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. Martin and Mr.. Galamb O.K.’d building motors with no cotter keys in the bolts but using lock washers instead in the crankcase, transmission cover and cylinder block assembly only. Why not put this on the blue print? Please advise.”
FEB 5 Letter from the Chicago Branch
We are rather interested in knowing about what proportion of prospects would be interested in Ford Cars, both open and closed, equipped with balloon tires. Say for instance, if an additional price of $25.00 for the balloon equipment, less of course, the regular discount to the dealer were charged, what proportion of cars do you suppose you would ask us to ship you so equipped if the company decided to furnish balloon tires?
It would probably depend largely on your answer whether or not balloon tire equipment would be used as standard equipment on part of our production.
FEB 23 Letter from the Chicago Branch The following are the recommendations for air pressures to be used in 4.40/21″ tires on Ford cars: Roadster, 25 pounds. Touring and Coupe, 30 pounds. Sedan types, 35 pounds. These pressures are for both front and rear.
MAR 4 Acc. 235, General Letters, Ford Archives Pickup bed for Runabout announced.
MAR 6 Letter from Firestone Tire and Rubber Co., Ford Archives
The Ford Motor Company have (sic) approved the Balloon tire and furnish it as original equipment. This offers you an opportunity for increased sales and profit. New car sales — changeovers from hundreds of present Ford owners, who will want to bring their cars up to date and enjoy the comfort, safety and economy of Balloon tires.
(The letter then recommends the tire pressures listed February 23.)
Firestone Balloons are furnished with combination Dill Dust Caps and, if properly tightened, will help to maintain constant pressure and minimize leakage. (The letter continues with a description of the tires and a suggested price of $64.80 for a set of four with wheels and a spare rim.)
—– Ford Archives Prices: Touring, $290. Runabout, $260. Tudor, $580. Fordor, $660. Coupe, $520. Chassis, $225. Runabout with pickup body, $281; with starter and demountable rims, $366. Starter for Touring and Runabout, $65. Demountables for touring and runabout, $20. (Electric equipment and demountables were standard equipment on the closed cars.)
MAR 17 Engine production records, Ford Archives Began using only one bushing in the transmission brake drum.
APR 15 Letter from the Chicago Branch, with Detroit date line)
As a delivery unit to meet requirements for equipment lighter than that of the ton truck, The Ford Motor Company has just added a pick-up body to its commercial car line.
The new body is designed for use on the Ford Runabout, taking the place of the rear deck, and is well adapted to all kinds of light hauling and quick delivery. The Runabout seat affords comfortable riding for the driver and there is ample room for another passenger. Full protection against inclement weather is provided by the top and side curtains.
The new body is of all steel construction and sturdily built. It is 3 feet, 4-3/4 inches wide and 4 feet, 8 inches long. Sides are thirteen inches deep to the flare, so that loading space is sufficient to meet all demands of light delivery. The end gate is the same as that on the express type body of the ton truck and when partially lowered is securely held in place by chains.
APR 9 Acc. 235, General Letters, Ford Archives Closed cab for trucks announced.
APR 17 Ford Factory letter The 250,000th Ford left the final assembly line in Manchester, England. English Fords are about 90% British material. “All cylinder blocks are cast and machined in the plant at Cork, Ireland, which operates under the name of Henry Ford & Son, Ltd.”
APR 29 Ford Factory letter
A closed cab is the latest equipment offered by the Ford Motor Company for the Ford ton truck. The new cab, which is all-steel, affords protection for the driver and is adaptable for use with standard Ford truck bodies, both the express and the stake types.
Doors of the cab are exceptionally wide and the plate glass windows in the doors may be lowered. The upper portion of the windshield swings either in or out so as to suit ventilation requirements. The seat accommodates three persons comfortably and there are special springs in both the seat and back cushions. Panels in the back of the cab may be easily removed to permit access to the truck body.
A combined priming and carburetor adjusting rod is now standard on all Ford closed cars, and is being furnished without extra cost. Where formerly the driver primed from the instrument board and adjusted the carburetor from the dash beneath, both operations may now be performed from the same accessory on the instrument board.
Ford owners who desire to “dress up” their cars with nickel-plated radiator shells and head lamp doors may now secure these accessories from Ford dealers. This equipment is being supplied by the Ford Motor Company to authorized dealers throughout the country.
APR 30 Factory Letter Windshield wing assemblies announced at $7.50 pair. Nickel plated radiator shell, apron and headlamp rims offered. T-3947D shell at $5.00. T-3977B apron, $.75. T-6575BRX headlamp rim, less lens, $1.00. All at 40% discount to the dealer.
MAY 2 Letter from the Chicago Branch Leather inner axle oil seal announced. Part # T-198AR, it sold for 30 cents a pair. Instructions were given on its installation, and the importance of keeping the bearing well greased is stressed.
MAY 14 Factory Letter
Leather “Dope Washers” announced. These were the leather grease seals that go inside the outer rear wheel bearings. P/N T-198AR or cars, TT-198AR for trucks.
NATURAL WOOD WHEELS announced. T-291-1 front wheel, balloon, with hub and less rim, at $5.50 each. T-2815G rear wheel, balloon, with hub and less rim, at $5.50 each. These were sold as a set to the dealer for $13.20. They were to be sold to the customer on an exchange basis (for black balloon wheels) for $15.00. Ford would allow a credit of $6.00 for the returned set.
JUN 1 Letter from the Chicago Branch Transmission bands with the detachable ear on all production was noted. The letter gave instructions on the removal and installation, and notes that it was necessary to cut off approximately 1-1/2″ of the clutch pedal shaft, as well as installing a new transmission band adjusting screw extension T-1525-R when these bands were used on earlier (non-detachable bands) transmissions. (2-1/2″ to be cut off is specified in a letter of July 28.)
JUL 7 Fishleigh files, Ford Archives Ford drawing showing an arrangement with which the new 11″ rear brakes could be operated from a separate foot pedal. Four pedals! Never used, of course.
JUL 8 Letter from the Chicago Branch “We have discontinued marking high-speed trucks with white paint on the axle housing cap, and are now marking them by stamping “H.S.” with dies on top of the worm housing.”
JUL 27 Engine production records, Ford Archives Last old style engine (12,218,728) built at 5:51 P.M. and new (1926) type engines began on the third shift.
JUL 28 Letter from Chicago Branch Notes that they have found it necessary to cut 2-1/2″ off the clutch pedal shaft (T3427) when installing quick-change bands in earlier cars. (Was 1-1/2″)
AUG 22 Letter from Chicago Branch Announcement of the “improved Ford car,” stating that it would be first advertised to the public in the afternoon papers August 26, and the morning papers on August 27, with weekly publications the following week. The cars were not to be displayed before the 26th. The letter stressed that the term “New Ford” should not be used; rather “Improved Changes in Body and Chassis,” or “Improved Ford Cars.”
AUG 26 The official news release on the “Improved Fords.”
Changes are Most Pronounced — Bodies Longer, Lower and All-Steel.
Goes to Colors in Closed cars. Many Other Refinements Made — Brakes are Larger, More Powerful.
Body changes and chassis refinements more pronounced than any made since the adoption of the Model T chassis were announced here today by the Ford Motor Company. There will be no advance in price, it also was stated.
Outstanding features of the improvements in both open and enclosed types are lower, all-steel bodies on a lowered chassis, complete new design in most body types, a change from black in color in closed cars, larger, lower fenders, newly designed seats and larger, more powerful brakes.
Longer lines, effected through higher radiator and redesigned cowl and bodies are apparent in all the improved Ford cars, but are especially pronounced in the open types. Wide crown fenders hung close to the wheels contribute to the general effect of lowness and smartness.
While Runabout and Touring Car remain in black, the closed bodies are finished in harmonic color schemes, enhanced by nickel radiators. The Coupe and Tudor bodies are finished in deep channel green while the Fordor is rich Windsor Maroon.
Greater comfort is provided for driver and passengers in both open and closed cars by larger compartments, more deeply cushioned seats and greater leg room.
Many new conveniences are also incorporated in the improved cars. In the Runabout, Touring Car, Coupe and Tudor, the gasoline tank is under the cowl and filled through an ingeniously located filler cap completely hidden from sight by a cover similar in appearance to a cowl ventilator. One-piece windshield and narrowed pillars in the Tudor and Coupe offer the driver greatly increased visibility and improved ventilation.
Driving comfort is materially increased by lower seats, scientifically improved back rests and lowered steering wheel. Brake and clutch pedals are wider and more conveniently spaced.
Four doors are now provided on the Touring Car and two on the Runabout permitting the driver to take his place from the left side of the car. Curtains, held secure by rods, open with the doors.
Most important in the mechanical changes are the improved brakes. The transmission brake drum and bands have been considerably increased in size which gives the foot brake softer and more positive action as well as longer life. The rear wheel brake drums are larger and the brake is of self energizing type.
Cord tires are now standard equipment on all Ford cars.
At the main offices of the company it was stated today that production of the new line is under way in all assembly plants of the company throughout the country and the improved cars are being sent to dealers for showing.
AUG 30 Acc. 235, General letter from Detroit, Ford Archives
Edsel B. Ford, president of the Ford Motor Company, in a statement issued yesterday following the announcement of improved Ford bodies and chassis refinements, said:
“We do not want the impression to prevail that we are producing new Ford Cars.
“Bodies for Ford cars have been materially improved but the Model T chassis remains unchanged except for a lowering of the frame and a few other important changes. Bodies, in four types, have been completely redesigned and built lower to contribute to better appearance, driving and riding comfort and roadability of the cars.
“Body improvements and chassis refinements at this time are more pronounced than at any previous time since the adoption of the Model T chassis. They are, however, entirely in accordance with the policy of the Ford Motor Company to give the public the benefit of every improvement which we find practical for Ford cars.
“By preserving the design of the Model T chassis, the company is safeguarding continued good service for owners of approximately 9,000,000 Ford cars and trucks now in use throughout the country as well as for new car purchasers.”
SEP 11 News release from Detroit
Beauty is Keynote of Longer, lower Bodies — Many New Conveniences.
It is no exaggeration to say that Ford dealer show rooms in (name of city) were literally packed with people during the past week, all eager to see the new Ford cars which went on display for the first time (name day).
There were exclamations of surprise from everyone and enthusiastic comments of all kinds were heard everywhere the cars were exhibited whether in show rooms or on the streets.
The cars are most attractive. Graceful lines have been effected through the combination of lower bodies on a lowered chassis frame. Through unnumerable (sic) changes there has been blended into one whole an exceptionally pleasing line of cars. From the higher radiator, rising into the body lines, on back to the improved spare tire carrier at the rear and the tail light and license bracket on the fender, every car is distinctive.
Those desiring a two passenger car will find it hard to choose between the Coupe and the Runabout. Both these types have particularly good lines. The rear deck of each has been considerably enlarged, and is now full width with increased luggage carrying capacity.
The Touring car, most popular of all Ford cars, has a considerably longer appearance and seats are wider.
The Tudor Sedan, likewise has been redesigned not only in lines, but in interior arrangement and seating comfort, while the Fordor has many charms for those who prefer a car of this type.
Examination of the cars reveal many other conveniences and refinements which provide improved braking facilities, permit quicker adjustments and contribute in many ways to easier driving, all of which can be better appreciated by personal examination than by any description.
While they embody features which give them new beauty, riding and driving comfort, the improved Fords are built on the same Model T chassis which is the foundation of the dependable and economical performance of more than 9,000,000 Ford cars now in service all over the world.
SEP 15 Acc. 94, Fishleigh files, Ford Archives Production of Touring and Roadster top boots and gypsy curtains begins.
OCT 7 Acc. 94, Fishleigh files, Ford Archives Production of windshield wings begins.
OCT 26 Engine production records, Ford Archives Began using bolts on the valve doors. (A letter of June 5, 1919, indicated this change was made in 1919. Apparently both bolts and studs had been used during the early 1920’s.)
NOV 16 Engine production records, Ford Archives 100% of production now used the support straps at the rear of the engine block.
DEC 12 Acc. 94. Walter Fishleigh files, Ford Archives “Motor number was first placed on frame side member R.H. on Dec. 12, 1925. Motor No. 12,861,044. Information obtained from Mr. Burns, Final Assy., Highland Park.”
DEC 14 Acc. 94, Fishleigh files, Ford Archives Production of snubbers (shock absorbers) begins.
DEC 31 Acc. 94, Fishleigh files, Ford Archives Production of automatic windshield wiper begins.
DEC 31 Letter from the Chicago Branch
The letter is regarding the importance of adjusting the rear wheel brakes, and gives the following procedure:
“To properly adjust the brakes, set the hand brake lever in the fourth notch (high gear) from the front of the quadrant. Make sure that brake drums are contracted. Then adjust the clevis on end of rod until hole in clevis lines up with hole in controller shaft. Insert the pin through the hole. Then turn the rear wheels to ascertain whether the brakes are dragging on the drum. If both wheels run free, pull the hand brake lever back to the sixth notch of quadrant. Then try wheels again. Brakes should just start holding at this point. Now the brakes are properly adjusted. Insert cotter keys in the end of the clevis pin.”
The following information regarding the change to the 1926 body style was submitted by Trent Boggess, and comes from the Ford Archives:
William F. Pioch’s Reminiscences:
“In this particular model change, it was mostly in the styling of the car and not in the engineering of the motor and chassis. That car was brought out mainly to try and keep the sales built up an make the Model T look a little more like our competitor’s cars at that time, who were catching up with us.
“We called this the Australian job. It was supposed to throw off the public. This car was tested out on the highway. We had no test tracks then. For general public information, I think the people believed the Australian job was intended for Australia until the car was shown in the sales room. Of course, a lot of people around Detroit knew it was intended for the market here.
“We worked on this Australian job for about six or seven months before it went into production. Joe Galamb designed the body for this. It had the gas tank in the hood with the filler in the center of it. That was really the first streamlined job at that time. It was the last of the Model T, about 1925 or 1926.”
© Bruce W. McCalley. Rev. February 21, 2007