Back to Reference Guide

Model T: 1923

ENGINE SERIAL NUMBERS: 6,953,072 to 9,008,371 calendar year. 6,344,197 to 8,122,674 fiscal year (August 1, 1922 to July 31, 1923).

MODEL YEAR DATES: September 1922 to July 1923.

BODY TYPES: Touring, Runabout, Sedan, Fordor Sedan, Tudor Sedan (which Ford called a 1924 model), Coupe, Chassis and “C” Cab Truck.

MAJOR MODEL YEAR FEATURES:The “1923” touring car style was introduced in September 1922, with a one-man top and sloping windshield, but otherwise the body was the same as the 1922. The runabout followed about November, with a new body and turtle deck as well. A new “Fordor” sedan appeared in December 1922, which used aluminum panels throughout the body. The cowl section and lower body section were changed to steel during the year. There was no cowl vent in the early Fordor sedans but the vent was added during early 1923, before the change to the larger hood. The Coupelet and Sedan (Centerdoor) continued into 1923 with minor modifications that were introduced in 1922, but were both replaced with the new Coupe and Tudor Sedan in August 1923.
   The front section of the car was revised about August 1923, with a new and higher radiator, larger hood, a valence under the radiator, and revised cowl section to match. These cars were generally referred to as “1924” models in Ford literature.
   The Coupe and Tudor Sedan were all new, with coupe doors opening at the rear. Body construction continued with the metal panel over a wood frame design.
   A new steering column support bracket connected the instrument panel to the column for added rigidity, apparently during later 1923 (1924 models) production. All cars had an instrument panel with the ignition/light switch.

COLORS: All cars were painted black, with black fenders.

UPHOLSTERY: Imitation leather in the open cars. The pattern is a stitched vertical pleat design on both seat bottoms and backs. Closed car upholstery was brown cloth with a lined pattern.

FENDERS: Front: Curved and crowned as in 1922. In August 1923, the “1924” style appeared. The front fenders now had a lip on the front apron to match the new valence under the radiator.

SPLASH APRON: Same as earlier until August, then unchanged except for a hole for the rear hood clamp.

RUNNING BOARDS: Unchanged from 1922.

HOOD: Same as 1922 until the higher radiator style introduced in August 1923. The hood was then larger (higher and wider). Handles were pressed steel in the pattern of the 1922 type. The hood clash strip now “dog-legged” out at the rear, with the rear hold-down clamp extending through the splash apron.

DASHBOARD(Firewall): Wood, fitted outside the front cowl, hidden by the metal cowl weather strip. In early 1923 a new metal firewall replaced the wood one for a short time (both types being used for a time), then in August a new larger metal firewall was used to match the larger hood.

CHASSIS: Same as 1922. Painted black.

STEERING COLUMN ASSEMBLY: Pressed steel, black painted, quadrant, Zinc-plated spark and throttle levers, with flattened metal ends. Gear case was brass but zinc-plated, one piece assembly. Wheel was 16” outside diameter, made of “Fordite” (synthetic material), and painted black. The wheel spider was pressed steel and painted black. Horn button was on the left side of the column.

FRONT AXLE: Same as the 1922 cars.

REAR AXLE: Same as 1922.

DRIVESHAFT HOUSING: Same as 1922.

REAR RADIUS AND BRAKE RODS: Radius rods were of seamed construction, requiring a right and left side (the seam must face down to allow water to leak out).

WHEELS: Used 30 by 3 tires in front; 30 by 3-1/2 in the rear. Front wheels used taper-roller (Timken) bearings except in the non-starter, non-demountable open cars. Hub caps were the same as the previous year. Demountable-rim wheels were standard on closed cars, and optional on the open models; used 30 by 3-1/2 tires all around.

SPRINGS: Non-tapered, front and rear. “L” shaped shackles of the forged type. Oilers were pressed into the springs. The final “U” shaped shackles appeared during the year.

RADIATOR: Supplied by Ford. Shell had the Ford script pressed into the upper part. “Made in USA” was stamped in below the Ford script. The shell was painted black. In August the slightly higher (5/8”) radiator appeared, along with the new hood and the shell with the valence at the bottom.

ENGINE: Same as 1922. Starter was still optional on the open cars.

ENGINE PAN: Same as the previous year.

OIL FILLER CAP: Same as 1922.

ENGINE CRANK: Same as later 1922 one-piece type with the rolled-in-place handle sleeve.

ENGINE FAN: Same as 1920.

MANIFOLDS: Same as the previous year.

CARBURETORS: Kingston Model L4, Holley Model NH, or Ford F.

CARBURETOR STOVE ASSEMBLY: Sheet metal type which rose vertically at the rear of the carburetor and mated with the exhaust manifold at the rear corner, being held by the rear manifold retaining stud/nut.

MUFFLER: Pressed steel type with no tail pipe.

FUEL TANK: Elliptical, under the front seat. Mounting brackets clamped to the tank. Outlet was between the center and the right side, between the frame rails. The Sedan continued the square tank under the driver’s seat. The Coupe used the sedan tank located in the turtle deck until the new bodies (1924 models), which used the standard oval tank under the seat.

TRANSMISSION: Same as the previous year.

COIL BOX ASSEMBLY: Ford, same as used in 1922. The switch is on the dashboard on all cars.

LAMPS: Magneto powered electric type on the non-starter cars, and six volt electric on the starter models. Black steel rims. Side and tail lamps were similar to 1917 on the non-starter cars. Starter cars had a small electric tail light and did not have side lights.

HORN: Magneto powered electric on non-starter cars, but six-volt battery-operated on starter models.

WINDSHIELD: Square, with slight rake to the rear. Top section opened outward. Painted black. Unchanged when the “1924” style appeared in August.

TOP: (Open cars). “One man” style, attached to the top of the windshield at the front. Top color was black on all open cars. Top sockets were rectangular in cross-section.

SPEEDOMETER: Not standard equipment.

TURTLE DECK (on Runabout): Larger, shaped to mate with the rear of the body. No longer had any handles; must be opened with a large key. The new Coupe had an integral turtle deck.

 

1923 Changes

 

JAN 12

Engine production records, Ford Archives

Engine 7,000,000 built at 6:48 P.M.

 

JAN 27

Acc. 78, Box 48, Ford Archives

Fordor sedan weighed 1939 pounds fully equipped; 668 pounds bare.

 

FEB 5

Engine production records, Ford Archives

Start top piston ring 1/16" lower.

 

FEB 15

Engine production records, Ford Archives

Start tapered piston rings.

 

FEB 15

Acc. 572, Box 21, Ford Archives

Assembly and changes letter to the branches states that T-8761B dash (firewall) has been changed from wood to steel. Both types will be coming through in production for about sixty days.

 

MAR 29

Acc. 78, Box 47-49, Ford Archives

Metal sill covers installed at rear doors on touring cars, painted black. Rear floor mat changed from wool to rubber.

 

APR 7

Acc. 78, Box 47-49, Ford Archives

Letter indicates that the steel firewall was now standard. This was the "low" steel firewall.

 

JUL 11

Engine production records, Ford Archives

Engine 8,000,000 built at 10:19 P.M.

 

SEP 10

Engine production records, Ford Archives

"Ford USA" stamped on export motors, below number plate.

 

SEP 11

Letter from Louisville Plant

Prices of bodies for replacement: Fordor sedan, $430. Coupe, $235. Touring, $80. Runabout, $60. FOB Detroit.

 

SEP 25

Acc. 78, Box 47-49, Ford Archives

"Ford USA" no longer on engine block.

 

OCT 6

Acc. 285, Ford Archives

Letter from Harvey Firestone to Henry Ford:
 

"Your interest in balloon tires started me actively testing and developing them and they are giving service far beyond my expectations. At this time several large automobile manufacturers are active in their experiments on this tire and I believe will adopt it as optional equipment. Cole Motor Car Company has already adopted it. I was in New York this week and went to the closed car show and the Cole exhibit with balloon tires was the most popular exhibit there.

"I do not know, of course, how popular this tire is going to be but I want you to know the conditions for it is going to be adopted and is a practical tire --- I think it is and we are going to put it on the market in a limited way. I would like to see the Lincoln be among the first to offer it to the trade as optional equipment. I enclose letter from Mr. Meadowcroft and a Cole booklet with a notation made by Mr. Edison. You will see that he is strongly sold on the balloon tire."

 

DEC 26

Engine production records, Ford Archives

Engine 9,000,000 built at 1:05 P.M.