Frank in a modified "T" race car. Notice the engine setback requiring the special cover and lengthened steering column.
Wonder how they lengthened the early style front wish bone? Is the rods above/below the drive shaft brake controls?
Very clear early picture....When I was young, may have had the guts to drive a race car like that....but if I survived a race.... my Mom & Dad would have killed me.
When I was 12, Dad bought me my first car....a model T. Dad drove it home with me riding in the front seat. He over centered the steering on the first corner and yanked it back, we did not hit any thing or flip. I thought that was great fun. When we got home and mom found out what happened....the model T soon found another home.
I believe the photo above is listed as a 1912 pic. Ford apparently realized early that the wishbone should be below the axle, at least when speed was involved. The 1907 six cylinder racer was the first Ford with a wishbone connected to the motor pan, and the wishbone was fastened toward the bottom of the axle (NRS models had a wishbone but it fastened to an aluminum frame/crossmember that also carried the transmission). This racer had a 6x6 bore/stroke for over 1100 cu. inches:
I believe the photo Royce posted is the Ford special listed as a 228 cubic inch racer. I also think the cover to the rear of the engine is the magneto. One can see a similar way of mounting the magneto (partially hidden by the coilbox) on the six cylinder racer shown above.
Below is the largest "Ford Special" racer. This car (at THF, not on display) has a 410 cubic inch dual plug/ignition engine, and the wishbone is under the axle (second photo). On this version the magneto is mounted horizontally behind the engine. My guess is the magneto was well covered so the public wouldn't know the racers were using external high tension magnetos instead of the Ford mag, but that's just my guess:
Below are results from a 1912 hill climb and the specs for each racer are listed.
All incredible machines with Henry Ford trademarks of high horsepower to weight ratio and no frills. I bet they all provided quite a thrilling ride.
After looking at the smaller racer again I think the wishbone is mounted above the axle? Maybe there is a front view of the racer somewhere.
Rob, look at the pedals and the oil pan of the Kulick racer Royce posted above, the engine is certainly moved back, while the 410 cu in racer at the museum has the magneto in the rear of a larger engine - not the same car.
I must ask.. Did you two meet and discuss early Ford history and netiquette at Chickasha?
The picture I posted is (I believe) a modified Model T with the engine moved rearward, making the firewall cover necessary. If you look at the relationship of the engine pan to the firewall cover it is apparent it is simply the rear of the block being shrouded by the metal cover. There would not be any room for any thing else.
Yes, I think the engine is moved back (actually i think it takes up more room than the standard hood is able to cover), and I thought I've seen another view where a magneto is mounted vertically like the six cyl racer. If not, I wonder where the coilbox or ignition system is?
A closer look, there is a piece of what I thought was the top of a magneto behind the top of the rear engine cover. I think this car also has the wishbone over the axle while the 410 cu in "Special has it under the axle:
This photo shows the Ford Special on ice (re running the record run of 999) in 1912. The racer went just under 110 mph on the ice:
Another pic of Frank Kulick with the Ford Special.
Ford finished 5th among all automakers in number of first place finishes in 1911 as a result of the successes of the Ford Specials:
These are the 2 shots I took at the Gilmore. Wish I had taken more.
I believe the gilmore car is a reproduction. Not very close, in my opinion.
What are all the extra "Valve-Stem" looking things between the spokes of these racers?
Those are clamps to hold fast the early clincher tires to the rim. A butterfly shaped clamp rests inside the tire casing and the clamp post comes thru the felloe .