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Model T Colour


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I'm in the early stages of restoring a 1917 Model T, to replicate the type used by the Australian Light Car Patrol in Palestine during the Great War.


This pic was lifted from the Australian War Memorial's site and it's the basis of my restoration, however, I can't find any substantial clue to the colour, in this or other photos on that site. The AWM obviously has more important things to do than answer silly questions about vehicle paint jobs, so I thought that after having read the RR armoured cars thread here, I would see if anyone here has an idea of the right colour.


Given the dark shade of the Lewis (although that could be just shadow) and the radiator shell (normally black) compared to the rest of the car, it might suggest that the metal colouring is a khaki or a light brown, maybe sandy tint ?


I gather that the vehicles used on the Western Front were a dark shade of green, but those in Palestine employed in chasing Johnny Turk, might have been camouflaged to fit their surroundings ?




Model T Ford Lt Car Ptl0145.jpg

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I'm sure I've seen a paint mix published somewhere, but can't find it at the moment. But it would have been for the dirty brown/olive drab colour found on the Western Front, which may have been very different to the theatre you wish to represent. Even then it would be inaccurate for the Western Front as shades would have differed depending on what was available to use. At the end of the day, paint your T what you feel happiest using and wait for the 'experts' to tell you it's wrong and then not be able to give you proof as to why.


Meanwhile, you may want to have a browse through here: http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=72254&hl=

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In WW2 standard procedure was to paint it with pretty much anything that was available - then throw sand at it so that the surface was covered.


Not a great 'finish' for a restored vehicle, but apparently that was what they did, and seldom ran out of at least one of the materials...

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I am watching this thread with great interest as our Peerless is to be painted to represent Mesopotamian use and we have yet to determine the colour as well! Tim has asked questions of quite a few forums but nobody seems to know. It really is most frustrating. I have a patch of original western front khaki on one of our chassis so we are pretty sure of that. Our FWD was painted that colour but that may be wrong as the Americans had their own ideas and it may well have been different. Not that anybody has told us we are wrong yet! Of course Britsh lorries on the Western Front in 1914 were painted grey with black lettering and this can be seen in a few early pics.


The bottom line at the moment is we don't know but look forward to finding out!





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Hi Steve,


I contacted the Imperial War Museum about this and the reply I received today from a fellow named Peter Collins, reads in part:




"Unfortunately, the Imperial War Museum does not hold any technical

details on this vehicle or any other First World War Scout Car in the

Museums collections, as it does not have an example of this vehicle in

the collections.


It is very unlikely that any scout car operating in the Middle East

during the First World War would of carried the same camouflage scheme

as those employed on the Western fount, as it was noted on uniform and

other equipment from various wars of the 19th Century that yellow, brown

and pink were best colours to be used in this type of operational area.

If a piece of equipment was, of course, moved from the Western Fount to

the Middle East it is likely it would of carried green and dark brown

scheme which would then be repainted to a desert paint scheme at the

earliest opportunity


May I suggest contacting the Tank Museum based in Dorset who should have

the information on the colour scheme you need as they have examples of

First World War Scout Cars in their collections and have technical

details on various types of Scout Car."




So I'll pass this query onto the Tank Museum and see what it produces.


On a point you raised about Peerless - I have a radiator shell for my 1917 Ford T, which has embossed on it the brand name 'Peerless' and the fact that it was produced for Ford by Corcoran of Cincinnati. Strange isn't it ?




Model T Ford Radiator Embossing.JPG

Edited by mazungumagic
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Received a reply from Stuart at the Tank Museum:




"We believe that the colour of the Model T Ford – Light Patrol Car which would have been used in the theatre would have been a light brown colour. The only reference material we have is an illustrated colour plate in the old C.Ellis and D. Bishop Bladford Press book: Military Transport of World War I and so we can not be certain. This website also shows other Light Patrol Cars http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-armour/allied/aust-ww1.htm."





I've asked him for a scan of the photo he refers to so we'll see what eventuates.





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I've got the book he refers to - it's a drawing of the vehicle which has been coloured, as with the other illustrations in the book. It's not specifically a patrol car either (as in the type with no canvas cover and armed), but the light truck type as seen on the western front and illustrated as a WF example (marked as an Irish division with a green clover divisional sign IIRC). If it is any use though i'll find it and scan it

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