I was aware the Ford six cylinder racer was competitive against the fastest racers in the world. However, until today, I wasn't aware the racer came within inches of holding the American Mile Competition Record.
On September 5th, 1905 the Ford six cylinder racer won a race against a 90 hp Darracq racer, coming in with the American Mile Competition record time. However, because the Ford crossed the start line before the Darracq, the record was denied.
If you would like to read the news story, click on this link.
Had the record stood, the six cylinder racer would have joined 999 as heavyweight racers Henry Ford built and raced that held one mile records. I'd like to believe that with a mile record, history would have been a little kinder to Ford's six cylinder racer and car.
I'm not sure it would have made the difference in the long run, Rob. Later, the six had an impressive win in the 24 hour race. I think the T just had the combination of low cost, light weight and enough horsepower to capture the biggest market segment.
Henry knew a six was a superior design, but a four was cheaper to build, and finally had enough power. Once he turned his back on the six, he didn't dare praise it anymore. What if the Dodge Bros. had taken to building Ks with their own name badge?
When you look at how the 1909-11 Ts came out of the factory, it is obvious it was not a very robust or reliable car, by all the changes in those first two years. Look at the 1909 race: two of them were beaten by an orphan Shawmut.
I agree the "mold was set" to move to the T (and rightfully so). However, I think for legacy purposes, an entry in the record books may have disallowed the resulting "dumping on" that seems to have occurred with the two big cars, Model K and to a lessor extent Model B.
Just as with politics, relationships or anything else, it seems to be human nature to vilify something/someone to justify or explain change.
Hope your having a good weekend,