1923 Ames Ford Speedster
This Ames-bodied Ford Speedster, restored by Herb Lederer of Barrington, IL, is perhaps one of the finest displays of early century accessory bodies for Ford Model Ts.
This features a real 1925 Ames Roadster body, model 815 with a highly sought after Frontenac 2-spark model SR racing head. There are 2 Winfield downdraft carburetors mounted to a finned aluminum Burns intake manifold. The drivetrain consists of a Model T 2-speed planetary with a Ruxtell 2-speed rear axle. The wire wheels are 54 spoke with lock rings wrapped in Goodyear Tires.
During the early 20th century, many carriage builders ended up converting their horse-drawn carriage frames to be used in automobiles. Originally, Frederick Ames founded The Carriage Woodstock Company in 1891 in Owensboro, Kentucky. The company was soon producing frames not only for carriages but for automobile bodies. In 1911 the company reorganized to become the F.A. Ames Company and the Ames Motor Company. The former would continue to manufacture bodies for other automobile makes, while the latter produced its own vehicles. AMES-BUILT quickly became a pioneer in building bodies for Ford cars.
Ames was so successful in pairing its established manufacturing capability with paper ads in well-circulated paper media that it soon became the largest-volume supplier of aftermarket bodies for the Ford Model T. During its 40 plus years of existence, the Ames companies had collectively built almost 300,000 vehicles: buggies, carriages, carts, along with both auto and truck bodies.
After The Great War, an unstable economy, and diminishing manufacturing resources all companies making goods were affected. By 1926 most companies that had serviced this field, including Ames, had folded their tents and left. Coincidentally, the Model T market had also dried up.