Ford racing

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2014: Ford racing
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Garrison_Rice Minnesota on Friday, March 28, 2014 - 11:07 pm:

I'm having a mental block. (That seems to happen a lot) I've got it in my head that Henry Ford had guy racing his cars back around the very early days. I'm thinking his name was something like Frank Kuleck or something very similar. Can anyone help this poor old man get past this recall glitch?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Hjortnaes, Men Falls, WI on Friday, March 28, 2014 - 11:13 pm:

Frank Kulick


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Garrison_Rice Minnesota on Friday, March 28, 2014 - 11:23 pm:

Thanks Dave. I knew I wasn't to far off.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Saturday, March 29, 2014 - 12:28 am:

Mike,
Frank Kulick was one of Henry Ford's first employees, and by 1904 racing Ford cars and racers. He set several world records with a 20 hp racer (two 10 hp Model A engines) and switched off with Henry Ford driving the six cylinder racer in 1905 and 06. In 1907 he set another world record (along with a co driver) with the Model K in a 24 hour race. He was also the head tester for Model K Fords, and had to sign off on each one after track testing.

He was seriously injured attempting a world record with the six cylinder racer in late 1907 and was out of racing until mid 1908.

He was one of the drivers in the Ocean to Ocean race in 1909, finishing 3rd behind the winning (later disqualified) Ford and a Shawmut.

Between 1910 and 1912 he raced Ford Model T based racers (some with special engines) winning many races and hill climbs. As far as I'm aware he did not race competitively after 1913, and i believe passed away in the mid 1960s.

If I were able to ask one early Ford employee questions, it would be Frank Kulick.

1904 20 hp racer:







Driving a Model K on the way to a world record in the 1907 24 hour race:



Leaving Piquette testing Model K (driving the car in the foreground):


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Saturday, March 29, 2014 - 01:14 am:

Thinking about Frank Kulick racing a little more, the 20 hp racer above had chain drive, and he set a world record driving over 65 mph on a circle track (with the chain zinging around the middle of the car, just in front and under him, with no apparent shield or guard.

He drove the six cylinder racer below at least 100 mph (36 second mile):






Drove this Ford "special" (400+ cubic inch engine) 109 mph on the same frozen lake where Henry Ford set a world speed record:



And lived to tell about it......


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Morsher on Saturday, March 29, 2014 - 12:16 pm:

You need to read about how this wonderful man was savagely fired by ford. A quick google search also mentions him as the driver of the unsuccessful race car, the 666, that used a 6 cylinder motor out of the K.
Rob, I've read many times that early Ford dealers, clamoring for model N shipments, were forced to take a model K for every 10 N's. These often in turn being forced on the local bankers ,investors and such. Have you seen any of these references in your exhaustive search, or do we just see the puffery, and factory sponsored propaganda?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Saturday, March 29, 2014 - 02:39 pm:

"You need to read about how this wonderful man was savagely fired by ford."

I have.

Yes, Frank Kulick was mistreated based on accounts of how Harry Bennett dumped him outside the gate while having him (Kulick) ride on the fender to listen for a problem with a car. I wonder if the firing really happened that way, or if this is an embellishment. Regardless, as with most early Ford employees and associates, Frank Kulick and Henry Ford parted company.

Regarding "666", the Model T "special" racer is also referred to as 666 by some historians (and 999 the 2nd).

There was no "Model K racer" per say. There were three versions of the six cylinder racer, and the Model K engine was a smaller variation of the motors used in these racers. The first six cylinder racer was designed in 1904, running first in January 1905, then again in the summer of 1905. The first time the racer ran at Ormond (Daytona) Beach, the crankshaft broke after a few trial runs. Later that year, the racer performed well, including the test run above at 100 mph.

The racer also set world competition mile record that was disallowed after a protest by the competing Darracq team (Al Cambell driving) because the Ford racer crossed the start line before the Darracq (rolling start, both cars must cross the start line, while moving, at about the same time). During the same meet the six cylinder racer set a beach record of 38 3/5th seconds.

The next year, the racer ran at Ormond again, this time revamped (second variation) with more horsepower. The racer did not win nor set any records, although it was competitive. One time the Ford racer was leading a Christie racer but Kulick missed the turnaround flag, and became wallowed in the sand as tide was coming in, not finishing the race as a result.

The third variation of the Ford racer was the 1907-09 version. This is the racer Kulick was seriously injured driving in October 1907. This racer was reported to have between 120 to 150 horsepower and is the racer that still exists at The Henry Ford. This racer was the first Ford to possess a true three point front suspension with the wishbone connecting to the bottom of the pan instead of to a frame or crossmember (as with the NRS). This racer and Kulick reportedly were clocked at under 50 second miles on the Michigan State Fair one mile track, and was being officially timed by race sanctioned officials when the wreck occurred.

Henry Ford was quoted during 1908 and 1909 saying he would have Kulick race the car again, and that he felt it was the fastest racer in the world. However, the racer did not race again (that I'm aware of). I'll follow with some news clips when I get time.

If anyone has any additional information about these racers and/or Frank Kulick, by all means post. If possible, instead of unsubstantiated stories, please add references, quotes, or other verifiable sources for information.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Morsher on Saturday, March 29, 2014 - 06:41 pm:

Is The Henry Ford wrong again? Their exhibit #69467 shows the model 666 race car, and states it has an engine out of a 1907 ford, and was raced but unsuccessfully. The caption states it was one of the least successful race cars.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Garrison_Rice Minnesota on Saturday, March 29, 2014 - 09:12 pm:

Thank you Rob. I was interested in any Model T's Mr Kulick might have raced.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Saturday, March 29, 2014 - 09:48 pm:

Tim,

You have drawn your conclusions.

THF has photos mis labeled on their website, and as with any group, organization or person, may be fallible.

The Ford racers had 6X6 bore/stroke (and one account says 6X6 1/2). That means they had over 1000 cubic inch engines. Do you have the dimensions of the racer at THF? I've been trying to obtain measurements (outside cylinder jugs) for some time with no success.

If you believe the period photo (below) is a standard size Model K engine (406 cubic inches, also shown below) so be it. If you've researched these racers and have additional information I'm sure we all would welcome it.


1907-1909 Ford six cylinder racer:


1906 standard Model K engine:



Following the Ford Model T victory in the Ocean to Ocean race, Henry Ford told the Indianapolis Race track he would rebuild the Ford six cylinder racer and enter it in the first speedway 300 mile race in late summer 1909. Obviously the Model K is no longer in production:

If you choose to read this article, it's difficult to say Henry Ford did not like the six cylinder racer, and that he felt it was anything less than a world class racer. Of course, everyone has a right to their opinion, including me:



Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Morsher on Saturday, March 29, 2014 - 11:48 pm:

It's presumptuous to say I've drawn any conclusions. I simply posted something I came across that is counter to the point you are making. It's not my information, it is something I came across, and believe me, I'm not really looking.

Re/ the matter of 1K required for every purchase of 10 N's, is that just folklore and made up history? I would really like to know. Don't get your feathers ruffled, man.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Sunday, March 30, 2014 - 06:38 am:

Tim,
Not ruffled. Yes, Ford did require one Model K per every ten Model N in 1907. It was a requirement discussed in the board of directors minutes. Considering the number of sales for 1907 it doesn't appear sales lagged for the Model K. With 457 known sales (plus 10 Model K lost to fire at a Ford Branch) over half of the Model K to be produced (1,000) between 1906 and 1908 were disposed of.

I don't think it too unusual that a car maker would require dealers to take some high end models with the fastest selling model, but that's just my opinion. I also would expect a major auto maker to carry more than one model, but of course Ford demonstrated that wasn't necessary with the Model T.

Mike,
A few photos of one of the Model T "Special" and six cylinder racers Frank Kulick drove. I think this Ford Special is the 410 cu. in. engine that won several hill climbs and races between 1910 and 1912. It's at The Henry Ford, but wasn't on display the last time I was there.

I thought it interesting that neither wishbone is attached on top of the axle.

Ford "special":







Six cylinder racer:







These photos are courtesy of a friend who was kind enough to share them.

Rob


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Sunday, March 30, 2014 - 08:03 am:

Rob, you did not answer Tim's question. The 666 racer did have a Model K engine. It was largely unsuccessful. While Ford told the newspaper it was being prepared to race at the Indy 500, it was never raced at Indianapolis.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Sunday, March 30, 2014 - 08:55 am:

Royce,
I answered Tim completely. What part don't you understand? The Ford six racer had a 1000 cubic inch engine. The Model K engine was 406 cu. inches. The six cylinder racer was developed first, in l904. The Model K engine resembles, and I think it reasonable to say was patterned from the six cylinder racer.

The Ford six cylinder racer set, then was denied after protest one world record (summer 1905). In 1907, Ford and others said the racer ran a 49 second circular track mile. The world record at the time was over 51 seconds. During official timing for the record in October 1907 the racer blew a tire, seriously injuring Frank Kulick.



After this, Henry Ford told the press he would race the car again, first in England (fall 1907), then in the Savannah Grand Priz (1908) then at the Indy Speedway in 1909. The racer did not make those races, and no reason is given, although it was not unusual for racers to scratch before races if they weren't ready. I have another suspicion as to why the Ford six didn't make the Indy race but I need to do more research on the matter.

There is no other racer Henry Ford raced, or was preparing to race over as a long a period of time (1905-1909) that I am aware of. The racer set, then was denied one world record. It qualified for (a race car could not "show up" and be allowed to race in these events, they had to be sanctioned, time qualified and invited to the event) numerous sanctioned races, including Ormond (Daytona) twice.

To say this was Ford's most unsuccessful racer is incorrect, and requires ignorance of or disregard for the facts, although one could argue Ford really didn't have any racers that were "failures". I think many Ford historians have a preconceived opinion of the Ford six cylinder era, and perpetuate the "myth" that the Model K, and through guilt by association, the six cylinder racer, were unsuccessful. Over the last few years much information has been uncovered to suggest otherwise.

Meanwhile, is there another stock Ford model through 1931 that held a world speed and endurance record, as the Ford Model K?

While we're on racing, what Ford had the fastest advertised top speed through 1931?

The answer is the 1907/08 Model K Roadster, with a guaranteed top speed over 70 mph. The 1932 Ford V-8 surpassed the K with an advertised top speed over 75 mph.

Maybe Henry Ford was lying when he made his remarks and gave interviews to the press. Maybe Frank Kulick was fabricating information when he corroborates this same information in interviews. Possibly the news media is also "lying" when they write the stories. Possibly witnesses who were there made up facts about these events also.

We each have the opportunity to decide for ourselves. I'll go with information like this over one line entries in Ford history books saying the Ford six cylinder was a failure:



Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Sunday, March 30, 2014 - 09:18 am:

The 24 hour record was not set by 666. Rob, as usual, is posting unrelated news clippings in order to deflect the question and to avoid a true statement that the 666 was largely if not utterly unsuccessful.

666 didn't win any races or set any records. Failure.

666 flipped and nearly killed Frank Kulick. That is a failure.

While Ford later told news papers 666 might race at this location or that one, it didn't. That's a failure to show up at least three times.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Sunday, March 30, 2014 - 09:41 am:

Where is the six cylinder racer referred to as "666"? I don't mean historians dubbing it 666. So a racer crashing is a sign of failure? Interesting. I wonder if the NASCAR people agree?

Anyway, it sure seems as though Henry Ford considers the racer a success, in June 1909 no less. And he is no longer producing a six cylinder car at this point. Let's read what he said again:

In case you didn't read this (posted above), June 27, 1909, Henry Ford to a reporter:


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Sunday, March 30, 2014 - 10:36 am:

So the mention of Kulick begging is a resounding success story in itself.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Sunday, March 30, 2014 - 11:02 am:

So you believe the article too? Good, we're making headway.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Morsher on Sunday, March 30, 2014 - 01:06 pm:

IMO there is no way the 666 is 1000 CI engine, and I doubt the ford racer could be 410 CI. I haven't looked that closely at the 666 engine, but do think it is a modified K engine. I would defer to someone with more knowledge on that one.

I think the real story you have uncovered is how skillfully FoMoCo manipulated the press, and fed them propaganda that they ate up. It worked so well that the company rarely spent on advertising in the late teens and 1920's.
Free news copy in newspapers across the country while Ford was developing during the alphabet years was priceless advertising. Henry was semi-illiterate, so it certainly wasn't him feeding the newspapers such glorious articles. It was advertising at its best, unchallenged for accuracy. Do the ends justify the means? I say it brought forth the wonderful model T that we all love, but could very well be the difference of why company's that built cars just a good didn't survive, and Ford prospered.
Finally, in my opinion, using period newspaper articles to try and prove historical points is iffy on a good day. Downright dangerous on a bad day.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Monday, March 31, 2014 - 12:17 am:

A few comments I disagree with. First:

"Henry was semi-illiterate, so it certainly wasn't him feeding the newspapers such glorious articles."

While it may not be intended, this smacks of arrogance IMO. To suggest Henry Ford was "semi-illiterate" (implying less than stellar intelligence, and BTW shouldn't the term be "semi-literate?) astounds me. The man who had the ambition, ability, savvy and yes, intellect to go from a small farm operator to wealthiest man on the planet, creating an invention that most historians agree revolutionized the country, and even world is "semi-illiterate" (sorry i'm going to go with "semi-literate"). This is the man who "put the world on wheels", creating a market for his invention, the Model T, and persevering through the trials and pitfalls of an incredible life to achieve the most successful career manufacturing cars ever.

I'm not able to make judgements about the man (and a fellow in Church this morning said I ought not judge others anyway), however, I am able to take stock of his work and accomplishments, and I'm damned impressed. Did Henry Ford have his demons and problems? I'm sure he did. Who among us hasn't? I always assumed most Ford collectors and enthusiasts felt the same way. A remarkable man who caused remarkable accomplishments. However, it seems some people (human nature?) are more than willing to assign attributes to the man such as "semi literate", maybe as a way of bringing Henry Ford to a level nearer themselves (this is not directed at any one person, but Ford bashers in general).

The other "issue:"

"Finally, in my opinion, using period newspaper articles to try and prove historical points is iffy on a good day. Downright dangerous on a bad day."

Personally I think it's more "dangerous" to label information off limits or untrue when that information doesn't come from the source someone tells me it should. Where should we get our information? Who decides that 110 year old newspaper and professional journals are wrong? Who determined that Henry Ford lied about his cars and racers whenever he was interviewed? And, who gets to tell us who is "right"? Which historian is correct? Is "Cast Iron Charlie" the only person telling "the truth", 50 years after the event, while the young reporter typing an interview he just took notes on in 1907 is wrong?

Is the historian who regurgitates what the previous ten historians said correct, while people who reported and witnessed events AND RECORDED THEM AT THE TIME OF THE EVENT are wrong?

The reality is, in my opinion, that the "truth" is probably somewhere in the middle.

Now, a few "facts", according to me:

The six cylinder racer had a 6 x 6 inch bore and stroke, making it a 1017 cubic inch engine. One report says the second racer (1907) had a 6 x 6 1/2 in bore/stroke. If it did, it would have been over 1100 cu. in.

The Ford six racer was never referred to by Henry Ford or Ford Motor Company, in any documents I've found, as "666" (why does this sound like Herman Cain?). That doesn't mean it was never called that, but I've not found any documentation of it. While historians may have copied each other labeling the racer "666", I have not found an instance of it. This would be a good project for someone who believes this to be true (finding period references to the racer as "666").

There was no "Model K racer". The Model K engine was a derivative of the six cylinder racer, not the opposite. Work on the Six Cylinder Racer began in early to mid 1904. This is before the first Model B Ford was sold, let alone any sign of the Model K. The early 1906 advertisement below is promoting the new Model K. Partway down the ad it says "this is the Famous Ford 40-horsepower racer, curbed down and properly mounted."



This is what we find by reading about events when they occurred, instead of what "historians" tell us (or don't) happened fifty to one hundred years before:


This article appeared in the Philadelphia Enquirer on January 11, 1906. At the same time, the New York auto shows are commencing, and the Ford Models K and N are being shown for the first time. While hard to read, the account tells us five United States racers were nominated to participate in the Ormond (Daytona) Beach races. This is one of the most prestigious racing events in the world and a total of 22 cars were nominated and entered. Again, only 5 of the 22 cars are U.S. made. And the first one mentioned? The Ford six cylinder racer (not the "Model K" or "666" racer).

The article goes on to say about the Ford racer "The Ford car showed great promise last year at the Jersey beaches".

If a person is going to label this a result of the Ford spin machine (but not directly form the semi literate Henry Ford) then there is no need to read on:



So, how do we know the article is telling us the "truth". Did the Ford racer "show great promise" on the Jersey beaches in 1905?

We go looking. So we find articles, preferably by different sources (reporters and publications) showing successes on the beaches in 1905:

First, there is an article saying Frank Kulick drove the Ford Six Cylinder to a 36 second mile while warming up for the races on September 2 1905:



However, did he? Was this just another example of the fledgling Ford Motor Company controlling the media? We may never know, but there is corroboration that the 36 second time may have occurred. Back to January 1906, another PA article says "Kulick drove the six cylinder racer a mile in 36 seconds." Not verification, but corroboration that the time was considered "true" and is still newsworthy (a 36 second mile equals 100 mph). And, still no mention of a "Model K racer" or "666":



OK, a good warmup time doesn't make a great racer. Continuing on, during this meet at the beach in New Jersey, the four feature racers were Ford, Darracq, Christie and Fiat. Due to engine issues, only the Darracq and Ford entered the Competition Mile Race (from a rolling start, with two or more cars competing). The World Record stood at 42 seconds. Following is one account of the race and results:



A world record. A world record in the mile would put the Ford six cylinder racer in a league with the famous "999". However, the Darracq driver A. L. Cambell filed a protest because the Ford crossed the start line first. This would not have changed the time, but because the race was a competition mile, the record was not allowed to stand.

But, how do we know this is how it really happened. Did the Ford really run fast enough against competition to hold, the lose, a world record? Or did an over zealous cub reporter misstate the results in the Harrisburg paper. After all, historians have told us this was Henry Fords "failure" as a racer.

We find more articles, and if they tell us the same thing, then maybe there is some truth to the report:



Essentially the same report. The race was run the time was a record, and "the Ford people were jubilant in the belief " they had captured the record. So maybe, the Six Cylinder Racer had flirted with a record. Maybe the Ford racer was recognized as one of the fastest in the world, certainly in the U.S.. Maybe all history is bunk.

Henry Ford and A. L. Cambell with their racers:





If anyone is interested, I'll go into the second generation six cylinder racer tomorrow.

Tim and Royce, I don't expect you to agree or acknowledge that any of this may be accurate. If you are the only two reading this then it's a waste of all three of our time (of which I have spent considerably more preparing this than either of you will spend denigrating the work), and maybe we should just let the thread die a peaceful death.

Rob


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ricks - Surf City on Monday, March 31, 2014 - 12:50 am:

If I were the Darraq driver in that race, I would slow down just before the start to give the Ford a lead. Then if I won, it would be a "come from behind" win. If the Ford won, I would protest...

That's a no lose deal.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Monday, March 31, 2014 - 08:44 am:

Rob, I've seen Nascar races on TV where the "winner" was disqualified. When that happens, the "winner" is now a "loser".

In the case of the six cylinder Ford at Atlantic City, it didn't set any records because it was disqualified due to rules not being followed. Very simply, the Ford didn't set any record that day.

I know, Rob, the truth is hard to swallow. Some times you remind me of a six year old who comes in second at a piano recital who's mom has to stop at the trophy shop on the way home to stop all the caterwalling.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Monday, March 31, 2014 - 08:50 am:

Thank's Rob!! Bud.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Monday, March 31, 2014 - 09:17 am:

Ralph,

I would expect you "Great Race guys" to know all the tricks. :-)
I wish I could make Bakersfield, but it won't work out.

Do you have children Royce? We have two, and I do recognize what a six year old acts like when they don't get their way. Often they (children) are self centered, and don't recognize that others exist and that they (children) are not the center of the universe, but just a small part of it. Some people, in my opinion, never grow out of that.

Bud,

Thanks.

Royce,

"I know, Rob, the truth is hard to swallow. Some times you remind me of a six year old who comes in second at a piano recital who's mom has to stop at the trophy shop on the way home to stop all the caterwalling."

You are a "special fellow". And that's not meant as a complement. By the way, it's spelled c-a-t-e-r-w-a-u-l-i-n-g, , not "caterwalling."


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Monday, March 31, 2014 - 09:19 am:

Some how my post was disjointed above (this iPad does some strange things when posting). The comments to Royce should have been together, not split.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Monday, March 31, 2014 - 10:20 am:

I intended to post this photo of the first Ford six cylinder racer earlier. It gives a better perspective with the side view of the enormity of the engine. Henry Ford is seated on the racer in the photos:




Royce,

I've thought about this matter a little more. It is incredibly easy to be dismissive of others work, and post comments with no factual reference or documentation. I think that's one of the major differences between us. Obviously this is a passion for me, and obviously, you enjoy (for some reason) attaching antagonistic comments to everything I post. I'm not sure why, although I have my own opinions about it. However, that's the way it is.

I will work up a thread about what I will call the second generation Ford six racer (my term, no one else's). To give Mike's thread a break I'll start a different thread. See you then,

Rob


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Derek Kiefer - Mantorville, MN on Monday, March 31, 2014 - 10:39 am:

Rob, keeping the information all in one thread makes it easier to find and go back to re-read later on for future reference rather than spreading it out over several threads.

Just a suggestion... thanks for digging up so much information that I would have never learned about otherwise. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob McDonald-Federal Way, Wa. on Monday, March 31, 2014 - 11:25 am:

Mike G
What do you know about the FORD race cars that Edsel had built in the mid 30s for Indy while Henry was in Europe. Upon Henry's return he had them put away in the hanger and were never raced. One was said to have raced in a Pikes Peak Race, I have a picture of that one in Denver. I think it had something to do with Bandamer ( spelling ) raceway people in the 30s.

Bob


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Morsher on Monday, March 31, 2014 - 12:47 pm:

Rob, I spent yesterday working on a T most of the day, visiting with the daughter and son, took the wifey out to dinner, watched TV for a couple of hours. You spent it working on a term paper.
I actually enjoy all this stuff you dig up, but I also happen to disagree with most of your conclusions.
As for what I wrote yesterday, I stand by it. Of course you use it to insult me, but I will say it again, IMO Mr. Fords genius was having people close to him that were able to so quickly feed story's to the eager press, and many times with false or misleading info. They were masters at it.
Some of his business genius was having failed in business several times was still able to gather a group of investors to start FoMoCo. Him with not a dime of investment. He was ruthless enough to take complete control of the company, crush any resistance, and keep people around him that were able to dominate the auto industry so long. You have to be built very special for that. Not to mention the toll it took on his family. You may like to idolize him, but I enjoy my history, warts and all. I am not bashing Mr. Ford by stating my opinions.
I know by now your aversion to history books, but a good read for anyone interested in Fords racing history, is "Ford:The dust and the glory. A racing history. By Leo Levine. This is just a little 630 page book that chronicles fords racing history from 1901 through the 1960's. There is only a small paragraph that mentions the K racecar. " The next year Henry brought his newest creation, the 6cylinder model K to Florida. This was the most unsuccessful of all his competition cars and it started an undistinguished career by breaking its crankshaft while being warmed up. ". That's it for this exhaustive study.

It was mentioned in the thread above re/ the policy by the BOD to require a K purchase with every purchase of 10 the groundbreaking N series of autos. I'm too lazy to look up production figures and it would be interesting to know when this policy was instituted, but on the basis of 15,000 ? sold ,that would bring the total of K autos dumped on the dealers to 1050 cars. Now that is genius ! These probably went on to local investors ,bankers, lawyers,prominent people who attracted press articles . Kind of a trickle down theory.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Monday, March 31, 2014 - 01:22 pm:

Tim,

"IMO Mr. Fords genius was having people close to him that were able to so quickly feed story's to the eager press, and many times with false or misleading info."

This doesn't seem to be the way you put it yesterday, and is a little softer than your earlier post:

"Henry was semi-illiterate, so it certainly wasn't him feeding the newspapers such glorious articles."

Regardless, we agree that we disagree. No harm with that and it keeps it interesting attempting to learn more about early Ford history.

I don't have an "aversion" to history books. On the contrary, I enjoy reading and researching the period extensively. Maybe that's why I take exception to publications such as "Ford: The dust and the glory", that do only devote a paragraph to a three or four year period of Ford history, and condense it into "most unsuccessful of all his competition cars". As I've presented, the Ford six cylinder racer had it's moments. It was heralded by the press, other designers and drivers as a remarkable accomplishment. Quite different from what the "history books" tell us. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe the books are wrong. Time, and more research will tell.

Your quick math might require some revision. When the new commission schedule came out (November 1906) over 300 Model K had already been sold. This means at most there were 700 Model K left (of 1,000 chassis originally ordered from Dodge). During the 1907 fiscal year at least 467 Model K were disposed of so maybe this was a factor. As I've shown through the myriad of Model K owners, many were celebrities, politicians, actors, sports figures and others. In fact, I don't believe I've encountered one instance of a "banker" owning one, although I'm sure they did.

One of the best new owner stories is of a Mr. Allison buying a Model K. He was acknowledged to have bought the first motor car sold in the U.S., a Winton. In 1908 he bought a Model K, and Ford (that publicity hungry media giant :-) ) advertised extensively that Allison chose a Ford six ("K") over any other brand. Mr. Allision was an engineer by trade, as Ford pointed out in their advertising.

Now, back to work,

Rob


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Morsher on Monday, March 31, 2014 - 02:40 pm:

Re/ the dust and the glory.......indeed, .Levine talks extensively about the racing history previous to the K racer. I didn't realize Henry never owned any of his early racers, but took plenty of the credit. The endurance race you often talk about with the stripped down K chassis was accomplished with at least two, possibly more K cars, and a factory local to them that could supply any part needed, an advantage the other manufacturers didn't have. There is always more to any story.

The cross country model T trip several years later , famously won by Ford, was caught cheating, and was disqualified 2 weeks later, but by that time they had gotten all the good press.

Yes, back to work for me, too.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Monday, March 31, 2014 - 09:12 pm:

Tim,

Unfortunately the Ford "history books" we read are full of inaccuracies. As you said on a post above "to try and prove historical points is iffy on a good day. Downright dangerous on a bad day" may apply to books written about Ford.

I reviewed a couple of well known books/authors work tonight, and will point out a few errors/issues in another thread.

Rob


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Monday, March 31, 2014 - 09:52 pm:

Yup,You read the book and the authors sources but who were their sources?? At well over 100 years is there anything more accurate than the news of the day??? Yes i have the book!Were any of us there to detect the pro Ford slant? Bud.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Clayton Swanson on Monday, March 31, 2014 - 10:08 pm:

tim, pretty much all the racers of the day had factory backing, that was the point of competition to prove who built the best car. at the turn of the century there was nobody, no teams like we have today that built a car, engine block on up just to race.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Monday, March 31, 2014 - 10:33 pm:

Bud and Clayton, good points. Clayton, the only exception I've found, Walter Christie. He appeared at about every event with his front wheel drive racers, and as far as I can tell he was self funded. He will show up later, when Henry Ford and Frank Kulick are trying to set the world circular track record, and wreck the Ford six cylinder racer, almost killing Kulick. The world record they are trying to beat is set by a driver named Strang. He was driving a Christie racer (his uncle).

Small world........


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Monday, March 31, 2014 - 11:12 pm:


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Garrison_Rice Minnesota on Tuesday, April 01, 2014 - 12:14 am:

So, uh, you say his name was Frank Kulick. And he drove for Henry Ford. Well, that's nice. Actually seems very nice! Almost friendly. Hmmmmm.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Tuesday, April 01, 2014 - 03:48 am:

Sorry Mike, we made your thread a little "full".

:-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Tuesday, April 01, 2014 - 01:40 pm:

A last few "early version" Ford six racer articles:

Another article about the world record run that was disallowed by judges following the complaint of the Darracq team (corroborating previous accounts). This also mentions that the Ford racer did have a beach record run of 38 3/5 seconds.



An earlier beach race (Cape May). The Ford six cyl. racer ties the existing 1 km record held by Walter Christie. Unfortunately for Ford, the Christie racer breaks his own record, so the Ford does not make the record books with the tie:



This article is about the first six cylinder racer (1905-1906). Following the beach races noted above the racer was reworked for the 1906 race year. This article says the bore and stroke are increased from 6 inches by 6 inches to 6 X 6 1/2 inches. The cubic inches would then go from 1017 cu. inches to 1102 cu. inches.


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