I've been looking for a while for a "needle in a haystack" with no success. Any suggestions appreciated (and this "needle" may not exist).
In 1907, Frank Kulick, Henry Ford's chief race driver, was injured when the six cylinder racer wrecked (Oct). At that time, news reports say the racer had achieved a record speed of 49 2-5 seconds per mile (world record on a one mile oval track). However, these accounts also say because there was no official timer, there is no record.
A while ago, I came across this September 1910 article, in which Frank Kulick says Barney Oldfield "will have to prove it" regarding Oldfield's claim that he (Oldfield) will break the one mile track record THAT KULICK ESTABLISHED IN 1907 WITH THE SIX CYLINDER RACER.
I did not think about it, but the requirements for a local track record were probably not as stringent as those for a world or U.S. record, so it may be that a Michigan State Fair Track record existed, even though the new world record was not official. If so, this is another verifiable accomplishment of the six cylinder racer (that, like the six cylinder Model K, has been labeled an "underachiever" by many Ford historians).
Does anyone know of a group or location where records such as these might be stored? I've searched online with no success.
Following are a few of the 1907 articles surrounding the six cylinder racer. Below, a September 14 accident where it's reported the racer ran a 50 second mile (record speed), five seconds below the world record. Following this accident, that was somewhat minor, Henry Ford said he would quit racing:
However, a month later, Frank Kulick was again running the racer for time, and this time suffered the wreck that would end the career of the six cylinder racer (although there are reports of the racer being prepared to race as late as August 1909, and a rebuilt racer still exists):
Thanks for any suggestions or ideas of where to find this possible record,
I would begin here;
If a farmer can't find a needle in a hay stack what chance do the rest of us have!
Have you contacted anyone at the fairgrounds to see if they kept any old files or notes about the events at the fairgrounds? Perhaps they have board meeting minutes with something mentioned about races that were held there or who was awarded prizes.
Thank you for the link, I'll see what I can find.
I don't think the Michigan State Fair exists anymore, I'll double check again,
Not since 2009.
Interesting history at http://www.ask.com/wiki/Michigan_State_Fair
Local Merchant, J. L. Hudson was a major player in starting the fair at the Woodward and Eight Mile Road location in 1904. That means the State Fair Track was very new when Ford and Kulick raced there in 1906. Hudson was also the money behind Hudson Motor Car, with Roy Chapin as President.
Interesting. I just learned a few days ago that after Aerocar went under (A. Y. Malcomson's car company) Hudson bought their new state of the art factory. Small world (in Detroit).
This is a 1922 Sanborn Map of the Mack and Beaufait / Bellevue area.
Other features of interest are:
1. The Columbia Motors work now uses the former Aerocar / Hudson Motor building.
2. The building on the southwest corner of Mack and Bellevue is the original Ford Motor Company plant on Mack Avenue.
3. The northwest corner is the Malcomson Coal Company yard.
I believe the Ford Manufacturing Company plant was in this neighborhood, but I do not have a house number for it. Either the old numbering system or the new system would make it easy to locate the plant on the Sanborn maps.
The Ford Manufacturing Co. Plant was at 773 Bellevue. I don't know if that address is still there, of re addressing changed the street designation. A friend from Ann Arbor checked the address and if it's remained unchained, there are no buildings on the site. After Ford Motor Company bought Ford Motor Company it became the Six Cylinder Factory where Model Ks were assembled:
Should say: after Ford Motor Co bought Ford Manufacturing....
I notice that Kulick's name was given as "Dan" in one of the articles about his crashes. Maybe he had a brother?
Just me being silly.
Thank you for finding and posting all this wonderful stuff! I think it will help real historians get a more accurate picture of this important time in our past. Also nice to find out what buildings do and do not still stand.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2