they hunt in packs....................
Of course, there's more to this story.....
That looks like a relative of Royce in the back car. See how he covered his face so Royce would not recognize him.
Good guesses. A of a group of Ford K and NRS leaving Piquette for the test track. All Ford models were taken to the Highland Park track for testing at one point. Frank Kulick was in charge of Model K testing, and is seen driving the third Model K, left to right. This must have been an impressive sight as they left the factory grounds. There appear to be at least five Model K and nine NRS in the group:
From the Collections of The Henry Ford, Copy and Reuse Restrictions Apply
Oh, yeah. Such a nice set to choose from.
Gee, I wonder, Rob, if your or Tim K's K could be in there?
Great stuff! I keep enjoying it! Thank you.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Wayne, I've collected so many period photos and articles of Model K that I've wondered the same thing.
Side view of the K testing "body". Is the passenger Henry Ford?
That's how an unattended Model K would look if left for 5 minutes outside the Piquette plant today.
It's difficult to make out on the post but the street sign reads "Tireman". A Google Map search shows Tireman Ave:
To the extent it's possible to observe, each of the Model K's depicted above have what appears to be some type of "trunk" attached, presumably temporarily, behind the front seat.
Does anyone know the purpose of the box that I refer to as a trunk?
Another photo and description of Ford high speed testing. The rear "turtle deck" can be seen on this Model K too:
"To the extent it's possible to observe, each of the Model K's depicted above have what appears to be some type of "trunk" attached, presumably temporarily, behind the front seat.
Does anyone know the purpose of the box that I refer to as a trunk?"
Tim, I have seen a number of photos of factory testing from all over the world, and many times the manufacturer would put weight on the chassis to more closely duplicate the final weight of the car during testing. The contents of the box could be a combo of weights and of course tools.
Great photos Rob.
Maybe that guy in the car in the background of the first photo is an "early settler Taliban"--since Detroit/Dearborn has the highest population of Muslims in the country.
Your notion that the "trunk" or "box" may be for weight is not only possible, but I suspect likely, since we see it so consistently.
Thanks for the insight.
Rob, is it my eyes or does the car at the front left have larger wheels than the others ??
Compare the height of the right front wheel on the two lead cars to the height of the headlamp forks. They look the same.
I thought the same thing. Two possibilities, as Jerry says, maybe just the optics and angle from the photographer. The other possibility is that the lead car has 36 inch wheels. I've recently found a touring car that was outfitted from Ford Canada with 36 inch wheels. The only reason I have for this is that it was also listed as a seven passenger (jump seats) so maybe the thinking was the extra potential load should have 36 inch wheels.
The K Roadster came equipped with 36 inch wheels, but the cars in the photo are all touring (angle of steering column).
I think the "body" on these cars may have been shaped this way to hold at the minimum a battery. I also suspect the "body" was all one unit, and would bolt to a K chassis quickly so they could be added and removed easily. Lastly, they needed to be secure, because it appears Ford put these cars through a pretty aggressive testing regimen.
The reason I doubt weight was a consideration (but may have been, as Tim suggests) is because the same testing body was used for the Model K in the 24 hour race (the Thomas and Pope Toledo seen in race photos were also stripped).
After looking again, maybe the back portion isn't on the "racer." I think the "trunk" is pointed like the Model N and S runabouts, and now I'm not sure if it's on or not?
Frank Kulick (pictured above) was Ford's star race car driver, and also was responsible to approve every Model K during the testing process. Below is a story Ford Motor Company promoted about one of Frank Kulick's test drives with a new Model K:
Two more articles about Frank Kulick testing new Model K:
"DAN" CUPID USED A HUGE AUTOMOBILE
"The Des Moines Daily" (July 23, 1906)
Eloping Couple Distance Father By Aid of Big Machine
LATTER ACCEPTS INEVITABLE
Some time ago a story went the rounds of Automobilia describing a thrilling performance of a Thomas tester stopping a runaway team. Frank Kulick, the famous racing man and head tester at the Ford factory - Detroit, saw the article. Kulick smiled the peculiar Kulick smile but said nothing. It was plain he did not believe the yarn - but it is an axiom with him that all testers are reliable. But he laid for a chance to eclipse that runaway horse performance. Luck was with him for he is a hero now as well as a distance annihilator. Here's how:
A few days ago while making the final test of a big Ford "six-forty" (which means six-cylinder, forty horse power) a few miles out of Detroit, he passed a man who seemed to be trying to race his horse against the car. As Kulick passed he saw that the horse, which was being lashed at every jump, was covered with foam. Ruminating on the kindliness of humanity, Kulick sped on . A mile or so farther he overtook another running horse, this time driven to the limit of his speed by a young man with a girl beside him. The horse was about spent - that was evident. In a flash the situation dawned on Kulick. It was an elopement - and the young people were going to lose. The father had the better horse. Throwing on both brakes till the big car slid on locked wheels.
Kulick beckoned the horseman to stop. In a few words he persuaded the couple to abandon the spent horse and take to the testing car. This was done just as the irate father appeared over a small rise calling wildly to them to stop. There was only one seat on the testing car but the bride-to-be sat on the lap of the eager fiancÚ and Kulick let the "six" out. The older man began to fall back rapidly. Fearing the telephone expedient, Kulick wound about devious ways when he reached the city, until he was compelled to take Woodward avenue to reach the ferry to Windsor, Canada - for it was to that mecca of hasty lovers the young pair were bound. From the city hall to the ferry landing every policeman took the number of that flying Ford and as fast as the clerk on duty could take down
the telephone reports and look up the automobile register complaints were registered against the intrepid racing man.
The ferry was just pulling out and, as the deck hands began to haul the gang plank, their efforts were arrested by the impact of the big "six". There was a shriek as the wheels were locked again, this time on the floor of the ferry - and the boat had left the dock.
The rest is soon told. A willing marriage merchant was found. The knot was tied and Kulick, the gallant, gave the happy pair their first honeymoon ride in the "six" back to Detroit. At the landing the frantic father was met. His anger gave place to tears, his tears to forgiveness - and they'll be happy ever after. Kulick is a privileged character in Detroit so as soon as it was found he was the driver who had shattered all the automobile blue-laws, the charges were erased from the books; but the story leaked, much to Kulick's chagrin and the delight of his associates.