Body Type Factory
# Price
* 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 + 735,020
# Price effective August 1, 1916.

* Fiscal year 1917, August 1, 1916 to July 30, 1917.
** Built for military.
*** Apparently a pilot run.
+ Ford News, Nov. 1, 1920, gives a figure of 785,432.
The second 1917 Coupelet and the Town Car

ENGINE SERIAL NUMBERS:1,614,517 to 2,449,179 calendar year. 1,362,814 to 2,113,501 approx. fiscal and model year.

MODEL YEAR DATES: August 1916 to August 1917.

BODY TYPES: Touring, Runabout, Coupelet (two, perhaps three, types), Sedan, Town Car and Chassis. Note: “1917” trucks were “1918” models built in Calendar year 1917.

MAJOR MODEL YEAR FEATURES: Body was similar to 1916 but fenders were crowned and curved. Radiator shell was now black. Hood was larger eliminating the “step” at the cowl. Hood clash strips now metal, replacing the earlier painted wood type. Set the general style used until 1926 models. Brass trim was eliminated and replaced with nickel or zinc plating.
Three coupelets appeared in the 1917 line. The first was similar to the 1916, with the folding top, except for the new hood and fender styling. The second was a “hardtop” coupe with removable door pillars, similar in style to the earlier, and having a leather-covered solid top. The leather covering included the rear section and top quarter panels, giving the car a “soft top” look. This type was superseded by the “1918” style before the end of calendar 1917. The third type was similar to the second except that just the top (roof) was in leatherette; the sides and rear panels were metal.
New engine pan with wider front area and a new cylinder head (so-called “high” head) were the major engine modifications.
The hood and radiator were all new, setting the pattern for all future Model T’s. The radiator was now a separate unit, covered with a black-painted shell. The hood was larger and more rounded, blending better with the cowl section.

COLORS: All cars were painted black, with black fenders.

UPHOLSTERY: Imitation leather in the open cars. The pattern was a stitched vertical pleat design on both seat bottoms and backs. Side and door panels now cardboard with imitation leather-like trim welting. Closed car upholstery was the same as the 1916’s.

FENDERS: Curved and crowned, setting the standard used until the 1926 models, and on the trucks until the end of Model T production.

SPLASH APRON: Now smoothly taper from front to rear, with no bulge at the rear.

RUNNING BOARDS: Unchanged from previous year.

HOOD: Steel, of new rounded design. Hold down clamps had two “ears” and were of forged steel. Handles were pressed steel. Clash strip was now metal, replacing the wood used previously.

DASHBOARD (Firewall): Wood, fitted outside the front cowl, hidden by the metal cowl trim strip.

CHASSIS: Same as 1916. Painted black.

STEERING COLUMN ASSEMBLY: Pressed steel, black painted, quadrant, Nickel-plated spark and throttle levers, with flattened metal ends. Gear case was brass but nickel plated, one piece assembly. Wheel was 15” outside diameter, wood, and painted black. The wheel spider was iron and painted black. Horn button remained on the top of the steering column, as in the previous models.

FRONT AXLE: Same as the 1916 cars. Brass oilers were used only on the spring shackles. During the year all cars used the non-tapered springs in the front.

REAR AXLE: Same as 1916.

DRIVESHAFT HOUSING: Pinion bearing spool was a casting and was held by studs and nuts, the studs being enclosed (not visible) in the housing. Integral front housing for universal joint assembly.

REAR RADIUS AND BRAKE RODS: Brake rods had forged ends. Brake rod support brackets were of the type which go out and wrap down around the rods but were of a reinforced (stronger) design, which continued until the end of Model T production in 1927. Radius rods were of pressed steel with split ends (no forged rear fork).

WHEELS: Used 30 by 3 tires in front; 30 by 3-1/2 in the rear. Front wheels used ball bearings. Hub caps had “Ford” in script letters. “Made in USA” on all caps.

SPRINGS: Tapered-leaf at the rear, and non-tapered in front. “Figure eight” style shackles used but without oilers in the front, and were later replaced with “L” shaped shackles of an assembled design. Oilers were now pressed into the front springs but remain a part of the rear shackles as in previous cars.

RADIATOR: Supplied by Ford. Shell had the Ford script pressed into the upper part. “Made in USA” was stamped in below the Ford script. Filler neck was nickel plated. The shell was painted black.

ENGINE: No major changes from 1916 except for an enlarged “high” head with greater water capacity.

ENGINE PAN: “Three dip” with wider front “snout” which would accommodate the larger fan pulley that didn’t appear until 1920.

OIL FILLER CAP: The mushroom-shaped cap, made of steel, with three flutes, as used in later 1916.

ENGINE CRANK: The plain steel sleeve type as used in 1916.

ENGINE FAN: Driven by a leather belt from a pulley at the front of the engine. The fan hub is cast iron, with the blades riveted in place. Adjustment was by means of a bolt/nut arrangement located on the right side of the front plate and bearing against a boss on the mounting end of the fan bracket. The fan bracket (arm) was now longer and straight. Early models had a fan shroud but this was apparently discontinued during the year.

MANIFOLDS: Exhaust pipe flared at the manifold and was held in place with the brass nut but with no packing. Intake was cast iron.

CARBURETORS: Kingston Model L2, or Holley Model G.

CARBURETOR STOVE: Several designs, all of which rose vertically at the rear of the carburetor and mated with the exhaust manifold at the rear area.

MUFFLER: Cast iron ends, mounted with brackets integral with the end castings. The three long bolts that held the muffler end plates together were replaced with a single bolt through the center of the muffler. Brackets were stubbier than previous types. No exhaust pipe extension. The asbestos wrap was discontinued early in the calendar year 1917.

FUEL TANK: Cylindrical, under the front seat. Mounting brackets clamped to the tank. Outlet was between the center and the right side, between the frame rails. Sedans used the square tank under the driver’s seat.

TRANSMISSION: Three-pedal standard-design. Pedals were of the plain type. Transmission cover was cast iron. Tapered inspection door, held with six screws. The door was a plain metal plate with no script.

COIL BOX ASSEMBLY: Ford. The box had a tapered top to enable the coils to be changed in the limited space created by the new cowl. The box lid was now an assembly of three pieces. Brass-top coils were replaced with the plain wood type (top of the coils were painted black) and with a Ford-designed composition-cased coil.

LAMPS: Magneto powered electric type. Black steel rims. Side and tail lamps were similar to 1916.

HORN: Magneto powered electric.

WINDSHIELD: Upright, with top section that folded to the rear. Frame was riveted to the mounting brackets initially, then was modified and bolted to the brackets. Painted black.

TOP: (Open cars). Top color was black on all open cars. Unchanged from 1916.

SPEEDOMETER: No longer standard equipment.

TURTLE DECK (on Runabout): Similar in style to the 1915. Handles were painted black.

© Bruce W. McCalley. Rev. January 27, 2007