Q&A: July 18, 2019 Edition

Kit Foster answers your old car questions.
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Q. The Model T in the May 30 Q&A is a 1912 model. An open body (no doors) indicates pre-1913, as does the windshield. 1911 and earlier T’s had a two-piece dashboard. The car in the photo appears to have a one-piece dashboard, which is consistent with a 1912 model. The front fenders are 1913 style, so if it is an original car, this appears to be a late 1912 Model T.
— Gary Swenson, via email

A. I plead guilty to focusing on the fenders, so I didn’t scrutinize the firewall or doors/lack of doors. Actually, the “fore doors” began appearing in January 1912, according to Bruce McCalley’s “Model T Ford: The Car that Changed the World.” However, he also shows a 1912 commercial roadster without doors and with the old, 1911-style seat. The catalog illustration for the commercial roadster, however, has billed front fenders. Given Henry Ford’s abhorrence for waste, we can accept that cars were often built with outdated and superseded parts. The car is not completely original, as a pickup box, which was not a factory item in the ’teens, has been fitted to the rear. Other modifications and parts substitutions are also quite likely. Model Ts like this one worked for a living. Their owners kept them going in any way they could.

Q. I have a copper battery ground strap that has a raised bowtie on the battery brass terminal. The strap is 1 inch wide x 6-3/4 inches long. The brass terminal is crimped to the strap. When the strap is in place on the battery you don’t see the Bowtie because it is on the underside of the terminal. I found it one day when changing the battery on my former 1931 Chevrolet two-door Coach. The strap was hanging on the frame, bolted, all cruddy and not being used. Question: Is this a rare part and have you or your readers ever seen or heard of it? Do you know how long this was used or was it a one-off?
— Paul Schmeltz, Leawood, Kan.

A. I have never seen or heard of these, but I’ll be very surprised if Gene Schneider, our go-to Chevy guy, has not. Gene?

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Q. Does anyone recognize this old 41 x 12.75-inch windshield glass in a brass frame?
— Gene Johnston, Yates Center, Kan.

A. As it happens, yes. It looks just like the upper pane for a Model T Ford windshield, like the one shown elsewhere in this week’s Q&A. The dimensions are also consistent with Model T windshields. The associated hardware looks different, but it may be from a subsequent, possibly non-Model T application.

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