I wish Santa would bring me one of those....
Great photo. Keep up the excellent job you do researching all things relevant to the hobby (OT or not).
I think I speak on behalf of a great number of those of us who like to sit back, read, and educate ourselves on all aspects of the Model T story.
I personally appreciate all the constructive efforts you contribute.
Ken, yes, that would have been a great "stocking stuffer".
David, thank you, I obviously enjoy finding historical "tidbits" from the early Ford days.
Now, as the late Paul Harvey famously said, "the rest of the story:"
The above photo appeared on page 3 (pg 542 of the series) of the April 5, 1906 issue of "The Motor World". Pictured driving the car is probably one of the three or four most important founders of Ford Motor Company, Alexander Y. Malcomson:
The following description accompanied the full page article:
This appeared about ten days before the first known Ford Model K sale, and several months before the first known Model N sale.
The Aerocar story is a remarkable contrast with Ford Motor Company history. In just over two years Aerocar will file bankruptcy. Just as with Ford Mo Co, Aerocar was financed primarily by A. Y. Malcomson. Unlike FMC, Aerocar began with a state of the art factory (already completed by the time of this article), significant advertising, and complete national sales force. Their funding began with $400,000 capitalization, with another $100,000 added during 1906 (I believe FMC began with just under $30,000 capital three years earlier).
It seems to me this first Aerocar offering was unremarkable for a 1906 car. At 24 hp it was a mid horsepower car for it's size (104 in. wheelbase), and the price tag of $2800 made it a median priced car. In contrast, Ford's Model K was priced at $2500, with a 40 hp powerplant and 114 inch wheelbase.
By mid 1906 Aerocar would add a 40 hp watercooled car, priced at $2,750 and continued with the 24 hp aircooled car lowered to $2000. For 1908 Aerocar again lowered prices, selling the lower hp car for $1750 and the 40 hp car in the mid $2000 range. However, evidently the maker did not have enough sales to continue in business, becoming another of the hundreds of failed early car makers.