World War I had recently ended when this photo was taken and in that conflict the British and French tank designs for traveling over all types of terrain were proven.
An example of the Mark VIII Tank, an Anglo-American effort produced near the end of the conflict can be seen above in the background.
The Model “T” Ford Roadster equipped with endless tracks featured here, appears to have been demonstrated to high-ranking Army officers by a pair of business men trying
to sell their design. It is wearing a 1920 New York license plate that is mounted backwards and crudely lettered U.S. Army Ord-Dept.
Another photo of the scene above exists, but just recently an excellent pair of images has been discovered by Shorpy. Erich Bruckner has posted other photos of this design
in the past on the MTFCA Forum. Because of the new photographs being discovered we decided to revisit this story and see if we could find any more details about its
construction and history.
On The Old Motor we have the other new photo posted along with one that Erich Bruckner found and links to another Model "T" with tracks and full info about it. Other neat
photos and info on the 1908 Hornsby Chain Track Tractor, along with an excellent video you will enjoy, demonstrating it in use are all @ http://theoldmotor.com/?p=119154
Non skid tires.
Holy Mackerel! That would definitely intimidate the idiots on the roads nowadays! Great pic Dave & Herb
The guy sitting in the car can't be the actual driver. He's clean.
I don't see any levers for steering, but I would expect it to steer like a tank or a crawler.
Erich Bruckner mentioned here on the forum in the past that this design may have been covered in a 1993 issue of the Vintage Ford.
Mine are all in storage and cannot be accessed. Can anyone check to see if there is any more coverage on this interesting machine?
"I don't see any levers for steering, but I would expect it to steer like a tank or a crawler."
The photos show larger brakes that have been mounted on the rear that appear to be the means of steering the unit by slowing down or stopping one track at a time. It would be interesting to see if we could find out more about how they actuated them.
Biggest trouble I see is how to adjust the tracks as they wear?
With 20 hp i doubt if any ran long enough to wear the tracks? I also doubt if the tracks stayed on in deep mud? Bud.
I would guess it would come to a grinding halt when a tire blows or goes flat?
"I would guess it would come to a grinding halt when a tire blows or goes flat? "
You could say that might let the air out of things, but not with the unit below.
Colonel Phillip Henry Johnson an engineer built it and later founded Roadless Traction Ltd
in the UK that went on to built Fordson Tractor conversions. Check out this video:
Thanks to one of our readers we now know the complete story behind this Model “T" Ford,
which was equipped with the Chase Track, developed by A.M. Chase. You can read the detailed
article about it in "Automotive Industries" @ http://theoldmotor.com/?p=119154
As per usual, the original negatives reside in the Library of Congress.
You can download high resolution TIFFs of each:
The LoC description mis-identifies the bridge in the background as being the (Francis Scott) Key Bridge. It is the Connecticut Avenue Bridge AKA the Taft Bridge.