No, I'm not able to "hear" him speak from the grave, but we have the next best thing. Henry Ford and E. R. Thomas are each quoted in a "Horseless Age" article, dated June, 1906.
The text follows. After that is the document (hard to read) and a photo of a Ford Six (K) and Thomas Flyer, possibly from the 1907 Glidden Tour.
Guess which side Henry Ford takes? (You know, the man who "hated" sixes, and said he would never produce another, according to some accounts)
I've copied the text, and the article from "Horseless Age" is attached (so you don't think I'm making this stuff up!). A good read.
HORSELESS AGE, 1906
Four versus Six Cylinder Cars. We have recently received two communications on the advantages and disadvantages of six cylinder cars from prominent manufacturers. The one on the advantages of the six cylinder car, from the Ford Motor Company, may be regarded as an answer to the other, from the E. R. Thomas Motor Company, which was published in some papers last week and was therefore undoubtedly known to the Ford Motor Company at the time they issued their letter. It may be pointed out that the views expressed in these two letters are represented to be those personally held by E. R. Thomas and Henry Ford, respectively.
The E. R. Thomas Motor Company, it may be remembered, built a six cylinder racer for last year's Vanderbilt Cup race, and Henry Ford also built a six cylinder racing machine in the first place. It may perhaps be considered significant that a manufacturer of four cylinder cars issues a statement why he does not manufacture six cylinder cars. E. R. Thomas admits the greater uniformity of torque and greater flexibility of six cylinder engines, but does not deem these advantages a compensation for the accompanying disadvantages, which he explains as follows:
E. R. THOMAS:
"It is obvious that six cylinders weigh more than four, and hence the weight is greater on the front axle. The four cylinder car is easier to steer, is easier on front tires and is more comfortable, as the car being lighter in front will surmount obstacles with less jar and strain. "Six cylinders require 10 or more inches longitudinal 'space in front of the dash in excess of that necessary for four cylinders; hence a six cylinder car requires 10 or more inches of increased wheel base, allowing the same tonneau room. The longer the wheel base, the longer and heavier construction is required to withstand the increased road strains. "Six cylinders of equal piston area as a four cylinder will develop much less power than the four, owing to fifty per cent. increased friction of the two extra cylinders and cam bearings.
The loss in general results is large, owing to the two extra pistons, the weight of the extra pistons and connecting rods working against the compression on the uplift, of two extra valves, and the fact that in addition to the loss of power generated great weight is added to the car by reason of longer wheel base and extra parts. Six cylinders require a longer and comparatively heavier crank shaft, and its liability to twist, spring and break is greatly increased. Accordingly more and larger bearings are necessarily required. "The complications and troubles of six cylinders, compared with four, naturally increase fifty per cent.; but they seem to increase in a greater ratio. Timing of the engine is an instance; then come the more complicated systems of wiring, of lubrication, of cooling, of getting the proper mixture and distribution of the gas from the carburetor. Much more gas and cylinder oil are consumed for the amount of power, and there is much more battery consumption, and also fifty per cent. more attention to the motor is required. "The problem of most manufacturers is to simplify, for the more complications the greater number of wearing parts, the more certain eventual increased annoyances and expense, and hence we regard the six cylinder car more of a fad than an ideal for the average touring car." In reply to the charge frequently made by those who still advocate the four as against the more modem six cylinder type of motor car.
Henry Ford has the following to say: "The six cylinder motor not only is not heavier than the four cylinder one of the same power, but, on the contrary, is even somewhat lighter. Without authentic power tests at hand, the only way to compare the powers is to compare the piston displacement of each. Compression and speed being equal, the difference between the two will be so slight it may be considered a negligible quantity.
"The six cylinder Ford motor is rated at 40 horse power. The cylinder dimensions are 4^x4^2 inches bore and stroke respectively. The total piston displacement in the six cylinders is therefore 360.5 cubic inches. Four cylinders having the same piston displacement would need to have a bore and stroke of 5^2x3^ inches respectively. (Motors of these dimensions are ordinarily rated at 50 horse power.)
A four cylinder motor of the above dimensions would ordinarily have a flywheel of 20 inches diameter and weighing not less than 140 pounds. The Ford six cylinder has a 16 inch flywheel, weighing 65 pounds. By increasing this diameter to so inches the flywheel need weigh only 50 pounds, pr 37 pounds if the diameter was 24 inches, the usual size in single cylinder motors. In short, the weight may be decreased to any desired amount by Increasing the diameter. "Road clearance being an object a small flywheel is used. If the four cylinder maker wanted the same road clearance and so reduced his flywheel to the Ford diameter—16 inches—he would have to put 175 pounds of dead metal into it to get the same results as he gets with his 140 pound 20 inch wheel.
"That the six cylinder motor of same total piston displacement is lighter than the four of same power is shown by the following: The two extra cylinders in the Ford weigh, with valves and all attachments, exactly 56 pounds. Two extra piston.; and connecting rods complete, 17 pounds. The additional length of crank shaft and aluminum base is exactly compensated for by the necessarily larger diameter of parts in the four with its large bore and longer stroke. We then have 73 pounds of extra weight due to the addition of the two cylinders, which is, however, offset by 75 pounds reduction in the flywheel weight necessary for this type of motor. This leaves an advantage of 2 pounds for the six cylinder. "But the larger cylinders necessary to produce the same power in four that we get from six would weigh fully 25 per cent. more each than the smaller ones—they must not only be larger but the walls, water jacket spaces, pistons and other parts also must be larger. Consequently, the six cylinder motor is 25 to 30 pounds lighter than the four cylinder of same power. "An even more convincing demonstration would be to weigh a six; cylinder motor on the same scale as a four cylinder of the same capacity."
Well there you have it, Henry Ford speaks about the six cylinder engine, one hundred six years ago.
Enjoy, and Happy Holidays,
1907 Ford Six (K) and Thomas Flyer, possibly on the Glidden Tour:
Copy of article, "Horseless Age", 1906
I was hoping some of you "technically and mechanically" gifted guys (and ladies) would see this and comment about the points these two make.
What do you think about their argument?
I skipped the article. It's just too small. As to Rob's posting: These two guys don't seem to want to step on each other's toes. They knock and admire both motors and seem not to commit to either. Both statements read, to me, like the Ford Black Bible sometimes does. Muddy & antiquated. Pardon my ignorance but did Ford even have a 4 in '06?
PS: I've posted this before. I you think H.F. didn't like the 6 a possible cause is that the company backers were "forcing" him to make larger more expensive cars. He raced. Even if it was just to get his name in the papers & attract backers. So larger engines are OK if you're not being pushed to make them.
Ford is quoted in first person in 1913 as saying he would never build another 6 cylinder car. He did not say he hated six cylinders, only that he would never build another.
If you read Carl Pate's book, he does not state that Ford killed the Model K because it had a six cylinder engine, or that he hated the Model K. Pate states, correctly, with history to back him up, that Ford killed off the Model K because it did not fit his vision of the future for the company.
Interesting, quotes from guys in an era when it was still fashionable to be the great orator, to not be demeaning to the other guys view, and to not really worry that someone was going to fact check you from a smart-phone before you were done your third paragraph.
In general, each is using words that have some wiggle room because of the looseness then of definitions.
I could go through the 'technically and mechanically' part, but why bother? A 6-40 K is 6 cylinders, 40 HP. In those days the definition of HP was a little loose where Ford I think followed New York 'rules' and most did something else.
1- If a 6 cylinder develops 40 HP, the same bore/stroke/RPM would be a 27HP if it were a 4...you can forget how calculated and to whose rules.
2- A 6 doesn't need as much flywheel as a 4...a 4 fires every 90 degrees, a 6 every 60. Not that it really matters once it is spinning.
3-I would agree that the Ford K was a 'street machine' of its time. Just look at HP to weight ratio. The later '09 T came in at about 90 to 1, right? The K came in at 60 to 1 (I think)
4- there are 50% more engine parts for a 6 over a 4 cylinder and even in the era someone had to be thinking that time was money.
5- Number of fixed bearing journals was a little squirrely at the time as once you go above 2...the math gets really scary really fast even today, and back then it was all trial and error and usually over-engineered to the hilt to be safe!
Is the T 20 hp calculated per ALAM, or measured on a dyno?
Would you "produce" the 13 quote by Henry Ford, saying "he would never build another six cylinder car?
It is in Stern's book, when Henry beats up the six cylinder car that Edsel and the rest of his team built while Henry and Clara were in Europe. The guys wanted Henry to replace the Model T, and Henry was adamant that that would not be happening any time soon. There are a couple of the cars in existence today from that neutered experiment. They are a sort of six cylinder Model T engine.
I have the book here somewhere, and will send you a scan of the first person quote as soon as I lay hands on it. Lots of books here, just can't seem to lay eyes on that one for some reason.
The evidence is clear. I don't see any 6 cylinder Ford cars until Henry is cold in his grave.
The argument can be extended to the V8. Short as a four but with more power strokes and lighter flywheel. Same number of main bearings and rod journals. Twice the number of pistons, rods, valves, etc. but, for the same displacement, the components are smaller and lighter.
The customer rules. Henry would have probably kept making the T if people kept buying it. The V8 was probably produced because of pull from the customers.
I do have this from Edsel's 6 cylinder experiment(1913). Seems the press thought there might be a "new Ford" on the horizon, and Ford (company) flatly denies it. I suppose the worlds largest auto manufacturer was watched closely by the automobile press and industry.
One more issue I have with this statement:
..........".he does not state that Ford killed the Model K because it had a six cylinder engine, or that he hated the Model K. Pate states, correctly, with history to back him up, that Ford killed off the Model K because it did not fit his vision of the future for the company."
If Henry "KILLED" the Model K", he also "killed" the Model N, because both models began production (were even "brought out" at the same auto show) together, and ended production together.
(why do I feel like I have the lead in the movie "Ground Hog Day"?)
Malcomson is gone by May, 1906. The first Ns and Ks are shipped late June/early July 06. If Henry wanted to "kill" the K, he'd have done it much sooner than summer 08, when he apparently "kills" the best selling auto in the world, the Model N too.
Why did Henry allow (or choose) the use of a Model K as the Pace Car in the spring 1909 Ocean to Ocean tour ( in which he entered two Model Ts, and had every intention of winning, and using as a media platform for the new model), if he had "killed" the model almost a year earlier? These things don't add up.
Photo of K used as pilot car in the "Ocean to Ocean" race. The race master and driver are also shown. The pilot, or pace car was to (and did) lead the competing cars to St. Louis from New York. From there on, the cars were free to choose their route.
I'm not a historian on Ford, but the matter of results were the 6cyl cars were too costly to produce, profit, and sales were declining, as the price point for autos in '06-'07-'08 was under$1000. Those were the cars being sold in qty. by mfg. then.
Malcomson left in disgust of Henry and his mean ways to want to build a low cost car. Prior to leaving he began his own company. And Henry incorporated the Ford Mfg. Co, to make parts for the N, not for the K.
So rather easy to know, from history, the K was not in Henry's plan. Maybe because of the 6 cyl, maybe not. Henry did design the K.
History shows to me, the 6cyl was not selling, and Ford wanted the use his years of making the earlier models, 4cyl, light weight for the Model T platform.....it worked...he no longer made annual model changes.
The auto industry did at that time, by copying what bicycle mfg had done for years.....he stuck to the one chassis mfg, spent profits on mfg technology, and cost reductions, and put the Ford in the price point for millions of purchasers....something that Model K could never do.
On the right, the 'Little Ford' that could, and on the left, the big costly Thomas Flyer, that car was used as the pathfinder car for the route of the June 1,1909 Ocean to Ocean Race, arriving in on May 19, 1909, just prior to the start of that race. Was the same Flyer winner of the 1908 New York to Paris race.
Maybe a better choice than the Model K? That K was path leader on the paved and improved roads to St. Louis, after that western outpost of America....only the hardy autos could go on
I understand why you want to rewrite history. If only my grandmother had been a man, we could have called her grandpa........
Henry built the new version of the Model NRS, and it was the future of Ford Motor Company. Henry did not build anything that was descended from or similar to or in the same spirit as the Model K. He changed the entire direction of the company away from big, complicated, heavy, expensive cars. Any disagreement with that statement of fact?
I let's back up a minute. It's obvious Ford moved to production of only one model, the T.
My points are:
1. The "accepted" history of Ford Motor Company tells us that Henry was forced by Malcolmson and others to build a large expensive car, and once Malcolmson left, Ford was able to move on to "the universal car", Model T.
2. That, as Royce put it, the Model K was a "sales flop" (sorry if I paraphrased incorrectly, the message remains the same).
3. That the Model K was not a good car (not well built and or not a good performer).
Those are the "common myths" that I disagree with, nothing more, nothing less.
And I believe I've more than supported this contentions. The points are:
Number one is easy, Malcomson was gone by May 1906. Henry Ford was well in control before the first K (and companion Model N) were ever delivered. Also, Henry both dramatically improved the K within three months, for the 1907 model year (fall 1906).
Ford also ordered an additional 650 K chassis from Dodge Bros for the new and improved K (having sold 350 of the 06 Ks by late fall 1906).
Number two: Ford sold between 953 (known) and 1,000 (total chassis ordered from Dodge Bros), over a 24 to 27 month period. This equals a minimum of 35 cars a month, or 223 Ks a year. (By comparison, Packard was the 8th largest car producer and sold 1129 cars in 1907. And they had three models. This means if all three Packard models sold equally well, they sold 376 cars per model. And I'll bet they didn't sell as many of their highest priced model,as their lesser priced ones.)
Third, the K was a a very good performer. I've shown many many competitions that Model K won or placed in.
As for public perception, the Contest that Royce is so "confounded" by clearly shows that Ford was the fifth highest choice for a car costing $3,000 or less. And this was a contest with over 6500 voters taking part in. What a remarkable piece of history to find!
So, agree or not, I think,if you weigh all the evidence, a reasonable person could reach these same assumptions.
Oh, and if you read Henry Fords portion of the article about 4 vs. 6 cylinders, He "was for it (sixes) before he was against it".
"That's my story and I'm sticking with it."
What I see from the interesting period news articles and advertisements is a lot of effort on Henry Ford's part that paid very little reward his direction. I see Henry valiantly trying everything imaginable to make the Model K a success. It all came to naught, and so he pulled the plug on the whole idea. With a full media blitz, entering races, even winning races, it did not seem to help sales.
I also see people who were there and were involved with Ford and Ford's people as remembering that Henry was afterwards completely soured on the idea of ever building another six cylinder car. He was obviously very bitter about the Model K experience.
So Rob, tell us in ten words or less why - in your opinion - Henry Ford never built another six cylinder car.
I'm still waiting for your quote of Henry Ford saying "he would never build another six".
I've provided information where he extols the virtues of six cylinders. You've provided nothing.
Guess he never built another two cylinder, were they a flop too? Of course not, models and circumstances change. Ford quit making the Model T, was it a flop, of course not.
Just because you say "it was a flop" doesn't make it so.
I've provided countless period articles and accounts that show the Model K was not a "flop". Who's right, you, "because you say so"?
Bring something of substance or stay off this.
The big Ford K is a nice machine, you have pride in this of course. My take is that Ford simply went away from the K, the six cylinders representing for him the big car of his distain,
Found this on the net.....a good read...would like to find the Henry Ford quote stated...
A TALE of TWO HENRY'S H.Royce and H.Ford
Whilst Royce was keen to develop a six cylinder engine because of the smoothness of its power strokes the first few were plagued with crankshaft failure. Royce persisted and quite by accident discovered the slipper flywheel which eradicated torsional vibrations common in such engines. Rolls-Royce exhibited a 30 hp six cylinder Rolls-Royce at the New York Automobile Show in December 1906. Amongst the cars on the Ford stand was a luxury Model K - a six cylinder Ford which Henry had been obliged to build to satisfy the wishes of his partners. It was the only one he ever built. Later he is reputed to have said, "A car should have no more cylinders than a cow has teats". Charles Rolls attended this Show and it is not known whether he and Ford met. Ford would certainly have been aware that Rolls was there since he was the winner of the under 25 hp class race in a Rolls-Royce 20 hp. The car was sold to Captain Hutton who set a world land speed record for an under 60 hp car over a five mile course at Ormond Beach in the following year.
The two Henrys did agree on one thing - or at least separately came to the same conclusion at about the same time - and that was to abandon the multiplicity of models and concentrate on one model only. Royce discontinued the 10, 15, 20 and 30 hp models, and the two V8 models, and settled on the newly designed 40/50 hp model which of course later became known as the Silver Ghost. Ford, having utilised all the letters of the alphabet from A to S, settled on his latest creation, the Model T. The Silver Ghost remained in production from 1907 until 1926 during which 7876 were made (and 1703 of these in Springfield, USA). The Model T was available from 1908 until 1927, by which time over 15 million had been produced. This fact alone prompts the question, "Which car was the more successful?"
OK Rob, then I have to assume that you believe the Model K was discontinued because it was too successful? Perhaps Ford did not want to pay income tax on all the profits he would have made if he had built a successor to the Model K in 1909?
Here's what the Piquette plant history page has to say about the matter:
OK I guess before anyone else says it that I need to point out that Federal income tax was not in effect in 1908. So obviously Ford was not killing off the K to avoid income taxes.
Maybe evil electric companies conspired to kill off the K to sabotage oil company profits?
I found it interesting that Thomas focused more on weight and friction of the extra moving parts in the six and Henry focused on the weight and didn't say to much in regards to the extra moving parts and friction. There's got to be a power to weight ratio when considering the size of the motor. And both men were attempting to look at that ratio. Also consider these great men were standing on the edge of their current technology and defining it as they went. Look at the technological opportunities of the era. You guys have 21st century knowledge while Henry and Thomas were dealing with 19th century technology. To argue one way or the other without standing in their place with their limited knowledge I don't think it's easy to describe what they were thinking or how they felt. The only thing available is what's written and unless Henry and Thomas had journals that suddenly surface we're all kind of Pissun in the wind.
One thing not mentioned here was something that I read that he said years ago, "a car needs six cylinders like had a cow needs six teats."
I don't remember where I read that quote, but I grew up on a dairy farm and knew a little about cows. Sometimes they had six working spigots.
Yes, but James, you never wanted to milk those extra teats... or so my father said. I was told that if you ever got significant production out of the extras, the total output would remain the same.
I've told people the saying you quoted. I always point out though that Henry obviously had no problem with a man owning two cows as he revealed in 1932. <grin>
I tend to come down on the side that says the K was a flop because it was a money loser more than a mechanical white elephant and Henry didn't like sixes due to the bitter taste the K experience gave him.
While Ford didn't build a car with a six in it until Henry was gone, they did put a six in some of their trucks before WW II. My dad bought a '42 just before civilian sales were cut off for the duration. THAT six gave him nothing but headaches until he finally traded that truck, the equivalent of the Bonus Built F-4 for a new F-5 in late '51. He went back to a V-8 in the new truck. Ironically, the six offered by that time had more pulling power than the 100 Hp V-8 but Dad was having none of that.
Yep, We never pulled the back 2. And the old man could look and tell if you didn't strip the last drop out of her. The cold winter was always the best for milking. First clean up behind her. then put in some fresh hay for her to munch on. Then I'd trap that tail in a muskrat trap that was tied with a piece of twine so she couldn't swat me with the tail. Then I put the bucket up by her front legs and wash down her bag. Then I'd give the cats a couple squirts of warm milk and weight for her old back to hump up and I'd grab the stool and jump out of the way. Then I'd set the bucket down and lean forward on the stool and that old cow would munch hay while I milked her. Then when I'd get done, give her another wash down and put bag o balm udder cream on her. I'd unhook the tail, throw some fresh bedding down for her to lay in and give her some fresh hay and make sure the waterers were working. I'd stop by and give the calves some milk in a nipple bucket and put some down for the cats then head for the house. Nope we never pulled the back two teats.
Minor correction concerning the photo you posted above and that I have reposted below:
I'm 99% sure that is the Shawmut, that arrived in Seattle second but was declared the winner later by the rules committee. Also shown is Ford No 2 that arrived first. Ref your posting Dan Treace on Friday, March 06, 2009 - 08:32 pm: at: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/80257/84076.html
Note while the discussion has been lively -- I would suggest that rather than trying to prove someone is correct or incorrect that we all work together to find out what is most likely correct.
If I am primarily trying to prove "I am right" then I could easily miss some information that might help us better understand what probably occurred. And if "I am right" then someone else must necessarily "be wrong."
I would submit if we change the focus slightly to trying to gather additional information and insight we all "win." Cleary there is still lots to be discovered. I would submit the following might help us better understand the situation if we could document when did the "negative reports about the Model K begin?"
For example in Philip Van Doren Stern's "Tin Lizzie" copyright 1955 page 43 [actually not numbered but I counted the pages and it is the one with the Model K touring and Roadster shown] it has some technical information but ends with the statement, "It [Model K Touring] sold for $2800, but the company lost money on it at this price." Is that an accurate statement? And if not -- when did it start appearing 1955 and on -- or was it made earlier?
We also have to remember the context of who and when the statement was made by. I do not think Henry Ford would be saying negative things about the Model K as long as he was trying to sell them.
And has anyone had any success in tracking down if the saying, "Ford made each dealer purchase a Model K for every 10 Model Ns they purchased?"
Truth in forum writing -- I'm a little biased also. For sometime now I have thought that the Model K was given more bad press than it deserved. Hopefully the continued discussion will help us better understand when and why the negative press came about.
For Royce -- I located my copy of Tin Lizzie. I would have guessed the quote you mentioned would have also been in the section where the Ford employees built a new larger car while Henry was out of the country and that Henry tore apart when he returned. But when I read through that section pages 140-143 I did not see the quote you mentioned. George Brown was the person who was interviewed and he did share on page 142, "He [Mr. Ford] could have fired the whole bunch, he was so mad. He was mad because they put something out that was away from his universal type of car, his frame, and that's what made him mad." Estimated time frame 1911 or 1912 at Highland Park ref page 143. It is late so I could have missed it. If you would like, I will scan it and send it to you for review – it never hurts to get a second set of eyes to look for something. I know I have you e-mail address, but if you would like me to scan and send you those pages -- please drop me a note with your e-mail address. You can click on my name and it brings up my forum profile and my e-mail address is the third line down or send me a PM.
I'm looking forward to additional information being discovered, discussion about what it may mean, and if appropriate having corrections made. In many cases when things are discovered that are inaccurate, they can be corrected.
Hap l9l5 cut off
Thanks, Hap. Sound advice. I'm sure Rob will provide a conclusion that is only slightly biased, . . if one can be reached. It's a lot tougher to prove intent than to prove actions. Regardless, this is a valuable topic in Henry Ford history.
Yes, I was pretty sure that was the Shawmut in the pic above. I don't remember reading anything about a Thomas being a trailblazer for the race.
Oops, posted the wrong picture with the #2 Ford racer, that car alongside it is the Shawmut.
But....the Thomas Flyer, the same one that won the New York to Paris, was indeed the Path Finder car used to make the route that all the racers in the Ocean to Ocean race in 1909 had to follow.
Here is the Thomas Flyer, in NYC on its departure March 20, 1909 to blaze the trail for the race. Note the banner held by a crewmember, the Thomas was driven by George Miller, and L.W. Reddington.
They hoped to reach Seattle by April 25. But the trail was hard, and weather got them, so they arrived in Seattle on Wed., May 19, 1909.
The Thomas Flyer is in the middle of the crowd, arriving in front of the Alaska Monument, on the grounds of the Exposition.
(ref Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the New York Times)
Yes, that is the Shawmut and T #2. I wonder how many Shawmuts were produced in 1909. Very less than Model Ks in 1907?
Hap,,as always, good points and advice.
I found a story that the Shawmut was actually a 1906? The Shawmut factory burned, about 1907 or 08, and it appears very few cars were produced after that. They are not listed among the 255 automakers in Cycle and Automobiles 1907 preview magazine.
I'd say it is probable only a few hundred were made.
The pic below is of the Acme car that also started the race. I believe it is their 60 hp six cylinder model.
I also think this is the car pictured beside the Model K pilot car. I still am surprised the K (a two year old production model) was selected for the pace car. Following is also a description from the race that mentions the Ford Six (K).
Ford six with second race car (Acme?)
I had read, though I cannot reproduce it here, that Henry was more than annoyed with the bankers that got their hands in his Company. The bankers were in favor of a larger car with a 6 cylinder engine for the high priced field.
Once Henry got rid of his "bankers", he vowed not to produce another 6 cylinder engine because of the rift. He concentrated on a car for the masses that was affordable to all........
I've ,heard" the same things (with many variations)since I've known about early Ks. However, after owning one, and now researching, I'm finding accounts that disagree with "history".
The car did sell well p, for a "high end" model. Henry seemed to "like" the car, producing it along with the N & S up until the T.
Ford Mo Co was the most successful company in the US by late 1906. Malcomson was gone, the company had been "in the black" since 1904. What bankers were fgoing to tell Ford by this time what he had to build? They had the strongest balance sheet in the industry.
The other thing to remember, Ford had no touring (family) car other than the K. Until 1906, Ford had always offered at least two models, AND ALWAYS A TOURING (FAMILY) CAR. I'm not aware of any other company that didn't offer both runabouts and a "family" car.
I don't think a company would want to only offer, and be known for oly a two person car. Until that changed (Model T) Ford needed the K to keep from a being only a "niche" runabout builder.
You state, "why do I feel like I have the lead in the movie "Ground Hog Day"?"
Recall that Bill Murray's character only escapes the cycle after he accepts that he must change his outlook. Just sayin.... ;>)
Your right, my first resolution for this new year is "always believe what I read or am told.
Happy New Year,
Broke that one already.........