Information on Wichita KS model T

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Michael Peternell
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Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Michael Peternell » Sat Dec 14, 2019 8:53 pm

I have become the new caretaker of this car. I was told it was "fixed up in the seventies" I have the Kansas title with
the name of Tanton on it. Looking for any information on its history. I would also appreciate any and all comments critiquing
the car! I told my buddy Duey C that I wouldn't throw the car into the Colosseum till it was home. 😀
IMG_20191214_121051.jpg

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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Michael Peternell » Sat Dec 14, 2019 9:08 pm

IMG_20191214_121040.jpg
,
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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Michael Peternell » Sat Dec 14, 2019 9:12 pm

IMG_20191214_121059.jpg

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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Michael Peternell » Sat Dec 14, 2019 9:17 pm

IMG_20191214_182109.jpg

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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by John E. Guitar » Sat Dec 14, 2019 9:42 pm

Looks great!

What is the machine in the background of the 2nd and 3rd photo?


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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by John kuehn » Sat Dec 14, 2019 9:54 pm

The T looks like a late 15 or 16 Touring. At least it’s been inside and not stored outside under a shed. Looks to be in good shape. Others can tell you how close to original it is. It’s a very late brass era T by the looks of it.

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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Michael Peternell » Sat Dec 14, 2019 10:09 pm

John machine is large rolling press.


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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Pat Branigan Wisc » Sat Dec 14, 2019 10:17 pm

I saw the car on Craig's List. It was on there for a couple of weeks. You got a great deal it looks like. Congrats.


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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Erik Johnson » Sat Dec 14, 2019 10:20 pm

Saw that touring advertised on Minneapolis Craigslist.

If you have the name on the title, I would track down that person and talk to him. If you find out he is deceased, then you can talk to relatives.

This is one of the best websites for tracking down people:

https://www.fastpeoplesearch.com/

Doing Google searches should also yield results. If you suspect he is deceased, search the name and include the word "obituary."

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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Michael Peternell » Sat Dec 14, 2019 10:26 pm

Only in the great frozen white North could you trade a fishouse for a car!


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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Scott_Conger » Sat Dec 14, 2019 10:29 pm

Springs went from tapered leaves to square leaves mid to late '15.

Considering the brass headlight bezels and cowl and tail lights are '15, has good early front/rear springs, unless it is one of many phony '15's made from a '16, I'd say it should probably be somewhere around a 7/15 and 8/15 built 1915. Some very early true '15's had the 13-14 rear axle in it and due to shortages of the new '15 axle housing at the factory, in April '15 dealers were told to make all repairs with '13-14 axles anyway. That's why I think it's late-(model) year production. FWIW, Rear axle housing on this car looks a bit later, post-October 14, so that may actually date it. Overall, It has a very good looking unmolested patina from the pix you posted, though a very old "phony" restoration that has been allowed to sit, would look similar. Something tells me that this is not the case with this auto.

Finally, factory change from brass to painted headlight rings occured 6/15 and brass side and tail lights phased out later, though factory brochure shows a '16 model year coupelet with brass trimmed side lights still in October '15.

15-16 T's were quite transitional and given that it is often misunderstood the fact that Model year ends so much sooner than calendar year, the changes occuring during this period, and the remaining stock of a prior design vs shortages of the newer version were often in conflict makes these cars tough to make "correct". It will be interesting to see what the block casting date and serial number is.

Very nice!
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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by ewdysar » Sun Dec 15, 2019 2:13 am

I’m with Scott on this one. Give the limited info available in the pics, there are a bunch of little things that are right for a correct ‘15. The spindle and tie-rod oilers appear to be manhole type, while the shackle oilers look to be the correct twist type. The “new” style rear axle has the early smooth brake backing plates, ‘16s have reinforcing ribs. The windshield support brackets are riveted, rather than screwed. The fenders are the right combination of 3 rivet fronts and 4 rivet rears. The splash aprons have the early flared sections at the rear ends. I did notice that the muffler looks like it has the ‘14 bent and tapered exhaust pipe extension, but that’s easily fixed or ignored.

Like Scott said, Very nice!

Keep crankin’
Eric

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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Steve Jelf » Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:33 pm

I agree with the other guys on 1915, for the reasons stated. That makes the license plate wrong. It should be black numbers on school bus yellow. :)
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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Burger in Spokane » Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:56 pm

Kansas license plate designers seemed to have a flair for the creative, when
it came to how they denoted "Kansas" back then. 👍
More people are doing it today than ever before !

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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Michael Peternell » Sun Dec 15, 2019 2:40 pm

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Additional photos.

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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Michael Peternell » Sun Dec 15, 2019 2:43 pm

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g
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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Scott_Conger » Sun Dec 15, 2019 3:13 pm

all those great pix and you managed to miss the cast date on the block... :lol:

It's behind the horn, driver's side.

Your rear axle looks like drivers side is earlier '15 and passenger side is later '15. Appears to be a really interesting car.

FWIW, mine is a 11/14/15 block with 11/18/15 Wilson body, but has all of the early features. It's a Model year '16, but you'd never know it by looking at it and looks like a Model year '15.
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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Kerry » Sun Dec 15, 2019 3:39 pm

It has a later high head on the engine as well.
I don't know if it's just the angle of the front axle photo or not? but it looks like the caster needs to be checked and fixed.

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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Steve Jelf » Sun Dec 15, 2019 3:46 pm

The addition of an after-market water pump suggests that the radiator no longer radiates as it should. If that's the case there are two cures available. You can buy a new radiator, or you can have the old one recored. My choice was and is the second. It will save you a few Benjamins, but the more important reason for me is that it keeps the original look. Another factor for me is forum posts I've seen complaining about the new radiators going to pieces on cars that get driven a lot. But I haven't seen a lot of such complaints. I don't know whether that's because most cars don't get driven a lot, or because a few people got radiators that were lemons.
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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Michael Peternell » Sun Dec 15, 2019 3:59 pm

IMG_20191215_131914.jpg
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September '14 block cast date


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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by John kuehn » Sun Dec 15, 2019 4:19 pm

As far as the original look is concerned this T looks like it was kept up as an older car would be. Repairs were made with parts that would fit and be functional. It has had the water pipe on it replaced with a brass one. Wonder why it has a high later head. Interesting to know the serial on the engine. I guess time will tell when the car is run and if there is any boil over. If it’s not the clean it up and drive as is. Bet the wood in its still pretty good also.
Clean it up, drive to check things out and leave as is. It’s in to good of shape to ‘restore’.


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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Erik Johnson » Sun Dec 15, 2019 4:39 pm

The "half and half" rear axle where the backing plate on one housing has no ribs (1915-16 "style") and the other housing backing plate does have ribs (introduced in 1917) is not unheard of on 1917 Fords. I have seen a handful 1917 Fords with known histories that have this quirk, including my own unrestored 1917 roadster. I think others have also observed this same quirk in the past.


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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Scott_Conger » Sun Dec 15, 2019 5:19 pm

Erik

actually archive notes show circa nov '15 that the reinforced backing plates began showing up ('16 model year). It's this fact that leads me to believe assy date was late in '15. My Nov '15 car has smooth backing plates. Am really interested in this car's build date as I'm thinking they are pretty close. OP seems inclined to sting us (or perhaps just me) along with respect to engine date.
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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Michael Peternell » Sun Dec 15, 2019 7:30 pm

Thanks for all your comments guys! I've learned more about a '15 T in the last couple of days then I thought possible!
My plan is to get it back running and have fun with it. Not sure what to do with the bottom side being in primer.
Bomb it with flat black muffler paint? I also believe the light switch button is original to the car. I think Scott is right
about it being a late '15 even though the engine cast date is September '14. Thanks again for all the input!

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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Duey_C » Sun Dec 15, 2019 7:57 pm

Looks good Michael! I want to get over there and see that paint job!
We've all seen the posts like this: I have engine number 65X,XXX or some such so privacy can be a factor too. :)

OK, gonna be the first to say it. Tear into that rear axle unless you KNOW FOR CERTAIN there are bronze thrust washers inside instead of Babbitt. Other reasons possible too on that axle but the left wheel brake drum is a bit to the outside.

You're a brave man, showing it here... :lol:
Very pleased the responses have been pretty positive Michael! :)
Heck, I've just been itchin' to see more pics.
And ribbed pedals. 8-)
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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Scott_Conger » Sun Dec 15, 2019 8:05 pm

Well, the engine cast date works with the ribbed pedals (noted as going into production Aug '14) and all of the brass trim as well as the tapered leaves. All this leads very nicely to an authentic and VERY early '15. I may have been very off base with my earlier assumption (which happens with assumptions!) With some suspicion that the engine is a swap from some years back ('15 bodies weren't officially on the assembly line then even though Sept '14 is accepted as early Model Year '15, the '15 body style wasn't documented as coming off the Highland assembly line until Feb, though some MUST have been produced in very small numbers as there are photos in Sept '14 of a '15 touring with odd headlights), I think now a better way is to look at the passenger front threshold at the front door. It would be really neat if your car is one of the very early cars that predate the production of them really rolling in full swing. That will date the body and therefore the car. As mentioned above, my body was stamped by Wilson just a few days after my engine cast date and is, I believe, the most reliable dating of the car's assembly (within some range). Thank you very much for making the effort to look up the engine #.

A broken axle on passenger side during use, with a replaced housing as part of maintenance/repair makes sense as an explaination for one of the few "later" parts to surface on the car thus far.
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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Michael Peternell » Sun Dec 15, 2019 8:36 pm

Thanks Scott!
Never heard early T's had body numbers dating them. So cool!
I'll check it out tomorrow and let you know.
Thanks again for the education! Something taken for granted what we
get from this computer age. If I wanted to be educated in anything 25 years ago
l would have had to pay good money for someone to teach me! Now an education
is almost free! Thanks to all of you who share what you've learned over the years.

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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Michael Peternell » Sun Dec 15, 2019 8:56 pm

Thanks Duey! It really wasn't a big deal. Kinda like sending your virgin daughter to the prom at the local naval academy!

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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Duey_C » Sun Dec 15, 2019 9:15 pm

Hahaha! Yep. ;)
Oh! Body numbers: If you run into any issues finding the body number and builder on your Touring's body Michael, give me a ring.
Too much to text. :) Perhaps I can help.
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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Michael Peternell » Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:21 am

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Serial number is 573198. I couldn't find anything on the threshold. Where else should I be looking?
Thanks for the help!!


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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Erik Johnson » Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:36 am

Patched water jacket.

If the body number isn't embossed or on a metal tag on the passenger side floor riser, then remove the seat cushion and see if is along the front of the seat riser - either stamped in the wood or a metal tag.

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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Steve Jelf » Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:50 am

573198 = Saturday, September 5, 1914.

According to Bruce McCalley and Trent Boggess, production of 1915 open cars did not begin until January 1915 (only 36 touring cars). So this September 1914 engine waited in the factory at least four months before being put into a car, or it's a replacement.

http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG90.html
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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Scott_Conger » Mon Dec 16, 2019 1:09 pm

Michael

here's a post with info on bodies, numbers, and where to look: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/14108.html

And another thread with some great info: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/29/6661.html

And here's a '15 with an Oct '14 engine, so they're out there...: viewtopic.php?t=2711
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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by wayne sheldon » Mon Dec 16, 2019 5:12 pm

A very interesting T for sure! There is a bit of a mix, some details indicate early, a few things indicate late '15. I wish I were closer, I would love to spend an hour or two just looking it over. Certainly, several things have been changed over the years. But which ones is the question?
Generally speaking, Ford did not manufacturer bodies during the brass era. There were several companies used over the years. Wilson, Beaudette, and Fisher were three of the best known, and largest suppliers of bodies. However there were several others, including some that only did part of the work work on some of the bodies. A few bodies never did have serial numbers stamped on them (actually probably very few, as Ford wanted the serial numbers for accounting and parts replacement purposes). A lot of the bodies have lost the serial numbers over the years as many of them were on metal plates nailed onto the wooden structure. And, sometimes, wooden structure over the years has been replaced. I was fortunate on my February '15 runabout that although about three quarters of the wood was rotted to nearly nothing, one of the few remaining pieces (rotted way beyond usefulness) was not only still nailed in place to the sheet metal, but it still had the original serial number plate firmly attached by very rusty nails. I kept the piece of wood, now hanging in my shop! The original serial number plate is now nailed with fresh nails onto the new wooden sills right where it had been for a hundred years before.
Bodies also varied a lot between different body builders, and even from one order run to the next. The serial numbers could be in any one of several places. Many '15s will have the serial number under the front seat cushion. Usually on the right hand side, usually just under the front edge of the seat cushion. Depending upon body builder, it may be "stamped" directly into the wooden frame, or it may be a metal plate nailed to a wooden seat frame. However, not all '15s/'16s had wooden seat frames. Some had metal seat frames. Those will likely have the number (again either "stamped" directly into the wood, or on a nailed metal plate). The location may be on the forward floorboard riser, or on the flat sill just inside the right front door. Or it might be somewhere else (other side, rear seat, etc).

One detail I hadn't seen much comment on. Your rear fenders appear to be the two or four rivet style mounting brackets. Those are 1916 model fenders. The rivet count is a bit funky. In discussions I have had with several different people with '15/'16s, the tendency is to count the number of rivets on the top of the fender, when in actuality, there are two additional rivets on the outside lip, plus two more on the inner skirt.So the "four rivet" fender actually had eight rivets! The 1915 style rear fenders have a three rivet pattern like the fronts have, no inner two, no outer two. I don't know just when they began using the two or four rivet design. I know it was to add stability to the rear fenders as the three rivet pattern on just unenforced sheet steel was tending to vibrate and break early on. The larger bracket with inner and outer rivets added made a big difference. I also am not sure about which (2 or 4, same bracket, just more or less rivets) came first, although a few people I know have suggested that the four rivet pattern was first late in 1915, with the two rivet being later '16 or later yet replacements. As with many Ford changes, there was considerable time when both styles were being used.

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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Michael Peternell » Mon Dec 16, 2019 7:36 pm

You guys are awesome! I haven't got back to looking for a body mark but I can tell you the seat riser is metal. Don't know if that helps you guru's.
I so appreciate you folks taking the time to educate me!

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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Michael Peternell » Tue Dec 17, 2019 7:44 pm

I looked the body over and still haven't found any kind of identifying markings.
Both front and back seat risers are steel. I did find this in the car today.
Thanks again for looking!
IMG_20191217_162425.jpg


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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Scott_Conger » Tue Dec 17, 2019 7:51 pm

well, you know where that goes...and it will look more appropriate than the one that's there now!
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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Michael Peternell » Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:57 pm

Thanks Scott,
I agree it would look better. That style original to the car?
I was also hoping someone would remember the Tanton name
from the Wichita KS area. Someone used this car, and toured it
from what I was told. Fixed as needed. Any of you KS. People recall?


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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Erik Johnson » Wed Dec 18, 2019 12:02 am

I don't mean to sound like a broken record, but if you know the name and city of the owner you can most likely track him down dead or alive via the internet.

I posted the website https://www.fastpeoplesearch.com/ in a prior post.

You should be able to track him or his relatives down. If he is alive and still coherent, you should be able to call him. If you determine he has passed away, fastpeoplesearch above as well as his obituary (if it is posted on the internet) will lead to you relatives.

It's fairly simple and easy detective work.

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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Michael Peternell » Wed Dec 18, 2019 6:03 am

Thanks Eric!
I'll give it a try.

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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Michael Peternell » Wed Dec 18, 2019 10:26 am

Wow!!!
That site is almost scary. Gave me a working phone number first try!

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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Steve Jelf » Wed Dec 18, 2019 11:14 am

I went to that website and entered the name of a guy who was in Korea with me. It says he died in 1993. And it lists his current address. :D
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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Michael Peternell » Wed Dec 18, 2019 10:26 pm

20245.jpeg
got this today from the second owners wife.

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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Duey_C » Thu Dec 19, 2019 11:48 pm

Very cool photo from a very cool source!
EDIT: Shoot, I've been meaning to ask where was your Touring assembled if from Kansas?
I figure my 18 Runabout was assembled in Milwaukee and went to Oconomowoc, Jefferson, New Ulm and then here......
In my brain I'm the 5th owner but only the 2nd driver. Add one or two more probably to that list.
Interesting to me. :)
Since I lost my mind mind, I feel more liberated

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Steve Jelf
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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Steve Jelf » Fri Dec 20, 2019 12:24 am

I expect a Model T sold in Wichita would have been assembled in KCMO or OKC.
The inevitable often happens.
1915 Runabout
1923 Touring

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Michael Peternell
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Re: Information on Wichita KS model T

Post by Michael Peternell » Wed Dec 25, 2019 5:56 pm

IMG_20191225_153902.jpg
A friend of mine spotted this on the top of the front seat riser. Sent the picture to
Duey C and he identified it as Beaudette.
Thanks for looking! Comments appreciated!
Mike Peternell

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