I'm "cleaning" up the earlier thread reference this Ford.
Wayne Sheldon came across a 1925 German language article reviewing a previous "Horseless Age" article about an air cooled Ford. We already had another description of the same car, shown at the February 1904 Detroit Auto Show (however, with much less detail about the model).
This morning I found the original "Horseless Age" article (below). This car has remarkable features that will be seen in upcoming Models B, K, N, R, S and T. Features that jump out at me include the four cylinder 14 hp aircooled engine, dynamo, loss spark system, enclosed shaft driveline, similar foot and hand controls to all following Ford models and hinged folding hood to name a few.
I don't know if this model had a designating letter. Another Ford at the same show, and mentioned in less detail in both articles, is a coupe' (enclosed) car, apparently on a Model C chassis.
To keep things in perspective, Ford Motor Company has had cars on the road for less than a year when these two cars are shown. The current models are two cylinder, chain driven "A" and "C".
The thing that 'stirs the imagination" is, what if this early Ford touring car had made it to production. Could this have been the "Model T", produced four years early? If this is the same car as the 1905 advertisement drawing shows, it would have been an inexpensive light touring Ford, with many features we woldn't see combined until 1908 (light weight, four cylinder, low priced at $850 touring car).
Thank you to all who have helped bring this article to our attention.
If anyone would like a link for a clearer copy, click below:
Very fascinating and interesting the valves are overhead.
I have read an article on the history of the Franklin and how they had trouble getting the public to accept the concept of an air cooled engine, so built their models to have a conventional looking radiator, may be Ford found the same problem and scrapped the whole idea!
Maybe the flywheel fan wasn't effective enough, so the prototype had serious overheating problems? The Chevy GM started to mass produce some 19 years later did have so many problems they had to buy them back from the customers, I think?
Kerry, that's possible. It appears the car had a "traditional" front (guessing by the description). I believe by 1904 Franklin was one of the top ten leading manufacturers, but one never knows what caused the car to not make it to production.
It would be interesting if this 1905 advertisement is the same car (possibly upgraded, since this is a year later, and Model B and soon F are on the market).
Possibly there photos taken at the Detroit Auto Show that will surface and show us this Ford and the enclosed coupe.
If this is the same (or similar) car, Henry Ford's idea of a reasonably priced touring car was already a realization. A few 1906 articles mention Ford Motor Company's desire to bring a light touring car to market, and I thought Ford was already planning the Model T (beginning). Now, those industry rumors may have been tied to one of these cars? This ad appeared in the New York Sun, February 9th, 1905:
That's what happened with the first Model Ks. Initially they did not have a front fan, but the same rear engine flywheel fan, along with a somewhat tight belly pan and unvented hood.
However it was quickly determined this didn't provide enough cooling, and a fan was haphazardly added, bolted to the radiator.
Air cooling is possible (with some disadvantages) as the VW beetle proved much later - and it would have been cheaper to produce, saving lots of brass. Had 'ol Henry tried it out some more, maybe the T would have had air cooling? The noise and lack of an effective heater wouldn't be any disadvantages back then..
The 1902-5 cross engine Franklin four had no fan; it depended on forward speed for cooling.
Hmm, that's just like my ol' brass picup: no fan, and forward speed for cooling...
Comparing the vw is a bad choice. The vw had a big problem with cracked heads and or burnt valves. Most rebuilds had new heads installed. All the local parts stores in the 70,s had rebuild kits that came with new cylinders and heads. A poor car with little power, but it was cheap. Scott
Franklin put their engine sideways so all 4 cylinders were exposed to the air and had a large opening in the hood. You would think that would be very effective but they went inline like other cars on their next models. The effectiveness must not have been worth the transfer of power to the wheel problems.
They couldn't fit a six crosswise.