OT - Books written regarding early Ford cars and racing

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2014: OT - Books written regarding early Ford cars and racing
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Monday, March 31, 2014 - 10:28 pm:

We've had a spirited discussion on another thread (Ford Racing) and I thought it was time to stop stealing Mike's thread and start one. A few posters mentioned that Henry Ford's six cylinder racer was called "666" (take off of the four cylinder racer "999") My response has been that I don't believe the racer was ever called a "Model K racer" or "666" by Ford Motor Company or other sources of that period.

As a result, I've captured a few other questionable or downright incorrect portions of well known Ford history books regarding early Ford cars and racing. Following are a few examples:

First, from "The Cars That Henry Ford Built" by the late Beverly Kimes

In this excerpt, the author talks about the Model B, and how Henry Ford's concern over how to sell the Model B that "Malcomson" had forced him to build. This excerpt says that "With his fancy for the spectacular" Henry Ford "resuscitated the old Arrow" (mate to 999 racer) for the purpose of establishing a record run to help sell the Model B (my paraphrase).



Later in the same segment, the author says "That put Model B on the map, recalled Henry later, but he concluded it was not sufficient to make up for the car's high price. The Model B didn't sell especially well".




The only problem is, Henry Ford ran the Arrow racer to a world record in January 1904. The Model B wasn't ready for sale until late October, 1904. The Model B was over nine months away from market when Henry Ford made his world famous run in his racer! Incidentally, the Model B essentially was a 1905 model, with most of the 500 cars sold during calendar year 1905. During that time, the two cylinder cars, Models C and F, were discounted by FMC, while the price of the Model B went unchanged. Fiscal records show the Model B performed well, contrary to often repeated historical accounts.

I don't blame the author, because, as with most Ford histories, this period is a small segment of the entire Ford story, and it seems inaccuracies have been handed down, book to book, over time.

Another example:



Again, the Model K is listed as appearing first (in 1905, when the first Model K was sold in April 1906), when in reality, the 1000 cubic inch six cylinder racer was completed in late 1904, racing first in January 1904.

This segment goes on to say the Ford was "slower than a Darracq, Fiat and Christie". These were the fastest cars racing in America at the time. The Ford six racer won events against each of the racers during 1905. This is like saying because one only received the bronze in the Olympics, they were not competitive. Ford did by the way, achieve a world record during that time, however was disqualified and the world record did not stand. Again, against the best competition in the world.

From "Ford Racing Century" by Larry Edsall and Mike Teske:

This page shows Henry Ford sitting in his six cylinder racer. The only problem is, it's referred to as "Model K racer." This photo was taken in early 1905, as Henry Ford was preparing for the Ormond Beach races. The racer has a 1000 cubic inch engine that the Model K engine will be patterned after. The photo is captioned with information about the 1907 stock Model K world record 24 hour race. In that race, a Model K (rules allowed two cars, one to be refueled in the "pits" while the other ran). Ford won the race, defeating a 60 hp Thomas (two cars), 50 hp Pope (used three cars due to accident), 40 hp American, Wayne, Stevens Duryea and two Model R Fords, setting a new world record.

At no time, that I've found, was the Ford six cylinder racer ever referred to as the "Model K racer". It was a much larger, world class racer, whereas, the Model K was a high horsepower to weight ratio, low price (for it's class) touring and later roadster automobile.

The point being, almost every Ford historian I've read has "copied" information from preceding Ford histories, and several of these inaccuracies perpetuate (in my opinion).




The bottom line, possibly Henry Ford was correct, if he did say "history is bunk." As far is early Ford history and models B and K , there are certainly many inaccuracies, in my opinion.

Rob


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Hjortnaes, Men Falls, WI on Monday, March 31, 2014 - 11:08 pm:

Where's Mr Peabody when you need him with his wayback machine?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dennis Seth - Ohio on Tuesday, April 01, 2014 - 08:12 am:

Rob,

I enjoy your articles and I am learning about early automobile history through this forum and many others. In an earlier thread you said "I think only R, T, and myself are reading the postings and I may not waste time posting anymore."(or something to that affect). Please don't stop with the early car postings, I'm sure I can't be the only one reading them and not commenting about them, just enjoying them.

If people never challenged the so called "Facts of History" we would still be living in the dark ages and believing anything that we were told.

Here are a few examples of things I remember:
1) The world is the center of the universe and the sun rotates around it.
2) The world is flat and if you sail on the large waters you will fall off the edge.
3) Christopher Columbus was the first European to set foot on North America
4) When as a child I would go to the museum and see cavemen and dinosaurs in the same scene as if they existed in the same time period.
5) There is no such thing as a black hole in space.

I think you get my point. I we fail to question what is written then we would all still be in Europe afraid to fall off the edge.

Keep posting


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Tuesday, April 01, 2014 - 08:23 am:

Dave,
Yes, too bad there isn't a better way to sort through the remnants of history. I think part of the problem is, people don't realize they're making history (and record or preserve it), until it is indeed, history.

Now that's profound..........or not. :-)

Dennis,
Thank you. I know some are tired of reading "Ford according to Rob", but I obviously enjoy showing what I and others have found. I only meant on that thread, because it had come down to just the three of us disagreeing (or so it seemed).

Another rewarding thing for me personally is now others are sending me leads, photos and information I would not have found on my own, so thanks to all those who have contributed.

I really enjoy most of the interaction on this wonderful forum,
Rob


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Tuesday, April 01, 2014 - 08:57 am:

One inaccuracy Rob is trying to invent is the idea that the 1000 cubic inch six racer is a Model K. It isn't.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Tuesday, April 01, 2014 - 10:04 am:

Royce,
What the hell are you talking about? Sometimes, you amaze me, although by now now I shouldn't be surprised.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Tuesday, April 01, 2014 - 10:28 am:

OK, take a few deep breaths......

There, that's better.

Royce, everything I post has corroboration, reference, and/or documentation. You have made false, non sourced and/or opinionated posts and represent them as fact. If you read the "Ford Racing" thread, that you posted to several times, you would recall the other primary poster was calling the six cylinder racer a "Model K racer" based on Ford history books. Again, if you read the thread you posted to, you also read my posts with supporting articles explaining that the Ford six cylinder racer came before the Model K car.

I'm not sure how you made the leap from that thread to your false statement above, but it is false.

If you had bothered to read this thread before posting, you would have noticed what I wrote only a few paragraphs above you post:

I said "This page shows Henry Ford sitting in his six cylinder racer. The only problem is, it's referred to as "Model K racer." This photo was taken in early 1905, as Henry Ford was preparing for the Ormond Beach races. The racer has a 1000 cubic inch engine that the Model K engine will be patterned after. The photo is captioned with information about the 1907 stock Model K world record 24 hour race."

How could I be clearer?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Tuesday, April 01, 2014 - 10:34 am:

Someone needed to point out that the 1000 CI six cylinder racer was not a Model K. I just got you to corroborate my statement. Thank you.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Tuesday, April 01, 2014 - 10:47 am:

No, you finally read what I had already posted. I recommend you read the thread before posting.


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

I'm not sure what the poster above meant when he said:

"Rob is trying to invent is the idea that the 1000 cubic inch six racer is a Model K. It isn't."

What I do know, from reading period news and automotive journals is, the six cylinder racer had a 6 inch stroke by 6 inch bore, making it a 1017 cubic inch engine racer. The article below says the dimensions were changed to 6 X 6 1/2 inches for the 1906 racing season, making it a 1102 cubic inch engine racer. The horsepower rating has also increased from the original 60 hp to 100 hp (some reports say 105 hp). The 07-09 version will be rated up to 150 hp:



The 1907-1909 six cylinder racer had significantly more changes, and I'll cover those in a different thread.

Rob


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Garrison_Rice Minnesota on Tuesday, April 01, 2014 - 09:22 pm:

Rob, your research is done well and I always enjoy reading it. Please don't stop. It might seem odd to hear but in a strange way Royce is providing a service to the rest of us by getting you to do extended research when it may seem a waste of time. Trust me, I've never considered reading your posts a waste of time. Perhaps people are sending you additional research material in an attempt to shut Royce up. And honestly if Royce or Tim were to quit their contemptuous ways we may all lose. It doesn't matter they don't do their research, as long as they push you to do yours. We all sit in our Lazy Boys and see through Royce's obvious lack of knowledge and desire to get under your skin. So don't let him dance on your nerves and keep pushing through. You've become an asset to this site.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Tuesday, April 01, 2014 - 10:08 pm:

What he said!! Bud.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By tom harris on Saturday, April 05, 2014 - 07:40 pm:

From a Ford advertisement in the 4/6/1905 issue of Life Magazine. Four Ford models are listed; Model B at $2,000, Model C at $950, Model F at $1,200 and Doctor's Car at $850 (without top). Thought you might enjoy this source material.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By tom harris on Saturday, April 05, 2014 - 08:22 pm:

Here's an Ford ad from 7/18/1905 for the model K that cites the 24 hour endurance records.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Garrison_Rice Minnesota on Saturday, April 05, 2014 - 08:47 pm:

Thanks Tom. I find the prices on the big cars interesting. If the trend for bigger and more expensive cars would have continued into the thirties you have to wonder the effect it would have on the cars of today. Would the current trend be for expensive motor coaches called automobiles or would we still have ended up with expensive little cars that look like stuffed roller skates?


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