Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

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Matt in California
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Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Matt in California » Sat Nov 02, 2019 10:42 pm

Okay they did add some accessories and had an interesting concept going with the paint, but everything looks very original. I don’t plan to restore this, but I do plan to put it on the correct frame. I am in a hunt for matching fenders and splash guard.

I would love to get your comments. I would also like to photograph this to preserve history for others who are looking for details for restoration. If you have any questions I would be happy to take pictures in the areas you were interested.

This body was sold by the grandson of the original owner. If I understood things correctly his father attempted to restore it but the project out lived him. The car was moved from Maine our West. Evidently it set from the 1970s until now. It also seems to have avoided the salty road conditions. So it must’ve been before they did that but it was no longer in service.
4CD46F45-0019-4903-972C-9BB5662FD9F1.jpeg
A604DFCA-7944-4729-8927-A361C1541BFA.jpeg

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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Matt in California » Sat Nov 02, 2019 10:50 pm

827CBFD5-7AAD-445B-BF84-2E172685DF56.jpeg
D8A7A411-E1F3-408D-B3BF-0AF27E74677C.jpeg
B7E547F5-7FC2-404C-A74B-C0902A6B6466.jpeg
BDBEB66F-7AEF-4653-9EAE-F2C335092BA4.jpeg
0D109EB3-A82E-4F38-8E64-A8022ED62F50.jpeg


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Don’t Molest It

Post by FreighTer Jim » Sat Nov 02, 2019 11:03 pm

It is the only one in existence that looks exactly like that.


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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by DHort » Sat Nov 02, 2019 11:06 pm

I have never seen rear floorboards that come in two sections like that.


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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by MWalker » Sun Nov 03, 2019 9:26 am

But David, don't you remember the story? Henry was using up pieces of shipping crates. :)

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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Matt in California » Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:54 am

I don't see anything special with a two piece rear floor boards. Vendors sell them: https://www.modeltford.com/item/3626CRH2.aspx

Perhaps from the photo it was not clear that this was from the rear. It is much easier to service the battery with these.

Matt

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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Rich Eagle » Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:59 am

It is colorful. Wow, that upholstery is amazing!
We let one like that slip though our fingers when a group I worked with liquidated. I got more than my share but enjoyed that one.
It's always interested me how much the Fordors carried over from the earlier ones.
Thanks for these and any future photos you have time to take.
Rich
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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Duey_C » Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:38 pm

Beautiful. Lucky find too.
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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by TBill » Sun Nov 03, 2019 4:08 pm

I am restoring a 1926 Fordor and I am finding traces of that same red color. Could that be the original color? I thought the 26 Fordors were either maroon or black.

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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Matt in California » Sun Nov 03, 2019 4:24 pm

Bill,
This car was originally Ford black day and night.

Matt


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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Mike Robinson » Sun Nov 03, 2019 7:42 pm

Seeing the doors installed brings the color pattern together. Maybe it served as some sort of taxi or shuttle car.


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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Arnie » Sun Nov 03, 2019 8:01 pm

The front floor boards seem to have a clip to hold the two boards ends that have the slots for the pedals. That would indicate to me it must be a later body. I believe the Fordor also included a green color from the factory.

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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by wayne sheldon » Sun Nov 03, 2019 8:54 pm

A long time ago, I knew of two solid, complete, and very nice totally original '26/'27 Fordors. Clearly the original paint, one was a tan color, the other was about dark olive green

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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Matt in California » Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:05 am

Color
Thanks for all the input on the Fordor color. For mine it is very clear that the car was originally black. I didn’t think much of it, then I noticed in Bruce McCalley’s book he mentions in 1926 Fordor should be “Windsor Maroon.” I wonder how many made it out with that color.

Floor Boards
Arnie, do you know when the floorboard clips started. The engine that was in this car was 13,457,XXX that would make this date April 1st, 1926! I think this car may have some pranks up its sleeves! Does this date seem to be in line with the clips that you see?

Taxi?!?
I like the idea, but I would think the family would have relayed the story. I was told the color was added just to brighten it up. I do wonder about the six holes in the back on each side. Perhaps it was for a taxi;)

Thanks!

Matt

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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Matt in California » Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:23 pm

I found this in one of the door pockets.
B739BD5B-F02D-4659-A678-2E1147170106.jpeg
7515A199-A85D-49C3-82B8-56E7FE6537B6.jpeg
Does anyone know what these are?

Thanks,
Matt


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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by jiminbartow » Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:58 pm

I have an all original, never restored 1926 Fordor with the original wood, roof, interior and upholstery. The only thing un-original, is the red paint job that someone applied to the metal of the body to preserve the steel of the body.

Bruce McCalley points out in his book that the uphostery of the 1926-27 improved styles is closely associated with the body and hood color (the fenders, splash shields fenders and radiator apron are black) which, if you are fortunate enough to have all or remnants of the original upholstery, it will tell you what the original color was. For instance, the color of the 1926–27 Coupe was originally channel green from the factory and the upholstery had green stripes that corresponded with the green body color. By the same token, the factory body color of the 1926-27 Fordor was Windsor maroon and the upholstery had red stripes that corresponded with the maroon color.

In the photos of the subject Fordor of this post, even though the stripes are hard to see, it appears that the original upholstery has red stripes, which indicates that the body color was originally Windsor Maroon. Unless the body was thoroughly stripped, you may be able to find the original Windsor Maroon color by gently wet sanding a protected portion of the body. Jim Patrick


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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by jiminbartow » Sun Nov 10, 2019 11:45 pm

PS. The bench seats, seat backs and door upholstery below the windows is striped. The upholstery covering the columns between and windows and above the windows as well as the ceiling is not striped. Jim Patrick

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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by henryford2 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:33 am

From the same encyclopedia. Pictured is my "original" 26 Fordor.

COLORS: All cars were painted black, with black fenders, initially. Closed cars were then offered in colors: green for the Tudor and Coupe, and Maroon for the Fordor. Other options offered later in 1926, perhaps for the “1927” models.

UPHOLSTERY: Imitation leather in the open cars. The pattern was a stitched vertical pleat design on both seat bottoms and backs. Closed car upholstery was gray cloth with green stripe on the green cars (Coupe & Tudor), and gray with a red stripe on the maroon cars (Fordor sedans).
Fordor.jpg
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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Matt in California » Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:14 pm

henryford2 wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:33 am
From the same encyclopedia. Pictured is my "original" 26 Fordor.

COLORS: All cars were painted black, with black fenders, initially. . .
Joseph, I love your photo! The last word of the quote above seems very important to this discussion- initially. What is your engine number or date of manufacture of your car?

I appreciate this discussion. And I am enjoying getting to know other Fordor folks!!!

Also I’m curious about the rear windows. Took a little work to get one of mine going. I found that the aluminum wheel was locked on the spring lever arm.

Matt

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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Matt in California » Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:18 pm

Here are some photos of my front seats.
219884B1-DAE7-445A-BA0B-9F30FCE96CB2.jpeg
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6DB1A6E0-2FBF-45B8-A0CE-FD9FA779A6AF.jpeg
D7ADF6FD-8EDC-4C9F-856E-8AFB8512817F.jpeg
012D64D6-1956-4F59-99BA-46E61CF38A52.jpeg

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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Matt in California » Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:23 pm

Under and the sides of the front seats:
9E448DEC-F3E2-45FD-BCAF-94556581FCC0.jpeg
Note: center strap bent, likely to remove gas tank.
F4BC6055-971D-4FE5-BA98-6B67F590D963.jpeg
DCDDEE8E-8120-43D6-AD53-EFFCBE4403D2.jpeg
C9CE1BFF-6118-4CC5-86E5-3C538F5AD579.jpeg
Last edited by Matt in California on Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:32 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Matt in California » Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:30 pm

AAA31993-3741-43A2-9BCD-CA18B7E70389.jpeg

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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Matt in California » Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:34 pm

Under back seats:
7FACE457-1B78-42B2-B29F-C0B937E1339C.jpeg
AF093AC0-58BE-46A6-8F5D-A359A3B3585A.jpeg
924522A6-8FEA-4089-828C-CB7F01A0F7EA.jpeg

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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Matt in California » Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:41 pm

Back seats:
FDE7D675-9CB8-439C-B88D-5929C728696C.jpeg
C5225080-1D57-4981-A38B-93AFFE337767.jpeg
E363591A-08A2-4552-80AE-330CB0CB1E39.jpeg
4877B3AC-5C91-4F63-95F6-7AB8A2F8FA98.jpeg
5997B4FD-3EE7-4565-83F8-44DD5A66BBAD.jpeg

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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Matt in California » Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:48 pm

Rear side windows:
21775694-9A77-4702-AE14-C2CA2DEEB31B.jpeg
D98492D6-54CF-4A3F-AA2B-80F03E793F41.jpeg
The little aluminum will above gave me trouble, but after I got it spinning it worked well.
65371656-B7AF-4C2C-A26D-98D73E2931EA.jpeg
79B4FB59-11ED-4300-B899-D5137B467C93.jpeg
BFB58002-E845-4A07-85ED-9920BCEBDE4D.jpeg

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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Matt in California » Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:54 pm

Rear floorboards:
A3E9E9CB-E9BF-41EC-8D1D-AAEB7967CBFE.jpeg

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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Matt in California » Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:55 pm

Front Floor Boards:
1D6140C8-8901-4D77-B3C4-88FBBA08A4B8.jpeg
8354BB11-6271-448F-ABEC-98E8649A4766.jpeg
F49D0ACF-BCAA-4E8A-8BCE-21E0440DFA52.jpeg
B55CDF5C-5B7E-4221-ACAE-DC625AF7A4F4.jpeg
Note: the number above. Does anyone know what this is for?

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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Rich Eagle » Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:42 pm

This is such good reference to those with Fordors now and in the future. It's also great fun for many of us.
The details of things like placement of the curtain hardware and cords are priceless.
Great photos and Thanks.
Rich
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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by henryford2 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:59 pm

Mine is a July 1926 build by serial number, same on frame rail and engine
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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by KeithG » Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:38 pm

Matt, In your picture above with the hand brake trim piece, you ask what the number shown is for. That's a body number from the plant where the body was built. I have a '27 Fordor and this number on mine begins with HP, meaning it was made at the Highland Park plant. I saw another one once that began with KC, meaning Kansas City. I see the X in your body number but can't make out the first letter. Do you know what that letter before the X is? If you can make it out, that will tell you where the body was built.

Hap Tucker has a thread going several years ago discussing this topic.

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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Matt in California » Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:36 am

Rich,
Yes, I am hoping that these details will be helpful for future restorers who may come across this tread.

Joseph,
If the engine number is correct that was with this body it would be April 1st 1926, so it looks like black Fordors were produced into July 1926.

KeithG wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:38 pm
Matt, In your picture above with the hand brake trim piece, you ask what the number shown is for. That's a body number from the plant where the body was built. I have a '27 Fordor and this number on mine begins with HP, meaning it was made at the Highland Park plant. I saw another one once that began with KC, meaning Kansas City. I see the X in your body number but can't make out the first letter. Do you know what that letter before the X is? If you can make it out, that will tell you where the body was built.

Hap Tucker has a thread going several years ago discussing this topic.

Keith
Keith, I found this thread: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/80257/111490.html
After some light brushing I found a HP mark very lightly written and was not able to take a photo, perhaps I will be able to bring it out with chalk. But it looked like this from the link above:
111741.jpg
So my body number is: "HP X5065" So this is a Highland Park body.

Any insight on these number is appreciated!

Matt

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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Matt in California » Sat Nov 16, 2019 12:28 pm

I did some testing with brake fluid to remove the red paint that was added. I started in the area that wouldn’t be is visible- the center post.

Now I plan to tackle the back!
B791B27D-1A85-420B-B502-2C54CCA30C3B.jpeg
It is shiny because I applied brake fluid last night. And I just put a second coat on. This morning I noticed that it totally absorbed into the into the paint. The paint is getting softer.

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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Autie » Sat Nov 16, 2019 1:13 pm

I am sooo hesitant on posting this but, when I restore Coke machines, call boxes, jukeboxes, etc., and the have been painted over and I want to keep the original paint underneath, I use a paint stripper called CitriStrip. It is an all natural stripper that I use. When I first used it, I thought it sucked because it wasn't working as fast or easy as I wanted it too, to strip things down to bare metal/wood. Paint was only coming off in layers.. Then the light bulb went on and I started using it on projects that I wanted to preserve the original finish. After I apply it, and see it is working, I then use an ultra fine #0000 steel wool pad and a toothbrush in tight or detailed areas, and I keep dipping it in luke warm water to work off the covering paint. The pads get gummed up real fast, so I go through a lot of them. It takes a long time for me to do things this way, but has worked for me well in the past. Me personally would not use brake fluid unless stripping down to bare metal. Too absorbent and will affect and strip the original paint you are seeking to save. The CitriStrip is a gel and not as absorbent, but to each their own. Please, PLEASE, PRETTY PLEASE, IF you try my method, do so in a small unnoticeable spot. I do not want you screaming at me that it stripped all of the paint away. This is why I am hesitant to post this but I would not suggest it if I remotely thought it would have a tragic ending and ruin the original paint. Obviously all paints are different and some are more difficult than others to remove. Patience is your friend. Feel free to contact me with PM if you have any questions. Hope this helps.

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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Matt in California » Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:29 pm

Kieth,
Thanks for your advice! I just read your post after work on this for four hours. Not only do I want to look into the stripper. I wanna look into the methods that you mentioned. I didn’t use steel wall but I did use a toothbrush, an old sponge, a rag and lots of paper towels! Here are the results:
E4F91FC7-2E21-4F3B-B196-C78E1FB76895.jpeg
F48E41E6-9A5E-4D8B-B1D1-5E9D2073824D.jpeg
B646D9E8-40EB-4409-A715-1292C40CB348.jpeg
11E85F0C-3A3E-4B67-95CB-7EE7B7FB590D.jpeg
On a close up inspection you can see in the ruff areas I had a hard time getting the paint.
64DA1368-59B5-4B34-B54C-341772432528.jpeg
Thanks for your comments!
Matt

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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Rich Eagle » Sat Nov 16, 2019 6:24 pm

That is a great trick. It's good to see that black paint.
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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Autie » Sat Nov 16, 2019 7:43 pm

Looks great. I am glad it came out the way it did for you. And yes, I forgot to mention LOTS and lots of paper towels and rags.

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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Matt in California » Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:27 pm

Thanks Kieth and Rich,
I think I need to get some better photos. It may look better in person. From 10 feet it is hard to detect.

I left the brake fluid on too long on the section under the doors on the left side and I did pull of the paint. I am glad that it is less noticeable. But Kieth's word of caution is important. Brake-fluid, and I imagine any stripper, will eventually pull up the black paint.

I haven't decided what I will do with the green on the doors. If I strip them I want to try CitriStrip as Keith suggested. But I may leave them for the taxi look.

Matthew

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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Matt in California » Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:46 pm

I put it on the chassis, but it doesn’t seem to fit.
:o
2D280DB5-973B-43BC-9242-A3AB75B36A4D.jpeg
Maybe the body shrunk because it was taken off a chassis about 40 years ago.

Matt
Last edited by Matt in California on Sun Nov 17, 2019 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Dallas Landers » Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:15 pm

Dont worry, it the extended cab! Very rare? :lol:

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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Matt in California » Mon Nov 18, 2019 11:35 pm

Dallas Landers wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:15 pm
Dont worry, it the extended cab! Very rare? :lol:
Wow! You are correct!

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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Matt in California » Mon Nov 18, 2019 11:40 pm

I got this with the body:
0CA606DF-E146-45A7-8238-D3800B122A49.jpeg
3EA202E1-180B-4F08-B56B-7F4AA120D640.jpeg
This body came from Maine. Anyone recognize the business on the front side of the card or the upholstery person on the backside of the card? I’m not sure when this card was received it might’ve been in the 70s when the car was starting to get restored. Or perhaps much earlier.

Matt


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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by TBill » Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:04 am

My 1926 Fordor exhibits that same red color under a black over coat. Also seen under the cowl vent door. Could this be an original color?

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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Matt in California » Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:59 pm

Bill,
Mine clearly has the red painted over the black. The photos can be deceptive because the black is in the high spots and the red in the valleys, but this is because the black paint degraded then the red paint stuck to the surfaces in the valleys.

The cars with original red should be “Windsor Maroon.” If your red looks like mine, but it is under the black paint my guess is that that someone used red primer.

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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by TBill » Fri Nov 29, 2019 7:51 am

I don’t mean to keep running over the same dead cat but when I Google “1926 Fordor Photos” I find at least two examples of the same bright red seen here and in traces on my 1926 Fordor. My upholstery is gray with red stripes. All the literature says it should be maroon but I can find no trace of that. Given that a 93 year old Model T could have been repainted several times that red color could have been later but traces on the lower part of the cowl vent lid really puzzle me. Any suggestions for further research sources?

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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Matt in California » Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:33 am

Bill,
I am always open to learning new things on the forum. And I think that sometime we find details on our cars that don't match the norm or period references. But I think you may have to really do some uncovering to prove that your paint was not done for restoration. Please post some photos of your car. i would enjoy seeing them!

For me it seemed most likely that the upholstery is original. Black paint is found under the upholstery and paint, so for me it was clear that this is a black Fordor. After research (or comments on this thread) it was clear that the absolute statements that all Fordors would be made in Windsor Maroon needed to be take in the context. If Ford offered Fordors in a different red it would be great to learn more. I am not a person to say that is impossible, but I think you should show your evidence so we can discuss it. In the process I think it is very educational.

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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by TBill » Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:19 am

Matt, I have not yet mastered the process of posting photos but I will try again. May have to wait awhile as I am headed out of town.

Marshall, if you are keeping up with this, can you provide some history on this particular Fordor.

My goal on this project is restoration to original.

THANKS ALL

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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Matt in California » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:31 am

I am posting the following photos for TBill (these are NOT photos of my car). Bill wants us to comment on them and the possibility that it is original paint.

Under Cowl
356D90D9-AFA7-4681-8125-C6C50A5ED56F.jpeg

Cowl
7F36BC2D-BDD1-480C-A7ED-5786D325EA2D.jpeg

Back
B9AADBFE-6318-4F04-8C77-EB6D374212DC.jpeg
Last edited by Matt in California on Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by jiminbartow » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:10 am

Hi Matt. I believe that you have all the evidence you need that your Fordor was originally painted maroon in the fact that your upholstery has red stripes. 93 years is a long time for the inferior automotive paints of 1926-27 to survive. Some may disagree, but a common thread on the forum is “what did the original colors look like”. That fact that this question has never been satisfactorily answered is due to the fact that very few, if any, Model T’s have survived to the present with the original paint, so it is not surprising that you are having trouble determining the color history of your Fordor. If your car was garage kept in a climate controlled garage for the entire 93 years, some original paint may survive, but since you don’t know the history of the car over that time span, you don’t know whether or not it was kept outside, exposed to the elements, which if that is the case, the paint would oxidize completely off over that time span. Also, at some time in that time span, say, in the 1950’s if it was completely dismantled and old original panels replaced by other panels, during an incomplete attempt at restoration, which appears indicative by the multi-colored panels, it is conceivable that the replacement panels and other body parts were stripped and painted black by a restorer who had no idea what the original color should have been. If you want it to be a correct restoration, I believe you should assume that, based upon the original red striped upholstery, your original Fordor left the assembly line as a maroon Model T. It makes no sense that Ford would have painted your Fordor black, when the vast majority of 1926-27 Fordors were painted maroon. It is more likely that the black paint was applied during a very old restoration attempt years ago by a novice, in response to the incorrect assumption that ALL Model T’s were painted black. Jim Patrick

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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Matt in California » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:20 am

As Jim Joseph Andulics stated earlier on this thread.
henryford2 wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:33 am
From the same encyclopedia. Pictured is my "original" 26 Fordor.

COLORS: All cars were painted black, with black fenders, initially. Closed cars were then offered in colors: green for the Tudor and Coupe, and Maroon for the Fordor. Other options offered later in 1926, perhaps for the “1927” models.

UPHOLSTERY: Imitation leather in the open cars. The pattern was a stitched vertical pleat design on both seat bottoms and backs. Closed car upholstery was gray cloth with green stripe on the green cars (Coupe & Tudor), and gray with a red stripe on the maroon cars (Fordor sedans).
It is clear both with the evidence of original black Fordors and the documentation on the MTFCA encyclopedia that Fordors were "painted black, with black fenders, intially".

Bill's question (with the photos that I posted on his behalf) is if his bright red paint could have been original. I believe that he is asking because he found the red paint under the black paint that he is currently stripping off. My question is for Bill is if under the red paint is black paint. I ask, in part, because when I see the back section with the top down to metal it looks like a bit of black paint on the bare metal.

Matt


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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by jiminbartow » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:36 am

Sounds like your mind is made up regardless of the evidence in your own car, as well as the evidence presented in Bruce’s encyclopedia. Good luck to you and enjoy you car.


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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by KeithG » Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:41 pm

I have a '27 Fordor that was made in Oct., 1926. The original upholstery is still in the car, but the lower front cushions are worn and kind of raggedy. The front seat backrest and the entire rear seat upholstery are pretty much ok. Of course, the upholstery color is faded, but on the lower cushion hidden surfaces, the original gray with red stripe is in good shape and would serve to be excellent samples. That said, the original paint is still on the engine side of the firewall and on the inside of the doors under the upholstery where it's always been covered. The paint is flat, not shiny. The color is kind of an olive drab. My opinion is that the color was originally green, much like the the original color on the cut away engine at The Henry Ford Museum. It might have been a dark gray also. Further, this car has an excellent original body with all original wood. The doors shut nicely and it had the original top on it when I bought it in 1964. I doubt that it ever sat out in the weather. This car also has the "HP" code body number stamped in the wood between the hand brake lever and the drivers door.

This indicates, at least for 1927 cars, that not all Fordors with maroon stripe upholstery had maroon painted bodies. Of course, there all kinds of hypotheses that Ford ran out of that color paint or parts and used something else that was available, and that different parts, or colors were sometimes used at the assembly plants located away from Dearborn. We've all heard those stories and can't say that they are right or wrong.

In summary, the analysis given here is my opinion based on the solid original condition of my '27 Fordor.

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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by TBill » Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:23 am

Bare metal under the red on my Fordor.

Maybe that’s what maroon looks like after 93 years?

Seats are gray with red pin stripes.

THANKS ALL!!!

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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Matt in California » Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:16 pm

Thanks all for your thoughts. I don't really know much about model Ts and feel like I learn something everyday.

Bruces Encyclopedia on the MTFCA for the 1926-1927 improved models (https://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/1926-27H.htm) states a lot about the colors including:

"COLORS
After the initial announcement in which the Fordor Sedan was shown as being Windsor Maroon, the Tudor and Coupe as being Channel Green, and the open cars as being black, a number of changes occurred.

Existing samples of 1926 models, which appear to be original, seem to indicate that in spite of the colors listed for the closed cars, all body types also appeared in black in early production.

By mid-1926 the Fordor Sedan color was listed as “Moleskin” which should be a gray. By the fall of 1926 (1927 models?), all closed cars were apparently painted in a choice of three colors: Royal Maroon, Highland Green and Fawn Gray. Whether the “Windsor” and “Royal” maroons were alike; the “Channel” and “Highland” greens were alike; or the “Moleskin” and “Fawn Gray” were alike is open for question but evidence seems to indicate they were not. The differences may have been due to the different paints used. The 1926 cars were initially painted in enamel, but later production used the new Pyroxylin paint.

...

Apparently the Pyroxylin paints were introduced after the initial introduction of the 1926 cars. The “enamel” colors listed in the Ford Parts List concur with the colors in the introductory line folders. It would appear that at the time the Pyroxylin paints were used in place of the enamels, the Fordor Sedan body color became Moleskin (gray) and that after a time all the closed cars could be had in a choice of colors (maroon, gray or green). The actual dates of the changes are not known but it seems the Pyroxylin finish became available during 1926, and that the three-color option came in the fall of 1926 (1927 models). Further study seems to indicate that the open cars were all black until late 1926 when black was dropped in favor of the Gunmetal Blue and the Phoenix Brown options."

Perhaps I am reading what is state above wrong, but Bruce seems to suggest the following:
  • Early (1926) cars were all painted black.
  • Soon after the improved cars were painted as follows: Fordor Sedan - Windsor Maroon, the Tudor and Coupe - Channel Green, and the open cars black.
  • Then the Fordor Sedan body color became Moleskin (gray).
  • Then after a time all the closed cars could be had in a choice of colors (maroon, gray or green).
  • And finally he notes "Further study seems to indicate that the open cars were all black until late 1926 when black was dropped in favor of the Gunmetal Blue and the Phoenix Brown options."
This seems to indicate that Keith's green was an option for an original color. I don't know if Bruce is covering it, it would be interesting to find out if the brighter red that Bill believes is original was the newer "Pyroxylin" paint.

In short it seems like Bruce is saying a 1926/27 Fordor originally could have been: Black, Windsor Maroon, Channel Green, Moleskin Gray, Royal Maroon, Highland Green or Fawn Gray!

This is not a new conversation. Here one earlier conversation on the subject: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/118802/123150.html

Thanks in advance for your insight!

Matt


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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by jiminbartow » Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:25 pm

Matt. The most important thing to Henry Ford was to keep the 24 hr. assembly line moving, no matter what. I doubt if anything was as important as that, including the colors of the cars. Regardless of the color, I’m sure a buyer could be found even for a black 1926 Fordor if they treated it as a special order. People were accustomed to black T’s anyway, so it would not have been a big deal.

I can envision a scenario whereby in the early months of tooling up for the improved Model T’s in 1926, glitches could have occurred in late deliveries, under-ordering or insufficient production by paint suppliers, which could have resulted in insufficient inventories of Windsor Maroon for the Fordors or Channel Green for Coupes and Tudors. In order to prevent a shut down of the line, they most likely sent a runner with a wagon to obtain black paint from another line and paint the cars the incorrect color until inventories were replenished the following day after an emergency call to the paint suppliers.

The procurement department may have gotten into trouble for not ordering enough paint that week but it would not have incurred the attention and wrath of Henry Ford such as would have occurred had they shut down the line to await the delivery of the correct color.

Even with the above scenarios, which are the unintended consequences of poor planning that resulted in exceptions to the rule, I still feel like all 1926-27 Fordors should be painted Maroon, because that was the intention of Ford, regardless of the circumstances that may have led to few Fordors being painted black, or green, or whatever color they had on hand to get past a temporary emergency. Jim Patrick


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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by TBill » Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:32 am

According to matching serial numbers on the engine and frame my Fordor was built during the first half of February 1926, and according to the number on the body floor frame it came from Highland Park.

The seats are gray with red pin stripes.

I will paint the body “maroon” with black fenders.

Thanks again!!!

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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Matt in California » Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:14 pm

I found this interesting example of advertising from Ford: https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre ... 3300335299

Note it shows the following:
Fordor: Green
Tudor: Gray
Coupe: Maroon
Touring: Green (or perhaps Blue)
Roadster: Brown


If you were a dealer and wanted every model in every color in 1927 you would need a good size lot!

If anyone else has examples of these later Model T color scheme from Ford advertising please post them here. This is only example I found.

Matt


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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by jiminbartow » Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:22 pm

Interesting. I would be interested in seeing the upholstery in the cars in this brochure to see if the stripes matched the exterior body colors. I’ll bet that they did. Jim Patrick

PS. Instead of photographs, the cars in this brochure are artist renditions, so it is possible the artist misunderstood the instructions and reversed the colors on the coupe and Fordor.

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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by DanTreace » Wed Dec 11, 2019 9:18 pm

Matt


Have an original of that brochure, and it is fun to see the colorized Ford, unfortunately no closeup of any interiors.

Scan0653.JPG

And for historical records, seems the lacquer finish began on Tudors and Coupes, perhaps first, in July of 1926 and with the finish being dull, without gloss rubout.
IMG_5268 (680x632) (2) (650x604).jpg
Scan0337.JPG
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Re: Just bought a 1926 unmolested Fordor Body

Post by Matt in California » Fri Dec 13, 2019 12:39 am

Dan,
Thanks for posting those photos! I agree it is fun to see the colorized Ford. Your brochure is clearly different than the one on eBay as the photos don't match the colors I mentioned above. If anyone has a brochure like the one on eBay please post higher quality photos.

The following is in the text on the brochure found on eBay:
All Ford Cars
Now in Attractive Colors

Other Improved Features


With the new Pyroxylin finish, Ford cars now come in five pleasing and distinctive colors.

You may have your choice of Fawn Gray, Highland Green or Royal Maroon, with nickeled radiator shell for any of the closed cars, while either Gun metal Blue or Phoenix Brown is available for the Touring car and Runabout. All colors are attractively accentuated by body striping of contrasting shades.

While you will be pleased with these new colors, there are also many other improvements to consider, not only because they make the Ford car a better value than ever before, but because they contributed much to safety, comfort and performance thoroughly in keeping with present-day motoring requirements.

The all-steel bodies are roomy, comfortable and safe, while balloon tires improve the riding qualities. Increased gasoline mileage, smoother engine operation, more power and other advantages are ??? through the use of the new carburetor vaporizer.

...

Ford Motor Company
Detroit, MICH
Note how this supports Bruce's assertion (see encyclopedia: https://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/1926-27H.htm)

  • That any of the closed cars came in the choice of Fawn Gray, Highland Green or Royal Maroon.
  • While the Touring and Runabout came in either Gun metal Blue or Phoenix Brown.


Thanks for your responses!

Matt

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