Reader Tip - Is it a Briggs or Murray Body?

How can you tell a Briggs body from a Murray body?

Answer - Don Bader

When Ford built the 31 Slant Window, he had Murray and Briggs build the bodies the same so parts were interchangeable. So all slant windows, Murray and Briggs, have the curved top on the side window openings.

There are some telltale differences such as Briggs used d-nuts on the fire wall and Murray used caged nuts on the firewall. The locations on the firewall are where the speedometer cable clip attaches on the passenger inside, and where the clip for the wire loom from the generator attaches on the driver side near the terminal box.

Also Briggs had a manufactures mark, the Briggs “Bug" on the LH and RH lower cowl between the cowl band and the cowl lacing an inch or two above the splash apron and on some production parts. See the attached photo showing the “Bug’ on the RF cowl.

The 160A. The Ford Standard Fordor Sedan had scrolled door and window handles, painted molding around the windows and painted front dash; the round dome light was centered in the car with a switch on the light and a rubber mat in the driver's compartment.

The 160B. The Ford Town Sedan had a pull rope on the back of the front seat, simple non scrolled door and window handles, wood grained molding (with a scalloped lower frame ) wood grained front dash, the oval dome light was over the back window and was controlled by a sliding switch on the door post, cowl lights and carpet.

The 160C. The Ford Deluxe Fordor Sedan - Same as the 160B but no rear quarter window, referred to as a blind back.


Answer - Rick Black,
Las Cruces NM

One of the easiest ways is to look at the door windows. Murray doors have a slight arch at the top of the window. Ford and Briggs bodies have windows that are straight across at the top. Click on the photo below to compare various Model A doors and windows.

There are exceptions. Slant Windshield Fordors made in 1931 had bodies made by Ford, Briggs, and Murray but the bodies were identical and had the arched windows typical of the earlier Murray Fordors.

Most Briggs and Murray bodies had a body tag on the firewall. Through the years, many of these are no longer in place. And, through the years, a replacement body tag could have been placed by an owner.

[Briggs] [Murray]

Finally, Murray bodies incorporate "caged" nuts where items are attached to the body (like the firewall) whereas Briggs used "D" nuts. Examples can be noticed in the engine compartment in case the body manufacturer's tag is missing or believed to be added.

Below is a photo showing many Model A Right-Front doors. Looking at the Briggs Fordor and Murray Fordor doors side-by-side, it's easier to see the differences. Click on the photo for a larger view:


While the doors of Coupe and Tudor/Pickup look alike, their widths are different.


Last Updated: 03/08/2023