Ah, it's good to be back. Thank you to all the well wishers who encouraged my return, and my apology to anyone who wishes otherwise. My approach will be to attempt to ignore posts that attack the messenger (that would be me ) and answer responsibly (sounds like a booze commercial) questions and suggestions. I appreciate and respect other opinions, however don't tolerate perceived attacks well (personal problem).
During my absence, I had a good opportunity to find a few more tidbits, some of them a little puzzling. Below is one of these conundrums (big word).
I've had this blurb that appeared in "Automobile" magazine, June 1908 for some time. It says Ford is building the new Model T alongside runabouts:
Nothing earth shattering. It seems production of the new Model T has began, and Ford is continuing to build NRS runabouts too. We know from sales figures most Model S Roadsters were sold during this period.
Recently, I came across this newspaper article. I like the fact it (to a degree) corroborates the national magazine account that Ford is building runabouts alongside the new model. What really caught my attention is, it identifies the two models Ford is continuing to build, Model S and K runabouts.
I have suspected for some time that the Piquette plant had to be a busy place producing Models S runabouts, rumble seat cars, coupes, a few Model R and Model N, along with Model K roadsters and tourings. This seems to clarify (with corroboration from the first article) that Ford has ended production of all models except the two named (makes sense to me).
At about the same time, this Ford Motor Company national ad appears in major newspapers:
"New York Times"
"Kansas City Star"
An excerpt from the ad:
Bottom line. It seems Ford is only building the two model runabouts. Judging by FMC national advertising, Ford is also only promoting the sale of "Model S Roadster", "Other Models at $600 and $700 (Models N and S runabout)," and "A few 6-cylinder 40 H.P. Roadsters."
Does this mean there were no K touring cars left in Ford inventory? I know dealers had K tourings left after October 1, 1908, however, it seems FMC is no longer including them in their sales advertising.
This is interesting to me because, if the tourings are out of stock, another Model K storyline, that the cars were difficult to sell, seems to be challenged.
Thank you for your reasonable opinions and for any other information. This is an interesting period, as the Model T is nearing release and earlier models are being moved out.
Rob - Model T's are not "OT".
Rob: If the dealers had touring in stock, and Ford quit producing more of them, I would be inclined to think that they were not selling well. If the dealers could not move the ones they had in inventory, they likely would have told Ford about the problem and would not be excited about getting more to sell. The fact that Ford was still making the K runabouts, would imply to me that those were selling. If all that is true, it is interesting that the runabouts were more popular than the touring car. Especially since with the Model T, the touring cars far out sold all of the other styles.
Rob: A further afterthought and pure speculation. The K clearly was a more expensive car than the T. Perhaps the T touring was most popular since it was able to carry the whole family and was marketed to the masses. Whereas the K was marketed to the wealthier population and perhaps they were not as interested or in need of a family car but the runabout was a fun sporty car which was of interest to many of those who could afford such a luxury.
Welcome back Rob. Very interesting articles and research.
My take is that Henry decided that the T was the way to go and in order to continue to have cash flow during the transition, he pick the models he thought had the best potential to sell before and along side the new Model T. This allowed him to free up factory space for the anticipated flood of new orders for the Model T.
In order to climb a new mountain, you have to descend from the first mountain.
I would think Ford would "help" out their dealers and include K touring on their national advertising if there were a "glut" of them. My opinion is, if Ford Motor Company still had any fiscal interest in K tourings, they would have been included on this advertising. As it turns out, only runabouts are mentioned.
I do suspect the K roadsters continued to be a good seller, and that is why Ford was still building them, along with the best seller of all the NRS cars, S roadster (in terms of cars sold in a brief period, and profit margin).
All speculation, but interesting no less,
Dave, Thank you.
Barry, yes, definitely apples and oranges (K to T) in my opinion. I've always felt the K was the N/R/S and T of "high end" cars. I also agree Dave, Highland Park was scheduled to be completed in January 1909, and Ford needed all the space they could make for the soon to be (and already delayed) Model T. Of course I'm learning as I go, so a lot of speculation and guessing on my part.......
I should have saved them, but found several articles where customers were already leaving deposits for new Model Ts as early as March 1908. I think there was tremendous anticipation by the public for a family sized version of the hugely successful NRS series.
I thought this interesting. In the same time period this dealer, who sells several makes, leads his advertising with a fully equipped Model K touring (first drawing, first description).
Either he had so many on hand he has to do everything possible to move them, or they are a good sales lead:
Glad to see you back! Lots more great stuff!
Thank you Rob.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Welcome back! I look forward to this and many other discussions.
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