1911 Ford Model T


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ENGINE SERIAL NUMBERS: 34,902 to 88,900 approx. calendar year. 31,500 to 70,750 approx. fiscal year (October1, 1910 to September 30, 1911).

MODEL YEAR DATES: November 1910 through December 1911 approx.

MAJOR MODEL YEAR FEATURES: (See component listings for details.)

BODY TYPES: Touring, Runabout, Torpedo Runabout, Open Runabout, Town Car. Note: The Tourabout, Coupe and Landaulet were “1910” models built in late 1910 but a part of Fiscal 1911 production figures. Bodies supplied by several manufacturers. Metal panels over wood frame. Newly styled Touring cars with more integrated appearance. Torpedo and Open Runabouts all new with different fenders, running boards, hood, etc. Landaulet is listed in catalog but none were built.

COLORS: All cars were painted a very dark, all-but-black, blue. Black is reported as an available color but Ford records do not indicate black as a standard color. A few Red Open Runabouts and green Town Cars were built in April 1911. It is possible that there were green early 1911 models; the date of the body change is unknown but both “blue” and “green” cars were built in later 1910 (after the 1910 fiscal year ended).
Fenders and aprons were painted body color, although either blue or black, might have been used, based on surviving samples. Records indicate only blue, however.
Striping of fenders and running gear began to be phased out about July on many cars.

UPHOLSTERY: Full leather in the open cars, in a diamond tufted pattern. Closed cars were also leather, with imitation leather trim on the door panels. The front seats in the Town Car were leather.

FENDERS: Front: Redesigned with top section that flared inward and the splash apron area was now a triangular insert. No embossed bead on the apron, or across the wide part of the front fender. All had a front bill. Rear: Similar in style to the front. Support irons were now attached to the body framing, extending out the side of the body, through a hole in the apron of the fender, and were clamped to a single plate under the fender.

SPLASH APRON: Longer than the 1909-10 style, with bulge at the rear to clear the brake and radius rods.

RUNNING BOARDS: Pressed steel with embossed diamond pattern. The Ford script ran parallel to the board, with no “Made in USA.”

HOOD: Aluminum, with no louvers. Hinges were separate from the panels, and were riveted in place. Hold-down clamps had one “ear” and were of forged steel. The steel hood former no longer had the “notch” on either side.

DASHBOARD (Firewall): Wood, with brass edge trim that now overlapped the wood. Added extension piece of wood used between the windshield and the top of the dashboard.

CHASSIS: Rear body support now was a separate forging bolted to the rear of the frame. Painted body color or black, depending on who you believe (no available records indicate the color but black is the preferred choice).

STEERING COLUMN ASSEMBLY: Brass quadrant, brass-plated spark and throttle levers, with hard rubber knobs. Gear case was brass, riveted assembly. Wheel was 15” outside diameter, wood, and painted black. The wheel spider was bronze, painted black. Column was now 56” long on the standard cars, but 60” on the Torpedo and Open Runabouts, and 51” on the Town Cars.

FRONT AXLE: “One piece” spindles. Tie rod ran above the radius rod, had integral yoke/ball fitting on right end, and adjustable yoke, with the locking bolt in a horizontal plane (parallel to the road). Drag link threaded 20 t.p.i. at the column end. No oilers on most fittings. Radius rod fastened to the engine cap screws. Early in 1911 the “two-piece” spindles appeared, with a new front axle. The steering tie rod now ran below the radius rods. The drag link now had 13 t.p.i. threads. The new axle had brass oilers at all connections. During the year the right-hand spindle arm was modified and now had a hole for the speedometer gear bracket.

REAR AXLE: “Six-rivet” style, like that used in later 1910. Reinforcing rings around the center flanges gave this last type a thicker flange area. Non-tapered axles were discontinued in favor of the tapered type early in the year. In July 1911, the “1912” rear axle began to replace the older style. This “12-rivet” housing had a cast center section and is commonly called the “clamshell” rear axle.

DRIVESHAFT HOUSING: Pinion bearing spool was a casting and was held by studs and nuts, the studs being enclosed (not visible) in the housing. Separate front housing for universal joint assembly.

REAR RADIUS AND BRAKE RODS: Had forged ends. Brake-rod support brackets now folded down along the side of the clamp, then out and wrapped up and around the brake rods.

WHEELS: Used 30 by 3 tires in front; 30 by 3-1/2 in the rear. Original tires were an off-white color, with no tread. Hub flanges were now 6 inches in diameter, for either the tapered or non-tapered axles. Front wheels used ball bearings. Hub caps had “Ford” in script letters but no “Made in USA.” Spokes were somewhat thicker than those of the earlier cars. The rear hub used with the tapered axles was shorter and looked nothing like the front hubs.

SPRINGS: Tapered-leaf, front and rear. “Mae West” style shackles.

RADIATOR: Supplied by Ford with the standard Ford script, but no “Made in USA.” The brass “Ford” on the radiator core was discontinued. Cast filler neck was higher than 1909-1910 type.

ENGINE: Open-valve type. Early in the year the block was redesigned to have enclosed valve chambers. The crankshaft main bearings now had babbitt in the block casting.

ENGINE PAN: One-piece type (no inspection door), but wider than the previous types, necessary to accommodate a new, larger magneto. Early in the year (late March) a new pan was introduced which now had a “three dip” inspection door.

OIL FILLER CAP: The same as 1910. The mushroom-shaped cap, of brass, with six flutes and the Ford script appeared on all models late in the year.

ENGINE CRANK: Rubber handle was discontinued, and now had an aluminum formed handle, painted black.


FAN: Driven by a leather belt from a pulley at the front of the engine. The fan hub was brass (bronze), with the blades riveted in place. The fan blades were not as deeply embossed as the 1909-10 type. Adjustment (belt tension) was by means of a spring between the fan arm and the engine front plate. Later the spring was replaced with a screw and nut in the same location, allowing a fixed adjustment.

MANIFOLDS: Exhaust was cast iron; pipe fitted inside the threaded end and was packed with asbestos and held with a brass nut. Intake was still aluminum but the “dog legged” style was dropped in favor of a straighter (typical) design.

CARBURETORS: Kingston “five ball,” or Holley. All used a choke and a heating arrangement at the air intake.

CARBURETOR STOVE ASSEMBLY: Generally a tube which ran upwards to the front of the exhaust manifold, and connected to a cast “stove” fitting against the manifold.

MUFFLER: Cast iron ends, mounted with pressed metal brackets. Longer, curved rear exhaust pipe extension integral with the rear cover plate. Wrapped with asbestos, secured with three steel straps. The asbestos wrap was specified to be dyed black.

FUEL TANK: Cylindrical, under the front seat. Mounting brackets were riveted to the tank. Outlet was at the center, right above the drive shaft, and screwed into place.

TRANSMISSION: Three pedal standard-design. The brake lever now operated the clutch as well as the rear brakes. Pedals were marked with “C,” “R,” and “B.” Transmission cover was cast aluminum, and wider than the 1910 cover. The inspection door was held with four screws. Later, (after January 4) a new aluminum cover appeared which used the tapered inspection door, held with six screws. The door on this new cover was embossed with the Ford script.


COIL BOX ASSEMBLY: Kingston, Jacobson-Brandow, or Heinze.

LAMPS: All lamps were now standard except on the closed cars. Made by Edmond and Jones (E&J) or Brown.

HORN: Bulb type, double twist, all brass. The horn was standard equipment on all cars.


WINDSHIELD: Standard equipment, was either Rands, Mezger (Automatic), or Vanguard. Generally steel with brass plating.

TOP: (Open cars). Top color was black on all open cars. Oval top sockets now attached to body brackets instead of the forged railing used in 1909 and 1910. Sockets were no longer curved at the bottom. Front support was by means of straps that ran forward to a bracket near the headlights.


SPEEDOMETER: Stewart Model 26.


1911 Changes




Records at the Ford Archives indicate that Ford built at least two special "racing" engines in 1910 and 1911. One of these had a bore and stroke of 4 x 5-1/2" and the other of 3-1/2 x 5". These were not, apparently, the same design as Model T engines; having a separate magneto, water pumps, etc. In addition, Ford built special front and rear axles, and other items.



Ford Times

Torpedo Runabout first advertised. New 1911 Touring at $780. With three oil lamps, horn and tools only, $700.



Acc. 575, Ford Archives

T-95E rear axle assembly (with the malleable iron case) blue prints are indicated.
T1990 gas tank for 1911 Open Runabout/Torpedo changed from ectangular to round.



Acc.575, Ford Archives

T-3403 Town Car speaking tube noted.



Acc. 575, Ford Archives

Notes on changes in touring bodies made by Beaudett Body Co., Hayes Mfg. Co., and Ford in Walkerville, Ontario, Canada. Beaudett bodies are identified as "Pontiac" on the shipping invoices, apparently because Beaudett was located in Pontiac, Michigan.


JAN 10

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

T-1367C and 1398C brake rod supports were changed from left to right, and vice-versa, due to a change in their location on the 1911 cars.
T2314 (Open Runabout and Torpedo) gas tank filler flange changed from polished surface to blue enamel after assembled on tank. "Should be enameled only from the bottom part of the flange up to the lower part of the thread. The filler cap is changed from brass to malleable iron, and finish is changed from polished brass to blue enamel.


JAN 12

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

T1097C dash shield NOT to be black enameled.


JAN 20

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

T400C cylinder crankshaft bearings changed from die cast babbitt to poured babbitt. (T400C is the new cylinder with the enclosed valve chamber.)



Shipping invoices, Ford Archives

Many cars marked "1911 front axle" and "1911 transmission cover" (the square-hole cover but wider than the 1910).
The first babbitt-bearing engine blocks (T400C) appeared at about 38,263.


FEB 20

Factory Letter 277

T-5015 Steering gear case (for worm steering gears). New drawing.
T-904 Steering gear case specified to be used with regular steering gear.
T-983, T4128 and T5010 Worm steering gear assemblies.


FEB 23

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

Brake lever and foot pedal plates specified to be black-painted steel instead of brass-plated and polished. The hand brake lever was also changed from brass-plated to black painted. T-1603 dash lamp bracket changed from brass to blued steel.


FEB 27

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

Notes on the use of the new tapered rear axle to be used on the 1911 cars.



Acc. 575, Ford Archives

T-990, 991 worm steering gear parts modified. Blue prints indicate these were used on "T chassis with worm steering gear" at least through 1926. These came in 6:1 and 7:1 ratios.


MAR 15

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

"T-401C cylinder head. We have increased the compression space, by moving the wall on cylinder head up 3/32 of an inch."


MAR 16

Factory Letter 284

T-991 "Changed name from steering worm sector to steering worm wheel. Have also specified this piece to be a complete wheel instead of only a sector, thereby allowing the wheel to be turned around from one side to the other as the teeth become worn out. This will allow one piece to be used twice as long as before."


MAR 25

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

Notes regarding modifications in the rear axle with the tapered axle. Perhaps this axle was in use by this time.


MAR 28

Shipping invoices, Ford Archives

First marked "Removable Bottom." (S/N 44,420)



Ford Times

First appearance of non-Ford ads in the magazine.



Acc. 575, Ford Archives

Holes in engine and transmission side pans changed to slots of facilitate installation.



Shipping invoices, Ford Archives

First noted "All 1911 motor." (S/N 46,326).


MAY 19

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

Boss added to steering arm to support the speedometer swivel gear.


MAY 26

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

Rear seat heel board changed to metal, eliminating the door in this panel.



Ford Times List of Ford colors and prices of all models:

Model A Runabout, Carmine $850, with Tonneau Carmine $950
Model B Touring, Dark Green, $2000
Model C Runabout, Dark Green or Red, $900, with Tonneau, $1000
Model F, Dark Green, $1000
Model N, Maroon, Dark Green, or Black, $600
Model R, Brewster Green or Carmine Red, $750
Model S Roadster, Red or Green, with Yellow gear, $700 **
Model S Runabout, Red, $700 ***
Model K Touring, Blue, $2800
Model K 6-40 Roadster, Red, $2800
Model T All types Brewster Green *

* Prior to June, 1909, Model T's came in carmine Red, gray, and Brewster Green. The same green continued until late 1910 when the extremely dark blue became standard (1911 models?). (Brewster Green is an all-but-black color.)
** Later information indicates the color was Green with Yellow gear.
***Later information indicates the color was Red and the price was $750.



Shipping invoices, Ford Archives

"1912" (12-rivet type) rear axle housings began at about 61,000.


JUL 11

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

T-55A brake shoe, T-55B brake band assembly and associated parts shown. Apparently a lined brake shoe specified for "1912" cars.



Shipping invoices, Ford Archives

Many invoices marked "No stripes on gear and fenders." A good number of invoices were so noted, which might indicate that such striping was common up to that time.
The spindle arm with the hole for the speedometer swivel began during August 1911.\



Acc. 575, Ford Archives

A number of references to the use of the Kingston Master Vibrator on "1912" cars "after the first 20,000."



Acc. 509, Letter dated Sept. 15, 1911, Ford Archives

Prices to be effective this date: Touring, $690. Roadster, $590. Town Car, $900. Delivery Wagon, $700. Torpedo, $725. Open Runabout, $680. Coupe, $840.
"Coupe to be discontinued in a few weeks." Dealers were advised that cars shipped until October 1 would be billed at the old price but that they should be sold after that date at the new price. No rebate was to be given.



Acc. 509, Ford Archives

Old-style commutators no longer available. New front plate and a new commutator to be furnished for replacements.



Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives

Motor and body numbers not to agree in the future.


OCT 12

Acc. 509, Ford Archives

New 1912 Torpedo using standard height seats was announced at $590.


OCT 13

General Letter

"Please return to us at once all of the Kingston master vibrator spark coils with which many cars shipped out during the past few weeks may have been equipped, also return any extra coil units or parts thereof that we may have supplied you for repair purposes.
These coils are not satisfactorily made, and we wish you would replace all of them on customers’ cars with the regular Heinze, no charge."
The Kingston coil box had a built-in master vibrator along with the four "slave" coils. It was apparently used for just a short time in 1911.


OCT 17

Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives

"Some days ago, we wrote you that we would not permit the selecting of any particular car as a demonstrator; that you had to sell the car to the customer you demonstrated it to, as we would not permit the making of second-hand of any cars. Some question has been raised by some of the Branch managers as to the practicality of this plan, and we have written them that it is our opinion cars could be sold without any demonstration whatever; that the guarantee that went with the cars was sufficient to warrant the investment by users. If our organization for taking care of the cars; if our financial standing and reputation is not sufficient to back up an investment of $700, or more, then we are not entitled to the business, and further, a customer is not entitled to more than that.
"We have bought hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of machinery without a demonstration, and bought it simply on the guarantee and reputation of the concern selling us. We knew the concern had the ability to carry out their guarantee and their record proved that they had the disposition. We believe that we have established a reputation of ability to take care of our guarantee and we are confident that we have satisfied the public of our disposition to do so.
"Therefore, from now on we will permit no demonstrations to be made of the delivery wagon. Salesmen will have to sell them off the floor or not at all. Therefore, there will be no excuse for cars becoming second-hand, or being sold at a reduced price, or being on the streets at all. We have long had it in mind that cars could be sold without a demonstration, if the cars were sufficiently reliable and sufficiently backed up by a good guarantee. We are, therefore, going to adopt it in the case of the Delivery Wagons."
(Signed by the Secretary-Treasurer of the Ford Motor Company.)


OCT 20

Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives

"In the writer's haste in getting out the letter of October 17 on this subject (Delivery Wagons), we stated in the last paragraph that there would be no excuse for cars being on the streets at all. We should not have said this, as we intend to grant you the privilege of taking the cars to the prospective purchaser's place of business for exhibition purposes only. We cannot expect the customers to come up to your store, so you may take the cars to their place of business for exhibition purposes, but you will not do any demonstrating or perform any service for them."


OCT 27

Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives

1912 Torpedo announced at $590. "An improvement over the previous design as a result of complaints of low seat."



Acc. 575, Ford Archives

Several references to the 1912 Delivery body. These were made by Beaudett Body Co. and Hilburn.
Delivery bodies were shipped made up or "KD" (knocked down) for assembly elsewhere.



Ford Times

1912 style Touring and a new Torpedo shown. "Fore doors" in which the left side will not open are described. Town Cars now have detachable front doors.


NOV 11

DeAngelus Collection, Ford Archives

T655 valve cover door thumb screw changed to nut.


NOV 18

Acc. 575, Ford Archives

Oil funnel changed from 5/8" wide to 3/4", and length from 1" to 1-1/2".


NOV 21

Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives

Discount allowed by Ford dealers to outside shops on parts reduced to 15% (from 20%).



Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives

Discounts allowed on cars to any one customer, in any one year: 10, 2%; 20, 4%; 40, 8%; 50 or more, 10% maximum).



Acc. 575, Ford Archives

T1091B dashboard (firewall). This dash used on 1911 touring cars and first 1000 cars in 1912, and on town cars, and for repairs when these 1911 types are equipped with the Kingston Master Vibrator.