I'm posting these for Alan (reference another thread). I hope he will come on to explain this neat project. Aerocar could be considered a step sibling of our Fords. Same mommy (or daddy, your choice ):
Cool looking car.
I wonder why it needs inspection covers on the right hand side of the engine when the camshaft and lifters are on the left hand side? Are there matching covers on the left hand side?
Connecting rod access, would be my guess.
Probably to access the rod caps. Great looking car. A bit of detailing to remove overspray and polish the brass would go a long way. It might be a great tour car.
And hand tightening bolts. They must have expected frequent inspections.
I'm looking forward to learning more about Aerocars. While A. Y. Malcomson was president, a fellow named Reeves was responsible for the air cooled engines. Looking at the engine and steering, it looks like Mr. Malcomson didn't take much with him from Ford in the way of design.
Was it the same Reeves who built the Octoauto?
It would appear so, here is his (gasp!) Wikipedia page:
Motor mounts remind me of model K Ford.
Sure looks like an aircraft engine.
It is a pretty nice looking car.
How does the size compare to the K?
Forgot to add: More photos please as soon as practicable.
Not much in comparison. This 1908 Model E is rated at 20 hp. The earlier (1906) model was rated 24 hp (I don't know if they are the same engine). At that time, the four cylinder 24 hp was the only Aerocar offering, and listed at $2800. By comparison, the Model K was a 40 hp, water cooled six cylinder engine. The Aerocar wheelbase was 104 inches, compared with the 1906 K 114 inch wheelbase.
The descriptions I've read about the 1906 Aerocar said it was an attractive car, and I assume probably more impressive coachwork (to make up for far less horsepower, yet cost more that the 06 K).
One really interesting, and advanced styling feature of the Aerocar for 1906 were the semi-front doors. I have not seen another 1906 car with fore-doors (although there certainly may have been some). The Aerocar also had what appears to be a steel curved front cowl, unlike Ford and most automakers.
By the summer of 1906, Aero offered a 40 hp four cylinder water cooled touring car, and a four cylinder air cooled roadster along with the 06 air cooled touring. For 07, the air cooled cars were reduced in price to $2000, while the larger 40 hp car listed for $2750 (the Model K now listed for $2800, and was improved with stronger frame, straight sided body, and increased to 120 inch wheelbase.
January 1906 Ford and Aerocar advertisements:
By 1908 (Aerocar's last year of production), prices came down dramatically:
The following article better describes the first Aerocar. Dated April 6th, 1906, it's interesting to note the Aerocar seems to have made it to market as quickly, or more so, than Ford's model K and N. The first documented sale of Model K don't occur until the middle of April, and the first Model N sale in mid July 1906.
The announcement of Aerocar's incorporation came about December 4th, 1905, and the news account said the factory was about half built shortly afterward.
"The Motor World", April 5, 1906:
Makes one wonder if the car had been someone's pet project and most of the design work already done before getting enough backing to build it.
It's a rare chance to see exactly what Malcomson thought should be the future of Ford Motor Company, and the reason Henry wanted to get rid of him.
Malcomson imagined that you could make a better profit by selling a more expensive car. It sounds logical when you think of it, more profit per car would mean less cars to build to achieve the same amount of profit. Malcomson ignored the lower end of the market where Cadillac, Ford, Maxwell and Olds were selling lots of one and two cylinder cars.
Henry Ford of course only wanted to make one model of car. Henry had convinced Couzins of the idea's merit, which became the world's best selling car. The four cylinder, $500 Model N.
Malcomson, free from the constraints of Henry Ford, built what he wanted to build, just as Henry Ford did when freed from Malcomson.
I would love to own an Aerocar or a Model K. Both are grand examples of failed business concepts, regardless of their merits or faults in design.
December 1905 Automobile Topics. Third page to follow.
David, thank you for posting.
Royce, only problem, Aerocar began with a mid level four cylinder car, then digressed to two smaller (less hp) and one mid level car. The 08 light touring Aerocar and roadster only listed for $1500. A low priced four cylinder car by 1908 standards.
Furthermore, Henry Ford didn't "get rid" of Malcomson. Malcomson started a competing car company, forcing FMC 's hand.
I "smell" a new thread......
However, I'm driving a Model K right now
From my iPhone
The Ford Model N was a low priced four at $500. It was priced to completely devastate sales of the REO, Maxwell, Cadillac, and Buick one and two cylinder cars.
The $1500 Aerocar four was a failure. For that price you could buy two Model N's, build a garage to put them in and have enough money left to pay for fuel for a couple years.
You would need two (or three) Model Ns, if you had a family to haul, and most adult Americans did. You may have your opinion and enjoy it.
I certainly am.
First "K" drive of the year.
Thanks Rob. My computer skills for resizing pictures is lacking. And I'm just not enthused enough at the moment to start down loading resizing programs. But I felt I should provide some pictures after receiving some answers to my questions from the other tread. http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/411944/412574.html?1389576934
I do have more pics under the hood from the other side, and other views, if YOU were enthused enough to do a resizing, picture posting extravaganza again.
The wealth of knowledge on this forum is both impressive and appreciated. I really can not add much other than the fact I am part of a rather cool project with what is probably one of the last Aerocars in existence. The connection to Ford makes this very interesting. Especially after reading the documents from the other thread. As I said before, what a great movie this would make. And the small connection to the Hudson Motor Car is interesting as well.