Photo courtesy of the State Library of South Australia B61277.
verb (used with object)
1. to cross (a river, stream, etc.) at a ford."
I guess we can add WITH a Ford to that definition...
How did he keep his ignition from getting wet?
I think at the time the photo was taken that both the ignition and the inside of the motor would have to be dried out before continuing of his trip.
Add to that the impending rear axle failure due to water (and grit with it) getting in that you can't get out without taking it all apart.
You can be sure the inside of the body was filled up with water to the same level.
That photo is captioned to say the car is crossing the Diamantina River, IIRC. It is one of three photos that go together as the story of the Gaffney family moving from Adelaide to Birdsville in 1916. The newspaper story can be found here-
The photo is in columns 4 and 5, and the story headed 'Adelaide to Birdsville' is in column 6. The car in the river is obviously not the Gaffney car, so could be the one that went out to meet them.
Here are the other two pictures-
"All in a day's work" http://www.samemory.sa.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=1295
Thanks for that link, David. Curiously the story only refers to one car in spite of the photographs showing two different cars.