Encyclopedia

DEFINING THE MODEL T FORD

It is doubtful that a complete and accurate study of the changes in the Model T Ford over its nineteen-year production will ever be achieved. Over the past thirty-some-odd years, three major publications have been produced, each one more detailed than the previous, but the complete story has yet to be told. The information on this site is considerably more detailed than any of the previous books, yet this, too, is obsolete for much is yet to be uncovered.

By Year

1909

Body Type Factory # Price Shipping Weight Production * Total Touring $850 1200 7,728 Tourabout $850 —– ** Runabout $825 —– 2,351 Town Car $1000 —– 236 Laudaulet $950 —– 298 Coupe $950 —– 47 Total 10,660 1909 Ford line in early 1909. Touring, Runabout, Landaulet, Town Car, and Coupe.…

1910

Body Type Factory # Price Shipping Weight Production * Total Touring $950 1200 ** 16,890 Runabout $900 —– 1,486 Town Car $1200 —– 377 Laudaulet $1100 —– 2 Coupe $1050 —– 187 Tourabout $950 —– ** Chassis —– 900 *** 108 Total 19,050 1910 Touring Other styles were similar to…

1911

Body Type Factory Price Shipping Weight Production * Total Touring 780 1200 ### 26,405. Tourabout $725 —– 0 Runabout $680 —– *** 7,845 Torpedo Runabout $725 —– *** Open Runabout $680 —– *** Town Car ## $960 —– 315 Landaulet ## $1100 —– 0 Coupe ## $840 —– 45 Chassis…

1912

Body Type Factory # Price Shipping Weight Production * Total Touring $690 1200 50,598 Torpedo Runabout $590 —– ** 13,376 Runabout $590 —– ** Town Car $900 —– 802 Delivery Car $700 —- 1,845 Coupe —– —– *** 19 Chassis —– 940 *** 2,133 Total **** 68,773 1912 Fords. The…

1913

Body Type Factory # Price Shipping Weight Production * Total Touring $600 1200 126,715 Runabout $525 —– 33,129 Town Car $800 —– 1,415 Delivery Car $625 —– 513 The Ford line for 1913. Only three types were offered. Coupe —– —– ** 1 Chassis —– 960 ** 8,438 Total ***…

1914

Body Type Factory # Price Shipping Weight Production * Total Touring $550 1200 165,832 Runabout $500 —– 35,017 Town Car $750 —– 1,699 Chassis —– 960 119 Total ** 202,667 Note: 1200 pounds was the figure given for the Touring car “with others in proportion.” The bare chassis weighed about…

1915

Body Type Factory # Price Shipping Weight Production * Total Touring $490 1510 244,181 Runabout $440 1395 47,116 Town Car $690 —– 0 Sedan $975 1730 989 Coupelet $750 1540 2,417 Chassis 410 980 13,459 Total ** 308,162 # August 1, 1914. * Fiscal year, August 1, 1914 to July…

1916

Body Type Factory # Price Shipping Weight Production * Total Touring $440 1500 363,024 Runabout $390 1380 98,633 Town Car $640 —– 1,972 Sedan $740 1730 1,859 Coupelet $590 1540 3,532 Chassis $360 980 11,742 Ambulance —– —– ** 20,700 The 1916 Fords. The pictures in the Ford catalog are…

1917

Body Type Factory # Price Shipping Weight Production * Total Touring $360 1480 568,128 Runabout $345 1385 107,240 Town Car $595 —– 2,328 Sedan $645 1745 7,361 Coupelet $505 1580 7,343 Chassis $325 980 41,165 Ambulance —– —– ** 1,452 Truck Chassis —– 1450 *** 3 The 1917 Fords Total…

1918

Body Type Factory Price Shipping Weight Production * Total # ## ### Touring $360 $360 $450 1500 432,519 Runabout $345 $345 $435 1390 73,559 Town Car $595 $645 —– —– 2,142 The 1918 Ford line was the same as 1917 except for the Coupe and the truck chassis. The Town…

1919

Body Type Factory # Price Shipping Weight Production * Total Touring $525 1500 286,935 Runabout $500 1390 48,867 Sedan ## $875 1875 24,980 Coupe ## $750 1580 7,343 The 1919 Ford line was similar to 1918 except the closed cars no longer had oil lamps. The Coupe no longer had…

1920

Body Type Factory # Price Shipping Weight Production * Total Touring $575 1500 165,929 Touring ## $675 1650 367,785 Runabout $550 1390 31,889 The 1920 Ford line illustrations were the same as those of 1919. Electrical (starting) equipment was optional on the open cars and when so-equipped they had no…

1921

Body Type Factory Price Shipping Weight Production * Total # ## Touring $440 $415 1485 84,970 Touring ** $535 $510 1620 647,300 Runabout $395 $370 1380 25,918 Runabout ** $490 $465 1515 171,745 Sedan ** $795 $760 1875 179,734 Coupe ** $745 $695 1580 129,159 Chassis $360 $345 1070 11,356…

1922

Body Type Factory Price Shipping Weight Production * Total # ## ### Touring $355 $348 $298 1485 80,070 Touring ** $450 $443 $393 1620 514,333 Runabout $325 $319 $269 1380 31,923 Runabout ** $420 $414 $364 1515 133,433 The 1922 Fords were a continuation of the 1921 types. The “1923”…

1923

Body Type Factory Price Shipping Weight Production * Total # ## ### Touring $298 $295 $295 1500 136,411 Touring ** $393 $380 $380 1650 792,651 Runabout $269 $265 $265 1390 56,954 Runabout ** $364 $350 $350 1540 238,638 Sedan ** **** $595 $590 $590 1875 96,410 Fordor Sedan ** $725…

1924

Body Type Factory Price Shipping Weight Production * Total # ## ### Touring $295 $295 $290 1500 99,523 Touring ** $380 $375 $375 1650 673,579 Runabout $265 $260 $260 1390 43,317 Runabout ** $350 $345 $345 1540 220,955 Tudor Sedan ** $590 $580 $580 1875 223,203 Fordor Sedan ** $685…

1925

Body Type Factory Price Shipping Weight Production * Total # ## ### Touring $290 $290 $290 1500 64,399 Touring ** $375 $375 $375 1650 626,813 Runabout $260 $260 $260 1390 34,206 Runabout ** $345 $345 $345 1536 264,436 Pickup —– $281 $281 1471 **** Pickup ** —– $366 $366 1621…

1926

Body Type Factory Price Shipping Weight Production * Total # ## ### #### Touring ++ $290 $310 —– —– 1633 + Touring ** $375 —– $380 $380 1738 364,408 Runabout ++ $290 $290 —– —– 1550 + Runabout ** $345 —– $360 360 1655 342,575 Pickup $281 —– —– —–…

1927

Body Type Factory Price Shipping Weight Production * Total Touring $380 1738 81,181 Runabout $360 1655 95,778 Pickup $381 1736 **** Tudor Sedan $495 1972 78,105 Fordor Sedan $545 2004 22,930 Coupe $485 1860 69,939 Chassis $300 1272 19,280 The 1927 models were similar to the 1926 models. Black wire…

By Alpha

A-B

AXLES (See FRONT or REAR AXLE) BODIES Note: Early Ford documents refer to a body manufacturer as “Pontiac.” Research has shown that there was no body manufacturer by that name but that in Pontiac, Michigan, it was actually the O. J. Beaudett Body Company that made these bodies for Ford.…

C-D

CARBURETORS Early 1909 Part # Factory # Description —– 553 Kingston 5-ball, no choke 1909 4100 553 Kingston. Same as above. The factory number was shown as T553A on the April 6, 1909 blueprint. —– —– Buffalo, used until about June 1910 4100 553 Kingston. With choke in hot air…

E

ENGINES GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS Bore/Stroke 3-3/4 by 4″ Displacement 176.7 cu” Brake H.P. 22 at 1600 R.P.M. 20 at 1600 after 1912 N.A.C.C. H.P. 22.5 Torque 83 ft/lbs at 900 R.P.M. Compression Ratio 4.5:1 approx.   4.1:1 after 1912   3.98:1 after 1916 EARLY T ENGINES We have found an artists…

F-H

FAN 1909 (First 2500 water pump engines) The fan was gear driven from an extension of the water pump shaft. Unique to these early engines. 1909-1910 Brass hub. Blades riveted to hub. Fan blades had a deeper embossed groove than the blades of the later (1911 on?) type. Belt tension…

I-O

IGNITION KEYS 1913 – 1927 By Trent E. Boggess Dept. of Business Plymouth State College, Plymouth, NH 03264 It seems that there is a story in even the simplest, most common Model T part. For instance, take ignition switch keys. A key is a key, right? Just make sure you…

P-R

PAINTS Original Model T Ford paint colors are all but impossible to duplicate accurately today. The paints used in the very early cars were varnishes and had a relatively short life. This was also true of the later enamels and Pyroxylins, although they were a good bit better than the…

S-T

SEDIMENT BULBS (Gasoline tank) Early 1909 Small brass type that screwed into the tank on the right side. 1909-1911 Brass, larger than above, riveted to the tank on the right side. 1911-1915 Brass, larger than the previous type, screwed into the tank. 1915-1925 (and 1926-27 Fordor and Trucks) Similar in…

U-Z

UPHOLSTERY Open Cars 1909-1910 Leather, diamond tuft design. Black color. 1911 Leather. Diamond tuft on seat backs but diamonds sewn on the cushions. 1912 Leather with tufted and sewn diamonds on backs and cushions. Imitation leather may have appeared before the 1913 models. 1913-1927 Leather phased out and replaced with…

Documentation

In the Beginning

How the Ford Motor Company was Established Much has been written about the Ford Motor Company, and in particular about its establishment in 1903. A number of excellent books are available and are well worth reading by anyone interested in an in-depth study of the subject.1 Yet, in spite of…

1908

1908 APR 1 Ford Times Model T mentioned. Letter from dealer said, “….will open some eyes!” JUN 1 Ford Times Pictures of the Model T Landaulet JUN 15 Ford Times “Watch the Fords Go By” moving electric sign erected on top of the Temple Theater building on June 8. 35…

1909

1909 JAN 1 Ford Times Windshield for Tourings announced. JAN 11 Acc. 575, Ford Archives Transmission cover door gasket T1547 changed from 1/8 to 3/16″ and from 3/16 to 1/4″ at the flange end in thickness. JAN 13 Acc. 575, Ford Archives T349BF, 342BF, 1712BF, and 1711BF rear fender irons…

1910

1910 JAN Factory Letter, Ford Archives T-213 front spindle tie rod tubing modified after 15,000. (T-213 is the tubing part of T-2717 (T-268) tie rod.) T-1410C running boards used after 15,000. (Not listed in any parts books; this must have been the 1910 style with the interrupted rib design.) JAN…

1911

1911 Records at the Ford Archives indicate that Ford built at least two special “racing” engines in 1910 and 1911. One of these had a bore and stroke of 4 x 5-1/2″ and the other of 3-1/2 x 5″. These were not, apparently, the same design as Model T engines;…

1912

1912 JAN 5 Acc. 575, Letter 261, Ford Archives T-4322 Hub brake cable. Changed from 12 feet to 14 feet. T-4335 hub brake cable clamp. Changed number required from 8 to 4. T-4333 Hub brake cable assembly. Removed the cable clamps from one end and showed the cable to be…

1913

1913 JAN 3 Acc. 575, Letter 389, Ford Archives T-518-B Exhaust Pack Nut, T-511-B Exhaust Pipe, etc. specified. This new design replaces the old style where the pipe fit into the manifold. The pipe now has a flange, typical of all later Model T’s. JAN 24 Acc. 575, Letter 394,…

1914

1914 JAN 1 Ford Times 1914 cars first illustrated (but had appeared earlier). By January of 1914 Ford was using the one-piece driveshaft. A number of modifications had been made to the rear axle in an effort to cut costs. Most of the bronze bushings had been eliminated. The outer…

1915

1915 JAN 7 Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives Longer intake manifold now standard on sedans. JAN 12 Factory Letter Gas lamp tube no longer supplied on radiators as all cars now have electric lights. A tube, P/N T-4052X, was supplied for use on the earlier cars when the radiator was…

1916

1916 JAN 1 Acc. 78, Box 1, #91, Acc. 235, Box 39, #91, Ford Archives 30 x 3-1/2 non-skid tires to be supplied by U.S. Tire Co. Branches instructed to use up smooth tires first. JAN General Letter, Ford Archives A letter to the branches notes that some of the…

1917

1917 —– Acc. 575, Box 14, #826, Ford Archives Riveted style windshield frame and brackets were used in 1915 and 1916 and on the first 450,000 1917 cars. (Until about April 1917.) MAR 1 Acc. 78, Ford Archives “New springs (front), hangers and perches, and rear spring hangers eliminate T-218…

1918

1918 APR 16 Acc. 1701. Model T Releases, Ford Archives Specified the use of square-felloe instead of round on wheels which were supplied by Hayes and Prudden. SEP 21 Ford Archives “Last metric engines produced.” (Not true, for metric engines continued at least until 1920, at which time they were…

1919

221919 JAN Acc. 575, Box 11, Ford Archivesv T-8793 starter switch plunger for coupe only. T-8794 starter switch plunger for sedan. JAN 1 Acc. 575, #331, Ford Archives Experimental Holley vapor manifold noted. 25 were purchased for trials. JAN 4 Acc. 575, Box 11, Ford Archives T-4481A timer with roller.…

1920

1920 JAN 5 Acc. 575, Box 12, #779, Ford Archives T-701 flywheel. Experimental design with teeth cast or cut in wheel, was discontinued as unsatisfactory. JAN 7 Acc. 575, Box 12, #779, Ford Archives T-8779 priming knob changed from cold-rolled Bessemer to an aluminum die casting. JAN 12 Acc. 575,…

1921

1921 FEB 15 Acc. 575, Box 14, #831, Ford Archives Coupe body had apparently been modified to have the gas tank under the seat in part of 1920 production. Directive advising of change back to the square tank in the rear deck made this date. The height of the coupe…

1922

1922 JAN 9 Acc. 78, Box 48, Ford Archives 24Z-6576 gauge for setting cylinder front cover concentric with the camshaft announced. T1909 Champion spark plugs in boxes marked “Tractor” announced. Note says this is the same plug as in the Model T but in a different box. JAN 11 Acc.…

1923

1923 JAN 12 Engine production records, Ford Archives Engine 7,000,000 built at 6:48 P.M. JAN 27 Acc. 78, Box 48, Ford Archives Fordor sedan weighed 1939 pounds fully equipped; 668 pounds bare. FEB 5 Engine production records, Ford Archives Start top piston ring 1/16″ lower. FEB 15 Engine production records,…

1924

1924 JAN 9 Acc. 235, General Letters, Ford Archives Announcement of all-steel body and cab for trucks. Express body to which stakes, etc., might be added. JAN 18 Letter from Chicago Branch The Ford Motor Company enters the new year with a new product, an all-steel combination truck body and…

1925

1925 JAN 6 Acc. 1701, Model T Releases, Ford Archives Specified use of 17″ steering wheel on all chassis instead of those with 21 by 4.40 tires FEB 2 Acc. 94, “Bolts, Nuts, etc.” folder, Ford Archives Letter from W.C. Klann to Martin and Howard: “On Dec. 2nd, 1924 Mr.…

1926

1926 JAN 1 Engine production records, Ford Archives Engine 13,000,000 built. JAN 7 Letter to dealers from Fargo, ND, branch) “Ford wire wheels as shown in colored folder on Ford National Show Week, retail for $50 per set of five. Bumpers retail at $15 per pair. “We give you this…

1927

1927 JAN 3 Letter from Ford to all dealers “Effective January 3rd, the Tudor Sedan will be equipped with black wire wheels as standard equipment at no extra cost.” JAN 14 Letter to dealers from Fargo branch “With the resumption of assembling operations, Tudor Sedans are being regularly equipped with…

Miscellaneous Information

Serial Numbers

ENGINE SERIAL NUMBERS The engine number was also the serial number of the car. Engines were numbered when they were completed, and for the most part went into a chassis within a day or so. However, some engines were assembled and numbered at branch assembly plants. Highland Park would ship…

Early Fords

Ford made a good number of cars before the Model T was introduced. Beginning in 1903 they produced Models A, followed by Models B, C, F, K, N, R, and S. There were also a number of “special” cars, sometimes referred to as still another model, “E” for instance, but…

1911-12 Serial Numbers

1911-1912 Engine Serial Numbers Model T serial numbers for the period between October 1911 and January 1913 have created considerable frustration. The only data that was available had been Ford’s published figures which have not been found to be very accurate. Recently, however, the Research Center at the Henry Ford…

Ford Production

MODEL T FORD PRODUCTION (Compiled by R.E. Houston, Ford Production Department, August 3, 1927)The figures below are PRODUCTION numbers. There are several sources of production figures and they do not always agree. The following figures are derived from the source noted above. In general, the figures between 1909 and 1920 are for…

1923 Ford Dealers Data Book

1923 Ford Dealers Data Book Every Ford Dealer was furnished with a small booklet which detailed the features and details of the Model T, the TT and the Fordson Tractor. Included were the prices and work sheets for the dealer to add the freight and taxes to the factory price,…

Ford Sales 1908-1919

MODEL T FORD SALES The figures below are SALES numbers, NOT PRODUCTION numbers. Comparing these figures with production figures it becomes obvious that Ford did not sell every car made just as soon as it came off the assembly line. One example is in the Town Car sales. While this…

Worm Gear Steering for the Model T

WORM GEAR STEERING FOR THE MODEL T Side cutaway view of the worm steering gear assembly. The steering arm is at the bottom; the arm moves horizontally. The standard drag link is used but with the ball socket turned upward. The assembly was factory number T-983, T-4128, or T-5010, depending…

Modifications in Ford’s Model T Hubcaps

Illustrated here are partial reproductions and the dates of blueprints showing modifications in Ford’s Model T hubcaps. The dates shown are of the change in the blueprint, not the dates when the change in production was made, but may offer a clue as to the approximate era. Judging from other…

REBUILDING GASOLINE TANK SEDIMENT BOWLS

REBUILDING GASOLINE TANK SEDIMENT BOWLS By Donald L. Ball The little sediment bowl on the bottom of the T gas tank is one of the most important parts of the car. It can actually make the difference between a smooth-running engine and one that keeps missing. What exactly is the…

1909-10

1909 and 1910 INTRODUCTION Most coverage of the first two year’s production of the Model T has usually been broken into three specific groups: the first 2500, the 1909, and the 1910 cars. Yet, the differences in these, aside from the radical change in engine design in the post-2500 cars,…

1911

1911 The “1911” model year is believed to have begun in late October 1910. Existing Ford Factory Shipping records show that, other than for a number of special order cars supplied in a number of colors for various customers, all “1910” Fords were “green.” These records also show that beginning…

1912

1912 The 1912 Fords must qualify as the most varied and perhaps the most interesting of any of the Model T styles. There were at least five different “1912” Touring body types. Ford’s 1912 fiscal year began October 1, 1911. At that time they were producing the typical 1911 style…

1913

1913 Introduced in October 1908, the Ford Model T had received unprecedented public acceptance. Fiscal 1909 (October 1908 to October 1909) had seen 10,660 cars assembled; fiscal 1910, 19,050; fiscal 1911, 34,858; and fiscal 1912, 68,773. 1913 was to see sales almost triple to 170,211 cars.1 Selling the product was…

1914

1914 The 1914 Model T Ford style year has created a good amount of confusion. There are many “1914s” around that are called “1913” and the owners can prove that the car was, indeed, made in 1913. Further, the “1914” style was built at some of the branches in calendar…

1915

1915-1923 “Centerdoor” Sedans NOTE: For more information on the 1915-1923 Fords please refer to the specific year pages listed on the main Encyclopedia menu. The Model T Ford Sedan built from late 1914 until mid-1923 is perhaps the rarest of all the common Ford body types. (The Town Car, of…

1915-16

1915 and 1916 The 1915 Model T Ford model year is difficult to pinpoint. There was considerable overlap in the new “1915 style” and the older 1914 models. In general, we consider the 1915 model year to have begun in about September 1914 for the closed cars, and January 1915…

1915/16 MODEL T TOURING

17AN ORIGINAL 1915/16 MODEL T TOURING This unrestored and seemingly original Model T touring car was discovered in a barn in Pennsylvania in 1998. Technically a 1916 model (Ford’s model years at the time were August to August), it presented a number of interesting details, some of which are presented…

1917-20

1917 to 1920 THE NEW FORD CARS (From a Ford announcement in 1916) On August 1st, the Ford Motor Company began its fiscal year of 1916-17 with an announcement of sharp reductions in the prices of Ford cars, the following new prices being placed in effect: Chassis, $325; Runabout, $345;…

1921-25

1921 to 1925 Why cover such a wide range of Ford models in one chapter? Wasn’t there a big change in body styles with the introduction of the 1923 models? While the appearance of the Ford models did change with the introduction of the one-man top and sloping windshield in…

1926-27

The Improved Fords for 1926 and 1927 By 1925 the records showed that Ford’s greatest production year had been 1923, during which 2,032,759 cars and trucks had been assembled. Sales dropped in calendar 1924 to 1,825,646 cars and trucks. During 1925 Ford began an extensive advertising campaign to boost its…

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