Martin-Parry body thread

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Dropacent
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Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Dropacent » Sun Jun 06, 2021 1:07 pm

I would hope this thread will aid in restoring or maintaining Martin-Parry vehicles.
Aftermarket bodies , particularly for Ford chassis were very prevalent and popular almost from the start. Specialty body companies offered delivery bodies starting with the 1903 model A Ford. Most if not all were pretty small concerns, located in busy urban areas and some even one-off. Towards the late teens, several companies really took off. I don’t want to throw names out as I’ll forget some, and there are a lot. Two of the largest, Parry , and Martin joined together and became the largest, Martin-Parry. If you want to learn the entire interesting history, go to Ben Purkey’s great website , Martin-Parry.com . Ben is a retired school teacher, and divides his time between the PNW and Mexico now. Ben started the website as he was restoring a very rare Martin-Parry bodied model A Ford station wagon. He has even visited with relatives of the original family’s and they have shared much original archival info to his website,
M-P saw the handwriting on the wall when Ford, for the first time ( if you don’t count the 1912-3 delivery bodies) entered the custom wood body business with the December 1928 introduction of their own station wagon. M-P soon afterwards sold out their body building business to General Motors, with it being renamed Chevrolet Body Division. I believe Martin-Parry continued on with their metal cabinet and storage unit business way up into the 1940s
With a Martin-Parry body, you were guaranteed a lightweight durable body. All were extremely well built. If you look at the catalogs on Bens site, you will see the combinations were just about endless. You would start with a T or TT platform and pretty much pick and choose how you wanted the body to look. They would be made with regional woods available close to several manufacturing plants, and be sent on to the dealer or buyer to bolt together and install on mainly Ford supplied chassis. ( also some Chevrolet, Overland and a couple others)
There are several people amongst us right now with the start of great body projects, and hopefully they can share details, drawings , questions and comments here that will be helpful to get some more M-P vehicles on the road.
I believe a lot of us followed in great interest Dallas Lander’s recent revival of his beautiful M-P truck, and has inspired me to help get some more projects moving. Get to it!


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Caswell » Sun Jun 06, 2021 1:25 pm

Removed post so as not to offend or cause distress Allan, cedar is not a good wood to use, got it. I do have it without knots along with red oak and poplar. I was interested in Express or Huckster bodies in general, I do not have a Martin-Perry body so I will just read thread and refrain from comment :roll: .
Last edited by Caswell on Thu Jun 10, 2021 1:10 pm, edited 4 times in total.


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Dallas Landers » Sun Jun 06, 2021 1:49 pm

That is very nice looking wood. My opinion on this is cedar is very weather resistant but too soft to hold screws and will split easily. Mortis and tenon joints are very important in the construction as well as fastener placement in these joints. As I built mine using an original cab as a pattern, I noticed these joints were very tight and used one fasterner ( screw ) in the center of the joint. I think the reason was so as the frame and body flex these joints could pivot on the screw and not split the wood.

The modern way is to glue the joints. This is fine for a piece of funiture that gets little abuse. These bodies are bounced and flexed hundreds of times on each drive. I am still amazed that the doors on my truck are as tight as the day I put it together. The 1st time I drove it from the shop out into my pasture for a photo, I thought it was falling apart as I drove into the field. It popped and cracked everywhere. It was just breaking the paint at the joints. I used Poplar which is what my original was made of. Poplar is a hardwood that will hold paint very well and has a fine grain. It is what was used for wood siding on houses in the late 19th and early 20th century in my area.

Great Idea Tim. Hope others will chime in.


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Caswell » Sun Jun 06, 2021 1:59 pm

Thanks for the reply,
Last edited by Caswell on Thu Jun 10, 2021 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Dallas Landers » Sun Jun 06, 2021 2:06 pm

I used Ash for the main runners under the bed. Very strong and light weight.

Dean, that would be another level of cool to cut and mill your own trees and build a body.


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by dmdeaton » Sun Jun 06, 2021 2:30 pm

I am here, thanks for starting this thread Tim. I am trying to get my roadster pickup running. Then gathering parts to start on a wood body. I will try and document as much as I can. I got the bug when we drove up to Maine to pick up my Speedster body from Dave Currier last year. He impressed me with his stable of wood bodies and his picture book of all his past sales. I don't know how accurate his bodies are, but he builds them light, and they look good. I only had a couple hours to talk to him. But this sparked my interest in these bodies. I am also a military geek, and was hankering to build a M1917 ambulance. Did MP make any military bodies? I would speculate they would be peacetime contracts, as WWI was over.


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by dmdeaton » Sun Jun 06, 2021 2:39 pm

FD644E6D-5791-45D2-BB6F-339A40A73832.jpeg
FD5FE418-856B-4D43-AD27-2070468753DA.jpeg
I built a bed from the old popular mechanics magazine article that is online.


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by dmdeaton » Sun Jun 06, 2021 2:42 pm

E9E0CEAE-BCD3-4339-B3A9-C5FF8C61E79D.jpeg
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D036F0BA-58B7-45C2-858B-03D667C92F36.jpeg
01576D7C-C719-4FF4-9916-57BEAC11F34B.jpeg
A few shots of what Dave was working on, again I don’t know what his bodies are a copy of
Last edited by dmdeaton on Sun Jun 06, 2021 10:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Caswell » Sun Jun 06, 2021 3:19 pm

Dallas Landers wrote:
Sun Jun 06, 2021 2:06 pm
I used Ash for the main runners under the bed. Very strong and light weight.

Dean, that would be another level of cool to cut and mill your own trees and build a body.
Ash looks to be the go to for sub frame/runners, as far as milling my wood the neighbor behind me (1/4 mile) milled oak that fell on his property a few months ago after a storm, he then used it to make some 12 foot wagons he pulls behind a tractor on his produce farm, I'm sure I can work something with him if I go that route.

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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Will_Vanderburg » Sun Jun 06, 2021 3:27 pm

I have a set of plans somewhere that resemble this last body. I cannot for the life of me PUT MY HANDS on them. LOL
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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by dmdeaton » Sun Jun 06, 2021 3:31 pm

Will,
You will never find them until you are in the middle of a cleanup. I spend hours looking for things

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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Will_Vanderburg » Sun Jun 06, 2021 3:33 pm

dmdeaton wrote:
Sun Jun 06, 2021 3:31 pm
Will,
You will never find them until you are in the middle of a cleanup. I spend hours looking for things
I'm in the basement going through 30 years of collecting odds and ends. And this one item, I know I have. Somewhere. There was an article included with the plans of a guy who replicated a Coca Cola truck

I even have two pictures of the truck the plans were built for.
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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Will_Vanderburg » Sun Jun 06, 2021 3:36 pm

Here's a pic of the truck I have the plans for. This was taken over 25 years ago.
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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Dropacent » Sun Jun 06, 2021 4:11 pm

As I said, hundreds of different body companies come and gone. Martin-Parry bodywork have very well defined characteristics, so they are easy to identify. Parry is earlier and not as many survivors, obviously. I’ve not seen one in person myself , but I believe there are a couple on the website. I’m hoping we can keep this thread pretty M-P specific, for those that want to restore one accurately. Dave Currier makes great looking stuff, but he’d never make a dime trying to copy a M-P body. That’s a warning ,as they are labors of love. Light, delicate, well joined wood, strong simple ironworks and metal stampings, lots of carriage bolts with a decal to keep the nuts snugged up. Not much glue. They considered cross grain situations extremely well in their design.
Dallas has all the right stuff on wood. I’d add that I’ve had 4 originals now. Still have two. From my observations, the truck cabs were painted and before that the finished panels were run though a big sanding machine. A lot of cross gain sanding happened before they painted them. I restored one wood cab back to original finish and think that’s enough for anyone’s lifetime. Never again, but it wouldn’t be hard to make a new one and then varnish.
Wood choice, I’ve seen maple and ash on the lower sill work, southern yellow pine floors. I’ve never seen anything but yellow pine floors, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t use maple, or similar. So perhaps they always “imported” the pine. On the varnished bodies like the station wagons ; Ash construction with birch or maple plywood panels. I’ve seen 3 ply and also 5 ply. I can share the thickness of the originals and if needed , a neat trick to make them up out of modern material.
For roof structure, I could see cedar being used if they had any southern manufacturing plants. I’ve seen fir for the outside large pieces , poplar or maple for struts and I’ve not seen anything other than poplar ( tulip wood) for the slats. That doesn’t mean they didn’t use other woods, just that I’ve not seen it.


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Dropacent » Sun Jun 06, 2021 4:20 pm

Danny, don’t know about army use. I’d bet if anyone knew , it would be Ben Purkey.


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Dropacent » Sun Jun 06, 2021 5:40 pm

Dallas’s original truck cab sides were poplar. Mine was birch. Both take paint well.


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by dmdeaton » Sun Jun 06, 2021 5:58 pm

Tim
Are you talking the framework or the plywood?
I was downloading the patent pdf’s from the site and printing them off. Making a binder


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Dropacent » Sun Jun 06, 2021 6:01 pm

The woodwork itself. The truck cabs have thin metal panels inserted. They have a stiffening rib on them. I’ll post a picture. They used a pretty thin saw blade to make the groove. I have an old panel here somewhere, when I find it I’ll share the metal thickness.


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Dropacent » Sun Jun 06, 2021 6:11 pm

One of my panels measured .039. That would be 19gauge steel or perhaps 20ga. Kind of in between . You can see the pinstripe location peeking out under the orange it had been painted at one time. Yes, pinstripes on a lowly truck cab!
4AF16E1B-9DC9-4076-88A0-C3E84FAE196A.jpeg
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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Dallas Landers » Sun Jun 06, 2021 6:37 pm

IMG_2418.JPG
IMG_2419.JPG
This is what I started with. I had one side , two doors , one top bow and the cab front.


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Art Ebeling » Sun Jun 06, 2021 6:48 pm

I think this has already been posted on this forum but it is my favorite part of a Martin - Parry body.
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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Dropacent » Sun Jun 06, 2021 6:55 pm

Thanks Art. With Steve Lang’s help, I had some of those decals made up. I will send free to any M-P owner. Tmorsher@icloud.com to get one on the way.


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by dmdeaton » Sun Jun 06, 2021 7:18 pm

What is the top covered with?


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Dropacent » Sun Jun 06, 2021 7:53 pm

I was cleaning out a desk today, and found this. It was a small remnant that came off of a very original T M-P delivery truck I had years ago. It gave me every indication that it was original to the truck as it still had all the special little steel stamped pieces M-P used on the corners, and likely those would have been pitched in time, or just rusted away. So, I have only this example, and it matches perfectly high grade long grain top material. Not the fuzzy back cheapo stuff.
Other original bodies may show something else, but this is what I have found.
99213891-1426-4F82-858B-7838552A106E.jpeg


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by dmdeaton » Sun Jun 06, 2021 8:26 pm

Looks close to Turf Grain on the roadster tops?


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Dropacent » Sun Jun 06, 2021 9:27 pm

An upholsterer or upholstery shop would call it Cobra grain. Any big city should have a shop that can order it for you. Miami Rubber is the big supply house I know of, down your way. Perhaps they would sell direct. It used to be professional shops only , but business has changed a lot since I was in business.
Just stay away from the fuzzy white backed stuff.

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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Henry K. Lee » Sun Jun 06, 2021 10:04 pm

If anyone is wondering why there is a fuzzy style and a clean backing style here it is..., Fuzzy is for gluing to a continuous surface completely like a vinyl top material (weaker) and smooth backing cloth is for stretching (stronger) and attachment on the edges only.

Just Sayin'

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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by dmdeaton » Sun Jun 06, 2021 10:15 pm

Good stuff guys. We can buy from Miami rubber, right up the road


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Dropacent » Sun Jun 06, 2021 10:38 pm

That’s correct, Hank, but I’ve never seen fuzzy backed long grain glued down. In the mid 70s I was installing two vinyl tops a day, and ford used a lot of the fuzzy backed stuff. ( glad I didn’t stick with that career ! ) The samples I’ve seen currently have a real ugly rubbery look to them. The cloth backed cobra has a good appearance. Buy from a reputable source, is my only advice.


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by dmdeaton » Mon Jun 07, 2021 7:04 am

I know you told me, but I cannot find it. What year firewall/ hood former?


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Bpurkey » Mon Jun 07, 2021 7:41 am

Danny Deaton asked about military bodies. On the https://www.martin-parry.com/ website there is one submitted that is in US Marine Corp Museum. It can be found on the website by going to the following pages. Car Registry/Car Registry Others.


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Dallas Landers » Mon Jun 07, 2021 7:59 am

This is a great site Ben. Anybody building or restoring a MP body can see alot of detail photos and dealer options.


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by bron-hertford-nc » Mon Jun 07, 2021 10:05 am

My 26 with 24 front end West Hurley NY Fire Dept Support Vehicle with the 25 Martin -Parry TYPE C with Roller Doors is the last one shown in the 24-27 Registry Section of the MP website. Fortunately 99% of all the metal was in good shape to include the patented double action door locks, rollers, rails, and door and side metal panels. So if you have needs in that area contact me. All wood replaced and a lot of oak.
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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by dmdeaton » Mon Jun 07, 2021 11:06 am

Ben,
Thanks for that. It is awesome. I have to get some detailed pics of it. After a station wagon that is on my list.

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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Matt in California » Tue Jun 08, 2021 1:52 am

I am excited to find this M-P thread! For those who have followed they have seen $1000 build: https://mtfca.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php? ... 54#p132954

Here are the M-P parts that I purchased:
71C064FA-C38D-42AC-8D17-97370F7E29A5.jpeg
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Note 1: front fender, hood and splash guard are Ford, but the rear fenders are M-P.
Note 2: the body was cut at bout 12 inches above the bed. The green paint was added, but inside you can see the natural state.

Matt

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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Matt in California » Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:16 am

Here is what my M-P likely originally looked like (162A Six Post Express Top Body):
KIC Document 7-A-1.jpg
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Under the Dealers Catalogs - Early Bodies for Fords (see: https://www.martin-parry.com/early-bodies-for-ford.html), I found this.
Martin Parry 167 Light Open Express Body.JPG
Martin Parry 167 Light Open Express Body.JPG (63.61 KiB) Viewed 1422 times
This supports the idea of putting the body on an earlier car. My thought is on a 1915 to match the engine I am considering using. I didn't get the windshield with the body, but I don't think that is an issue because for the 162A and the 167 that was at an additional cost (a whopping $11.85). So some people must have stuck with their original cowl. Like this example (see http://www.coachbuilt.com/bui/m/martin_ ... _parry.htm):
Brass Martin Parry.jpg
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I think that what I have resembles the open express even thought originally it was closed...

Here is the 1923 price list (see https://www.martin-parry.com/dealer-s-c ... bined-pric):
Martin Parry 1923 price list.JPG
Martin Parry 1923 price list.JPG (45.16 KiB) Viewed 1422 times
It looks like I got over charged :o Note "special commercial fenders" were only $3.75 (including war tax).

I also found this ad very interesting. Marketing to the used car market of the 1920s (see https://www.martin-parry.com/generous-and-helpful-offer for close up images)
Martin Parrythe Used Car Problem.jpg
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Last edited by Matt in California on Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:31 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Matt in California » Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:22 am

I found the following photos of an amazing survivor that is probably exactly how this express started (see: https://www.martin-parry.com/car-regist ... -1927.html to enlarge photos and very nice article).
Martin Parry 1924 Six Post Express Pickup.JPG
Martin Parry 1924 Six Post Express Pickup.JPG (92.71 KiB) Viewed 1421 times
I see the current owner is here on the forum (see http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50 ... 1440771497).
565715.jpg
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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Dropacent » Tue Jun 08, 2021 11:12 am

As I find info around here I will add. The following are some details for a truck cab #20 B like Dallas Landers truck. A couple of pictures are his, showing the body in white. Note the details of M-P metalwork, as these are great identifying features showing the M-P details. I’ve recd several emails in the last couple days asking if their body is M-P. Referring to the online archival catalogs are a huge help. ( thanks again Ben! )
5036F656-3344-40E2-836A-210D87A04C78.jpeg
EEC1068E-F845-46CF-9F4B-8D7D42685CD2.jpeg


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Dropacent » Tue Jun 08, 2021 11:19 am

About 4-5 years ago, an amazing original M-P #20B was offered for sale at the Marietta swap meet. I had been searching for years for info on what the small metal door handle holders looked like, with no luck. I had evidence of something screwed onto my cab, but no idea what it was. I was able to purchase these separately from the cab before it sold. We would love to know where the cab ended up, and if anyone knows, please send me an email. Likely somewhere in southern Ohio or West Virginia now. Tmorsher@icloud.com Here are the small metal parts, used to hold door in open position while driving. Simple , lightweight, yet very affective.
B8C6F077-D7F6-4B78-87E8-BE380BC7C6D3.jpeg
46A77DEE-C134-4FB2-AABB-6A883AC2E93E.jpeg
5D3059E4-6759-4FE1-843D-19F764CE8454.jpeg
F62AC724-EDE1-4CC5-8C5E-5F4D2B90F4D7.jpeg


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Dropacent » Tue Jun 08, 2021 11:23 am

This is the side body to body sill mounting bracket. We know for sure used on the #20 wood cabs, and perhaps on many other body’s. Remember Dallas’s statement, that the bodies are built with the ability to flex. Another key point in authentic M-P body construction.
A73D1EC1-48F4-4D2C-A6F6-DAF83257007A.jpeg
944D6FF4-4C29-47E5-BEDC-EEC592F92411.jpeg


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Dallas Landers » Tue Jun 08, 2021 11:28 am

20210608_112709.jpg
Notice one screw in mortis joint.


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Dropacent
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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Dropacent » Tue Jun 08, 2021 11:29 am

Another key detail is the stiffening rib on the metal panels. This was probably the key detail that helped me identify my cab maker 20 years ago.
60B61476-74CF-42B4-A69F-1018D08F4AC6.jpeg
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C7173540-A62E-4BEA-93DD-9043D1D70A11.jpeg


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Dropacent » Tue Jun 08, 2021 11:30 am

Dallas, they knew K.I.S.S. before it was a thing !


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by dmdeaton » Tue Jun 08, 2021 1:11 pm

Screws were drilled and countersunk?
Screw heads showing or wood plugs over?

I bought a sales catalog from eBay last week and a new metal sign.
The catalog is for Chevrolet chassis but has great pictures.


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Perry Goble » Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:49 pm

I am in the process of restoring what I believe is a 1917 Model T Ford with a Parry Depot hack body .I researched many sources , books and the intranet .The MP website mentioned was a great help .It gave me many of the clues that led me to the conclusion that my car body is a Parry . First the Model T is a 1917 it has all the typical 17 parts . With Firestone heavy duty wheels and the rear springs have heavy duty shock absorbers on them .I thank the body was put on this chassis when both car and body were new in 1917 . Now the clues that brought me to the conclusion that it is a Parry body .The MP website said Parry and Martin merged in 1919 . 1917 is before the merge . The1917 Parry catalog says that the Parry started putting metal doors on there bodies in 1917 . My body has a metal fake door on the driver side and a metal door that opens on the passenger side. Typical wood doors in the back . Parry supplied rear fenders painted green . There traces of green paint on the MP style rear fender on the car , I need a MP passenger side fender if anyone has a spare . The body has the same door handles that are on MP depot hacks .Lots of metal brackets much like MP bodies . I all so need a front Firestone wheel . The car has three a like and one oddball .


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by dmdeaton » Tue Jun 08, 2021 6:45 pm

31D22BCA-871D-41D8-AEEC-1CC3A2A87EB1.jpeg
49AB9B3B-6F8F-4703-9E9A-03E8207F3C4B.jpeg
Sales catalog I snagged from eBay
Chevrolet but lots of detailed pics

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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by PDGx » Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:51 pm

Perry Goble wrote:
Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:49 pm

The1917 Parry catalog says that the Parry started putting metal doors on there bodies in 1917
Where did you find the 1917 Parry catalog ?


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Perry Goble » Tue Jun 08, 2021 10:22 pm

I read that information online , I thank on the MP site . I wish I could find a 1917 catalog .


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Dropacent » Tue Jun 08, 2021 10:29 pm

Couple of deluxe country club bodies on chebbies
93518BA1-EE0A-4ACD-9D4D-8B1755F61661.jpeg
89DFC354-216E-4469-9C9C-10FFF39796C6.jpeg


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Dropacent » Tue Jun 08, 2021 10:30 pm

Here’s a deluxe country club body where it should be, on a Ford chassis.
DDDD4A74-3A04-4C23-8483-FB8C25EB75D9.jpeg


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Dropacent » Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:07 am

Body tags
BD0C1B59-38C9-456F-BADF-1F5F30398C0D.png


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Perry Goble » Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:51 am

Tim do you have a spare Parry body tag you would be willing to sell ?


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Dropacent » Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:58 am

I’d give you it if I still had it. Jack Daron had these made up years ago. His sons have been selling some of his things after his passing, perhaps someone in southern Indiana could share contact info for them.

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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Matt in California » Thu Jun 10, 2021 12:07 am

Where were the tags located?


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Allan » Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:26 am

I am at a loss to understand why there have been no comments about the cedar timber first shown at the head of this thread. Every subsequent photo of any body shows clear grained timber. Such knotty boards might have a use as floor boards, but cedar is way too soft for that application. Having to use clear grained timber is quite restrictive here in Australia, with few species still available, and those that are being quite expensive.

On a second tack, does anyone know if George Norton's 'Little red truck' featured in " Model T Ford Restoration Handbook" is a Martin and Parry body?

Allan from down under.


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Re: Martin-Parry body threads he

Post by Dropacent » Thu Jun 10, 2021 10:48 am

Matt, body tags were very common on custom bodies. Not just M-P but on any thing built in some quantity. It was gorilla marketing. Back then, the money side is generally the passenger side. This is how people generally entered and exited vehicles from the curbside. From examples I’ve seen, tags are located on the lower edge of the cab, or on the seat panel where people can easily see it upon entering. Advertising! Not on doors as doors were easily removable.
As for the cedar , Dallas addressed it, and so did I. I would not be surprised to see CLEAR cedar in some of the roof structure, if parts were milled regionally. Remember , lightness is paramount for a roof structure. I can hold the entire original roof structure above my head with one hand. Of course, back then nothing but clear wood would be used in body construction, and if someone desires an authentic job, they should choke down the cost of clear lumber.


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Dropacent » Thu Jun 10, 2021 11:01 am

Allan, from my memory, I believe the little red truck is a Hercules body. They were in Indiana, a very large body company. They may still be in business. For an eye opener, go to Coachbuilt.com Hundreds of different companies are shown in great detail. A wonderful resource to determine what kind of body you may have.


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Dropacent » Thu Jun 10, 2021 11:12 am

Just did a quick look at coachbuilt.com WARNING: if interested in these type vehicles, you can easily spends hours there. A quick search confirms the famous little red truck is a Hercules body. They are still in business but have been relocated to Kentucky.


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Allan » Fri Jun 11, 2021 3:40 am

Thanks Tim. Now that you mention Hercules as the body builder, the bells are ringing. I lent my copy of the book to someone and it has not come back for me to refer to. Way back in the 60's I wrote to George Norton about his car, requesting dimensions etc, but he was in the middle of organising a national tour and invited me to contact him after that. I found that letter just recently when clearing some files. I never did get back to him. Now I have acquired a fully restored rolling chassis, and the project is possible.

Re the clear cedar, I use it under all canvas tops on commercial bodies, for two main reasons. Being clear grained, it bends consistently when putting arches in the tops. Second, cedar is both light and largely unaffected by water/dampness. I presume the purplish colour and prevalence of knots and sapwood in the lumber shown at the beginning of the thread means the trees felled were relatively young, or of a different species to those used in the best window framing and feature lining boards.

Allan from down under

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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by henryford2 » Fri Jun 11, 2021 8:45 am

Roof Detail from a body I rescued years ago from the top of a barn. Enjoy
IMAGE055.JPG
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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Dropacent » Fri Jun 11, 2021 10:53 am

Jarvis just shared this along with permission to add here. I’ve not seen this cut sheet before, it’s outstanding.
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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Allan » Sun Jun 13, 2021 5:19 am

Dean, if you have clear grain cedar boards, they are ideal as feature timbers in the sides of bodies. They are light, weather stable and easy to work with, and provide a nice contrast to lighter coloured timbers used in framework. They are the best timber to use under a fabric top because of their moisture resistance and easy bending in thin laths. Being soft, they will not take the punishment in wear situations.

Allan from down under.


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Bpurkey » Sun Jun 13, 2021 8:42 am

I read where a number of you found the Martin-Parry.com website. I am glad that it is being used as I intended, ie. to help others and to bring together in one location a good reference for Martin-Parry information. This only works well if each person shares the information that they have, or knows about. It is also meant to be a place where those in the hobby can find like-minded people. The bottom line is to share what you have so everyone can learn. There is no costs to anyone to use the information. Enjoy!

The website is a work in progress and in the last year I had to change companies that supply the software to build the site. Now I need to learn how to use the new software so bear with me.


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Dallas Landers » Sun Jun 13, 2021 9:39 am

Ben, I was lost for a bit with the new site. I found it pretty easy to navigate once I played around with it. Change is tough but if I can figure it out, anybody can. Thanks for keeping it up for all of us.
Dallas.


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Dropacent » Sun Jun 13, 2021 12:27 pm

A couple of comments on the panel construction. There are so many types of bodies it’s hard to make blanket statements, but here are a couple. The bodies main construction is made out of solid wood. Wood is organic, and generally moves,FOREVER. Growing and shrinking with age and moisture content. This varies on the type of wood, and also the atmospheric conditions the body lives in, but one guarantee, it will move. This is problematic to the panel construction, and M-P handled it very well. For the metal panels like Dallas’s truck has, the slots are deep enough that the panels can move as the wood moves. If not, the body will self destruct in time.
In examples that I’ve seen of wood panels, 3 ply plywood and also 5 ply plywood. You would think solid wood would work, but this raises different issues. Primarily, solid panels will split in time. Secondly, solid panels can be quite large, and making them out of solid wood to eliminate glue joints would be even harder. M-P had a unique method of installing panels on their station wagon bodies that allow the wood movement any direction without the wood damage. The finish may suffer slightly, but that’s better than a body exploding.
Over the years I’ve seen beautiful bodies built by craftsman that will certainly self destruct. The type of joinery that will maybe work for living room furniture will certainly be doomed as vehicle body construction. Movement, even slight movement must be addressed in every aspect.
Also, their use of light metal brackets , braces, straps, carriage bolts, etc allow the slight movement of the wood.
Hopefully when someone starts building a project , they can share some of these details, that will be very helpful in any project construction, not just a M-P body restoration or recreation. Someone a lot smarter than me said “ Do It Once And Do It Right”


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Bpurkey » Sun Jun 13, 2021 6:52 pm

P3050036E.jpg
As Tim pointed out, wood moves as moisture content changes. On my 1928 M-P Station Wagon, the original doors had pretty much fallen apart at the door frames. On the 1928 there was no plywood used, all the wood was solid pieces. I decided that the solid wood side panels and door panels were the culprits.

I wanted to stick with the original construction as much as I could so I used solid maple for the panels. Wood moves mostly in the perpendicular dimension to the grain, and very little in the parallel dimension. Therefore, I did not worry about the ends of the panels, but the sides of the panels were a problem. I could not find any solution to the problem as it had been originally constructed, so I cheated. I left a small gap (about ¼”) underneath the center external horizontal molding strip to allow for movement of the wood. Since I didn’t want this gap to show on the inside of each panel, I added a wood strip on the inside to cover the gap. This strip was not part of the original construction. The strip can be seen in the attached photo. So far, I have had no problems with wood movement.


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Re: Martin-Parry body thread

Post by Allan » Sun Jun 13, 2021 9:26 pm

Ben, I had the same problem with the doors on my 1917 shooting brake. Over the seasons, the horizontal joints in the door side panels open and close as they are wont to. What I should have done is made the joints a lap joint, so that they could still move but the overlap would disguise the gap. I kick myself over this.
I always cringe when I see tongue-and-groove boards, often clamped tightly, used as boards in the bed of a truck. If it gets wet it will self destruct. An old timer taught me to make lap joints in this application, with the addition of clear space on the flats as well as the sides of the lap. That way, with a gap set between the boards and a gap between the lap, water runs straight through, and the boards are free to move, as they do.

Allan from down under.

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