Why had I never heard of this?
Hemmings did an article on it a little while ago, looks like they used the same pictures.
Here are a couple of earlier threads about this car:
Why did Ford sell this? Seems like it should be in a Ford museum for all to see.
It is now in the Museum of American Speed at Lincoln , Nebraska.
Here is a picture I took of the car in June this year while visiting the U.S. Regards , John
O_o Im getting some mixed feelings on this one . . . On the one hand, it's a straight-6 T speedster . . . but on the other hand, it's ugly as sin.
The top in particular is pretty bad. How the heck are you supposed to get in and out with that tiny little opening?
I'm with John, the engine is REALLY cool but there's just nothing attractive about the car anywhere. The extra tall radiator is all out of proportion, headlights are too narrow and too far forward. The car this vertically elongated look that gives it a very snobbish face. And the top is just stupid.
Given the disaster that the Edsell was years later - this just seems like an early warning that Edsell just had bad taste.
You better hurry. That auction was in September 2012.
The goofy restoration does not look like the car appeared during Edsel's ownership. It looks better to me the way Edsel had it in these pictures:
I'm with John, neat engine, but the coach work is something only a mother could love!
Royce, def looked better during Edsel's time, I agree.
I still like the way it looks now though, sans top of course. They should have raked the side wall of the top back another 5 or 6 inches.
It would be interesting to see if the "Pale Yellow" color on the body would have helped the looks any. Can't really tell from the B&W photos.
This just could not be the car that Edsel owned. It really looks to me like someone had an interesting engine and built a car around it that was LOOSELY inspired by Edsel's speedster.
Edsel had excellent taste. HIS speedster, and not the abomination at the top of this thread, is beautiful. Edsel also designed the very beautiful Lincoln Zephyr. He had nothing to do with the 1950's Edsels as he was long gone from this earth by then. (Actually, the last Edsels of 1960 were very nice cars. No horse collar grills!)
Jerry, look at the fenders and the lowering front crossmember - it's the same car, but the body and top has been added after the photos with Edsel. Edsel went through quite a few cars, maybe he sold it in the late teens and when his dad (or someone who helped ol' Henry with the museum) bought it back in the 30's perhaps someone else had added the body by then?
It was sold by the museum in 1982 with documentation since the 30's. Why it was sold - just like a lot of other historical Ford items like the prototype Model N engines now deposited at the Piquette - is beyond me.
I'm with Jerry and Royce on this one. Edsel had an excellent sense of design and I don't think he would have had anything to do with that car. Just look at the history of the cars he designed from the styling of the Model A to the updating of the Lincoln . . . nope, none of the balance or symmetry in that speedster.
It did look better in the early images. I just wonder about the performance of that engine. If the foundry made that one, they could have made a few more. Was the performance anything to get excited about? Were there any others?
I see what you mean about the front crossmember and fenders. I'll admit that it looks like someone must have gotten the chassis and built this odd looking body for it. They even narrowed the radiator. What a shame.
Royce, that's funny. I did not notice the date was from the past. I was so surprised by the view under the hood. I just wonder how it ran. Who knows when that ugly duckling coachwork was done. While Edsel still owned it or after. Seems he did constantly modify his cars.
I think the radiator and fenders are either the originals or copies of the originals. The cowl lamps are totally out of place. I think the car would be stunning if restored to its original configuration. I suppose the car originally had the Livingston style radiator and wood wheels?
My casual observations:
The speedster with the Livingston radiator has a four cylinder motor. Reason: looks like a stock Model T hood and would be too short to house a six cylinder motor.
The revised speedster (same car) with the stock radiator has the six cylinder motor. The hood appears to be longer. Because the hood is longer, the radiator is mounted further forward. In this situation, for aesthetic reasons a stock radiator was probably a better choice than the extremely long Livingston radiator.
By "revised speedster" I mean the other photo with Edsel in the car. Not the current version of the speedster.
We know the car went through several different changes/improvements over the years, finally ending up with the roadster body as seen above. That body was built for Edsel, even if it isn't the nicest looking body design.
OK. I'm going to ask: Whose engine is that? I mean who made it. It's very T like in appearance except for the 2 extra cans.
A case of 1920's creeping elegance? Looks like the same strategy taken to turn the T-bird into a Lincoln, a few years later.
The engine was built at the Highland Park plant while Henry and Clara were on a trip to Europe. It originally was installed in a touring car prototype. When Henry saw it he was furious and attacked it with whatever was handy. A good account of the event is in Stern's book "Tin Lizzie".
I've heard & read about the T attack before but this is the first time I've heard there was a 6 in it. Was it a one-off? I can't imagine what it would have cost. Pretty neat too.
Same as many times before i could not find any referance to a 6 cylender engine in that story? If you look at the pictures of the engine the starter and gennerator make me doubt the 1911 1912 date of the prototype build?? Bud.
A friend of mine has a 6 cylinder engine like that in a 1926-27 roadster. The engine was bought from Ford years ago. I can buy it (the engine)for $10,000.00 but don't know if it is worth it.
Here is another six cylinder Model T engine. This example was in the Wells Museum in Maine. Apparently, the museum was auctioned off in August of this year, so I don't know who now owns this car.
Why wasn't the six cylinder T engine produced in greater quantities? Seems it would have been a good fit at least for industrial use or in TTs.
Henry Ford did not want to ever build another six cylinder engine after the Model K. The book "Tin Lizzie" by Philip Van Doren Stern relates a first person account of Henry Ford's reaction to this six cylinder car. He was absolutely furious that it was built.
Sure Henry was PO'ed,But can You Prove this car is the one the story was about?? Both ear's open Bud.
Well, there was at least one "other" six cylinder Ford after the Model K,
The rumor, "Horseless Age", November 1907:
And confirmation that the "rumor" did exist.
July 1908, "the Automobile"
Apparently Henry Ford had not cultivated his well known hatred for six cylinders. Or, maybe isn't always as it seems. One of these six cylinder NRS cars still exists in Australia. Maybe the same one Henry Ford was seen driving about Detroit in 1908?
O.k., here goes. Slap me if I'm wrong.
I have followed almost every thread Rob Heyen has posted regarding his very nice Model K Touring.
Much has been said about why, and why not Ole' Henry soured on the continuation of the 6 cyl. Model K. However, not once, to my knowledge, has anything ever been mentioned in any thread about the Model K regarding that little "Gremlin" inherent in all 6 cyl. engines called torsional crankshaft vibration. No one was more familiar to this phenomenon that the world famous race car driver Harry Miller.
Harry Miller's company, based here in sunny Los Angeles, California, produced an absolutely beautiful in-line six that was used in every unit produced by the Leach Automobile Co. which was also based in L.A.
Before the harmonically balanced crankshaft pulley was invented, torsional vibration in six cylinder engines made them very problematic, at best.
The only known Leach Automobile that exists is in the Peterson Automobile Museum in, where else? Los Angeles.
Apparently all the other Leaches equipped with the Miller Six were scrapped. Their engines, which lacked any type of crankshaft harmonic balance feature, self-destructed.
The Leach on display at the Peterson is an all-original car with very little mileage. This may be the only thing that saved it.