Reconstruction sales, production records lost in 1970 Fire?

It is my understanding that The Henry Ford has a major fire in 1970. The fire destroyed post 1915 Model T sale and production records. Is any one aware of an attempt to reproduce or collect the information lost in the 1970’s?

Those of us with late production cars are at a loss to historical information that is available to those with the brass era Ford.

There are owners who ask questions about the origins and production of their cars. But without a build sheet /delivery sheet the car is an orphan. No birth certificate…

To put it another way, those who own post 1911 Model T’s are at a loss for having production information. Below are comments found on “The Henry Ford” (Museum) Site.

From the site:

"In the summer of 1970, a museum fire destroyed many Ford Motor Company production records. The table below indicates which records still exist.

Ford Model T Years - 1909-1911. Serial numbers 1,119 to 70,920."

A copy of the production card for the “first” Model T is available as:

Production card for first Model T 27 September 1908

“This is the Ford Motor Company record of the very first Model T which was assembled on September 27, 1908 at the Piquette plant in Detroit. The production card lists it as Model 2090, car #1. It had 4 cylinders, 2 levers (the second for reverse) and 2 foot pedals. 1,000 of these early T’s were produced.”

It can be viewed at

As stated those with later T’s are at a bit of a disadvantage when seeking historical information about their car(s).

Actually there is some pretty good production information in the Accounts Receivables collection at the Benson Ford. At present they only have perhaps 25% of the books that existed when the collection was complete. Depending on which dealer the car was shipped to there is a 1 in 4 chance that the record exists for cars built before December 31, 1914.

There is no evidence that Ford used “build sheets” after the ones found in the Benson ford Archive. It is more likely they simply stopped doing that, and instead used the inspection tags and the Accounts Receivables to cut down on the amount of duplication of efforts.

The inspection tag remained attached to the vehicle when it was sold, so those were not lost in the fire. Some have been found by car owners. Most are gone forever.

I don’t predict that there is any answer to satisfy your wish. All paper that did exist is gone forever.

I originally asked a similar question a while back about body numbers found on coupes built between 1917 to 1922. Rather poor response. So if a questionnaire - one page would appear - for coupes - as a start - how much interest would there be in starting a data base (Information such as body number and engine number)?

You know the MTFCI tried that on their old website. They got an interesting response at first, then no one cared and it got forgotten. I think its a great idea. Registries provide loads of information. The problem is finding someone dedicated who will keep up with it for years.