What year do you call your Model T ?

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bdtutton
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What year do you call your Model T ?

Post by bdtutton » Tue Apr 20, 2021 5:05 pm

Question....
I purchased a Model T that was built in October of 1913 and it is titled as a 1913 car, but that is the same month they started the 1914 body style.
.
If it was your car and someone came up to you in the parking lot and asked what year your car was, would you go by year of manufacture or body style? If you read Michigan law related to the use of authentic plates you can only use a plate from the year the car was manufactured. So, according to the state of Michigan the car would require a 1913 license plate. So, do I go by the year of the car or the body style? Most people can't tell if it is a Model T or Model A so I am leaning towards using the year of manufacture.
.
What do you think?
.


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Re: What year do you call your Model T ?

Post by Erik Johnson » Tue Apr 20, 2021 5:21 pm

It's a 1914 Model T Ford as shown in your photo on the other thread.

It's generally accepted that the 1914 Ford model year is from August 1913 and at least through December 1914 and possibly into January 1915.

In the U.S., vehicles are described by model year, not the date of manufacture. The model year, "1914," is an adjective, not a specific point in time.

Manufacturers determined and assign model years to the vehicles they produce, not state government agencies such as the DMV.

If your car was registered in 1913, the first plate on the car would have been a 1913 plate, even though it is a 1914 model.

As far as current registration using "year of manufacture" plates are concerned, you would need to see if "year of manufacture" refers to calendar year or model year in the respective state's statute. Each state is different so it could be one or the other or both depending on the state.
Last edited by Erik Johnson on Tue Apr 20, 2021 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: What year do you call your Model T ?

Post by John Codman » Tue Apr 20, 2021 5:25 pm

1927. Frame and engine numbers match.

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Re: What year do you call your Model T ?

Post by Charlie_26_TT_Ccab » Tue Apr 20, 2021 5:35 pm

April of 1926 manufacturing date with matching engine and frame numbers, not wanting to add to the confusion. But, licensed as a 1927 due the year in which California DMV says it was first sold. So in Califusion manufacture and model dates don’t always mean what they should.


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Re: What year do you call your Model T ?

Post by ModelT46 » Tue Apr 20, 2021 5:47 pm

I always have gone by the Ford listing model year, the exceptiopn might be the 1914 style open Model Ts which where made in to 1915. I believe that the open Ts were made into February. The open style bodies were not ready well into 1915. The closed Ts for the 1915 model year were introduced and manufactured in later 1914, perhaps as early as September 1914. An example of an misdated Model T is the 1910 Touring sold as an 1909 recently. It was correctly restored as a 1910 Model, which it was. If I owned that T and was in Micigan. I would put 1910 plates on it, but not register it as a 1910. I would put the proper Michigan plate on the rear and a 1910 Michigan plate on the front. Here in Minnesota, if you use an original plate to register the car, the plate must have a letter on it as original. The 1909 -1920 Minnesota plates did not have a letter as part of the plate number. In Minnesota, it is legal to use only one plate and that must be on the rea of the car. On my 1910 I can put a current legal Pioneer plate on the rear and an original 1910 plate on the front.

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Re: What year do you call your Model T ?

Post by RajoRacer » Tue Apr 20, 2021 5:48 pm

We have an October 1913 block in our 1914 Touring - it came with it new !

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Re: What year do you call your Model T ?

Post by Mark Gregush » Tue Apr 20, 2021 7:37 pm

I call mine a 1925 because that is what the serial number is along with the rest of it. :D The one in my avatar.
I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :shock:

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Re: What year do you call your Model T ?

Post by tommyleea » Tue Apr 20, 2021 8:02 pm

I wouldn't mess with the title, thank God you have one. In the parking lot you can have a good conversation about a 100+ year old car.


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Re: What year do you call your Model T ?

Post by DHort » Tue Apr 20, 2021 9:43 pm

13 and 14 have different bodies. If you have a 13 body, call it a 13, regardless of what the title says.


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Re: What year do you call your Model T ?

Post by bdtutton » Tue Apr 20, 2021 10:03 pm

I have looked at the rules for several states and most seem to favor having an authentic plate matching the model year of the vehicle and not the actual year of manufacture or first registration. The exception is Michigan, it clearly states the authentic plate must match the year of manufacture.
.
Sorry if some of my questions seem a little odd. This is my first model T and I just acquired it over the weekend. So it seems that according to the state of Michigan and the title I have a 1913, but it is a 1914 body style and I think I will just refer to it as a 1914 built in 13 if someone asks. I want to have unrestricted driving so I plan to stay away from an "authentic" historical plate, but I may get a personalized one that says "SLOW".
.
I guess I still wonder about the people who have a 1915 Model T with a 1920 block. How does each state handle it? Do you need to get a special exception to the title?
.

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Re: What year do you call your Model T ?

Post by Steve Jelf » Tue Apr 20, 2021 10:25 pm

When you register or title a T, just tell the DMV the model year. The law is called Year of Manufacture, but they don't know the difference. They don't know what the serial number means. Don't confuse them with details. If it's a 1914 model, call it a 1914. It will be registered as what it is, a 1914, and you can use 1914 plates for the YOM registration. Lord knows there are plenty of these cars titled and registered two or three years wrong because the owner is confused and nobody at the DMV knows any better. You might as well get yours right. Leave the actual assembly date for car show conversation.
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Re: What year do you call your Model T ?

Post by Erik Johnson » Tue Apr 20, 2021 10:33 pm

The manufacturer determines the model year of a vehicle, not the DMV.

There may be a number of reasons why the model year is incorrect on a title: ignorance of the person who originally applied for the title, intentional misrepresentation of the model year by the applicant, clerical error, etc.

I looked at some examples of Michigan titles online. They simply state "year" which I presume is the model year, not the year of manufacture, as model year is how vehicles referred to in the U.S.

I also looked up the Michigan application for motor vehicle title which has a spot for "year" which, again, I believe refers to the model year as that is how vehicles are referred to in the U.S.

I looked up the MIchigan application for historical vehicle license plate including registration of an "authentic" plate. There is a spot for "vehicle year" which I would presume to be the model year, not the year of manufacture.

https://www.michigan.gov/documents/hplate_16252_7.pdf

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Re: What year do you call your Model T ?

Post by Steve Jelf » Tue Apr 20, 2021 11:55 pm

I looked up...

Well, that's a novel approach. :D
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Re: What year do you call your Model T ?

Post by Wayne Sheldon » Wed Apr 21, 2021 1:43 am

Bryan T,
A couple misconceptions you should be made aware of.
The 'true 1913' touring car body had a flaw in the design. When the earliest ones were only a couple months old, the rear sections were already beginning to sag, and would sometimes, even at the low speeds common in those days, on bumps allow the rear doors to pop open. Ford had the dealers recall the cars, and tried several 'fixes', both on the cars already sold, and the ones in the assembly lines. They tried a slightly heavier sill, steel brackets added in, and even for a short time adding in an additional pair of body mount brackets to the frame rails to add another pair of bolts to hold the body down and straight.
All of the 'fixes' were somewhat insufficient. So, Ford rushed the design and implementation of the '1914 style' touring car body whose new door design allowed for better stronger sills. The 1914 style touring car bodies began showing up by early July 1913, nearly two months earlier than they likely would have been had the 1913 style been satisfactory.
Earlier style touring car bodies already in the supply chain were used. However, as the newer ordered newer style bodies became available, they were also used. So both styles were being installed by the factory for probably at least two months. A lot of 1914 'style' touring cars had 1913 calendar year engines and completion dates (generally accepted as the engine's serial number date in spite of the fact that they are not necessarily the same).

Ford, throughout the entire model T production, has a lot of confusion around the 'year' of the cars. Between 'model' years, and 'style' years, and 'fiscal' years, and differences between highland park and branch assembly plants and different body styles changing model years at different times of the year? It is a wonder anyone can make any sense of any of it.
The 1914 and 1915 years are possibly the most confused, closely followed by the 1923 and 1924 changes. The 1914 open body style went for more than a year and a half!!! And this is with significant changes between the years, not like a 1921 and a 1922 where except for a few subtle details are nearly identical. Similar between 1924 and 1925 open cars, a subtle change in the door hinges, some hidden structural changes inside the cowl, and a different light (window) in the rear curtain, otherwise nearly identical. The 1913 and 1914 look almost the same from a hundred feet away, but up close the doors and a few other details are significantly different. And the 1915, although roughly similar, can be spotted from a 1914 from a hundred feet.

However, the 1915's difference was also its problem. The prototypes were completed summer of 1914, but when they attempted production, the new cowl became a serious problem that took a few months to iron out. Ford couldn't simply not manufacture and sell a quarter million cars? So they continued to order the successful 1914 style open bodies and install and sell them.
As previously said, the closed bodies for 1915 began production and sales by October (some say September?) 1914. However, only a proverbial handful of 1915 style runabouts were produced in December of 1914 (would you believe less than FIFTY?). Production of the 1915 style open cars improved only a little bit in January of 1915. As production of the new style increased slowly each month, production of the 1914 styles was cut back. Records are not really specific about how many of which when or where? However, it is known that some 1914 open style cars were leaving the assembly plants at least through April of 1915. Just over eighteen months! Is it any wonder there are so many surviving 1914s? Of course, we also do need to remember that for about six of those months, the 1914 style was built alongside the earlier and/or later styles at the same time. No wonder we get confused.


A lot of people get too worked up over what some cars are called.
While your October 1913 built model T is technically a 1914 model year? It could have originally been called either one. I think you should take good care of the car, and enjoy it a lot!
If it were me? I would call it an 'early' 1914. At least it wasn't manufactured in 1915? Actually, I wish I had a late 1914 built in 1915 car! I would HAVE to call it a 1915 just to mess with people.

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Re: What year do you call your Model T ?

Post by TRDxB2 » Wed Apr 21, 2021 1:57 am

bdtutton wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 5:05 pm
Question....
I purchased a Model T that was built in October of 1913 and it is titled as a 1913 car, but that is the same month they started the 1914 body style.
.
If it was your car and someone came up to you in the parking lot and asked what year your car was, would you go by year of manufacture or body style? If you read Michigan law related to the use of authentic plates you can only use a plate from the year the car was manufactured. So, according to the state of Michigan the car would require a 1913 license plate. So, do I go by the year of the car or the body style? Most people can't tell if it is a Model T or Model A so I am leaning towards using the year of manufacture.
.
What do you think?
.
If that person in the parking lot is wearing a badge I would say whatever is on the title. Otherwise whatever I claim is good enough for them.
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Re: What year do you call your Model T ?

Post by kmatt2 » Wed Apr 21, 2021 2:14 am

Many years ago I was tour leader on a Model T club tour in Orange County California. I noticed that on the tour there was a 1926 style T pickup with the red background and white numbered California horseless carriage plates on it. In California those plates are for use on a cars made before the end of 1922. Cars 25 years or older back to the beginning of 1923 can use California historical vehicle plates that are white background and red numbers. I asked the owner of the 1926 how he got the horseless carriage plates for his car. When he put together his pickup he used a 1918 engine he had that had the bigger Fordson tractor valves installed in it because he wanted to go a little faster. He had no paper work on the car but applied for a title and the white plates for his 1926 and had the DMV verify the VIN on the engine, a 1918 number. When he got back the California title and plates, they were the red plates. There was a note from the DMV saying that California records show that his cars VIN is 1918 and there for the State has issued it the proper Horseless carriage plates not the incorrect historical vehicle plates. He said to me, " Who was he to question the State of California".
I never asked what the frame number on his pickup was. I guess that at that DMV office back in the 1980's they used engine number for car's year.


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Re: What year do you call your Model T ?

Post by Alan Long » Wed Apr 21, 2021 7:11 am

Well this is a Hot topic. I have a November 1910 stamped Engine (33435) and naturally I go by that as the year of the car. Other documents from Ford agree.
I don’t believe in this “Model Year” stuff. If the engine was in a vehicle and was mobile out the factory door (even on December 30th) that is the year of manufacture. No dispute even though the Sales Guys would like to call it 1911
I have a Lawn Mower that we bought my Dad for Fathers Day in September 1962 and it has 1963 embossed in the main frame so
that trend continued with American stuff even then. Just my thoughts.
Alan in Western Australia

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Re: What year do you call your Model T ?

Post by Susanne » Wed Apr 21, 2021 11:58 am

Here's where it gets fun. The MOTOR in the car dates it to December 1915 (a day shy of car 1,000,000)... so people say automatically it's a '16... EXCEPT... the body number dates it to Mid-August 1915... so it's a '15. And the accessories on the car come from the 20's... and that's fine. It's not a restored museum queen, it's a famly car that is as we got it, and have no real intent on changing it... too much, anyway! --grins--

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Re: What year do you call your Model T ?

Post by Steve Jelf » Wed Apr 21, 2021 12:08 pm

I don’t believe in this “Model Year” stuff.

Henry did. The T's made in 1908 were sold as 1909 models. It's still that way. If I buy a new car next October, it will be a 2022 model, not 2021. If you're old enough to remember the fifties, when people cared about such things, you'll recall that there was much excitement and hoopla when next year's models came out in the fall.
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Re: What year do you call your Model T ?

Post by Jerry VanOoteghem » Wed Apr 21, 2021 12:59 pm

bdtutton wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 10:03 pm
I have looked at the rules for several states and most seem to favor having an authentic plate matching the model year of the vehicle and not the actual year of manufacture or first registration. The exception is Michigan, it clearly states the authentic plate must match the year of manufacture.
.
Sorry if some of my questions seem a little odd. This is my first model T and I just acquired it over the weekend. So it seems that according to the state of Michigan and the title I have a 1913, but it is a 1914 body style and I think I will just refer to it as a 1914 built in 13 if someone asks. I want to have unrestricted driving so I plan to stay away from an "authentic" historical plate, but I may get a personalized one that says "SLOW".
.
I guess I still wonder about the people who have a 1915 Model T with a 1920 block. How does each state handle it? Do you need to get a special exception to the title?
.
As others have stated, be glad you have a clear title. Let the state think whatever they want about the year of manufacture. Getting into that with them will open up a can of worms. Don't complain, don't explain. Or, as Steve Jelf advised, "Don't confuse them with details." When someone asks what year it is, "1914" is a great answer.


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Re: What year do you call your Model T ?

Post by dmdeaton » Wed Apr 21, 2021 1:06 pm

26/27 because it's a mutt. :D

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Re: What year do you call your Model T ?

Post by TRDxB2 » Wed Apr 21, 2021 1:52 pm

If you were to ask me what Make/Model/Year my car is I'll say its a 1919 Model T Speedster with some 1926 parts. If you really want to know and we have the time I'd tell you the following story.....

"Many years ago I purchased a rolling chassis, engine, fenders etc.. everything except the upper body and a bill of sale for the purchase of 1919 Model T Roadster with the intention of building a period correct looking speedster using the popular speedster kit. Time has gone by and an additional goal has been added, I now want to learn some metal fabrication so I am building my own body. I sold about everything from the original purchase (kept the front axle, rear axle and chassis). I have upgraded the front axle dropped it with a bracket & '26 spindles and it has '26 perches, spring, and wire wheel hubs; the rear axle housing is a large '26 drum: the differential (rebuilt), drive shaft (rebuilt) etc are still 1919 but will have wire wheel hubs; bottom leaf spring is reverse eyed; the engine/transmission is a '26 rebuilt with aluminum pistons and has an American Bosch distributor, no magneto gear. The firewall & hood are high 1925 with a Berg radiator and high '26 shell; the dash is from a 1926 Dodge with a REO speedometer. Original wire wheels with Goodyear 450/21 balloon tires. It also has pancake style Hassler shocks all around and vintage front radius bars. I'm in the process learning metal fabrication and building a boat tail body to achieve my goal. I will eventually put a tag on the frame with the vehicle identification number that is on the title. i have both a 1919 (rusty) and 1926 (refurbished) vintage plates. likely will use the 1919 rusty or refurbished depends on the outcome of the body. As I said from the beginning: my goal is to build a period correct looking speedster: one that would not look too much out at of place next to a group of originals."

And now that you know are you sorry you asked? :lol:
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Re: What year do you call your Model T ?

Post by jiminbartow » Wed Apr 21, 2021 2:28 pm

My Fordor was manufactured in February, 1926, according to the matching engine and chassis numbers. My coupe was manufactured in March, 1926 according to the matching engine and chassis numbers. Jim Patrick
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Re: What year do you call your Model T ?

Post by Wayne Sheldon » Wed Apr 21, 2021 4:40 pm

Automobile manufacturers have been putting out next year's model going back before Henry introduced the model T. While early advertising often doesn't say so, manufacturer's records that still exist sometimes do. This has been a real headache for the HCCA (Horseless Carriage Club of America) for seventy years! And it turns out, that 1915, the year they chose to cutoff as 'Horseless Carriage' was one of the worst years. Due to the war already begun in Europe, material shortages were already becoming a problem by the start of 1915. Manufacturers feared material shortages and restrictions that were expected. Numerous major producers of automobiles in the US had short 1915 model years with 1916 models being brought out as early as June of 1915. Experts I have spoken with over the years often mention REO and Hudson as having the 1916 models out in June of 1915, and Overland shortly after. One of the worst (?) offenders was Studebaker. I had one! And their little brouhaha was well documented.
Like most automobile manufacturers of the day, like Ford, automotive technology was changing very fast! Refining the designs was an ongoing everyday project, and MOST manufacturers would bring out updated models when they were ready, not necessarily at 'model change time'. Most of Ford's pre-T alphabet cars actually debuted late, often around May or June of the 'year model' (that being notably true for the 1903 model A, and models K and N for 1906). The model T was originally teased to be available in 1907. But as Henry kept improving the designs of all the parts, it got pushed back and back. The improved model S roadster was brought out for 1908 to fill the gap caused by the model T's delays. Eventually, The model T hit the streets late enough in 1908 that Ford did in fact call it a 1909 model!
Studebaker, however, beat them all with an out-of-year model! And oboy did it and does it still today cause the HCCA problems. With the fears of shortages from the European war, as I said, a lot of automobile manufacturers brought out their 1916 models in May or June of 1915. Part of this was a marketing ploy. Not only manufacturers, but people in general feared the repercussions of the war. Manufacturers decided to sell cars 'NOW' by bringing out next year's model early. 'Buy it now' so that if there is a shortage next year, you will already have 'next year's' car and may continue to drive the later current model happily though the expected shortages. Really silly in reality, however, marketing has never really been well grounded in reality. And, it worked. Many people did buy the new 1916 models! They sold a lot of them (which for many years now has made it difficult for the HCCA cutoff year!).
So, in May of 1915, Studebaker is manufacturing the 1916 model. Advertised as the 1916 model. Yet, they continue to make design improvements, including some style changes. So, in December of 1915, Studebaker stops manufacturing the 1916 model, and begins manufacturing the next next year's model! WELL! Studebaker's marketing can't even call it a 1917 already. So Studebaker sends letters to all the dealers, and places announcements in the trade magazines, that Studebaker will no longer use 'year model' designations! They will henceforth use a 'series' designation! The '1916' model cars, retroactively (officially in January of 1916), are no longer to be called '1916s'! They are to be referred to as 'series 16' cars! December 28, 1915, Studebaker unveils the new series 17.
The upshot of all this? For Studebaker, All the 1916 model automobiles were built during calendar year 1915! NONE! I and Studebaker experts say NONE of the 1916 model cars were built in calendar year 1916!

From about 1950, to about 1990, once about every ten years, there has been a big battle in the HCCA over the cutoff definition. Around 1970, I had a good friend with a series 16 Studebaker. He wound up in the middle of that fight at that time. Not just Studebaker owners, but also Hudsons and REOs and Dodges and a dozen others. At least a hundred club members resigned either because they hated the fight over it, or some members telling them they had to because THEIR car didn't qualify! Can you imagine the anger of a Studebaker or Hudson owner being told their car manufactured in July of 1915 didn't qualify (because it had originally been sold as a 1916 model?) but some fellow's model T built four months later does qualify? It happened, to a lot of people, and I knew several of them.
Fortunately, the HCCA fairly well resolved that issue about 1990. Although there are still a lot of people not happy about the solution.

Nothing new about model year and calendar year not aligning together. Been that way since the beginning of the industry.
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Re: What year do you call your Model T ?

Post by 26rdstrpickup » Wed Apr 21, 2021 5:40 pm

50 years ago give or take a few, I started gathering parts for my first model T. When I got it together and running it had a 22 engine, 26 frame and rear end, 25 front end assembly, 23 low steel firewall, low radiator, a round gas tank, 26 wire wheels, and about a 15 coilbox with the switch on it. That was my go kart. I would sit on the gas tank and hold on for dear life as I rode around the field out back. Think what a nightmare that would be to title .... guess you could call it what you wanted to.

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Re: What year do you call your Model T ?

Post by TRDxB2 » Wed Apr 21, 2021 6:59 pm

Can someone explain when Date of Manufacture has more significance over Model Year. Is this just a one-upmanship for the Brass T owners?. Its likely that many 1916 Model Year T were manufactured in 1915 -- so what?
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Re: What year do you call your Model T ?

Post by kmatt2 » Wed Apr 21, 2021 7:32 pm

I remember reading a copy of the Ford service bulletins to the dealers from the early 1920's. Ford was telling the dealers not to let the salesmen tell customers to buy the new Ford with the highest engine number because it was the newest one off the line. Ford told dealers that engines were used in production as needed and not in numerical order plus branches got engines in large shipments. Ford said that two cars made on the same day, one at Highland Park and one at a branch could have engine numbers tens of thousands diffrent and if made at the same plant on the same day could be many thousands diffrent. Of course with Ford's production numbers this would happen but the fact that Ford saw it necessary to tell this to the dealers must mean that the higher engine number thing must have caused some problems for some dealers selling cars.


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Re: What year do you call your Model T ?

Post by kmatt2 » Wed Apr 21, 2021 7:33 pm

Darn double post.


Burger in Spokane
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Re: What year do you call your Model T ?

Post by Burger in Spokane » Wed Apr 21, 2021 11:33 pm

After being asked if I am the original owner (more than once), I came to realize
that few people alive today have a clue. Resultantly, I have taken to testing this
by telling people my truck is all sorts of absurd things. 1971, 1820, ... One lady
didn't bat an eye when I told her that Abe Lincoln was the original owner.
More people are doing it today than ever before !

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Steve Jelf
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Re: What year do you call your Model T ?

Post by Steve Jelf » Thu Apr 22, 2021 12:20 am

Its likely that many 1916 Model Year T were manufactured in 1915...

Only 171,799. :D
The inevitable often happens.
1915 Runabout
1923 Touring


jiminbartow
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Re: What year do you call your Model T ?

Post by jiminbartow » Thu Apr 22, 2021 10:32 am

Thank you Wayne. When it comes to the Model T, you are a fountain of knowledge. I stand corrected. Since some of my post was wrong, to avoid passing on erroneous information, I have revised it by removing the incorrect portions. Thanks again for setting me straight. Jim Patrick


Wayne Sheldon
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Re: What year do you call your Model T ?

Post by Wayne Sheldon » Thu Apr 22, 2021 5:19 pm

No worries Jim P. Some silly reason my mind just seeks out history and relationships. I have been studying and refining what I think I know for a long time now. I edited out my opening statement as well. We can leave these two posts and make people wonder for years "What the blazes they talking about?"
Or not?


jiminbartow
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Re: What year do you call your Model T ?

Post by jiminbartow » Thu Apr 22, 2021 5:30 pm

LOL! I was thinking that same thing. I, too like history and dates. Always have. When my wife and I watch a history based movie, I’m sure she tires of my critiques of the movie and what really happened, how it happened and when, but she loves me anyway...so I’m told. Jim Patrick


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Re: What year do you call your Model T ?

Post by Mark Osterman » Thu Apr 22, 2021 7:38 pm

My 1923 runabout had an engine serial # that placed it to July 9th 1923. This was an interesting year that included starting with a low wood fire wall to low pressed steel and eventually high pressed steel fire wall. Along with these changes there was naturally the hood, radiator and cowl changes. I have always called mine a 1923 since it has a low steel firewall, radiator, hood and cowl.


John Codman
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Re: What year do you call your Model T ?

Post by John Codman » Fri Apr 23, 2021 4:12 pm

Here in Florida, they asked for the serial number of my T. They immediately entered the year as 1927 and came up with a weight for the car (Florida has a tax based on weight). I guess some states know the engine numbers of a T.

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