Here is some of the information I have gathered on A's imported to Australia
Start with William Fleming generally importing cars to his 24 Clarence St, Sydney address
This is the earliest add I could find
1903-10-28 Wed-William Fleming-SMH P15 364720
Here is his first Ford Landed
1904-07-02 Sat-A Ford Arrives-SMH P16 364726
There were at least 2 1903 A Fords imported to Australia by Fleming. It is possible there were more but the two are fairly well documented in Norm Darwin's Ford in Aust book.
Fleming closed down in Nov 1904. Here is the auction add
1904-11-19 Sat-William Fleming Auction-SMH P19 364732
Norm's Book talks about different owners of the 2x 1903 A's ......... Mark Foy, Hoskins & Gable? (don't have a coy of the book). Mark Foy was also was a car importer and bought in lots of odd name and exotic cars in the early years.
The cars I'm sure were imported Via New York. Ford Canada still setting up the factory in mid 1904. First Canadian Fords were Model C's.
Fleming most likely was the first Ford Agent in Australia
I have never been able to find any evidence that any AC 10 HP Fords were imported to Australia. I have found evidece there were C's imported, but most likely not not by Fleming.
There were at least 3 AC Fords imported to New Zealand. I had minor parts of one, another the Colonial Motor Car and a third remains now in Melbourne Aust. In all 3 different chassis found in NZ
In Approx 1920, Davies & Fehon found one of these two A Fords and made it presentable for some sort of promotion. Peter Kable might be able to help out here.
Davies & Fehon used the car in some sort of promotion in Approx 1920
Here is a photo of it, possibly at the Melbourne Show. Note it is registered so must be drivable. I dont believe it is a Victorian Rego. Most likely a NSW rego if anyone has access to 1920 records, please assist
004444 1920c 1903 Ford #43117 on display possibly Melbourne
Here is another photo courtesy of John Hughes showing the same car at a different venue in the promotion
Here is a photo of Arthur & Lou Davies of Davies & Davies, For Distributors for NSW for identification of any of the drivers / passengers. courtesy of Arthurs Daughter.
004450 1920s Arthur & Louis Davies at Walf-Sydney
I can't quite find a photo of Fleming's building at 24 Clarence St Sydney but here are a few of the general area and intersection to give some idea of what it looked like in the early 1900s
365326.1 1900s 20 Clarence St Sydney
365414.1 1900s Shops Cnr of Margaret and Clarence Sts-Link Belt Co-(22 Clarence St)
65503.1 1900s Shops on S side of Margaret St-Near Clarence St Sydney-York Lane left & Clarence St right
That Ford sign on that one picture looks like it was put on after the fact
Hard to recognise the place these days
360207 09-2011 Cnr 24 Clarence St & York Lane Sydney
360209 09-2011 Cnr 24 Clarence St & York Lane Sydney
Actually Richard the ink has come out of that Veedol can the Stan Laurel lookalike is holding. :>)
Hi Jem, that was done in a lot of early ford photos to help us poor colonials who could not tell what sort of car it was as they all looked the same.
It was done on a lot of photos in the Birtles Book and even across the windscreen of his 1913 tourer.
Mark, any older members from Sydney know who Mark Foy was as his department store building is still standing with the name on each upper wall panel but as for Hoskins & Gable, I do not know who gable was but Hoskins went on to become part of the LNC group (Larke,Neave and Carter)who in the 1926 were Chrysler agents then later on, Larke Hoskins which were the British motor Corporation then leyland imports also till he passed away or was taken over and they also were the original VW importers in 1954.
Tow quick comments.
I can confirm that The Colonial Motor Co Fordmobile is actually an AC, not an A as had been widely thought.
Secondly, I have been looking through "American Business Abroad" whne possible (but very little time as I am stupidly busy at work right now, plus Christmas is almost upon us!).
They are discussing the establishment of Ford in England, the European tariffs and Robert Lockwood, Ford's export agent based in NYC. On Page 27 they discuss the difficulties faced by the London operation in exporting cars to the potential markets in Europe...
"We know that one Model A was exported to France and delivered to the Automobile Union early in 1904. It had been dispatched direct from Detroit....".
Whilst this is discussing another market, we've got to remember that Ford of Canada and Ford - England were mainly sales offices or assembly points at that time.
The policing of the tariff regimes that were in place back then were much more "relaxed" than the strict tariff controls that developed later. Exporting direct from Detroit wasn't beating a system - it just made sense in those early days. Indeed, no tariff existed between Britain and the US at that time. The paperwork would've been handled by, in this example, Ford - London (through NYC).
I am confident, but can't prove, that the same thing will have happened with Ford of Canada. Indeed, tariffs paid by Canada for imported goods from the US were refunded in full on the subsequent export from Canada of those goods.
I feel I've not explained this so well but I'm in a hurry!
Thanks for the update on Hoskins, Foy etc. In the early 90's i tracked down decedents of all 3 families of the 3 owners. Hoskins built the water line from Kalgoolie to Perth. I had a copy of his book and there was a mention of him owning the second ford in Australia. Think it was called the "The Hoskins Saga". The photo was of the same car with the "Veedol Can".
Goble or Gable or Glebe family lived in the Blue mountains and didn't have any information.
Foy family heiress to the "Mark Foy" department store chain was Juanita Nielsen. Juanita was murdered in Sydney in 1975 after being very vocal re old Sydney building demolition. did speak to one of he Relatives.
Arthur Davies Daughter was extremely helpful and supplied a bit of info on the company. Lou Davies family moved to England.
Fehon family was still very bitter about the split with Davies Family. Didn't have any information.
Thanks for the info on US Ford Exports, NZ etc. Lockwood rings a bell. Unfortunately i din't write a lot of this down in the early 90's like i said, a lot is documented in Norm Darwin's book.
Arthur Davies gave this explanation of what happened in the early days of Importing Fords.
"Previous to the year 1906, when we became actively connected with the Ford car in Australia one or two individuals brought out a couple of models with the idea of placing the agency, but had met with no success."
"Through our New York office we were asked to place the agency of the car, but finding it difficult to make satisfactory arrangements , we decided to interest ourselves actively in the marketing and imported about a dozen of the cars. Upon receiving same we placed further orders for the later models “R” and “S” first of all retailing the cars through a firm whose principals were Dr Arthur Marks and Mr Gordon"
William Fehon died in early 1911 six months before the Davies Brothers registered the Company Davies and Fehon. They had been in business with Fehon in timber before this and it was probably as a sign of affection to their former partner they added his name to their new business.
The 1904 Ford A photo has been discussed before, I have a picture which was dated 1923 of Arthur Davies dressed in the same gear as he is wearing sitting in the back seat of the car. In 1904 he would have been a lot younger and as noted he and his brother had no connection with Ford at that date.
Not Australia, but a story about exporting Fords to Europe. Appears to be a significant tariff. Did Australia and NZ have tariff on autos, or was it unnecessary because of limited domestic makers?
Rob, Australia did, I think 1901
Just received evidence there was at least 1 x AC 10HP Ford delivered to Aust in 1904. So we now have evidence models A, AC, C, F, K, N, R, S were imported to Australia in relative years. The B is a bit harder to prove. Still working on that one
Very good hunting, Mark. Yes I also have found the advertisements by and for William Fleming. It is interesting that he shut up shop when he did because I believe that he sprang from a long line of family selling machinery of various types.
Re the AC, I am sure I found an article about one in Western Australia, with a little of its history. I will see if I can dig it out.
The documented AC in WA has a photo and it 100 percent is a C ford , not an AC
I have found the article-
Now I do seem to remember finding a photograph of the car and posting it onto the Forum, so you might be able to find that. I have not yet found the photo in my own records, but will keep looking.
Here is another article on the same car. Although called an AC, it is 100% a C Ford. An Englishman bought it over with him.
1917-01-27 Sat C-AC Ford- The Mail SA P8S 359568b
Here is another similar article from Canadian Ford Times
320045b 1906 C Ford-W B Fallowfield-Geralton West Aust-Ford Times Can-19-07-1916 N2 V 3 P517