Ford was the world’s leading manufacturer of automobiles by the time the Model T began production near the end of 1908. Early in the history of Ford Motor Company a Canadian businessman, Gordon McGregor, wanted to invest in the Ford Motor Company. McGregor was the owner of the Walkerville Wagon Works located on a large parcel of land on the south shore of the Detroit River. Most of us think of Canada as being North of the USA. In fact Walkerville (known as Windsor today) was entirely south of Detroit, with the Detroit river separating downtown Detroit from what was then a tiny Canadian town.
Ford of Canada was set up as a sister company to Ford Motor Company in the USA. Initially Henry Ford owned a little more than 10 percent of Ford of Canada. Other investors, including McGregor, owned the rest. Ford of Canada was given the task of supplying Ford vehicles to the world excluding the USA, Britain, and Ireland. This started with Walkerville producing around 100 Model AC cars in 1904 built from parts manufactured at Ford vendors in the USA as Ford did not manufacture anything in those days, Ford designed and assembled cars.
By the time Model T production began at Walkerville most parts of the car, excluding the engine and transmission parts were being made in Canada, either by vendors or at the Walkerville Ford plant. A town grew up around the plant known as Ford City.
We have decided to combine the model years 1919 – 1922 because the cars were built mostly the same for the entire period after January 1919. The 1919 fiscal year began in August 1918. Model T’s built from August 1, 1918 until January 1919 were essentially the same as late 1918 Model T’s.
The big news in January 1919 was a new engine block with provisions for mounting a generator driven by the camshaft gear. Along with the new engine block and generator were a complete electrical system including an ammeter, battery, and electric starter. To allow the starter to be used a new flywheel assembly was designed which incorporated a ring gear which was driven by the electric starter.
Usually we try not to combine model years when describing a Model T because there are typically a lot of differences. In this case we have more things that did not change than those that changed. We will carefully explain those things that did change so that you can see the differences between 1917 and 1918 model years.
The 1923 Model year began on August 1, 1922. The cars Ford produced for the first month were unchanged from 1922. Open cars still had the vertical windshield, and the touring still came with the two man top. All cars had wooden firewalls. By September 1, the new “1923” touring and roadsters were coming off the line in Highland Park with their more modern looking slanted windshields. The 1923 tourings now had a so – called “One Man Top” that was sportier looking with no center top support, but a handful to erect by ones self. Firewalls continued to be wooden, and the low radiator was used on all cars.
Ford had a relatively bad model year in 1915 with production significantly slowed due to problems encountered while changing over to the new body style. The 1916 model year officially began on August 1, 1915 with serial number 856,514 being the first 1916 model car produced. There would be no such problems for the new 1916 Model T’s with model year production over a half million cars. The last 1916 Model T built had serial number 1,362,813 on July 31, 1916. 1916 was the last full model year with a brass radiator and hub caps used on all cars and chassis. Let’s take a look at the state of the art Model T Fords of 1916.