I have undertaken a research project to identify the Model A Ford Assembly Plants and their corresponding ID number codes that were stamped onto the bodies of some Model A’s.
This Assembly Plant ID number is different from the engine serial number, different from the Ford Body style number, and different from the body company style number. This study specifically concerns the ID number stamped onto the body at the Ford assembly plant by Ford workers.
The body assembly plant number was stamped into the top of the horizontal front body cross member, into the body side rails on the floor board level, or into the wooden cross member on certain body styles such as Cabriolets and Fordors.
The number can be located anywhere on the cross member and can be oriented to read from driver to passenger side, from passenger to driver side, or from back to front. Also, the size of the stamp used differs from one assembly plant to another.
Briggs and Murray bodied cars also had a body company number tag affixed to either the wooden body cross member or firewall. I am not collecting these tag numbers. Body company tag number information can also be found on the MAFCA website.
Most, but not all, of these numbers contain from one to five letters that denote the specific assembly plant where the car was assembled. The digital portion of the number could indicate body style production. To date, 31 of the 35 assembly plants have been equated to their letter codes.
It would appear that each of the assembly plants, regardless of its particular capability (i.e., major, standard, or minor assembly plant), stamped these numbers into the body cross member or body side rails.
For some unknown reason, not all Model A cars have an assembly plant ID number, but that could largely be a result of the body cross member or side rails being replaced or the assembly plant number being filled in during restoration.
Model A Ford Assembly Plants (US)
Following is a list of the assembly plants with their equated letter codes.
|1.||Atlanta, Georgia (the star is sometimes stamped at the end) AA also noted|
|2.||BO||Buffalo, New York|
|3.||CE||Charlotte, North Carolina|
|7.||CL||Cleveland, Ohio (CLE) also noted|
|11.||DM||Des Moines, Iowa|
|16.||Kansas City Missouri (possibly used letters ‘AF’)|
|17.||KY||Kearny, New Jersey|
|19.||Los Angeles, California (the month and year appear as part of the number)|
|20.||LE||Louisville, Kentucky (the month and year appear at the end of the number)|
|21.||MEM||Memphis, Tennessee (Sometimes has ‘AX’ preceding the number)|
|23.||NO||New Orleans, Louisiana (the number ‘2’ precedes the “NO”)|
|25.||OC||Oklahoma City, Oklahoma|
|26.||Omaha, Nebraska – Possibly used ‘AU’|
|29.||Detroit (Rouge), Michigan|
|31.||SFA||San Francisco, California (SFAA) has also been used|
|33.||Somerville, Massachusetts (also used letters S-S, SAXC, SAX and SSAX)|
|34.||STL||St. Louis, Missouri (has AX preceding the STL)|
|35.||TC||Twin City, St. Paul, Minnesota|
Note that most of the letter codes are from one to five letters and there is a systematic way most of the letters were derived from the city location of the assembly plant. When assembly plant location cities have a single word, the letter code is generally the first and last letters (i.e. Buffalo – BO, Charlotte – CE, Chester – CR, etc.)
Assembly plant locations having two words generally use the initial letter from each word (i.e. New Orleans – NO, Oklahoma City – OC, Twin City – TC and so forth).
It is difficult to differentiate the stamp used to represent the letter O from the stamp used for the zero, and this presents a problem for some of the body assembly plant letter codes.
Anyone having a Model A with a number containing letter codes listed above can determine the origin of that car body and possibly its final assembly, while others will have to wait for more numbers to be collected.
The following additional letter codes have been noted but are not yet equated to their assembly plant: AEX, AXC, DO, T, W, 3S, and 5S.
Model A Ford Assembly Plants (Canada)
|1.||Montreal, Quebec — 119-139 Laurier Avenue East|
|Toronto, Ontario — 2951-2991 Danforth Avenue|
|Winnipeg, Manitoba — Portage and Wall Streets|
|Vancouver, British Columbia — 1160 Hamilton Street|
Most, but not all, of the cars having the ‘F’ code compiled to date are 1928 or 1929 Tudors. The numbers following the letter assembly code increase when the cars are put in month and year order.
The following is a list of 1928 and 1929 Tudors with the ‘F’ letter code in production date order.
Some ‘F’ bodies were assembled outside of the U.S. and have Canadian engine numbers. In fact there is almost equal mix of U.S. and Canadian assembled cars with ‘F’ series assembly plant numbers.
The ‘F’ series system was modified in late 1929. On these cars the letter F is preceded by a number, indicating the body style. Below is a listing of the numbers compiled to date equated to their body style.
|Prefix||Body Style||Ford Body Code|
|1F||Standard Coupe||45A, B|
|2F||Sport Coupe||50A, B|
|6F||Phaeton||35A, B; 180A|
|9F||Open Cab Pickup||76A, B|
|12F||Closed Cab Pickup||82A, B|
|16F||155A, B, C, D; 160B|
It is very interesting to note that all cars noted to date with letter code of ‘D’ or ‘DO” are 1928 or 1929 Coupe bodies (i.e. Standard, Special, Business or Sport Coupes).
I would like to collect additional body assembly plant numbers from as many cars as possible. In addition to the body assembly plant number, please forward as much of the following data as possible:
- General location of the number on the cross member or side rail
- Orientation of the number (does it read from the drivers side to passenger side or vice-versa)
- Date on firewall for years 1928 and 1929
- Frame, engine number, or both if different
- Month and year
- Body style
- Current location of the car
- Original owner location of car, if known