OT - Pics and articles with Early Fords in competitions (heavy on Model K)

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2013: OT - Pics and articles with Early Fords in competitions (heavy on Model K)
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Sunday, January 06, 2013 - 01:02 am:

A large degree of Henry Ford's early reputation was built upon his racing success. Ford continued to participate in speed and reliability competition throughout the early years of Ford Motor Company.

Following are a random collection of articles and photos I've accumulated over the last few years. Many of the newspaper copies are difficult to see so i'll try to ID them.

Any photos without credit were taken Internet sourced without source or credit.

I'll probably post some items now and continue to ad as time allows. If anyone has any pics or other info to ad, please do.

Rob
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Henry Ford beating a Winton in Oct 1901. This race was crucial in establishing the Ford name.
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Next, Henry Ford used the success of 999 to propel his career.
After leaving the "Henry Ford Company" (that became Cadillac), he used the success of 999 to attract investors to begin Ford Motor Company.
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Henry Ford is shown seated on his six cylinder racer in January 1905.
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Following are a large group of racing and reliability results. While primarily Ford six cylinder accounts, several Ford four cylinder results are included too. The thing that impressed me was the frequency the Ford six appears as a finalist in many contests.
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Probably the most important victory for the Ford Six (Model K) is the June 1907 twenty four hour endurance race. The Model K (vastly improved from the 1906 series) set a new record for miles travelled over a 24 hour period. Besides setting the record, the Ford six beat several quality opponents including a 60 HP Thomas Flyer and the Pope Toledo Vanderbilt racer.

Other cars entered were a Buick, Stevens Duryea, American and Wayne, along with two Model N Fords. The Ford Six traveled 1135 miles, breaking the old record by 309 miles.

Ford used this victory in advertising to promote the Model K throughout the remainder of the year.
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I'll follow up with other segments, including foreign competitions both the K and N had significant success in.


Rob


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Sunday, January 06, 2013 - 02:28 am:

These is the Ford "foreign" section. We knew the Ford NRS Models had success abroad, however I was surprised to learn about Model Ks in Europe. Following are a collection of ads and photos showing the Ford Six in Europe.

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This account mentions the success both the six and four cylinder Fords are having at the Irish and Scottish Reliability tours.
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This is a 1906 newspaper notice announcing that two Ford six cylinder cars are being shipped to Berlin Germany. The account also says 8,000 Ford four cylinder cars have been contracted for shipment to Europe.
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Two Models place first in their class in the Irish Reliability Hill climb.
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In this account, a Ford Six places second in a "flexibility" trial abroad, finishing behind a 60 HP Napier.

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This how's a British concern announcing they have both four and six cylinder Fords available for examination. Again, while we knew Models NRS were exported extensively, I'm curious as to the extent the Model K was exported?
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More hill climb results. Notice two Ns and a K are competing with mostly foreign competition.
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This is a one page journal piece covering the Scottish Reliability tour, with a Ford six cylinder car featured. Following are close ups of the Ford.
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Continuing on with the Scottish Trial, this chart shows the Ford six had a perfect four days without stopping. One of the Ford Ns is mentioned for having three days of without a stop.
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This note breaks down the nationalities of cars competing in the Scottish Trial. There are eight U.S. cars listed, with most competitors from England and France.

At the bottom of the clip are the other cars in the Ford six class.
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One more page from the Scottish Trial.
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While not a photo of a Ford six, this photo mentions that a Ford six placed 5th in the British Trials.
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If anyone is still following at this juncture, my point is to demonstrate that the Ford Six (I almost never see the car referred to by the letter K) was an international car. If you noticed, many of the high end automobiles we are familiar in the U. S. are not present during these grueling tests.

One question I hope to find an answer to is now many Ford sixes were exported.

Rob


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Hjortnaes, Men Falls, WI on Sunday, January 06, 2013 - 09:26 am:

I would think you will have to make a trip to the Archives in Detroit. Maybe someone here on the forum can tell you what to look for before you leave or you could spend hours barking up the wrong tree.

At least you know all the K's were built at the Piquette plant so you just have to look at records from that time period. Not like looking for Model T records that cover 20 years.

Good Luck Rob.

Keep the info coming.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Sunday, January 06, 2013 - 11:05 am:

(Text from the placard at Henry Ford Museum)

This is one of Henry Ford's least successful racecars. Built in 1907, it used a six-cylinder engine from the Ford Model K passenger car, and Henry called it "666." Ford built the car to break the existing record of 51-3/5 seconds for one lap of a one-mile track. However, a right rear tire failed at the Michigan State Fairgrounds and 666 took driver Frank Kulick through the wall surrounding the track. Kulick walked with a limp for the rest of his life, and 666 never raced again.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dennis Seth - Ohio on Sunday, January 06, 2013 - 11:55 am:

All the magazine articles and newspaper accounts from around the world of contests for reliability, speed, flexibility, etc did the manufactures of all the different automobiles send a car and a company driver to prove their car was better or was it just a group of locals pitting their personal car one against another?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Sunday, January 06, 2013 - 01:50 pm:

Dennis,
I've seen examples of both Ford "sponsoring" the race, such as the 24 hour race, agents (dealers) providing cars and drivers and individuals competing with their own cars. After one Ford win, a Ford dealer offers to sell the winning Model K to anyone, to prove it is stock (and the car was purchased immediately).

Royce,
That racer was set up initially in a different configuration (I think the chassis has been lowered) after the accident (I don't recall the details, only that the racer suspension was lowered or raised).

Dave,
Yes, I'd like to research in the archives. I'll need to find out more about the process first.

Following are a few more "tidbits".
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Two accounts of Frank Kulick's accident. The six cylinder "un officially" ran a world record time prior to the accident. Frank Kulick would eventually convince Ford to allow him to race again.
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Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Sunday, January 06, 2013 - 01:58 pm:

I'll try to post the the next "installment" later today. Next we'll look into the "heyday" of U. S. competition for the Ford six and four (Models K and N) cylinder cars.

I think the success of these cars led the way for the immediate acceptance of the Model T by the motoring public.

Rob


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Sunday, January 06, 2013 - 03:14 pm:

Another look at the six racer:
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