A few more odds and ends from my Detroit trip. (a lot of photos, so you may wish to click off if you have dialup)
On Monday I went to the Detroit Public Library, Automotive Research Center, and found several original photographs of Ks, Ts, NRS and a few others.
All the following are credited to the library mentioned. The Skinner Automotive Research Library has a wonderful collection of periodicals, newspaper archives, and photographs. Below are a few examples:
This is a photograph of a Thomas Flyer 60 hp running in an endurance race in 1907. This is the same car the Ford Model K beat in the June 1907 24 hour endurance race, setting a world record for miles traveled in a 24 hour race (1135). The driver in this race, is Montague Roberts. He will be one of the drivers of the same model Thomas Flyer that will win the New York to Paris race the next year (1908).
This photograph shows the Pope Toledo wreck that occurred during the same 24 hour race mentioned above. This magazine did not run Ford advertising, and I thought it interesting that the Pope results are mentioned (world record time up to the time of the accident) but nothing is mentioned that the Ford Model K is the eventual winner, setting the world record in the process:
Frank Kulick, well know Ford race car driver, seen in a Ford racer. This does not appear to be the Ford "Special" 410 cubic inch engine racer, but a stock Ford. This is the first time I've seen the wire wheels on any of the 1910-1912 Ford racers.
The same Model T racing:
The Ford "Special" racer, running for time on the ice, in a recreation of the 999 event. In some captions this racer is referred to as "666". The racer (410 cubic inch four cyl. engine) ran over 107 miles on the ice. Frank Kulick was the driver. I've seen clearer copies of this photo, but it's the first where the car at the far left (hood and headlamps) is shown. I may be biased, but it looks like possibly a Model K. Also seen is a Model T in the background. Among other Ford employees, Henry Ford was in attendance.
Model K, with script on radiator. Only the second photo I've found with a Ford script on the radiator of a Model K:
The first time I've seen an owners initials in brass script on a T. Now I know what the trend will be next year for all you brass T guys
Ford's at various auto shows:
Model K speedster:
1907/08 Model K Roadster:
A "working" Model NRS:
Model N with the top partially up. We sometimes drive this way, when the sun is in our face. It allows the sun to warm you, while keeping the wind off. It's also a convenient way to get in without ducking under the top bows:
A "working" Model K:
The clearest photo I've found of the original "Watch The Fords Go By" photo (1907):
One of the best pics I've seen of a very early 1906 Model K. I believe only about nine Ks had the big radiator tank (Bob Trevan, weigh in if you see this):
Another K touring. I believe an NRS is directly behind it:
Model K speedster made from a touring car:
The Model K pace car used in the 1909 Ocean to Ocean race. This is the clearest photo I've found of this car. A Ford dealer is driving, and the race official is riding. One of the competitors is seen beside the K:
I believe this is the last version of the Model K (six cylinder) racer. However, the racer was wrecked, so I'm not sure. Frank Kulick did report to a newspaper in the summer of 1908 (a year after the wreck) that Ford was going to race the "six cylinder racer" in the upcoming Savannah GA Grand Prix race to be held on Thanksgiving Day, 1908. However Ford did not make the race.
The Ford Model B (owned by The Henry Ford) at the OCF. The first time I've been "up close and personal" with a Model B. It appears to be a well built car for 1905:
I hope you enjoyed the photographs. Again, all of these were taken at the Automotive Research Library, one of the Detroit Public Libraries. It's a wonderful resource, and I hope to get there again. They are also one of the only libraries I found open on Mondays.
Wow Rob, Did you catch the ribs cast into the exhaust manifold of the B? It is just like you see today on the Ford exhaust manifolds. Looks like Ford was way ahead of things. Scott
I see a mistake. The Model T with Frank Kulick sitting in it doesn't appear to be the same one racing just below that one (no radiator number on the first pic). Also, I just noticed, the Kulick T has one wood wheel and three wires.
Scott, we knew Ford was way ahead of his time
Didnt he have water pumps on his early cars?
Scott, yes. In fact, Henry Ford only made on non water pump car. And, he never made another after that one. Hmmmm, must have hated non water pump cars.
Rob, thanks. I've sene factory publicity drawings of a laundaulet
and seen home done versions,
but this it the first time I've seen a photo of an actual factory job!
Terry, your welcome. This is what the 1909 audit shows for cars sold in FY 1909 (Oct 1 1908-Sep 30 1909).
According to this, 293 T.L (Laundaulet) sold. Does anyone know what the T.N. is?
I don't know why they have a category grouped at 7249 and break out all of the rest...
But my nickel says...TN was Town Car.
George, I think T is "Touring". Then each other style. I think "T. Tour." is "tourabout". I suspect your right about Town Car. Maybe because T.C. (Coupe) is already used?
Interesting wheels on the speedster in the 3rd photo. Left rear and Left front are wire but look to be different. Right front wood spoke. I can't see the right rear but it looks like it is wire also.
Yes, and it is Frank Kulick driving. It looks like the wire wheels have Ford hubcaps on too. I'm sure it's one of Ford's racers.
Great pictures Rob. Thanks for sharing them with us.
Wow! Great images Rob. I've seen most of those before in fuzzy, distorted fashion.
Wow! Rob and Royce actually agree on something, that these are indeed wonderful images. Thanks for sharing them Rob. As many have mentioned before, I hope Rob that you area able to put all your research together in some sort of publication devoted to Ford life before the Model T. I was a guilty one believing that the K was a big Dud, but your research and all the accompanying data and pictures has been quite an education. Have you found any more stuff on the Model J? The J lives near me and is soon to benefit from the fitment of an original Magneto.
Great pictures Rob. Some of the pictures you have shown are in the " Tin Lizzie " book. Your pictures are a lot clearer. I am sure Hap and a few others will be having a good look at all of the pictures you managed to locate.
I was interested to see that the 1910 - 12 Frank Kulick Ford racer has a wooden wheel on the passenger side front.
Best regards, John
You have to love the spring limiting straps on both the front and rear of the T racer. Rob keep it in mind on the Model K racer.
Great photos. Again thank you so much for digging up the information & photos and sharing them with others!
Ref the larger radiator tank on the Model K is mentioned on page 38 of 63 in Chapter 4 of "Pate's Early Ford Automobile Encyclopedia." Carl shares that style of radiator was only used on the first 12 Model Ks.
Terry -- I have not seen very many Model T Laundalet photos either. The one you reposted and I reposted again below is from the Grand Central Palace auto show, in New York, NY Dec 31, 1908 and into Jan 1909. If you look at the roadster behind the Laundalet you will see the crank being held up typical of the first 2500 water pump engines.
None of us can read all of the postings, but for additional photos from that same auto show and details about the cars (for example notice the Laundalet also has an upside down “T” shape formed by the bolts holding the middle body under the door opening. There is a good thread previously discussing that photo but I do not know where I filed it. The same photo is also on page 56 of Stern’s “Tin Lizzie” but not nearly as nice a quality. The same photo is shown on page 18 of Robert C. Kreipke's "The Model T" available from the MTFCA store and an great book. If someone has the link showing those other photos from different angles of the same cars at the Grand Central Palace, please let us know what the link is. Thank you.
So much more to think about but time to call it quits for the night.
Again thank you Rob for all your dedicated research.
Hap l9l5 cut off
Could the guy with the initials on the front of his car be Fred Mertz?
Wonder where I can get initials like those???
Hate to admit it but you have done us all a great service with your efforts. If John Page or I lived anywhere near Detroit we would haunt those libraries. You are giving me a lot of ideas I didn't really need to have this close to falling off the perch.
Doug in Allora
I did find another article, dated August 1908, in the "Detroit Free Press" about Henry Ford driving the six cylinder NRS. This account makes it sound as if the six is in an S Roadster:
I suspect this "experiment" was another search for the future Model T engine, considering HF is seen driving the car so close to the release of the new Model T. Just think how things would have changed had the Model T had a six cylinder motor.
Doug and John,
I've recently thought we should have an "old blokes week" in Dearborn in the winter. No cars, just research, museum visiting, and of course evenings to compare notes.
Australia had a Ford with unlimited speed and power. It was called the Falcon GTHO built in 1971. It was reputedly the world's fastest fordor.
Doug in Allora
Rob,John and I would need a gold pass on QANTAS plus an unlimited supply of brownie points. Old Fordies can never have enough brownie points.I am currently looking for something to sell to fund my next Dearborn junket.
Doug in Allora the best little town on the Downs
Thank you Rob.
It's been a while since I've had a thread to enjoy like this one. I'm always looking for something I've not seen before and there were some photos and info in this thread I hadn't come across till now.
So much really great stuff here! Even Royce agreeing with and thanking Rob. Speedsters, incredible racers, laundaulets, pre-Ts.
And I just have to be a stinker.
Maybe the right front wire wheel on the little Ford racer partially collapsed on a fast left turn and the only thing they had to replace it with quickly was a good standard wood spoke wheel.
Those dirt track "races" I was involved in about 40 years ago? The one where wood wheels may have actually done better than steel disc or steel spoke wheels? There was a near collapse of a 30X3.5 wire wheel. It had about a six inch side to side wobble when he drove into the pit area. I will not say who it was, he does read this forum still. And he does occasionally post on here. If he wants to claim this fame, he can do so. If he wishes anonymity, I will not be the one to let his cat out of the bag.
My point in bringing it up was simply to remind us that wire wheels do sometimes collapse. Especially earlier ones with either too few spokes or inadequate spoke spacing.
Thank you Rob and others for all your contributions to getting some of the blanks filled in. I very much enjoy these threads.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
In 1915, Edsel and five friends made a trip to California, via the southwest, from the family compound in Michigan. They had a Stutz, a Cadillac, and a '15 T customized with wire wheels. Edsel kept a scrapbook. A few years ago, the Horseless Carriage Gazette published 11 pages of pictures and captions from that scrapbook. What's relevant to this thread is that, soon after leaving Michigan, there's a tire-changing scene in which some of that T's wheels have been converted back to wood. A bit later, they all have. It seems wire looked sexier, but wood was more durable.