It's interesting to learn about the people mentioned in news stories while finding "all things Model K."
In a parade, Governor Hughes, New York, is pictured riding a 1907/08 Model K touring car. Governor Hughes went on to narrowly lose as the Republican candidate for President. He also served as Secretary of State and later as Justice, then Chief Justice of the Supreme Court:
The parade actually occurred in 1908:
I doubt he would be considered a Republican anymore. Leans to far to the left.
He made the mistake of believing his own campaign. Assuming all the predictions he'd whip Wilson were right, on election night he went to bed early. When reporters showed up at his hotel room in the morning, his son told them, "I'm sorry, the president is still sleeping." One of the reporters replied, "Yeah, well when he wakes up tell him he ain't president."
Ouch, shades of Dewey and Truman. Steve, wasn't that the first one you voted in?
Look what I missed out on, in my own backyard......
Ramblers, Thomas Flyer, Columbia, Lozier, Winton? The Ford K was not "one of the most expensive" used cars here. It was THE "most expensive used car" here. However there are three 50hp fours. And many of those other cars cost more than the Ford when new. People must have really hated that six cylinder car. It is the only six cylinder car listed here.
The one I would probably choose is the 70hp Thomas Flyer. I had a ride in one once. Fantastic car! The 40hp Columbia is no slouch either. There are twenty cars there I would love to have. I wonder what all was in the rest of their 200 machines?
Neat stuff! thanks Rob.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
CE Hughes was indeed an important man. Here are some more important men riding in Pierce Arrows:
President Taft's Pierce Arrow:
President Wilson's Pierce Arrow:
Wilson's Pierce Arrow:
Harding's Pierce Arrow:
President Coolidge and President Hoover in a Pierce Arrow:
President Franklin Roosevelt in his 1936 Pierce Arrow:
"CE Hughes was indeed an important man. Here are some more important men riding in Pierce Arrows: "
Any Fords to talk about?
This is an OT thread - anything not Model T related is OT.
The question that remains is what other cars were in the stable besides the Pierce Arrows? Were the Pierce Arrows only for parades and official functions? What did the president use for daily driving? What type of car was at the presidents home before election and after his term was over.
I know it's OT, I began it.
Of course those beautiful Pierce Arrows are post 1908 (and the Model K Ford). from 1906 - 1908 Pierce Arrow built about 1600 cars. Meanwhile, between 950 and 1000 Model K were manufactured. Being a Pierce Arrow fan and authority, what is your opinion as to why there are more Model K Fords remaining today than Pierce Arrows from that period?
I suspect it's a matter of who is documenting the remaining cars and keeping track of them. There's a fellow I know locally who has the best car collection of anyone I know. He's got a 1907 Packard, a 1907 Pierce, and a 1907 Peerless, plus a 1929 J Duesenberg dual cowl phaeton. He's never been a member of the PA Society, and doesn't give a crap about the Peerless registry or the Packard club either. Is his car on your list of existing 1907 Pierces? Doubtful. I bet there are a third more Model K's that exist than are on your list too.
If I had unlimited free time and a big enough garage it would be great to own a big brass Pierce. Maybe some day.
Yes, there are probably more cars of each brand than we are aware of.
Back to the question, why are there significantly more Ford Model K than Pierce of the same era in existence? Even if there are a third more of one or the other brand, there would still be more Ford K than Pierce Arrow from the same era.
I'm interested in finding the reasons. More availability to parts? Easier to maintain? There may be a variety of reasons. Unlike Thomas and many other high end makers, Pierce Arrow continued in business for years after this (1906-1908) period, so available dealerships/sevice/parts may not have been such a limitation as it would have been for more obscure brands.
I suspect (read that as my guess or opinion, not fact....as I don't have facts to work with) that part of the issue of survival rates when comparing Ford to Pierce relates to the "prestige" or not of Ford versus Pierce.
Often, likely then and certainly today, certain individuals need to be "seen" in expensive automobiles. And, not only must the autos be expensive...they must be the current model. Being "seen" in an auto that is a few model years old doesn't come close to meeting the objective.
So, if those that could afford a Pierce needed a new one every year or two, and if commoners could not afford a Pierce or the cost to maintain one, the market for a used Pierce could have dried up pretty quickly hastening their demise.
I suspect that buyers of the Ford Six were less or not at all interested in being "seen." Rather, their focus was on value, buying a well designed and functional car for a more reasonable (relatively) price.
I suspect (read Timothy's definition) that Timothy K has hit the nail squarely on the head. I have had the same thought, but couldn't quite get it put into words. Again, I think Timothy nailed it.
Thanks to all above. As a former Pierce Arrow owner ('25 series 80), thank you Royce.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
I love Model T Towncars as do many others,but Ford's attempt at a Luxury Car driven by a Chauffeur bombed, just as Tim stated.If you could afford a Chauffeur to drive you around you purchased a Big Luxury Car.
Even today a Ford will get you where you want to go,but a Lincoln or Cadillac or Mercedes will show you have "Arrived"
I think Tim has hit the nail on the head. I also believe (as someone else mentioned during the comparison of Model K with other high end cars) that the large dealer and parts network of Ford made a big difference. This 1910 Pennsylvania newspaper article talks about the Ford parts system, including stocking every part necessary to build any Ford model, including the Model K:
Presidents sometimes bought their Pierce Arrow when they left office. Pierce Arrow was the official White House transportation from about 1910 - 1935 when they switched to Cadillac. The next change happened in 1953 when the Kennedys wanted a Lincoln.
Harding didn't buy his Pierce when he left office, not did Roosevelt.
I don't think it was a matter of choice but capability
Interestingly (to me), when President Elect William Howard Taft found out he would be authorized $12,000 for White House automobiles (replacing the White House stables) he tasked President Roosevelt aide Major Archibald Butt to procure appropriate cars. This was in late 1908, as President elect Taft was preparing to ascend to the Presidency.
Major Butt, who would become a trusted aide to President Taft, was directed by Mrs. Taft as he searched for appropriate cars that would fit the White House budget ($12,000, to cover all costs, including chauffeurs, service and maintenance, along with the purchase cost of the cars).
From the book "William Howard Taft and the First Motoring Presidency, 1909-1913" By Michael L. Bromley,
The author writes the following:
MAJ Butt ultimately, with the Taft's approval, selected two Pierce Arrow and an electric car. Meanwhile, President and Mrs. Taft bought a White steam car as their personal automobile. Both manufacturers used the selection extensively in advertising. Major Butt in personal letters to his sister, said he was afraid the Taft's would have to select cars and allow advertising of their choice (commercialization) in order to obtain a reduced price, and have the cars Mrs. Taft wanted.
The two first Presidential Pierce Arrows:
The Taft's personal car, a White Steamer:
And, a poor quality newspaper photo showing Secretary of War Taft and his wife riding in a "Ford six" while visiting Oklahoma City in 1907:
I've spoken with the author, Michael Bromley, a d he feels confident that MAJ Butt did suggest the Taft's choose two Ford sixes (Model K) to stay within budget, and the suggestion was immediately rejected by Mrs. Taft, who felt the office of the a president should have a more expensive, respected car(s).
While I'm not suggesting the Ford Model K should have been selected, I do take pride in the fact the big cars were considered, at least by an aide who was trying to stay within budget and not commercialize the office of President in order to obtain more expensive cars.
Major Butt would die aboard R.M.S. Titanic three years later.