This article appeared in "The Automobile" magazine, January 30, 1908. Three Fords achieve perfect scores on a reliability tour, 15, 20 and 40 hp cars. Could this be a pre T?
Seems more likely to be a Model N with exaggerated horsepower claims.
Simple answer. However, Ford NRS cars are the best selling cars in the world at this time, I doubt the reporter would write it correctly for one 15 hp and not the other. Also, Wade Cox is the owner of the 20 hp, and he is driving the 40 hp Ford (K) so he should be knowledgable about Fords.
Houston Texas. It's not a likely arena for a private owner to have a radical new experimental Ford, is it?
Rob I think that you are grasping at straws to prove some point that is unknown to me. There's not any reason for Ford to produce experimental T's and ship them to a backwater a thousand miles south to test them. Very few things about Henry Ford are illogical.
As long as we are exploring "mysteries" can anyone else suggest what this Ford is? It is the only Ford at the Ford display at the Brussels Auto Show (Dec 21 1907-Jan 21 1908).
The touring looks too large and roomy to be an NRS, and the steering column and coil box appear too small for a Ford K.
Royce, you have no idea what I'm "doing". I research and post Early Ford items that interest me, and/or raise questions that I would like to hear others views on. For some reason, you insist on "shadowing" my posts and threads, often commenting with knee jerk reaction responses based on nothing more than your desire to post.
Go start a thread or two of your own.
If I didn't do it, who would? I'm not about to stop caring about Ford history and I am not at all shy about it. Attack me all you want, I am simply commenting in a healthy way because I care. You are finding some interesting things. Keep it up!
Regarding the Brussels 1907 show, what ever it is, it isn't a Model T. If Ford had introduced something spectacular and interesting in London, Paris or Brussells in 1907 you can bet Henry would have made sure the press also wrote about it. Henry didn't miss many opportunities at self promotion.
Let Rob present his documented research. Looking forward to have his work published.
Agreed Bob. Your comments are welcome too!
The last eight words really ring true.While we wonder what if,when,how,and why i think it was a good thing that the AAM would not let Henry join because he merrily assembeled cars instead of building them?? It seem's like it all worked out in the end! Ford and the public 56 Seldon 0 !! Bud.
Looking at the Brussells picture again it looks like the British Double Phaeton, likely the same one displayed in London in 1907. These were regular production for Britain that year, and the cars would have been available to continental buyers too.
Rob, Ive been reading all your posts. I also have been reading posts for a number of years. So I like all the questions asking for help, showing different things about T,s and all the fixes that show up. But it has been the same ol stuff over and over. Iam not complaining as I have gleened lots of info and it has helped me on many of my projects. But the new info you have brought to us is a treasure trove. I look for your post first and have for several months now. I can now see where Henry started, the way he dealt with the backers, bankers and management.
Henry had a goal and did what he had to to get there. He never wanted to leave his beloved T and move forward. He fought it for a long time. Iam glad that the Ford Motor Company moved forward and provided the U.S. with so many different products and his factories during the War. So please keep your chin up and fill the pages with all the tid bits you can find. The following is large and we like all things Ford. Scott
Thanks for all the interesting points guys. There are few things I "know", and many many I don't. It seems like everytime I think I've "figured it out," there's another bit of information that takes us down another path.
As for the Brussels car show, I wish we had a better photo, but we are probably fortunate to have this one. I honestly don't know that the car is. It seems to me it is too long to be the 93 inch wheelbase Model N/S phaeton sold in England for some time.
The more I look at it, it might be a Model K? The steering column is extremely long, and may be tapered like a K.
As for "pre - Ts", we know advertising claimed the cars were seen at some shows. The account below says "These new machines were shown for the first time at the Grand Central Palace." Not, will be seen, might be seen, or were described. They were physically on display at the show.
Couple with that the sales records for one Landaulet and one "rumble seat" automobile (that sold for more than Model S and much less than Model K roadsters) and I believe there were prototypes out there, and a few made in front of the public. Again, that's what period evidence (accounts such as these) tell me. Doesn't make a bit of difference to Ford history, doesn't change anything, just interesting (to me).
Is it possible to place a grid with known measurements over the photo of the Ford car in question and compare those measurements with measurements of your Model K to see if they are the same? I think the distance between the front and back seats and the height, the length of the steering column, etc.
Of special interest to me was the fatal street car accident in January, 1908. When Houston got rid of them in the early 1950's we were told that it was because of the many accidents. Now they are back again along with the accidents. Go figure.
I've encountered at least four Model K/Trolley/Train accidents. That seems to have been a common problem back then.
Yes, I think if a person knew the model/make of the other cars it might be possible (but you'd need to be smarter than me, not a big hurdle ). The more I look at the photo, it may very well be a Model K. If so, that may create more questions than it answers. I have found one account of two Model Ks shipped to Berlin, and at least one to England, however all well before this auto show.
For you "conspiracy" folks, here's an interesting account:
A little something for everyone. This October 1907 report (rumor) says the new Ford towncar is patterned off a Renault. This report says the new Fords will have "high tension magneto ignition."
The account also says Ford will have a six cylinder runabout "that will be built similar to the current four cylinder type (Model N/S). (Henry Ford is later seen driving this six cylinder N/S chassis roadster, and one still exists and now lives in Australia).
We need to find Mr Peabody and send you back in time. Then you can snswer all these questions.
Here's an advertisement from the March 1908 Minneapolis Sun Journal where Ford is making similar claims of a new 4 cylinder model. In the ad the claim is made that "10,000 of these cars will be made in 1908" which of course was false. Ford sold its first Model T very late in 1908, and only a a few of them before 1909.
The image is the same one from the Thornton, Perry and Schreiber March 1907 catalogue. It is a 1907 British Double Phaeton. Apparently Ford recognized that the British had a great product for the US market, and so that image was spread through US newspapers along with the spurious claims typical of Ford marketing of that era.
Rob said in a post above "A little something for everyone. This October 1907 report (rumor) says the new Ford towncar is patterned off a Renault"
Rob, here are pictures of the 1907 Renault landaulet and town car.
1907 Renault Landaulet
1907 Renault Town Car
Model T Landaulet / Taxi, Ford Times, June 1908:
Model T Town Car, 1908:
No, the Thornton Perry and Schreiber car is not the same. Obviously similar touring body (as is the 1907/08 Model K), but the fenders are different. Also, the running board length appears different (as it should, considering the English S touring body is on a 93 inch chassis, the pre T touring on a 97 inch chassis).
Also, Ford stated the specs to their "lightweight touring" (I posted above), including more hp, larger tires (same as the eventual Model T).
Another thing that jumps out in the ad above (the Renault "rumor") is the sentence "Like it's prototype, the Ford will have the four cylinders in one casting." The reporter certainly "got it right" with this one. No Ford prior to the Model T had "four cylinders in one casting." What I don't know is, what prototype is the writer referring to. Did the early T prototypes already have a one casting engine? Or is that where the supposed copy from Renault coming from?
I don't know. However, I suspect you do, so, let's hear it.
This is the picture from the March 1907 Thornton Perry and Schreiber catalogue, coutesy Neil Tuckett, from his private collection:
This is the March 1908 advertisement from the Minneapolis Sun Journal with completely phony text, because it does not describe the pictured car at all:
Here's a real 1907 Double Phaeton:
One has to understand that artist's depiction, along with artist's indiscretion could be part of the confusion. These have been proven at times to be inaccurate drawings.
I've seen artist's conception pictures of the 1908 Model T that had driver's controls on the right side.... for the USA market.
Show me an actual photograph for proof
So, Henry Ford (actually someone from Ford Motor Company) copied the artist drawing from an advertisement in England. Then they used "phony text" to run a large advertising campaign for Ford in U.S. papers, to promote a car that they (Ford) said was coming out in the spring of 1908, even though they (Ford) did not have, or intend, to bring these cars to market until October 1, 1908. Why, to undercut their own dealers who were trying to sell their 1908 model cars? To reduce Ford Motor Company sales as a result?
I don't think so. The Model T, as seen in many U.S. newspapers, began, just as the specifications listed in many of those newspapers, as a 20 hp, non magneto, right hand drive car. Ford announced they would have the "lightweight touring" also called Model T and even Model W (landaulet and town car) ready for sale by early spring. That didn't happen, just as Ford said they would have the Model N ready by early 1906, and didn't/weren't able to distribute it until mid July 1906.
I agree Ford used previous drawings (or maybe I should say the media used the most recent drawings available to them).
I also agree with Bob, it would be good to see a photo of a pre T. At this time I don't have one, although they very likely are out there. All I have are descriptions and specifications.
Why would a reporter write, and a newspaper publish the specifications in the article (below, same as earlier posted on this thread), if they were untrue? Doesn't make much sense.
That's my opinion. You obviously have your opinion. My opinion was arrived at by reviewing many publications showing and describing this early pre - T automobiles.
Now, I'm on to other things.
The advertisements are the responsibility of the advertiser. The newspaper would publish anything that the space was paid for.
The complete and utter misrepresentation of the image of the 1907 British Ford car in United States advertising was entirely Ford's responsibility. No doubt the intent was to raise interest in an upcoming Model T. The images are clearly not any sort of prototype, they are the 1907 production vehicle, and the image is the same image.
There is much written about Model T prototypes, and of course we have existing examples of "en Bloc" Model N engine and 6 cylinder Model N's. A photo of one of them might look much like a Model N. We haven't seen one yet. I sure hope Rob, or someone else, finds one some day.
Bob if you look carefully at my posting above you will se an actual photograph of an actual 1907 Ford English Double Phaeton, from the cover of "Vintage Ford".
If i rember right in Tin Lizzie a test driver was quoted as saying extensive road test were done while trying to get the soft trans gears corected? A T engine/trans could have been tested in another chassis [NRS] at the time before the T chassis was avail?? Baffled Bud.
There may have been "pre T"s, maybe not. What I would like is an explanation for the two cars sold and showing up on the October 1907 Loss/Gain report. While the sales numbers are unclear, we are able to go to Fiscal Year end audit and see the numbers clearly. And we still have the reporter statements at auto shows describing the "new models".
On the Oct 1907 Loss Gain Report.
Sales included models S, unknown, R, N, K and one "Rumble Seat" and one"Laundaulet". The sales dollar amounts are too difficult for me to read.
Then, if we go to the Fiscal Year 1907 (year end) Report, "For the Year Ending September 30 1908"), we are able to determine the "Sales Revenue" of each model:
Now, we still see the sale of one "Laundaulet", and now two Ts in place of one "Rumble Seat". The models and revenue per car:
...model.............Sales ($) per car.....Cost per car
Model S Road..............$597...............$398
Model S Coupe............$623................$467
My questions remain;
Why isn't the Laundaulet labeled "S Laundaulet"?
Where did the "Rumble Seat" car go? (I believe it is one of the
cars now listed as "Model T")
If either the Rumble Seat or Laundaulet cars were Models S, wouldn't they be listed as "Model S?" (Model S runabouts have a Rumble Seat, and are already listed)?
It's also interesting to note that while the Laundaulet sale is an "unspectacular" $640, the cost is listed at $781 (another indication that this is not just a Laundaulet body on an NRS). Even more importantly, the cost of the Laundaulet and two Ts is much more than the NRS cars.
Next up, find a photo of a pre T.
Royce, your usually on my threads and posts quickly, what are your answers to my questions above?
By September 1908 Ford had exported two Model T's to Britain to be shown at the 1908 Motor show. A landaulet and a touring were shown. This is not new information.
The 1908 Winter edition of Motor Magazine said this about that:
Ford cars will be shown in two distinct models. The four-cylinder 15-l8 h.p. remains much as it was for the past year, but interest on this stand will certainly centre on the new model four-cylinder 20-24 h.p. Cylinders are cast monobloc, integral with the upper half of the crank chamber; the fly-wheel is in the usual position, but entirely enclosed, and behind this comes the two forward speed and reverse epicyclic gear, every portion enclosed, and the whole running in an oil bath. Final transmission is by propeller shaft and live axle. Engine and gearbox form a single unit, lubrication is by gravity feed and simple splash, and the cooling is by a gear-driven pump.
A very peculiar feature of this new model is that a large low-tension alternate current generator, for providing current through a transformer to the spark plugs, is attached to the flywheel, and runs constantly in oil in what is, to all intents and purposes, the gearbox. With a five-seated side-entrance body this new model Ford car is priced at £225, or with landaulet body, at £265, and the figures at which these are offered, low as they are, could, of course, only be achieved by the big production in the American factory.
Royce, these two cars were sold in October........1907
Take a picture of your Model K from the same angle and see how it matches up.
Didn't James Couzens express disappointment that the new car wouldn't be ready for April 1908 as planned. Major changes to the final plan of the car would account for the delay.
I've seen articles that said the new Ford would be ready in late winter (early 1908) then spring, then summer.
Another reporter saying (below) two of the new Fords were at the Detroit Auto Show. This reporter also uses the 97 inch wheelbase and larger engine (than NRS) in his report (same as numerous other reports).
So, we have Ford audit reports with two "unknown" Ford cars sold in October 1907, referred to as "Laundaulet" (Ford audit spelling) and "Rumble Seat" (no model listed). Both cars cost more than NRS cars, and both sell for more.
Then we have numerous reports, along with auto show descriptions of new models with 97 inch wheelbase and 20-22 hp motors. One of these models call the new car a Model T (in late 1907).
As this reporter says; "were displayed." Either the reporter is lying, or the cars were there.
I'd say the odds are pretty good they existed.
Even Henry Ford is caught up in the planned deception. Prior to the Detroit Auto Show, he is reported to say he will show the new models:
Another post Detroit Auto Show report, this time from "The Automobile" reporting that two cars from the "new Ford line" were shown.
It appears to me we need to find a photograph of the Ford display at the 1907 Detroit Auto Show.
A little more......
This news clip from "The Detroit Free Press":
You have to like this: "The taximeters cab shown by the Ford Company is attracting much attention here, as it did in New York."
Of course personally, I like the next sentence, "The Ford six cylinder roadster is another model that is making a hit."
And this is December, 1907. Royce, the balls in your court.
"Landaulet and touring car with the same chassis as the runabout" sure sounds like the Model NRS based chassis, not something new.
Getting back to the cars shipped to London and then probably Belgium, I have thought ever since Hap posted about them in 2008 (link here)
That what we were seeing was something special in this picture:
The radiator with built in water pump, and the description saying that it had battery ignition and less than 100 inch wheel base made me think that it certainly was not anything except a British NRS.
But then, why would the radiator be so different at the top? I'm starting to think as you are Rob, that it might be the only surviving image of a test car. Perhaps it has a Model NRS style engine (note the water pump location) but the top tank had to be made differently due to the experimental removable cylinder head?
I am on the fence. I tried to find pictures of the NRS engine with removable head. I bet that would help answer the question somewhat.
Any way Rob, persistence pays off. I am in agreement that the cars which ended up in London are not just ordinary British Landaulet and Double Phaeton, they are something else. Not Model T's, but perhaps a letter between S and T. S and 1/2 perhaps?
Here are some picture of the experimental RNS engine with removable head:
Looks almost like a Metz block:
I am starting to believe that Ford intended to bring the T into production in early to mid 1908, and that initially it resembled a model NRS with 25% more horsepower (15hp vs. 20hp). I also suspect when the internal magneto took shape or gained acceptance, that threw everything back to the drawing board (but that's purely speculation). I also suspect that (enclosed magneto) was the reason for extending this "prototype" another 3 inches (from 97 to 100 inch wheelbase) but again, purely speculation.
I think now, we need to find a few of these "missing links" to promote the theory. A few friends have emailed today, and they are doing some searching too (for photos from either the New York or Detroit Auto shows). I believe there is much more information out there, and who knows where that will lead. I also think there should be an audit trail for some of this. Everybody enjoys a good mystery,
I should have added, I did find one photo from the 1907 New York Auto show. However, it doesn't appear to show any Fords other than a Model S, maybe an S or N, and two Model Ks. It may also show the very front of a K roadster to the far right, but the tire doesn't look large enough to me (although the radiator and straight front fender may be right for a K roadster.
You might be on to something with the advancement of the magneto delaying the Model T, and having to increase the wheelbase by 3".
What is the length of the Model NRS engine compared to the Model T engine?
Whatever the two cars that sold in October 1907 were, the sales revenue and cost were quite a bit higher than the S models (I corrected the Laundaulet price).
Model S Road..............$597................$398
Model S Coupe............$623................$467
* corrected from earlier post
I think Keith just posted pictures of the 20 HP NRS / S and 1/2 engine that went to London and Europe, or one of its twins. I would love to see where the radiator outlet on the head is in comparison to a typical NRS. My guess is that it is a couple inches higher, mandating the higher radiator tank. Who owns it? What's the serial number? That engine is straight from Henry.
It makes sense that the wheelbase of the T was extended to make more room for the magneto too.
Notice that the British Double Phaeton has 760 X 90 MM Tyres. If you look in the Universal catalogue you will see the recommended tube for that size Dunlop tire is sized 30 X 3 1/2".
Removable head RNS Engine number:
Standard NRS engine to compare water outlet height:
: ^ )
Isn't this the engine Jerry V. Owns, currently at Picquet?
This keeps getting better:
I checked Trent Boggess database, contained with the Disc provided in Carl Pate's book "Pate's Early Ford Automobile Encyclopedia" while working on a Model B file.
Trent's research shows seven "Model T" Fords listed as sold on Ford sales ledgers, between January and May 1908. The cars and shipment locations:
01/07/1908......361................T.....W.C. Hibbs, Morengo IA
01/20/1908......481................T......A.E. Holden, Auburn IN
02/13/1908.....812,815,816.....TL...Chas E. Miller, Wash D.C.*
05/27/1908.......876...............T.....John F. Folk, Banberg SC
Then, T Number 1:
10/01/1908.........1.................T....New York Branch, Ford
These sales ledgers are incomplete, according to Trent, so the above are probably only a portion of the total. I've also noticed the ledgers "lag" behind Ford Audit information. Example: 301 Model K are listed as sold by Sep 30, 1906 (FY end) in the Ford audit information. However, Trent's database lists cars up to k number 348 shipped by Sep 30, 1906. The same thing may be occurring here. The two cars listed on the Oct 1907 audit, a "Rumble Seat" and "Laundaulet" may be showing up on the ledgers in early 1908?
Hap, if you are following this, can you expand on Trent's database, and what the numbers indicate? To the best of my knowledge Trent B. is unavailable at this time.
* An ad for a Landaulet appeared in the December 29th Washington Times. The sponsor, Chas. Miller and Bros. (listed in the database for TL numbers 812,815 and 816). Very likely, there were pre T taxis operating in Washington D.C. in early 1908.
On a side note, the post that began this thread concerned an endurance contest held in Houston, with three Fords gaining perfect scores. They were listed as a 20 hp, 40 hp and 15 hp cars. The event was held on January 20th 1908. It's entirely possible this is one of the "pre T" Fords based on the timeline of these cars appearing between October 1907 (Ford audit) through May 1908 (Trent's database).
Now, we need pictures........
The American Roadster is the American Underslung with the frame under the suspension. There was also a Regal Unbderslung. They are not Ford model K's they are American underslung automobiles.
That just happens to be a car at the top of the page. This thread began concerning the highlighted Fords mentioned regarding a reliability tour. (Further down the page)
I should have clarified, the American Roadster pictured came in first in the "contest". However, the event was called off due to a fatality. This thread is about the thee Fords participating, a 20 hp (pre-Model T?) 40 hp (Model K) and 15 hp (Ford N/R or S).
On April 1, 1908, "Horseless Age" reports:
Here is the T Prototype engine at Piquette - Crankcase No.2552.
Here is the N Prototype engine at Piquette - No crankcase number.
To my eye the engine layouts are identical. They both have the gap between cylinders 2 and 3; and the water outlet appears to be at about the same height above the engine. The T Prototype outlet appears to be more vertical than the N Prototype's outlet.
The T Prototype engine has the standard N-R-S transmission.
To me, Royce's picture of the Landaulet has a Model T proportion radiator rather than the wider Model N radiator.
Does anyone have a better copy of this picture? I wold be interested to see if the front axle has forged in spring perches (Model N style) or removable perches (Model T style).
Tom, thanks for the pics. It would be good to have measurements of each. It would be interesting if the T prototype has a little larger boar and/or longer stroke to get to 20 hp.
Does it appear the exhaust manifold is a little bigger in diameter than an NRS manifold?
Thank you again for posting.
To my eye the manifolds are identical. I will look next time at Piquette and see if there are any part numbers cast in. Also will try to measure the two of them and the production Model T engine along side. I think 3" (more or less) is just about right for the flywheel and magneto.
Remember, when they added the low tension magneto to the engine they also had to relocate the flywheel to the rear of the engine. To do this, Ford turned the engine around front to back. That is why the manifolds are on the right side of the engine and the commutator is in the front right corner. On Model N the timer is on the back left of the engine, inside the transmission area. Now that the manifolds and carburetor are on the right side of the engine, Ford moved the steering to the left where there was room (my supposition).
Now that the flywheel is at the rear of the engine, Ford took advantage of this and re-arranged the Model N planetary transmission so that the triple gears are mounted directly to it instead of to a short shaft as on the Model N. Now the drums can be placed next to each other instead of being spaced out. This change may have shorted the space required for the transmission and helped keep the engine length increase to 3 inches. Now to find documentary proof for these guesses.
It's important to remember that the Model T was rated at 22 horsepower, not 20, at its 1908 introduction. The compression ratio and horsepower were dropped in March 1911, yielding the 20 horsepower figure. The first 42,000 Model T's were rated at 22 horsepower.
So we know that anything rated at 20 horsepower in 1907 - 1908 is not a Model T.
No they aren't traditional Model Ts. They are pre T, prototype T, or any title a person chooses to call them. What we are learning is, they did exist, and maybe in larger numbers than we ever expected (see Trent's 1908 T database).
Here is a photo of the intake manifold that came on my SR. It is a model T manifold with the bottom cut-off and welded back on in reverse.
The two extra horsepower in the T came from the low tension magneto, Royce.