Beautiful wood kit! Some assembly required.
The original '15 center-door in the photos appears to be a real early '15. I would be interested to know more about that car. I believe that production of the true '15 center-door sedan ended fairly early in 1915. I have heard but do not know, production ended about February or March of 1915. The cars were quite expensive, and sales were slow. The warehouse was full, so Henry lowered the price (losing money on every car at that point) and offered incentives to salesmen to get the cars sold. Under the circumstances, it is surprising that Henry continued the basic design in 1916 at all. But Henry wanted his foot in that door. He knew that enclosed cars would soon become more wanted, and he wanted people to want their closed car to be a Ford!
For 1916, Ford altered the design in ways that made the car appear the same, but made it cheaper to produce. The true '15 had special rear fenders, and I have read the side aprons and a few other parts were unique to the c-d also. These were changed to use the same pieces as all the other Ts. The true "15 body was a carriage-built body offered by a body company that had initially been offered to other auto manufacturers as well as Ford. Although Ford's order was altered slightly to fit the Ford, the true '15 was still the carriage-built body. The upholstery was as elegant as any mid-size automobile's top of the line car was. The body panels were hand made at considerable time and expense. For 1916, the upholstery and body panels were simplified to reduce time for construction. Although it looks very similar, the '16 was a totally different car.
The photos posted above show what remains of the elegant '15 interior. If one wishes to see better pictures (although black and white photos) of what the '15 c-d interior was like, look in either of Bruce McCalley's two picture books ("The Car That Changed the World" (Bbbb) pages 202 to 207, and "From Here to Obscurity" (written in conjunction with Ray Miller) pages 155 to 160). The picture above showing the driver's seat, click to the enlargeable version, and zoom in closer. Notice that there is "stuff" under that driver's seat. While not a great photo for details, one can clearly see that there is "stuff" where the gasoline tank is on most later center-door sedans. Some years back,a good friend of mine had a Canadian built '16 center-door sedan. How different was it because it was Canadian? We never really knew exactly. It had things like fork mounted headlamps that Canadian cars had into 1916, and Robertson screws. That particular c-d also had the gasoline tank under the rear seat from new! Was it only the Canadian cars? Or did some early U.S. 1916 c-d cars also have gasoline tanks under the rear seat? We may never know the answer to that one. Other than the gasoline tank, his c-d sedan was basically the same body as the '16 to '18 U. S. c-d body.
The photos above are interesting in the study of model Ts, brass era cars in general, and center-door sedans in particular. However, they won't help a lot in the restoration of an early '16 (late brass era) T center-door sedan. It is amazing how much they do look alike. Yet almost nothing other than chassis, running gear, and front fenders are the same between the "true '15" and the '16 center-door sedans.
Wonderful stuff! Thank you Don B for taking us along on the journey.