in those photos that have been called out as incorrect. Although I will admit my dad did take liberties with accessories and more, but were all appropriate for that specific time period.
Now as to the questions:
1. Why bring this up now YEARS after he's no longer here to defend himself?
2. Why did no one call him on it at Hershey and let the judges known then when it won first place?
The day I read this, I slept two hours that night I was so mad. It says my father actively engaged in an act of deception. That was NOT my father's character. And it's rather poor taste given he's not here to defend himself and there is ZERO physical proof after all these years.
But the photos are available to the experts who wish to view them.
I will add my father was honest when he reported his taxes. He kept EVERY receipt of what he spent and when on the purchase and restoration. He needed to show the amount of money he made so he could be taxed properly on it.
One other tidbit,
My father told me this story as to how he came upon it.
He had a close friend who knew my dad restored early T's. He saw a Model T in storage that was owned by an electrician who didn't know much about what it was. My dad asked by friend about a few details and he said he knew what it was and he bought it site unseen. If it was a forgery with a cracked block, it was a damn impressive one back in 1958. But that wouldn't make sense now would it? Why sell what was obviously an early T for such a relatively low amount and potentially ruin it's value even more by passing it off as #2 with a fake block?
Donald... There are many written and well documented articles in all languages...and some where,,,even any where, that there will be that one person who will question the facts.
That person who is doing the questioning needs to step up with their story and the facts and prove your documentation wrong, and you need to be true to yourself and your fathers work to know that what you have presented is true and honest... if not you will lose a lot of sleep.
I will personally sign my name to ANY legal document stating my statements above are true.
The only thing I cannot attest to is the radiator. That may or may not have belonged to #2. It was appropriate for the early T however.
got a really bad headache from reading all this time for a nap!!!!!!!!!!!!! charley
I know of one regular participant on the Model T Ford Club of Facebook who believes that the earth is flat, that everything done by NASA is fake, that vast conspiracies control the world, etc., etc. Consider the source. Not everybody who posts on Facebook is playing with a full deck.
With a car as significant as Model T #2, there must be lots of photos of this car BEFORE the restoration was completed. I would assume there are a lot of "as found" photos as well as photos that document the restoration showing all of the key parts in their original, unrestored condition. Any knowledgable collector/restorer would document the pre-restoration car in great detail. If photos existed showing the unrestored, original car as well as the unrestored, original components prior to being restored, that would certainly document this car. Proof needs to be in the form of hard facts, not memoirs and stories. I am sure a collector as smart as Mr. Hess would have this proof. I would assume their are lots of photos of this car as purchased, etc.
In the world of valuable and historically race cars, many cars have been "built around a hubcap" as we say. In order for the car to be a real vintage race car it needs to have most of its key components such as engine block, frame, rear end housings, front axle. If these key components are not proper and from the vehicle being represented, it becomes known as a recreation.
I'm with Charlie
I understand your request and know why you are asking for it.
Unfortunately any documentation of the cars authenticity went with the car itself for obvious reasons. And as my father passed away near 10 years ago, a lot of his personal records were lost. As I said there was DROVES that took months to go through.
However the receipts might still be available via tax record archive. I don't know if the IRS scans documents on not, but it was listed line by line what was spent and bought for restoration. There were quite possibly 1000's of photos of old cars that we had to look through. But I'll see if any of them are left. My mother lives in a very small apartment now and there wasn't room to keep such things. But I'll see what I can come up with. A lot of my dad's past works are lost after his passing including the 03 Ford he restored and photos of the crestmobile he restored in their original states.
I realize that my word alone is not enough. But the fact I'm willing to attest legally to everything I saw and witnessed should bear some weight as it makes me liable to fraud.
I have ZERO to gain from this other than honoring my father's memory and his hard work.
I still question why the authenticity of such is being questioned AFTER his passing and not then when he could have presented evidence.
Number 2 & 22, will see the light of day again. You can't keep something like this hidden forever.
I had my 1911 Touring parked right next to Donís 1909 at Hershey in 2001. We were both going for our First Juinor award. I remember the judges ďalmostĒ refusing to judge Donís car because he did not have a fire extinguisher! He was allowed to get one, clearly in violation of stated AACA rules, and go on with the judging. I did notice the ď2Ē cast in the block and was puzzled that there was no evidence of any other. Donís car did get more attention than mine, but I was nominated by Sam High for the National Ford Award which I did receive in Philadelphia the next year. Several years later I was rebuked by an authoritarian of early numbered Tís for suggesting # 2. Just saying.
Donald Hess: What impresses me most about this is your fierce and wonderful defense of your father!!!
Yikes, this makes my head hurt too. Too much to dig through to even find out what all this is about. And there arenít any great pictures to accompany all the posts. From a museum standpoint when you make a claim for a historic object there must be provenance; something solid to prove your claim. Iím assuming there was some question by someone on Facebook about the authenticity of this 1909 T. Thatís not a Facebook thing .. itís an individual ďpoking the bear.Ē There have always been lots of jerks out there before Facebook and theyíll be out there after Facebook is long gone.
How honest your father was with his taxes and his experience with model T Fords is really interesting but not really important going forward with that car. Vintage original paperwork and as many photographs of the vehicle you can archive are considered the standard for documentation.
Someone please post at least three pictures of this car including one before restoration ... just for a breath of fresh air.
I knew Donald Hess and bought a fair amount of brass era T parts from him over the many past decades. Very nice man, and helpful to me. A credit to the hobby for like a gazillion years.
Obviously, most people in this hobby are white men, principally old white men, who like spend great time and energy to debate over what used to be junk that is now about a century old former junk. That's probably me too.
And granted, that is a lot here is a lot of turd shining in this hobby and bickering about whose turd is shiniest too.
The rage over this is (or would be) just mind-boggling to most of the rest of segments of the world. For a lot of the oldsters here, insulting some one else's car is what they find to be "fun" and they ignore hurting others feeling when the do it. Maybe they don't know any better, or just don't care about trying to be better people, and most of us just tolerate it. Heck, I can remember insulting other kid's cars in high school, racing and fist fighting too, maybe that behavior now is an endemic holdover from our behavior as kids insulting each other in cars on Main Street.
Who cares if you got trolled by some clown here saying #2 is fake, or hamburger, or Swiss cheese?
Log off and go outside for a breath of fresh air.
Don't waste your energy trying to teach the pigs to sing, or not snap at each other around the trough.
#2 exists somewhere. I understand it went overseas. Don Hess's family should never have sold the car if he cared so much about it, and then it would be here to face the issues. So maybe the current owner overseas would be willing to share the information he knows about the car so everyone will know what's going on.
You mean to tell me that after all that c**p nobody knows where it is or if it even exists?
For the OP ....
My previous post was in regards to ď Disinformation ď.
The deliberate - calculated - malicious creation of false information specifically to damage or harm.
I donít see that here.
I see a Son equating who his Father was in Life with
the Sonís memories of a car.
No one is insulting your Father.
Folks may be questioning the car.
Your Family decided to sell it.
Move On In Life .....
This is exactly why I dont own a two lever "T"!
Good Grief! All I can say is that I knew Don from the time we lived in Washington DC in the early 1970s. He was a great man, usually one of the first in the door at any swap meet searching for Model T goodies. He did not keep it secret from me that he was restoring #2, although I did not get to see it until its debut at Hershey. I was judging Model As and didn't know much about Ts, but was impressed by the quality of his workmanship. Over the years we bought/sold/horse-traded spark plugs, speedometer stuff, and brass goodies. I miss him but am glad to see you are here to come to his defense and keep his memory alive. It would be great to see some photos from the current owner. If it is in Scotland, I know there is an active and enthusiastic bunch of Model T folks there who keep an occasional eye on this forum, so perhaps someone will bring us up-to-date.
There are jerks everywhere. I was lucky enough to get absolutely berated by a guy once for flying a plane that was painted as a different plane. As he saw it I was absolute scum for not handing out pamphlets explaining my villainy and misdirection to all who would listen and most who would not.
I smiled and nodded and went flying anyways.
I thought the #2 car was featured in one of the national magazines. Probably it was the MTFCI T Times which would explain why it has not come up here. I recall the coverage was pretty extensive with lots of pics including the number. Perhaps I am mistaken. Does anyone else remember this?
I can recall back in the early to mid 1980s seeing photos of an early unrestored water pump engine with a very early head attached sitting in a chassis....now what sticks in my mind is that the head had provision for four priming cocks clearly visible. Now I know its almost 40 years ago but I am certain that this car was #2 can anyone else recall these series of photos. And by the way Donald Hess was very generous with me supplying both an original fuel tank and the correct short pitman arm for my 1906 N model for nothing he just wanted to help.
Post some pictures of model T number 2 ... please.
Erik the link in the first post of this thread shows it is featured in the March-April issue for 2002 of the Model T Times. I have that issue and remember the story.
It would seem to ad credibility to the car that it was featured in one of the Model T magazines. I don't remember reading the article and it saying it was a re-creation, or fake. As a matter of fact I remember it giving details of how it was found and delivered to Mr. Hess.
For some reason I keep coming back to this post...it just bothers me!
Don Hess...I am deeply sorry and will apologize on behalf of (most) of the T community...as pointed out...there are jerks everywhere. (Take a near Stynoski level T to an AACA regional meet where the turn out is light and T's are lumped in with the A's and the T never makes the final score sheet)
Just breathe deep and roll with it. To some extent, those that harp on the eye-roll things are not only incorrect, those eye rolls should be a sign of total respect.
There was a guy named Richard Petty who was not only a great guy...he built nice restorations and a few Stynoski's for the other club. He went on to be the Pres for a year in that club but for the most part guys and guys who came later 'rolled their eyes' as to his restorations (I spent nights at his shop as an 'apprentice' of sorts steaming wood, and 'working' tin skins using just hammers n dolly's and some wood forming blocks he had come up with). Why folks rolled eyes on some of his work, I never understood...
There was a guy named Austin Mitchell who sold flawless restored brass gas lamps who also was 'eye rolled' on mention of his name and work. OK, so Austin charged twice as much as anyone else did for finished product but to me they were THAT good and he was always sold out before leaving Hershey. (Austin taught me how to drive a T when I was in my 20's yet) Why folks rolled eyes on some of his work, I never understood...
I know folks who claim to have seen Rip-Van-Winkle and do scoff at what is claimed...too much tire wear...too much seat wear in all the normal wear places...to justify what is claimed on the odometer, especially since odometer gears can be moved. Why folks rolled eyes on some of this reported find, I never understood...the guys who reviewed it originally were the 'then' experts in the field!
I know folks who guffaw and eye roll on just about anything Murray Fahenstock did or said. Why folks rolled eyes on some of his work, I never understood...
Keep at this long enough and you start to deduce that an eye roll is really a sign of hidden admiration if not actual envy. For what its worth.
Think about it. Critics in all fields are very rarely people who can actually perform at world-class levels. Fat guys who couldn't run five yards are the ones who jeer at the star quarter-back.
George M and Rich B have done a good job of saying what I was beginning to try to figure out how to say.
A couple additional comments about a way over-used word. Provenance.
Yes, it may be appropriate for high end classics, famous racing cars, or artworks by the great masters. It may even be a wonderful plus for normal antique automobiles. Certainly, it is a great thing to know your T model's history clear back to the dealer that sold in when new. And having the original sales receipt is something only a few people can brag about.
The simple fact of life is that MOST antique automobiles (certainly pre 1935) do not and should not have such well known history. These cars were mostly tools. Daily transportation for common people. They spent nearly a half century as "just an old car" or outright JUNK.
I have had a fair number of antique cars in my life (more than a dozen complete intact different cars). Nearly all of them, when I bought them, I inquired about any known history. Only ONE car I have ever owned had a known history to its original owner. Only two had known histories back into the 1950s (one of them a former Harrah car, even Harrah's research did not know farther back!).
As for original documentation of the restoration? Some people might keep copies for themselves. I have known people that did NOT let the documentation go with a car when they sold the car. Other people do not want to keep too many reminders of something they have put into their past. Some people are not so well off as to have the room, means, or even time, to save even half of what they wanted to when a part of the family passes on. That is what happened when my dad passed away. There were so many things he had that I would have liked to have kept. Some tools and equipment, photos, magazines with articles he wrote published in them. Some things went to other family, some sold for needed money. A lot of things we gave away because we had a very short time to clear his stuff out of rented places they were in. A lot of his stuff went to the dump.
From my life's experiences, it is easy for me to understand how someone might not have such wonderful documentation of a project from sixty years ago. Sometimes, it is difficult for me to understand how so many other people do not accept that simple fact of life.
I too, would love to see a hundred good photos of both 2 and 22, both before and after restoration shots. I would also like to see the pictures in the magazine that I never had a copy of. I would even like to see an intellectual discussion of what is and isn't truly correct on them. However, the current "eye-rolling" and nit-picking is pointless.
Donald Hess, Don't let this stuff get to you. It was, is, and should be a special part of your life regardless. I never met your dad. But what I have heard of him through the years, you should be proud of him!
The loudest boos come from the cheapest seats!
This is Ford Model B, serial #1 as found. I am presently the caretaker of all the original pictures of when it was located and purchased In the early 1950s. I have shared all of them with the Early Ford Registry where everyone can view them. I have a pencil rubbing of the serial number on the flywheel. Pictures are worth thousands of words, and would expect an auto as important as #2 model T would have some picture archives. That would shut up the critics, Mr.Hess. Iím trying to help.
I have some photos from my visit with Don in 2005, but they seem to be lost today.
Don did an outstanding restoration and the car looked like it just came off the assembly line.
I have never seen a better looking early car, but I know very little about the early ones.
Here are a few from the magazine article, not that they will help the discussion very much.
I don't wish to challenge the late Don Hess. There is no reason to. However, consensus is that this car was not real. I wish it were. I've hesitated to post, however, this thread will show up whenever a person searches early T's. I understand a son's desire to protect his father's legacy. However, from what I know, this is not Model T number 2, and Don knew it.
Take this for what it's worth.
Do we really give a damn????? The car exists whether it really is #2 or not does it make any difference, really?
I was there when it rolled onto the field at Hershey for the 1st time. It was supposed to be a big secret about the serial number, Mr Hess made a big deal about not opening the hood. This caused the folks surrounding the car at that time to suggest it was yet another Hess made up car. Now before you hang me out to dry, I am just repeating what I heard that day. I have no idea if it is or if it ain't, and frankly my dear I don't give a damn. So give this dog a rest and let him lay. Why waste all this time about a car you can't prove one way or another. And I believe Robin referred to the owner in Scotland passed away several years ago.
Yes, we should give a damn BCG, I know you value early original cars, and have knowledge of early T's. just as I told Fred everything right and wrong with 220 when I sold it to him, the next buyer had all the same information. If we don't know which cars are correct and which are not, how will future collectors know what is correct? Many of us have spent a lot of time and expense trying to do things right. While I also understand there are those who don't care about any of this, there must also be people who do.
There are some photos in here taken at Robin Brock's place. Not sure if they show details being discussed.
Jem, the I can't get the link to work.
Usually I agree with you, and consider you a friend as well as extremely knowledgeable early car expert.
If this thread is really meant to examine and declare a car "original," then all sides should be considered. If it's a "feel good" piece, so be it, but it shouldn't be represented as a thread to find the truth if it's not.
I wish (hope) number 2 survived. However, if it didn't, so be it. I suspect even in the 1950's, if number 2 survived, it would have been a car that was followed and coveted.
I own Model N number 3. While not remotely having the significance of T #2, the car was documented as #3 as far back as 1925. The significance of the car was recognized at that time, when it was less than twenty years old. I suspect a single digit Model T in most cases would also have possessed similar notoriety.
As stated, I hope I'm wrong. However, I suspect I'm not. I own a "1909" T that's a fake. It was represented to me as "original," and I paid accordingly. An "expert"who no longer participates on this site told me it appeared original, and I wanted to be "original." However, it's not. As a result, I own a car that I don't like, because I know it's fake. When I finally part with it, the next owner (to my financial detriment) will know it's fake, and we'll go from there.
I used to joke with my dear late friend Tim Kelly, "do you know the difference between a made up car and a real one?"
He said "no, what?" My quip, "about two generations."
I said this jokingly. However, as Kim wrote, future researchers and enthusiasts deserve in depth study before a car is accepted as authentic. Especially a car with the significance of being the second car that put the world on wheels.
Re photo link, sorry, I failed to make it Public Sharing - now done.
There are only a couple of shots of #2 in there, don't get confused by the other red cars!
drat! go back to the first link!
My thank's to Kim and Rob for the true facts as they see them!! Was it Donald Hess pictured in Tin Lizzie by Stern with a very early two lever in the 50's?? If so,where did that car go? Bud.
Wow! I'm glad I'm sticking with the lowly black era cars- nothing to defend...
(Message edited by Antique_iron on December 14, 2018)
Tim, I'm sticking with the Nickle Era Improved Fords. They're the best
Bud, there are 2 early 1909 cars pictured in Philip Van Doren Sterns very excellent book, Tin Lizzie. page 77 shows Edwin Fredrickson of South Bend Indiana in #126 which was later owned by John Stynoski. I don't know where this car is today. The second car on page 130 is George Antinarella, of west Boylston, MA. This car is currently owned by Richard DeCarli and is on display in the California auto museum in Sacramento. CA. Im not aware that Don Hess is pictured anywhere in the book.
I could be wrong, but I believe #77 is the earliest known engine, and is owned by the Los Angeles Museum of Science and Industry. I saw the engine once when I was a kid. Kim Dobbins knows more about it than I do.
This whole link is interesting.
But I believe we all forget that unless the car in question is only owned by a celebrity and written up in or seen on a popular media, or appears at a prestigious event (with a celebrity owner) it does not matter what the serial number maybe. The car is only significant if Jon Dough Richie has it and they state that it is the first. Oh, it has to be restored many times from its original state, preserving its rich history and patina.
PS I stand with Don and his statements....
I've been reading with interest about the 'first T's' and where or where not they may be in this thread.
Being in the hobby since the early 60's with the black era cars
and hearing stories and reading historical data about the 2 lever cars 09 cars I don't think a real untouched car exists.
There are some that are pretty close but that's also questionable as some people have found out.
I can only imagine what happens when a 2 lever car shows up at a show or meet. Questions and questions and comments and -------------------->>>>>>>>>>>>>>
The present vehicle known as number 2 is not as manufactured and has only a limited number of parts as found on it in 1958. It is a nice representation of what can be assembled for an early two lever Model T. "The car speaks for itself." I have been told that the original number two was shipped to a destination that would make it doubtful that the remains of it would end up in Michigan.
there is a very nice early two lever in FL that has had extensive showing at the MTFCA Museum. While it is in a restored state, it is the real deal
There is also an original 2 Lever 1909 Ford T in Maryland, with an original head, a water pump and no block number.
am i seeing things, or is there no holes for cam bolt locks??????????????? charley
If I remember correctly the cam locks on the early blocks are a set screw that was flush with the casting.
Frankly I like that delivery car in Jim Golden's post. Lately I've been hankering for one and just wish I could afford the one thats in NH I believe for $29.9K.
Where were the block numbers on the early ModelT Fords?
After 2500 the numbers were on theleft side into 1912 and moved to the left side over the water connection. Were the numbers of the first 2500 also the right side? How about the first 10 or 20?
I recall seeing an unrestored, two pedal-two lever T at the Peterson Museum in Los Angeles a number of years ago. Anybody know the story about that one? I asked long time Long Beach Model T Club member Bob Fruhe about it, and he replied that it wasn't very correct. Do you have any info on that one Kim? Just curious.
Darel, the sr no on the early blocks are between the ports.
Frank, Ive never seen flush cam lock screws, all the ones i have seen are round slotted.
Mike, it must be #714 which belongs to Los Angeles county as well as engine #77. 714 is an older restoration and a pretty nice car, Peter Eastwood can tell you the details as it was his families car.
Mike Spaziano # 714 was on display at the Petersen museum years ago. My Dad acquired #714 in 1953 & was the third owner, he sold it to Harrah's in 1965, & later the Los Angeles County Natural History museum acquired it from Harrah's. It may not the best 2 pedal T but it is a very good car !
A list of early Model T Fords as of 2005
Removed at Kim Dobbins request.
in a Dec 11 post on this thread, I said I crawled under # 2 at Hershey & measured the frame gauge thickness. Since nobody has asked what I learned, I'll go ahead & tell you. The frames under the first 2,500 model T's are 1/8 inch material & have a stiffener plate riveted inside the frame rail.
The frame under # 2 is 5/32 inch material which makes it like all the common T frames.
I will tell you the it did have the stiffener plate riveted in side.
I know this first hand . . .
Kim and Peter, thank you both for your replies.
Thanks Kim, like I said relying on memory, we don't come across many 09's at this end of the world, but 1/2 right was a screw head.
Number 90 I believe went through Leonard Davisí hands prior to Bill Barth and sold a couple of years back again at a Reno sale. This just from memory. My dad was good friends with Jack Skaff and he told us when I was like 10 years old and showed us a picture of a roadster with two levers but I never have seen it surface. I wish I would have recorded these guys talking 35 years ago. I saw 90 as it was being restored on several accounts and Bill is a master craftsman. Excellent work! We have always been interested in water pump cars they are a rare bird. I should have kept a list of all the 3 pedals Cars with serial numbers less than 2500.
The above list was compiled be me through the years and was never for publication. For those of you that have the updated list, please do not publish it. Thanks, Kim
These old photos were taken in Vermont in the 1940s and show an early Ford in its natural state. As one of the above posters noted, these cars were just utility vehicles and rarely survived untouched and unmolested.
I should have asked. I did not have any notes as the original source ,I have used the list for reference for many years. I feel there are still one or two 2 lever item not listed. In the 1950sa person claim there was an engine with two levers northern MN.
Interesting thread that uncovers more of the history around the earliest Model T's
Lots of passion of course, almost like when the crusaders tried to find parts of the True Cross in medieval times - though they were 1000 years late while we are "only" 110 years late. Still hard to find much - Henry Ford had a hard time himself trying to find #1 just about 15 years after it was built.
Here's another thread showing the chassis remains of #489, not in the above list since it wasn't yet discovered by 2005 - now under restoration by
Brice ChalanÁon in France: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/322425.html
Would also be interesting to see detail pictures of the other remaining unrestored cars if possible, like #691 and #980. And of course pictures of what it was Don Hess Sr found in 1958. Nothing wrong in making an uncomplete car complete and in working order again, quite the opposite. Maybe he had a front seat with a serial number plate but no frame or block?
(Message edited by Roger K on December 15, 2018)
So, where in this thread does this 1908 T (" Bearing serial number 90..."), sold at auction in 2015 fit in the story. Why the text states it is the earliest restored (1908) Model T. It is red too.
Note: reading the missives from Mr Hess, his family's T have more of a provenance than some.
The Woodhead (not Whitehead) Ford Collection was sold saveral years ago at auction. Number 90 was part of the collection. The rumor was that the engine bock was a new casting. John Woodhead III had 40 or 50 Fords from 1903 to 2002. All restored or original.
I am curious what number your 1909 fake T is? I assume the block was altered? Just trying to educate myself of such things. I understand if you donít want to say.
Low 2500s. At one point I hoped to eventually own a 1908 built two lever two pedal T. However, at the time, a 1909 built T was the best I could afford. It turned out I own about a $20,000 "education" that comes without a diploma or certificate of completion.
Such is life....
Back to #2, found my issue of Model T Times coverage and these screen shots show the engine features. Appear very original, #2 block casting number and the Serial '2' in proper position.
Regarding frame comments, the only close up of the front cross member is rather fuzzy, but appears to show the later style frame corner bracket plate. Trent Boggess study shows that the first 10 Model T's had a vertical plate out front, very different for the later standard angled frame corner bracket we see on all later T's.
However, those early frames were weak there, and it's maybe likely #2 got a newer frame early on, one will never know
In all, the #2 is a rather fine T, fully restored.
And I recall speaking to Don Hess over the phone years ago when I was seeking some real '09 parts to put on my faux runabout, he lead me in helpful direction. Nice guy.
Frank, I was shown documents at the Henry Ford in 2003 showing what had to be very early Fords of various models shipped to both Great Britain and Australia the coincide with the New York auto shows. I have also seen various models including A, AC, K, R and Ts with low and single digit serial numbers. At least one of these had the serial number changed.
The problem with all of these very old cars is you simply put can prove a number is not correct but you cannot prove a positive. Unless you can track with photos AND documents back to the original bill of sale all you can get is to almost positive.
In New Zealand we have an officially recognised class named "Authentic Reproduction Vehicle".
The Vintage Car Club (which is the officially recognised national authourity on 'old' cars) defines a 'Authentic Reproduction Vehicle" as:
Authentic Reproduction Vehicle (ARV)
Motor Vehicles newly constructed to the exact specification of an original factory production model that comply with the VCC Code for Period Specials.
Period Specials are defined as:
Period Specials (PS1) Group One is a vehicle which has been built up solely utilising period production components within the periods represented in A, B, C, D, E & F these Production Modified vehicles (PM) will be grouped as either B4 or B5. Period Specials (PS2) Group Two is a vehicle which has been constructed using some major period parts to imitate a design of a particular period. These constructed vehicles must be grouped as either C4 (and must be a very accurate imitation of an original vehicle) or C5 (period style of vehicles).
Under these rules, a car built up to be an accurate imitation, using genuine period componets is recognised as 'historic' in a clearly marked class.
This does not assist the discussion on whether a particular car is or is not "original" but I hope it does recognise that there is a legitimate and reasonable place for cars using, say an original 1909 engine, in an 'imitation' body.
Do you have such rules/ guidelines in the USA?
The MTFCA does not judge cars. The HCCA stopped as well a while ago. The rules in NZ, AUST, UK are quite different from the US. No idea how MTFCI or other clubs handle it. Over here we moved away from judging due to lots of controversy.
I just want to drive my cars and enjof talking with others interested in Model Ts.
Had to laugh when a real purist told me I had a 1925 horn button on my 1926. Simply said thank you.
Speaking for myself and what little I know, the Antique Car Club of America has allowed documented replica vehicles to be judged.
I have not participated in any car show where judging takes place, for years since the 1970s, as explained in a past post.
That being said, as for do Americans care if a car is historic correct or not?
An article was written in 2006 by Wm M. McCarter, titled "Where the Tin Lizzy Took Us," in FastCapitalism. It can be found on line. I would say most do not care if the vehicle is original or not.
McCarter make the following statement:
"Henry Ford, Dearborn, Michiganís favorite son and one of the industrial heroes of the 20th Century, once said ďhistory is bunk. We want to live in the present. The only history that is worth a tinkerís damn is the history we make today.Ē One might argue that Henry Fordís idea of history being ďbunkĒ is one of the things that make him an American. We Americans are not very good at thinking about history. We are such a young nation compared to other countries that, we really donít even have a history in the same way that other regions around the globe have a history. While Europeans living in Spain or France can trace their history back for nearly a thousand years, we have 1776. While nationís in the Middle East can say that they are living in ďthe cradles of civilization,Ē we are the New World Ė a modern world Ė the children of the Enlightenment. While aristocrats from other nations often have four or more names and the most important of those are their dynastic family names, in our supposed classless egalitarianism, we Americans call each other Hank and Dale. We Americans have a history but if there is a central theme to our American history, it is that we have a history of forgetting how to remember the past."
Most do not care about the origin of their car. But most are proud that, as of today (2018), they constructed a 1925 roadster, from a pile of parts found yesterday. And with that, they never documented their build for posterity. And those that have get criticized.
Sorry if I was not clear, the New Zealand classifications are not specifically for 'judging' cars - rather each "antique" car has an historical classification.
These give special benefits such as lower insurance, lower registration (MV tax) rates and exemption from parts of the MV safety mechanical tests.
The club also limits participation in event if you do not have a 'club eligible' vehicle.
The photo above shows the busing.
From my previous post.
One question at the time of the first showing was the thread size on the left hand side oil vent pipe. The very early pipes were smaller diameter than on the later early first 2500 engines. It was reported by someone that the pipe was correct, but the threaded opening had a bushing to bring the size of the opening in the block down to the threads on the correct pipe.
Does this early block seem correct at the oil and vent pipe?
In the US it varies by state. Some states will register a T bucket with a modern V8 with year of manufacture plates. No club plates in the US I am aware of.
The difference is insurance where most insurers ask about club membership and if the engine has been changed as to horsepower. The system is not well monitored and there are many insurers. Very different.
I think most Americans care to a point about a car being correct, but probably more about safety. Rules there slowly changing. MTFCA only required safety glass last year.
A couple of posters here seem to think that most folks don't care if a car is original or not. I disagree. If you look at the prestige auctions, documented numbers matching cars draw far more dinero then those that are not. I realize that "numbers matching" and "original" are not synonyms, But the idea is at least that the vehicle be correct. The youngest T is 91 years old and certainly will have had some parts replaced; this is normal maintenance, but to be "original", it would seem to me that most of the major components left the factory as an assembly. I don't really care if a T is original or not - I learned to drive a T in a beautiful '24 with a '19 engine. The '24 engine failed to the point that it was not as a practical matter, rebuildable. Whaddaya gonna do? It's a really nice driver. The only time that I would get picky is if the car is represented as "original"; at that point I would have a few questions.
From what I've observed most any collector car is worth more money if it is correct with the original engine and drivetrain components, correct year parts etc. I've noticed with Model T's I've owned and have observed that Henry Ford himself apparently wasn't overly concerned that every car leaving the factory had year correct components so it makes it a bit more complicated to determine if a Model T today is exactly as it left the factory or not. Henry Ford was quite frugal and if he found a leftover 1911 speedometer laying around when they were building the 1914 cars he might have stuck it on the car to use up inventory even though it wasn't correct. I do think for historic purposes it is important to try to restore a car as correct as possible but also the reality is some of the cars weren't likely 100% correct when they left the factory especially in the beginning and ending of model years being the transitional models. Unfortunately some details have been lost to time as no one is living that designed or originally built these cars when they were new. What a wealth of knowledge it would be today. It would be great if there was more availability of original early parts but some of that stuff is getting so hard to find to complete a car correctly but if a person can find all parts period correct that is definitely the way to go.
Dan. It looks if the pipe is not using a bushing. From what I know, it looks correct.
Dan, the first series of blocks used a breather made of 1/2" pipe with a pipe thread in the block. The second series used a 7/8 tube with fine threads. The #22 block looks like it has the correct breather. Maybe Arrdeen could tell us what size the pipe is.
Using the castle nuts on the pan bolts (9/16" across the flats) as scale, the pipe diameter is considerably larger than 1/2".
1/2Ē pipe is measured from the ID, so the OD will change a bit. 1908ish pipe was welded seam pipe, so lots of variance in the OD. This was a carryover from the NRS oil filler pipe, only on the front of the engine instead of the rear. From my experience, it would be unusual to not be able to see several pipe threads proud of the engine block surface. I wasnít aware or the use of mechanical tubing later, and a fine thread would not show much of a thread. Seems like going backwards to me, but Kim has been studying these things for a long time now.
I am not sure any 'repaired' or restored antique car over 100 years old (or even much younger) that has been well used in its life will be 100% 'as it left the factory' in every nut and bolt detail. We all know how hard it is to track down parts and 'good originals' even if just to copy.
In fact, for 'pre-production' cars do we even know what every nut bolt and pipe 'actually was' on each individual hand built car that used the parts to hand?
It seems to me that picking any car apart on the basis that "some" details "may not" be 100% correct is mean-spirited and misleading. What about the 99.9% of 'correct/original' parts in the car?
What about use of things like safety glass for instance? Very hard to get a factory original windscreen glass I guess - even if you actually would want to sit behind one.
I guess if it was repainted it no longer is 'original' as the paint was not the 'actual' formula used?
(This is a general question. A bit of perspective is needed from time to time)
Itís why a car that hasnít been taken completely apart for restoration is so much more helpful to scholars to view than one that has been over restored, repainted with modern paints and refitted using all new hardware. Sure, things get changed over the years .. but I think there should always be a core collection of untouched ďrelicsĒ that are not driven for posterity.
I agree Mark. Once a car has received a complete, nut and bolt restoration, it's essentially a new car and is as much a creation of the restorer as it is the manufacturer.
As I've gotten older, cars like this become less and less interesting to me. I find myself looking at them and wondering how much of the car is actually old.
As bad as all this arguing about car #2 and how many angels fit on the head of a pin, is, it pales in comparison to my experience with the Model A crowd back when I owned a 29 Roadster about 15 years ago. It seemed that all that group cared about was how "correct" everything was. I even wondered if some of those guys were even car guys at all. Most of them seemed to have made that corner of the hobby into some kind of elaborate accounting club.
Mr. Hess may have started with only engine #2 and a few other parts from that car, or he may have started with nearly the whole car. If the documentation has been lost, everyone is just tilting at windmills as they argue about it.
KD is dressing quite smartly these days so I donít really know what thatís gonna lead to ......
Is there any information on when Ford moved the serial number from the manifold area to the lower right hand side?
Have the engineering change sheet for the later block, but not the early, that would show the date of change.
According to ref. in Bruce's C-D version, gives this info, so my guess is about engine serial #310 the block was given the serial number boss near the timing cover. Sure by then Ford figured he would run out of room between the cylinders for stamping numbers on 1,000's of engines!
Ser. # 310 to 14,161 calendar year 1909.
2501 to 8,100 model year
(Model year May 1, 1909 to July 31, 1909.)
Note: Fordís published data shows 1 to 11,100 built between Oct. 1, 1908 and Sept. 30, 1909.
S/N on boss behind cam gear housing on right side
Question about frame thickness. It is true that the first 2500 T's had a frame 0.125" thick, and had a re-inforcement along the side? Also from a strength point of view, would plates attached to the top and bottom frame rails resulted in a stronger frame than attaching a plate to the vertical portion of the frame rail? The current judging guideline say this. Also it was mentioned that the later frames were 0.15625" here on this forum. The current judging guidelines say "Later frames had thicker side rails." Perhaps the 26/27 frames were thicker as some say that the thickness on the improved frames was .180" to .200" thick type "L" steel. Does anyone know if any of this is correct?
I do not understand the #2 vehicle question. If the pictures in the Model T Times shows a block with #2 should not this be the second one? Or at least the engine from the #2 Model T? Or are we saying someone punched in #2 on another block? Or are we thinking that the Hess vehicle that was at Hershey was a different vehicle than what was photographed in the Model T Times.
Also is it possible the the frame was painted/filled and increased its thickness to over 0.125"?
Dan Treace, the engine # on 314 is between the ports .
Arnie Johansen, the frame under car # 2 that was at Hershey, was a later frame. I measured it.
Thanks, guess we'll need to look at the engineering change on Fac. No. 400 or 400B cylinder block to know!
According to photo in Nov-Dec 1994, Model T Times, serial # 916 is on the pad by the timing cover.
On reading all the messages again, was the vehicle in question at Hershey in 2018 or are we talking about a vehicle that Peter Eastwood measured at Hershey but many years ago?
When I originally read the post I perhaps got the wrong impression that the vehicle frame was measured at Hershey meet this year in 2018!
Dan Treace, my Dad's car # 714 had the number on the pad behind the timing gear. # 714 was a very original & complete car when my dad bought it in 1953. My dad was the third owner & drove it home !
Arnie Johansen, Don Hess displayed his car, #2, one time, at Hershey a number of years ago, and that is what is being discussed here .
The later Improved Car frame did go thick like the TT frame, the very early frames for the '09 water pump cars was thinner rail. And pre-testing proved the frames had to get reinforced and fast, and the new Model T was already offered for sale.
Ford thought best fix was to apply a thick plate inside the rail, fastest fix... note the plate had holes to clear the existing frame rivets in the side for the quadrant and the body brackets, and the large 'fat, squished' rivets holding those 'fish' plates is rather crude.
These plates were added after the frames were already delivered to Piquette, and likely done in the open storage yard!
And below is the motor in the frame shown, its in the 3xx range. Note it has a "2" cast on the side of the block, but that numeral is just a mold identifier, Ford had multiple molds for casting blocks.
I have # 1400 in my garage right now, tending to some engine work before it will be offered for sale. It too, survived as a very original car.
# 1400 has the "2" mold identifier cast on the side of the block.
Is #1400 restored now or still as found? We would love to see some pictures!
#1400 was restored by Harrah's in the 1960's
my Dad's # 714 in the early '60's
me & my younger bro
my Dad's # 714, & my older brother early '60's, still had the original upholstery & top
Your Block Photo Shows Serial #317 Who owned the car when you photographed it?
Just noticed #714 did Not have Script on Rad
Is that the way it was acquired ?
Don Watson, yes, on # 714, there was no script on the upper radiator.
Just had a 2nd look The Photo is Serial# 337 not 317 (Sorry Milt)
Your brother doesnít look happy to be sitting in such an historic and rare vehicle!
I looked in Bruce's book "Model T Ford, the Car That Changed the World" regarding the earliest Model Ts. While he mentions the fishplated frame, he doesn't mention the thinner gage metal, and states that the fishplates were removed early on because they were found to be "unnecessary"!
Pate's Early Ford Encyclopedia does mention the thinner gage metal on the earliest frames and the subsequent need to reinforce them with fish plates.
So, it appears that the use of thinner gage metal on the earliest frames only became common knowledge some time between the release of those two books.
Any book (or max effort car restoration) is a snapshot in time of the hobby's knowledge at that time. As new information becomes available, books and restorations have the potential to improve accordingly.
This is a very interesting thread. Does the MFTCA have a list or some type of registry for the 2 pedal T.s? If any T club could have one it would be this one since it's the most popular.
I would think a list of 2 pedal cars would be neat to have if it could be compiled as a list of cars in various condition and originality.
But maybe even that would be to contarversial for some.
John, there was one of sorts that had been posted. Kim Dobbins (who complied the info) had it taken down by Chris B.
I knew that it was and probably others have tried to do the same thing. It's just a shame that even putting together a list of 09 T's that would be a generalized list wouldn't be good enough for the perfectionists in the crowd. Of course there would need to be some basic guidelines to do it but you would never get agreement on what it would be. People are their own worst enemies. And that's to bad.
I saw that list and wish I'd saved it as it is interesting to see how many early cars are known to have survived to "the modern era." I don't understand why Kim wants it kept "secret" except maybe who owns them, that information might be best kept private.
Such lists and rosters have always been troublesome in the hobby. Many of the people having special cars have legitimate reasons to not want that information put "out there". I know that list that was here was put up "in good faith" by the poster. But the list had been made for private use only by other owners. Hence it was taken down (as I understand it, I haven't even looked above to check that myself.
In the past, I have had a couple special cars of which there were only maybe twenty survivors. One was a Fuller manufactured in Jackson Michigan, the other was a rare model of Studebaker that was produced for only seven months in 1915. Both of those cars, neither of them "big bucks" or generally owned by the "top one percenters", I ran into a lot of resistance when I tried to track down other owners to compare notes with.
In my earlier days, I was fortunate to meet and/or know a few major collectors. A few of them were very open about what they had. Some, like Jay Leno (who I did meet, but cannot claim to have really known) and another very good longtime friend, share their collections quite a lot. Others, sadly, very few people get to ever see anything but the handful of cars they have chosen to tour with regularly.
I recently corresponded with a fellow trying to revive an earlier effort to put together a roster of Cole Automobile owners. He is running into the same resistance.
Some people do have good reasons to keep what they have quiet. Things like vindictive ex-wives for example. Religious concerns for a few. Others, fear government intervention and unreasonable taxation (legitimate fears these days!). A few are simply paranoid (note, one is NOT paranoid if others really are out to "get" them!).
It would be nice if such fears could be resolved in a healthy way. ALL OF US suffer in MANY ways when we cannot trust or have faith in the honesty and integrity of others.
Jay Leno mentioned in one of his videos that some collectors have slipped him notes to the effect of "please direct your heirs that when you die, I would like first crack at cars x and y from your collection".
Takes a lot of nerve!
Hey Wayne, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean there isn't a conspiracy!
True, true. So true!
Please don't tell anyone I own several old cars and trucks. They all think I am nuts and I don't want to confirm it.
I would be glad to send the list to anyone that emails me. Tmorsher@icloud.com Keeping this historical info Private is hogwash
David and Wayne, yes I have kept a list of 2 lever cars and and info about those cars. I've given the info out to a few people and asked them to not publish the information. I don't have permission from the owners of those cars to make the info public, nor would I want to. I and others who stated the opinion that #2 was not what it was stated to be were criticized by many for stating the truth as we saw it. So the research I'd done on the rest of the 2 lever cars it seems is best kept private.
The net and this forum is a great tool but this info goes to anyone in the world and i think if the owners/people involved want to remain private that should be respected? Bud.
Tim Morsher, please respect the privacy of the owners on that list. While I donít own a special car, there are other areas where Iíve had people track me down to do nothing more than harass me over trivial things that I had no part in causing and on the grand scheme of things donít really matter. Even though you may not see the information as anything more than ďthatís neat,Ē there are others who can use it to cause a lot of hassle to those early T owners. It sucks, but thatís how it is.
As for serial #2, I see the block was also cast from pattern #2. Is that how you could expect them to rotate casting patterns? I guess I always pictured one pattern being used over and over until it was worn out, then being replaced by the next one. What other casting pattern numbers have been observed on the water pump blocks?
As nice as it would be to look at the mold number on the side of an early T block and be able to draw some conclusions about when the motor was made, it doesnít work that way. Case in point: I have been working on a thermosyphon Ď09 that belongs to a friend of mine. The serial number is in the 5xxx range. The number cast into the block on the right hand side of this motor is a ď2Ē.
In my experience studying early water pump Model Ts, the difference in the engine block castings is subtle but distinguishable. There seem to be two different series of motors built during the two lever two pedal period.
The first series runs from the beginning of Model T production to approximately car #500. I am not exactly sure when the first series ends and the second series begins because factory records on the first 1139 cars really donít exist (and I am the one who created ďThe Early Ford DatabaseĒ, so I think I know what I am talking about.
The first series of water pump motors are characterized by having a 1/2 pipe thread breather pipe, and the boss for the 1/2Ē breather pipe on the block has a slightly different shape. These motors also used 3/8Ē head bolts, and had their serial numbers stamped between the #2 and #3 exhaust manifold ports. The transmission covers were made from pressed steel, and the area around transmission cover door is very ďboxyĒ in shape. Just behind the cover door the cover drops off sharply. The is another feature of these engines that is hard to see unless the engine is apart on a stand is the back of the block has two holes cast into it located near where the heads of the two rear main bearing bolts are located.
The second series of early motors seems to begin at motor numbers between 450 and 500. These motors began being built in the second half of January 1909. There is a clue in the Record of Changes cards at HFM that the holes in the back of the block disappeared at that time. These motors used the larger diameter breather pipe. In order to accommodate the new breather pipe, the boss on the left front corner for the breather pipe was made a little larger, and the rear side of the boss tapers more towards the rear than its predecessor. The transmission cover is still made from pressed steel but the shape has changed around the transmission cover door. Now the cover extends behind the door for about an inch before gently curving downward towards the rear of the cover.
The size of the head bolts also changed from 3/8 to 7/16 diameter.
In addition to the two series described above, there could have been several sub series of motors with minor differences from the ones described.
Finally, it is also important to remember that Ford continued to supply replacement water pump blocks up into the early 1920ís. I do not know how to identify later replacement blocks from original production blocks.
Out of this whole topic what got my attention was replacement water pump blocks supplied into the 1920s
I cant quote a reference off hand but remember reading a Ford directive to dealers to offer owners 50% off the price to changeover 13 -14 rear ends as an incentive to owners
I can understand that as it was probably cheaper than waiting for a warranty claim and covering the whole cost. Then there is the reputation to uphold so a bargain for Ford
Then you have the old and new version of parts with no old versions once the old are all used up
What was the logic of replacement 10 - 15 year old motors that are well out of warranty or was it way of trying to find car No 1 for the museum
I will ad here in Australia by law the makers have to offer spare parts for 10 years and then your on your own and they count down the days till they a fee of the old spares
The big takeaway for me coming out of this thread is the glimpse into how the attitudes are developed among the early brass T guys versus the black era car guys...
Car numbers 8,162,139 & 12,108,682 reside in southern NY.
Yeah Tim. It's like the Marvel Mystery Oil guys vs. the "Snakeoil" guys.
I hope these pictures are of some assistance.
This is a nit pick, so an apology in advance -
When these early brass cars left the factory were the fasteners, nuts and bolts, over painted so heavily originally. Was the intent to keep the parts tight before we had better than mud roads?
So often I have observed that those cars offered for sale by auction houses and those at shows have so much paint on the fasteners, if the part breaks it is best just to let the car sit rather than repair and repaint.
Are the above photos of Car #2 at its present location?
Yes this is number 2 the photographs were taken a couple of years ago.
My question is to Trent.We read about the excessive oil use on number #1 from oil piped to the 4'th main.Did production stop until #1 came back to Detroit or if it continued while #1 was gone? Should #number 2 have piping to the 4'th main? Bud in Wheeler,Mi.
Bud - the car used on the test trip where excessive oil consumption was detected and fixed wasn't #1, it was a pre production prototype. Trent's input on #1 that probably was sent new to a dealer in New York can be found in this thread: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/411944/492557.html?1415528250
Well, finally someone posted pictures of #2. Itís only taken 12 days! Thank you for posting them!
Thank you Roger!!
THANK YOU! n maver! It is a beautiful and incredible car regardless.
Wayne, I'll second that!
Does anyone have a Good Color Photo of the Top of the Headlights --They are #265's the Body is the Same as a #171
This is the best headlamp shot I have:
https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipOmPId7dI_T7Z3WkltuAMYYWPsS7QpdnAiY0oB8_o9z hR7DvvivilAKieq-lChF_w/photo/AF1QipNUeHsl1QTd7GfVr7JBY_51LJaGiQP0KOvpfpM9?ey=RVV pclNnaUZMRE9pUkZBWFJiem1rehKdVl4ZzZR
and a blurred one
https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipOmPId7dI_T7Z3WkltuAMYYWPsS7QpdnAiY0oB8_o9z hR7DvvivilAKieq-lChF_w/photo/AF1QipNAu-EhjJ56YjLr5OnQm6foHTHzgndptzC-3RWL?key=RV VpclNnaUZMRE9pUkZBWFJiem1reUhKdVl4ZzZR
I get a 404 error from both of your photograph links
Same here 404 error on first link
Same as Richard here.
pesky Google photos - I can't check the link 'cos it recognises me as the album owner! I have set it to Shared, so anyone should be able to view.
It that doesn't work, I'll paste them into the post.