Caption- "Ford motor car, the first car to traverse the north-west to Tarcoola in 1909. At the Wharf Hotel Port Augusta. Owned and driven by Norman A. Richardson, the car did the 453KM trip from Port Augusta to Tarcoola in 16 1/2 hours. Richardson was accompanied on the trip by J.E. Pick and W. Hargraves."
BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front) The car has a 1911 two piece front spindle so the photo would have been taken in 1911 or later and not in 1909.
Thank you for posting it. As always a higher resolution would make it a lot easier to document. But we can see a few items that help us date the car. Note we do NOT have as good a date for the introduction of items on Canadian cars as we do on USA produced cars. But since Ford USA was initially providing the chassis parts (engine, axles, frames) and Ford of Canada was providing fenders, wheels, bodies, etc. some of the chassis parts would initially be the same dates.
Note it has the two-piece front spindle that was introduced in USA production Jan 1, 1911 car # 36,972 ref: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/F-H.htm#fr1 [and yes there would have been some overlap when both styles of front axles were used.] Note the car also has the radiator with the reinforcement bar across the lower part. That was not introduced in the USA about mid-year 1910 ref: http://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/P-R.htm#rad
What about the body? I believe it is likely a 1911 or the 1911 body style that was used early in 1912 with the fore doors added – but in this case removed. It still has the low firewall so that if a windshield was installed it would have needed a filler board. In early 1912 the firewall height was increased – so the car or at least the dash is early 1912 or earlier. A higher resolution photo may or may not show that the front arm rest is square for the fore door. The man’s shirt may be covering that area. Zooming in on the photo, I believe the rear door is open about an inch and you can make out what appears to be the door latch bolt. See below:
Of course there is also a chance that it is a 1909-1910 body and the low resolution combined with the items on the running board prevents us from seeing the horizontal molding on the rear door of the 1909-10 body. I tried but I could not tell if the door handle was pointed or squared off on each end. That also would help date the body.
But regardless of the body, the front axle clearly dates the photo later than Jan 1, 1911. So “IF” the photo was taken shortly after the trip – the trip was not made in 1909. Or perhaps they have the wrong photo with the information? Or perhaps they took a photo of the people later to document the event. But a photo taken in 1909 would not have that front axle.
If you can request a higher resolution photo we could clarify it better. But please let them know the photo was taken sometime after Jan 1, 1911.
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While looking a David Chantrell's 1911 touring see: http://www.mtfca.com/cgi-bin/discus/board-profile.cgi?action=view_profile&profil e=david_chantrell-users I was reminded (how quick we forget) that the 1911 bodies [also early 1912s that used the carry over 1911 body style] also have the rear door that sticks out from the side of the body. But I do not believe it sticks out a far/as pronounced as the 1909-10 bodies. But again a higher resolution photo would probably clarify what year body.
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Thanks for posting Dane.
Thanks Hap for the detail. I have had this in my 1911 file for a while, nice to know I am somewhere on the mark. The photo is lovely, but the people that make the photo also hide an immense amount of detail we could use for dating.
Well, Hap and David, I did some hunting in South Oz newspapers and found this in The Register on the 22nd of November 1909. It looks as if the car photo is miss-labelled.
Richardson did that first trip in a Schacht buggy. He should have done it in a Ford, and I am sure he would have managed much better.
Great detective work Dane.
Very interesting and what a adventure that must have been. And today we get all upset about unkept roads and a few pot holes. Makes one wonder what the next one hundred years or so will bring. Joe
More hunting, and I came to this article in The Register of 16th January 1912-
So the 1911 dating seems to be spot-on. The photograph could well be associated with the 1912 trip.
Dane and David,
If either of you ever get a chance to look at the front arm rest on a higher resolution copy of the photo please let us know if you can see if it is curved then 1911 or square early 1912.
Thank you for sharing your research and posting the photos etc.
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