The 1915 Model T Ford Part 4

A Canadian built 1915 Model T Ford touring. Notice the typical black background on the hubcaps. This car is RH drive. As was the case with all Canadian built Model T’s it has fork mounted headlamps and opening doors on both sides of the body. All four wheels are the same size, and use 30 X 3 1/2″ tires. Notice the body feature line above the rear fender is straight to match the profile of the earlier “1914” style rear fenders.

As the 1915 model year progressed cars began to come out of the factories with the new touring bodies. Generally the cars built in Walkerville, Ontario just a few miles away from the USA main Ford factory in Highland Park, Michigan were the same. A few basic features were different on the Canadian built cars and we will take note of them in this article.

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The 1915 Model T Ford Part 3

An upside down 1915 touring is wrecked early in the car’s life. Many interesting details are visible such as the asbestos wrapped muffler, straight tail pipe, wood blocks between the running board brackets and the running board, and the 1913 – 1914 style rear axle assembly.  The new “1915” rear axle assembly was approved for production as early as August 1914, but there are so many surviving examples of 1915 cars using the earlier version that it is clear to us that the new design was not implemented until months after it was designed.

The 1915 touring body style is a complicated subject indeed. We have spent a lot of time at the Benson Ford archives trying to identify when the new “1915” body style was introduced, and how the new cars appeared. A fortunate set of objects exist in the Benson Ford archive, which are the (so called) Cost Books. This collection of volumes is incomplete for most model years, but for 1915 it is very nearly complete. The Cost Books are leather bound, typed reports that show the actual costs incurred by Ford Motor Company during each month. The amount of detail is staggering. The accountants provide a cost for every item in the car’s construction. Even cotter pins are detailed by quantity, size, price and location.

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The 1915 Model T Ford Part 2

Prototype 1915 center door in a Ford publicity photo sent to dealers in late September 1914. Many features seen on this car never made it to production including the odd coach lamps on the body, the fenders, and the unusually louvered hood.

Ford hoped to expand its market share by adding two new body styles for the 1915 model year. There was a lot going on at Ford in the fall of 1914. Efforts were underway to begin fabrication of complete bodies at Highland Park for the touring and runabout (aka torpedo) body styles. The 1915 Ford was restyled with a new hidden horn mounted to the firewall. Billed fenders became standard in July 1914. A louvered hood was added. The flat wooden firewall was being phased out, replaced by a new graceful cowl section that contoured away from the hood towards the body sides. Electric headlamps, powered by the magneto were becoming standard.

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The 1915 Model T Ford Part 1

This heavily accessorized 1915 runabout has a lot of the things collectors today like to find. Front bumper, accessory shock absorbers, special hubcaps, radiator cap, and a hand klaxon horn to get cows out of the way.

The 1915 Model T Ford model year is an extremely interesting one for the history buff. The manufacture of Ford cars at the Highland Park plant was in the process of being perfected, but was far from perfect. The plant was still under construction as it had been since 1910, but cars were being built in the plant as early as the fall of 1910.  Hundreds of thousands of Model T Fords were built in 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913 and early 1914 model year the old way, with the cars sitting in place while parts were delivered to each car, then assembled. The moving assembly line first became operational early in the 1914 model year, on October 7, 1913 to be precise.

Ford by this time had been the most successful businessman on the planet for several years. The Model T Ford was the single most successful product on the planet. Sales of the Model T Ford accounted for nearly half of worldwide automobile sales. The car itself, while perfectly adequate mechanically for the era, was very outdated in appearance. Ford was one of the last automakers to use a wooden exposed dashboard. The carbide headlamps were also considered to be outdated in 1914.  Unfortunately Ford did not have the new 1915 bodies ready at the beginning of the model year, so the 1914 style cars continued to be built for a while.

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The Kingston Carburetor in the Model T Ford

A brand new two lever 1909 tourabout is missing the splash aprons for some reason. This car likely was delivered with a Kingston 5 ball carburetor.

A version of Kingston carburetor, made in Kokomo Indiana, was used on every year of Model T Ford. Like the Model T the Kingston carburetor evolved many times over the course of Ford production. Ford always had a secondary supplier for carburetors during every model year, as was customary. Kingston was sometimes the primary brand, other times it was the secondary brand in a given model year. The Kingston brand is the only carburetor manufacturer that was used during every model year of the Model T.

In this article we will examine the Kingston carburetors for the entire life of the Model T. This will provide an easy identification guide for the restorer or prospective purchaser of either a carburetor or a Model T. Having the correct carburetor for your car enhances the car’s interest to serious collectors. This of course makes the car more valuable.

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