Location of 1915 body serial number plate?

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Fozz71
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Location of 1915 body serial number plate?

Post by Fozz71 » Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:35 pm

When I bought my 1915 Runabout, this plate was in with a pile of parts. Can someone tell me the correct location for it? Thank you!

Jim
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TWrenn
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Re: Location of 1915 body serial number plate?

Post by TWrenn » Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:43 pm

There will be surely other experts here chime in, but I don't think this plate has anything to do with a '15.
There's way too many numbers on it in the first place, and it's virtually no shape that I've ever seen, short
of being an "add on" serial number plate for above the water inlet. But even at that, this number is way
too huge to be a 1915. At least from what I can read of it.

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Re: Location of 1915 body serial number plate?

Post by KWTownsend » Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:54 pm

It goes on the wooden frame under the front seat cushion, just in front of the gas tank cover.
body number on a 1915.jpg
I believe the first digits are the month and year. It is a body number. Do you know the body manufacturer?

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Re: Location of 1915 body serial number plate?

Post by Scott_Conger » Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:00 pm

Like Tim, I am no expert at this sort of thing...I see "3", "16", and "174296"

I wonder what your engine SN is, and if it is not in fact a 1916 T and this tag is associated with the body and a mfg SN independent of Ford production. It is an odd looking thing, but the number font is definitely of the period.
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Re: Location of 1915 body serial number plate?

Post by Scott_Conger » Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:01 pm

Dang Keith...if not for my slow typing, I'd have waited and seen your answer...pretty much what I thought. Thanks.
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Re: Location of 1915 body serial number plate?

Post by Fozz71 » Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:03 pm

Thank you for the help, my title says 1915 but we all know that could be incorrect. The engine number on my car is # 1182437

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Re: Location of 1915 body serial number plate?

Post by Retro54 » Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:44 pm

My 1915 body # plate is on the top if the front seat riser as well. The first three digits are the month and year of body manufacture... mind you, not car assembly, but body manufacture. Mine is a January 1915 touring body made by the Beudette(sp?) Company, a subcontractor for Ford. See the pictures below. Do you have a stamped 'B' on the face of the passenger side of the front seat riser? In that case, you got a Beudette too.
Attachments
Beudette stamp in face of seat riser
Beudette stamp in face of seat riser
My body tag
My body tag
You can see the body tag and the relocated car number tag on the far end of the front seat. The car number tag should be on my firewall.
You can see the body tag and the relocated car number tag on the far end of the front seat. The car number tag should be on my firewall.

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Re: Location of 1915 body serial number plate?

Post by Retro54 » Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:47 pm

Looking more closely at your badge, it sure looks like the number starts with 3 16. Maybe from a 1916? Just a guess here, not sure if these tags ran into 16. Your best bet is to look on the seat riser on your car and try to locate matching tack holes.

In any event...
Here is a link to my 1915 post. Good information on here from others relating to 1915 cars.

viewtopic.php?t=2711

Let's see s photo of your car!


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Re: Location of 1915 body serial number plate?

Post by Fozz71 » Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:07 pm

Okay retro, I'll shoot some pics tomorrow.


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Re: Location of 1915 body serial number plate?

Post by Scott_Conger » Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:39 pm

Your car was built 4/16, so I'll bet you'll find two small holes that that tag fits.
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Re: Location of 1915 body serial number plate?

Post by Susanne » Sun Apr 21, 2019 12:29 pm

Mine is stamped in the wood next to the passenger side of the floorboard... shows the car was built in August '15. Starts with the letter "F" meaning it was a Ford body, not a Beaudette etc (which I understand used the tags)... Interesting sidetrip on this is our DMV is loathe to use the motor number for the VIN (6 digits??) and will require those cars to use one of their "assigned" VINs, but will use the the body stamping (12 digits counting that first "F") and call it a legal VIN (meaning I don't need one of their ugly "assigned" VIN stickers...)... At least for now. :roll:

I've seen the plates riveted to the sheet metal under the front seat... no idea if that's where they originally were, but it makes some sorta sense to me...


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Re: Location of 1915 body serial number plate?

Post by Fozz71 » Sun Apr 21, 2019 1:47 pm

Here's my '15 (or '16)
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IMG_5151.JPG
IMG_5152.JPG
IMG_5149.JPG

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Re: Location of 1915 body serial number plate?

Post by TWrenn » Sun Apr 21, 2019 1:53 pm

And I just HAVE to learn to read!! The author did say body number..not serial number!! Duuhh...guess I'm always focused on serial numbers rather than body numbers. I'll keep trying!! Happy Easter everyone!

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Re: Location of 1915 body serial number plate?

Post by TWrenn » Sun Apr 21, 2019 2:03 pm

Another thing to keep in mind is that BODY numbers..a.k.a. "body serial" numbers per the author, were discontinued on May 1, 1915. I DO remember reading that a while back. Dont have total dementia yet!! :lol:


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Re: Location of 1915 body serial number plate?

Post by Fozz71 » Sun Apr 21, 2019 3:32 pm

Well -they may have discontinued of May 1915 on paper, but this seems a legit plate based on its age, font and style. So as of 1916 looks like they were still using them, at least some manufacturers were.


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Re: Location of 1915 body serial number plate?

Post by Robert Bente » Sun Apr 21, 2019 3:44 pm

My 1916’s engine number puts it early Feb. 1916. The 3 16 xxxxxx plate on the seat frame puts the body a month later.
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Re: Location of 1915 body serial number plate?

Post by Wayne Sheldon » Sun Apr 21, 2019 5:53 pm

This is always a difficult subject. So many opinions. So many beliefs (including mine!). A few so-called facts, original notes and/or changes that may or may not have been followed. Several companies built MOST of the bodies for Ford throughout the brass radiator era, and many beyond into the black shell years, even as late as '25 at least.
Recently, in another thread on this subject, I got egg on my face because I forgot I had read that these plates ON SOME CARS were attached under the seat cushion on the top of the seat riser. My '15 runabout has the plate on the floor sill, because it has a steel seat frame. So that is where I think of them. The body was in poor condition when I got it, and I was VERY happy to get it because it did appear to be a true early '15 body. However, the body had been separated from its original chassis probably in a typical bad '50s/'60s restoration where a better wrong body had been used because it was easier to do. But, because it was loose, and because somebody at some point had begun to try to built a bucket roadster out of it? And then it sat for many years outside and likely on the ground? It was pretty messed up and everything about it is doubtful. However, after all that, what appears to be the original body manufacturer's serial number plate, and what appears to be the original steel seat frame, and other important details remained more or less intact.
Part of the problem? People including me tend to think of the cars in terms of the individual cars they are most familiar with. Many? Maybe most? Maybe not? A lot of the '15s and '16s had wooden seat risers and frames. Apparently some did have steel seat frames. In years past, here, discussions have never cleared up a definitive time frame, or body manufacturer, explanation for the whys and whens. There must be nearly a dozen variations on just how the runabout and touring car front seat frame and/or riser was built! How much, and which parts, were wood? Or Steel? How they attached to each other? All seemed to vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and month to month.
Past speculation (by experts better than I) have said that steel seat framework was likely used early in '15 style open car production. Then changed back to wood like the '13s and '14 style used. Speculation has been that some shortages of steel for wartime production may have been part of the reason. Others speculated that additional production difficulties with making the seat framework out of steel may have been the cause? It was a simple fix to go back to the wood design as it had been used for years before. It worked. It was simple to adapt into the new design bodies. And when cars were being built faster than ever before? Anything to get them done NOW was a good thing. Eventually, the lower cost steel stamping of a few pieces replaced the labor intensive cutting trimming screwing and gluing of a dozen pieces of wood.

A couple things I "know" for sure. About my car? About half the original wood was GONE when I got it. Most of what was left was rotted way way beyond usable (although I did salvage and use four original wood pieces in the cowl area). I have rewooded the car. I used an old set of wood plans (from Harrah's research!), which I altered slightly to match what remained of the original wood pieces I had. Much of the original wood fell apart when I took it apart. ONE piece I was able to save and keep, was the front area part of the floor sill that had the manufacturer's serial tag nailed onto it. The original tag is now nailed, almost exactly in its original location on the new wood.
One thing I "know" about other cars and their bodies? Over several years, on many threads on this forum? And a few other cars I have seen in person? Regardless of what some original era note says? A lot of Ford open bodies originally had body tags just like the ones shown above, throughout 1915, and well beyond. I have seen many from 1916, quite a few even from 1917, an at least a couple from early 1918.
What body manufacturers used tags like the ones shown above? Beaudette for certain! Speculation, and maybe some people believe for certain? Some people do think at least one other body builder used an identical body tag. Also, not all bodies had the "B" stamped into the steel of the seat riser, or anywhere else.

Henry Ford built fifteen million model T Fords, all alike. It would seem, no two, exactly alike.


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Re: Location of 1915 body serial number plate?

Post by Scott_Conger » Sun Apr 21, 2019 6:12 pm

Wayne

all good stuff. Just for info, my car was built 11/15 and has a "W" stamped in the steel heel riser (Wilson), has a steel seat pan, and the body # is stamped in wood on passenger floor riser (angled wood supporting floorboard). I recall it is W 11 15 XXXXXX (I am including what I recall from memory)
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Re: Location of 1915 body serial number plate?

Post by Wayne Sheldon » Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:40 am

Scott C,
Thank you for the positive comment. And thank you for the additional information! In discussions with others, I have heard several people say that they believed Wilson had stopped providing bodies by 1915. At least in any quantity. I always believed they were still providing some and for a little while longer. I do think they stopped being the most major supplier of bodies by about 1913 or '14. Beaudette seemed to be the biggest supplier the last few brass years. So I am pleased to hear of a known later Wilson body.
It sure would be nice to sort out all the variations and their approximate timelines for all the teens years. But I do not think that will ever happen. Too many makers, too many variations, too many variations came and went only to return and confuse things further, and then go away again.
I suspect my runabout may have been a Beaudette body, however may never know for sure. While the seat frame and risers all appeared to be original to the body, I can't be totally sure about that. And since the seat riser and kick panel do not have any "B", "W", or other designation I can find? I can't know for certain it was Beaudette to begin with?
Still, all fun stuff.

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