Back to Reference Guide

Model T: 1912

ENGINE SERIAL NUMBERS:95,550 to 183,563 approx., and B-1 to B-12,247 calendar year. 69,877 to 157,424 fiscal year (October 1, 1910 to September 30, 1911).

MODEL YEAR DATES: January 1912 to September 1912 approx.

MAJOR MODEL YEAR FEATURES: See component listings for details.

BODY TYPES: Touring, Runabout, Town Car, Coupe, Torpedo Runabout, and Delivery Car.
   Bodies were supplied by several manufacturers. Metal panels over wood frame. Again restyled. While similar to the 1911, the side panels were now relatively smooth and the front compartment was enclosed with removable “fore doors.”
   The Torpedo Runabout was now based on the standard Runabout, except for the enclosed front compartment, and the fuel tank and tool box on the rear deck (instead of the “mother-in-law” seat).
   Touring cars came is several variations, depending on the body manufacturer and time era. Some were similar to the 1911, with the two-piece firewall; most had rear-opening rear doors, with and without outside door handles.

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. Delivery cars came in Red (or unpainted) with the standard blue fenders. (Fender color is listed as “black” in the 1912 Factory Facts booklet; both blue and black seem to have been used, based on existing, seemingly original, cars.)

UPHOLSTERY: Full leather in the open cars, in a diamond sewn pattern. Imitation leather began to appear on some cars in some pieces of the upholstery. The front and rear seats in the Town Car were leather.

FENDERS: Front: Same as 1911 with top section that flared inward and the splash apron area now a triangular insert. No embossed bead on the apron, or across the wide part of the front fender and dad 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: Now longer, with bulge at the rear to clear the brake and radius rods, but less pronounced than in the 1911 cars. Fenders and aprons were painted body color, an almost black blue. They may have been painted black, based on surviving seemingly original cars.

RUNNING BOARDS: Pressed steel with embossed diamond pattern. The Ford script ran parallel to the board. “Made in USA” appeared during the year.

HOOD: Aluminum, with no louvers. Hinges were separate from the panels, and riveted in place. Hold-down clamps had two “ears” and were of forged steel. Handles were aluminum.

DASHBOARD (Firewall): Wood, with brass edge trim that now overlapped the wood. Board was now higher and square, eliminating the need for the separate section used on the earlier cars to match the windshield.

CHASSIS: Rear body support was a separate forging bolted to the rear of the frame. Painted black.

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 at first, then iron and painted black. Column was now 56” long on all cars.

FRONT AXLE: Same as the later 1911 cars. The right steering arm was modified to include a hole for the speedometer swivel gear assembly.

REAR AXLE: “Twelve rivet” style introduced in July of 1911. The axle housings were again redesigned in late 1912, with the cast center section now being fatter, and with the axle tubes flared and riveted to it. This new axle then continued into early 1915.

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 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 are 6 inches in diameter. Front wheels used ball bearings. Hub caps have “Ford” in script letters. “Made in USA” appeared during the year.

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

RADIATOR: Supplied by Ford with the standard Ford script on the top tank, but no “Made in USA” until late in the year.

ENGINE: Closed valve type as in later 1911. Serial number moved to the rear of the water inlet location, at about 100,000, then to a position above the water inlet.

ENGINE PAN: Typical “three dip” with narrow front “snout.” The “ seven-rivet” mounting arms were replaced with “three-rivet” arms during the year.

OIL FILLER CAP: The mushroom-shaped cap, of brass, with six flutes and the Ford script appeared on all models. “Made in USA” stamped under the “Ford” later in the year.

ENGINE CRANK: Aluminum formed handle, painted black.

ENGINE 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. Adjustment was by means of a bolt/nut arrangement now located on the right side of the front plate and bearing against a boss on the mounting end of the fan bracket.

MANIFOLDS: Exhaust is cast iron; pipe fitted inside the threaded end and was packed with asbestos and held with a brass nut. Intake was aluminum of the typical design.

CARBURETORS: Kingston “six ball” in very limited quantities, or Holley Model H-1.

CARBURETOR STOVE: Several designs, all of which rose vertically at the rear of the carburetor and mated with the exhaust manifold at the rear area.

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 was specified to be dyed black.

FUEL TANK: Cylindrical, under the front seat. Mounting brackets were riveted to the tank. The outlet was at the center, right above the drive shaft, and screwed into place. Later, the outlet was moved to a location between the center and the right side, between the frame rails.

TRANSMISSION: Three pedal standard-design. Pedals were marked with “C,” “R,” and “B.” Transmission cover was cast aluminum. Tapered inspection door, held with six screws. The door was embossed with the Ford script. “Made in USA” was added after April 16, 1912.

COIL BOX ASSEMBLY: Kingston of new style, or Heinze. A smaller version of the Jacobson-Brandow box has also been seen but it does not appear in Ford literature.

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. Later cars used the single twist horn, all brass, and then the black and brass (1913 style) before the 1913 models appeared in late 1912.

WINDSHIELD: Rands or Vanguard. Generally steel with brass plating.

TOP: (Open cars). Top color was black on all open cars. Top irons were similar to 1911. Front support was now by means of short straps to the center windshield hinge.

SPEEDOMETER: Stewart Model 26.


1912 Changes


JAN 5 Acc. 575, Letter 261, Ford Archives
T-4322 Hub brake cable. Changed from 12 feet to 14 feet.
T-4335 hub brake cable clamp. Changed number required from 8 to 4.
T-4333 Hub brake cable assembly. Removed the cable clamps from one end and showed the cable to be fastened by being wound with fine brass wire (#20 B&S=.032) and soldered in place.
(Ford used rear brake cables on cars shipped to Germany.)


JAN 9 Acc. 575, Letter 263, Ford Archives
T-520 starting crank handle. "Replaced knurling on handle with ridges and grooves. Changed material from hard rubber to aluminum and specified the handle to be black enamel."


JAN 15 Acc. 575, Letter 265, Ford Archives
T-4334 Hub brake cable pulley. "Change radius at bottom of groove from 1/32 to 1/16"." (Cars to Germany)


JAN 18 Acc. 575, Letter 267, Ford Archives
T-4322 Hub brake cable. Changed diameter from 1/8 to 5/32.
T-4334 Hub brake cable pulley. Changed radius at bottom of groove for cable from 1/16 to 5/64.


JAN 19 Branch letter #15 to Atlanta
In response to requests for unpainted Delivery Cars, this letter announced the availability of this style "delivered in the lead," which is just the undercoat. Included in this letter is the following: "You understand, of course, that the chassis will all be black, including the fenders, this lead proposition applying only to the body." This seems to indicate that chassis and fenders on all cars were all black at this date because it hardly seems likely that chassis and fenders would be painted black just for the Delivery Cars.


JAN 24 Acc. 575, Letter 268, Ford Archives
T-4333 Hub brake cable assembly. Changed size of cable from 1/8 to 5/32. Also changed size of cable clamps. (Cars to Germany)


FEB 8 Acc.565, Letter 398, Ford Archives
T-4332 Hub Brake Cable. "We have changed the diameter from 1/4" to 15/64"." Had also changed the size of the wires and the number of wires that made up this cable.


FEB 10 Acc. 575, Letter 274, Ford Archives
T-686 Hot air pipe. "This pipe has been redesigned and material changed from cast iron to cold rolled steel."


FEB 15 Acc. 575, Factory Letter 276, Ford Archives
T-520 starting crank handle. (Aluminum) "Removed ridges from outside of handle and added dimensions specifying the exact shape of same. Called for polish all over."


FEB 20 Acc. 575, Factory Letter 277, Ford Archives
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.
It would appear that, as with the brake cables, Ford used a worm steering gear on some production. (Cars to Germany) Reference to such steering parts was also found in the 1920 Factory Parts List.


MAR 8 Acc. 575, Letter 281, Ford Archives
T-91-1/2 "Changed name from rear spring hanger (with wide flanges on stud end) to rear spring hanger. Changed radius for flange on stud end from 5/8 to 1/2. This makes the flanges on both ends the same diameter. Also changed the number required from 2 to 4."
T-91 Rear spring hanger (with narrow flange on stud end) Obsolete and replaced by T91-1/2.
T-246 front spring hanger replaces T229 as described above.


MAR 16 Acc. 575, Letter 284, Ford Archives
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." (Cars to Germany)


APR 16 Acc. 1701, Releases, Ford Archives
T1141 (Radiator front wall)
"Made in USA" to be placed on this part (radiator). Extreme care should be taken not to cut the letters clear thru the metal."


APR 16 Acc. 575, Letter 295, Ford Archives
T-240B front and rear hub cap. "Have specified the note "Made in U.S.A." to be placed on cap."
T-2530 & 2531 running boards. Specified to have the "Made in U.S.A." added.
T-400C cylinder block also to have the U.S.A. added.


MAY 9 Acc. 575, Letter 304, Ford Archives
T-901B "Steering wheel rim changed from 12-3/8" i.d. to 12-1/2". This changes the outside diameter from 15" to 15-1/8"."


MAY 15 Acc. 575, Letter 305, Ford Archives
T-240B hub cap. Specified that the note "Made in U.S.A." be embossed instead of stamped. "This means that all the letters on this cap will be embossed and the background oxidized."


JUN 11 Acc. 575, Letter 314, Ford Archives
T-410 camshaft. "Redesigned, bringing the shape of the cams up to date with the change in T-533 (drawing of the cams); also changing the angle between the Exhaust and Inlet cams from 111 degrees to 113 25' degrees. This change to take place on the 1913 car. (To be used when present stock of camshafts is used up.)"
T-901B steering wheel. Cross section made larger, from 1-1/4 to 1-3/8". Inside diameter now 12-1/4, O.D. the same."
T-156 1/8" brass pipe plug used on cylinder head (four used). Head drilled and 1/8" drill to combustion chambers. (Drilled with 21/64" later, according to letter #319 of 7-3-12.)


JUN 13 Acc. 575, Letter 315, Ford Archives
T-2852 and 2853. New (1913) rear axle housings specified for use on 1913 cars.


JUN 14 Acc. 575, Letter 316, Ford Archives
T-4476 Cylinder oil tube funnel. "To be a brass casting and only to be used until the brass stamping funnels can again be obtained, after which the brass casting will be obsolete."
Note: During July many references were made to the "1913" touring car bodies.


JUN 14 Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives
Production sold out (except for 1,000 Delivery Wagons) until September 1. No orders accepted except for Delivery Wagons.


JUL 29 Acc. 575, Letter 329, Ford Archives<
T-55 Hub brake shoe. "Redesigned and change number required from two to four. The new shoe will require two brake shoe springs."


AUG 10 Acc. 575, Letter 335, Ford Archives
T-410 camshaft. Angle between intake and exhaust cams changed from 113 degrees 25 min. to 115 degrees 21-1/2 min.


AUG 16 Acc. 575, Letter 337, Ford Archives
T-685 Breather pipe cap. " `Made in U.S.A.' under the name `Ford'; also specified the name `Ford' to be embossed, and the `Made in U.S.A.' to be stamped."


AUG 27 Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives
Orders being accepted for all models except the Roadster.


AUG 30 Acc. 575, Letter 342, Ford Archives
T-428 Exhaust and intake valve stem bushing. "New drawing. This bushing is to be used when, owing to the variation of the cylinder castings, the holes for valve stems do not come concentric with the bosses for same, in which case the bosses are machined off, and a 1/2 inch hole reamed in the casting, allowing for this special bushing to be pressed in place."


SEP 4 Acc. 575, Letter 344, Ford Archives
T-528B Starting Crank Ratchet. "Redesigned changing material from drop forging to pressed steel." (This experimental ratchet was noted earlier in the Factory Letters as being made at the Buffalo plant, which was formerly the Keim company which developed the deep pressings for the crankcase, rear axles, etc.)


SEP 28 Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives
Prices (1913 models?): Touring, $600. Torpedo, $525. Delivery Wagon, $625. Town Car, $800.


OCT 1 Acc. 575, Letter 352, Ford Archives
T-1414-B and 1413-B Front Fenders. Notes the change in the front flange (bill) from the 1912 pattern to the new 1913 pattern (no bill). Further comments that if one fender is replaced on an older car, both fenders would be needed to have a "matched set." Other minor modifications were made in the overall design to better facilitate installation on the 1913 cars.


OCT 5 Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives
"The only equipment permitted to be attached to any Ford cars is a robe rail, a clock, and a tool box on the running board. No exhaust cut-outs, trunk racks, bumpers, batteries or other items mentioned in previous letters should be recommended or permitted to be put on Ford cars either by our branches or by our dealers; and, as previously noted, our guarantee will become void if devices of this sort are attached."


OCT 11 Acc. 575, Letter 355, Ford Archives
T-603. "Changed name from Fan Pulley Driven to Fan. We have made this change in name because the pulley has been re-designed, specifying the fan blades and pulley to be cast in one piece. Change material from bronze to aluminum. We call your attention to the fact that when this drawing was first issued as experimental, the ends of the blades were 2" wide. They have been changed to 2-1/2" wide."
T-1546 Transmission Cover Door. "Redesigned this piece making it a simple flat piece of sheet steel."


OCT 17 Ford Archives
T291B front wheel assembly. Specifed 3/16" rivets to be used to hold the rim to the felloe, replacing the #10 x 3/4" flat-head wood screws being used. Also specified that the hole for the inner tube valve stem be lined with 9/16" 25 ga. steel tubing to prevent chafing.


OCT 18 Acc. 575, Letter 357, Ford Archives
T-1215. Muffler Asbestos. "Added note specifying this asbestos to be dyed black. Note: If possible we would like to have the muffler asbestos which we have on hand colored black in some way, also that the muffler straps be black enameled."


OCT 28 Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives
Torpedo Runabouts sold out. None to be available until January 1, 1913.


NOV 1 Ford Times
1913 Models illustrated.


NOV 5 Letter, Ford to Chicago branch, Acc. 509, Ford Archives
"Whenever you have the occasion to furnish rear axle housings in pairs, be sure to send out the 1913 design. You are also privileged to replace old housings with the new ones at half the catalog price whenever such an exchange is desired by the customer.
"We will furnish 1913 fenders for both 1912 and 1913 cars and will discontinue altogether any further 1912 type fenders. Where customers object to the absence of visor on the forward end of the front fenders, instruct them to trim off the opposite 1912 fender to correspond."


NOV 6 Letter, Ford to the Buffalo branch, Ford Archives
"Under separate cover we are mailing you a small quantity of prints of the new Ford Touring Car for 1913. You will notice that these prints are exceptionally clear ones, and we believe they can be used to good advantage by your salesmen."
Which would seem to indicate they made "1913" cars long before they were actually delivered.


NOV 6 Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives
Kingston Master Vibrator coils discontinued. Replaced with 4-coil Heinze or Kingston boxes at $10 exchange. About 10% of 1913 cars to use K-W coils. (Apparently Ford installed master vibrator coils at the factory or branches.)


NOV 11 Acc. 509, Ford Archives
Steering rods and balls 2725, 2725B, 2726, 2726B, 2727, 2727B discontinued. Brazed units only available from here on.


DEC 1 Ford Times
1913 Runabout shown.


DEC 3 Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives
Delivery Wagons sold out and discontinued.


DEC 3 Acc. 575, Letter 374, Ford Archives
T-902-B Steering Gear Spider. "Changed material from brass to malleable iron, changed note specifying spider to be black enameled instead of polished." (Refers to blueprint; the change probably was made earlier.)


DEC 5 Acc. 509, Letter, Ford Archives
Model N camshafts recalled because of a possibility of the dowel pin hole being drilled incorrectly.


DEC 13 Acc. 575, Letter 382, Ford Archive
T-512-B Inlet Pipe. "Changed material from pressed aluminum to cast iron."


DEC 19 Acc. 575, Letter 384, Ford Archives
T-619 Fan Assembly. Pressed blades, riveted to pulley, style reinstated. Notes that blades will be made of heavier material than earlier. Drawing to show pressed steel blades riveted to bronze pulley.


DEC 27 Acc. 575, Letter 387, Ford Archives
T-4446 Commutator Head. "Changed material from `W' brass casting to aluminum, and specified this piece to be a die casting."


DEC 31 (Factory Letter)
26,139 cars produced from October 1, 1912 to this date. (Fiscal 1913 production.)