Please refer to the best Model T Ford book ever published for more information on this very special body. That book is "Model T Ford - The Car Than Changed The World". The hard cover version of that book is not out of print but a soft cover version is now available. Ford referred to this body style in their 1912 sales catalog as being a "Commercial Roadster".
This body style is now most often referred to as being the "Mother-In-Law" seat roadster. This seems to have been a totally impractical body style to me so I have to wonder why anyone would ever have bought one 112 years ago.A touring car would not have cost that much more and would have been way more practical at that time. I suspect the lack of practicality of this body is part of what makes it so scarce, interesting and appealing to early Model T Ford enthusiasts today. I suppose this body style was sort of a carry over from the single seat buggy or "Doctor's Buggy" that was still very common around that time period. Ford offered a Tourabout body style in I believe about 1909 or 1910.
It was pretty much this body only it had a rear seat that was wide enough for two passengers rather than only one as this body accommodates. It is very interesting to note the several numbers stamped into the wood or written or or attached to this body in various places.
I have digital photos of those numbers but due to limitations on the number of photos I can have on this listing, I have not shown them here. The number 33174 is stamped into the wood on the front of the front seat frame.
The number 3080 is stamped into the wood on the front of the single rear seat frame. The number 40 is printed on a heavy paper tag that is attached with a round head tack to the right side of the wood rear seat frame. I suspect that tag number was related to the name of the inspector that inspected the rear seat assembly after it was completed. The number 450 is written upside down with chalk on the back of the front seat heel board. Please tell me what you can regarding these serial numbers and who made this body for Ford if they did not make it in house.The original leather is still intact but is dry so it will need some tender loving car to soften it up. What black paint remains is the original and you can see the light colored original pinstripe is several places on the backs of the front and rear seats. All of the original wood appears to be in excellent condition with no splits, cracks, rot or even soft spots anywhere.
This body is framed in wood with all of the outside panels being steel. There are no rusted out or even thin spots anywhere in the steel panels. The last photo shows some minor surface rust pitting of the body platform at the left rear corner of the front seat below the aluminum covered rear floor.This is the most corroded part of the entire body and it is not very bad for a 102 year old "survivor". The original soft pyramid aluminum rear floor covering covers the platform behind the front seat. It runs all the way from the back of the front seat and into the back of the storage compartment that is in the bottom of the pedestal that supports the single rear seat. This very vulnerable rear floor is still in very nice original condition with only some very minor rust staining in a place or two and a shallow scratch about two inches long.
One might be able to use some kind of cleaner to remove the minor stains but I chose to leave them as they are. They are part of the patina of this truly exceptional original body. It has been inside my dry warehouse ever since.
I had planned to restore a chassis without painting any of the parts so that it would match this very rare original body. I have a very nice original un-restored "survivor" late 1914 Model T Ford roadster that will be 100 years old later this month (September). This car was bought new by a woman medical doctor in Virginia City Montana and has a very interesting history.The front axle had been damaged and the steering geometry was not correct so the car tended to "jack knife" if one turned very sharp in one direction. The elderly man that owned it before me ran into a railroad caboose in his front yard with it and damaged the right front fender several years ago. I would like to find a nice original and pretty much un-damaged 1914 right front fender that does not have the bill on the front. It would be ideal if it had good original paint but I can have a professional painter match the patina of the original Ford paint if necessary. Please help me find this fender and upgrade this wonderful car if you possibly can. I have a true "barn find" 1914 Model T Ford touring that is a true "survivor" and has over 75 years of mud, dust and oily crud on it. The engine still turns over but I plan to leave it just as it is rather than clean it up or make it run. I have a vintage Rusk Auto House garage that was made as a kit in Fargo North Dakota back in 1912 or perhaps a bit later.
It has embossed steel swinging doors, embossed steel siding panels and embossed steel roof panels and is still in reasonably nice condition thanks in part to our relatively dry climate here in the west. I plan to erect that garage here in my museum and store this 1914 Model T in it.
I plan to display this garage with the swinging doors open and with a mannequin cranking the Ford. I might even motorize the mannequin to make it look as if he is actually cranking the engine. I also have a very rare if not unique 1918 Model T Ford Coupelet body that has most of it's original paint and upholstery intact. It was originally painted a medium green or blue color with black above the belt line and is another true "survivor".I believe the window bottom channel might be the same as the bottom channel used in the Center Door Sedans that had straps rather than regulators to lift the window. I suspect the side lamp brackets were also used on the early non-starter equipped Center Door Sedans and perhaps the later coupes that had backward opening or "suicide" doors with full window frames. I also have a true "survivor" 1917 Model T Ford touring that was built in February of 1917 and still has the very rare fan shroud on the radiator. That shroud was supposedly only used for a couple of months in early 1917. This car was bought new by Walt Davis who lived in Fort Benton Montana.
Walt was a carpenter and owned a few quarter or half sections of land around Geraldine Montana where I was raised. Dad told me that Walt would drive this Model T 26 miles each way every summer to check his tenant's crops. Walt passed away in 1943 and was still using this T as his only car at the time of his death. Dad figured that this T was the last one that was in actual use in our area. This car still has two of the original ignition coils that have cases that were made from sawdust and resin rather than wood as most coil cases were.
Those coils are black in color and have the large Ford script on both sides. I now have several more of these unusual coils that were used only in 1917 but they are all missing the back panel. Please help me find some more of these coils in really nice condition if you possibly can so that I can complete this very special T.My youngest Model T Ford "survivor" is a gorgeous 1926 touring that still has it's very nice original black paint, upholstery, wood wheels and nickel plated radiator shell. I believe the top is the original one that came new on this car and I believe that it has never been lowered. I also have a rough but still desirable Paco "boat tail" Model T Ford race car body from around 1917 that has the staggered seats. I also have another "taper tail" or "boat tail" Model T race car body that is in good condition from that same era. It is supposedly a Kingston body but nobody has ever yet been able to verify what make it is.
I also have another early Model T race car body that is in pieces. It has a flat sloping deck on the back that originally had a small rectangular deck lid.This body even still has it's original special cast brass windshield posts. I have no idea who made this body either. The item "Superb 1912 Model T Ford Mother In Law Seat Roadster Body Brass Era Pre 16 1911" is in sale since Saturday, September 06, 2014. This item is in the category "eBay Motors\Parts & Accessories\Vintage Car & Truck Parts\Exterior\Other". The seller is "toysanyone" and is located in Bozeman, Montana. This item can be shipped to United States.