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Old 09-14-2019, 11:09 AM   #1
ghford
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Default Body Interior Variation

If we look at variations in the interior features of fordors it seems we must speculate about the origins of some of the differences. We can study such as the book "As Henry Built It" and learn exactly what features went with this or that model "by the book" but how do we explain variable configurations that absolutely appear original. A town car was to have had cowl lights with finer interior features of rear dome light, arm rests, side shades, finer upholstery, etc., while the standard without these features and lesser upholstery. I have seen cars very much appearing original with variations such as two different town cars with cowl lights but the lesser brown check upholstery, one with rear dome light and the other without. Some have this or that finer feature and in combination and without others and even cars without cowl lights with all of the finer features inside. The dealer was known to have made changes to suit a customer so it could have certainly been there. I have been told after the economy crashed they would configure to suit and dress up the lesser to promote sales either at dealer or at factory. So key questions might include whether variations at will of maker or to suit the customer have occurred backstream at Murray and Briggs or even later at Ford after the body was inventoried there? Perhaps the body company had some freedom in contract fulfillment and maybe Ford ordered with variations to inventory. Could a customer special order a car with chosen features as we do today with then Ford adjusting or ordering the body company to configure to suit or were these variations done solely by the dealer to suit? Wishing everyone a great weekend. Greg
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Old 09-14-2019, 11:30 AM   #2
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Default Re: Body Interior Variation

You ask good questions but you also are using references that are not 100% accurate. You also are mentioning Town Cars, -which to my knowledge never came with Brown Check wool. Maybe you have documentation that can support this?

To begin with, it all boils down to documentation. Can you prove what you are trying to convince others of? As stated above, many form of literature were accurate during their printing period but more recent research has proven different. One of the most accurate forms of documentation is to look at original Ford prints including assembly drawings, engineer releases (-notes), purchase orders, and even the Body Parts List book from Ford. Ford's written operating procedures and material specifications have been proven to be very accurate when compared to what was specified vs. all original vehicles with providence & and documentation.

Two other thoughts I will offer to you. Using the phrase "I have heard ..." has been the preface to more incorrect statements about the Model-A than most people will ever know. My point is don't use hearsay to form your opinion about what is correct or incorrect.
Also know that the 'Judging Standards' in not 100% accurate in every situation or scenario as it pertains to your automobile, -however the answer(s) it provides its readers is 100% accurate until Ford documentation can be used by the reader to substantiate a difference.
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Old 09-14-2019, 06:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: Body Interior Variation

Hold your horses. You begin by saying that I ask good questions then go on to counter yourself by inferring I am trying to convince others of what I cannot prove. Your initial assessment would be correct in that asking questions is in fact all I am doing. I am here to learn and to share, not to deceive.

You may not have knowledge Town Cars ever came with Brown Check Wool but apparently Cartouche Classic Ford Upholstery by Mac's thinks so. I am holding their brochure of samples for "Model A Town Sedan Authentic Upholstery" which alongside correct colors of Mohair and Bedford Cord, also offers it in A9X3, Brown Check Wool and again it specifies for Town Sedan. The same is offered instead for the Standard Fordor on a different page not offering the better materials that are for Town Sedan only. Yes I have photographs of the same that most any analyst would agree to be original in Town Sedans having side armrests to match. I have an older brochure from LeBaron Bonney which for Standard Fordor offers side armrest covers to match the seat as opposed to the panels "if they exist", clearly pointing to variation and like Cartouche I am thinking they had seen a few to know.
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Old 09-14-2019, 07:40 PM   #4
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Default Re: Body Interior Variation

Greg,
I think you are confusing a town CAR with a town SEDAN...2 very different animals. A town CAR is an open front limousine type body style, and the town SEDAN is a closed front fancy fordor.
Take a look in the Restoration Guide and Judging Standards to understand the difference.


Cartouche and Macs are not known references for historical accuracy.
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Old 09-14-2019, 08:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: Body Interior Variation

d.,
You are correct in that my terminology needs adjustment. I know the limo you speak of and you are again correct that it is the only "Town Car". I however was using that as a "slang term" as many do for the Town Sedan. I was not though confused as to the two cars. What I have been discussing is the two more common being the Standard Fordor and the Town Sedan.

I further agree the interior makers of today are not the ultimate authorities on original features though if selling that which must meet judging standards, they are likely pretty good interpreters of what was.

I should probably reiterate that my main area of interest is whether known original variations could have been done by the manufacturers for whatever reason or instead if they were performed by dealers wishing to accommodate a customer to get a sale which they in fact did do. Bright colored wheels and fender wells are a perfect example of that.

Thanks,

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Old 09-15-2019, 01:06 AM   #6
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Default Re: Body Interior Variation

From copies of period invoices [ Legendary Model A by P. Winnewisser & D. Rehor The 1932 Ford Book] & my knowledge of Ford Canada during that era, cars could vary in interior & exterior colours/appointments during a production run & whatever it was when you purchased, that is what you got. Special tailoring to the customer would have been the domain of the Dealer by way of accessories available & approved by Ford. Also, some paint changes could be made to attract the buyer or satisfy them. This was done sometimes here in NZ with wheels & added highlight colours but basic colours were Canadian & were rotated throughout the year by the factory; ie. no real special options at any given time. I do not think any system of ordering any variation from standard production existed in that era, as we understand today. The bodybuilders were working to a very tight margin set by Ford & Ford was probably the best value along with the service network, in the market in that era. Tailor made cars were in the high price bracket. Cheers
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Old 09-15-2019, 01:45 AM   #7
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Default Re: Body Interior Variation

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Originally Posted by ghford View Post
I however was using that as a "slang term" as many do for the Town Sedan.
I can honestly say I have never heard that before, that "Town Car" was slang for a Town Sedan. I guess you really DO learn something new every day...
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Old 09-15-2019, 04:07 AM   #8
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Default Re: Body Interior Variation

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I can honestly say I have never heard that before, that "Town Car" was slang for a Town Sedan. I guess you really DO learn something new every day...

Neither had I.
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Old 09-15-2019, 04:20 AM   #9
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Default Re: Body Interior Variation

As for "how do we explain variable configurations that absolutely appear original." Anything could have happened over the life of the car. Anything is possible for the right amount of money. What I look at is not is it possible but is it probable. Is it possible that an owner would want a different interior then what was offered. YES it is. Is it probable that a dealer would rip out an interior and have one made custom with materials and reinstall it increasing the cost of the car considerably to the customer? No I don't think so. Would the buyer have known about the rear light on the Town Sedan and wanted to pay the money to have a custom interior made without the light? Again it does not make sense to me. Possible or probable that is the question.


If someone has any documentation on variations available to the customer directly from Ford we would like to see it.
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Old 09-15-2019, 06:43 AM   #10
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Default Re: Body Interior Variation

My car, as I believe, is a '30 town sedan but my title just says 4 door. It was restored about 50 years ago and I have no idea if it was originally built as a 4 door or a TS. Ever hear the expression "like putting lipstick on a pig?"
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Old 09-15-2019, 08:52 AM   #11
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Default Re: Body Interior Variation

A 'town car' is what we called a shitbox..you wouldn't take it out of town..

Ford Motor Company made cars to make money.Ford branches assembled cars for the dealers,branch managers had license to use what they had to finish enough cars to fill an order to the dealers. It was not about making sure every car had exactly what Dearborn designed,that was the intent,but reality was cash was king,fill the order,get paid..that's how Ford worked.Need 550 cars built today? build 550 cars,in an emergency use what you have on hand to meet the demand.
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Old 09-15-2019, 12:50 PM   #12
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Default Re: Body Interior Variation

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Originally Posted by ghford View Post
Hold your horses. You begin by saying that I ask good questions then go on to counter yourself by inferring I am trying to convince others of what I cannot prove. Your initial assessment would be correct in that asking questions is in fact all I am doing. I am here to learn and to share, not to deceive.

You may not have knowledge Town Cars ever came with Brown Check Wool but apparently Cartouche Classic Ford Upholstery by Mac's thinks so. I am holding their brochure of samples for "Model A Town Sedan Authentic Upholstery" which alongside correct colors of Mohair and Bedford Cord, also offers it in A9X3, Brown Check Wool and again it specifies for Town Sedan. The same is offered instead for the Standard Fordor on a different page not offering the better materials that are for Town Sedan only. Yes I have photographs of the same that most any analyst would agree to be original in Town Sedans having side armrests to match. I have an older brochure from LeBaron Bonney which for Standard Fordor offers side armrest covers to match the seat as opposed to the panels "if they exist", clearly pointing to variation and like Cartouche I am thinking they had seen a few to know.
I chose to corral my horses and wait to respond until others had posted their thoughts too, but the bottom line in my response was to suggest that you really need credible documentation to validate something as being accurate. You totally validated my point with your response because you have cited multiple examples of sources of misinformation in that book and by the two upholstery suppliers, -and my suggestion in my post was for you to go directly to the source to obtain your documentation. I think others have given you good advice also.

As for you using the word Town Car, I do apologize for assuming you knew the difference between the two body styles. Please accept my apology in that regard.
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Old 09-15-2019, 03:22 PM   #13
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Default Re: Body Interior Variation

I might suggest we start talking more about horses instead of cars at this point though I question it would lessen the confusion. Really hard to imagine considering the fact that an actual "Town Car" is so exceedingly rare, that anyone asking questions about interiors of the two models of the commonly produced sedans would be referring to or confusing the latter with the limo model. "Town Car" is in fact a term used in reference to what is technically correct as the "Town Sedan" and everyone who does it knows the difference between the two.

The only book I know I referred to was "The Model A As Henry Built It". While I trust if I have errored in the exact title of the book, some one will point that out, I was unaware that it was "misinformation" and that the two leading manufacturers of authentic restoration upholstery, with only one now operational, were misinformed as well.

Again, my only goal in posting was to indeed ask questions in order to try to obtain documentation.
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Old 09-15-2019, 03:27 PM   #14
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Default Re: Body Interior Variation

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A 'town car' is what we called a shitbox..you wouldn't take it out of town..

Ford Motor Company made cars to make money.Ford branches assembled cars for the dealers,branch managers had license to use what they had to finish enough cars to fill an order to the dealers. It was not about making sure every car had exactly what Dearborn designed,that was the intent,but reality was cash was king,fill the order,get paid..that's how Ford worked.Need 550 cars built today? build 550 cars,in an emergency use what you have on hand to meet the demand.
Railcarmover,

Many thanks for a great reply. I think you are dead on correct in your assessment. I further concur that auto manufacturers are all about profits. My father once worked in assembly and said he wished he had a dollar for every time they were told to throw exhaust parts, bumpers, etc. into the trunk and that the dealer would do it because they had to get them out.
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Old 09-15-2019, 03:40 PM   #15
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Default Re: Body Interior Variation

Your question is a normal one and easily answered. Cars did not always come out of the branch (ford assembly plant) exact to detail,substitutions were made on the line per the branch managers directive to fill orders by dealers.This is a known fact,and your question has been raised many times before.So you have a town sedan with brown check cloth? highly possible..or no cowl lights. For documentation of said substitutions does not exist,and if it did it was destroyed in the archive fire..
If you intend to restore your car to judging standards Id highly advise you get a copy of the guidelines,developed over the years by restorers for the purpose of judging cars.which sets a standard from which your car will be judged..its highly unlikely if you went back in time and fetched a car fresh off the line,brought here to 2019 and had it judged it would score well..

aw hell we bumped into each other
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Old 09-15-2019, 05:46 PM   #16
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Default Re: Body Interior Variation

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I might suggest we start talking more about horses instead of cars at this point though I question it would lessen the confusion. Really hard to imagine considering the fact that an actual "Town Car" is so exceedingly rare, that anyone asking questions about interiors of the two models of the commonly produced sedans would be referring to or confusing the latter with the limo model. "Town Car" is in fact a term used in reference to what is technically correct as the "Town Sedan" and everyone who does it knows the difference between the two.

The only book I know I referred to was "The Model A As Henry Built It". While I trust if I have errored in the exact title of the book, some one will point that out, I was unaware that it was "misinformation" and that the two leading manufacturers of authentic restoration upholstery, with only one now operational, were misinformed as well.

Again, my only goal in posting was to indeed ask questions in order to try to obtain documentation.




Ok, let's start over between my initial answer to your questions.


To begin with, I must confess that although I have been involved in this Model-A hobby, -both as a hobbyist and as a professional for over 50 years now, I was unaware that the term Town Car and Town Sedan were used interchangeably. For that I do apologize.


Since I was unaware that you were speaking about a Town Sedan, -and please understand why in that confusion I did not follow your line of questioning, so maybe this will explain why I answered as I did. Based on my research, the Town Sedan itself was never designated to have Brown Check fabric either. The only Checked material that I knew that was used was the early 1929 Murray T/S, and that was dropped and all Town Sedans were specified to have either Mohair or Bedford with Woodgrained mouldings installed. Therefore I trust you can see how when you mentioned brown check being installed in a Town Car, I was confused with your question.


The book I referred you to is the 'Model-A Restoration Guidelines & Judging Standards', often referred to by restorers & hobbyists as the "Judging Standards". That book has been constantly revised for over 4 decades by a team from both national clubs using Ford factory written documentation along with certain unmolested vehicles as the foundation for its writings. Because of this team's ongoing research, these multiple revisions to this book make it the most accurate resource for knowing what is authentic. Much about the Model-A has been learned in the past 2 - 3 decades.


Speaking as someone who owns a Model-A upholstery shop, -and one that has spent a long time researching what is authentic on upholstery, I can tell you that based on my experiences, none of the manufacturers (both past & present) are producing kits that are accurately sewn or authentic in details such as fabric. Even though our installations are more accurate and authentic than the offerings of kit manufacturers, -even we cannot be exact in all of the original details due to obsolescence of certain fabrics and materials ...and the ROI it would take to manufacture those items is just cost prohibitive. So again, this is an area where if you are desiring authenticity, it is my opinion that the first source of information should come from looking at assembly drawings found at the Benson Ford Library in Dearborn, MI. Next would be reviewing Engineering Releases and Foreman's notes.




I will leave you with this group of thoughts that are not just my thoughts, -but are the findings of men that have spent countless hours upon hours doing research studying factory foreman's logs, printed purchase orders, task cars, prints, and the like. Ford founded his company (-and revolutionized this nation) on the premise of perfecting a plan where there rarely was a mistake. You will hear of folks telling about anomalies of Model-As, -and yes there were a few however much of what we like to believe happened, never truly did.


For example, you often hear about how substitutions made -or parts being used up however these scenarios were documented in daily written Foreman's logs. To begin with, each department had a very detailed and regimented task list given ahead of time for the Foremen to implement for that work day. Therefore each foreman knew exactly what the scope was, ...and if he failed to meet his orders, disciplinary action was taken. Also understand that Ford knew exactly which vehicle was to be assembled that day, they knew the time in which it would happen, and even knew other exacting details such as which color vehicle and which parts would make up that vehicle. Based on Foreman's logs, we know the bodies were trimmed and inspected prior to being sent for assembly. In other words, mistakes like installing incorrect trim schemes just did not happen as it would have been addresses prior to that body ever being moved to the assembly line. With regard to Agencies (Dealers) doing interior swap outs, the evidence of this happening is so remote simply because of the logistics of how they would have obtained the materials to do so. The labor would have been so cost prohibitive to do the change-out, and Ford did not have the provision to sell yard goods of materials. Therefore if someone did want a trim scheme change, they likely would have found a local tailor that would have used a different fabric other than the one Ford manufactured for their vehicles.


So bringing this full-circle, ...can I prove that variations were never made? No, -but by the same token can you prove that it did? This is not meant in a hateful or arrogant tone, -but I am asking can you prove with documentation that it did happen? My reason for being so bold on saying the likelihood that it did not happen is this would likely have been discussed extensively as Ford's protocol was it would have been listed in the daily Foreman's Log on several occasions as in the Trimmer Foreman's notes, the Quality Foreman's notes, the Shipping Foreman's notes, the Staging Foreman's notes, and the Assembly Line Foremen's notes. Each one of these foremen has specific orders for the item in which they were to handle. I trust this all makes sense. If not, please take some time to actually research this in person at the archives and then we can discuss facts and opinions further then.


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Old 09-15-2019, 05:49 PM   #17
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Default Re: Body Interior Variation

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Railcarmover,

Many thanks for a great reply. I think you are dead on correct in your assessment. I further concur that auto manufacturers are all about profits. My father once worked in assembly and said he wished he had a dollar for every time they were told to throw exhaust parts, bumpers, etc. into the trunk and that the dealer would do it because they had to get them out.


WOW!! That is an interesting statement, and I am not sure which factory or time-period this would have taken place in, but this mindset seem highly unlikely to have happened during the Model-A era when Henry was still behind the scenes.
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Old 09-16-2019, 11:17 PM   #18
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Ok, let's start over between my initial answer to your questions.


To begin with, I must confess that although I have been involved in this Model-A hobby, -both as a hobbyist and as a professional for over 50 years now, I was unaware that the term Town Car and Town Sedan were used interchangeably. For that I do apologize.


Since I was unaware that you were speaking about a Town Sedan, -and please understand why in that confusion I did not follow your line of questioning, so maybe this will explain why I answered as I did. Based on my research, the Town Sedan itself was never designated to have Brown Check fabric either. The only Checked material that I knew that was used was the early 1929 Murray T/S, and that was dropped and all Town Sedans were specified to have either Mohair or Bedford with Woodgrained mouldings installed. Therefore I trust you can see how when you mentioned brown check being installed in a Town Car, I was confused with your question.


The book I referred you to is the 'Model-A Restoration Guidelines & Judging Standards', often referred to by restorers & hobbyists as the "Judging Standards". That book has been constantly revised for over 4 decades by a team from both national clubs using Ford factory written documentation along with certain unmolested vehicles as the foundation for its writings. Because of this team's ongoing research, these multiple revisions to this book make it the most accurate resource for knowing what is authentic. Much about the Model-A has been learned in the past 2 - 3 decades.


Speaking as someone who owns a Model-A upholstery shop, -and one that has spent a long time researching what is authentic on upholstery, I can tell you that based on my experiences, none of the manufacturers (both past & present) are producing kits that are accurately sewn or authentic in details such as fabric. Even though our installations are more accurate and authentic than the offerings of kit manufacturers, -even we cannot be exact in all of the original details due to obsolescence of certain fabrics and materials ...and the ROI it would take to manufacture those items is just cost prohibitive. So again, this is an area where if you are desiring authenticity, it is my opinion that the first source of information should come from looking at assembly drawings found at the Benson Ford Library in Dearborn, MI. Next would be reviewing Engineering Releases and Foreman's notes.




I will leave you with this group of thoughts that are not just my thoughts, -but are the findings of men that have spent countless hours upon hours doing research studying factory foreman's logs, printed purchase orders, task cars, prints, and the like. Ford founded his company (-and revolutionized this nation) on the premise of perfecting a plan where there rarely was a mistake. You will hear of folks telling about anomalies of Model-As, -and yes there were a few however much of what we like to believe happened, never truly did.


For example, you often hear about how substitutions made -or parts being used up however these scenarios were documented in daily written Foreman's logs. To begin with, each department had a very detailed and regimented task list given ahead of time for the Foremen to implement for that work day. Therefore each foreman knew exactly what the scope was, ...and if he failed to meet his orders, disciplinary action was taken. Also understand that Ford knew exactly which vehicle was to be assembled that day, they knew the time in which it would happen, and even knew other exacting details such as which color vehicle and which parts would make up that vehicle. Based on Foreman's logs, we know the bodies were trimmed and inspected prior to being sent for assembly. In other words, mistakes like installing incorrect trim schemes just did not happen as it would have been addresses prior to that body ever being moved to the assembly line. With regard to Agencies (Dealers) doing interior swap outs, the evidence of this happening is so remote simply because of the logistics of how they would have obtained the materials to do so. The labor would have been so cost prohibitive to do the change-out, and Ford did not have the provision to sell yard goods of materials. Therefore if someone did want a trim scheme change, they likely would have found a local tailor that would have used a different fabric other than the one Ford manufactured for their vehicles.


So bringing this full-circle, ...can I prove that variations were never made? No, -but by the same token can you prove that it did? This is not meant in a hateful or arrogant tone, -but I am asking can you prove with documentation that it did happen? My reason for being so bold on saying the likelihood that it did not happen is this would likely have been discussed extensively as Ford's protocol was it would have been listed in the daily Foreman's Log on several occasions as in the Trimmer Foreman's notes, the Quality Foreman's notes, the Shipping Foreman's notes, the Staging Foreman's notes, and the Assembly Line Foremen's notes. Each one of these foremen has specific orders for the item in which they were to handle. I trust this all makes sense. If not, please take some time to actually research this in person at the archives and then we can discuss facts and opinions further then.


.
Thank you for this lengthy post which took a lot of effort. You are an intelligent and knowledgeable person who has offered a strong opinion which is just what is needed on a controversial subject. It is not in agreement with every opinion posted in reply nor need it be. In fact difference in opinion is exactly what must be expected and what must be in order for all of us to learn. Call me a pot stirrer but without an exchange no one learns and we exchange with respect as a brotherhood of gentlemen. In that I speak generally, not targeting anyone. Everyone has learned something here even if it is as little as that I do not know what to call this or that model, but what I want to stress again is that my questions are only to try to find answers to what I have seen.

Fine to pick me apart, (again not targeting anyone in particular) my shoulders are broad, but don't let me catch you doing so to the elderly man who taught me. Fred was a good friend and neighbor who came from an Oklahoma farm. He had a '31 Pickup and was only one person among so many I have known who always called the "Town Sedan" as the "Town Car". Remembered as the best Ford in the day sold to the general public. What then, is the best Ford sold to the general public in modern times? If I am wrong I may be thrashed royally for this one, but to me and to so many it is the "Lincoln Town Car". See where I am going with this? "Town Car" is as was even though he who's tongue slips knows technically it was the "Town Sedan" and he does not confuse it in his mind with the limo model. So for me to call "Town Sedan" instead "Town Car", I later referred to as "slang". That is to say it is inappropriate wording but don't think I didn't know the difference. It just did not occur to me that considering that the latter being so exceedingly rare, anyone would think I was comparing it to a Standard Fordor in interior appointments. Not even I would think the factory or the dealer was dressing down the limo. I do apologize for anyone and everyone I offended but the hell of it is the people who know me will tell you that is just mild compared to other "slang" I use on a daily basis, HA! My best to all!
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Old 09-16-2019, 11:49 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Tudortomnz View Post
From copies of period invoices [ Legendary Model A by P. Winnewisser & D. Rehor The 1932 Ford Book] & my knowledge of Ford Canada during that era, cars could vary in interior & exterior colours/appointments during a production run & whatever it was when you purchased, that is what you got. Special tailoring to the customer would have been the domain of the Dealer by way of accessories available & approved by Ford. Also, some paint changes could be made to attract the buyer or satisfy them. This was done sometimes here in NZ with wheels & added highlight colours but basic colours were Canadian & were rotated throughout the year by the factory; ie. no real special options at any given time. I do not think any system of ordering any variation from standard production existed in that era, as we understand today. The bodybuilders were working to a very tight margin set by Ford & Ford was probably the best value along with the service network, in the market in that era. Tailor made cars were in the high price bracket. Cheers
Tudortomns,

Thanks for a great and informative reply. This is a valuable perspective and especially regarding production outside the states and the change of setup for a run and repeat makes sense to me. I might add here speaking of customers outside the states, photos I have ever seen of the Town Sedan in England, that is with full deluxe interior, were lacking the typically associated feature in the states of cowl lights.
Thanks again!
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Old 09-17-2019, 12:13 AM   #20
ghford
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Default Re: Body Interior Variation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Railcarmover View Post
Your question is a normal one and easily answered. Cars did not always come out of the branch (ford assembly plant) exact to detail,substitutions were made on the line per the branch managers directive to fill orders by dealers.This is a known fact,and your question has been raised many times before.So you have a town sedan with brown check cloth? highly possible..or no cowl lights. For documentation of said substitutions does not exist,and if it did it was destroyed in the archive fire..
If you intend to restore your car to judging standards Id highly advise you get a copy of the guidelines,developed over the years by restorers for the purpose of judging cars.which sets a standard from which your car will be judged..its highly unlikely if you went back in time and fetched a car fresh off the line,brought here to 2019 and had it judged it would score well..

aw hell we bumped into each other
Railcarmover,

Your analysis once again makes absolute perfect sense throughout. Everyone naturally wants whatever documentation they can get but even for much more recent production such as my C3 Corvette, documentation of so many of it's features just does not exist.

Thank you again,

Greg
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