Frightening looking machine. Love the sheet metal shield to keep hot oil off the driver.
Looks like 999 on the seat, but it has no tiller steering so if it is an earlier version it could be 939, or 999.2 for a more refined version?
Great photo. I have always liked those cone shaped aero-dynamic ends on early pipes and tanks. Also, the asbestos wrap on the exhaust pipe for safety.
Erich, great pics. I believe this is Arrow (difficult for me to remember the sequence of events). This is the racer Henry Ford sets the World Mile Record with in January 1904. He is the first man to drive a car under 40 seconds (recorded).
The racer was still owned by Tom Cooper, and I believe Henry Ford rebuilt this one following the death of Frank Day, who was killed when the car ran through the fence at the Wisconsin State Fair.
Next two photos courtesy THF photo stream, online:
Ah yes, When men were men, and you could run with scissors in your hand without no stinkin OSHA!
How does a personal injury lawyer spell A S B E T O S ?
Answer - M O N E Y !!!!
Wonderful expression on Henry's face above. Thanks Rob.
Henry Ford describes the record run. I bet this was quite a ride!
According to artist and racing historian Peter Helck the first car seen here is in fact "999". I have posted his painting of the scene here in a different thread. Link below.
1904 Henry Ford with “999,” Lake Saint Clair. A Peter Helck painting showing Henry Ford and his mechanic Spider Huff making a speed run on January 12, 1904.
Ford handled steering the car and Huff hanging on to the water tank operated the throttle. They made two runs, on the second the pair had set a new one mile
record of 39.4 seconds at 91.37 mph. On that day they won the LSR record with American automobile for the first time.
See Helck's work here http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/331880/407805.html?1386862269
There seems to be some confusion between 999 and Arrow (to confuse matters still more, Arrow was called another name initially, blue or yellow devil or some such name, I can't recall, but will try to find the reference). Apparently many parts were interchangeable, and probably were changed out while Oldfield and Cooper were "barnstorming" with the racers.
I also have an article showing a "modernized" 999 in California, about 1908 (I'll post it later too).
This photo from THF identifies the first photo on this thread as Arrow and was taken shortly after the world record run. I assume it is outside one of the 1904 auto shows, as the racer is shown at a few of those shows along with the 1904 Ford models. I think Arrow had a shorter wheelbase, and posted a photo of both racers together on another thread a week or so ago. Tom Cooper is still the owner at this time:
Story and another photo of the wreck (Sept) prior to Ford rebuilding the racer for the record breaking run in early 1904:
Erich, I hope you don't mind all these additions to your thread? This was a really interesting time in Ford Motor Company history, with Henry Ford and Ford racers setting world and course records around the country. Oldfield and Cooper set many track records with the two racers. Then Henry Ford "updates" the wrecked racer (which ever one it is) and sets a world record. Following this, Frank Kulick drives another Henry Ford creation, 'Baby", a lightweight racer using two Model C engines (20 hp) to more world records in the fall of 1904. Then (this is where my interest was primarily focused) Ford builds and races the six cylinder racer (prototype engine for the Model K) between 1905 and 1908.
This is a note, courtesy of THF. E. R. Thomas (founder of Thomas Motor Company, Thomas Flyer) congratulates Henry Ford on his recent world record. Thomas mentions "for the good you have done yourself and the American industry." I assume this regards the fact an American built racer holds the mile record for the first time, another Ford achievment:
The number on that seat looks like 933 in the first photo.
Rion, I suspect the quality and lighting for the photo are allowing the 99 to look like 999.
Below, from "Cycle and Automobile" magazine, Feb 1904, an article on the 1904 Detroit Auto Show:
The racer doesn't have a number painted on the right side. It looks to me like the shorter Arrow wheelbase (I think?). I also suspect HF substituted "999" when referring to the racer, since that was the better known of the two racers (my guess)
Rob, are you kidding? I love all the history lessons being added. This is one of the best values going on the forum. Who doesn't like history? What cracks me up is the cone shape given to the front of the exhaust pipe, as if the streamlining would help this car at all.
I can see how it gets hard to tell exact details of each car due to the, no doubt, constant "updating" and improvement efforts being done on a daily basis.
Wonderful, wonderful stuff!
Thanks to all.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2