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; having a separate magneto, water pumps, etc. In addition, Ford built special front and rear axles, and other items.
JAN 1 Ford Times Torpedo Runabout first advertised. New 1911 Touring at $780. With three oil lamps, horn and tools only, $700.
JAN 4 Acc. 575, Ford Archives T-95E rear axle assembly (with the malleable iron case) blue prints are indicated.
T1990 gas tank for 1911 Open Runabout/Torpedo changed from ectangular to round.
JAN 5 Acc.575, Ford Archives T-3403 Town Car speaking tube noted.
JAN 6 Acc. 575, Ford Archives Notes on changes in touring bodies made by Beaudett Body Co., Hayes Mfg. Co., and Ford in Walkerville, Ontario, Canada. Beaudett bodies are identified as “Pontiac” on the shipping invoices, apparently because Beaudett was located in Pontiac, Michigan.
JAN 10 Acc. 575, Ford Archives T-1367C and 1398C brake rod supports were changed from left to right, and vice-versa, due to a change in their location on the 1911 cars.
T2314 (Open Runabout and Torpedo) gas tank filler flange changed from polished surface to blue enamel after assembled on tank. “Should be enameled only from the bottom part of the flange up to the lower part of the thread. The filler cap is changed from brass to malleable iron, and finish is changed from polished brass to blue enamel.
JAN 12 Acc. 575, Ford Archives T1097C dash shield NOT to be black enameled.
JAN 20 Acc. 575, Ford Archives T400C cylinder crankshaft bearings changed from die cast babbitt to poured babbitt. (T400C is the new cylinder with the enclosed valve chamber.)
FEB Shipping invoices, Ford Archives Many cars marked “1911 front axle” and “1911 transmission cover” (the square-hole cover but wider than the 1910).
The first babbitt-bearing engine blocks (T400C) appeared at about 38,263.
FEB 20 Factory Letter 277 T-5015 Steering gear case (for worm steering gears). New drawing.
T-904 Steering gear case specified to be used with regular steering gear.
T-983, T4128 and T5010 Worm steering gear assemblies.
FEB 23 Acc. 575, Ford Archives Brake lever and foot pedal plates specified to be black-painted steel instead of brass-plated and polished. The hand brake lever was also changed from brass-plated to black painted. T-1603 dash lamp bracket changed from brass to blued steel.
FEB 27 Acc. 575, Ford Archives Notes on the use of the new tapered rear axle to be used on the 1911 cars.
MAR 7 Acc. 575, Ford Archives T-990, 991 worm steering gear parts modified. Blue prints indicate these were used on “T chassis with worm steering gear” at least through 1926. These came in 6:1 and 7:1 ratios.
MAR 15 Acc. 575, Ford Archives “T-401C cylinder head. We have increased the compression space, by moving the wall on cylinder head up 3/32 of an inch.”
MAR 16 Factory Letter 284 T-991 “Changed name from steering worm sector to steering worm wheel. Have also specified this piece to be a complete wheel instead of only a sector, thereby allowing the wheel to be turned around from one side to the other as the teeth become worn out. This will allow one piece to be used twice as long as before.”
MAR 25 Acc. 575, Ford Archives Notes regarding modifications in the rear axle with the tapered axle. Perhaps this axle was in use by this time.
MAR 28 Shipping invoices, Ford Archives First marked “Removable Bottom.” (S/N 44,420)
APR 1 Ford Times First appearance of non-Ford ads in the magazine.
APR 7 Acc. 575, Ford Archives Holes in engine and transmission side pans changed to slots of facilitate installation.
APR 7 Shipping invoices, Ford Archives First noted “All 1911 motor.” (S/N 46,326).
MAY 19 Acc. 575, Ford Archives Boss added to steering arm to support the speedometer swivel gear.
MAY 26 Acc. 575, Ford Archives Rear seat heel board changed to metal, eliminating the door in this panel.
JUN 1 Ford Times List of Ford colors and prices of all models: Model A Runabout, Carmine $850, with Tonneau Carmine $950
Model B Touring, Dark Green, $2000
Model C Runabout, Dark Green or Red, $900, with Tonneau, $1000
Model F, Dark Green, $1000
Model N, Maroon, Dark Green, or Black, $600
Model R, Brewster Green or Carmine Red, $750
Model S Roadster, Red or Green, with Yellow gear, $700 **
Model S Runabout, Red, $700 ***
Model K Touring, Blue, $2800
Model K 6-40 Roadster, Red, $2800
Model T All types Brewster Green *
* Prior to June, 1909, Model T’s came in carmine Red, gray, and Brewster Green. The same green continued until late 1910 when the extremely dark blue became standard (1911 models?). (Brewster Green is an all-but-black color.)
** Later information indicates the color was Green with Yellow gear.
***Later information indicates the color was Red and the price was $750.
JULY Shipping invoices, Ford Archives “1912” (12-rivet type) rear axle housings began at about 61,000.
JUL 11 Acc. 575, Ford Archives T-55A brake shoe, T-55B brake band assembly and associated parts shown. Apparently a lined brake shoe specified for “1912” cars.
AUG Shipping invoices, Ford Archives Many invoices marked “No stripes on gear and fenders.” A good number of invoices were so noted, which might indicate that such striping was common up to that time.
The spindle arm with the hole for the speedometer swivel began during August 1911.
AUG Acc. 575, Ford Archives A number of references to the use of the Kingston Master Vibrator on “1912” cars “after the first 20,000.”
OCT 1 Acc. 509, Letter dated Sept. 15, 1911, Ford Archives Prices to be effective this date: Touring, $690. Roadster, $590. Town Car, $900. Delivery Wagon, $700. Torpedo, $725. Open Runabout, $680. Coupe, $840.
“Coupe to be discontinued in a few weeks.” Dealers were advised that cars shipped until October 1 would be billed at the old price but that they should be sold after that date at the new price. No rebate was to be given.
OCT 2 Acc. 509, Ford Archives Old-style commutators no longer available. New front plate and a new commutator to be furnished for replacements.
OCT 6 Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives Motor and body numbers not to agree in the future.
OCT 12 Acc. 509, Ford Archives New 1912 Torpedo using standard height seats was announced at $590.
OCT 13 General Letter “Please return to us at once all of the Kingston master vibrator spark coils with which many cars shipped out during the past few weeks may have been equipped, also return any extra coil units or parts thereof that we may have supplied you for repair purposes.
These coils are not satisfactorily made, and we wish you would replace all of them on customers’ cars with the regular Heinze, no charge.”
The Kingston coil box had a built-in master vibrator along with the four “slave” coils. It was apparently used for just a short time in 1911.
OCT 17 Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives “Some days ago, we wrote you that we would not permit the selecting of any particular car as a demonstrator; that you had to sell the car to the customer you demonstrated it to, as we would not permit the making of second-hand of any cars. Some question has been raised by some of the Branch managers as to the practicality of this plan, and we have written them that it is our opinion cars could be sold without any demonstration whatever; that the guarantee that went with the cars was sufficient to warrant the investment by users. If our organization for taking care of the cars; if our financial standing and reputation is not sufficient to back up an investment of $700, or more, then we are not entitled to the business, and further, a customer is not entitled to more than that.
“We have bought hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of machinery without a demonstration, and bought it simply on the guarantee and reputation of the concern selling us. We knew the concern had the ability to carry out their guarantee and their record proved that they had the disposition. We believe that we have established a reputation of ability to take care of our guarantee and we are confident that we have satisfied the public of our disposition to do so.
“Therefore, from now on we will permit no demonstrations to be made of the delivery wagon. Salesmen will have to sell them off the floor or not at all. Therefore, there will be no excuse for cars becoming second-hand, or being sold at a reduced price, or being on the streets at all. We have long had it in mind that cars could be sold without a demonstration, if the cars were sufficiently reliable and sufficiently backed up by a good guarantee. We are, therefore, going to adopt it in the case of the Delivery Wagons.”
(Signed by the Secretary-Treasurer of the Ford Motor Company.)
OCT 20 Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives “In the writer’s haste in getting out the letter of October 17 on this subject (Delivery Wagons), we stated in the last paragraph that there would be no excuse for cars being on the streets at all. We should not have said this, as we intend to grant you the privilege of taking the cars to the prospective purchaser’s place of business for exhibition purposes only. We cannot expect the customers to come up to your store, so you may take the cars to their place of business for exhibition purposes, but you will not do any demonstrating or perform any service for them.”
OCT 27 Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives 1912 Torpedo announced at $590. “An improvement over the previous design as a result of complaints of low seat.”
NOV Acc. 575, Ford Archives Several references to the 1912 Delivery body. These were made by Beaudett Body Co. and Hilburn.
Delivery bodies were shipped made up or “KD” (knocked down) for assembly elsewhere.
NOV 1 Ford Times 1912 style Touring and a new Torpedo shown. “Fore doors” in which the left side will not open are described. Town Cars now have detachable front doors.
NOV 11 DeAngelus Collection, Ford Archives T655 valve cover door thumb screw changed to nut.
NOV 18 Acc. 575, Ford Archives Oil funnel changed from 5/8″ wide to 3/4″, and length from 1″ to 1-1/2″.
NOV 21 Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives Discount allowed by Ford dealers to outside shops on parts reduced to 15% (from 20%).
DEC 6 Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives Discounts allowed on cars to any one customer, in any one year: 10, 2%; 20, 4%; 40, 8%; 50 or more, 10% maximum).
DEC 8 Acc. 575, Ford Archives T1091B dashboard (firewall). This dash used on 1911 touring cars and first 1000 cars in 1912, and on town cars, and for repairs when these 1911 types are equipped with the Kingston Master Vibrator.
© Bruce W. McCalley. Rev. February 19, 2007