I thought I had read somewhere Ford would not sell cars/ambulances to other countries prior to US involvement so individuals and non-governmental organizations would purchase vehicles to transform them to ambulances. Is this fact or did I make this up? Also if it is true are there any excerpts on Ford's position?
Craig, I think you could write books on this subject. Henry Ford was a pacifist (as were most in the U.S. initially) and had a Peace Ship mission to Europe to attempt to end the war.
Many Fords ended up as ambulances early in the war (beginning 1914). Many well known Model T people have researched the period. Fred Huson is writing a book or papers on pre U.S. entry ambulances. Mike Walker has built an aircraft starting T that I believe was for WW1 era aircraft (Mike?).
I think this would be a really interesting area for someone to delve into and give us information as they find it if they were interested. One thing I've found, commonly held beliefs are not always accurate, and with the internet and access to libraries and research options, there might be a wealth of information to be gained and shared if you, or anyone else is interested.
Definitely an interesting period, and the Model T appeared on the scene just in time to provide effective, inexpensive transportation and military support for the country's it was available to.
Yup, the Hucks Starter trucks were developed during WW-I and were used from then until nearly the onset of WW-II. I built two of them for vintage aircraft museums.
There were many 1914 Ford ambulances used in the war. Here is a pic from the September 1915 Ford Times magazine (Canadian?) showing part of a convoy of 50 Ford ambulances from that year.
Lots more were sent to Europe in 1917, when the US got "officially" involved in it.
Ford sold chassis out of Manchester for ambulances (as per above photo) also pickup trucks/vans to the Ministry of Supply. Being foreign owned, they were the only car factory that kept building and selling cars, the British companies all went over to munitions and other war work. Ford would not openly sell vehicles for military use, but of course that did not stop his vehicles being adapted. See the recently published book on the Light Car Patrols in North Africa.
Somewhere I have the production figures for Manchester, but of course can't immediately find them :>(
Don't forget the 3 ton tank with 2 Model T engines ! They built a few before the war ended.
Here's a bunch