From an earlier thread, I became aware Howard Taft was escorted around Oklahoma City by a Model K in 1907.
After some research culminating in information from the Oklahoma City Library, we have this photograph showing what looks like the front of a Ford Model K.
First, the initial article from 1909:
Then, finding the date then Secretary of War Taft was in Oklahoma City:
And a photograph of Sec. Taft in the parade. The front of the car appears like that of the 1907 Model K. Now to find a clearer photo:
Should have said "William Howard Taft".
It keeps getting better (doesn't take much to excite me)
My dad's grandpa, a Civil War vet, took him to see Taft campaigning in Kansas. During the war, FDR's motorcade passed by our house on Pacific Coast Highway, so dad saw two presidents in person. I don't think either one of them was in a Model T...........
Steve, ya never know. When it comes to Fords, never say never
President Taft was SOOOO big and fat that he HAD to ride in a K, rather then try to fit in those other early fords...Paul
During the depression it wasn't so fashionable to be seen in a luxury car anymore, so both FDR:s and his wife Eleanor drove cheap Plymouths: http://www.allpar.com/history/roosevelt.html
My dad saw Eisenhower, and I'm pretty sure he wasn't in a Model T....
And more. The staff at the Oklahoma City Library and Western Historical Society really came through on this one!
Another newspaper photo showing (not very clearly) Secretary Taft "alighting" from the six cylinder Ford.
And the related news story mentioning the "Ford six cylinder car."
And, a Rambler was used as the "press car".
Not the Rambler we know. Apparently the Rambler of the early 1900's did not look all that different from a Model K. Just a larger engine compartment. Could easily hold the press corp which probably consisted of a photographer and a reporter.
Wonder what other brands of automobile were sold by the Oklahoma Motor Car company?
And President Elect Taft's choice for a car:
However, not everyone wished to switch from a Ford to a White as did Mr. Taft.
I copied this used car classified ad some time ago. In January 1909 a White Model G owner wished to sell their White (1907 or 1908), or trade for a "1907 or 1908 Ford touring car" (Model K).
Starting a White steamer from cold would probably take like a quarter of an hour. If you didn't have a chaffeur preparing for a trip like the Taft's had, that complicated process would get old fast - then the swift starting of a gasoline car would have a lot of appeal
i agree. I thought it interesting they wished to sell, or trade specifically for a Ford. I just noticed the cost for the "standard Model G was $3500, but the ad says "revolving chairs", so the White must be a seven passenger. I believe those were closer to $4500 new.
From Shorpy, President Taft's 1909 White Model M:
I wonder if the headlights were made of lead to keep the front wheels on the ground when he got in!
Did they custom make the presidents cars back then? ie...bigger doors special trim etc?
You just can't make this stuff up!
I was looking for better pics of Mr. Taft riding in the Model K in OK, and stumbled on this book on line:
"William Howard Taft and the First Motoring Presidency, 1909-1913"
By Michael L. Bromley
As it turns out, President Taft was able to have $12,000 appropriated for the first Presidential automobiles (approved December 1908). Mrs. Taft, evidently a bit impressed with her social standing, felt a need for several cars at the White House. Following is a portion of the book, documenting her discussions with Taft assistant and friend Archibald Butts concerning vehicles. Read the footnote following the page:
So, Mrs. Taft, too good for a "pair...of Ford sixes" eh?
Had Mrs. Taft been a more frugal woman, the first two "official" Presidential automobiles might have been Ford Model K s. instead, the Taft's "settled" for the White limo. And two Pierces.
On a side note, the book goes on to say Major Butts perished on the Titanic a few years later.
Denny, I was typing and didn't see your post. This book is a preview, and has many good insights about the Taft's and the first White House cars.
Book preview link:
http://books.google.com/books?id=dMGM4AFMiLgC&pg=PA54&lpg=PA54&dq=william+howard +taft+white+steam+car&source=bl&ots=KUjSjzBmXD&sig=RqCbJaB3XFKnTaonosMuORpON3s&h l=en&sa=X&ei=ADNyUq65L6rlsATjhYCABw&ved=0CFkQ6AEwDA#v=snippet&q=Ford%20&f=false
It appears according to the footnote that Taft's advisor Major Butts was serious that "she'd have to take the Fords". Wouldn't that have been something, we'd have all kinds of good Model K photos available