Each evening I've sat down to find a bit more early Ford information, searching online newspapers and magazines. In the last few minutes I've come across two accidents involving Model Ks and injuries. One appears to a bit of "too much fun and too much speed (I'd like to know how all this all worked out, two ladies and two gentleman, al with different last names and a big expensive (fast) car.
The second accident occurs in the race track, with the K fast on the heels of a Thomas.
Interestingly, both accidents occur in California, and both involve Ks from the same agency. Hmmmmmm.
Wow, would I ever like to own that Curtis Motorcycle. Well The Thomas and either one of the K's would be good too.
I'm trying single handedly to "rewrite" Ford history about the Model K, and you take away "I'd like to own the Curtis motorcycle" from all this ?
We've got to talk........
I agree, a 1907 bike would be something.
I said one of the K's would be good. But that Curtiss is just a neat thing to think about. Glenn Curtiss set a land speed record on a Curtiss laying down across the top of it. He went over 60 mph. I'll bet they had to pry his hand off the throttle. They also said the K would go 70 mph. Those folks didn't let any grass grow under their feet back in the early 1900's.
I have to wonder what the news media considered a high rate of speed back in those days.
In the other K accident thread four were killed, and one news account said they were going about 60 mph. In that accident (in the Colorado Springs area) there were eight men riding the roadster.
So, you had modern highway speed, no safety equipment whatsoever, and who knows what for a road surface.
Rob, At what speed do you usually run your K when you're by yourself just cruisin? At what speed do you feel safe?
Rob, what do you think about a model K's brakes? I know they have a foot operated transmission brake and hand drum brakes but, how good are they? Also, how fast do you say a K can really go?
Mike and Stephen,
I've gone over 50 (I think GPS was at 54). I really like driving 30-40 mph. And nothing wrong with 25mph. I've had carb problems, so when that is corrected maybe it would run better at a higher speed.
If the fenders and top were off I am sure over 60 wouldn't be a problem. Ford advertising for the roadster claim 70 mph. (below)
Below is an answer I put on one of the other threads about driving and stopping the K:
"Same as our Ts and the NRS. The hand brake controls rear LINED brakes. And the right pedal is a transmission brake. Just like our N, I brake minimally with the tranny brake (to prolong transmission life) and brake with spark and gas first, then hand brake when possible. It's much cheaper and easier to replace brake lining than triple gears/bushing/shafts/drums.
As a result, when your driving the K, there is a "flurry" of motion. 1st, up with the gas and spark levers (the original "Jake Brake" ), 2nd, pull the high/low lever up to neutral (can't pull the hand brake until the shift lever is in neutral), 3rd, back on the hand brake lever.
Sounds like work, but fortunately the steering and ride are so steady you are able to give all your concentration to the above actions. Anyone who steps up on a K is surprised by the sturdiness of the suspension(the car hardly moves when a 200-300 pounder steps on the running board), and then how smooth the ride is, due to the 120 inch wheelbase and large wheels/tires.
This is a pic someone sent me of a few of us "sporting around" Hershey last fall, it's hard to tell, but I'm controlling the movement all with my right hand, "creeping" with a little slipping on low lever or feathering the hand brake. The K is amazingly easy to drive."
How fast is fast? It is totally a relative term. People that know horses tell me a healthy average horse at full gallop does about 18mph for about a mile. A good race horse can do slightly over 25mph for about a half mile. In the late 1800s, cross-country passenger trains ran about 40mph max.
In the earlier days of the automobile, anything over about 20mph was considered fast. Even about 1920, doing 40mph would be like doing over 100mph today.
A curious legend I would like to confirm with some of our steam train friends. I have read from a couple sources, that in the late 1800s, when the land speed record was broken by a steam locomotive that broke the "mile-a-minute" (60mph). One of the engineers aboard the locomotive was disowned by his family because it was a common belief in many corners of religion that if a body exceeded that mile-a-minute, the soul would be ripped or pulled out and if the body appeared to still be alive it was inhabited by a demon.
A belief that long ago went the way of "the world will end on 12/21/2012". I wonder when it will end next?
Drive carefully, and do enjoy the holidays! W2