1915 Ford Model T

In Pursuit of Perfect – Retrimming Seats for our 1960 Jensen 541R.

For a handmade classic car, only a handmade interior will do. This is much the story with our beautiful 1960 Jensen 541R we have in the trim shop here at Bridge Classic Cars for one of the incredible owners, Gordon.

Our beloved Lilac has been in the trim shop recently to have our in-house trim experts begin work on upholstering the seats for this truly unique car. Starting from scratch, our upholsters began laying out the original frames and foams to ensure that the new set, which are handcrafted in-house, would fit. They also had to suit the cars classic but also quite contemporary lines.

The webs for the rear seat needed to include the signature rear hump. This had to be taken into account when making this one-off interior. The rear is a masterpiece of flowing lines that finish in neat and crisp corners that perfectly suit a car of this calibre. The padding was selected to give the most amount of support for the driver and passengers whilst out there enjoying the gorgeous 541R.

Our in-house team of automotive upholsterers took their time to make sure that the front seat also was given the same treatment as the rear. Skillfully matching the compound shapes and curves that make up the best seat in the house when it comes to enjoying a truly unique classic car.

Ford Model T’s Rear Box Covers

Brian has made up some covers for the rear box pillars on our 1915 Ford Model T. He’s done this in the same style as the seats, making it out of leather and buttons to create this luxurious effect.

He began by making up buttons for the rear box covers, marking out the button holes and drilling them into the wood. He then fit wooden sections to the shelf so that it will stay in place and fit neatly onto the pillar. He then glued the foam to the wood and proceeded to cover the foam and board in the leather. Once that was done, he could then fit it to the Model T.

Ford Model T’s New Floor

We’ve recently recovered the floor of the 1915 Ford Model T in rubber rather than bare wood. Brian has done a fantastic job to make it look smart.

Ford Model T Interior Completed

We’re delighted to see that our trim shop specialists, Kath and Brian have finished the interior trim for our 1915 Ford Model T. They’ve covered the bench seats and battery box in the back and the bench seat in the front with this delicate and luxurious button pattern in a black leather.

Ford Model T’s Bench Seats

Our 1915 Model T’s front seats went down so well with its owner, he’s requested that we also cover the bench seats in the back with the same intricate hand styled buttoned leather. Being hand made, Kath and Brian need to work closely together to make sure that they mimic each others work as closely as possible.

A Letter From An Old Friend

We’ve been contacted by a gentleman who has told us he had worked on our Ford Model T as a young mechanic back when Potters of Framlingham was still in service. His email, which is shown below, describes the involvement of different Suffolk trades that went into the maintenance of our Ford.

Good day to you,

I have a particular interest in the restoration of the Model “T” Ford. When I was a young mechanic working for A G Potter I was involved in the removal of it from a shed in Marlesford and its subsequent partial restoration under instruction from the old hands (long gone), who used to work on “Ts”. It did have only 2 wheels but Ron Allen, a director of Potters, negotiated a deal with the local hand coach painters ( Rowe and Snell of Swefling) who had a hand cart with two model T wheels and did a swap for more modern ones. They, in fact, are responsible for the hand-painted coach finish.
I understood then that the magnets in the flywheel generator needed re-magnetising hence the six-volt battery in the back. I was supposed to rectify this, and it would have been a major job.
I used to enjoy my time with this beautiful old motor and look forward to following its journey through your workshops.

Peter Robinson
Once a long time ago workshop foreman for AGP Framlingham

Ford Model T’s Custom Battery Box

We’ve also created a cover for the battery box on our 1915 Ford Model T. Brian put together the foam and leather, and then added the buttons with make this beautiful dimpled effect.

Ford Model’s New Seats

Our 1915 Ford Model T has had some amazing new seats made by Brian in the trim shop. Tom had made the wooden board base and Brian worked on creating the elegantly finished leather.

Brian began by glueing the squab to the board and making buttonholes. He then fitted the buttons through the leather and attached washers to the back. Brian could then fit the cover before cutting the backboard from the millboard and cutting holes for the bolts. He then glued the leather to the backboard, turned it onto the back and glued it in place.

We’re also endeavouring to lengthen the bonnet catches as it is currently not closing correctly.

Ford Model T Leak And New Seats

Our engine expert Ady has removed the core plugs, inlet and manifolds on the ford model T to address a leak and the rust. These will then be replaced.

The Model T has also received neat seat covers made by Brian.

Brian begun by gluing a foam base to the board, making holes for the buttons to go through and then threading buttons through the leather. Once the buttons were sewn in, he could then cut slots for the frame and turn the edges neatly over.

New Seat Covers For Ford Model T

Kath has been tasked with making some new leather seat covering for the 1915 Ford Model T. The seats are relatively basic however fresh new leather will certainly brighten them up.

Kath marked out and measured the seats to be recovered as well as marking out where the sewn in diamond would sit, which she tasked Lydia with later making. She then looked into making some piping and how to adjust the patterns to accommodate the button holes in the square back.

Ford Model T Gets New Brakes

We’ve been working on getting this 1915 Ford Model T up and running again, starting with refreshing the brakes. On this age car, the brakes are drum and steel which are only located on the back. We’ve taken the wheels off the back right hand side to find they’re totally dry and looking well. We’ve refreshed the grease on the hand brake pivot point and reassembled it. On the opposite side at the back the brakes were full of oil, which is as expected as the oil in the axel runs to the left hand side. We’ve taken it apart and replaced the outer race on the bearing as well as fitted an oil seal inside. At the front we’ve refreshed the grease in the hubs as well as noted some wear in the king pin.

1915 Ford Model T Up And Running

Our 1915 Ford Model T took a bit of encouragement to start, but when it did, it ran perfectly!

Having sat in a barn for a while, this Ford needed some help to start up, from being towed behind the van and being pushed, but once the engine turned over, it ran really well. Our next step is to make sure it starts every time without its driver and passengers having to push it.

Early Ford Model T Barn Find In For Recommission

This barn find Ford Model T is a turn of the 20th Century classic. Dating back to 1926, this unique green Ford is part of local history, with its life both beginning and being in Suffolk as an agricultural and taxi vehicle, hence the unique green. Henry Ford famously said that “Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants, so long as it is black.“, making this green unique to work vehicles.

This Model T has had quite the life, being owned or looked after by the Potters for the majority of its life. In 1915, this Ford was delivered by train from Old Trafford and was bought by A.G Potter, who then supplied it to Mr Funden Self of Marlseford who used it for deliveries, provisions and as a taxi service once a week to Ipswich Market, an exciting journey from Framlingham at the time. Mr Self used it until he died. In the early 1930’s this Ford became the property of Mr Walker, Sir Colin’s father. It then remained in a barn until 1954 when A.G Potter was employed to look after and restore the car with the agreement that he could use it as and when he wished. In 1963, the car was used in A.G Potters Golden Jubilee celebrations where it was used to collect Lord Cranbrook in Great Glemham to perform the opening ceremony.

Mr Potter, who handed his beloved Ford over to us today for recommissioning, owns a selection of other classics including Ford Popular, a Willies Jeep and another Model T, this one being a black 1926 model. All of which have been stored in his barn at his house, making these classics almost barn finds.

You can read more about the history of the car, here:

The black 1926 Ford was his fathers who acquired it from Rv. John Waller from Walderingfield, who had, in turn, bought it new in 1926. The Waller family still reside in Suffolk. Both of these Ford Model T’s have spent their whole life in Suffolk and mostly owned by the same family. Such a sentimental and personal link to these cars is always lovely to see as their history and their stories become more tangible.

The Ford Popular is unfortunately in a great state of disrepair and cannot be restored however the Willie’s Jeep is in running order.