I was searching for something else, and found this. Charles Miller and Brothers, Washington D.C., were a large Ford dealership. They reported having Model T prototypes for sale as early as December 1907. This clip says they sold two Model Ts as of August 30, 1908 (bottom):
Now you are going to have to read every Sunday Washington Post for the previous month or so to see if any one else purchased a Model T that month. Does Benson have the record as to when Charles Miller purchased his first Model T's?
p.s. How do you find these articles while sitting in that Lazyboy in Milford?
As you know, I'm frequently on the road. Instead of hanging out in the hotel lounge (or as I'm hanging out in the hotel lounge) it is easy to search the Internet. On occasion I come across a new source, such as the "Detroit Free Press", and suddenly there is new info.
Anyway, Trent Boggess has already done the "heavy lifting", finding many "Model T" s sold before October 1908 (sales ledgers), so we know these "pre T" s were out there. What would be good would be to find a photo of one of these creatures. Even better, would be to find an actual car, although non may have survived.
All good stuff,
Sadly, even if one did survive, if it were known in the '40s to early '60s, it likely would have been "corrected" when restored. Much of the hobby at that time-frame tried to restore cars back to factory right. Many nice original speedsters were re-bodied as tourings. Maybe one is still hiding in a barn somewhere?
Unfortunately, information then was less complete and available than it is now. Cars were often restored to match the ads published in the beginning of the model year, not taking into account that the fenders may have been changed mid-year. I know several collectors that have done re-restorations on cars where research and photos have shown the first restoration did it all wrong.
The silly thing is, the hobby at that same time was doing things like putting carriage bodies on '20s T chassis under an umbrella and calling it a "surrey". I have seen two of those years ago. Very strange.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2