As many of you are aware, I've searched "all things Model K" over the last year or so, finding information about the model I had no idea existed.
Sometimes, these searches lead to unexpected finds. This is one of those.
Using the term "big Ford", I came upon Anaconda, Montana. It seems a Ford dealer was advertising his "big Ford" touring car for rent and excursions. Following in chronological order are some of the events reported and advertised involving Charles Branscombe and the "The Big Ford". If you'd like to read the entire segment, click on the link below each clip.
The first segment covers Charles Branscombe, through advertisements and news clips. Charles is a transplant to Anaconda, and as of 1906 is selling a used 16 horsepower touring and 4 hp Michigan in the Anaconda Standard classifieds.
Through "Sheen and Branscombe", Charles also is advertising rental of a "Large automobile" by 1907. My assumption is this is what we soon learn is a 1907 Ford Model K:
Meanwhile, the "Anaconda Standard" reports events such as "a party of ladies went out to Silver Lake yesterday in the big Ford automobile." And, as with any good story, there has to be a "love interest." In 1907 Charles Branscombe weds Miss Agnes O'Neill:
By the summer of 1908, "Sheen and Branscombe" are advertising excursions "In the Big Ford." These advertisements appear weekly in the Standard with different themes each week:
Link to Part 1:
Also with any good story (and country western song), there has to be a Sheriff, crime, and shooting. In this segment, a shooting occurs, and Charles Branscombe and "the big Ford" are called in to transport the shooter once the Sheriff has his man:
Link, "Shooting Scrape at Willow Creek":
By 1909 we see Charles Branscombe advertising the new Ford Model T. He also is selling used cars, presumably trades for Ford sales"
And, by the end of 1910, Charles Branscombe lists the "big Ford" for sale. Just below the ad for the "Ford 40 hp touring car" is an ad for a "Large Work Horse, cheap".
Part 2 link:
There are other newspaper accounts mentioning "six cylinder Fords" around Butte and other towns. Who knows, Stan Howe, you may have a Model K chassis sitting out behind the barn you haven't noticed before.
This sort of stuff gives an interesting insight into life a hundred years ago. Renting automobiles to go to parties or funerals back then? Who would have thought?
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
I'd be interested to know if you have a list of early Ford dealers in Nebraska?
As the story goes my 16 coupelet was purchased by a gentleman who lived in Brooksburg NE (no longer in existence) in 1916. The article continues to say it was one of the first cars in upper central Nebraska. Article does not list dealers.
When can I rent your "K" Rob?
I couldn't find any record of Brooksburg NE. Do you know the name of the original owner, and/or a larger town near Brooksburg?
Not sure you would wart to pay the fare. This online calculator says $6 (the minimum charge for the "The Big Ford" rent was $6) now equates to over $150:
Another Model K for "livery service:
Less than $160? Is that all?
Actually, I have never really liked driving other people's cars. I am always concerned something will break down, and I would feel badly about it.
Interesting stuff! Thank you Rob.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Another Montana Model K. This one wins in a race with a Locomobile:
Dennis, Rob gave the wife and I a ride in the "K" in June. The ride was free, but it was worth $150. The only problem is, my wife now wants a Model K. I told her it wasn't going to happen. Rob, we patted the fender on the "K" at Dean Yoder's place on Monday
A free ride!...He told me I could look at it for $75...touch it for $100...and sit in it for $150. Boy I guess I know where I stand.
Let me get this straight...Your wife said she wants a Model K and you said it isn't going to happen...Yea right!...It gets cold and lonely on those long winter nights until she get her car. Remember Christmas is just around the corner and it would look great under the tree!
Dennis, the main reason that the "K" is a no go is that we operate on a Model T budget. Plus we are out of storage room. I fell in love with Rob's K also. It is a wonderful car.
Rides are always free. The all day rental thing may be a different story. Besides, all you T guys would be "rodding" the poor old girl too much.
Speaking of Dean Y., look what I'm taking him as we speak (I mean type):
Rob, I've seen that before....lol. Make sure Dean takes lots of photos.
That's just a motor. Where is the rest of your Speedster?
Dean's really good about documenting.
What more do I need? The radiator is in the back seat. We're set.......
Rob, I looked at your engine while I was in the back room at Speedy Bills. I do have a lead on a "K" steering column. I will email you the info.