I found the following ad in a 1907 magazine. They were advertising a 20 hp, 97 inch wheelbase Ford Touring, Roadster and Cab.
Hap and others,my our thoughts?
With "Storage Battery" Ignition I don't think so.
None of the other vehicles listed show anything other than storage battery. Either the autos listed are Models N,R, S with a touring and taxi body (and extended wheelbase) with the horsepower misstated, or something else.
The price for these Fords (they must be new because they are listed in the heading as "1908") is also interesting. If the Runabout is a new Model S, the cost should be $700. The touring is listed at $800 and the Cab at $1,000.
Also still questionable that they would misstate both the horsepower and wheelbase, since Ford was the leading manufacturer by this time and the specs of the NRS should be well known.
So, if you know what it isn't, I wonder what they are?
I forgot about this thread:
Part way down, it talks about an S Touring that the late Cecil Church had (Cecil Church also owned the Model K we now have). The article says that some of the cars were sold in 1908. It also adds that an additional length of ten inches was added to the frame and driveshaft.
It is always great to add additional information and/or questions to the early history. First – for us with older eyes – please post less information but at an easier to read resolution. That’s not always an option – but it can make the reading a lot easier. Also if you have the original documentation and/or links to it, that can be very helpful in finding the information again later.
Please confirm the information was published in a magazine titled “The Automobile” Oct 24, 1907 issue, which the writing above the chart would suggest. Is it available online and if so would you please provide a link? Sometimes having additional background information can be helpful. While the 1909 model year Grand Plaza Auto Show in NY NY was held starting Dec 31 1908 ref page 57 of Stern’s “Tin Lizzie” which has the wrong picture for the Nov 13, 1908 “Olympia Exhibition” in London – but the start date is mentioned elsewhere also. The 1908 year model appears to have been conducted 24 – 31 Oct 1907.
If anyone has access to a copy of that program, would they please let us know what it said about the Fords?
From what I understand at the moment – the information in the chart you shared did not represent the future production Model T or the current production Model N,R, S or SR. It was probably addressing what the author either (1) thought would happen [journalist often do that – they have a dead line to make and they need to publish something so they can be paid and feed their family etc. For another example of that see the Oct 1907 “Horseless Age” article further down in this posting] or (2) the chart represented a prototype S or possibly T.
The wheel base does not fit any of the documented information I am currently aware of [but we are always open to updating that if we find something new]. The chart claimed a wheel base of 97 inches. Which is longer than the standard N, R, S, & SR which had a wheel base of 84 inches (ref multiple sources but see: http://mtfca.com/encyclo/earlyfds.htm where Bruce (RIP) has it listed [also more details are included on his CD which is available see: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/303050.html ] It is also a longer wheelbase than the stretched Model S Landaulet and Model S Touring (both mostly sold in England) which had an advertised wheel base of 93 inches. Ref page 29 of 34 of Chapter 7 of Carl’s book “Pate’s Early Ford Automobile Encyclopedia” [available at: http://www.earlyfordcars.info/ ]. That information came from an English advertisement/catalog. Note that same English sales literature contained a testimonial from an owner about how much the owner liked his Model S “Double Phaeton” (i.e. touring car) which he had purchased in Aug 1907.
The wheel base in the chart is also longer than Cecil Church would have claimed for his Model S Touring. In the Nov-Dec 1976 “Model T Times” article Cecil did NOT say what the wheel base of his car was. But he did say, “The Model S Touring differed in using a 10-inch longer frame and drive shaft, to enable installing the Touring body.” If 10 inches was added to the original 84 inch N,R, S, and SR wheel base it would be 94 inches. But if the drive shaft was only increased by 10 inches, I think the wheel base would be less than 94 inches because of that triangle as the drive shaft goes down to the rear axle. Regardless it was still less than the 97 inches in the chart. [If anyone knows where Cecil’s Model S Touring went – it would be great to actually measure the wheel base.] And in the case of the production Model T Fords (even the first 2500 which changed a lot as they worked the bugs out) they had a longer wheel base of 100 inches (ref pg 47 of Stern’s “Tin Lizzie” which reproduced a 1911 Ford Times chart with a lot of good information.)
It may have been a Model T prototype or planned prototype or even a Model S prototype. Trent has an article in Bruce’s CD that states,
“At least one and perhaps two three-pedal
two-lever Model Ts existed in the first half of
1908. There is a great deal of evidence to support
this. These Model Ts were true prototypes. Ford
accounting records indicate that two Model T
cars were built as early as October 1907. These
cars were used for testing and occasionally as
And similar information is mentioned in the Oct 1907 “Horseless Age” magazine that was included in an article about the Model S Town Cars in the Spring 2005 Early Ford Registry newsletter. That Oct 1907 “Horseless Age” article is shown below:
Title: Ford 1908 Output.
There is a well defined
rumor that the Ford Motor Company of Detroit,
will steal a considerable march on its competitors
at the coming A. C. A. [Automobile Club of
America] Show, in bringing out a most complete
line of automobiles. Rumor has it that the
present six cylinder models, both runabout and
touring car, will be discontinued; that a six
cylinder runabout will be built similar to the
present four cylinder car, the cylinders of the same
size and with a pair of them added on a lengthened
chassis; that there will be a four passenger car,
without side doors, on a lengthened chassis of the
present four cylinder runabout type; that there
will be an enclosed town car, which is to be an
exact copy, as nearly as possible, of the Renault
town car. Rumor in this instance seems to be
supported by the appearance of a Renault town car
in the Ford New York salesrooms, which is being
offered at about $2000 less than its purchase price,
and from which, it is said, the designs of the new
Ford town car were completed. Like its prototype,
the Ford machine will have the four cylinders in
one casting, and like all Ford 1908 models it will
have high tension magneto ignition. Then there is
also a Ford taximeter cab, which will be sold to
those desirous of establishing transit lines, and
also to private buyers who like the idea of a
smaller town car than the other model will be.”
In the 2005 article we discussed how the reporter was accurate in some areas [Ford USA did produce at least one six cylinder engine & car based on the Model N, R, S, & SR cylinder jugs etc. They also made at least 2 of the Model S Laundalets [photo courtesy of Bruce]:
And the author guessed wrong in some other areas.
Key to all of that – Henry Ford was hoping to bring the Model T to market much sooner than he was actually able to bring it to market. That also occurred with the Model N Fords. The prototype went to the Grand Central Palace show but the actual production didn’t really get started for 6 or so months later [we can look up the dates if that is important to someone]. In a similar manner, Henry Ford was thinking the Model T would be at the dealers by Apr 1908 ref Bruce’s CD that states:
“Proof positive that the T was well on its way
in early 1908 can be found in a letter from James
Couzens to Henry Ford, dated February 18, 1908.
In that letter Couzens wrote:
“Orders are coming in good shape. In fact, we
received orders for forty-eight from London this morning
and have orders for about twenty-five from Paris, to say
nothing of the orders for domestic shipments which are
coming in quite rapidly. I must admit, however, that
things don’t look very bright for the new car getting
out very early. In fact, yesterday afternoon, I guess
one of the things that contributed to my illness more
than anything was the pessimistic view taken by Mr.
Flanders as to the outlook of producing Model T. In
fact, he doesn’t think he will get them out until May
now, although he had expected April right along. I
authorized him yesterday to go ahead and run night
and day, to clean up the first twenty-five hundred S’s
before starting the T, at least, to clean up the machine
work on them as he claimed it was not practical to put
through both models at one time.
“Mr. Wills tells me that he has got the magneto in
fi ne shape and has fully advised you as to the success he
has had. I am much encouraged on the outlook of this.”
(Hap again) You will notice in the Feb 1908 letter the low tension magneto was well on its way, but in the Oct 1907 “Horseless Age” the magazine author was saying high tension magneto and not the low tension that finally was used.
So back to your original question – was the chart just wrong or was it describing a prototype S or T? Currently we do not know. But if we could obtain some additional information about what was or was not displayed at the Grand Central Palace on Oct 24-31 1907 we might be able to figure out more about what happened (or maybe not).
Again thank you for sharing the chart and your question. If you [or someone else] can send a link and/or a better scan that would be greatly appreciated.
Hap l9l5 cut off
I'll email some info. I'm using the best resolution I'm able to download. I'll also drill in on Oct 1907 and try to find more. You may have seen the 1904 info about a Ford air cooled 4 cylinder engine on a probable Model B chassis (on the Early Ford site).
Still plenty of "mysteries" out there.