1911 Ford Model "T" Delivery

Owner: Major Watkins

1911 Ford Model T Delivery
1911 Ford Model "T" Delivery going through the Cavalcade of Power at the 2003 Old Threshers Reunion in Mt. Pleasant Iowa.
Click on the picture to see the full size photo.

The l9ll Ford Delivery Truck featured in this Auto-Biography was purchased in 1946 by Major Watkins and Clinton Bowman from a deceased Oakville Baker, L.C. Williams for $l5, and it has been displayed at the Old Threshers Reunion every year since it started. Mr. Williams delivered produce (flour, & sugar) to Burlington, IA in the truck for his bakery. It is one of the few original paneled trucks around.

Majors daughter Mary says of the truck, "Dad said no one was interested in cars back then. The story behind the truck is that Burlington Power and Light employees were dumping tree trimmings into the truck. One day the boss said, 'do any of you boys want this truck?í. Clinton Bowman and Dad said they would take it. The two fixed it up. In l996 it was worth about $8,000, he usually pays more for one car part then what he paid for the car. They towed it home behind the service truck."

Mr. Bowman sold his share to Major long ago for $150. The truck gained a new seat and top at the Ford garage in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and was given a paint job by Mullenís Body Shop in Winfield, Iowa. Watkins overhauled the motor and put it back in good running condition.

"The farthest trip he has taken in it has been to Des Moines in l954" Mary says. "It has been to Cedar Rapids, Quincy, Keokuk and Burlington."

Some of the trucks unique features are its gas headlights and kerosene lamps for tail-lights. It has a crank starter and wood sides. "Dad has said the formula for keeping it running is to not drive it wide open. When us kids were little the neighborhood kids would come running to ride in it."

Mary recalls, "One traveling memory that is vivid in the Dadís mind is their trip to the l954 Iowa State Fair. On their way to Des Moines, IA the Model T adorned a sign that read, 'State Fair or Bust!' Dad recalled getting a flat tire and a passerby yelled out, 'Busted!'" They might have been busted for a moment, but Major managed to change the wheel and they were on their way.

One of Mary's fondest memories occured in 1996. "In 1996 during the parade Dad got the biggest kick out of me starting the truck in front of the grandstand, after he killed the engine on purpose. It was all a set up, and the crown hooted and hollered."

1911 Model T Facts

In 1911, Ford offered the Model T in several body styles: Touring, Runabout, Torpedo Runabout, Open Runabout and Town Car. Bodies were supplied by several manufacturers. Prices ranged from $680 for the Runabout to a wopping $960 for a Town car. The 1911 catalogues also list a Tourabout, Coupe and Landaulet but these were ď1910Ē models built in late 1910 but a part of Fiscal 1911 production figures.

Engine serial numbers for 1911 range from 34,902 to 88,900 (approx.) for the calendar year and 31,500 to 70,750 (approx.) for the fiscal year (October1, 1910 to September 30, 1911).

So what about the "Delivery" ?

Model "T"ís have had every body conceivable mounted to the chassis over the years. The 1911 Delivery featured here probably started out itís life as a Touring car or roadster, and was converted to a Delivery body when the need arose. It is possible that the Delivery was originally bought as just a chassis, and the delivery body fitted to it. It is hard to know for sure.

What is known for sure is that the delivery body fitted to this chassis is one that was done many, many, many years ago, with itís life as a delivery well documented. As stated above, it is hard to find original examples of a Model ďTĒ delivery, but the one featured here is a fine example, and was selected as the feature truck for the 2002 Old Threshers Reunion.

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