In another thread Jim asked about videos of Rob's Model K. Seek and ye shall find:
Outstanding! Just what the doctor ordered. Thank you Steve and Rob. Absolutely beautiful car!!!!
Thanks Steve and Jim. My current favorite:
Keeping with the K theme, I visited an auto museum in Köping, Sweden may 20:th and here are a few pictures of their incomplete Model K engine #170:
(sorry about the finger, still learning where the objectives are placed on this new phone)
Something's happened here..
The texts on the wall gives the standard Model K history version plus info telling this "K" was the first serial production 6 cylinder car imported to Sweden and likely the only Model K imported here.
Something bad happened for sure..
Here's the museum's website: http://www.biloteknik.se/index.php/museum/english
It looks like things learned early on carried over. the motor mounts look like the rear mounts on my A motor. Seeing all the old history helps to bring things together. The roots of Ford from early to later. So who can spot things from the begining to today,s cars and trucks? Not saying that I see things just a different slant on things. Scott
Great video Rob. Loved the music. Three questions.
1. In 1907 the K cost $2,800.00 to $3,000.00. How much is that in today's dollars?
2. The K is obviously an attractive reliable car that appealed to those that were at a higher station in life. It was so expensive because each one was handmade. Do you think it would have been a good business decision for Ford to offer more versatility in the marketplace by manufacturing the Model K along with the Model T using the assembly line process?
3. At first the Model T's were each handmade and were rather expensive and out of range for the average man. After the assembly line came into being, the Model T came down in price to unbelievably low levels to within the buying range of the average man. How much do you think the K would have cost had they been manufactured on the assembly line? Would the average person have been able to afford an assembly line K or would they still be more in the realm of the higher end buyer?
I have heard of this engine, but not seen photos or the engine number. Thank you for posting!
The engine (plus scars) has the early manifolds, showing similarities to the 1905/06 Ford six cylinder racer. For 1907 the intake and exhaust manifolds were reversed (too much heat near the magneto).
For 1907, the compression and radiator capacity were increased, and individually metered oil lines were added to each cylinder. I believe this operator manual drawing shows a 1906 engine, however with the reversed manifolds:
Maybe this engine is the remnant of one of these two Model K shipped to Berlin in July 1906:
Thank you again for the post,
Great questions (and great to be back)! While I'm no expert, as always, I'm full of (careful now) opinions.
1. One of our forum members did extensive work, and came to the conclusion that one dollar in 1907-1910 would equal about $25 dollars today. So, a Model K would cost about $70,000 in todays dollars. The important things to consider (opinion) are, the median cost of a car in 1907 was $2,750, so while the Model K appears "high priced" it was actually at the lower end of expensive cars in terms of cost. When the first six cylinders appeared in 1906, the Model K cost $2,500. The next closest six in price was Franklin, with a 30 hp air cooled Model costing $4,200, or $105,000 in todays dollars. And sixes went up from there......
2. At it's peak production, Ford reported producing 5 to 8 Model K per day. This doesn't seem like many today, however in 1906-08, most automakers made less cars total, all models, than Ford produced Model K. With 300 in 1906 and 457 in 1907, Ford claimed (and no other automaker disputed) to be the worlds largest maker of six cylinder cars. This includes Stevens Duryea, Franklin, Pierce (first six in 1907), Rolls Royce, Napier and National to name a few.
As for offering a model K style car with the Model T, I suspect Ford Motor Company was swamped trying to get all the models out the door in 1908. Model S and S Roadster, N, K and some model R were being built, along with tooling up for the Model T had to strain Piquette, Dodge, Romeo, the old Ford Manufacturing site. I don't disagree Ford was moving in the direction of the Model T, and made the best business decision by focusing on one model (being a universal car).
3. I don't think there was much "luxury car" market left. As of 1907 255 automakers sold cars in the U.S.. Many were high end, and I wonder if there was much market left to capture. Without volume sales, I think gearing up for mass production on a high end car would have been extremely risky, and probably why no one had to this point.
These are all off the cuff, quick opinions. What I feel I do know is, the Model K, like the other "alphabet" Fords, appeared to play an important role in helping Ford move toward the Model T. I'm thrilled to see the acceptance for the model that just a few years ago would have been unheard of.
I'll end with one chart I am working up for another story. It shows the Gain (Net) of each Ford model, 1906-1908. These numbers are taken from internal Ford audits, so no "fluff" or publicity stunt, these are the numbers James Couzens and the Board of Directors worked with. As you can see, each model contributed greatly to Ford's success. For 1906, the Model K literally "carried the water" for Ford Motor Company. And it was no financial "slouch" in 1907. Multiply the numbers by 25 for todays value:
1907: $2800.00 to $3000.00
2013: $68957.00 to $73883.00
Thank you Rob. Very interesting. I should have asked one more question like: What was the average yearly income of the average American citizen in 1907. Since $5.00 a day was considered such a big salary when Ford introduced it in 1913, if I had to guess, I would guess the average annual income in 1907 would have been around $2.00 per day or $730.00 per year, which means the average man earning that per year would have had to work about 4 years to be able to afford a Model K, which is not too bad. I must pay more attention to your K posts as they are a historical part of the march toward the Model T. I am now reviewing past K posts I neglected to look at before. Please keep them coming. Jim Patrick
I have tried to engage the group into visualizing how the T would improve if earnest improvements had started in about 1923: 3-speed planetary, wheel brakes, etc., instead of the brutal and costly jump to the A.
I now also wonder how the K would have evolved as the big brother to the T? . A six really is better than a four if you have limited forward speeds.
Comparison of 1907 and 2007 incomes: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/1907-salaries-and-today.html. Of course it's from the internet and email, so I don't vouch for its accuracy.
Wonderful stuff! Good to see you here Rob.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
To give you a idea Joe Galamb's salary in 1906 was $1020.00, 1907-$1140.00, and 1908-$1270.00.
Henry also gave him a Model N to drive. Good to have you back Rob.
Coke was a nickel for decades. There was inflation, but it was very slow. It wasn't until after the war that the price of coke rose, first to 7¢, then a dime. Several years ago when I was working part time at the local museum, I came across a book listing the 1949 salaries at the Chilocco Indian School. My uncle, who taught welding there, made $1600 a year. The superintendent, a PhD, received $3000. In 1954 I worked Saturdays for a gardener who had a lawn service. For twelve hours I was paid $3. I paid 25¢ for the Sunday matinee at the Lomita Theater. A Snickers or a Three Musketeers or a box of Cracker Jack would cost you 5¢. By today's standards prices and pay were both incredibly low. It was the runaway inflation of the seventies that radically changed all that.
Rob. Good to see you back here. Question. How many surviving k models are you aware of ?
Rob - It's good to see you back on The Forum!
Ralph - I agree that it would have been interesting to see how sales would have been if in, say, the '24 Model Year, Ford had upgraded the T with 4 wheel brakes, a 3 speed transmission, & a distributor, etc. Perhaps Ford would have maintained their way ahead #1 position and Chevrolet never would have grown so much.
The 6 month shutdown to re-tool for the Model A cost Ford dearly and could have been avoided.
We'll never know, but it's fun to think "what if..."
Hey Rob, good evening! I second the other Rob's question - how many surviving Model Ks in any state of preservation?
Danial and Rob, it appears in the neighborhood of 23 to 25. There are also at least four motors out there, including the one Roger posted earlier in his thread.
The survival rate compared with contemporaries of the Model K seems quite good (for the K). It would be interesting to know how many Thomas Flyers, Peerless, Six cylinder Franklins, Pope Toledo, Stevens Duryea, etc. remain from the years of Model K production.
I missed Rob's Model K post's. Happy to see it back. Hope it is here to stay.
Rob, a friend of mine owns a 1909 Pope Hartford that his grandfather bought new and raced back in the day. It would be interesting to know the census figures on those!
Here he is driving it up on stage at the Forest Grove Concours d'Elegance in 2007. (Near Portland Oregon)
Correction - great grandfather
Very interesting to see on the museum engine[ #170 ] that the crankcase has by now had the RH Front crankcase mounting lug include a raised section to take the mounting of the commutator and a cap over the rear end of the camshaft were the commutator was originally positioned.
Also the LH Front crankcase lug now having a small raised section to take the engine number.