I'm always amazed when reading about the early race car drivers. Another thread mentioned Gaston Chevrolet, and the fact that he died in a car crash in 1920 (racing). Many early drivers died as a result of racing, or were severely injured.
What many of us probably forget is the "other side" of Henry Ford. Ford the world class race car driver as well as builder. He held the world one mile speed record in 1904 for several months, going 91.3 mph with his Arrow (or 999) racer.
In 1905 and 1906 Ford ran his new six cylinder racer against the best racers in the world. While not setting a world record his car was fast enough to be mentioned in newspapers and trade journals as one of America's best chances to return the world mile record to America.
Below is a blog I just came upon describing the 200 hp Darracq the Ford racer was on the courses with in 1905 and 06. Amazingly, both racers still exist. The Darracq had a 200 hp V8 engine, and looks like it would be an exciting racer to operate.
200 hp Darraq:
Henry Ford shown in his six cylinder racer:
I haven't found any documentation of Henry Ford listed as driving Ford racers after 1906. However, he still worked cars on the track as late as October 1907 when an article describes him demonstrating the six cylinder racer to his branch managers on the Michigan State Fair grounds racetrack.
Ford cars would still win races and set records, including a Model K setting the world 24 hour endurance in June 1907 and a Model T winning the Ocean to Ocean race in 1909 (although later disqualified).
Hard to imagine the man credited with saying "any color you want as long as it's black", and who appears stubborn and narrow minded was once one of the fastest, and most daring men alive.
WOW! WOW! WOW! Thank you Rob for the link! I have got to get busier on my projects. But almost nothing could approach that thing.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Here is the Darracq running:
While the engine in the Darracq is believed to be the original, the car is a reproduction.
Can you imagine going 100 plus mph on either of these "sleds"?
The Ford six cylinder racer at THF:
It sure used to be a treat to see and hear Old 16 running around the Henry Ford!! I hope someday they will run it again! It's less than a month so have you had any luck with that wheel? Bud.
I'll have it together by the end of this week.
Meanwhile, I'm hoping to get the original Buffalo carb on and running properly. If not, the Schebler works OK. Also, the "other" Model K will be there too.