This page outlines our current work in progress -- a 1914 Canadian Ford Model T Roadster Pickup Truck. Our plans are to restore the roadster body, but instead of the orignial turtle deck trunk, we're making a wooden pickup box from materials rescued from an antique wagon.
Incidentally, the wagon was built from Model T parts and other components and most probably made in the 1920s, so the wooden box will not only look real, but be an authentic period piece.
For the 1914 model year, Henry Ford supposedly said that Ford Model T cars would come in "any color, so long at it's black". The price of a 1914 Runabout car (upon which our little truck is based, since Ford did not make trucks until 1925) was $440 US dollars. There were 15,657 cars produced in Canada and our 1914 roadster pickup was one of them. This car most likely was a turtledeck runabout, and it was a common practice at the time to remove the turtledeck and replace it with a wooden pickup box. Our roadster pickup is being restored with this tradition in mind.
Ford offered less selection in model types for 1914, initially the Touring, Town car and Runabout were available. Later in the year, Ford added the bare chassis to the line, for only 20$ less than the runabout. Prior to this time, Ford did not sell the bare chassis and they maintained a strict policy on the use of non-Ford bodies; doing so would void the factory warranty.
1914 was a time of transition for the Ford Motor Company, with the introduction of the 5$ work day, perfection of the moving assembly line, the 50$ rebate, and the production of the 300,000th car. Changes to the design of the Model T were made as well. The 1913 windshield folds forward, while the 1914 folds backwards, so that the driver may fold the windshield down more safely while driving. The 1914 front fenders introduce a lateral reinforcing rib across the widest part of the fender. Most cars were produced with metal coil boxes, although the author has seen authentic examples of 1914 cars with wooden coil boxes which are without a doubt original. The two piece drive shaft was replaced with a one piece style for the 1914 model year. Due to a shortage in the supply of speedometers, their use was discontinued as well, and Ford offered a $6 credit.
The pictures below show the various stages of restoration of our little truck.
||The pictures to the left and below show the restoration of the horn, generator and spider. As you can see, much of it was pretty badly beaten up. Brass is very easy to work with, and each dent in the horn must be removed from the inside out, by lightly tapping and then filing out the high spots.|