I've seen ads showing the 1908 S Coupe, but this is the first description I've seen. It sounds almost like a "couplet" with removable top (instead of folding top). Mike Walker, your a couplet guy, if you see this, what do you think?
This is Dr Gayman's Model S coupe:
I wonder if the top is removable? It doesn't appear to. The windows also would have to be removable to fit the description of the one mentioned above.
Another S Coupe is listed for resale in this late 1908 Chicago newspaper classified:
Sure is an ungainly looking vehicle. No wonder the open cars were so popular.
I'd like to know what brand and model the sidelights are. They look a lot like the ones on the illustrations of the 1908 Model ST Touring. Now that I look at more, the headlights look sort of odd too. I wonder if they might have been added post-factory.
What a great find!!! Thank you for sharing it and also for the e-mail to make sure that I did not miss it.
Bottom Line Up Front: I’m 99% sure that the top was NOT a folding top, but rather the front windshield, doors, rear half of body and top were all removable from a standard Model S Runabout body that was slightly modified to accept/hold the top.
From our previous Model S Coupe article the 9th posting down at
http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/50893/79780.html we were never able to figure out why the 1908 Model S Coupes looks so “unfinished” or so “unprofessionally done” compared to the other coupes of that era. I.e. the Model S Coupes look flat sided – like something the local black smith would have constructed rather than the flowing lines of a well finished body a carriage/body company would have produced. In 2004 we had even dismissed a Xerox copy Don Watson supplied of page 14 of the Dec 1, 1908 “Ford Times” showing a poor quality photo of a Model S Coupe as “Not” a factory body because it was so square an “boxy.” Trent Boggess had also shared previously that the “Ford Times” photo might or might not be an actual Ford supplied body.
An e-bay auction in Apr 2008 was won by Paul Mikeska, who provided us some excellent scans and hard copies of the original advertisement from the January 5, 1908 “Daily News, Denver Colorado.” One of those illustrations was of a “15 – 18 H.P. 4-Cylinder Coupe, $800.” On a Model S Runabout chassis and is shown below:
And I commented again back then about how boxy / non professional the coupe body looked. Sort of like they removed the Model S Runabout seat assembly (part 1030B) and replaced it with a coupe body over the more or less standard Model S Runabout lower body section.
But from the description in the newspaper article above, we gain another clue – “The coupe top is detachable, so that in summer the owner has the usual style of runabout.” So I believe what Ford did was have a removable enclosure designed to fit over the standard Model S Runabout.
Below is zoomed in on the illustration above:
Below is a scan of a postcard Andrew Brand kindly sent to me of a 1908 Ford Model S Coupe. This is the same image that Royce posted. Dr Gayman apparently gave those out as advertisement for his services. This postcard was postmarked Sep 16, 1909. The front springs are an accessory that was offered back in the day [see: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/331880/332841.html?1357573446 some how I missed that posting.], but the rest of the chassis appears to be a stock Model S Runabout.
Zooming in and playing with the colors we have the image below:
How would they keep the “really large box” from shifting? I think it would have been bolted in several places – such as the original dash board, anchored to the body sill (perhaps using another same style bracket that was already used to secure the Runabout body to the frame, but this time the “coupe boxy body” to the wood sills of the Model S Runabout. It would be drill a few extra holes. And I think they either bolted the body to the standard Model S Runabout body irons (the ones the buggy rail and convertible top would be bolted to) or they could have easily removed the front seat assembly that sits on the body pedestal and bolt the new top with seat to the body pedestal. Using the original Model S Runabout seats would be a less expensive way to do it but either would work fine. And was it assembled as a “top box” and lowered onto the S Runabout body or was it “assembled” onto the S Runabout body? I do not know – but I hope we find out one day. Additional photos or articles etc. would always be welcomed.
Cost? The Model N Runabout in 1908 was $600, the Model S Runabout was $700 and the Model S Roadster was $750. [Ref the 1907 sales brochures and page 46-47 “Tin Lizzie” that has the reprint from the 1911 “Ford Times” on the different Ford models. And then checked with the figures in “Pate’s Early Ford Automobile Encyclopedia”] The Model S Coupe was $800 or $100 more than the standard Model S Runabout. But notice in 1908 that an owner could purchase a Model S Roadster body complete with mother-in-law seat for $90 from Ford. And the 1907 price list of parts had the Model N & S body complete listed for $75.
The low number of Model S Coupes produced – approximately 28 documented makes the chances of finding one really slim. But I would guess that the top would have been discarded before the runabout body and chassis was finally retired to decay in the field.
Again thanks to everyone for helping to track down additional puzzle pieces to help us better document our early Fords.
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Hap, thank you for the information.
A few things I'm uncertain of (among many things );
Number of coupes produced. I have two different Ford reports. The first shows as of Sep 30, 1907. This report says 67 S. Coupes "delivered for the year".
Inventory for Fiscal Year ending Sep 30th 1907:
The second report shows 26 S. Coupe s sold for FY 1908.
Fiscal Year 1908, ending Sep 30th 1908:
It appears to me, at least 67 Coupe s were produced. Also, I would think if this were just a "add on" top, the top would have been shipped and sold as an accessory for the S runabout. The description above seems to indicate a body integral to the car. Maybe there were more than one style of Coupe, one being the type shown in the photos, and another fitting the description and with more of a "California" style top or Coupelet style?
Interestingly, the article lists the same $800 list price as the known coupe. However, the used car ad has the list price at $1000.
I just noticed this, ten Model Ks were destroyed on February 4th 1907 in Chicago. The Chicago Branch building burned, destroying 20 Model Ns and 10 Model Ks (below). The Sep 30 1907 year end report includes "less -10K-
I wonder if this is the entry for the ten destroyed Model Ks? I've wondered how Ford "carried" that loss?
MY, my, that is interesting. A Model S Coupelet.
It's difficult to say whether that dealer actually had those cars to sell or whether it was a publicity ploy by the dealer or by Ford. The ad (first post) says that he has one, possibly a prototype of that style to gauge interest.
It seems likely that a body company built the body, rather than Ford making it. And we know that sometimes the body builders sold similar or nearly identical bodies to more than one car manufacturer. A case in point is the '03 Model A Ford and the Cadillac of that time.
Maybe someone in our group knows of a "coupe runabout" body offered by another car maker at that time. If so, it seems plausible that Ford would have toyed with the idea of offering that type of car as well.
(I think Rob needs one.)
I should have posted the entire article (wanted to save room). It is actually about a "Century Run" where the local Ford Branch manager (Chicago) arranges a 100 mile trip starting at 12:01 of the New Year.
Tom Hay is the Chicago Branch manager for Ford, and is giving the interview about the run, along with info at the end of the article about the new coupe he has received from Detroit. I doubt a Branch would receive anything but a Ford built car and body (opinion). Also, when one looks at the two audit report papers above, at least 67 coupes are produced by the time the report is issued.
The full article:
You could easily be correct that there may have been more than one style of coupe body. They were trying to figure things out and it may have helped them decide what the coupe body for the 1909 Model T would look like. There is so much more still to learn and document.
Note the image you previously posted and that is reposted below doesn’t seem to quite make sense to me.
You may have sent me a larger more complete copy already – thank you if you did. But you are finding things much faster than I am reading things. I suspect that the complete page or the page ahead and behind this one would help us understand it better. Note the first line shown states “Inventory September 30, 1907” and I believe you are assuming that the page is addressing the fiscal year that ended Sep 30, 1907. Because we have very little information on the S Coupes – Ford could have made 67 of them any time he wanted and we wouldn’t have much additional information to confirm or to notice something looks out of place.
But notice they list 3740 SR (Model S Roadsters) delivered – assuming I am reading it correctly. The Model S Roadster was not produced until calendar year 1908 with the first recorded shipment in Trent’s “Early Ford Database” of Mar 10, 1908 as car # 17. And the last major shipments in Sep 1908 car # 3703 with a couple of stragglers being shipped as late as Feb 1, 1909 car # 3708 (that would be approximately 5 additional Model S Roadsters shipped in those four months – as they did not always build or ship cars in serial number sequence). [FYI: on page 482 of Bruce’s book “Model T Ford” the shipping ledgers show S Laundalet #3709, S Roadsters 3710, 3711, and 3,719 were shipped on Jul 20, 1909.] So I do not think the 3740 SR delivered number is a 1907 fiscal year number but more likely a 1908 fiscal year number.
Looking at the Model S Runabout numbers the S Runabout began shipping in Aug 1907 with approximately 350 shipped by the end of Sep 1907 rather than the 1731 listed above. I’m sure it made sense to the auditors back then and hopefully with a little more context it will make more sense to me now. Of course I may be the only one who doesn’t understand it – that’s happened before and will surely happen again.
But I do not have to understand how it all fits together to still really appreciate you and others taking the time to find, post, and share additional information about the early cars. Hopefully as time goes by we will better see where and how the “puzzle pieces” fit together.
And if anyone has any additional information or leads about the S Coupes, please let us know.
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Yes, I was mixing up the years. It is a 1908 document showing inventory:
Should have said "showing Inventory Delivered" above. I need more coffee
Thanks for the clarification. Had it been 1907 then 67 plus 26 for 93 coupes but since it is 1908 -- 67 coupes would be the number. [And if any were produced after Sep 30, 1908 that would be added to the total.]
And of course we would like to know why the one document has 26 coupes and the other 67 coupes -- but we can will look into that more at a later date.
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My guess is the 26 are "sold" cars, while "67" are the total number produced/shipped to branches or dealers.
From my iPhone
First of all, I don't know nuthin' about N's and R's and S's, except Rob gave me a ride in his N one time. I'm more familiar with T's in the 'teens, and it seems that the car bodies themselves were mostly (or entirely) bought from body makers at that time. Was Ford making their own bodies in the NRS pre-T era?
the C.R. Wilson company was the original supplier for many years to the Ford factory. They were located very close to the Piquette plant and were located right next to the surviving Murray body plant. That complex of buildings still stands in Detroit. You can read about their unique history if you google "C.R. Wilson body company, coachbuilt". Henry even bought the seat for his quadracycle from them in 1896. Not sure about the complete history, but i doubt FoMoCo ever built a body in their first dozen years....
From memory (not as reliable as printed material) I recall reading where Ford had one of his men build at least one (1) Model N Body to document the cost of the wood, brackets, time to build etc. According to one of the interviews he used that information to establish the price he would offer the body company to supply the bodies. The body company was not happy that Ford new what the cost of making the body was, as they had a standard profit they wanted to make on each body and Ford was not offering them that much profit per body but was offering to order many bodies. [If anyone knows a good reference for that -- please let us know. I'm 60 percent sure its some where on my hard drive.]
Note Ford of Canada had their own outside body supplier when they began production.
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Well, the reason I asked is because of Rob's statement above, saying: "I doubt a Branch would receive anything but a Ford built car and body (opinion)." Rob, did you mean "a Ford built car with an outsourced body"?
I still wonder whether that body mentioned at the beginning of this thread might have been a "teaser" just to test the public's response to it.
Yes, and Wilson is the only body maker I've noticed in early Ford meeting minutes.
I've seen the same story somewhere about one of the employees building a body, then going to Wilson and negotiating a better price due to their (Ford) findings. Maybe in the Sorensen book?
All interesting things as we learn more,
Charles Sorensen reported the the Model N body - the first one ever made - cost $50 in labor and materials when made in house at the Piquette Plant.
CR Wilson company (the suppliers of the Model K body to Ford) bid $152 per unit to sell the Model N bodies to Ford.
Eventually the price was negotiated to $72 per unit.
We can assume Wilson made the same 150% profit on Model K bodies that he planned to make with his initial bid on Model N bodies.
So the unit cost of each Model N body was at a net savings of $79 less per car compared to Wilson's original bid, all of which is direct profit advantage compared to the Model K. There were many other ways that Ford cut costs on the Model N, this is only one example. Just the amount of labor per car to assemble the Model K would have been twice that of a Model N, due to the sheer complexity and number of components.
You can read the entire account here starting around pages 77 - 83. :
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=my%20forty%20years%20with%20ford&source=w eb&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CC8QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fbooks.google.com%2Fbooks%2Fabout% 2FMy_Forty_Years_With_Ford.html%3Fid%3Dfv9WPvAXpGMC&ei=ulQKUaunFsqY2AWy54GADQ&us g=AFQjCNHZchuIciWnGUR5YMeafA2eLBaxqw
Thank you for pointing us to the reference (page 82 has the story.)
Note -- Sorenson also mentioned on page 82 that it was that Model N body where Ford started the "Ford purchasing formula." I think that means going for the cost, labor, and proffit being reasonable for the seller.
Again, thank you for pointing us to the reference.
From an e-mail years ago, Trent indicated that all the Model S Roadster bodies were supplied by Beaudett (often listed as Pontiac in Ford records). Below is the body number from the Model S Roadster body rear seat that Andrew Brand has. Note the "B" for Beaudett.
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Wrong button -- below is the photo of the 1908 Ford Model S Roadster Beaudett body number:
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How did this turn into a Model K body thread? Royce, your long on assumptions and short on fact. We know the profit from Models N and K (and all other pre 1910 Fords) from Ford audits. The Model K was by far the largest margin car Ford sold. All this has been thoroughly hashed over, with your input sprinkled in. If you need a refresher start a thread with your assumptions about Model K.
My post is entirely factual. I supplied a link to the source. Sorry you are in such a bad mood all the time.
I disagree, very little of what you post is "factual". You reference something related, or not, to support your point of view, which you then beat like a dead horse.
For some reason I'm skeptical when you say your "Sorry you are in such a bad mood all the time." I suspect you enjoy causing others to be upset on forums, judging by your posts. Of course, that's just my opinion.