A couple of posters suggested more discussion of Pre-T cars (other than Model K). I've collected quite a bit of "stuff", so I'll throw a little of it out. These are things that caught my eye, and nobody at my house is interested, so we'll see what you think. Again, this is OT, so click off if your not interested in non T Ford things, or my opinions.
The following are items from the Ford Motor Company Board of Directors meetings. All copies are from Benson Research Library, THF. Email me if you'd like the accession number.
This first page consists of the board minutes (documented by secretary James Couzens), August 22, 1904. The part of this page that "jumped out" at me is where Alexander Malcomson (blamed as being the director responsible for "making" Henry Ford build large expensive cars, i.e. Models B and K) makes a motion to contract with Dodge Bros. for 2500 "small cars" (paragraph 3).
The motion goes nowhere. Mr. Malcomson is not able to get a second. Then, the secretary (James Couzens, formerly employed by Malcomson) writes "motion is lost."
For any of you who have sat on boards, this is the ultimate "slap in the face" (in my opinion). We know plans and ideas are discussed in board meetings before a motion is made, seconded and voted on. Can you imagine putting forward your motion, and no one, including your former employee, giving a second?
The point is, Mr. Malcomson seems to carry little if any weight, as of this meeting, at least on this issue. To add "insult to injury", the Dodge Bros. then make a proposal to build 2000 chassis (instead of the original 2500 proposed my Malcomson) and the motion is made by Mr. Anderson, seconded by Mr. Ford, and carried.
Again, put yourself in the shoes of any of these men. What message was just sent? I've read all Ford Motor Company board minutes (available) from incorporation through 1911, and never before or after did I see any motion made that did not receive a second, or carry.
James Couzens biography says that Mr. Malcomson had virtually no influence over the board after 1904 (paraphrasing), and this event appears to bear that out to an extent.
Later, if some of you would like, I'll put up a timeline for the Model B (based on board of directors minutes). Then, there is an interesting discussion about setting prices for Models A,B,C and "D".
Another interesting board discussion from the Pre 1908 period is a request from agents (dealers) to lower the price on certain Ford models. You'll never guess which models they are requesting lower costs on, due to poor sales (that's a "teaser" )
Well, I am still up and reading. I find this all very interesting.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Indeed it seems to have a message. Ordinarily board meeting minutes would show what the "company line" was; ie what the board wants share holders to know. This little page does indeed show that Malcolmson was getting his tallywhacker in a bind. There was no other reason I can think of to show these two motions. In effect, Dodge Brothers and Henry have teamed up to foil Malcolmson's influence.
Also, a correction. At the bottom of the my original post, it should say "setting prices for Models A, B, C and "E" . Not "D".
It must have been too late when I posted that.
Aww, I thought you found a missing car.
I did find a Model "W" on the other thread
This reminds me, we've about exhausted the alphabet. A recap:
We have production cars: A, B, C, E (at least referred to E in a few publications and a board of directors price list), F, K, N, R, S, T and now W (Landaulet, Town Car and Taxicab according to the advertisement on the other thread).
Then, we had a four cylinder air cooled touring car shown in 1904 at a car show (10 h.p.) and a Coupe on a C chassis also shown at the same auto show. Let's call them models D and I (I'm reaching for available letters).
We have an advertisement for "Model H", a 15 hp touring car, in 1905. Also, the 1905 Fiscal Year Audit-report shows expenses marked "experimental" for Models G and H.
Now add in the six cylinder S Roadster Henry Ford was seen driving around Detroit in the summer of 1908, we'll call it Model J.
A lot of models and experimental cars for a company that has only been selling automobiles for a little over five years by October 1st, 1908.
Add in the upgrading and racing of 999/Arrow in 1904 (for the world record in the mile, January 1904), racer "Baby" in October 1904 (a 20 hp racer consisting of two Model AC engines, that also broke the world record for light and middleweight racers) and finally the six cylinder racer (late 1904 through 1907), and it seems you have a very busy design department.
Exciting times around the Ford plants
Pate mentions a meeting of June 18-20, 1908, where final details on the Model T were decided. Have you found any notes from that meeting? Do you have copies of the January 5, 1908 announcement of the Model T, or the March 19, 1908, "Advance Notice to Dealers"?
I suspect the design of the Model T changed drastically between the end of 1907 and July of 1908, and that those changes were the cause of delivery slipping from April 1908 to October. Can we substantiate and date any of the changes?
No, I haven't seen the information you mentioned. I came across the T "prototype" information incidentally, while researching pre Ts.
This was the earliest advertisement I've seen where the future Model T is referred to as "T" (and of course, I had never heard of a "Model W" designation).
As for the board meetings, I'm missing some months. Also, it appears to me, as Henry Ford gained more and more control, and as the shareholders made more and more money (and did they, several instances of 100% stock dividends), board meetings seem to have become more sporadic (or I have a lot of missing months records) as time went on.
For example, things like agent commission, basic operating expenses, and cost of patterns are frequently discussed at 1903-1908 board meetings. From 1908 on, there is less and less actual information concerning day to day business.
Finally, I haven't conducted in depth research such as Carl, Trent and Hap have, and would defer to their research and conclusions in most instances (in other words, I'd believe them before I'd believe me )
I can't remember, but didn't I put up a reference to a Model U or W a while back?
I believe there may have been a "W" a while back. Hard to tell, there are so many letter cars now
One of my brothers asked me a question the other day that I couldn't answer - what was the year and name of the first Ford that had a model name instead of a letter designation?
The 1903 Fordmobile would be my guess.
Good answer Thomas!
I believe it was 1949 - Ford Custom etc.
It was even earlier in Britain though - pre-war, Ford of England put out the Anglia (was Ford 8) and then the Prefect (was Ford 10).
Do any of you early guys know the dimensions of the center of brass spider steering wheel for a NRS? I acquired one awhile back and it is 1 9/16 thick. I hate to mill it down for a Model T if it is an early one.
You might have more success asking on the Early Ford Forum. I'm on my way out or I'd measure ours.
I will have to disagree with you on this one. After a long discussion Mr M moved that they produce 2500 cars. I can see the rest shaking their heads and thinking - too many, can't do it. Someone had to make the first motion.
Dodge Brothers probably thought 2500 was a lot for them as well, so they moved to make 2000. The others agreed. You could always ask for another short run if sales are brisk, and this was the brothers who were making the second motion and knew what they were capable of producing.
No different than if I proposed our club give $1200 to the Model T Museum, no one seconds it, and then the next person says 'How about $1000?', and that passes.
Mr M had no problems getting the rest to agree to changes to the car and calling it a Model C.
What happens during the rest of the meeting???
The thing that caught my attention was that no where in the minutes I have (and some are missing, but not many during Malcomson's tenure) no one ever makes a motion without a second coming forward. In addition, no motion ever "is lost" as James Couzens writes this one is.
Just seems odd that this is the only instance (and there are hundreds of motions seconded then approved). In fact, there is almost never a physical vote. The only one that comes to mind was a vote to pay a dividend, and John Gray and John Dodge are recorded as nays, while the motion carries with the rest "ayes".
Just my take,
Interesting? Then maybe you have something there.