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Newbie asking for ID confirmation on a 1920's Ford Model T Fordor please


JSlegend
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Hello, I'm helping my mom with my grandmother's photos. I don't know anything about antique cars, but have been trying to research them. First car I need help with is below. From my research I "think" its a 1925 Ford Model T Fordor. Can anyone tell me if that is correct? If not, can anyone ID it for me? The back of the photo just says "Grandpa's car 1926" its part of a vacation series taken in Fox Lake, IL (just outside Chicago). The man is my 2nd great-grandfather. Also can anyone tell me what the circle on the radiator is? I've zoomed in many times but can't make it out. Thanks in advance.

Grandpa H w Model T.jpg

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From this angle, I cannot be certain of the wheel and tire sizes. Basically, that particular body and fender combination four-door sedan (which it is), was used for two model years, 1924 and 1925. The 1923 had the earlier lower style radiator and hood, along with a smaller cowl to fit them. The 1926 and 1927 four-door sedan used a very similar body with several minor differences, and very different fenders. 

For 1924, only one type of wheel and tire was offered by the factory, the basic 30X 3 1/2 clincher rim and tire that had been standard on sedans and coupes since 1919. Runabouts and touring cars those same years had non-demountable rim wheels as an option, which used a different size on the front, a 30 X 3 tire on the front with the 30 X 3 1/2 tire on the rear.

The 30 X 3 1/2 and 30 X 3 clincher rim and tires were a high pressure type tire that dated back to before 1910. 

For 1925, Ford offered a new style tire and wheel, called a "balloon" tire. The size measurement system was changed around that same time from outside tire diameter to inside tire diameter, and these for the model T became known as 21 inch tires. The 21 inch tires were a much lower pressure. The earlier style high pressure tires needed to be run at about 60 psi, while the new balloon tires ran at slightly over 30 psi.

The significance of all that, is that in 1925, four-door sedans (and the other body styles) had the option of buying with the older familiar high pressure tires and wheels, or the new lower pressure balloon tires and wheels. 

While most buyers in 1925 opted for the new balloon tires, a lot of buyers did stick with the familiar higher pressure tires that year. The high pressure tires continued to be available as an option until the end of model T production in 1927. An interesting side-note. Some sales literature was publish back in the day saying that only the 21 inch balloon tires would be offered, however, that in fact did not happen, and sales records indicate cars were sold with the high pressure tires until the very end.

 

Between the angles, and the tall weeds, I cannot be sure, but it looks like "grandpa's" car has the high pressure 30 X 3 1/2 tires. That could make it either a 1924 with the standard high pressure tires and wheels, or a 1925 with the optional high pressure tires and wheels.

 

Nice car, and a wonderful photograph! The car has several accessories. The mentioned bumper, a windshield spotlight, nice radiator cap, and a fancy steering wheel with what appears to be a rare accessory horn rim. Neat car!

Thank you for sharing it here!

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Wow, Thank you so much for all the information! I can't wait to share with my family. It's exciting to connect things that seem so abstract, (everyone's heard of a Model T) but were actually a part of your own family history.  So neat! Thanks!

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