I've copied a few price and spec guides for 1905-1909. Some have photos, but this gives most of the information I look for when making comparisons. I'm impressed by the value Ford offered (horsepower, weight and features) compared with similarly priced cars.
A link to the entire guide along with a brief description by "The Automobile" magazine writers about 1907 cars:
A few excerpts showing the N, K and a few others:
Let me know if you'd like any others (most have photos or drawings too).
When you look at some of them and compare to Ford it's no wonder they didn't sell enough to stay in business. The OKEY had two cylinders, 7 horsepower and cost only $50 less than the Ford. It also was shorter wheelbase and out weighed the Ford by 300 pounds. Compared to the Ford with 4 cyinders, 15 horsepower and 84 inch wheel base the OKEY must have looked like a pretty poor buy to anyone who was able to compare them before buying.
Even the Brush, which was a pretty popular car, had one cylinder, 6 HP, a ROPE DRIVE and cost $500. It was an obsolete design by 1907 but they continued to produce it and it actually sold fairly well. Reo, which probably also had other models by then, was selling a one cylinder 8 HP car that cost $75 more than the Ford. I know what I'd have wanted to be a dealer for.
Does anyone know about the Tincher automobile listed above?
I saw one in Oklahoma, it was a big car. I would like to hear about some history.
From the 1907 "Cycle and Automobile":
According to this account, Tincher has already been absorbed by Studebaker::
It seems to me both Model N and K the Fords the competitors at a similar price usually had less horsepower, less cylinders, and/or weighed more.
This Franklin is a good example of a comparably priced popular model. It's smaller and with less horsepower:
The closest priced 6 cylinder touring car in 1907 was the 30 hp Franklin, at $4000:
And two more expensive well known cars the Ford six defeated in the world record setting 24 hour endurance race at Detroit in June 1907:
So where is Tincher of Iodine?
On the second shelf right next to the aspirin.
Looks like the Thomas 40 horsepower car was $2750 and weighed 2500 pounds, Ditto the 40 horsepower Oldsmobile. So both had better power to weight ratio than a Model K and were cheaper.
I doubt many people buying a 2500 - 3500 dollar car were worried about a few dollars or a few pounds either way. To afford a car in that price category you had to be fairly wealthy. I bet more cars were sold on perceived value and perceived quality than any other factors.
From the articles you posted it would appear Ford was spending most of their advertising budget and much of Henry Ford's time racing the Model K. I don't think the effect of all that sold many Model K cars, or contributed to sales of Model K cars. Look at what Oldsmobile and Thomas and Pierce sold - they don't seem to be racing as much, but had quite respectable sales numbers.
I was under the impression that most of the ads I have seen posted mention both the Model K and the Model N. The math I learned makes that 50:50. Maybe if you mention 2 cars in one ad and one car is bigger, than it can be construed that more of cost of that ad goes to the larger car????
Did Henry race the Model K at all or have you only found accounts of race car drivers racing the Model K? I would have guessed that Mr Ford was back at Piquette designing the Model T and leaving the racing up to the professionals. I'm sure Henry showed up at the most important races, but I would guess he spent most of his time back at the factory. Can you provide any insight on this?
Congratulations to Nebraska. Great win for the Big Ten. Same for Michigan State. Too bad those of us in Wisconsin have to drink another beer in sorrow.
One Tincher survives for sure. It was in Oklahoma two years ago having a new body built for it. Very advanced engineering for the day, over head cam, etc., I believe it is the only 1907 known to exist. I lost the photos I had of it in my big computer crash a couple years ago.
Thomas shows up in racing events more than most brands. Of course, I'm not studying Thomas, except as a competitor (in contests and the marketplace).
It looks as though advertising was about even (although that's a big guess, just judging by all the ads I've seen). Ford had a budget in the 1906-1908 period of about $50,000 (Ford fiscal reports). This included national and regional advertising, auto shows, and racing (specifically included in the budget under advertising). Advertising is addressed in the audit materials we have, with each model assessed "Sales Costs" (see attachment). If you look at the attachment, you can see each model has about a 70 to 80 "% to Sales" value, including Model K.
Dave, yes, Ford also sponsored stock racing. The 24 Hour World Record Race Ford cars were sponsored by Ford Motor Company (probably similar to the Ocean to Ocean Race in 1909).
In that race held at the Detroit State Fairgrounds, Ford Mo. Co. entered two Model K and four Model R stripped stock cars. The race was a continuous "relay" race, where a second car could run when a car stopped for fuel and oil (two cars per "team"). The other teams included two 60 hp Thomas Flyers, two 50 hp Pope Toledo, 40 hp American (Underslung), Wayne, Stevens Duryea and Buick.
Ford sponsored Models NRS and K stock cars through the summer of 1908. The last Model K (sponsored by Ford Mo. Co.) I've found won a three mile race at Kalamazoo in late August, 1908, racing in the $2000 to $3000 class. Frank Kulick, appropriately, was the driver. Models NRS won and placed in many races. The first reported sale of a Model N (newspapers) was to Frank Mudd of Chicago in mid July 1906. In September 1906, Mudd places in the Algonquin Hill Climb with this "first" Model N.
The first Model K reported competing were two K from the Minneapolis MN area. They placed 3rd and 4th in a race near Minneapolis in the summer of 1906 (memory? I'll try to dig up the stories).
I placed this with the post to show that each model was "charged" expenses, including "Sales Costs". This spot shows the revenue, costs, and final net of each model. As you can see, by the end of FY 1907, Models N and R are making Ford a lot of money. However, Model K is certainly no slouch, coming in a strong third in net revenue. And, this followed 1906, when Model K provided about 85% of Ford Motor Company's net gain (by model).
I didn't fully respond to your post (late at night). It appears Henry Ford didn't race his production cars, but left it to his employees, including Kulick, Lorimer, Cunningham, etc.
From what I've found, Henry Ford seemed to like straight away speed racing. He drove the six cylinder racer in time trials in 1906, and as late as 1907 ran the six cylinder racer for time (demonstrating it to Ford Branch Managers). As we know he also set the world mile speed record with 999 in 1904.
However, as early as 1902 he let Barney Oldfield race 999 (that subsequently became the first car to drive under 60 mph on a circular track, I believe). In 1905, Frank Kulick drives the six cylinder racer when it runs against a Darracq racer for competition, although he (Ford) is at the race, and pictured driving the racer during warmups.
Anyway, short answer long, it appears HF didn't drive his stock models in competitions (that I've found). Of course, I'm learning as I go......
Reference Dave's post above, this is the first Model K involved in a formal competition I've found. This Ford six placed 3rd in it's class in a Minneapolis area Hill Climb Competition at Riverside hill, May 19th 1906.
While the Ford six lost to a Mitchell and Oldsmobile in it's class, the Ford's time beat a number of other cars, including two 50 hp Thomas Flyers, a 40 hp Royal, two Franklins, National and Marmon among others:
This news account also said of the third place Ford six:
A good start to the Ford sixes competition career.
I like... the Ford Model K the car with "IT".
Larry, yes, I thought that an interesting way to say "it".
Dave, another newspaper spot.. Henry Ford drove the six cylinder for the last time (documented) for the Ford Branch Managers in Detroit at their fall meeting in late September, 1907. While it's the last confirmed (by more than one witness) time he drove one of the Ford racers (that I've found), this "snippet' appeared in a newspaper, saying he (Ford) would drive the racer in an exhibition at the Chicago track.
Unfortunately I don't have any corroboration that Henry Ford or the racer made the exhibition.
The 24 hour world record for miles travelled in June 1907 was held by Selwyn Francis Edge driving a Napier at Weybridge, Surrey England on the Brooklands track. The number of miles travelled by Edge in a single Napier car in 24 hours was 1,581 miles at an average speed including stops of 66 MPH.
Contrast this to the Model K at the Detroit fairgrounds event the same month. Two Ford cars ran an average of 48 miles an hour, no where near the record set by the single Napier.
Interesting choice, a thread that was last posted to January 2nd.
The record set by S. F. Edge with a 60 hp Napier occurred a week later than the world record race the Ford six won in June 1907. Edge's record was a single car run over 24 hours, on a cement surface, three and a quarter mile banked track. While I've never raced competitively, I suspect anyone who has would say there is a significant difference between a run for time, on a banked track over three miles long, compared with competition between nine cars on a one mile flat dirt surface track.
The Ford record was made against quality opponents, the best being a 60 hp Thomas Flyer (same model that would win the New York to Paris race in 1908) costing $4,000, 50 hp Pope Toledo ($5000) and 40 hp American ($3250).
And we know what may happen when cars race competitively. The photo below from "The Automobile" showing one of the two Pope Toledo cars following a wreck during the 24 hour race the Ford won:
Both were great records, made by great cars, in very different contests under very different circumstances.
As seen in the other thread, the Ford 24 hour record was considered a world record, and is still recorded as such among racing records.
Another interesting fact, the Model K was second in it's class at the Scottish Trials hill climbs in 1907. The winning car? A 60 hp six cylinder Napier. No Packards, Pierces, Peerless, or other high end U. S. entered the competition (although a Ford Model N, Cadillac and Reo did).
The Ford six is on the right, with 60 hp Napier center of the photograph taken during the Scottish Trials, 1907:
Edge's record was for most miles travelled by a single car and driver over a 24 hour period in June 1907, regardless of location, track, or any other factor.
The six cylinder Ford ran a much slower time in June 1907, regardless of any other factor.
"regardless of any other factor"
Who ever wrote the article was obviously unaware that a single Napier driven by a single driver, Selwyn Francis Edge, held the 24 hour record at 1,581 miles at an average speed including stops of 66 MPH.
The two Fords travelled 1135 Miles at an average speed of 47 1/4 MPH.
It is of course not uncommon for period newspaper reports to be very much in error.
WOW! what an arrogant S.O.B.! My Great Grandfather and Grandfather were very proud of the fact that their newspaper only reported the facts. I don't know who you think you are to make such a stupid statement. Where are YOUR FACTS that the newspapers were "very much in error"
For anyone still following this thread resurrected by Royce who has an interest in the records and races in 1907, including the Ford six cylinder (Model K) record.
As the 1908 "Chicago Daily News Almanac and Yearbook" reports, there were three classes of 24 hour competitions and record holders AS OF JANUARY 1, 1908:
1. S. F. Edge driving a 60 hp Napier racer (see photo below) on a 3 1/4 mile banked cement surface track set the 24 hour set the 24 Hour World Record.
The next two classes were ran on one mile dirt tracks:
2. Single Car COMPETITION Record was held by a Renault at 1,079 miles. This means one car racing against other "single car" teams at the same time (Competition). Five of ten U.S. 24 hour races held in 1907 were single car races of this type.
3. Team Car Competition Record, held by a Locomobile, with 1146 miles. This record was broken twice in 1907. First, BY THE FORD MODEL K, DRIVING 1135 Miles on June 20-21 1907. This world record was then broken in September by the Locomobile, that covered 11 more miles over 24 hours than the Ford.
FORD HELD THE WORLD RECORD FOR JUST OVER TWO MONTHS. OF ALL RACERS INVOLVED IN TEAM 24 HOUR RACERS (over 40 racers) in 1907, the Ford six covered the second most miles, just behind the new record holding Locomobile.
Now, if all this makes no difference, and it's all about who went fastest, and not who the media crowned "Record Holder" then read the next set of records:
We see the one mile circular track world record was broken three times in 1907. First by Barney Oldfield (53 sec.), then Walter Christie (52 sec) and finally by Louis Strang driving a Christie racer (51 3/5 sec).
We have several independent reports that the Ford six cylinder racer unofficially clocked 49 2/5 seconds on the Michigan State Fair track in October 1907 prior to wrecking. Using The reasoning presented earlier, I guess the Ford six cylinder racer should be crowned fastest internal combustion racer of 1907......
When I have time, I will be more than happy to collect all the TEAM 24 HOUR CONTESTANTS, AND LIST THEIR 24 HOUR RACE TOTALS. I'VE ALREADY SEEN THE NUMBERS, AND THE FORD MODEL K IS SECOND AMONG ALL RACERS IN THE FIVE SANCTIONED TEAM RACES HELD IN 1907. And the competing cars include Thomas, Lozier, Locomobile, White and Mitchell to name a few. Quite an accomplishment, in my opinion.
I should have said, "ditto."
Right. So the Napier was far superior to the Model K in terms of speed and performance.
Different races, different tracks, different records. I'm not sure why this is so difficult? Are you genuinely upset that a Ford Model K held a world record?
Let's do it this way. The Ford six ("K") record occurred June 21/22 1907.
Record - Twenty Four Hour Race, Ford Model K. Done, finished. Once a world record is established in a sanctioned event, it stands, unless overturned by the race officials or sanctioning body, which this was not.
The Napier record (although this was a record for miles travelled, not a competition record) occurred June 29th.
Record - Twenty Four Hour Distance Travelled, Napier
Even using the "theory" that all races are the same, regardless of venue and competition (or not), the Ford held the record for one week. Henry Ford's record on ice in 1904 was only held for about the same length of time, and it is unquestionably still recognized as A WORLD RECORD.
The next team or relay 24 hour race was held in Chicago in July 1907. C.A. Coey and Gus Kabba driving the same Thomas Flyer the Ford defeated in Detroit a few weeks earlier won the event, driving a distance of 846 miles (compared with his total of 990 miles in the Detroit race, finishing third). Other cars and their mileage totals: Matheson - 842, Haynes - 813, Cadillac - 794, Mitchell - 719. Cars running and not finishing included Pope Toledo, Maxwell and Cadillac: