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 late 1922, the basic body structure did not, and all (open) cars of this period were quite similar. Closed cars continued in the previous style until mid-1923, at which time the “1924” models appeared. The evolution of the Model T Ford during the 1920’s is one of natural progression, unlike the major revisions often made in prior years. For this was truly the “golden era” for the Ford Motor Company. Over two-thirds of the Model T’s ever built were built after 1920!

1921 began with a groan as far as the Ford Motor Company was concerned. Ford had, in 1919, borrowed some seventy-five million dollars (figures vary in differing sources) to purchase the stock of the other holders in the company. Sales were increasing when the loan was negotiated, and the prospects of paying these notes out of company profits within the next few years looked very good.

Unfortunately, sales dropped as a result of the business recession of 1920. In typical fashion, Ford dropped the price of the Model T—a plan that had worked many times in the past—but to no avail. Not only did the sales fail to increase, with the reduction in the price Ford was selling cars at a loss. Ford was in a tight squeeze at the end of 1920 and his notes were due in early 1921!

William S. Knudsen, said to have been the one man that Henry Ford had ever regretted losing, was at that time Ford’s production manager, although titles meant little in the company. During this period he spent time in making cost-cutting changes in many departments in an effort to same money for the impending crisis. As the day of reckoning approached, though, it was obvious that something drastic had to be done. In December 1920, a decision was made to close the plant for a short time in order to take inventory. Prior to the closing, every part available was assembled into new cars or shipped out as “needed replacement stock” to Ford dealers. The new cars and the parts were shipped to the dealers on sight drafts—a sort of C.O.D. billing. The dealers had to pay upon delivery, making it necessary in many cases for some dealers to borrow the money and thus shifted the Ford Motor Company debt from Ford to the Ford dealers. No doubt quite a few threw in the towel and went into business selling other brands, or just got out of the automobile business.

The Highland Park plant closed through January 1921, as the money began flowing in. The result of this plan was that Ford was able to pay his debts by April 1921. Sales rebounded in 1921, along with profits, for Ford and his dealers.

In March 1921, Knudsen offered a letter of resignation. He had been unhappy with the situation at Ford for some time. He was one of the men who had tried to interest Henry Ford in producing a new car after the war—and failed. Knudsen differed with Henry Ford, too, in the methods of operation at the plant. He was in favor of decentralization of the manufacturing operations, while Ford wanted “everything under one roof.” This was the time during which the Rouge River plant was being constructed. Furthermore, Knudsen found his orders being countermanded behind his back by Henry Ford. The frustration he must have felt can only be imagined. His resignation from the company was reluctantly accepted.

Knudsen later moved to Chevrolet and led that company from a position of selling one car to every thirteen Fords in 1921, to one for every two Fords in 1926. While Ford closed for conversion to the Model A in 1927, Chevrolet became number one. While Ford regained first place in 1929, the company soon lost it (in 1931) and began the down-hill slide that was to make the Ford Motor Company number three (after General Motors and Chrysler) in 1940.

1921 was a banner year for the Ford Motor Company, and began the period of its greatest sales and profits. While the shock of seeing Chevrolet become the sales leader in 1927 may have been severe, no one even gave it a thought in 1921. In fact, at Chevrolet at this time, a sales management team had suggested to General Motors that they drop the Chevrolet because “it could never compete with the Ford.”

The Model T for 1921 was an almost all-new car, yet looked the same as the models that preceded it. The beginning of the 1921 models might be said to have been in November 1919 when in a Factory Letter (a letter circulated among various departments at the Highland Park plant), a new oval gasoline tank was described, with the comment that it would not be used in the present cars but would wait for a redesign of the Touring and Torpedo bodies to be completed. This change, the letter continued, would occur in “about four months.”

The oval tank would allow the lowering of the seats, resulting in a better driving position and seats of greater comfort. This oval tank was first used in the 1920 open cars (before the body was redesigned).

The next step towards the 1921 models was in January 1920 when in another letter the new pressed-steel running board brackets were described. We do not believe that these new brackets were seen in production this early but the design was completed and the tooling apparently available. (This type of bracket had been used on the truck chassis since 1917.) Typical of Model T production changes, they were not begun until “present supplies of the older parts are exhausted.”

In June of 1920 another Factory Letter described the new Touring body “for 1921 production.” No date for the introduction was specified. In July the Torpedo and Touring body parts lists for 1921 models was published.

A modification in the design of the hood and hood handles was made about July of 1920, and specified for future production. This change was in the design of the handle; the holes were punched in such a manner that the punched metal could be used as a replacement for the rivet which had formerly secured the handle to the hood. Now, instead of the two rivet heads, two holes appeared at the ends of the handles.

The all-steel muffler appeared in late summer of 1920. The design was specified, in a Factory Letter of August 13, for use in 1921 models. In this letter the muffler ends were specified as being two pieces, made from scrap fender stock, instead of one piece as had been used in early production of the all-steel muffler. Apparently the single-sheet ends rusted or burned out easily.

Interestingly, the company experimented with a number of different timer types. In 1919 a new design using a plunger brush instead of a roller was tried and later discontinued. After this type they tried timers with aluminum, cast iron, brass, and pressed-steel cases, and roller assemblies made of aluminum, bronze, and steel. In November of 1920 (approximately) the steel case was standardized but experiments continued with the various roller assemblies. We have been unable to determine just what the final design was.

In September of 1920 the oval gasoline tank was specified for certain Coupe bodies, described as “Coupe bodies with leather trimming.” “Coupe bodies with cloth trimming will continue to use the square tank.” This odd Coupe configuration was discontinued in early 1921 because of the reduced head clearance with the oval tank under the seat. (The square tank was located in the rear turtle deck.)

In our research it has not been possible to pinpoint the actual date of introduction of the new 1921-style open cars. Our best guess is that it was about the first of the year (1921) in spite of the numerous references to the new bodies during the latter part of 1920. Furthermore, there is little doubt that the earlier-type bodies continued in production at the branches for some time after the Highland Park plant had made the changeover.

The new open-car bodies were anything but a radical change in style. In fact it takes an “expert” to see the difference from any distance. Continuing the general lines of the Model T that were established in the 1917 models, this new body was but a refinement of previous models, adding a touch of “finish” here and there. Most noticeable were the new rear quarter panels. No longer did the rear panels have the vertical bead on the side where the old side panel and the corner panel joined. The new quarter panel was a one-piece stamping making the section a continuous piece of metal from the door to the rear panel. In addition, the top support iron which held the top saddle now came through the quarter panel, eliminating the L-shaped forged bracket which had been bolted to the top of the body.

A further refinement was that of installing the upholstery tack strip on the inner surface of the seat panels instead of the outer surface. The tack strip extended above the panel to accept the upholstery nails, and a series of holes along the top edge of the panels allowed the “hide-em” welt to cover the seam. The result of this change was the elimination of the overhang of upholstery around the sides and back of the front and rear seats, giving a more finished appearance. Unfortunately the new design resulted in narrower and less padded arm rests, but this was of minor concern.

The new body was constructed so that the seat frames were much lower (made possible by the oval gas tank), giving the effect of a higher seat back. The result here was a more comfortable seat. In addition, the seat backs were modified for a little more slope, adding to passenger comfort.

The top irons and bows continued in the pattern of the previous cars. In the factory specifications a number of changes were shown in the top assemblies but these changes were in detail rather than general style. Tops were mechanically interchangeable from 1915 through 1922.

The Coupe and Sedan bodies for 1921 were the same as in the 1919 and 1920 cars except for minor changes in the upholstery and trim.

The 1921 models came with the new pressed-steel running board brackets, mentioned earlier. These replaced the forged type with the tie rods that had been used since 1909. These new brackets were considerably stronger than the old type. The holes in the side of the frame rails, where the old forgings were riveted, were still present and were to continue for some time.

Sometime in late 1920 or early 1921 the front motor mounting bearing was changed to the one-piece type with the integral U-bolt. Interestingly, Ford claimed the new mount improved the ride by allowing more flexibility at the front spring. Along with this new bearing came a one-piece license plate bracket.

A great improvement was made in the cylinder block casting. Ever since 1911, when the valves were enclosed, the Ford engine had used two valve chamber covers. The design of the car was such that the throttle control rod passed through the engine between numbers two and three cylinders where a hole was provided and the two valve covers left this hole open. The new design, introduced in 1921, had but one large valve chamber, with a single cover door, held in place with two screws. A hole was provided in the door for the throttle rod. One would suppose this would be an improvement. Certainly it must have saved assembly time. The major “improvement,” though, was in the ease in which oil could leak out, not only through the throttle rod hole, but along the edges of the cover. Being larger, the new cover could bend when the screws were tightened, making a poor fit against the engine block. This modification continued until about 1927 when the hole in the cylinder block was eliminated as well as the hole in the valve cover. (These later cars used the Vaporizer “hot plate” manifold/carburetor with which the throttle rod passed over the engine.) The elimination of the hole in the cover at least stopped that leak. (One should not judge too harshly. The Model T had so many chronic oil leaks that this minor addition really didn’t make much difference anyway.)

Late in 1920, in response to new laws regarding headlight glare, Ford introduced a new headlight lens with a green “visor” at the top. This lens continued until about June 1921 when the fluted Ford “H” lens, a vast improvement, appeared. This new “H” lens continued until the end of Model T production in 1927.

The Ford open cars were still available (and advertised because of the lower price) without the electric starter equipment, and with the magneto-powered headlights plus the oil side and tail lights. These “standard” cars were furnished with square felloe non-demountable wheels using 30 by 3 tires in the front and 30 by 3-1/2 in the rear. Demountable rims, standard equipment on the closed cars, were offered as an option, and these used the 30 by 3-1/2 tires all around.

The open cars supplied without electrical equipment did not have an instrument panel until 1922. The ignition switch was located on the coil box, and the light switch was in combination with the horn button on the steering column as it had been since late 1917. When electric equipment was supplied, the instrument panel was part of the package. The instrument panel in 1920-21 closed cars may have been metal or leatherette covered wood, depending on the supply at the time.

Another change made during 1921 was in the design of the rear radius rods. Now of folded sheet metal design, with a seam along the edge, they came in rights and lefts so that the seam could be at the bottom, allowing any water that might enter to easily leak out.

The front radius rods were modified to accept a tapered nut at the point of attachment to the spring perch stud under the front axle. This tapered nut design provided a much more rigid assembly.

Windshields on the open cars came in two styles. Those cars which came from the factory with electrical equipment were not supplied with oil side lamps, so the windshield mounting brackets had no provision for the lamps. Non-electric cars were supplied with oil lamps and so had the mounting brackets as an integral part of the windshield mounting brackets. Somewhere in this era, separate lamp brackets were used, eliminating the need for two windshield bracket types.

The 1922 open models were but a continuation of the 1921 cars except for minor changes noted below.

The starting crank was changed from the type with the roller-type handle which was held in place with a long screw, to the simpler type in which the handle was sheet metal rolled into place over the crank end.

Closed cars were further improved by the addition of metal cover plates over the wood window frames. The exposed wood had been a problem for some time; no matter how well they were painted, in a short time the paint peeled off. The metal covers solved the problem. Another modification was in the method of raising and lowering the windows. Up until this time, straps were provided for the purpose. While the straps continued on the rear side windows of the Sedan, the door and front side windows were provided with a latching arrangement. While far from being as nice as the later crank system, this was much better than the straps. In addition to the above modifications in the closed cars, numerous changes in trim and upholstery were made.

Among the many changes made during the year was the elimination of the little ball joint at the bottom of the steering column on the spark adjustment rod. After twelve years of production, someone discovered that a bent wire would work just as well if enough clearance was left at the points of attachment. Clearance between parts was one of Ford’s strong points, so this modification was a natural.

Later in 1922, perhaps at the time of introduction of the 1923-style Touring bodies in the late summer, the dashboard became standard equipment in all cars. Those without electrical equipment had a blank panel where the ammeter would have appeared but the ignition and light switch was on the instrument panel on all cars.

The magneto-powered horn continued on all cars until late in 1922 when the battery-powered type appeared on starter-equipped cars. Non-electric cars used the magneto horn until the end of the Model T.

The 1923 model year began in the late summer of 1922 with the introduction of the one-man top and the sloping windshield on the touring cars. These two changes gave the appearance of a new car but the basic body was the same as that used in 1921 and 1922. The Torpedo (Runabout) appeared a bit later in 1922 and the closed cars continued with no significant changes.

The tops of the initial 1923-style Touring cars differed from the later production in that the lower edge line was straight from the windshield to the rear bow. After the first 100,000 cars, this line was modified to have a slight downward curve at the rear (dropping 2-5/8 inches at the rear bow), giving the car a lower appearance. This curved design was used in the styling of the Runabouts as well.

The Runabouts received the new body styling about October 1922 (the date is uncertain). Also at this time the Runabout also received the new turtle deck which was considerably larger and flared upward to match the rear of the body.

In a notice dated October 10, 1922, Ford described a new four-door Sedan which was to be added to the line. It was noted that it was not meant to supersede the centerdoor; at least that’s what the letter said. The letter reads:

OCT 10 (Letter from Louisville Branch)
(New Fordor Sedan described. Price: $725, FOB Detroit. Dealers asked to not advertise it and to sell it only when the standard (centerdoor) sedan could not be sold to a customer.)

A new four-door, five-passenger sedan body has been added to the line of standard Ford body types. This body is an entirely new development in design and construction, and does not in any way displace the present two-door sedan, which will continue to come thru. While this new four-door body will go into production within the next several weeks, the output will necessarily be limited for some time to come; therefore your sales effort on the present two-door type should be increased rather than relaxed. This present type still represents one of the best automobile values on the market, and the new type of body will simply broaden the field of sedan prospects, so far as Ford business is concerned.

The price of the new four-door sedan is ($725.00) Seven hundred and twenty-five dollars, F.O.B. Detroit, and the differential between it and the two-door type is large enough to prevent competition between the two models. There is no reason why you should lose a single sedan order because of inability to deliver the new type, WHICH SHOULD ONLY BE MENTIONED TO PROSPECTS WHO HAVE PREVIOUSLY GIVEN CAREFUL CONSIDERATION TO THE PURCHASE OF A FOUR-DOOR SEDAN, AND WILL NOT BE SATISFIED WITH ANY OTHER TYPE. (sic)

Continue pushing the sale of the two-door sedan, and only accept orders for the four-door type to prevent actual loss of business.


Attached is a description of the features of the new four-door sedan, and a little later it is expected that a descriptive folder with illustrations will be ready for use.“


The body is approximately three inches longer than the two-door type Sedan, the extra length providing additional leg room for the occupants of the rear seat.

All body panels are of aluminum with embossed molding, the metal extending up around the window sills and runways so that there are no wood parts exposed on the entire body. This feature insures a uniform finish and will largely prevent checking or other paint trouble.

The body though longer that the present design weighs approximately 80 lbs. less. The saving in weight is gained by the use of aluminum panels in place of steel and also a lighter roof construction.

The roof is of the soft type with artificial leather reinforced and padded, making it as durable and substantial as the old fiber board type, and eliminating the possibility of vibration noises. The overall height of the body is one inch less that the present design. With the straighter roof line the car has the appearance of greatly increased length.

A permanent leather visor above the windshield adds greatly to the appearance of the car while protecting the driver from the glare of the sun.

The tire carrier is of a new and improved design which permits the spare tire to set at an angle that corresponds with the lines of the body.

The front door openings are 23-4/8 (sic) inches and the rear door openings are the same width as on the present two-door sedan.

Door handles are of the straight bar type made from hard black rubber with nickel tips and fittings. All doors are equipped with locks. Three of the locks are operated by levers from the interior of the body while the right front door is operated by a key from the outside.

All doors are equipped with special Ford design double roller dovetail guides at center as well as rubber bumpers top and bottom to prevent rattling.

The upper sash of the windshield is adjustable either outwardly or inwardly to provide the proper degree of ventilation. An improved design of clamp permits it to be easily adjusted and securely fastened in any position. The lower section of the windshield is stationary which is a factor in preventing rain from leaking into the body.

The windows in all four doors are operated by means of crank type window regulators, while the rear windows are operated by the present lever type used in the two-door Sedan.

All interior fittings, including window regulators, door pull handles, door latch levers, etc., are finished in oxidized silver.

A dome light is operated by a button on the right rear body pillar.

Upholstery material is of improved design with a fine dark stripe on a brown background of a shade that will not easily show dust and dirt. Silk window curtains to harmonize are provided for the three rear windows.

The rear seat cushion is 46-1/2 inches by 20 inches, or one inch wider than in the two-door Sedan. The front seat is 42-1/2 inches by 19 inches and will accommodate a third person if necessary. The front seat cushion is divided in the center making it necessary to raise but one-half of the cushion to fill the gasoline tank. Therefore, the driver may have the tank filled without leaving his seat.

Seat cushions are held in position by means of dowel pins in place of the covered binding strip used on our two-door Sedan.

The price of the new Sedan is $725.00 F.O.B. Detroit.

A red pin stripe was specified for all Sedans. This stripe was to be no less than 3/32” and no more than 1/8” wide, and was to run across the cowl and no more than 3/8” or less than 5/16” below the belt molding.

The Centerdoor Sedan continued until about June 1923 and was replaced with a new two door Sedan. The Coupe continued in the 1922 pattern as well until June and was then replaced with a new design based on the Tudor Sedan.

The aluminum-bodied four-door Sedan which was described earlier used the same hood and “low” radiator that was used on the other Fords when it was first introduced. As production increased, the use of aluminum was phased out on the lower body panels but was retained for the top sections.

In about March 1923 a metal sill cover was specified for the rear doors on the Touring body. This sill cover was to be painted black. The rear floor mat was changed from wool to rubber.

During 1923 production the spring shackles were again changed; this time to the “U” type with the single tie strap. This final design continued until the end of Model T production.

Sometime during this period the oil tail lamp was altered. The typical lamp up to this time had a large red lens to the rear and a smaller clear lens facing the right (license plate) side. Apparently this type did not give enough light to the license plate so the lamp was modified by turning it so that the large lens, now clear, faced the right, and the smaller lens, now red, was moved to the other side and now faced the rear. The mounting stud is now on the side of the lamp opposite the red lens. The electric tail lamp was unchanged.

Early in 1923 (perhaps March or April) the firewall, which had been wood since 1909, was changed to one of steel. This firewall matches the “low“ hood style, and is different from the steel firewall used when the car was restyled in June.

In June 1923 the entire Ford line was restyled somewhat and this new series was referred to as “1924 models” in Ford parts lists. The Centerdoor Sedan and the Coupe with the front-opening doors were discontinued. These were replaced with the two-door Sedan (called “Tudor”) and a new Coupe with doors that opened at the rear. Both these cars were based on the same design and many parts were interchangeable. The four-door Sedan (called “Fordor”), Touring and Runabout were given the new “high” radiator and larger hood that was a feature of the Coupe and Tudor but were otherwise little changed. The general restyling consisted of the following changes:

The height of the radiator was increased.

The firewall (called the “dash” by Ford) was made larger and the body cowl section was modified to match.

A new and larger hood made the front of the car appear much more massive.

New hood clash strips to mate with the wider hood were installed.

An apron was added below the radiator. This apron covered the front motor mount and frame, adding a more finished look to the car.

The front edges of the fenders were given a lip which matched the lines of the radiator apron, adding further to the finished appearance.

The new Coupe was described as follows by the Ford sales department:

New rear fender curving outward at end with rear fender apron bolted to sill of body.

Ventilator in cowl operated by quick action lever under the dash.

Windshield visor supported to body by two steel rods. Has pull-to brackets on lower side of windshield frame.

Bottom windshield does not open.

Upper windshield is wider and lower windshield is narrower, bringing the division and the rubber strip below the vision of the driver.

Seat divided. Gas tank opening under right half of seat.

Check straps on doors are rubber.

Revolving door window regulators.

Inside door latch and regulators nickeled.

Pull rods on doors eliminated. New arrangement on window sill (embossed finishing strip).

Turtle back rear deck with increased carrying capacity.

Upholstery of soft brown cloth with mahogany stripe. Head lining plain brown mixed.

Yale lock on right hand door.

Inside lock on other door.

Rear side windows operated by rod and knob.

Silk curtain on rear window. No curtain on side windows.

Curtain brackets nickeled.

Broad, square back window, stationary.

Battery held in bracket under rear deck and is accessible through trap door of rear compartment.

Door handles black with nickel trimming.

Top of body covered with leather.

Anti-rattling device on both doors. Slot in frame with steel piece in door which fits in the slot.

Heavy covered hinges on doors.

Recess shelf at back of seat for carrying small parcels.

Doors hinged at front.

This new Coupe was quite a change from the previous design. In addition to the items mentioned above, the turtle deck was now an integral part of the body. Note that the doors opened at the rear (hinge in front).

The new Tudor Sedan followed the general pattern of the Coupe except for the addition of the rear seat and the lack of a turtle deck. The same cowl section and windshield was used for both types.

The restyled Fordor Sedan had a new cowl section to match the larger hood. The doors continued in the previous style; wood framing with aluminum panels.

These “late 1923” models were, in fact, the 1924 Fords. A number of minor mechanical modifications were made in addition to the larger hood. One such change was the addition of a brace for the steering column. This brace fastened to the instrument panel and gave the steering wheel a more solid feeling. Later in 1924 production, most significant was the introduction of the new, so called, “four-dip” engine pan which made it much easier to adjust the number four rod, and the rear main bearings. Other modifications were the use of new, lighter pistons (1 lb., 12 oz.) and a new, shorter front camshaft bearing. The camshaft itself was modified to accept the shorter bearing—essentially just the lengthening of the front cam lobe.

Press Release Announcing
Dated August 27, 1923

Detroit, Mich., August. Introduction of a higher radiator, bringing new and improved body lines to all Ford cars, is announced today by the Ford Motor Company.

The changes have just gone into effect and the various types are now in production.

While the larger radiator has been made standard on all types and while it has made possible other betterments in body design, there is no radical departure in construction, but rather a general improvement which has resulted in more graceful lines.

The new radiator sets an inch and a half higher than the former and has an apron at the bottom which joins a similar apron effect of the fender on either side, giving a highly finished appearance to the front of the car. The larger radiator also increases cooling efficiency.

Most conspicuous among the new types is the Ford Coupe which is of entirely new body design and construction, resulting in a more trim exterior appearance, more comfortable seating arrangement and a greater luggage carrying capacity.

From the dash there is a graceful sweep in the cowl to the radiator bringing a pleasing effect to the front. The doors are wide and open forward making access and exit easy. They are heavily framed for rigidity and strength. The compartment at the rear has been enlarged to afford increased carrying capacity. The gasoline tank is under the seat, with divided cushions to afford easy filling of the tank from the right side making in unnecessary for the driver to leave his seat. Ventilator in the cowl and a visor over the windshield add much to the attractiveness of the car. A new rear fender of more sturdy construction is also a feature.

Interior fittings are of choice material and the arrangement of the deeply cushioned seat has been effected so that at the rear there is a small recess shelf for carrying parcels. The rear vision window is much larger and oblong in shape. Door windows have been equipped with revolving type window regulators and door locks are provided. Side windows are equipped with the lever type lifters.

Marked, too, is the improvement in the four door sedan. Highly popular since its introduction a year ago, because of its low, graceful lines, the car now provides even much better lines and a sturdier appearance.

This has been brought about by the installation of an entirely new cowl and a graceful sweep from the dash blending into a larger hood and radiator. The change also affords an increase in leg room for occupants of the front seat.

In the open types, the Touring Car and the Runabout, the cowl has been enlarged and flows in a graceful curve to the higher hood.

The result brings a most pleasing effect to the exterior appearance of both types. The improvement in the Touring Car which came when the one man top and slanting windshield were introduced, is greatly enhanced by the larger radiator, the car appearing lower and more attractive than ever. The effect on the Roadster is likewise most appealing, giving it a more rugged and sturdy appearance.

The new radiator is also extended to the Ford Truck chassis, affording improved appearance and better cooling to delivery services.

These new Ford types and the generally recognized performance ability of the Ford under all motoring conditions, promise to bring greater demand than ever before as the public becomes more fully acquainted with the higher standards and greater values which have been incorporated. No changes are contemplated in prices.

Graceful lines; finished appearance; low, graceful lines—is this the Model T Ford they are describing? Note that no mention is made of the Tudor Sedan. This suggests that that body style did not appear until later in the year (after August 1923).

Late in 1924 the oil pipe in the engine was given a larger funnel to collect oil for circulation to the front of the engine.

The tail light on the electric-equipped cars was changed to the type in which the lamp is an integral part of the license plate bracket. (Typical “1926” type.) Non-electric cars continued the oil lamps.

The 1924 Fordor Sedans were changed during the year to use all-steel doors instead of the wood and aluminum types used earlier.

The 1924 models evolved into the 1925 models, essentially unchanged. Late in 1924 the fenders were modified for a more massive appearance. The bead on the front fenders, which had matched the splash apron front curve, now ran under the splash apron. This gave the fender a wider appearance. These fenders have often been called “truck fenders” but they were the standard 1925 type. Rear fenders were made a bit wider and now flare out at the front where they meet the running board.

During the 1925 model year balloon tires were offered as an option. The standard equipment on the closed cars was the 30 by 3-1/2 tire mounted on demountable rims, and on the open cars the same tires mounted on non-demountable rims (wheels). The demountable wheels were optional on open cars. The new balloon tire size was 4:40 by 21 and they were mounted on demountable rims. They were optional on all models.

Electrical equipment remained standard on closed cars, and optional on open models.

1925 models continued with little or no changes from the 1924 other than in the construction details, such as the use of more and more metal framing in the body, replacing wood parts. Ford’s efforts were apparently being directed to the production of the “Improved Ford” of 1926, which was introduced in August 1925.

A minor change was in another modification of the rear fenders of the Coupe and Roadsters. Here the inner apron was extended further to the rear, improving the appearance of these models considerably from the back. A number of closed cars were apparently produced with a new running board splash apron, late in the model year. These aprons were somewhat “square,” similar to the 1926 style. They may have been used only on some production.

THE 1925 ROADSTER PICKUP The 1925 Roadster Pickup is probably the rarest of the passenger car body styles. While the roadster body itself was the standard model for 1925, the pickup bed was unique to 1925, and was built for just a few months before the introduction of the “Improved Ford” 1926 models about August.

The pickup box for the 1925 model, while appearing quite similar to the more common 1926-27 style, was unique. The side panels were not embossed and drilled for the rear fenders as on the 1926-27 models. Rather, an internal bracket was supplied, to which the fender iron was riveted. The pickup used standard Roadster rear fenders. The front panel of the bed was unique to 1925, but the rear door (drop gate) was the same for 1925 through 1927. (Early production may not have had the “Ford” script.) The bottom (floor of the bed) boards were also different from the 1926-27 style, due to the higher rear cross-member and the installation of a metal cover over the cross-member area of the floor on the 1926 models.

Whether or not Ford offered the pickup box as a separate item for in-the-field conversions of existing Roadsters in 1925 is not known. The pickup box was offered during 1925 for $25.00 but we do not know if this was for 1925 or 1926 cars. The roadster pickup from the factory, in 1925, cost $21.00 more than the standard Roadster.

© Bruce W. McCalley. Rev. July 1, 2000.