I went to the HF library today to do a little more digging. The 1906/07/08 Ford monthly audits are available, however are really difficult to read (poor quality). The staff gave me a big magnifying glass, and this is what I found:
It's difficult to read, but says:
Model B $11,203
Model F $5,193
Model N $1,261
Model K $162,314
Model C $120
According to this internal accounting record, the Model K "carried the water" for Ford Motor Company in 1906.
model K, $102,xxx.00 not $162k
Today's find is a rather fascinating discovery.
Over the years it has been repeated many times that the Model K was a financial looser for Ford. It appears that such is not exactly the case. In fact, not only was it not a looser (financially) it generated 85% of Ford's profit for 1906. Moreover, but for the Model K, Ford might not have survived to see 1907!
I agree that even though the gain looks like it might be $162K, the other columns prove otherwise. Still, at $102K, which represents 85% of the profits for 1906, is certainly not what one would expect after reading the existing "historical" accounts of the Model K.
Looks like they sold over 200 Model K in 1906 and nearly 500 Model N, the Model K being far more profitable.
I wonder if the B, F and C were production left over from prior years.
Anyway, those sales and profit figures should make Rob Heyen's day!
Good find Rob!
Some of us knew that the "Historical" .... Or is that "Hysterical”, crud that was published as the Ford company line, after the K was just a memory was simply not the truth. Henry needed to push the 4 cylinder Model T's (and then the Model A’s) that he was producing as the best value car on the market. Model K's were expensive and were a thing of the past. It would have been easy to demonize them. They did not fit the demographics of what he was trying to sell after the T was introduced. Why would he give any of his competitors an edge up by acknowledging that 6 cylinder cars were better than the 4 cylinder cars that he was selling? Henry was (and wasn’t) many things, but he developed into a natural salesman that could work the media of the day. If you read much about Henry you will see that he knew when to s t r e t c h or just plain ignore the truth.
Tim M., yes, it looked like a six to me, but it must be a zero, so $102,314.
Ted, yes, good sales numbers. I came up with 301 sales (on the month by month sales ledger the number sold is indicated). The sales by month were:
April - 17 (first month the Model K was available), May - 86, June - 101, July - 50, August - 31, September - 16.
The March ledger shows no Ford cars sold. Following is the April ledger. Only 17 Model K, no other models sold.
Unfortunately, most of the records are not as clear. This is June 1906. With a magnifying glass I could make out the 1 and 1, but was not sure of the middle digit. However, by dividing into the sales number, it has to be a 0.
Certainly seems to show that expenses were more than gain.
I think Royce forgot to take his Alzheimer medication again this AM.
Maybe a road map is needed? Based on those numbers...any analyst today would make a 'BUY' recommendation for public stock!
100 years ago they used different terms than we do today for accounting.
(Then = Now)
SALES = Net Aggregate Sales
SALES COSTS = Manufacturing Costs (Cost of Sale)
REVENUES = Gross Profit
EXPENSES = General, Sales, and Administrative (GS&A)
GAIN = Net Profit
Manufacturing costs is the sum of raw material, anything bought in complete, internal labor and manufacturing overhead (which usually included all bricks and mortar stuff)
GS&A is the white collar salaries, usually (but not necessarily) that part of variable costs for electricity, fuel, and water that can be attributed to front office, travel and entertainment, marketing expenses, mailings and postage.
Running some numbers...
The Model K has what is called a Cost of Sale of 77% based on the 1906 numbers shown. Roughly for every 3 bucks of value added industrial production there was 1 buck left to pay for front office costs and leave profit. The 77% was also based on an initial product release. Today we know that first year manufacturing costs can usually be reduced by 10-15% with production-ization as long as wholesale design changes are not made in evolution.
The Model K for 1906 has what is called a Gross Profit today of 23%
The Model K for 1906 carried front office needs of 6%
The Net Profit, in the days before IRS took a whack was some 17%!
Most analysts today on an emerging industrial based business today would say 'such a business model! BUY!
Rob is on to something and history will be revised. Something else caused 'da boys' to decide to go into another direction, the Model K was not a 'dog'...not financially anyway.
Thank you for the analysis. If possible, what are your thoughts about this 1907 information? 1907 was the "glory year" for the Model K. Sales reached 457 cars, and the Model K set a world endurance record for miles travelled in 24 hours, along with wins in several hill climbing, speed and endurance contests. The sales number is even more surprising considering the U.S. was in an economic downturn (although I believe it was short lived).
If I could I would draw a picture for you, but since I don't have sufficient skills, I'll try using just words.
Sales minus Sales Costs equals Revenue.....
Revenue minus Expenses equals Gains......
It's not uncommon for many businesses to operate on small margins which result from significant revenue, offset by significant expenses resulting in a small gain (where expenses swamp gains). Nevertheless these small margins produce significant net income.
Further, in the instance of Model K Fords, the margin was anything but small.
From the beginning of the threads regarding the Model K Ford you have repeated over and over and over three themes. They are:
The Model K was a mechanically lousy car.
The Model K was a financial looser for Ford.
And, Henry hated the Model K.
Rob through his significant research efforts has proven beyond any reasonable doubt that the Model K was a fine car mechanically, maybe even a great car.
Rob has also proven beyond any doubt, never mind reasonable doubt, that the Model K was profitable...actually very profitable....and quite possibly the difference between continuing and collapse...for Ford.
By your own admission, the source for your three themes is "first hand accounts" which were published years after the fact. Two of your three themes, which are based upon such first hand accounts, have been smashed. What makes you think that the third theme, Henry hated the Model K, is valid.....given the track record for the other two first hand accounts?
Rob has dug up and shared tons of information not previously reported or well known. You, on the other hand, have not produced even a single piece of new evidence which supports your themes and the "first hand" accounts.
Consider conducting some research beyond rereading the same old books over and over and over again, and then sharing new, as in not previously reported, information regarding the Model K.
And finally, sadly, continuing to repeat your themes over, and over, and over, and over again, will not make them so.
One thing i think the Model K had right was the placement of the timer.Out in the open,elevated,and much more handy than the NRS models.It sure was nice meeting both Rob and Timothy!! Bud.
Suppose Henry had instead made a 6 cylinder Model T and followed his production and pricing strategy. It would have outrun any Chevrolet and with the correct body and brakes likely would have sold as well in the Model A years.
quick math 1907 v. 1906 for the 'K'
Total Sales up by 62% year on year
Total Manufacturing Cost up by 58% year on year
(A 4 point improvement over 1906 at this comparison level...plain out extra money to 'take to the bank' or to explore 'other' with 'under the covers')
Gross Profit up by 78% year on year
GS&A (EXPENSES)reduced by 55% (loosely saying as an average that they added no 'front office' people to support the 'K', no other people costs, no increase in buying pens, pencils, and the like. This happens in volume increases if you don't need additional front office help.)
A 5 point rise in net profit over the previous year...a 30% net profit improvement over the previous year.
Using the same analogy as my last post ...the hypothetical analysts would say..."didn't my recommendation to buy do you good?"
After all, with changes in numbers like this, and if Ford had only built the 'K'...and they told me that they didn't need cash to fuel an expansion or a special project...I'd expect to see a dividend check 30% higher than the year before and if not, I'd challenge them on 'why not!'!
One clarification....that's GS&A expenses PER car...
Congratulations, Rob. It must be gratifying to have discovered something that revises the established textbooks. I think, the more you live with that car, the more interesting stuff like this you'll discover. Thanks for sharing.
I'm tired of seeing OT on every thread you start, Rob. Nearly all your threads are about the developments leading up to the T, without which there would have been no Model T.
If you feel you must preface your topic titles, may I suggest, again, "Pre-T"? OT is yielding power to where it doesn't belong.
I really enjoy your posts. None of us had the knowledge of the K that you have learned and shared.
Maybe I should instead put this criticism in a private email, but I think others should join in.
I've been sitting on the sidelines, reading the Model K discussions and arguments for some time. Didn't know much at all about the K, so all this has been most educational. Along the way, I have formulated my own "take". Here goes:
Timothy pretty much summarized the entire controversy in three bullet points.
1. The Model K was a mechanically lousy car.
2. The Model K was a financial looser for Ford.
3. And, Henry hated the Model K.
Rob has pretty much demonstrated that the first two points are incorrect. But, assuming that the car was mechanically sound and financially viable, does it follow that Henry had to love it ? I think not.
Perhaps "hate" is too strong a word. I'm thinking that Henry had a vision, and the K simply didn't fit his vision.
Is it unreasonable that Henry's vision was to make a relatively small profit per car, but to make so many cars that his gross profit was far greater than would have been made by selling fewer cars at higher per-item profit ? That's a viable business model that exists to this day. Think personal computer, or smart phone.
If Ford had continued along the high-end car route, he would never have been able to build the giant, highly diversified mega corporation that he eventually did build. Lots of luxury car companies have come and gone over the years -- Pierce Arrow, Packard & Peerless -- to name a few. Luxury car companies simply remain too small to weather the periodic storms that economies experience.
So I'm willing to accept the idea that Henry Ford turned away from the K because it simply didn't fit with the direction that he wanted to take his company. Was he right in doing so ? Well, Ford Motor Company is still around more than 100 years later and the three great P's are long gone.
Lot's of great points to "mull" over (mostly).
Dick, I'll touch on a few of your suggestions. I agree, we know where Henry Ford and Ford Motor Company went. The Model N was the first prime example. However, HF was not adverse to "dressing up" the Model N and selling the same car (with a few cosmetic changes) for more money. The point being, he was still interested in the bottom line, and improving that, even when it meant charging more because he could.
Secondly, the Model K fit this mold. Today we think the K was a "luxury model". However, in it's class (forty horsepower, or six cylinder) the Model K was by far the lowest cost, highest horsepower to weight auto available. The next cheapest six cylinder car was the Franklin (30 hp) costing $4000. In fact the median automobile cost in 1907 was $2750, fifty dollars less than the Model K.
When I look at the 1908 audit page (below), I'm amazed at all the cars Ford was pushing out the door by September 1908. They sold K touring, K roadster, S roadster, S runabout, S coupe, N, and a few Model Rs. I can only imagine what a nightmare it was managing all this from the Picquet plant. Without a doubt it was much more manageable to offer one "platform" (Model T) that eventually led to Ford's tremendous success.
The reason for my work is not to say "Ford should have stuck with the Model K", but to point out that the Model K (and B to a lesser extent) have been wrongly moved to the "bad car" column.
Looking at your recent discovery basically leads me to the same conclusion as Dick, in his post above.
You have some concrete proof of the K's profitability.
The notion that the K was lousy mechanically probably stemmed from comparison to the Model T. However, in its day, it was probably better than most other offerings so to consider it "lousy mechanically" for all time is unfair.
As to how Henry viewed it... Your proof of large profits seems to suggest even further that Henry either did not like the K or, at least that Henry had other ideas of the market he wanted to attract. How can I suggest that he had some aversion to the K? Because, it was the most profitable thing that Ford sold and he not only discontinued it, but he replaced it with a totally different platform and marketing concept. Very daring really.
Well lets see the big picture. Henry was just like all the other car company,s. But he wanted to expand. Well you can not do that by selling the same as everybody else. You need to make a change. Henry went in a direction that no one else was doing. Thanks you Henry Ford. His company became very large and had many spokes in the wheel. When WW11 came along who was making airplanes at the tare on one every 55 seconds[ I think]. Add up all the other war items he made. Where would we be if we were waiting for the 3 P,s to fill the war bill. Henry and the Ford Motor Car company saved our bacon. I will drive a Ford product till Iam cold and 6 feet under. Scott
It appears that more than a few people interested in this subject have come to the conclusion, as a direct result of Rob's research efforts, that mechanically the Model K was at least an OK machine or better.
Likewise, it appears that more than a few interested people have also come to conclude, again as a direct result of Rob's research, that the Model K was profitable for Ford.
As for whether or not Henry Ford liked, disliked or hated the Model K...or had changing views over time...we'll likely never know....and likely never reach complete consensus. My guess is that, as others have stated, the Model K did not fit Ford's vision of producing cars for the masses. With this in mind he moved on to the Model T. Further, it is completely imaginable that Ford was once proud of "his" Model K. Then with the passage of time, after Ford bet its future on the Model T, he was no longer willing or able to speak highly of six cylinder cars. Why would he? To do so would have been a direct endorsement of competitors six cylinder machines. Moreover, he may have even spoke poorly of six cylinder machines so as to lend support to his four cylinder Model T.
If Ford did indeed speak poorly of six cylinder machines in general, or even the Model K specifically, knowing the context would be important. Said differently, if Ford spoke poorly of the Model K when it was winning races and endurance runs, that would mean one thing. If alternatively, he spoke poorly of the Model K after he moved on to the Model T, that would mean something entirely different.
In any event, I believe that history regarding the Model K, at least with respect to the first two points, will indeed be revised and corrected......and it will be directly attributable to Rob's dedication to uncover facts.
Well you can give thanks to Rob all you want and I do. But if Royce was able to bend with the times and leave Rob alone he would have not started digging so deep. So we now know that the K sold well, ran well, and made Henry lots of money. Thanks you Royce for helping us get to the truth about the beloved K. So are we going to learn more about water pumps in the future? Scott
Rob, Congratulations. If you haven't already done it, you really nailed it this time.
I agree with Ricks, you don't have to keep putting OT on your threads. I don't think it is off topic at all. All of Fords pre-T cars led up to the Model T, without which there would be no Model T.
I also agree with Robert on his WWII statement, for this and many other things that Henry Ford and the Ford Motor Company have done for this country and for us personally. Along with this and after meeting Edsel and Henry Ford the third, and talking to people at the Ford centennial that worked with them, I agree I will continue to drive nothing but a Ford product.
Ford's future: . Alan Mulally, CEO, recently announced he will stay at Ford through 2014. He really is the smartest guy in the room, and turned Ford around from a death spiral when he came aboard in 2006. It was one of Boeing's many mistakes to pass him over for CEO just before that. Unlike almost every other CEO, whatever Ford pays Mulally is not too much.
The Model K had market share of something like 11th place in its price class of $2000 - $3000. Total sales of less than 900 cars in two years. Ford quit making them for a very good reason - he was a small player in that marketplace.
The Model K was not successful from a sales standpoint. Henry Ford declared he would never again build a high priced car, and that, furthermore, he would never again build a six cylinder model. He kept his word. For as long as he was in charge of Ford Motor Company, six cylinder engines were taboo.
Royce, Ford introduced a 6 cylinder engine in their 1941 line up
To add to my previous comment. Ford produced the Lincoln, which is a high priced car and Mercury which was a high end car.
And they had a water pump.
Edsel Ford and Harry Bennett were running the Ford Motor company in 1941. Henry was senile and largely unaware that car was built.
Lincoln is another example of a grand, impressive, gorgeous, money losing car that did not capture market share due to a multitude of reasons. Not one of them had a six during Edsel or Henry's life time.
Edsel and Harry may have been running the company, but Henry was still in charge until Henry the second was brought on board. I won't argue with you regarding Lincoln, without researching it. I do know the era of the Mark V's, they were making money. I never implied that Lincoln had a six, only Ford.
I should have noted:
"The Model K was not successful from a sales standpoint. Henry Ford declared he would never again build a high priced car, and that, furthermore, he would never again build a six cylinder model. He kept his word. For as long as he was in charge of Ford Motor Company, six cylinder engines were taboo."
Direct quote of Joseph "Floyd" Clymer, who first met Henry in 1907 when Clymer was a Flanders / Metzger / Everett dealer in Berthoud Colorodo. The two corresponded over the course of their lives. Both Henry and Floyd became quite successful and famous in their lifetimes.
When Henry Ford died, a copy of Floyd Clymer's Motor Scrap Book was on his desk at Fair Lane.
Henry died in 1947, my copy of Floyd Clymer's scrap book, states 'First Printing Nov, 1954'.
Was there an earlier print of sorts?
Dan, no researching required . At least by some....
"The Model K had market share of something like 11th place in its price class of $2000 - $3000. Total sales of less than 900 cars in two years. Ford quit making them for a very good reason - he was a small player in that marketplace."
According to concepcarz, who apparently used James Bradley and Richard Langworth's numbers (both shown below, although I changed the 1907 Ford number, and we know the 1906 Ford number is wrong too), the number 12 manufacturer in 1906 produced less than 400 cars, and number 12 in 1907 made just over 500 cars TOTAL, including more than one model per maker.
If these numbers are close to accurate, the Ford Model K would have ranked number 13 in 1907 with sales WE KNOW ARE ACCURATE of 470 cars. The Model K probably would have been in the top 15 in 1906 with sales of 301.
"The Model K was not successful from a sales standpoint. Henry Ford declared he would never again build a high priced car,"
As Dan mentioned, Henry Ford bought Lincoln when he was in complete control of Ford Motor Company.
When is enough enough?
Royce, You are reading into this from a lot of speculation. No matter what Edsel or Bennett's role was in the company when the six cylinder engine was produced, Henry was still in charge of the company. This was brought out during the labor union struggle, He was definitely in charge. Henry also spent a lot of time at the plant. There is no way he could have walked up and down the aisles and not see six cylinder engines (speculation on my part).
The facts ARE at the Benson Ford Library..... thanks to Rob Heyen for his diligence and unselfish time to research.
Anyone who disputes may look at the records themselves.
Inflated ego "first hand" historical ( ? ) accounts
in publications "of the day" are not factual.... either made by the "source" or reporter.
Thank you Rob Heyen !
Floyd Clymer's Motor Scrap Book was first published in 1944. There was a Motor Scrap Book Steam Edition published the same year.
Bob if you think Floyd Clymer had an inflated ego you are probably right. He was a star of the Harley Davidson factory race team before WWI, a personal friend of Henry Ford, and made a fortune building motorcycles and publishing books and magazines. Clymer was an icon in his own time.
As for Floyd Clymer's account of Ford history, he was there and you were not.
And he truthfully reported whatever Henry told him after the fact. Rob has found good evidence that Henry may have bent the truth to fit his business plan. No harm, no foul, unless you have a personal axe to grind.
Ford's labor union struggle culminated in May 1937 when the infamous "Battle of the Overpass" was fought outside the Rouge Plant. There were no six cylinder cars built that year.
After a long and bitter struggle on the part of Henry Ford against cooperation with organized labor unions, Ford Motor Company signs its first contract with the United Automobile Workers of America and Congress of Industrial Organizations (UAW-CIO) on this day June 20,1941.
I'm sure as is the practice today, the six cylinder was in development before 1941
This whole discussion is the equivalent of someone claiming "The Titanic was unsinkable!". And then someone saying "But it sank!".
It's enjoyable though.
Being an X FORD DEALER and owner of an early version of a ''K'' --It's a shame there is no dealers of the time around to get their view point on the marketing this controversial motor car.
While at Benson, I also looked at Joe Galamb's transcripts (they are not digitalized). References I found concerning Henry Ford and the Model K/six cylinder:
In this excerpt, Mr. Galamb says "Mr. Ford was definitely against the Model K". He goes on to say "He didn't like the Model B either."
In this text, Mr. Galamb says "I don't know who's idea the big six cylinder car was. I think Mr. Ford's idea was a whole lot in that,...." He (Galamb) goes on to say "Mr. ford never liked that car."
Meanwhile, if we look at Henry Ford's autobiography "My Life And Work", written at the peak of Model T production, a couple of excerpts stand out for me:
On this page, Mr. Ford is describing the models built prior to the Model T. Mr. Ford says of the Model B, "model B, which was an extremely good car, had (wheelbase) 92 inches."
Next, while describing the period when the Model K was manufactured:
The points of this post are, yes, Joe Galamb says Henry Ford disliked the Model K. He says the same of the Model B.
Henry Ford, in his autobiography (and undoubtedly a tool to help build the Ford legacy) written fifteen years after the fact) says the Model B "was an extremely good car." Furthermore, concerning the Model K, he doesn't say it wasn't a good car. He doesn't blame the building or promotion of the car on other investors (when he surely could have at this point in Ford history). Henry Ford simply says the car was a divergence and that it would "burn up the roads". Nothing about disliking, or hating the car, just that it was a divergence that didn't fit the plan (my words).
Bottom line, if Henry Ford felt such contempt for the Model K, and or for investors who thrust it upon him, wouldn't he have mentioned at this time?
As mentioned above, we'll never know how he truly felt about the car. Odds are, as Hap mentioned at some point, he may have had much different feelings about the car in 1907 as opposed to 1922, or 1942. What I feel quite comfortable saying is, in my opinion, Henry Ford liked the six cylinder when he designed and raced it. He liked it when he drove the big, fast car around Detroit (and we have many photos and stories about him driving it, more than we do of him driving an NRS), he surely liked it when the Model K was the primary reccenue provider in 1906, and he liked it when the car set a world record in 1907.
Maybe he truly disliked the car later. The other thing we now know, the Model K helped Ford Motor Company by earning prestige and making the company money.
Good question. I'm sure those dealers who sold the Model K successfully were happy. The commission on Model K was 20% ($560) while the commission in 1907 on a Model N was 10% ($60).
My goal (once I've worked out the "bugs") is to tour with other big cars from the era and see for myself how the Model K stacks up against her peers. What I've already observed is while the coach work and brass is not as refined as some high end cars, the speed and drivability is great.
From an X dealers view of the commission on the K against the N.
For as long as i was in the motor business it was always the norm to find very little commission money left after a new car deal .
Inturn if the trade-in is valued correct there should be always profit made down the line in trade in dealings. In other words the more trades the more the bigger bottom line profit at the end of the day.
As it is said --
Dealer got 10 N's to every K from FORD.--
If this be the case the dealer had 10 times more chance of making total profits with his 10 N deals than with one K deal.
Again only a view from a person that was not in the motor business in 1906-7-8
I'd guess there were fewer trade in deals in those early days - for many customers a Model N Ford would be their first car ever, maybe also most of the K customers?
Would a car dealer trade in a horse and buggy back in those days? Maybe the period newspaper ads would tell.
Thanks for your thorough research, Rob
Bear in mind Joe Galamb actually said what is quoted. Henry Ford's biography was written by someone else, at Ford's request. Henry may or may not have read his own biography.
I wholeheartedly agree that the Model K shows a lot of Childe Harold Wills design influence. Mr. Wills was transferred to purchasing shortly thereafter.
If you read any of Floyd Clymer's books you will find that he, as a car dealer in 1907 when the Model N and Model K were being sold, did indeed take horses, cows, and all sort of other things in trade. In 1906 - 1907 Floyd Clymer was selling Cadillac, REO and Maxwell. He sold 26 cars that year. No doubt he might have sold an equal number of horses!
I was impressed upon seeing the Model K. Something I found odd that I have not seen on other big cars (or medium size cars) is the leather inner front fenders. I did not get a chance to speak with you (which I regret) as to why this might be. I tried to see if they might be removal to access something but, came up empty handed. Could you shed some light on this?
Actually, and not to create additional work for Rob...
It is my own belief that every one of Henry Ford decisions and reactions up to and including the Model T was based on one fact and one fact only.
He had been thrown out of Detroit Automobile Company because he played too much and spent investor money like water and out of control.
Most know that the 1903 CADILLAC and the 1903 FORD are near identical cars save for the engine. The CADILLAC even used a planetary.
Overlay every action of the Ford Motor Company on the same timeline of CADILLAC actions and it becomes a bit transparent as to what really was going on in the mind of Henry Ford. He just needed his stockholders to go along with him until he succeeded!
In the formative years, CADILLAC managed to whip his butt at every turn in the road!
Henry had successfully managed to get the investors of Detroit Automobile Company to rename the company Henry Ford Co. and later when they demanded to know where all of their money went with no real production cars of any significance being produced, they had a spat and Henry huffed out with the building signage, and $900 of severance pay (about $23,00 in today dollars). Although not really documented, it is also fairly safe to say that he also left with the rights to his own engine in whatever state it was in. Just imagine Henry in his 'huff' taking an 'I'll fix them, without my engine they don't have a car!" view.
With that very premise, now set down DAC/CADILLAC timeline and successes alongside those of Ford Motor Company for the next 5-6 years! It is amazing what the data will show and from the data which is 'fact'! A whole new view to the thought process 'of the time' can emerge.
Ford stomps out in March 1902
Leland steps in originally as a liquidator in August 1902
Leland recommends the DAC group move forward and build
CADILLAC (now the name) introduces their first car for sale on October 17, 1902 using Lelands engine design that he had done for Olds but Olds didn't want when completed.
In January 1903, at one car show alone, CADILLAC books orders for 2,286 cars.
No real mention of what Henry was doing...until June of 1903 when the Ford Motor Company is formed.
They almost go immediately bankrupt burning though money at a huge rate but are saved at the last minute by Dr. Pfennig and others that followed him with orders in hand.
The CADILLAC sold for $750...so did the Ford
The cars were essentially the same, save motor and a few minor issues. Ford calls his the Model A.
1903 Model year ends. The score? Cadillac had started the year with 2,286 booked orders...Ford count at end of the first model year? 1750.
For 1904 model year CADILLAC calls theirs also Model A and begins post dating marketing information to include or suggest that the 1903 model was also an 'A' as it was CADILLACS intention all along to brand their 'one-lunger' engine cars 'A'
This is only a short glimpse of what a side by side timeline shows...it gets even more interesting when you start to look at 4-cylinder cars and the tale of the wheelbases.
Yes, Ford won in an indirect way...he eventually forced CADILLAC to move to the higher end to break the horn locked spirals. GM who had bought CADILLAC and Leland had their own falling out during WW1 over personal v. business concerning the war effort. Leland forms LINCOLN to satisfy war contracts and develops a V-12...as the war draws down LINCOLN changes to Lincoln Motor Car, for all intents lopping off 4-cylinders from his other design, now going for the creme of the crop in high end cars, gets overdrawn in the process...and the 1921 economic 'blahs' and Henry decides to be a nice guy and step in and buy the assets for 50 cents on a dollar of book value! Henry may have somehow made sure that he was the only bidder!
The biggest problem I see in the histories of both companies is that the passion of the author if Ford was ford biased. The same held true for the Cadillac authors. The side by side timeline to my knowledge has never been compared.
I'm not sure why the leather front fender skirts. They are often a conversation starter. Maybe to save weight, cost, or just a cosmetic choice. I do know Henry Ford touted the light weight design of the Model K (another common Henry Ford theme). I have seen period cars with leather and wood fenders, but not leather fender aprons.
reference your post: "Bear in mind Joe Galamb actually said what is quoted. Henry Ford's biography was written by someone else, at Ford's request. Henry may or may not have read his own biography."
So we should take Joe Galamb's reminisces late in life verbatim, and discount Henry Ford's autobiography published in 1922 altogether (reference the Model B statement, or the fact Henry Ford takes no shots at the production of the Model K)? I would offer that Henry Ford was very interested in what was written in his autobiography in 1922!
One other thing I've noticed during my research. Galamb, Sorensen and Henry Ford all have huge inaccuracies in their narratives. Henry Ford says the Model N was the only car built in 1906, asserting the Model K appeared in 1907 (and now we know the Model K provided the bulk of revenue for Ford in 1906, far outdistancing Model N net revenue).
Mr. Galamb makes huge errors, and the interviewer points some of these out in the margins of the transcript with notes. One such error, Mr. Galamb claims that Henry Ford has a rocking chair formerly used by his mother in the "experimental" room at Piquette. Harold Wills said earlier that the rocking chair came from his home, and was formerly owned by his father. Of course, the "Henry Ford's mother" story stuck (much more "juicy" story, with Oedipus behavior insinuations all over the story).
Maybe history is bunk. Or more likely, often history is a collection of opinions, and often the opinions that are most salacious stick.
Royce, I've not encountered someone so close minded they only accept their own opinion, regardless of other information or suggestions. Not a good way to have a discussion.
Rob,It sure look's to if only me that without the profit from the model K Ford might not have existed long enough to develop/build/sell the model T. Just like driving in the Village,i shout Thank's For All You Do!!!!!!Bud.
Mebbe leather would shake and shed mud and manure better than a solid surface?
If you were trying to be successful with a cheap car, and your mid-priced car saved the company, would you resent the car that didn't fit your ideal? Henry may have.
It's a well known fact that Henry Ford hated steel fender aprons. Sorry, couldn't resist.
All this talk aside, it was good to see you and your car at OCF. Hope you were treated well in Detroit and environs.
I was going back over old threads and saw your last post above. Yes, I had an incredible time at OCF (and the Dearborn to Lansing tour). Several of us (early Ford owners) are considering planning a "pre-tour" in northern Ohio or Michigan next year in conjunction with OCF (to lengthen out the event).
It was great seeing you and all the other old Ford friends. Hope to see many of you at Hershey. I will have the Model K, and hope to have a space next to Carl Pate on the red field,